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Get Growing with Mickey Rathbun: Venture beyond your garden walls: Plant sales and noteworthy gardens to visit this season
05-10-2024 2:56 PM


After long weeks of yearning for gardening weather, we’re suddenly inundated by spring. Endless outdoor chores beg for our attention — composting, mulching, edging, scrubbing birdbaths and, at least in my garden beds, pulling out multitudes of maple...

Displaying articles 1 to 20 out of 34 total.

An artist with a green thumb: The creative vision and resilience of Kathleen Chapman, designer of Tuesday Market poster
05-09-2024 3:20 PM


Kathleen Chapman (“KC”) and I met under a clothesline near her patchwork garden behind McDonald House in downtown Northampton. I wanted to learn more about her artwork, what brought her to Northampton, and how she connected with Grow Food Northampton...

Valley Bounty: Your soil will thank you: As garden season gets underway, Whately farm provides ‘black gold’ to many
04-19-2024 11:13 AM


“Compost is not soil, but it makes your soil better,” says Mike Mahar, owner of Bear Path Compost in Whately. “It adds life to it. If you’re going to take something out of the soil by harvesting, you should put something back in, and compost is...

Get Growing with Mickey Rathbun: What good is an herbarium? Herbariums, like Emily Dickinson’s, are an essential resource for scientists
04-05-2024 2:01 PM


The word “herbarium” sounds a bit quaint, even antiquated. We may think of Emily Dickinson’s herbarium, which she created during her year at Mount Holyoke in 1847-48. Although she had begun studying plants at age 9 and was helping her mother in the...

Growing along with the land: Piyush Labhsetwar joins Grow Food Northamton as new farm and land stewardship manager
03-21-2024 2:08 PM


Visiting his great-uncle’s farm in central India was a “magical experience” for Piyush Labhsetwar, Grow Food Northampton’s new farm and land stewardship manager. He relishes memories of picking ripe mangoes and oranges, drinking fresh cow’s milk, and...

Longtime employees buy Kitchen Garden Farm in Sunderland
03-10-2024 10:39 PM


SUNDERLAND — The change of the seasons, as farmers know, often brings a slew of other changes along with it, and at Kitchen Garden Farm, this spring brings the largest change of all.Soon, the farm will change hands for the first time since its...

Get Growing with Mickey Rathbun: Become an educated gardener: Three upcoming symposia will answer all your gardening questions
03-08-2024 9:51 AM


Most of us humans assume that other creatures experience the world through their senses of sound, taste, smell and touch, the same way we do. But we couldn’t be more wrong, as science writer Ed Yong explains in his fascinating new book, “An Immense...

Greening our brains and our thumbs: The many opportunities in the Valley to increase your garden knowledge and skills
02-29-2024 2:22 PM


After moving from the city into a rural home with land 25 years ago, I was excited that the property was mostly bare ground that I could bend to my will and create beautiful gardens over time. As a kid, I’d helped in the garden a lot, so how hard...

Get Growing with Mickey Rathbun: A garden is a canvas: “Painting the Modern Garden: From Monet to Matisse” comes to Amherst Cinema
02-08-2024 1:35 PM


As the calendar page flips to the short but cruel month of February, I suspect that many gardeners, like me, are getting tired of the somber palette of gray and brown.Just in time to rescue us from seasonal ennui, a wonderful documentary, “Painting...

If the land could speak: Community gardens on land with social justice roots
01-25-2024 3:54 PM


Community gardens grow on all kinds of land. Many gardens start as derelict lots, long abandoned by owners who sometimes reclaim the property after community gardeners reveal its beauty and productivity.Schools and parks are common sites for community...

Get Growing with Mickey Rathbun: Thoughts of the garden in winter: Gardening has its discouraging moments, yet we persevere
01-12-2024 12:13 PM


There’s not a lot going on in my garden, now blanketed under a foot of snow, to inspire this month’s column. So I took a break from dreaming over the spring promise of seed catalogs and went in search of a soul-satisfying poem about the garden in...

Get Growing with Mickey Rathbun: The importance of talking to plants
01-13-2023 4:26 PM


A few years ago I was having coffee with my two sisters-in-law at a family gathering in North Carolina. Both of them had recently built new houses and were quizzing me about how to create gardens in the bare dirt surrounding their homes. The question...

Beware of jumping worms: Locals can help thwart invasive found in forests, gardens
10-08-2021 2:38 PM


Those of us lucky enough to live in western Massachusetts sometimes feel at least partly insulated from global crises. Of course, our region is not immune to challenges. Fortunately, the creativity that makes us the envy of visitors helps us find...

Shutesbury designer brings vision and long view to laying out greenspace
09-09-2021 5:05 PM


SHUTESBURY — Many of us find ourselves puzzling over what to do with a bare yard, or an outdoor space that doesn’t quite work, or even an established garden that has gone “meh.” We want to make a change, but we’re stuck. We might have too many ideas,...

Ask a (Local) Master Gardener: How do I keep my cats from eating spring seedlings?
01-30-2020 11:33 AM


Q: I want to get started this spring growing vegetables and lettuces in containers on my back patio. The problem is, if I’m going to start from seed, how do I keep the seedlings from being devoured by my two 20-lb indoor cats who are bound and...

Ask a Local Master Gardener: To rake or not to rake?
10-24-2019 1:00 PM


Q: My husband and I are “discussing” when we should rake up the leaves in our yard — after they are all down (him) or as soon as the lawn is covered (me). Help! Any thoughts on a solution? —C.J., NorthamptonA: We New Englanders love our vibrant red,...

Get Growing: Why crabapple trees are looking sad this year, and what to do about it
10-18-2019 2:15 PM


Crabapple trees are one of my favorite ornamental spring trees. A mainstay of the New England landscape, they offer three seasons of interest, plus a handsome branching habit that looks good all winter long, especially when decked with freshly fallen...

Does your lawn want to be a meadow?
09-20-2019 11:00 AM


When Cat Thomson and Steve McDonough moved onto their ¾-acre lot in Leeds, the landscaping consisted of dirt, dirt, and more dirt.“It was a blank slate,” said Thomson, a freelance writer and editor. They built their house on developed land that was...

Get Growing: Beware the tawny daylily
08-09-2019 12:04 AM


I have a big patch of daylilies behind my house. They are a disorganized jumble of plants that were given to me along with others that I’ve bought at plant sales, nurseries and farmers markets. I have never paid much attention to this part of the...

Ask a (local) master gardener: Native groundcovers for sun and shade
08-02-2019 12:02 AM


Q: I have a ton of vinca growing under my trees and would like to start replacing it this fall with native groundcovers. Any suggestions of good options? –R.M., Hatfield A: I am so glad you asked, R.M.! Vinca minor (Periwinkle) does fit the...

This Japanese garden has been a labor of love for 35 years
04-26-2019 11:09 AM

By Mike Klingaman

Step out David Boteach’s front door and a gentle world beckons — one filled with wondrous plants, waterfalls and whimsical bronze busts of fauna peeking over the leafy flora. Here sit two frogs shyly holding hands beside a lily pond; there stands a...

Displaying articles 1 to 20 out of 34 total.

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