Less Noise, More Green

Monday, December 15, 2014

Growing lettuce indoors and winter salad recipes

Growing lettuce indoors over winter
The few weeks leading up to Christmas are always busy around here with holiday activities, family obligations and gifts to organize and wrap. This year, I've had writing deadlines and radio shows (three this month) to prep for and record. I've also been filling out financial forms for colleges and planning a family trip to England next spring. Needless to say my stress levels have been rising!

Interestingly, one of the radio shows I just recorded was about garden therapy and how our gardens can be a source of much needed stress relief, both physically and mentally. I was planning on waiting until after the Holidays to start my indoor lettuce garden but I feel the need to get my hands in the soil and lose myself in the rhythms of planting.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Providence Journal Poinsettia Article

My latest URI Master Gardener article for the Providence Journal is out today in the Decor section of the paper. The story is about the North American Poinsettia Trials which are conducted by Master Gardeners at the URI test site. Poinsettia breeders send new varieties to locations across the country for trial. It's a very cool project!

Here is a link to the online version of the story.

Master Gardeners Test for the Perfect Poinsettia


Thursday, December 4, 2014

All is gathered in

 Last January, I wrote on this blog that one of my goals for 2014 was to extend the growing season into the winter. I had plans for a hoop house. As the summer progressed and I was working flat out maintaining my gardens and preserving the fruits of my labors, I came to a realization - I was tired and I was going to become even more tired before the autumn months were over. The thought of growing food for all four seasons and digging my way through the snow to tend crops in February was not making me excited. I am not a winter person. I hate the cold. I hate ice. I know Eliot Coleman loves his winter hoop house but I need a break.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December RI Local Magazine

Good morning!

Just popping in to let my fellow Rhode Islanders know that the December issue of RI Local Magazine is out today! My URI Master Gardener column this month is about caring for poinsettias. Pick one up if you see it!


Monday, December 1, 2014

"For the Love of Gardening" Radio Show : Sustainability and Green Gardening

The latest  "For the Love of Gardening" radio show, with me as the host, is now available as a pod cast. The show is about sustainability and green gardening and my guest is URI Outreach Center Interim Director, Kate Venturini.

The pod cast is in two ten minute parts:

Part One 
Part Two

The take away from the show is that nature provides us with all that we need in our gardens, we just need to know where to find it and how to use it.



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Autumn leaves are gardening gold

This time of year in New England is all about the leaves - not the colors (that is so last month) but the clean up. seemingly endless amounts of leaves are now on the ground, in yards and on the roads. Everywhere except for my house. Over the last year we lost two trees in front of our house to disease and our neighbor lost one of their trees. The result is very few leaves littering my property. On one hand that is a good thing - less raking- but on the other hand I want those leaves!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Softened Kale, Chicken and Citrus Salad

Softened Kale, Chicken and Citrus Salad, salad recipes

 I am growing both Tuscan and Red Russian Kales in my front yard edible landscape. Both of these varieties are attractive additions to the garden and as the plants grow, their spreading leaves become more dramatic. I also chose these varieties for their tender leaves. I love using kale in winter soups and stews but I wanted to be able to add more winter green salads to our diet this year.  Softened Kale, Chicken and Citrus Salad uses a massaging technique on the kale to tenderize the leaves so they can be eaten raw.  The result is a satisfying salad with greens robust enough to support hearty toppings.