Monthly Archives: June 2011

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A trip through Pennsylvania last week, on the way back from a lecture at the Millersville Native Plant Symposium, finally afforded me a convenient opportunity to stop in for a visit with David Jackson at KiwiBerry Organics (www.kiwiberry.com). David was not easy to find, as he’s nestled deep in the hills and back roads of rural Pennsylvania near Danville. Finally, after driving past acres and acres of forest alternating with corn and soybean fields, I came upon a hillside beribboned with neatly trellised hardy kiwi plants (Actinidia arguta).

What’s a hardy kiwi, you wonder? These fruits are cousin to our fuzzy supermarket kiwifruits, with a few notable differences. Hardy kiwifruits – or “kiwiberries,” as David and his partner Holly Laubach call them – are grape-sized and have smooth skins, so can be popped into your mouth just like grapes. Inside, they’re green with black seeds, just like fuzzy kiwifruits, …

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Events with Lee Reich:

VEGETABLE GARDENING WORKSHOP: How to grow lots of vegetables with little space, time, and effort. June 26th from 9-11:30. Cost is $40 and pre-registration is necessary. For registration or more information, contact me through my website.

Come and visit my garden on June 25th as well as five other local gardens as part of the “Open Days” program of the Garden Conservancy. For times, locations, and other information, contact the Garden Conservancy (gardenconservancy.org).

July 9th, 11 am, “Luscious Landscaping-With Fruiting Trees, Shrubs, and Vines”: Lecture at the Mountain Top Arboretum, Tannersville, NY (www.mtarboretum.org)
July 10th, 10 am, “Luscious Landscaping”: Lecture at the Phantom Gardener, Rhinebeck, NY (www.thephantomgardener.com)
September 10, 12-2 pm, “Backyard Apple Production” at the Rodale Institute, Kutztown, PA (www.rodaleinstitute.com)

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It’s poppy season! Oriental poppies and Shirley poppies and California poppies. Unfortunately, no Himalayan poppies. And no bread seed poppies, yet. Each species has similarly …

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Have I ever mentioned my fondness for my scythe? Of course I have, but it bears repeating, now that scything season is upon us. This scythe is not the heavy, picturesque tool with a curved handle that you often see, and is best used, for decorating an outdoor wall. And it’s also not a tool best suited to the gentleman farmer with acres of land and oodles of time.

No, the scythe of present interest is a sleek, lightweight, razor sharp – dare I say “modern” – tool that would be useful around many a home and garden. The blade is sharp and light because it’s hammered out thinly, rather than stamped out like the one on an old-fashioned scythe. The razor-sharp edge needs to be touched up, which means about 30 seconds of swiping with a whetstone, after about every 15 minutes of use, and a hammering out …

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I broke my own rule and planted tomatoes out in the garden on May 13th. The weather was warm, the tomatoes were ready to pop out of their containers, and the bare ground seemed to cry out to be finally clothed with plants.


The correct planting date for tomatoes around here is during the last week in May, not May13th. Warm weather before the end of May can be deceiving and often, in the past (last year, for instance, has been followed by night temperatures that plummeted. That’s why I try never to go with my gut as to when to plant.

But this year seemed different. The weather had been warm for days, so the ground was warm. The weather report (not that, judging from experience, it could be trusted) didn’t call for any day or night temperatures …

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