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Wednesday, September 19, 2018
  • We’d all eat like kings if cabbage were on our preferred vegetable list more than the one day of the year it currently reigns supreme, with its boon companion corned beef. The traditional St. Patrick’s Day . . .
  • I saw my first mango and avocado orchards. Now I can die happy. There’s something about tropical fruits that fills a gardening gap in my life. While it’s true that I love northern orchards of apples and blueberries and strawberries, . . .
  • We headed south on a winter escape to Florida just ahead of the onset of subzero temperatures, outran a “wintry mix” turning roads to ice in North Carolina, and found clear sailing ahead until we ran smack into the Everglades Seafood Festival . . .
  • Gardeners who start onions, leeks and flowers like violas and snapdragons indoors have already ordered and received their seeds prior to planting them later this month. For the rest of us, there’s still time to sit by the fire and thumb . . .
  • When two e-mail correspondents mention microgreens just days apart, it inspires me to look into the subject, and also to wonder why I’m not growing them. Tiny in size — microgreens are often confused with sprouts — but big . . .
  • Super Bowl Sunday draws near, that holy day when most of the country gathers together to drink beer, eat lots, and cheer for their favorite team. If you live with a diehard fan of the sport, as I do, you’ve already had many months . . .
  • “We have a lady cardinal and her husband, purple finches, blue jays — a blaze of color!” My daughter is writing about the pleasures of watching the busy feeders installed in her yard on Vinalhaven. The lively visitors are . . .
  • The day we haul the Christmas tree and greens out the door is always a mournful time for me. No more balsam scent, no twinkling lights, no green stuff around to enliven the brown and white winter landscape. The gift amaryllis are . . .
  • If there were such a thing as a super food, the humble chickpea is on its way to being nominated Super Food of 2016. The emergence into the foodie spotlight of the humble legumes, also known to us as garbanzo beans . . .
  • New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken, at least those of the “lose 10 pounds, stop eating sugar, work out daily” variety. But one that may be a bit easier to implement is a resolve to clean up those garden tools and keep . . .
  • The short dark days of December demand a light-filled celebration, whatever the festival. From the earliest pagan times people have rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of winter was behind them and lengthing days . . .
  • While looking for stocking stuffers at a local discount store I came across seeds, packed for 2016, that were marked down. I chose some bright sunflowers and nasturtiums for the grandchildren’s stockings and herbs for the . . .
  • We’ve been a bit slow to jump into Christmas holiday mode this year. A wreath on the door, yes, but no candles in the window, no tree waiting on the porch and, of course, very little shopping done. But last night we did have a . . .
  • In the pre-dawn hours of half-sleep this morning I had a vivid and wonderful dream. A friend of my son’s had, unbeknownst to me, installed an exotic garden for me at a beach house. It contained primarily tropical plants, chief among them . . .
  • For many years making Christmas wreaths was a part of our Thanksgiving holiday tradition. My family lived on Cape Cod, where the weather was encouragingly mild and, aside from the hazard of gathering poison ivy along with . . .
  • My partner and I have many mutual interests, but we diverge widely on magazine subscriptions. His include Field and Stream, Outdoor Life, and roughly one and a half unsolicited Cabela’s catalogs every day. I counter with . . .
  • The gift of a very warm, lingering autumn has given midcoast gardeners more time for cleanup in the garden, but colder temperatures are finally on the way. It’s time to put a blanket on garden beds — a blanket of mulch. . . .
  • The sun rises late here on the western fringe of the Central Time Zone in South Dakota, with the horizon just turning pink at 8 a.m. It’s hard to get up before dawn to prepare for another day of hunting ring-necked pheasants . . .
  • We’re in sunny and warm South Dakota this week, where it’s very dry and 80 degrees at midday. The Laura Ingalls Wilder homestead is just down the road a bit, in De Smet, and, thinking of the weather extremes the family faced . . .
  • Our prolonged warm fall has been an unexpected gift, but even so, mornings and evenings grow chilly and most nights we’ve had a small fire in the woodstove. Now that a lot of the fresh vegetables are either frost-nipped . . .
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