Healthy Lawns, Healthy Bay

We got a much needed inch of rain over night, and it did a great job of wetting down our newly planted beds! It also filled the plastic covered beds with water, which will be a bit more of a problem once we need to uncover them to continue prep for planting. As it turned out, more than 70 people turned out for my talk in Annapolis at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation headquarters down at Bay Ridge Beach. If you’re curious about the talk, a copy of it is in the Presentations section of my web site. Took about an hour and a half to get their, and it was a pretty drive, being early enough on a Saturday morning …

ShepherdHealthy Lawns, Healthy Bay

Spring Forward, Fall Back

While I was at the event, I made time to get together with some old friends I hadn’t seen in a while (I didn’t make it to Vermont at all last winter). I had lunch with Maree Gaetani of Gardener’s Supply, whom I am hoping will be interested in a sort of skunk works R&D relationship like we had when my gardens were down in the Intervale in Burlington . Since they have a strength in season extension – which is one of the things I am going to be most focused on in this garden – I think there is a natural connection. I also took an hour after lunch to go visit my friends Alice and Angie Higuera, …

ShepherdSpring Forward, Fall Back

Ashes to Ashes, Weeds to Weeds

The stop by the old garden was depressing, though not surprising. I had heard the house was sold last year, and apparently the new owners are no more gardeners than the renters that followed me. The renters were actually the surprise, as they were all interns at the Rodale Institute, but between the three of them they couldn’t seem to keep the place up. Now the spot has returned pretty much to the same weeds that were there before I started. For the curious, there are lots of pictures of that garden  and its progress on my homepage. I finally arrived in Vermont about 5 PM, just in time to shower, shave and head down for the opening reception of …

ShepherdAshes to Ashes, Weeds to Weeds

Nozzlehead Community

A lot of people seem to have the misconception that organic gardening means just leaving things to nature, to chance or fate. If you’ve read my books – or have been reading this blog a while – you know that is not how I feel about it. I actively manage the system that is my garden. That system is, in reality, a community of organisms of which I am only one, and the health and diversity of that community is essential to my success as a gardener. So right after Mike tilled the garden, and before covering it back up, I mixed up some compost tea and “inoculated” both sides of the garden. While I was at it, I hit …

ShepherdNozzlehead Community

Digging it

Spring fever really has a hold on me. I want the garden finished. Even so, I know that I just don’t have the time right now to dig all the beds, put up the fence and plant all my spring crops. But I know unless I chip away at it I’ll never get it done because no big block of time is ever likely to present itself. And it wouldn’t  be any fun even if it did…it would be a push, not a pleasure. So I decided that today I would at least dig the central path. It took me about an hour, which is just right; an hour a day is nothing but good exercise, without being so much …

ShepherdDigging it