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Category: Off the Beaten Path

  • Help Find Ian Burnet

    January 08, 2012
    Help Find Ian Burnet

    This is Ian Burnet. Please help find him!

    Guest blogger Norie Burnet’s grandson Ian Burnet mysteriously disappeared in New York over the holidays. Please help us find him.

    According to Norie in her email to me last night: “My grandson, Ian, 22, an honors engineering student in college (at Virginia Commonweath University) went to New York during the holiday break. On Dec. 30 he disappeared and is now listed as a Missing Person. His backpack, bag, wallet, and phone were all left behind. His family alerted the police when they could no longer reach him. He’s always been good about communicating and loves his family very much.”

    A Facebook page has been set up to find him; you may join here to learn more and spread the word. Fliers are available for download for those of you in the New York area to post.

    A Twitter account has also been set up. Please follow, tweet and share about Ian’s disappearance here.

    Let’s join together and spread the word faster than blight can knock out a tomato!

    Yes, I know this isn’t a gardening post. But, it is a way we gardeners can help one of our own, and that’s really what gardenhelp.org is all about.

    Blessings Norie and all of Ian’s family. You are in our highest thoughts every moment!

  • On the Road Again…

    September 08, 2011
    Redwood Forest

    California Redwood Forest

    Now that all the kids are back in school, I’m taking off on vacation. Yep, don’t bother trying to call me; I probably won’t answer. Maybe I’ll pretend my phone isn’t working, but really its quite likely that it won’t at times, especially when I’m hundreds of feet below the tops of towering, ancient trees deep in the forest where time passes much slower and leisurely than my usual rat-race pace.

    So, where am I going?

    First, I’ll be heading to NorCal by way of Portland. Highlights will include a mid-trip stop at the National Heirloom Exposition, a visit with friends in my beloved Mendocino, and camping along rivers & in the majestic redwoods.

    It’s been far too long since I last made this roadtrip. And, I’m simply crazy to get going.

    Go ahead, be jealous. I am, and I even get to go!

    If I can, I’ll post updates from the road. Most will probably go directly on our Facebook page here. Blogging may be tough, but photo shares will be much easier, so tune in there for the most up-to-date, quick reports from the road!

  • Getting Away Brings the Gardener in Me Home

    July 11, 2011

    As much as I love my garden, sometimes I need to get away from it for a while to recharge. I devote a lot of time, energy and attention to our little plot of mixed edibles, natives and ornamentals. And its a shame when I begin to view it as more of a burden than a joy. Really, I do love my garden. But, sometimes our harmony becomes discordant, and it takes some time apart for us to regain our usual near-perfect pitch.

    Kula Loving The Freedom of Burton Acres' Off Leash Trails

    Kula Loving The Freedom of Burton Acres' Off Leash Trails

    Recently, we escaped for a few days away. We visited Vashon Island, which is just a short ferry ride from Seattle but feels like a world away. We stayed in a tiny cabin built on a pier in the 1930s. When the tide came it, it sloshed under the bedroom floor at night. When it went out during the day, we crunched across barnacles to explore the chilly waters. And, when the tides were somewhere in between, we watched raccoon families leave their wild cherry treetop banquets to scramble along the shore digging up tasty crabs, mussels, clams, oysters and any number of other protein-rich sea-snacks.

    When the sunshine was bright on the deck, our lattes were long-finished and the pup needed to stretch her legs, we would cross the one road into Burton Acres park. Here, through dappled sunlight, we listened to varied bird calls from the treetops and underbrush, as we strolled aimlessly along easy paths through second-growth Alder, Doug Fir, Hemlock and Maple. A flash of red would catch my eye – red huckleberry is ripe. A glimpse of golden – salmonberry too. The sun would suddenly appear through the canopy,  and a hillside of ferns would brighten just beside us. All of it refreshing and inspiring. And, all very different from my unforested home garden.

    To augment all the great, fresh food from our own garden and our fantastic CSA, we made daily stops at several of the roadside honor stands where farmers set out the freshest of their harvest for locals to take, trusting they’ll leave a few dollars in the lock box behind. In town, we snatched up fresh, raw milk and delicious porchetta from the island’s famed Sea Breeze farm. Certainly, we ate well — rarely at a restaurant — while we were away. (more…)

  • When is Good Not Good Enough

    May 20, 2011

    Our friend, Michael Nolan, recently took on a self-inflicted challenge to write a guest blog post for a different blog for each day of the Month of May. Gardenhelp.org is thrilled to bring his thoughts, insights and humor to you in the rockin’ article that follows.

    Thanks Michael!


    Michael Nolan - The Garden Rock Star

    Michael Nolan - The Garden Rock Star

    Hi, I?m Michael and I?m an overbearing garden dad.

    I start my seeds when I can begin to see the light at the end of winter?s long, cold tunnel and get everything just right and ready to get them in the ground but then it happens.  I just can?t leave well enough alone.

    My tomato seedlings are planted at just the right depth but still I can?t resist coming back day after day and pinching off the tiny suckers that form.  Sure, they?d be okay without my assistance at this point but much like a well meaning aunt who licks her hanky before wiping away that smudge of chocolate pie from your cheek, I just can?t help myself.

    At what point is doing a good job in the garden actually good enough?  Are we inherently garden folk programmed to somehow never be able to just plant it and let nature take its course?

    Don?t get me wrong, I?m not saying that intervention isn?t at times necessary, just that after that cold dry spell of December, January and February I tend to be a bit too overzealous when it comes to making absolutely sure that my precious plant babies are getting enough sun, enough ? but not too much ? water, and that they are adequately protected from those early season temperature fluctuations that annoy even the most seasoned of dirt players.

    If my plants were kids, there would be whispers about me at Plant PTA meetings.  If my Mortgage Lifters ate pizza I would totally have to blow on it first to ensure that it wasn?t going to burn them.

    In other words, I?m that guy.  And I guess that?s good enough.

    Michael Nolan, The Garden Rockstar is an author, blogger and speaker on gardening, sustainability, food ethics and homesteading.  He is currently in the process of writing a new guest post on a different site for each day in May. To follow his progress, visit MyEarthGarden.com or on Facebook here.

  • Girls Can Climb Trees Too!

    April 06, 2011

    Occasional guest writer Katy Bigelow is joining the ranks of a smattering of female competitive tree climbers later this spring. I’m planning a trip down to Olympia, Washington to cheer her on.

    Curious about arboriculture &/or climbing competitions? Check out this article about Katy, climbers and arboriculture here.

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