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

#MyGivingStory—The Power of Compassion

Posted by on December 5, 2017 in About In the Gardens, Building Community, Caring for One Another, Equality, Giving Back, Growing Food | 0 comments

#MyGivingStory—The Power of Compassion

The following is a story I submitted for this year’s #MyGivingStory, in recognition of some of the roots (no pun intended!) of In the Gardens. Parts of this story have been shared before, but here it is in its most updated form. Vote! #MyGivingStory is a storytelling contest created by the #GivingTuesday organization to foster a public conversation about giving and to inspire more people to give. Visit: goo.gl/Z7wNmv to vote for this giving story. In 2014 I was rear-ended at a red light. I was more stunned than anything else, and getting out...

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Extending our Thanks: #GivingTuesday

Posted by on November 16, 2017 in Building Community, Caring for One Another, Caring for the Earth, Feeding Each Other, Giving Back | 0 comments

Extending our Thanks: #GivingTuesday

Next week we will celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday that brings people together to reflect on and express their gratitude for the good in their lives. Yesterday I was talking with a gentleman in the grocery store. I don’t know him by name, but he has helped me over the months and years, and when he saw me he went out of his way to say hello. “I’m now on the night shift,” he said, “and I don’t see customers as much anymore.” When I asked him how he was, he said, “Thankful. With all that’s going on in the world, I have shelter, clothing, food...

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#HoustonStrong

Posted by on October 30, 2017 in Building Community, Caring for One Another, Climate Change, Social Justice | 0 comments

#HoustonStrong

I am honored to have participated in a trip to Houston last week for disaster relief after Hurricane Harvey. It was coordinated by an organization called Nechama, and promoted in Chicago through the Jewish United Fund. When I saw the email invitation, I quickly checked my calendar and said, “Yes!” I submitted an application and was invited to take part. Nineteen people – sixteen volunteers and three JUF staff members – traveled to Texas to see how we could be of help. The whole group, including Nechama staff – about 30 people – was graciously...

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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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