Rain, corn and beans, garden reading

Well, we’ve had a lot of rain here in central Virginia: 6.3″ (16 cm) in 11 days from 4/26-5/6. The month of April landed us with 4.9″ (12.4 cm) and the first week of May with 2.6″ (6.6 cm). Last week I wrote about my worries for the beans and corn we’d sown before the … Continue reading “Rain, corn and beans, garden reading”

Book Review, The Seed Detective by Adam Alexander

  The Seed Detective: Uncovering the Secret Histories of Remarkable Vegetables, Adam Alexander, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2022. 306 pages, $22.00. Adam Alexander is a seed collector, seed conserver, seed distributor, gardener, and a fascinating writer. He set out to find the origin of many vegetables, dividing the book into crops arriving from east of his … Continue reading “Book Review, The Seed Detective by Adam Alexander”

Cover Crops for July: Millet and Sorghum-Sundangrass

Focus Cover Crops for July:                     Millet and Sorghum-Sudangrass (Sudex) In July we are very much looking for cover crops that will grow in hot weather. Last month I wrote about sunn hemp, with some notes about other hot weather legumes. This month we are turning our attention to good hot weather grass cover … Continue reading “Cover Crops for July: Millet and Sorghum-Sundangrass”

Book Review Practical No-Till Farming: A Quick and Dirty Guide to Organic Vegetable and Flower Growing by Andrew Mefferd

Book Review Practical No-Till Farming: A Quick and Dirty Guide to Organic Vegetable and Flower Growing by Andrew Mefferd, New Society Publishers, November 2022, 240 pages, $34.99.  This is a valuable quick-start guide to small-scale and medium-scale no-till farming, for which many growers will be grateful.  Get a tarp, get started and learn as you … Continue reading “Book Review Practical No-Till Farming: A Quick and Dirty Guide to Organic Vegetable and Flower Growing by Andrew Mefferd”

Resilience: Survive, thrive and farm another season!

  “The willow which bends to the tempest, often escapes better than the oak which resists it.” Sir Walter Scott I’m reading Laura Lengnick’s book Resilient Agriculture, (review coming soon) and thinking about how growers thrive under varying situations, some of which we have no control over. To adjust to changing weather conditions, to continue … Continue reading “Resilience: Survive, thrive and farm another season!”

Unlearn, Rewild: Earth Skills, ideas and inspiration for the future primitive, by Miles Olson

Unlearn, Rewild: Earth Skills, ideas and inspiration for the future primitive, by Miles Olson. New Society Publishers, 2012, 200 pages, diagrams, $19.99 This is not a new book, but I was drawn by the title, as rewilding is a word I’ve been hearing lately. I thought I would learn about growing diversified hedgerows, and including … Continue reading “Unlearn, Rewild: Earth Skills, ideas and inspiration for the future primitive, by Miles Olson”

Book Review: The Living Soil Handbook by Jesse Frost

The Living Soil Handbook The No-Till Grower’s Guide to Ecological Market Gardening, by Jesse Frost, Chelsea Green Publishers, July 2021. 304 pages, $29.95 Jesse Frost, the host of Farmer Jesse’s No-Till Market Garden Podcast, has now made a lovely how-to and why-to book for us. No longer do we need to imagine the pictures while … Continue reading “Book Review: The Living Soil Handbook by Jesse Frost”

Everything You Need to Know About Garlic; Money and More

  We started harvesting our hardneck garlic on May 26 this year. One of the earliest harvests we have on record. I’ve written lots on garlic in this blog, it’s one of the most sought-out topics. To cut to the chase, here’s my Garlic Recap. Many of these are posts in my Alliums for the … Continue reading “Everything You Need to Know About Garlic; Money and More”

Book Review: Will Bonsall’s Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening

Book Review: Will Bonsall’s Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening. Innovative Techniques for Growing Vegetables, Grains, and Perennial Food Crops with Minimal Fossil Fuel and Animal Inputs. Chelsea Green, 2015 In 1971, Will Bonsall went back to the land in Maine, with his wife, Molly Thorkildsen, and their two sons. They built the farm over … Continue reading “Book Review: Will Bonsall’s Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening”

Sweet corn, potatoes and okra

Sweet Corn We sowed our first sweet corn on 4/18, eight days earlier than usual this year, because we had auspicious weather. We look at the leaves of the white oaks to decide when it is warm enough for corn planting. The oak leaves should be as big as squirrel’s ears. Phenology signs like this … Continue reading “Sweet corn, potatoes and okra”