Avoiding Amazon

With an uptick in online ordering, I’ve had to work a bit harder to avoid using Amazon. Jeff Bezos doesn’t need any of my money, and just about everyone else does, so I make the effort.

Search engines conspire against this quest. Search for almost anything and the top results, plural, are Amazon. It’s annoying.

When I use it at all, I use Amazon as a free product research tool. I’ll look at product specs, manuals, reviews, Q&As… and then go somewhere else to buy it.


Get your Sunflower Seeds at Brooks Memorial Library!!!

Brooks Memorial Library is part of the Growing Hope Campaign!

Come to the Main Street library entrance from 10AM – 5PM, Monday – Saturday, up a sign that says sunflowers, growing hope, or even a picture of a sunflower and we will give you a packet of seeds for you to plant! You can also request seeds when you order items through our curbside service.

The Growing Hope Campaign is a partnership between Brooks Memorial Library and Building a Positive Community in Brattleboro, to distribute sunflower seeds to people who would like to have some hope growing, wherever they are. You can now get sunflowers from Brooks Memorial Library, with curbside pickup. Packets may also be found at the tiny libraries on Spruce Street, Coombs Street, and near the Oak Grove School. Please let us know if they have run out!


Have Pity On The Weeds

Daisy Fleabane - Fresh Pond Cambridge MA

Every year about this time, I grapple with the dilemma of what to weed. It’s not that I want my garden to be overrun with volunteers, but over the years I’ve become more and more averse to killing living things. This includes plants, with which I’ve always had an affinity. I think I was a plant in a former life, and probably something weedy.

This year’s problem plant is a grove of daisy fleabane which seeded in on barren ground near where I had misguidedly let their mother bloom the year before. There they all are, her strong and healthy children, forming their sturdy basal rosettes with taproots to Eden. Part of me says, pull ’em up. Another part doesn’t feel like it — I tried pulling one up by the roots the other day and it wouldn’t budge. But the strongest part of me, the part that has the upper hand at the moment, is suffering moral pangs at the thought of all those soon to be dead plants in a pile next to my empty flower bed.


Brattleboro Tree Warden Wins Hamilton Award

Brattleboro Tree Warden Dan Adams is the 2020 recipient of the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program’s Hamilton Award, which honors a Tree Warden “who has significantly advanced the goals of urban and community forestry through successful forestry practices, effective conservation planning, increased citizen engagement, and active public education.” The award is named for Dr. Larry Hamilton, the former Tree Warden in Charlotte, VT.

A private consulting forester, with over 35 years in the forestry business, Dan was nominated by Brattleboro Director of Public Works Steve Barrett.


Brattleboro Floral Arts & Garden Club Offers New Format

Gardens provide continuity and hope every year, and the Brattleboro Floral Arts & Garden Club shines as a happy reminder that natural beauty continues in our community.

New president (and local mystery writer) Lynne Kennedy is the club’s new president.   As the annual April meeting was cancelled this year, and in response to social distancing requirements, outgoing Co-Presidents Lynn Kuralt and Melissa Kuralt passed the keys “on a ten-foot pole”.  Other new officers include Vice President Shelia Kinnare, Recording Secretary Frankie Knibb, Corresponding Secretary Judith Wagenbach, Treasurer Libby Lafland and Librarian Carlene McCarty.


Online Fruit Tree & Perennial Sale at Scott Farm Orchard

Looking for top quality bare-root fruit trees and unusual perennials to start or expand your home orchard or garden? Place an online order by April 30, with pick up by appointment May 2 or 3 at Scott Farm Orchard!

In response to COVID-19, Scott Farm’s annual Fruit Tree and Perennial Sale will take place online this year (instead of on May 2). We are offering a wide selection of bare root and potted fruit trees and perennials to include: Heirloom Apple Trees, Common Apple Trees, Stone Fruit and Pear Trees, Potted Fig Trees, Blueberry Bushes, Heirloom Apple Scions, Orchard Products, and Perennials.


The Return of Paper Towel Emergencies

Back in my childhood, paper towels were regarded as an expensive commodity, to be used rarely, if at all, and only on the most spectacular of spills. For a spill to be worthy of a paper towel, a Paper Towel Emergency had to be declared unanimously  by all present. Otherwise, we were supposed to use the kitchen sponge or a dish cloth to wipe up the offending area.  


Free Talk and Open House at Our Energy Efficient Straw Bale Home on Saturday

Over the last five years or so – through open houses, tours, and educational events – hundreds of members of the Brattleboro Community have visited our home under construction in West Brattleboro. We are once again opening it to the public in hopes of sharing our journey, learning from visitors and sharing what we know about local and natural materials, energy-efficient building practices, and working in the building field.


VFW Volunteers Needed

The Brattleboro VFW located at 40 Black Mountain Road is looking for a couple of volunteers to weed around the building. Plenty of work to be done. Please contact slofting@hotmail.com if interested.


Gordon Hayward to give a Pre-Garden Tour Talk “The Intimate Garden” June 6, 2019 at the Westminster Institute

Showing you how to see your garden in a new way – that’s what well-known landscape designer Gordon Hayward has in mind for his lecture, The Intimate Garden. His free talk will be held from 6:30-8:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 6th, at the Westminster Institute, Route 5 in Westminster. Light refreshments will be served. It’s a special advance program to the Westminster Cares Garden Tour, July 20-21.

Gordon Hayward, acclaimed landscape designer, writer, and teacher from Westminster West, was recently named an honorary member of the Garden Club of America (GCA), during its annual meeting in Boston. The honorary membership, one of the club’s highest accolades, is given each year to no more than four recipients in such fields as horticulture and conservation.


If You Want to Save Your Ash Trees, Now is the Time to Act

Emerald ash borer is here. Infestation has been verified 20 miles away. It is a killer; now is the time to vaccinate any ash trees you want to save, because by the time you find the pretty green insect on your tree, or notice the damage, it will be too late. Infested trees die from the top of the crown down; by the time you can see from the ground that you have damage, the tree will be too far gone to save.

How do I know if I have ash trees?


The Mildew Summer

I thought it was just us. All summer long, mildew seemed to be taking hold all over the house. As we packed boxes and got furniture ready to be moved, we wiped mildew off off just about everything.

We did have incredibly high humidity all summer long, and some tropical days for sure. But this seemed a bit extreme. It was as if you’d wipe mildew off a surface and it would start right back.


WRC Awards Red Clover Commons Funds for Rooftop Solar from Renewable Energy Grant Program

The Windham Regional Commission is pleased to announce $66,000 from the third round of the Windham County Renewable Energy Program has been awarded to the development of rooftop solar on the Red Clover Commons. The Energy Committee received three strong applications and chose this project as it best met program priorities. The installation will serve the elderly and disabled affordable housing development which is managed by a consortium of non-profit entities including Brattleboro Housing Partnerships, Housing Vermont, and Red Clover Commons Limited Partnership.


The Luxury of Summer

Luxury of Summer

With the arrival of Spring at our house, we become like the Russians who throw their doors and windows open to the fresh air as soon as it warms up.  We go outside a lot, for no particular reason.  Stroll up and down the driveway, perhaps, or check on the transplants in the side yard. Pull a weed or two, contemplate the grass that probably needs mowing.


Cold Weather Tips

The National Weather Service is forecasting bitter cold temperatures Wednesday through at least New Year’s Day, including dangerously cold wind chill values. Presently, the immediate forecast is for temperatures to fall to -6 degrees tonight into Wednesday and plummet to -21 degrees with wind chills on Wednesday night into Thursday. The Brattleboro Fire Department would like to remind you of some cold weather tips as we move into the first cold snap of this winter;