Spring is Springing

Spring is springing around here—worrisomely, a bit too early…  If you know of anyone who doesn’t believe in global warming, just send them along to my place. With temps in the 70’s and 80’s for the past two weeks in the middle of March, Mother Nature is clearly a little confused. None of this should be happening for at least another month!

   
Peonies breaking dormancy                                                        Crabapple tree budding
     

All my trees are starting to bud too early                                   Grass greening up and growing

By |2016-10-24T09:56:32-04:00March 25th, 2012|My Garden / Recipes, Nature|2 Comments

Peel Head of Garlic in 10 Seconds

You guys know I love my garlic. I love growing it. I love giving it as gifts. I love cooking with it.

But I don’t love peeling it. Like onions, peeling garlic presents its own challenges. No, it won’t make you cry, but it will eat the skin off your fingertips if you try to  peel more than a few cloves by hand.

I can’t tell you how many gadgets I’ve bought over the years that claim to peel and mince garlic in one step. I’ve always gone back to doing it by hand. Until now.  See for yourself. You won’t believe your eyes. Better yet, try it for yourself and be amazed! I was.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d3oc24fD-c

Best Pan Roasted Potatoes Recipe!

organic potatoesNext to growing garlic, potatoes come in as a 2nd favorite on my list of most fun and rewarding things to grow. And they taste so much better than store-bought.

The other great thing about potatoes is that you can harvest them over a few months. So when I’m looking for stuff to throw together for dinner, I can go out, dig up a few, grab whatever else is ripe, and have a delicious vegetarian meal in no time at all. And the best part of all is that it’s healthy and free!

Since I just collected a bunch to cook, let me share one of my most favorite Roasted Potato […]

By |2016-10-24T09:56:33-04:00August 28th, 2011|My Garden / Recipes|3 Comments

Childhood Memories

Memories…  Little treasures and traps that we collect over a lifetime. Longtime readers know that I’ve worked hard to help Cait focus on the treasures, as I try to do for myself. That’s because, as a storyteller, I’m keenly aware of the power of the stories we tell ourselves about where we’ve been, who we are, and where we’re going. Hence my desire to carry the treasures forward.

One of my favorite early memories is of going to my Italian grandmother’s house in the city. I’d scramble out of the car, rush to give my grandmother a hug and then run out into her walled backyard. It was filled with glorious wonders–a fish pond, a little […]

By |2016-10-24T09:56:33-04:00August 14th, 2011|Life, My Garden / Recipes, Nature|0 Comments

Two of Our Favorite Drinks

While I truly love growing things, I also really enjoy harvesting straight from nature. I’ve been a wild edible collector for almost as many years as I’ve been a gardener. This year, even Cait seems to have taken to foraging. All that was required was to have her taste the sweet nectar of these two drinks for herself to get her scurrying out the door for more.

This first drink is a tea that is delicious hot or cold. We collect enough of it to dry and have throughout the year, but it’s really good freshly made. Just collect a few red clover heads easily found in fields and along roadsides.

redclover.jpg

Add a […]

How to Hill Potatoes

Ah, the vagaries of gardening in the Northeast…  An exceptionally rainy Spring has brought more than a few false starts with rotting seeds, and slow starts with battered seedlings. Such setbacks are par for the course when you throw in with Mother Nature. It’s all part of the adventure.

Even with an uncooperative Spring, there are a few plants that are flourishing, including my potatoes, which are growing like crazy. Having just finished a second hilling, I thought I’d share a few tips on how and why to hill.

First the “Why”:  Though hilling won’t necessarily encourage potatoes to form all along the stem the higher you go, it does improve drainage, minimizes frost damage and tuber greening, aids in weed control, and […]

By |2016-10-24T09:56:34-04:00June 26th, 2011|My Garden / Recipes, Nature|2 Comments

Does Severely Pruning Concord Grapes Kill Them?

I love my Concord grapes. I love the way they look as a live privacy screen on my fence. I love getting to eat them off the vine in the fall.

So when I had to severely prune them back last fall in order to make repairs to my fence, I worried that I might have killed them. Over-pruning can really impact grape production.

You can see the hatchet job I did on this poor vine. Because all the canes had twined through the fence, I had to lop them all off. Not looking good…

Here, you can see a few leaves have sprouted and a few more buds are underway. Phew. This vine […]

By |2016-10-24T09:56:34-04:00May 29th, 2011|My Garden / Recipes|3 Comments

My Article in New Homesteading Magazine

Flagship issue of New Homesteading MagazineIt’s no secret that I’ve been working toward producing most of my family’s food for the past several years. And while I don’t even come close to qualifying as a real homesteader, I do seem to represent a rapidly growing segment of the gardening population: people who have become extremely conscientious about where and how they get their food. Think locavore on organic fertilizer. You know, those of us who’ve rediscovered the wisdom of the “Victory Garden” of yore and supplement the rest of our food needs with local shopping.

So imagine my delight at being asked to contribute to the first issue […]

By |2016-10-24T09:56:34-04:00May 1st, 2011|My Garden / Recipes, On Writing|2 Comments
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