Category Archives: gardening

First book out: The Hands-On Life: How to Wake Yourself Up and Save The World.

Longtime Cheapskate readers will recognize lots of the ideas and anecdotes here – thank you for being a great and supportive community all these years. I’m launching the book at Dragonfly Books and will be taking it to Content Books … Continue reading

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Bacon and Brussels sprouts.

Next time you want a quick, warm, good winter supper — or a dish for Thanksgiving — especially if you are a Southerner in the Upper Midwest, here’s what you do: Go out in your garden and break off some … Continue reading

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The October garden.

It’s late October, getting on for evening, and in a backyard chair, wrapped against the chill, I find the same rare spot of unexpected contentment I find on my favorite path in the woods, at the place where the trees … Continue reading

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If that don’t beet all…

Benjamin Franklin once remarked, “Experience is a dear school, but a fool will learn in no other.”  Put another way, knowledge can be expensive, but a little pain can make it stick.   Put a third way, I will never again … Continue reading

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Dandelion wars.

It’s that time again: the latest round of the anti-weed, lawn-spraying wars.  In our town, this plays out not only in individual lawns but on the campus of our college, which routinely comes under fire from lots in the community … Continue reading

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Dreams of sun.

There’s a particular kind of sleep that waits for you when you’ve been outside working all day, especially in a garden: a kind of heavy, instant falling-off that nevertheless feels light, as if your sleep-sodden body might lift and rise … Continue reading

Posted in attention, gardening, mystery, seasons, spirit | 4 Comments

The gardener’s peanut gallery.

“Wow, look at you. I wish I could have a garden like yours but I guess I’m just too lazy.” “I love your garden. Too bad I’m too busy to do this kind of thing — I’d really like to.” … Continue reading

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New life, in waiting.

For the last few weeks of what’s been a brutally long winter, this was what I saw when I opened my bottom cabinet: thronging vines springing toward the light they’d been seeking in the dark, on their own, whether I … Continue reading

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To autumn.

“How fine the air. A temperate sharpness about it. Really, without joking – chaste weather – Dian skies.” – John Keats, Sept. 1819 In autumn the world is tipped between flower and seed, between glorious life and the turning of … Continue reading

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The pleasures of okra.

If I had a dollar for every time somebody, emboldened by my Southern accent, asked me a question about okra — “What is that?” when they see it growing (once somebody asked, “Is that marijuana?”), or “How do you cook … Continue reading

Posted in attention, food, gardening, gratitude, the past, the South | 8 Comments