Saturday, November 19

Thanksgiving Butternut Squash Lasagna by Giada De Laurentiis

Here's a good recipe for a Thanksgiving sidedish from Giada De Laurentiis, host of Everyday Italian on Food Network. I still have some garden butternut squash so we'll be trying this one.

Saturday, November 12

Note to Michele: Moss and other things

Hi Michele,

You are right about that moss. I wish I had something moss covered stones like that in my garden. I do think moss is beautiful. I know you disagree!

Garden season is pretty much over here. I'm envious of the things you have left growing in your garden. The main even here right now would be the fall leaves. This year the leaves changed later, were not as brilliant as they usual are and are dropping off the trees later. I've heard it's due to the high amount of rain and a fungus on the maples.

 Yesterday was blustery, so it was raining leaves around here. Soon, we'll have the task of raking up all these leaves. Some people rake all Autumn to keep the ground free of leaves, but I take the lazy approach and wait until they are all off the trees. I've heard it damages the lawn, but I'm not big into lawns so I don't care. My front lawn is mostly moss!

We've had some warm days this week, but today is cold and I have a fire in the fireplace to take the chill off. Here's a photo from a warm day last week. We visited a park in NH with some of our friends. I thought these trees were particularly pretty along the pond.

Do you have a lot of colorful leaves in Portland?


Monday, November 7

Note to Caroline:November Portland Community Garden Update

I went to the garden today to check on my cover crop of Rye & Clover. Nothing new to report on that subject other than the seeds have sprouted and look like tiny blades of grass. I don't have much to do now other than planning next year's garden. I can't wait for the seed catalogs to arrive.
I took a this photo of moss on a stone wall around the garden because I know how much you love it. I hate moss. It is all over the place in Portland, walls, houses, trees and even the pavement.
Here is a photo of Ivy that is invasive here and most parts of the country. It is also a good example of how everything remains green here all year.
Guess what? I have more flowers. I pulled these out a few months ago, but they self-seeded.
The Parsley still is going strong and I continue to harvest it weekly.
The Chives are still doing good too!
 Cosmos still in bloom

Thursday, November 3

An early bit of Winter

To everything there is a season…here in Maine, our seasons turned a little earlier than we’re used to and winter arrived in October.  This year, my kids went trick or treating with snow boot on! Check it out here. We’ve had flurries on Halloween before but never several inches on the ground!
I still had a few plants to remove from the community garden. I stopped by yesterday morning to take care of things. In the wee hours of the morning, everything was covered in thick frost, twinkling in the morning sunshine.
The remnants the season now gone stood frozen in time, sparkling in frost.
I think, perhaps, it was one of my favorite moments at this growing place.
Welcome back, Jack Frost.

Tuesday, November 1

Creating a Backyard Habitat

A Backyard Habitat

Creating a backyard habitat is not only good for the wildlife, but good for your children, too. Getting to know wildlife up close and personal gives children an appreciation for all living beings on this earth. When critters share the backyard with your family, a life long respect of nature is cultivated.
Teach your children which creatures should be observed from a distance...

... and which can be handled gently.

Be prepared to be delighted...

Because creating a wild habitat will bring some surprising visitors.

Even the tiniest backyard residents are a source of fascination for children.

Ideas:
1. Grow plants which provide a source of food for wildlife.
2. Allow wild plants a space in your garden.
3. Provide a water source.
4. Install a wildlife motion sensored camera
5. Install feeder and housing for birds, bats, butterflies, bees and other critters
6. Teach children to keep quiet and still so wildlife will feel comfortable.
7. Have children take their own photographs
8. Visit your local library to find books about your backyard friends.
9. Give your child a nature journal in which to draw pictures and write observations. This will get them up close and personal with the flora and fauna in their own backyard and create a lasting memento.
10. Use organic practices that respect all creatures in an ecosystem and allowing biodiversity.
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