Online Veggies!

Well, it is clear I am going to have way more vegetables than my extended families can eat, so I have to figure out what to do with them. I spoke to a couple of vendors at the farmers market (downtown, Sundays from April to December) to see if I could set up a card table or something, but it seems out they are not really interested in having any new vendors unless they are certified  organic. Though I am – and always have been – organic there is no way I can afford to be certified just so I can set up a card table at the market. (Note: if you sell less than $5000 a year, then under …

ShepherdOnline Veggies!

More On Mulch

Today I took a break mid-day and rode down to the river, where Sarah mentioned a friend (who works for a tree service) might have some shredded wood we could have. Along the way I stopped by the town shed as I had also been told that they took town shreddings there. When I got to the river I didn’t find much of what I was looking for, but I did come upon a landscaper mowing a large overgrown lawn nearby leaving behind copious amounts of lawn clippings. Now I am not always fond of lawn clippings — especially from immaculate suburban lawns — because they might include residual weed-and-feed chemicals, or even insecticides, but its a statistical fact that …

ShepherdMore On Mulch

The Nose Knows

Walking downtown just now to drop off some packages at the Post Office, I got my first whiff of Viburnum (though I couldn’t see it). I’d seen some blooming around town earlier this week, but no fragrant ones that I could find. There is also a substantial Wisteria on Washington St, but it seems not to have any fragrance, either…I’m going to have to check the one out at Bellevue and see if it does, because I would like to have one (a fragrant one) on the arbor in the garden.

ShepherdThe Nose Knows

The Value Of Compost

Looking at the garden this morning made apparent just why one wants to include a decent amount of compost in the bed prep of a new potager, especially here in the clay-lands. That inch of rain we got came down hard, and clay packs tight under those conditions, but the beds that got a quarter inch or so of compost mixed into the surface were able to evaporate all the water they needed yesterday when the sun came out. Those that just got compost in the furrow (then closed over with the existing soil) cracked badly because the only way the water could get out was to crack the surface, which not only makes cultivation more difficult, but also makes …

ShepherdThe Value Of Compost

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

Concentration 2

A classic example of concentration this morning: Walked down to the Lost Dog for coffee a little later than usual, and as I made my way down the Washington Street alley, a man was putting out half a dozen huge plastic bags of leaves he’d raked up. All I have to do is get back down there before tomorrow morning and they are mine!  We have plenty of kitchen scraps (a regular form of the gooey "N" for compost) and planning to buy some hay (@ $7.00 a bale, planning but not buying) to use for our dry "C" source (4-5 parts dry C to 1 part gooey N is a good ratio) and now I don’t need to! This …

ShepherdConcentration 2