On gardening and civilized society

Ever since we've begun the restoration work on the historical monuments in the Transylvanian countryside (see Asociatia P.A.T.R.U. for the details), I've had to tend to the landscaping, among other things. And if there's one thing you learn when you garden, is that you have to prune the weeds constantly. Some weeds you simply cannot [...]

Go eat some fresh organic peas

If you've never tasted fresh organic peas, or you can't remember the last time you tried it, now's the time to do it, because they're in season. If you live in the northern hemisphere, in a temperate climate, go get some right now and try them out! Don't cook them. Just open the pods and [...]

How to make a compost tumbler

Last year, I made a composter using this plan from Boys' Life Magazine. I modified the wooden frame somewhat, in order to use more wood screws and brackets -- not bolts, nuts and washers -- because that's what I had to work with. Before I recommended the design to others, I wanted to see how [...]

The garden shed

We've recently finished putting together a "severe weather" garden shed in our yard, made by a company called Arrow. We wanted a model that could withstand hurricane-force winds, since we live in South Florida, where hurricanes do occur from time to time. The particular model that we purchased was the Homestead 10' x 8' (HS108). [...]

The mole cricket – with better video

Back in May, I wrote about the mole cricket -- one of the pests that we have to deal with in our garden -- and I posted a short video clip. Last week, I had the chance to shoot footage of another mole cricket that my wife caught in our garden, and this time I [...]

The mole cricket

Q: What insect from the Gryllotalpidae family burrows around people's gardens and eats the roots of freshly planted vegetables? A: The mole cricket. This nasty critter, which grows to 2 inches or more in length (I've seen some that were over 3 inches), has strong forelimbs that it uses to dig around in gardens here [...]

National Arboretum

This past May, Ligia and I visited the National Arboretum here in DC. We try to go there at least once a year. The grounds are huge, and they have both outdoors and indoors facilities. Admission is free, and the grounds are open from 8 AM to 5 PM daily, every day of the year [...]

My grandfather's garden

My grandparents on my mother's side always had a garden, no matter where they lived. They were city folk, and even when they lived in an apartment, they managed a nice little plot of land in the back of the building, where they grew fruits and vegetables. Later, they moved in a house with a [...]

The best tomatoes are homegrown

You can go to Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, MOM's, Safeway, Giant, Publix -- you name it -- and buy the most expensive tomatoes, but they'll still taste just as flat as the cheapest ones you'll find. I don't care if they're organic, hydroponic, vine-ripened or whatever -- they still have no taste. It's a fact [...]