Blog: Musings on the earth, mindful living and our connections

A Wonderful Celebration!

Posted by on October 11, 2017 in Building Community, Caring for the Earth, Feeding Each Other, Gardens, Growing Food | 0 comments

A Wonderful Celebration!

Sunday was a stupendous day in the weather department. After several days of rain, the skies were clear and sunny. It was the perfect day for our Sukkot Harvest Celebration and Fundraiser. One of the day’s objectives was to thank our volunteers. It is a remarkable and significant blessing to note just how many people contribute their time, energy and muscle to helping In the Gardens grow. We honored 30 volunteers at our celebration! We also wanted to thank our contributors: our donors, and the businesses and individuals that offer us...

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Home On The Prairie

Posted by on September 7, 2017 in Caring for the Earth, Native Gardens, Permaculture | 0 comments

Home On The Prairie

This weekend I had the opportunity to spend time in Madison, Wisconsin. I was on a trip with my dear friend Sobyl, the goal of which was to explore what the city had to offer. We started by buying a book: 100 Things to do in Madison Before You Die, by Katie Vaughn. A bit dramatic of a title, but it was the perfect resource to help us sip a bit of this and a bit of that. We were both drawn to the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Arboretum. For nature and plant lovers like us, what’s not to love with 1200 acres both cultivated and wild? While...

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Road Trip!

Posted by on August 31, 2017 in Caring for One Another, Caring for the Earth, Kindness | 0 comments

Road Trip!

What a remarkable and extraordinary country we live in. I just came back from a six-day road trip, something I don’t do often. I went to see my daughter at her new home in North Carolina, and decided to stop at my alma mater in Athens, Ohio. I graduated from Ohio University’s dance department in the early 80s and had never been back. Driving East… One of the most stunning blessings I received was the beauty of our country. The farms unfurl extensively in Illinois and Indiana, rolling plains that go on for miles. While the single crop...

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Planning Your Garden Part 4: The Fall Garden

Posted by on August 15, 2017 in Caring for the Soul, Feeding Each Other, Gardens, Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Permaculture, Volunteer Day | 0 comments

Planning Your Garden Part 4: The Fall Garden

In the last few weeks,  we have harvested lots of fruits and veggies, and some plants have completed their season. The garden looks different. There are big pockets of emptiness, soil with nothing growing in it. Harvesting turnips, beets and carrots leaves beds empty. Pulling out the leaf baby lettuces after the third or fourth cutting of their leaves, and removing the sugar snap peas once the weather heated up, left open holes in the earth. But it’s only August and we have a few more months of good growing time before winter will show her...

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Planning Your Garden Part 3: Saving Seeds

Posted by on August 1, 2017 in About In the Gardens, Caring for the Earth, Gardens, Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Permaculture, Sustainability | 0 comments

Planning Your Garden Part 3: Saving Seeds

As spring has yielded to full summer, you might be seeing your garden overflow with produce. You might even see flowers or fruits that got away – that you didn’t see when they were ripe, and now what? You can pick them and toss them in the compost, you can leave them on the vine, or you can prepare to save their seeds. You might think that saving seeds is for the advanced gardener. What do I know about saving seeds, you might be thinking, but I can tell you it is easy and fun, and amazing to see plants sprout from seeds you have saved with...

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Pollinators: Birds, Bees and More in the Garden

Posted by on July 17, 2017 in Caring for the Earth, Gardens, Growing Food, Organic Gardening | 0 comments

Pollinators: Birds, Bees and More in the Garden

Each year at In the Gardens we invest ourselves in learning something new, or studying more deeply about an aspect of the garden. One year it was composting. Another year we explored companion planting. A different year our focus was learning about weed prevention while simultaneously enriching our soil. There are side journeys each year as well: unexpectedly we had to learn how to protect our crops more effectively from deer last year, and one year we tried to do some container vegetables to see how they’d grow. This year, somewhat by...

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Planning Your Garden, Part 2: Flowers and Veggies Together

Posted by on July 3, 2017 in Gardens, Growing Food, Mindfulness, Organic Gardening | 0 comments

Planning Your Garden, Part 2: Flowers and Veggies Together

I recently learned something about why it’s great to plant certain flowers near specific vegetables. I knew a few basics: that marigolds deter pests and sweet alyssum is great next to your kale, broccoli, collards and other brassicas. But why? Well, let’s start with marigolds. And note that there are different varieties of marigolds. You can grow the average size, from about 18-24 inches high, or you might prefer, as I do, the dwarf size. These grow up to about eight inches high and make great borders, because they don’t take up a lot of...

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Planning Your Garden, Part 1: Companion Plants

Posted by on June 22, 2017 in Gardens, Growing Food, Mindfulness, Organic Gardening, Permaculture | 0 comments

Planning Your Garden, Part 1: Companion Plants

“I planted peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil and zucchini,” a neighbor told me. “The tomatoes aren’t growing at all, and the cucumbers are really struggling. How do you get your vegetables to grow so full and productively?” I hear these questions often. There are some basics that might seem obvious: a spot with enough sun and soil, the proper amount of water. But there are many more elements that contribute to a successful garden that many of us might not be aware of. In permaculture gardening, we talk about designing a site that makes the...

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Mindfulness, Chocolate and Walking

Posted by on June 12, 2017 in Caring for the Soul, Meditation, Mindfulness, Mindfulness Practice | 0 comments

Mindfulness, Chocolate and Walking

When you think of mindfulness, what comes to mind? I recognize that’s a pun of sorts. Apologies. When someone tells us to be mindful of something, they are seeking for us to pay attention, to focus ourselves to make sure we are present for a particular event, thought, or activity. Teaching mindfulness has the same goal. We begin with paying attention to simple things, perhaps how we eat a piece of chocolate or a raisin. Bringing our awareness to how we brush our teeth or the way we step down the stairs in the morning. As we become mindful of...

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A Special Volunteer!

Posted by on June 8, 2017 in Caring for One Another, Feeding Each Other, Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Social Justice, Volunteer Day | 0 comments

A Special Volunteer!

Last Saturday I had the honor of seeing one of my former students become a bar mitzvah. It was especially meaningful because of the close relationships I have with so many members of his family, particularly with his grandmother Judy (Gunga, as she is known), who is one of In the Gardens’ main volunteers. And yet it was even more meaningful because this gentleman has been spending the last few months here working with In the Gardens for his community service project, a part of this rite of passage. I was not only thrilled to see this young...

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