A Private Month - by Verlyn Klinkenborg

By now, the wind has emptied the milkweed pods. The goldenrod has gone mousy. All the leaves are down, except for a few tenacious oaks and beeches and an ornamental dogwood that is a reprise of the entire season. Each tree looks more singular — and the woods more intimate — in this bare month than in the thickness of summer. October’s memory seems a little lurid from the perspective of mid-November. The sumacs down by the road might have been reading Swinburne the way they caught fire and expired, vaingloriously, in last month’s light. But now that drama is over, as if the year had come up hard on a plain, Puritan truth and was the better for it.

Source: A Private Month - New York Times

I come late to this writing about place. I can remember a few books long ago that spoke of a specific place that I read and reread. The titles have long since passed from my memory, but the pictures of the places they spoke of still linger. Mostly they spoke of mountain villages and rural life.

When I first stumbled upon Fragments From Floyd it was that voice that caught my attention. That voice that spoke of something I was missing. Something I yearned for early but sublimated as the years of life happened. When Fred first mentioned he was publishing a book and offered a deal to those who purchased a copy prior to publication I jumped on the offer. Fragment's and A Slow Road Home led me on a journey to other voices of other places. It was the discovery of a quote by Verlyn Klinkenborg on (I think it was) Susan Albert's Lifescapes Blog that led me to purchase a copy of Rural Life. Then Colleen gave a glowing review of Jim Minnick's Finding A Clear Path that led to another internet purchase. So when the link popped up with the title and author of this Editorial I had to follow. After reading it I felt compelled to link...So follow and read.

Wolfgang's Vault

 If you are of an age like I am, loved the rock music of the late 60's and later, you really need to check out Wolfgang's Vault and Vault Radio. This morning I have been listening to live concerts by CSN&Y, Judy Collins (right now she's singing "The City of New Orleans"), Credence and on and on. They are showing 300 full concert gigs in the "Vault" right now, or you can listen to a random playlist of singles. Take a bit and go read the story behind this amazing collection of music and memorabilia. Me I'm going to finish listening to Judy and see who else I can find to listen to. Maybe it'll make the hair grow back on top like it was in the day I first enjoyed these songs.

Where LIVE Music Lives

Wolfgang's Vault is the world's most exceptional collection of poster art, vintage t-shirts, concert photos, concert tickets and other rock music memorabilia. The Vault's holdings feature the complete archives of legendary rock impresario Bill Graham, whose headliners included Johnny Cash, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Janis Joplin, Aerosmith, Jefferson Airplane, AC/DC and Phish. Here, you'll find rock posters, concert photos, remarkably preserved vintage t-shirts and more from over 17,000 concerts worldwide.

Source: Vintage T-Shirts, Rock Posters, Concert T-Shirts, Concert Posters, Rock T-Shirts, Concert Shirt, Music Memorabilia, Concert Tees

Rediscovering Eliot Coleman

Ok, my earlier post has led to some time wasting (not really) on the web. Barbara wrote this article back in September 2000.

Eliot has a saying: “If you have $30,000, you’ll come up with a $30,000 solution. If you have only 30 cents, you’ll come up with a 30-cent solution. That’s nature’s way. If what you’re doing in the garden is expensive or complicated, it’s probably wrong.” The simplest garden wisdom:
Make compost, as much as you can. No fertilizer is better.

  • Keep tools basic. Eliot made many of our garden tools. Some of his designs, such as the “collinear hoe” and the “wire weeder,” are sold in the catalog from Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Albion, Maine.
  • Keep rows of newly sown seeds moist; especially carrots, which germinate slowly. Sprinkle them daily until they germinate.
  • Alternate vegetables with green manures, such as red clover and buckwheat.
  • Don’t worry about pests. “Relax,” says Eliot. “Bugs are indicators, not enemies. They tell us that something isn’t quite right with our soil or growing conditions.” If you keep the soil aerated and fertile (that means compost again, of course), your plants will be less stressed and they’ll attract fewer pests.
  • Pay attention to your garden and learn from what it has to teach you. Look and see how Mother Nature does things, and take your cue from her.
  • Share what you learn. “Farmers and gardeners shouldn’t hoard secrets. An idea expands when different growers try it out. Information is like compost; it does no good unless you spread it around.”

Naturally, for Eliot Coleman, it all comes back to compost.

Link to americanprofile.pdf

Winter Harvest Manuel ::: Four Season Farm

Ok folks, I guess I am losing it. I first read Eliot Coleman back in the early '70's in The Mother Earth News ( I still have the first 10 or 12 years of issues), and I have been reading the "Cook's Garden" ever since I managed to start pulling in the Washington Post off the Internet. I did not know until today that Eliot and Barbara were married...I discovered the fact when I wandered over to their website for their "Four Season Farm".

Order Winter Harvest Manual

The traditional fresh produce season for market gardeners in the colder parts of North America begins in June and ends in September. For the past eight years, in defiance of our long, cold Maine winters, we have been developing an environmentally sound, resource efficient, and economically viable system for extending fresh vegetable production into "the other eight months." We call it the "winter harvest." Our success thus far is very encouraging. We currently sell freshly harvested salads and main course vegetables from the 1st of October until the 31st of May.

This manual records our recent experiences in planning, carrying out, and fine tuning a fresh vegetable production and marketing operation on the back side of the calendar.

Source: Winter Harvest Manuel ::: Four Season Farm

For me the first thing that came to mind when I red the above (and additional info on their site) was what a great way for someone trying to make it in small scale farming in this day. Not only are you supplying something needed in a time when most of that product is coming from far away, but you will be supplying a superior product locally when you command a premium.

It even sound like you could probably earn enough on the out side of the calendar to enjoy a bit of relaxation in the "season" when prices are down and everyone is competing for the almighty dollar.

Apple Blossom Time - November?

What is it about Australian apple trees? This tree was grown by Stark Bros and planted on my place a decade ago. It still puts on blooms every fall when it is spring south of the equator.This shot is from this morning...

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