Spinach, Microbes, and More

I wrote a story for HGTV.com about safety issues in the garden.  (Read the story here.)  This latest E. coli scare has quite a few gardeners wondering about the safety of animal manure and animal-based fertilizers that use blood meal and bone meal as ingredients.   There’s good news:  these products are fairly safe and I was not able to dig up any reported cases of infection, but it’s a good time to think...

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Pig Races in the Kent Countryside

There is still a place in the south of England where most of the village will turn out on a rainy Saturday to watch a pig race…and I have the pictures to prove it.   I’m not going to tell you exactly where it is, or you’d all want to move there, and that would just spoil...

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London Calling

I’m heading to London soon.  Any gardens or garden-related tourism I should add to the plan?  I might also be in Kent for a couple days.

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The Fotis and Their Chickens

I’ve been a fan of the Foti Family blog for a while now, but somehow I didn’t get it that they were part of the Edible Estates project until I saw the NYT story today.  Read more about all of this over at GardenRant, but meanwhile, I point you to the Fotifarm Egg Production Chart, which put me to some shame, as we have slacked off considerably in our own tracking of egg production.  Then I realized that the Fotis, too,...

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Tomatoes, Humboldt County Style

When you’re this close to the ocean, you grow ’em in a box.  No way around it.  At least these people built a cute box for theirs.  And they’ve got big ‘ol monster tomatoes inside there.  Just stand by with the olive oil and the salt...

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Saturday’s Harvest

  Lucky for me–all of these plants need to be cut back so they’ll continue blooming.  This weekend’s harvest included hydrangea, catmint, lady’s mantle, daisies, coreopsis, sweet William, and alstroemeria.  I could have cut plenty more, but where would I put it?  And yes, I know that the flowers spilling out of the watering can is a dreadful gardening cliche, but hey, it’s the container that...

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In Praise of Small Magazines

When I saw Sign of the Shovel’s post about her husband’s new book, I realized that it was about time for me to employ a little crass commercialism in support of my own spouse’s venture. Scott has been the half-owner and editor of Fine Books & Collections for four years now. He started the magazine for the same reason most people start a magazine: The magazine he wanted to read didn’t exist, so he decided to create...

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Holy Bat Shit, Lady Hillingdon!

Well folks, this is it. This is as good as it gets. The garden is at its absolute peak right now. There are some late summer salvias that are not in bloom yet, but apart from that, everything is out of control, including–in the background, against the fence–a yellow ‘Lady Hillingdon’ rose that has gone completely mad. She’s normally a well-behaved, reserved old lady, but this year she just went wild. I...

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