Monthly Archives: February 2011

Damnping off (did I spell that right?)

It’s damping-off time again, that dreaded fungal disease that topples seedlings at the soil line. Solutions presented here and other places include watering with chamomille tea, powdering with cinnamon, even using hydrogen peroxide. One very popular book (bible) on organic … Continue reading

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Used pots and flats

Everybody, everywhere tells anyone who’s listening that plastic pots, flats, and inserts should never be re-used without first disinfecting them in a bleach solution, lest pathogens be spread to the next crop you’re seeding. They all say it, I swear. … Continue reading

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Leeks

“The sweetest and most delicately flavored of all onions,” is how leeks are described in Rodale’s Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, and I have to agree. What’s more, they’re easy to grow, rarely have problems, and will overwinter with protection. SEEDING: … Continue reading

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Grounded!

At the farm we used to have a two-strand electric fence to keep rabbits, racoons, and the like out of our market gardens. Brilliant son comes home from college to discover we’d just adopted a new puppy from the pound, and decides … Continue reading

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Greenhouse pesticides

            When we first opened our new 50-foot hoop house at The Hermitage (home of President Andrew Jackson, where I was gardens manager), I went to the state department of agriculture for an inspection certificate. To sell plants, that was … Continue reading

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The Great Tomato Toss

            Our first farm in Massachusetts was called Plum Hill Farm, for the beachplums, and every summer we held what was called The Great Plum Hill Tomato Toss.  It works like this: You gather your own kids (or, ahem, grandkids) … Continue reading

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Soil

What I enjoy is not the fruits alone, but I also enjoy the soil itself, its nature and its power. –Cicero

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Yad Vashem

            I had an aunt Marion, the gentlest and strongest of souls, who was from Amsterdam, and who, during World War II,  made a practice of  getting papers to name Jewish children as her own, to keep them safe, to … Continue reading

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Soil

“The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.” –Franklin D.  Roosevelt

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The great potato roll

Now this is the truth.     Not long ago, a neighboring farmer had in his possession endless fields of shredded cornstalks rolled into round bales. They were cow fodder, but he agreed to part with some for a low price, … Continue reading

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