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TAG : Cindy Barlowe

Heirloom Corn, The Criminal’s Choice

I was robbed. Under cover of darkness, the gang attacked. Masked bandits carelessly rifled through my belongings, pillaging and breaking, leaving little untouched in their destructive wake. To make matters worse, I think they enjoyed the assault. Judging by evidence left at the crime scene, ...

Saving Miss Lucy

She’s quite the lady.  Strong and productive, even when adversity strikes.  Also, she has one of the biggest hearts around.  Miss Lucy is her name.  Well, it’s not her real name, but since the man who introduced her to me calls her Miss Lucy, I do the same.  Although she is a relative ...

Easy Garlic

People often ask, What is the easiest plant to grow?  Although every plant brings unique challenges and joys, for my garden, the answer to this question is “garlic.”  Of course, the garlic at Heart & Sole Gardens is not like garlic one buys from a supermarket bin or grows as an annual ...

Tater Tales

Tater Tunnel: Two words that struck fear in the hearts of my brother, Dale, and me when we were children.  When Dale was six and I was ten years old, my father bought an old home place in the northwest corner of our county, a stone’s throw from Blue Ridge Mountain peaks.  Fruit trees, ...

The Year of Missing Martins

Canadian poet, novelist and environmental activist Margaret Atwood said, “Gardening is not a rational act.”    Few tasks are as humbling as gardening.  After that leap-of-faith act, when a Human drops seed in soil, then cultivates growing plants and anticipates a successful harvest, ...

Potato Portal

Eyes opened the portal.  Potato eyes, tuberous knots protruding from brown skin.  I gripped the sharp knife blade, slicing it into potato flesh, carving around eyes and I could hear his voice, a sound long buried in deep memory recesses.  “Be careful not to cut through the eyes,” my ...

Fields on Fire

Looking over our Across-the-Creek field at Heart & Sole Gardens, it was obvious there was much work to be done before seed potatoes could thrive there.  Johnson grass, my arch nemesis weed, took advantage of the space, fallow for two years, and grew with abandon, leaving tall dried stalks ...

Sprouting Winter Energy Food

 Winter can be a difficult time for gardeners.  After harvesting fresh food for most of the year, freezing temperatures and inclement weather keep even the bravest farmers indoors, dreaming of tomato juice dripping from the chin, sweet corn kernels popping like caviar against teeth and ...

Winter Garden Foraging

For gardeners lucky enough to live in seasonal growing climates, Winter fields offer respite from intense cultivating and singular beauty that echoes growers’ time of reflection and renewal.  In my neck of the Western North Carolina woods, January is not typically a productive gardening ...

Wishful Thinking

As 2016 draws to a close, Heart & Sole Gardens is a peaceful place.  Honeybees tuck into hives, fields lie fallow, except for patches of Fall greens and garlic, and wire cages stand as sentinels, ready to contain next Summer’s tomatoes and peppers.  Dry weeds crunch underfoot and both ...

Mother Earth Gardener

Expert advice on all aspects of growing.