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TAG : North Carolina

My 2019 Garden: A Collection of Many Projects

Gardening is work but can also be play. In fact, for me, the fun makes the work tolerable, particularly when considering the demands of growing everything in containers or straw bales in my hot and humid Raleigh climate. Located in my driveway (because that is where the sun shines best), my ...

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, ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Organic Gardening is for the Birds

March 25, 2016. Good Friday. Distinctive chatter welcomes me to Heart & Sole Gardens. Martin scouts circle overhead. Purple Martins, that is. Migratory birds we regard as pets claim the gourds we provide for them to nest and raise their young. After an annual flight from South America, ...

Garlic Chive Scapes, Versatile and Delicious

While asparagus is clearly the vegetable winner when it comes to Spring harbingers, garlic scapes, those intriguing shoots that form on hardneck varieties, are not far behind.  Prized by professional chefs and adventurous home cooks, scapes are ideally harvested before they open to reveal ...

Mother Earth Gardener

Expert advice on all aspects of growing.