March 26/27, 2013, phases of the moon say to plant…

Posted on 26th March 2013 in Uncategorized

Tuesday and wednesday we’re starting our artichokes, tomatillos and zinnias INSIDE and our poppies, lavender, johnny jump ups and sweet pea OUTSIDE, here in HAMDEN, CT. 🙂

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Also for Sunday/Monday, march 24, 25…

Posted on 26th March 2013 in Uncategorized

whoops! didn’t get around to posting for sunday, beyond the peas! also for sunday you could have planted all your melons indoors, in anticipation of planting them outdoors soon! advise: melons don’t like to be transplanted, so plant them in COWPOTS, made here in CT!

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What a GREAT time we had at Massaro Farms…

Posted on 24th March 2013 in Uncategorized

On Saturday, March 23, Dana and Alexis lead a funtastic workshop at the Ansonia Nature Center (ANC). Massaro Farms and ANC teamed up to have us over and we had quite a crowd gather. Nearly 35 folks at all levels of composting joined us for an animated discussion ranging from “how to” to “what to do with the finished product.”

I particularly liked the compost cups we made during the second break. They were tasty and helped review the composting process. YAY!

One question that came up was, “What about black walnut leaves? Can we compost them?” and I found the answer on the Ohio University website, “Walnut leaves can be composted because the toxin breaks down when exposed to air, water and bacteria. The toxic effect can be degraded in two to four weeks. In soil, breakdown may take up to two months. Black walnut leaves may be composted separately, and the finished compost tested for toxicity by planting tomato seedlings in it. Sawdust mulch, fresh sawdust or chips from street tree prunings from black walnut are not suggested for plants sensitive to juglone, such as blueberry or other plants that are sensitive to juglone. However, composting of bark for a minimum of six months provides a safe mulch even for plants sensitive to juglone.” I interpret this as, “Go for it!” It seems clear that the leaves can easily be composted. Cheers!

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Plant peas outdoors TODAY – MARCH 24!

Posted on 24th March 2013 in Uncategorized

Gardening by Phases of the Moon – March 24, 2013, PLANT YOUR PEAS!!! I know someone who put their peas in last weekend and when I ran into her yesterday, they were already up! Plant them along a fenceline, or where you can easily install a light fence to train them up onto!

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Plant indoors on March 20, in CT…

Posted on 19th March 2013 in Uncategorized

Planting by the phases of the moon in CT: March 20 – INDOOR – start your basil and peppers: hidalgo, hungarian hot wax, carmen, black beauties, purple, corno di toro and nardello.

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Get to Planting!

Posted on 18th March 2013 in Uncategorized

By now you could have planted your onion seeds, collards, arugula, peas and romaine lettuce outside. If planting by the phases of the moon, save the pea planting for Sunday, the 24th.

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Make Your Own Rain Barrel…

Posted on 19th February 2013 in Uncategorized

Elm City Cheese  has many, many 55 gallon, food grade drums available. The are excellent for use as rain barrels. With so much snow, they are running out of storage space.

For more information, and directions, email Master Gardener Kerry Karlson,

Then go to your LOCAL hardware store and get a few small parts to put it together! Here’s a Youtube Video showing you one way to do it!
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Vermicomposting – Worms Eat Our “Waste”

Posted on 2nd January 2013 in Uncategorized

Cool NYT article about some of the people and places around the country that use verms to compost zer tsings!

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Rant! Bulk, local composting needed!

Posted on 16th December 2012 in Uncategorized

i’m prompted by an inquiry from a local new haven eatery, or shall i say DRINKERY, to rant! GRRRR!!! the place in question (think along the lines of juicing and smoothies) WANTS to compost their waste, just like Edge of the Woods wants to compost their waste.

so i did a quick internet search (15 minutes as opposed to 3 hours, cause i could stay on here reading about compost forever). i can’t find any BIG operations, or municipal operations, in the area that compost food waste. and the composting operations around the state that DO compost and sell themselves as COMPOSTING places selling (sarcastically paraphrased) ‘rich, organic, absolutely dreamy, delightful compost to make your plants euphoric’ are nothing but leaves and manure.

and it SHOULD BE common knowledge that the best composts have a WIDE variety of ingredients, not just two. that’s like me saying, here, you want some soup i made, it has water and salt. that soup won’t do much for you until you add some veggies and maybe some meat. now that i think about it, that soup would likely kill you if it’s all you had to eat. ANYWAY!!! COMPOST!!! that’s what i was ranting about. NEW MILFORD FARMS in new milford, ct DOES compost food “waste” (read excerpt below). and it will cost your operation to have your food scraps removed. whether it’s going into a dumpster to a landfill, or a truck to composting, is your choice.but the bottom line is that we NEED more composting facilities that accept and compost FOOD scraps nearby so that it doesn’t cost too much so that the choice to compost is an easy one.

The following are excerpts from John Jenkins’ “Humanure Handbook” regarding the term WASTE, a completely different, yet related rant.

“They are only ‘waste’ when we discard them. When recycled, they are resources.”

“We do not recycle waste. It’s a common semantic error to say that waste is, can be, or should be recycled. Resource materials arerecycled, but waste is never recycled. That’s why it’s called ‘waste.’ Waste is any material that is discarded and has no further use.”

“When a potato is peeled, the peels aren’t kitchen waste — they’re still potato peels. When they’re collected for composting, they are being recycled and no waste is produced. Composting professionals sometimes refer to recycled materials as ‘waste.’ Many of the people who are developing municipal composting programs came from the waste management field, a field in which refuse has always been termed ‘waste.’ Today, however, the use of the term ‘waste’ to describe recycled materials is an unpleasant semantic habit that must be abandoned. Otherwise, one could refer to leaves in the autumn as ‘tree waste,’ because they are no longer needed by the tree and are discarded. Yet, when one walks into the forest, where does one see waste? The answer is ‘nowhere,’ because the forest’s organic material is recycled naturally, and no waste is created.”

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Newspapers & Leaves are the Answer

Posted on 7th December 2012 in Uncategorized

Along with shredded junk mail and Starbucks coffee grounds.

What, you may ask, is the question? The question is “Where do I get enough ‘browns’ to layer into my winter compost?” Browns are the compost additives that aren’t “fresh” fruit and veggie scraps. They are the bits that cover up the fresh stuff so the critters can munch in comfort. Browns are the carbon source for your compost. The “fresh” stuff are the greens that are the nitrogen source for the compost. The nitrogen makes the compost HOT. The carbon additions are needed to balance the end result.

That being said, go get your neighbors’ leaves and stash them next to your compost bin. Stop off at Starbucks and ask inside for their used coffee grounds. You may also go directly to their dumpster and sling your kids in their to push out the bags of grounds. It’s always fun to watch the kids try to climb out! 😉 Actually I get the grounds out of the dumpster myself, usually by balancing my midriff on the edge of the dumpster.

Ask your neighbors with paper shredders to donate their shreds to your cause. It’s all good!

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