Gardening

How can I replace my Miracle Gro

I spent this past weekend visiting my Mother and daughter. The last morning the three of us enjoyed a walk through my Mother's garden. She has almost a half an acre of yard, part in a small orchard and the rest in lush gardens.
Last spring, my Mother decided she could no longer maintain her small garden pond. With the help of friends and some family members, they emptied the pond and pulled out the liner and other associated parts. They then filled the hole with a combination of compost and soil scraped off the orchard area in an effort to level it some.

Soil, the foundation of a great garden

What is soil? Most people call it dirt. It brings to mind pictures of children's dirty faces or dirty floors or worse yet, germs and bugs and other nasties. And, in some ways those pictures are correct. But soil is so much more.

Soil is comprised of minerals, organic matter, microorganisms, space and water
The minerals are what we normally think of when we consider "dirt". It is really broken down rock. The type of rock determines the type of minerals available in the soil. The texture can be very fine clay, slightly larger silt, gritty sand or even rocks of various sizes.

Aquaponics

Solar Greenhouse

Two years ago we built a solar greenhouse. The beauty of the greenhouse has been fresh tomatoes in January, a quiet place to escape and a learning space for gardening and nature. This year we decided we would add an aquaponics system to the greenhouse.

Rainwater collection

Harvesting natures bounty

Imagine with me for a moment... a walk in the forest during a rainstorm. The ground beneath your feet is wet and soft. You can hear the rain as it falls gently upon the trees above and slowly falls down to caress your cheek. The leaves and other debris on the ground soak up the new fallen rain and the excess sinks slowly down through the layers of the forest floor.

The end of an era

We lost two neighbors today. They were two large old cherry trees that stood over our back fence. I've sworn at those trees many times when the birds dropped their messy fruit all over my yard. The neighbor has tried to contain the trees over the years by pruning, but that only served to make them rather grotesque in shape.

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