Tag: Gardening

bats

Ten years ago, I started planting and tending a backyard orchard of about 50 fruit trees. From the outset I have been attempting to manage it organically, which in the northeastern U.S. is no small challenge, as there are a great many other life…

tree medicine

Just ran across this article, which describes a statistically significant correlation between the presence (or absence) of trees and human health. In urban areas of the upper midwest most heavily affected by the Emerald Ash Borer—which has in the past 10 years killed over…

pollination!!!

After a few nerve-wracking frosty nights in a row (down to 30 degrees or so), today is in the 70’s, sunny, and the pollinators are out! In addition to honey bees, there are bumble bees, flies, ants, and a number of other insects I…

Prunus persica

In my last post, I talked about grafting apple trees as a way to grow more or different varieties on an existing tree. One thing I didn’t fully address in that discussion is why pretty much all fruit trees you might purchase are topworked…

tree surgery

Tough thing when starting an orchard is deciding what varieties to choose from among the literally thousands available. If you’re lucky, there is a grower near you selling lots of different types that you can sample, or maybe at least a grocery that stocks…

early risers

With all the warm weather of late, as well as the practically non-existent ‘winter’ that just ended, my fruit trees are breaking their dormancy VERY early—frighteningly early. I have kept some records of bloom dates and spring frosts for the past 9 years in…

why is he talking about carrots?

I am a big carrot eater, so have become the default carrot grower in our household. If you have ever grown carrots yourself, you may know that one of the challenges in sowing the seed is to spread them thinly yet evenly over the…

more pruning

A few more thoughts on pruning……….this pear tree I’m working on in the photo above (taken in March 2011) doesn’t look like much, but that fall we harvested about 200 pounds of pears from it! For years this tree never produced more than a…

pruning the orchard

I grew up on the east coast (Massachusetts), but after graduating from college I moved to northern California, and spent the next ten years living in that incredible landscape before moving back to New York in 2002. My last stop in California was the…

nature and mind

As I sit pondering how to begin this blog, I am looking through the window above my desk at a late winter scene: morning sun on a fresh bed of snow, swirling snowflakes glinting in the slanting light, shifting shadows made by passing clouds,…