Category Archives: composting

Keeping Cool When The Heat Is On

While we’re outside helping plants and critters stay alive, it’s important to keep our own cool. Cover your head with a wet bandanna before putting on your broad-brimmed sunhat and your noggin will stay pleasantly cool for about an hour. Wrap crushed ice in a bandanna and tie it around your neck for even longer relief. When I did a lot of gardening for others, I’d keep an ice cooler in my car with zip bags of gloves, socks, and shirts so I could change into cool, dry clothing every few hours. (This works great at the beach too.) After you shower, hang your damp towel on a drying rack and let it cool off the air in an overly hot room as it dries. A wet sheet draped in front of a fan can do the same thing on a larger scale. At night, fill your hot water bottle with crushed ice and snuggle with it for a chilling experience. Tuck it down by your feet to keep them cool all night.
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Saving All the Bees

Nectar is not the only attraction in a well stocked garden, so don’t get bugged by bugs. Having a haze of insects hovering over your beds will just about guarantee you a host of birds (even hummers need protein as well as sweet desserts) as well as butterflies. Housing helps too; many grasses (especially stipas) are butterfly friendly host plants, while roses offer building material to leaf cutter bees along with their pollen and nectar. That’s a large part of why I tidy now, in late winter and early spring instead of in autumn; putting off the work protect and supports native pollinators and when I finally get around to it, there’s a lot less to do, since so much as self-composted in place. Continue reading

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Beating The Winter Blues

As I weed and edit in my garden, I find myself leaving a lot of what definitely looks messy. Those battered, fallen logs often shelter slumbering bee larvae and sagging plants can be protecting butterfly cocoons. I’ve found dormant frogs nestled in heaps of old leaves and little bats hiding in deep cracks in leaning dead trees. However, while some kinds of mess looks naturalistic, others just look like crap. As I age, I’m experiencing the twin pulls of appreciating order and valuing the wild. I do get daily pleasure and satisfaction from Continue reading

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A Parade Of Pumpkins

Print PDFFrom Nuts To Soup This year, my three year old grandson is enchanted with pumpkins, and so am I. For one thing, they are so beautifully plump and rounded, whether symmetrical or pleasingly eccentric in shape. Warty or smooth … Continue reading

Posted in composting, fall/winter crops, Gardening With Children, Nutrition, preserving food, Recipes, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment