Author Archives | Barbara

Neither Here Nor There: Mid-Autumn Gardening Notes

I’ve just returned from a work trip to southwestern Montana where it seems that most people don’t plant gardens. In towns, out on the ranches, I saw little sign of tomatoes or lettuces, even kale or broccoli tended in neat rows or clustered in raised beds. And vegetables that do grow?  They fold up early. […]

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Oddities in the Garden: Wonders of the World

On a table in my house sits what most people, including my entire extended family, find quite bizarre, something they cannot align with what they know of me.  After all, I pride myself on being an ecological gardener who tries to consider the impact of my actions on all the inhabitants of the garden, not […]

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Guest Post #12 Kate Gridley’s “Pig Tales”

Barbara’s Note: This week we bring you our dear friends — Kate Gridley and her son Charles Barstow are incredible cooks, artists, thinkers and stewards of this earth.  Kate, a painter of fabulous portraits, still lifes and landscapes, is also my fellow conspirator and columnist at The Addison Independent and my co-blogger at Eating Well.  […]

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Saving Seeds and Keeping Records: Fall Confessions of a Not-So-Perfect Gardener

My father was among the world’s most enthusiastic record keepers. As a historian, he stacked details of time, place and event neatly in his mind. On index cards he noted the noteworthy including nagging holes in his coin and stamp collections. Even after he died, we discovered more: deep within his desk he’d squirreled a […]

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Guest Post #9: Kate Corrigan & Sebastian Miska Write about Raising Meat & Labeling It

Barbara’s Note: I buy my meat from these two young farmers–fabulous pork shoulders and chops, chickens and ducks–and am much inspired by their example.  Kate Corrigan grew up in Shoreham, Vermont where her family raised their own eggs, pork and poultry. Sebastian Miska grew up in the Middlebury, Vermont area and enjoyed frequent visits to […]

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Cookielove: A Moment of Deep Community, Inspiration and Storytelling

It has been quite a week: Irene and her aftermath- an unfolding story of the Vermont community coming together to move through this disaster–and very personal losses friends have endured that have nothing to do with hurricanes. I couldn’t sleep for the stories and memories swirling about my head when the lights went out. So […]

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A Gardener Prepares for Irene: Encounters with Climate Chaos

My family jokes about how when my husband heads out on a trip, Mother Nature lets loose. An albino robin appears just before he’s to leave. An owl hangs around in broad daylight, staring intently into the screened-in porch.  Bats flit about the house.  Birds get trapped in my studio. Coyotes prowl the garden to […]

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The Foolish Gardener: Learning the Hard Way… Again

  Listen to Barbara read the post. I stopped growing corn a few years back.  For good reason.  It takes up precious garden real estate and inevitably gets snatched by some clever critter or other the night before I plan to pick it. Just as people line up for local chicken-pie suppers around here, I […]

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Guest Post #7: Nancy White Writes about her Seattle Garden

A Note from Barbara:  I have learned more than I can say from Nancy White, one of the foremost thinkers on online communities (read her book), incredible graphic facilitator (see her work), lover of chocolate, and good friend.  Here I learn lessons gleaned from gardening in a sodden place. A Note from Nancy: My friend […]

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Guest Post #5: Kristina Lyons Writes about Farming in the Colombian Amazon

Barbara’s Note: When Kristina was a student  in my creative writing class at Middlebury College a few years back, it was clear that she  would devote her life to doing good for the world through her passion for workers’ rights, social justice and the health of the earth.  And sure enough, she has spent  the […]

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