09/28/15 4:30pm
COURTESY PHOTO Make observations in your garden and keep a journal for seasons to come.

COURTESY PHOTO Make observations in your garden and keep a journal for seasons to come.

As the days grow shorter, the nights cooler, as carrots and greens begin to sweeten, and sections of your garden begin to rest, we reach a time for reflection and appreciation. The days spent working in the soil represent lessons learned. Some of those lessons will have built up confidence while others will have been quite humbling. (more…)

09/12/15 3:00pm
Jo ANN KIRKLAND PHOTO Saving seeds is a way to get the best yield from your garden.

Jo ANN KIRKLAND PHOTO
Saving seeds is a way to get the best yield from your garden.

With  MAGGIE HIGBY

“Just as people have become divorced from the source of their food, so farmers and gardeners have become divorced from the source of our seed.”
“Seedtime” by Scott Chaskey

As the cool autumn weather descends upon us, we growers and gardeners start thinking about the best way to finish out the season and look forward to the next.

One way is to preserve the best plants that you’ve grown this season and replicate them next year through the art of seed saving. It is a surprisingly simple practice and has been  in effect for 12,000 years. (more…)

08/04/15 1:30pm
COURTESY PHOTO Young farmers at work at Sylvester Manor.

COURTESY PHOTO
Young farmers at work at Sylvester Manor.

For five days and nights, my sister, her husband, their two daughters and their dog stayed with us and our dog in our one-bedroom apartment on the Island. Their purpose was to visit and hang out on the beaches. The girls attended farm camp at Sylvester Manor Educational Farm.

As much fun as my nieces had at camp, the most fun they had, along with the rest of my family, was picking berries and letting the daily harvest dictate our meals. (more…)

07/06/15 8:00am
BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO Green peppers at Sylvester Manor farmstand.

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO
Green peppers at Sylvester Manor farmstand.

If you are a regular reader of my column, your garden should be benefiting from what you’ve learned about the efficient use of water, weed management, nutrition, flavor and growing great tomatoes. Now that your garden is taking off, what should you do with all of that wonderful produce? (more…)

06/09/15 12:00pm
KURT ERICKSEN PHOTO Romaine heads in Windmill Field, overshadowing the soil to minimize weeds while retaining soil moisture.

KURT ERICKSEN PHOTO
Romaine heads in Windmill Field, overshadowing the soil to minimize weeds while retaining soil moisture.

To manage weeds, we need to recognize that they are indicators of soil conditions.

If the soil in your garden is wet and poorly drained or compacted, acidic, alkaline, overworked or fertile, you will have different weeds growing. Get to know the weeds in your garden. You can either find plants that prefer those conditions or make changes for the plants you want to grow. (more…)