Growing Tomatoes

I have been growing tomatoes every year with more and more fruit each time although much if it comes very late in the season. This year my plants are kind of spindly looking.  I use a special fertilizer ever year made with epsom salts, powdered milk, baking soda, and compost I plan in the hole with my tomatoes. 

How is everyone else doing this year with their gardening, and do you have any tips for the tomatoes?


Gordon Haywood at Putney Library on Thursday, June, 6th at 7pm

Gordon Haywood, local legend, author and flower garden expert will present a special program at the Putney Public Library on Thursday, June 6th at 7pm. He will present slides and a talk that feature his amazing landscaping creation at the Berg’s garden in Walpole, N.H.

The Berg’s garden will be part of the upcoming Garden Tour on June 15th and 16th to benefit the Putney Central and Putney Public Libraries.

For more information on both these events contact the Putney Public Library at 387-4407


Earn Time Credits for Helping Your Neighbors Save Energy

A unique collaboration has recently been formed between the Brattleboro Energy Committee and Brattleboro Time Trade (BTT). Volunteers who register with BTT can now earn credit for assisting the energy committee with the Vermont Home Energy Challenge.

“We are very happy to provide a grant to the Vermont Home Energy Challenge,” said BTT coordinator Abby Mnookin. “We can think of no better use of our resources than to support a project where people are helping their neighbors to make their homes more energy efficient, save money and help stop climate change.” BTT volunteers working on the Challenge are eligible to receive up to 15 hours in Time Trade credit.


Volunteers Create New Gardens at Brattleboro Exit 1

In an effort organized by the Exit 1 Gateway Project and Green Up Vermont, a visiting Americorps team and local volunteers expanded the Exit 1 gardens on May 4, Green Up Day, and May 9, 2013. They Greened Up the Exit 1 end of Canal Street.

They turned over fresh ground to prepare more garden space. They planted a bank of daylilies, as well as brightly colored pansies and other annuals that are blooming now.


Home Energy Challenge Tour Features Local Brattleboro Homes

Homeowners and landlords interested in saving money on their heating bills are invited to a group tour of four Brattleboro homes on Saturday, May 11, from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Diverse in size, style and age, the homes have all been retrofitted to save energy. The contractors and homeowners will be on hand to talk about the energy-saving features of each home.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for folks to see a wide variety of energy-efficient homes in their community, and to learn from contractors and homeowners about how to cut energy bills”, said Paul Cameron, Director of Brattleboro Climate Protection, one of the organizers of the tour. “The typical Vermonter can reduce their energy bills by 20-30% through a home efficiency project, an average annual savings of $1,000.”


Earth, Roots, Petals, & Paths Garden Tour, June 15 & 16

Earth, Roots, Petals, & Paths, a tour of perennial and vegetable gardens in Putney, Vermont and “The Garden on Rice Mountain” in Walpole, New Hampshire. This first annual garden tour will be held the weekend of June 15th & June 16th. The tour will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday.

Earth, Roots, Petals & Paths includes private perennial and vegetable gardens in Putney, The Putney School gardens & farm, the Putney Central School garden & orchard and the renowned four-acre garden created by Theodora and Peter Berg on Rice Mountain in Walpole, NH with the assistance of Gordon Hayward, garden designer, and Dan Snow, dry stone craftsman.


What Shrub Would Fit Here?

Does anybody have a shrub recommendation for us?

Here’s what we need:

a shrub/bush that will be about 6′-8′ and dense (a good natural screen) and tough and/or resilient to having snow sliding off a roof onto it.

We’ve considered and rejected privet, beauty bush and forsythia.

Any ideas?

Thanks!


Aquaponics Introduction and Workshop

Around the world, humans are rediscovering aquaponics, an ancient way of cultivating fruits, vegetables, and fish together in closed systems that recycle water and nutrients. One of these humans, Mark Crowther, lives in West Brattleboro, and has constructed “barrelponic” systems in which he has been growing cold weather crops year-round in his home, with the help of a school of minnows.

Mark Crowther would like to share what he has learned with you. During this introductory presentation, Mark will talk about the history of aquaponics, the environmental benefits, and the basics of creating a system that works. Aquaponics may be a way to greatly increase the amount of food that can be produced locally, especially during cold months.


Home Energy Challenge Tour Features Local Homes

Homeowners and landlords interested in saving money on their heating bills are invited to a group tour of four Brattleboro homes on Saturday, May 11, from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Diverse in size, style and age, the homes have all been retrofitted to save energy. The contractors and homeowners will be on hand to talk about the energy-saving features of each home.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for folks to see a wide variety of energy-efficient homes in their community, and to learn from contractors and homeowners about how to cut energy bills”, said Paul Cameron, Director of Brattleboro Climate Protection, one of the organizers of the tour. “The typical Vermonter can reduce their energy bills by 20-30% through a home efficiency project, an average annual savings of $1,000.”


VPT Shows Film on Lilac Ridge

On Thursday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m and Sunday, April 21 at 4:30 p.m. the film, “Lilac Ridge: Life on a Family Farm” will be shown on Vermont Public Television.

From VPT’s website:  “A look at sustainable agriculture through the lens of the Thurber family’s small farm in W. Brattleboro, Vt. When the current generation of owners inherited the farm, they transitioned a traditional dairy operation to organic and added vegetables, flowers and other products. Three generations of the family appear in the film, talking about life on the farm and the changes that have kept it successful.”

Not only is the film about a local farm, it is produced locally by Kate Purdie and Andy Reichsman of Ames Hill Film and Video.


Carpet Sweeper Saves The Day

The solution to our ongoing problem — how to keep the carpets clean without scaring the cat — turned out to be a carpet sweeper.  Back in the day, my grandmother had one of these things.  Every afternoon, when the house was clear of grandchildren and other people, she would say “I’m going to pass the carpet sweeper.”  And then out would come the magical implement, and in a few minutes, all the dirt on the living room floor was gone. 


Curbside Composting video

Here is the link to “Brattleboro Curbside Composting” You Tube video. http://youtu.be/kfoD2ZkPufc

Please watch it and learn the why’s and how’s of Curbside Composting. Share with your friends and neighbors who have doubts or questions about the Curbside Composting program.


Living Smart, Living Frugally, Living Gay! [or Recycling Can Be Pretty!]

If anything annoys me more than bad planning for development of tranquil public green spaces, it’s boring furniture, and the impact of production on the planet and society. In the 25 years KM and I have been living in domestic bliss (careful here, KM) we have always looked at labels to see where things (food included) are produced before we buy them (always choosing local, regional or USA, first), carried our own canvas shopping bags and recycled, long before these now common practices were common.


Transition Putney: Pruning Workshop at Hollyhock Farm, Feb. 24

Dan and Gay Foster of Hollyhock Farm in Putney will offer a workshop, “Reclaiming Your Overgrown Orchard: Pruning Long-Neglected Apple Trees” on Sunday, February 24th (postponed from February 17th), 1:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Dan and Gay will hold the workshop at their farm at 10 Old Stage Road in Putney. The workshop is part of the Transition Putney reskilling series. Participants can be as involved as they want to be in the actual labor (very involved to not involved at all). The workshop fee is $25 with no one turned away for inability to pay, and barters are also possible.