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Between the Rows

Between the Rows: spring blooming bulbs

Friday, September 12, 2014

These chilly days and cool nights have got me thinking about spring. Or more specifically, the need to plant spring blooming bulbs this fall. There is something about gardening that makes us gardeners keep one eye a season or two ahead, even as we work with the challenges and pleasures of the present. Catalogs for spring bloomers have already arrived. The Old House Gardens catalog is a favorite because I … 0

Between the Rows: Pickling pondered

Friday, September 5, 2014

Harvest season is upon us. This is the reward of summer-long labors. I’ve been talking to neighbors who are canning dilly beans and corn, making peach jam and drying herbs. One neighbor is seeing what she can rescue from the late blight that is hitting many tomato patches in the area. Harvest time … 0

Between the Rows: master gardeners

Friday, August 29, 2014

Over 200 master gardeners are volunteering their knowledge and energy up and down the Pioneer Valley. You might have called upon them to test your soil at local farmers markets, or found them answering questions at the Big E in Springfield and the Little E in Greenfield, or working at Wisteriahurst in Holyoke, … 0

Between the Rows: Is your garden put to bed?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Recently, my gardening chats with friends all begin with “Have you finished yet? Is the garden put to bed?” The answer usually comes with a groan, or a noncommittal “Mmmmmm,” letting you think they might actually have done all the jobs on their fall clean-up list. I certainly … 0

Between the Rows: Cultivating food

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Greenfield Community Farm out on Glenbrook Road actually comprises four gardens. First, there is a production market garden, operated by grant-funded David Paysnick and his assistant Daniel Berry, that grows produce for sale through the Just Roots CSA at the Farmers Market and at Green Fields Coop. … 0

Between the Rows: The signature of all things

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I expected a story that would involve herbal medicine when I began reading “Thee_SNbSSignature of All Things” by Elizabeth Gilbert, the famous author of the autobiographical “Eat, Pray, Love.” Instead, I got a 19th-century story that included a highly profitable pharmaceutical business, a passionate botanizing heroine, desire, travels … 0

Between the Rows: Efficient by design

Sunday, September 29, 2013

As she began my tour of Beaver Lodge in Ashfield, Marie Stella said, “I’m a designer. I’ve always been absorbed by fashion, interior and landscape design,” Her current and ongoing design project is the landscape surrounding her beautiful house, which has been given a Platinum LEED (Leadership in … 0

Between the Rows: Monks Garden magic

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Last week, I visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to meet the noted landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburg and hear him speak about how he approached the challenge of redesigning the Monks Garden. He said that Isabella Stewart Gardner herself acknowledged that she was never satisfied with the … 0

Between the Rows: Pat goes nuts over these trees

Saturday, September 14, 2013

On a spring walk in the Betty Maitland Memorial Forest here in Heath, we admired a tall beech tree (Fagus grandiflora) that is also known as the bear tree. The trunk is scarred by bears that climb up into the foliage for the nuts. Beechnuts are an important … 0

Between the Rows: Even dummies can raise their own chickens

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Dogs and cats are so 20th century. Chickens are the new trend in “pets.” They are colorful, cheerful, easy to care for and productive. Think of all those fresh eggs! Dogs only give you sticks you have thrown for them to bring back. OK, sometimes they bring you … 0

Between the Rows: Conway home a model of permaculture

Saturday, August 24, 2013

How would you plan your retirement if you had already received a degree from Wellesley College, earned a further degree in Russian and Middle Eastern Studies, hitchhiked to Morocco, lived in Paris, worked for the United Nations, as well as in the cable TV world and for the … 0

Between the rows: Tony Palumbo and the gifts of Irene

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Two years ago, Tropical Storm Irene came rampaging through the area, turning the rivers into torrents overleaping their banks, washing away roads and buildings, breaking hearts and pocketbooks. Tony Palumbo, artist, owner of the Green Emporium and gardener, was at his easel watching the rain pour down. Neighbors … 0

Between the Rows: Sharing multiple gardens

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Kevin Hollister and his family live across the lawn and through the woods right next door to his sister Sarah Hollister in Colrain. Together, they share multiple gardens. Sarah has lots of vegetables for the two families, many of them growing on utilitarian or whimsical structures. Kevin hosts … 0

Between the Rows: Pat's berry good summer

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Berries are an easy food crop that can save you money and are amazingly nutritious. Berries are expensive in the market because they require so much labor to pick, are perishable and need to be shipped quickly. Yet it does not take much time or trouble to go … 0

Between the Rows: Summer blues

Saturday, July 13, 2013

There are different types of summer blues, from the blues that hit on hot, muggy days when the thought of weeding is not to be borne, or those that follow drenching rains that have turned the raspberries to mold. Then there are the blue flowers that are much … 0