Tuesday, 29 July 2014 | 32 comments

Tomatoes. Notes.

Summer conjures images of lazy days, hammocks, beaches, bare feet, lemonade…all that good stuff. Let’s pretend for a moment that that’s why I’ve been so absent here.

That was nice.

The real reason is that I’m in a season of lots of work, work travel, and more wedding weekends than a person should be able to attend and still come out sane on the other side (we’ve had to turn the experience into a Bingo-style game to survive). Combine this with the fact that I coordinate our summer farm market, a few black bear incidents, the death of one friend, the birth of another friend’s baby…I’m a little spent.

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Wednesday, 11 June 2014 | 19 comments

Spring, in sum

I’m not really sure how this is possible, but between late-coming warmer temperatures and the impending solstice, I seem to have missed documenting an entire season here. It’s been muggy and very warm here, per the rules for Virginia-in-June, and I’d feel remiss if I didn’t write down a few notes before it’s full-blown summer.

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Friday, 25 October 2013 | 26 comments

First shiitake harvest

Early this year, we inoculated some logs with shiitake spawn. Around September, we got our first one or two ‘shrooms. But just this week was the first time we had enough coming in to really harvest in earnest. » Click to read more

Monday, 30 September 2013 | 15 comments

Basil flower vinegar

Now that summer’s over, I took a few hours to clean up some of the herb plants in our front garden before they get frosted. I collect bundles and hang them high in the kitchen where it’s typically pretty dry and well-ventilated, and where they aren’t exposed to too much sun. » Click to read more

Tuesday, 11 June 2013 | 34 comments

With a pile of greens: Tortilla española

Maybe you’ve heard of Ruth Stout, who is quickly rising to the top of my Ideal Dinner Party Guest List (posthumously, sadly). She smashed saloon windows with Carrie Nation during temperance, and then went on to become a garden guru in the ’60s and ’70s. I’m reading her book called “Gardening Without Work: For the Aging, the Busy, and the Indolent”. (If nothing else: such an appealing title!) Stout champions a way of gardening that essentially has one tenet: mulch the heck out of everything with straw, organic matter, newspaper, and forget about the rest. No weeding, and the organic matter of the mulch is supposed to occupy pests just as much as much as your plants themselves. The end. How she manages to fill up a book with this information, I’m not sure, but she does, and she’s lovable and eccentric and I enjoy every minute of it. It comes as no surprise, I suppose, that this woman was known to garden in the nude (as if I could like her more). » Click to read more

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