I am having trouble with one of the latest scientific findings. Some researchers are saying that earthworms are bad for forests. The new data claims the worms, which are mostly non-native species, gobble up too much of the leaf litter, leaving the forest floor bare and compacted. Wildflowers like trillium and bloodroot and even maple […]Read More..
Life is so much a matter of contrasts. Last week I wrote about a large scale farmer of several thousand acres who drives his computer 9 hours a day while his brother and hired help to the actual farming. In stark contrast, shortly after I talked to him, an old friend stopped by to tell […]Read More..
Whenever I go to a big supermarket that carries fresh food, I always find these long, wrinkled, ugly, rooty-looking things called parsnips on display. Someone must like them or they wouldn’t be there, but I can’t find anyone who admits to eating them, or anyone who knows what the attraction might be. It certainly isn’t […]Read More..
I was so gratified to see Wendell Berry’s remarks in a recent interview (“Wendell Berry: Landsman” with Jim Leach in Humanities magazine, May/June 2012) where he makes a point about economics that is overlooked in these days when divisiveness rules the political roost. The general view is that the economic battle is between capitalism and […]Read More..
I don’t want to call chickweed the worst weed in the garden because I think it is trying to teach us a lesson about sustainable farming. But in its selected field of operation, the rich organic garden, chickweed is almost indestructible. Oh, you can blot it out with a thick layer of mulch for a […]Read More..
Writing books is a precarious business. I’ve been foolish enough to do it now about 28 times and I never know what is going to happen. I expected to get scolded for my novels (too irreverent about religion) and for titling a non-fiction book “Holy Shit.” But oddly enough, most readers seemed amused, as I […]Read More..
Here are two stalks of asparagus growing just a foot apart. Both are of the same thickness and height. After an early morning temperature of 28 degrees F, one stalk is frozen and one is not. I have seen this happen many times. Anyone know why? This spring, when temperatures went from ridiculously high levels […]Read More..
Every year in the brown, sere days before the great greening in spring, I begin to have doubts. Will the flowers come again? Will the birds return? Will the trees leaf out? With all the despair and calamity rife in the world, the ancient fear that the end is near is as believable as ever. […]Read More..
Time was, a farmer would feel naked without a pocketknife in his bibs. Even today, it is the handiest tool of all. There is always a bale twine to cut, a splinter in the skin to remove, a fingernail to trim, a scion to be grafted, a hoof to be cleaned, a pig testicle to […]Read More..
There is a growing realization in organized religion that something is awry in our industrial food delivery system. Churches are actively urging their members to become more involved directly in local and family gardening and farming. This is great news for those of us who have been fighting this battle for a long time. Organized […]Read More..