agriculture

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Take a trip out to the Housatonic River Valley over the next few days, and if you’re lucky, you might spot a peculiar-looking fungus that’s a tasty trophy for mushroom hunters. 

Rafael Medina / Creative Commons

There's a lot of concern about pollinating insects and butterflies. As native populations dwindle, gardeners are rallying to support them.

mystuart / Creative Commons

We all know peonies for their audaciously large, colorful flowers. 

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Growing up in the shadow of my Italian grandparents’ farm, I have fond memories of my relatives wandering the fields in spring harvesting dandelion greens.

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Thousands of chickens have died in a fire at a coop in eastern Connecticut that belongs to a major egg producer.

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Irises are embedded in our art and culture. Vincent Van Gough and Georgia O’Keefe loved to paint them. Mary Oliver and Robert Frost waxed poetic about them.

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Spring has sprung, and with that comes gardening season! Are you thinking about how to get your garden ready? 

This hour, we talk garden trends, soil prep, pruning, pest management, managing invasives, supporting pollinators, and so much more.

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In my book, Foodscaping, I talk a lot about growing trees not just for shade or flowering, but for their fruiting. 

Andrew Malone via Flickr.com / Creative Commons

This vegetable is one of the oldest known to mankind, dating back 10,000 years.

Phil Roeder / Creative Commons

Ahh sweet magnolias with memories of Grateful Dead concerts and warm, spring days. 

Connecticut Senate Democrats / Creative Commons

The sponsor of a Maine bill designed to make it easier to label foods made with the use of genetically modified organisms says she'll push for a public vote.

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This vegetable has the sad reputation from ancient Greece of rendering males impotent. 

Craig / Creative Commons

This early spring perennial flower hails from Japan, but made its first appearance in the United States in the 1800s as a Valentine's Day gift.

Flickr / Creative Commons

This popular vegetable has been grown and eaten for 5000 years as a food and medicine.

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Imagine a farm sprayed with pesticides. You're likely to think of crop-dusting biplanes,  but a new pest-control idea is using a much smaller, and more natural source: bumblebees.

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One morning at breakfast, I found myself swatting flies. What, flies in winter? Then I saw they were coming from my amaryllis plant on the table. I love house plants, but so do the pests.

Liam Moloney (tir_na_nog) / Flickr

One legend has it this holiday descended from the ancient Roman fertility festival where boys and girls would draw names to see who would be paired for the coming year. The Catholic church attributed this day to a priest who secretly married young soldiers in defiance of the Roman emperor. His name was Saint Valentine.

WoodlyWonderWorks / Creative Commons

I'm always amazed at the price of arugula and baby greens in the grocery store. They sell sometimes for ten dollars a pound! A better way to eat healthy greens is to grow them yourself, and we're getting close to the day when we can start planting two of my favorites: arugula and mache.

Theophilos Papadopoulos via flickr.com / Creative Commons

Winter is a great time to sit down and plan the expansion of existing gardens or creation of new ones. But don't just think of growing gardens for yourself. 

Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr

Heirloom vegetables are generally any variety grown before World War II. Many are unique for their flavor, looks, and growth habits.

MJI Photos / Creative Commons

In winter it's hard for gardeners to get their fix of greenery. You can visit greenhouses such as at Yale's Marsh Botanic Garden, but it's nice to have your own house plants to create a warm, clean environment.

NatureNerd / Creative Commons

It's the new year, and time for all good gardeners to spend a little time perusing seed and plant catalogs for new varieties. 

Sonny Abesamis flickr.com/photos/enerva / Creative Commons

With the holidays behind us, gardeners are often looking for ways to keep their hands in the dirt. One old-fashioned growing technique is making a comeback and is worth trying, especially with kids.

Patrizia / Creative Commons

“I'm dreaming of a white Christmas..." Yes, dreaming seems like the best we'll be able to do this Christmas.

A white Christmas in Connecticut normally has about a 50/50 chance of occurring, with less chance along the shore and more a likely chance in the Northwest hills. But this winter the chance is nil, and it won't even be cold! 

Like amaranth and quinoa before it, millet – a hardy, gluten-free ancient seed – has become an "it" grain in recent years.

Almond Butterscotch / Creative Commons

Connecticut needs to conserve more land -- and do it much faster -- if the state hopes to meet a conservation goal set for the year 2023, which seems increasingly out of reach.

scrappy annie flickr.com/photos/14903992@N08/15723002693 / Creative Commons

Ho, ho, ho, it's time for holiday gift buying. Yes, let's talk about special gifts you can give the gardener in your family. If you're stuck for ideas, I've got a few to share. Are you listening, Santa?

Chris Coomber / Creative Commons

I was visiting my brother in Goshen recently. We were looking at the majestic blue spruce trees in his backyard that he planted as Christmas trees years ago, when his kids were younger.

They've created a backdrop for privacy, and have cherished memories for him and his kids.

Maja Dumat flickr.com/photos/blumenbiene/11692859806 / Creative Commons

This flower is named after a shepherdess who had unrequited love for a gardener.

Artie Aiken used to have stomach problems. During World War II, he served on bases in Connecticut and Texas instead of going overseas. When he got back to Vermont, a doctor prescribed goat milk – and things were never the same.

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