Planning Your Garden Part 3: Saving Seeds

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...

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Unexpected Interweavings

Unexpected Interweavings

Life is filled with unexpected interweavings, cycles and circles. I experienced some of these this past week on my JMMTT – Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training – at Isabella Freedman retreat center and farm. Nestled in the woods of Falls Village, CT, about 90 minutes from the nearest airport, the center boasts trails and a pond, several greenhouses, a large network of yards and structures for goats and chickens, and extensive fields...

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Winter Sprouts

Winter Sprouts

This past Sunday, as with many Sundays, my volunteer, Abe, came to help me with winter gardening detail: removing dried mint and dill from the stems to jar for tea and spice, respectively. We removed and bagged seeds from collards and arugula, and separated beans and peas from their shells, some for cooking and some for planting next season. But this Sunday was different. The sun was shining and it was 65 degrees—time to work outside. I love...

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Growing Food Grows Us

Growing Food Grows Us

Last week I had a wonderful and unexpected visit. An intern who worked with me in the summer of 2015 was in town visiting his family and took the time to get together with me. Lucas was a high school senior when we met at Chicago’s Good Food Festival – a celebration of gardeners, farmers, food justice groups and businesses concerned with providing healthy food for all. He and I were in a presentation together on urban farming, and we...

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In Praise of Water

In Praise of Water

I spent an extended weekend in southern California this past weekend celebrating my father’s 83rd birthday. Having lived in California for about fifteen years, it is always a treat to go back. I was struck by the beauty. Palm trees overlooking the panoramic ocean view are bordered by blue skies filled with sun. Although I didn’t see any vegetable gardens growing in the places we were visiting, I remembered that plants growing here in the...

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The Worm and the Beanstalk

The Worm and the Beanstalk

I think I have a worm. Or maybe it is a canny, selective squirrel. The bush beans (beans can grow two ways – on a bushy plant that is low to the ground, or as runner beans or pole beans, on lengthy vines that need to be trellised) are ripe and ready to be picked. And eaten. Yum. This is one of my favorite times of the season. All that hard work of cultivating the soil with compost, organic fertilizer and other amendments, of planting the beans...

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