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Notes From the Garden: Finding ‘The Tao of Vegetable Gardening’ in the Dead of Winter

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Winter trudges along, bringing us snow and sub-zero temperatures, seemingly ignoring the calendar that tells us spring is officially less than a month away. In between shoveling and carrying firewood I’ve spent considerable time reading this winter. My favorite gardening book this winter is The Tao of Vegetable Gardening: Cultivating Tomatoes, Greens, Peas, Beans, Squash, Joy and Serenity by Carol Deppe (Chelsea Green, $24.95 in paper). It is rare that a good technical book also deals with joy and serenity, which is part of what distinguishes this book from others. I called Deppe at her home in Oregon and she is as enthusiastic in life …

How to Sell that ‘Unsellable’ Home

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Do you think your house is unsellable due to its location? Highly rated real estate agents on Angie’s List explain how to sell a house, even in the most undesirable spot. If the most important thing in real estate is location, location, location, how do you sell your house if it’s in a bad one? Whether there’s a freeway running overhead or a …

Notes From the Garden: Growing Mushrooms at Home

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

About 20 years ago, I started growing mushrooms outdoors on logs. It’s a simple process that involves drilling holes in freshly cut logs and inserting little wooden plugs that I buy called plug spawn. Then I let them develop in the shade of a hemlock tree where they generally produce mushrooms in a …

Notes From the Garden: Spending a Day in the Garden While on Vacation

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

When I packed my bags to go to Maui recently I thought about packing my CobraHead weeder. But in the rush of getting ready I neglected to do so. I wish I had. That’s right, I like to garden even when I go on vacation. There are always …

Notes From the Garden: Author Advocates Eating Weeds

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Winter is when I find the time to read gardening books. I recently settled in by the woodstove with The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival by Katrina Blair (Chelsea Green, 2014, $29.95 in …

As You Make Progress on Projects, Reward Yourself

Sunday, January 4, 2015

I like the way Lisa Savoie thinks. Whenever the Kansas homeowner takes a step toward a home-project goal, she rewards herself with a mug of her favorite tea or time with a good book. If you plan to improve yourself or your home in 2015, follow Savoie’s lead …

This Is the Year To Resolve Your Home Problems

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The holidays are done — you survived, congratulations. Now it’s time to focus on you. Some may call it a “resolution,” but that term can be intimidating. Instead, let’s call it a to-do list of tweaks that can help improve our lives — whether it’s today, tomorrow, or …

Notes From the Garden: Reflecting on the Year in the Garden and Looking Ahead to 2015

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Each year after the winter solstice I take some time to think about my garden of the past year and to make plans for the upcoming garden season. What worked? What didn’t? It’s good to think about such …

A to Zzzz Guide for Mattress Shoppers

Sunday, December 28, 2014

There is no better time than year’s end to evaluate certain areas or items in your home, and one of the most important is your mattress. It directly affects your ability to get a good night’s sleep, which is tied to your health and wellness. If you need …

Notes From the Garden: Celeriac and Celery Require Careful Nurturing

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Here it is, officially winter, and I’m still eating from my garden. I recently made what I call a winter salad: grated carrot and celery root (also known as celeriac) with a vinaigrette sauce. Sometimes my winter salad …

Notes From the Garden: Keep My Poinsettias Simple

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I like poinsettias and buy one every year. And every year the poinsettia industry produces new colors and shapes for the plant’s bracts, the traditionally red leaves that surround the poinsettia’s less colorful flowers. Standard red has given …

Notes From the Garden: Making a Festive Holiday Decoration

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

This time of year I need all the help I can get. Cloudy, gray days do not make me cheerful. Days that end at 4 p.m. do not please me. I counteract the dark with lights, flowers on …

Designers’ Advice On Decorating a Christmas Tree

Sunday, December 7, 2014

For generations, the choice was simple: 1. Strap a live Christmas tree to the roof of your car, wrestle it into a tree stand at home and hope it wouldn’t fall over. Or, 2. Put up an artificial tree that was unmistakably fake. Fortunately, the options have expanded …