Education & Science
BECOMING a confident seed starter unlocks a garden of possibilities; you can try your hand at anything offered in any catalog, no longer limited by the local garden center's palette. As daunting as it may seem, remember this: In nature, seeds sow themselves successfully-usually emerging when the soil's moist and starting to warm up, then enjoying fresh air and plenty of sunshine, with hopefully just enough rain.
In the 1970s, when I was a budding landscape designer newly exciting about strategizing the best flowers to plant with vegetables, I attended the garden opening of one of my clients. As I walked around anonymously, wine glass in hand, I overheard many guests exclaiming, "Do you see that?
Gardeners do all they can to keep their plants happy and healthy, but sometimes, no matter what you do, certain plants just don't go together. Plants that don't like each other may be responding to different environmental needs, could be in direct competition with one another for major resources or one may attract insects that severely harm the other.
Back in 1905, a book called "The Apples of New York" was published by the New York State Department of Agriculture. It featured hundreds of apple varieties of all shapes, colors, and sizes, including Thomas Jefferson's personal favorite, the Esopus Spitzenburg. Whoaaaa. The book is full of invaluable information and amazing drawings.
In some circles, kale has become really, really popular. Once a little-known speciality crop, its meteoric rise is now the subject of national news segments. Some experts are predicting that kale salads will soon be on the menus at TGI Friday's and McDonald's. Cabbage is a different story.
IT MAY challenge the spirit to think of cauliflower as anything but an overrated, ungainly plant. But in the craggy land between Ramallah and Jerusalem, there is one variety of that plain vegetable that invariably attracts a crazed following at this time of year.
(Hearty Roots Community Farm) Think moving to the country means you can finally afford to own instead of rent? If you're talking about farmland, you'd better reassess. Land is really expensive, especially near major cities like New York, where farmland is also prized by developers looking to capitalize on the second-home market.
On a gray, chilly December morning in Sewickley, Pa., Michele Vaccaro and his assistant are digging a trench in a garden. "It looks like we're burying somebody over here - a body," Vaccaro says. Cast your old Godfather stereotypes aside, because this Calabrian immigrant is carrying on a much more wholesome tradition: He's burying a 12-foot fig tree.
The federal government is about to put $100 million behind a simple idea: doubling the value of SNAP benefits - what used to be called food stamps - when people use them to buy local fruits and vegetables. This idea did not start on Capitol Hill.
For more than six decades the Missouri Photo Workshop has challenged photographers to document the changing face of small town America. Over those 66 years, Students have gathered in 46 cities across the state for a rigorous, week-long workshop in photo research, shooting and editing, all guided and overseen by distinguished faculty members, many of whom are today's leading photo editors and photographers.
DECORAH, Iowa - In the early spring of 1983, Dan Bussey started a file on his computer. The event would prove to be momentous in the annals of American pomology, though no one realized it at the time, including him. Mr. Bussey, a college dropout and restaurant-supply salesman, had recently planted an orchard in his hometown, Edgerton, Wisc.
People have all different ways, good and bad, to cope with grief. Journeys afar. Drugs. Therapy. Booze. Food. Lyssa Wade chose two of those ways when her father died in 2008: Journeys afar - she took herself off to Peru for a while - and food.
"I had only one tomato plant," recalled Stan Sokolove of the window garden he maintained in his former San Diego high-rise apartment. Last year, he and his wife moved to Rancho Mission Viejo's Sendero village, a new agrarian-oriented residential development in south Orange County.
Imagine if someone invented machines to suck carbon out of the atmosphere - machines that were absurdly cheap, autonomous, and solar powered, too. Wouldn't that be great? But we already have these gadgets! They're called plants. The problem is, plants die.
Arlo Crawford's memoir, A Farm Dies Once a Year, is an inside look at one of the iconic organic farms that sprang up in the 1970s, Pennsylvania's New Morning Farm. I spoke with Crawford about his unique perspective: He grew up in the middle of the back-to-the-land movement, but never felt compelled to join it.
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