Rainy days and Sundays always get me down when I can not garden!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dee Weeder

I came across this while on vacation.  
It is a multifunctional light weight tool made from aluminum.  
Use it as a hoe or rake to clear weeds and grass, to sift through and cultivate the soil or to mix in or add compost.  (I actually got it to use in my compost bins, to mix up the compost and to scoop it out when ready.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Road Trip to Vermont

Vermont is seeing a upsurge in residential/lifestyle farms or what is often referred to as sustainable agriculture or the localvor movement (growing and consuming locally grown food).  Vermont produces the most local food for consumption with the highest % of people who by locally.  Most farms are less then 50 acres and gross between $1000 and $50,000.  There are roughly 554 certified organic farms, 99 farmers markets and 164 CSA's.  

Monday, November 12, 2012


As a homeowner, I can understand the desire to maintain continuity within the neighborhood.  I often feel that the front yard is the first impression of the homeowner and a  window into the owners personal style.  In Feng Shui, the front yard is the stage for what is happening in the home.  How you present your home is how you present yourself.  I don't wont to be "that" neighbor with the unkempt yard.

Grass is not native to North America.  The use of the term 'lawn" first appeared in 1733.  Grass is a monoculture (the cultivation of a single crop), depleting the soil of nutrients, deprived of biodiversity and unable to support itself (and others). And yet, homeowners toil to achieve their well groomed lawns contributing $40+ billion dollars yearly to the lawn care industry. Maintaining these perfect yards require fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, mowing, watering and time.

But what is the real cost?
5% of air pollution comes from gas-powered tools in the US.
Pesticides kill 7 million birds yearly and linked to Honey Bee Colony collapse disorder.
Phosphate fertilizer have been linked to water pollution and algae blooms from runoff.
We use 7.9 billion gallons of water daily to maintain landscapes
There is a higher risk of leukemia in children living in homes that use pesticides
Home improvement stores dedicate  25% of store space to lawn care.

Ground cover, ornamental grasses, and native plants are alternatives to planting grass, requiring less maintenance, fertilizers and water.  In addition, they attract song birds, butterflies and other living things.  Organic fertilizers and pesticides are effective and non toxic solutions to synthetic chemicals.

It may be time to rethink the word "lawn", creating instead a lawn inspired by nature to attract nature, reducing the environmental impact and the cost to our wallets.


 American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn by Ted Steinberg

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tasty Pickled Peppers.

Pickled peppers for dinner!

The last of the peppers from the garden.

Wash peppers.  Cut off tops and bottoms.

Remove seeds.

Cut peppers into strips or rings.

Boil for roughly 2 minutes.

Gather ingredients for the brine.

Combine ingredients and bring to a boil.  Simmer for about 5-10 minutes.

Place peppers in warm, sterilized jars, leaving about 1/2" head space.

Add brine.  Tap jar  on counter (gently) to remove air bubbles.

Process for 10 minutes in water bath.


"No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow." - Proverb

O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?  ~Percy Bysshe Shelley

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.  ~Hal Borland