Category Archives: Sustainable Gardening

Of Beans And Bees

Similarly, children who are allowed to play and explore in a garden setting are likely to become lifelong gardeners themselves. Perhaps the best way to engage children in gardening is to begin not with chores but with pleasurable projects. Small children love to help and they delight in working closely with adults. Find a space where enthusiastic but unskilled garden activities won’t wreak havoc with your main crops and invite the kids in. The result may be the most important seeds you ever plant!

If more than one child will be in the garden with you, find a spot for each child to make their own. Toddlers will love a space that combines a sandbox and digging tools with a bit of planting ground. My grandson’s sandbox, which can double as a fire pit with the addition of a large metal fire bowl, is full of dinosaurs and dump trucks, with kale and carrots on the side. A short hose (drinking-quality) with an easy-to-use spray nozzle provides endless pleasure in watering plants, filling buckets, and occasionally soaking an unsuspecting granny. In a tiny garden, give each child a huge tree pot filled with sand (for playing) or soil (for growing). Tiered strawberry and lettuce planters can fit on the smallest deck or terrace, and many edibles can be grown in vertical gardening structures and containers designed to hang over fence railings. Continue reading

Posted in Annual Color, Gardening With Children, Health & Wellbeing, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Milkweed Magic

The warm season butterflies live for just a few weeks, long enough to lay more eggs. The spring cycle repeats twice more before the autumn-born fourth generation appear in September and October. These are the travelers, living for as much as 8 months and voyaging as far as Mexico. This still seems little short of magical to me. Years ago, my family spent summers on Cape Cod in an old artist’s studio. The windows were warping with age, and mine couldn’t quite shut, so a trumpet vine had wiggled its way into my bedroom. There was a chrysalis on one wandering arm and I was blessed and fascinated to watch a Monarch emerge in a matter of seconds from its little case. It flexed its wings, which expanded in the sunlight, then flew off through the open window, sparking a lifelong delight in the natural world. Continue reading

Posted in Easy Care Perennials, Garden Prep, Pollinators, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living, Winterizing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Pampering Your Tomatoes

Print PDFOffer Protection On Chilly Nights Nurseries are full of tempting tomato plants right now, including fabulous varieties that are all but irresistible. It’s wise to buy these beauties when you find them, as pickings can get thin as the … Continue reading

Posted in Garden Prep, Grafted Plants, Nutrition, Planting & Transplanting, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living, Tomatoes | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Crispy Or Riced, Cauliflower Rocks

Sometimes sold as broccoli, heritage Italian romanesco cauliflower is indeed a kissing cousin, that distinctive swirling shape and rich flavor marking the transition of one vegetable into the next. (This blending is a bit like plums and cherries, which are so closely related that’s it’s sometimes difficult to suss out which a given fruit really is.) Veronica a striking Romanesco type with jade green curds. Broken into starburst-tipped spears, it makes a beautiful garnish or an elegant side dish, drizzled with a spritely spring herb sauce. If you haven’t tried stick cauliflower yet, plant a row of Fioretto 60 and prepare to play. This fascinating variation offers beautiful, long-stemmed florets that wouldn’t look amiss in a floral arrangement. The creamy curds atop the fresh green stems are great for dipping and very pretty on a veggie plate. Sweeter than headed cauliflowers, the crunchy stems can be stir fried with sesame oil, garlic and ginger, or tossed as is into salads. Continue reading

Posted in Early Crops, Genetic Engneering, Nutrition, Recipes, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments