Toto, we are not in Connecticut Anymore

As  a displaced New Englander, this fuchsia Camellia that is flowering outside my kitchen window seems unreal with its abundant display of bright pink flowers.  Once a local master gardener stopped by and remarked that this is as far north as this species could possibly survive and the tree would be much happier south of Richmond.  He pointed out that it was carefully planted many years ago in the warmest and most protected corner of the yard. When I look these blossoms, I feel like I am far away in the tropics or at least the deep south.  It is …

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Last Taste of Winter

In dozens of ways, we are gearing up for spring on the farm.  We are signing people up for our CSA, caring for trays of seedlings, preparing the ground for planting, popping onion sets into the cold soil, building a new hoophouse and seeding trays in the chilly hoophouse.  At the same time, we are enjoying the last of the winter as spring weather is making a slow and faulty entrance.  Last week, we had a dusting of snow on our daffodils and our winter coats are still in easy reach. The farm pace is not yet frenetic and we …

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100 Years Since the Triangle Factory Fire

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in New York City, the infamous workplace fire that killed 146 people and resulted in widespread organizing for safer working conditions.  The majority of the victims were young women and Jewish or Italian immigrants many still in their teens. Their names and some details can be read here. There is great coverage of the event, the aftermath, what we learned and where the labor movement is today in the New York Times, the Jewish Daily Forward, the Nation and elsewhere.  President Obama passed a resolution that said, “The Triangle …

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Sterling Spring

I am happy to share this guest post by Emily Rosenfeld.  Emily is a self-taught jewelry and Judaica artist living in western Massachusettts with her 6 year old son Jasper and partner Keith.  You can see her beautiful work at www.emilyrosenfeld.com. by Emily Rosenfeld The snow is melting.  My little side garden had snow past the windows last month but the white has receded leaving  rosy tipped tulips poking out of the dark wet earth.  Spring is coming.  It snowed big wet March snowflakes yesterday, but the season is turning. In the studio, I am feeling my mind start to …

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Spring Cleaning in the Herb Garden

post by Cheryl Corson I plan my gardening around the sun, and at this time of year I want to be in the herb garden from around 10am and noon when it shines across the corn field and reflects off the yellow brick of our house warming the soil and my back as I work. I start out with a winter jacket and quickly go back inside for a lighter sweater, heavier pruners, and a little low bench to sit on as I wrestle with last year’s woody lavender stalks. I am decisive, cutting only about 6” from the crown. …

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Guest Post today on Challah Baking

I am happy to have a guest post today on the Jewish Daily Forward’s Food Blog “The Jew and the Carrot“.  The piece called the Ecology of Challah Baking grew from an earlier post on this blog and a comment from a reader. It is exciting to appear in one of the newest online branches of one of the oldest Jewish newspapers in the US. The Forward was once read primarily in Yiddish by thousands of Jewish immigrants to America including my own great grandparents.   The paper remains a strong force today and in addition to the English and Yiddish print editions now has a website with a lucky seven blogs. If …

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Five Yards of Organic Lavender Interlock

I am truly just beginning to sew, so anyone who reads my posts can be assured that the sewing posts will not intimidate.  I will try not to hide my mistakes and my penchant for attaching things backwards. There are a million wonderful sewing blogs and books where you can see simple or complicated projects completed to perfection. I cannot offer that, but I will try to share some of my beginner enthusiasm and maybe a reader will decide to dust off their machine and join the fun. Five yards of organic cotton lavender interlock are washed and fresh from …

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Guest Post on Homeshuling and a Giveaway

My new friend and fellow Jewish mom blogger invited me to post on  her awesome Jewish Parenting Blog Homeshuling today about Israeli Harvest, my family business that aims to support farms in Israel.  We are also offering a giveaway to win a free Purim Basket, which includes organic Israeli dates and olive oil.  Visit the Homeshuling blog this week to read a little more about Israeli Harvest and leave a comment there for a chance to win.  And coming soon on this blog, a sewing post to make my tagline true.

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Can you Say She-hech-ey-a-nu

I first learned the shehecheyanu as a young 20 something, and it quickly became my all time favorite blessing.  My friend and I were strolling through a vineyard on a drive through Napa Valley.  We were giddy New Englanders discovering California and finding great amusement in the paper booties we were required to pull over our shoes during our visit to the vineyard.   The farmers were trying to prevent tourists from tracking in pests as they wandered through. I can’t remember exactly what my friend experienced as “a first” that day, perhaps her first time seeing grapes actually still attached to the …

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Perfect Weather for Plowing

It can be mesmerizing to watch a plow pull through the soil, revealing the darker earth beneath and with that hope for an awesome farm season and possibly a buried treasure. This weekend, we took advantage of the combination of a long weekend and unusually perfect weather for plowing.   The moisture was just right in the soil and the tractor was recently tuned up for spring. There have definitely been years when we have not been this lucky.  There can be many hurdles to getting the beds plowed in time for spring planting.  If the ground is too wet, you …

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