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Seventy Acres of Scrub Farmland

Coyote on the lawn Some people think my experiment in ecosystem gardening is on the verge of getting out of hand. First it was coyotes on the lawn, bears at the feeder. Pretty soon the house will become the fields and the woods. Heck, I’ve already brought in grapevines, grasses, and wildflowers to decorate the […]

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Dreaming in Peppers

This week’s PATCHwork column for the Addison Independent: Hot Pepper Mania My house smells of hot peppers.  Who knew that a dehydrator filled with them would send clouds of pungent oil into the air.  At this rate I could probably produce highly effective pepper spray, may soon have to don goggles.  It’s a good thing […]

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A Little Bit of Heaven in the Kitchen: Making Ricotta and Mozzarella

The first time I made cassis and realized how simple it was to transform black currants into ambrosia (really, all you need is patience as it takes six months of maceration in a cool, dark place), I felt as though someone had been keeping a secret from me all these years–some of the most sublime […]

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July 1: The Extremes of this Early Season

Lately, the weather has ricocheted between super hot and steamy (90F) and downright cold (40F), rainy and intensely sunny, still and wildly windy. It’s remarkable that the garden is doing as well as it is thus far.  Indeed, the last two weeks of June had me scurrying about harvesting armloads of mint, dill, cilantro and […]

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Early Season Abundance, Part One

For my next newspaper column (in a couple of weeks), I plan on writing about abundance–even in an early season northern garden–about how so much is ready for harvest, almost too much: plants bolting, plants trying to bolt, plants ready overnight, and how working within that abundance hour by hour opens up perspectives beyond mine […]

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