How To Store and Use Apples

It’s a sad day when the local farmer’s market shuts down for the season. During the last few weeks of November, I try to scoop up as much fresh, seasonal produce as possible. Apples are abundant in fall, and many vendors sell them by the bushel, for a steep discount. I was about to purchase… Continue reading How To Store and Use Apples

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Fermentation: The Easy, Healthy, and Tasty Way to Preserve Vegetables

In the course of my master gardener training, I had the privilege of attending a seminar on food preservation. At the time, I was basking in the glow of my new canning skills. Shimmering batches of kiwi-strawberry preserves, jalapeño pepper jam, and other weird combinations lined my pantry shelves. Packed with sugar and boiled to… Continue reading Fermentation: The Easy, Healthy, and Tasty Way to Preserve Vegetables

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Welcoming Wildlife

While our garden sleeps, our landscape opens its doors to winter guests. Our breakfast and lunch times seem to coincide with the birds’. A feeder attached to our kitchen window allows us to observe finches, chickadees, tufted titmice, occasionally a cardinal, and even a very hungry red-bellied woodpecker. On a recent icy day, a half-dozen… Continue reading Welcoming Wildlife

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Thanksgiving on the Farm

This year, we spent Thanksgiving at Buck Valley Ranch, a Bed and Breakfast horse farm owned by my aunt and uncle, Nadine and Leon Fox. Located in south-central Pennsylvania, the ranch nestles into an Appalachian mountainside covered with mature oak and pine, autumn olive, and Native wildflowers. By late-November, most of the leaves are down,… Continue reading Thanksgiving on the Farm

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Ready for Spring?

On a recent warm day about a week ago, we were outside pruning all the coneflowers, aster, and roses we’d left for the birds to munch on. We left our butterfly bush intact, since it’s been such a great “hiding place” for the chickadees, titmice, finches, and cardinals who visit our feeder. It’s also right… Continue reading Ready for Spring?

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Colony Collapse Disorder and Backyard Beekeeping

About a year ago, I went to the trouble of renaming my blog and website. The former Northern Virginia Gardener morphed into Bee Happy Garden: Gardening in Partnership With Nature. My intention was to broaden the scope of my blogging, as a reflection of my expanding interests and acknowledgement of the symbiotic relationships that permeate… Continue reading Colony Collapse Disorder and Backyard Beekeeping

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Brenda’s Supremely Summery Gazpacho Soup

Some foods are so seasonally dependent that they seem to vanish from our consciousness when the weather turns. Gazpacho, more than any other meal, speaks so quintessentially of summer that it simply evaporates from memory when tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers go out of season. While some restaurants may serve it year-round, it’s hard to appreciate… Continue reading Brenda’s Supremely Summery Gazpacho Soup

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Kohlrabi Apple Slaw

Farmers markets opened in Fairfax County last week, and there are already so many delicious, local veggies just waiting to be plucked. I’m always looking for new and interesting things to try, and it seems the local vendors are keen to introduce new products. We live in a culturally diverse area, and the vendors themselves… Continue reading Kohlrabi Apple Slaw

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Get To Work in the Fall Garden To Ensure A Beautiful Spring

Fall is the Best Time to Renew A Garden Mother Nature is bestowing us with one more week of beautiful, warm weather. Maybe it’s global warming, but I’m going to look on the bright side and take advantage of it and get to work in the garden. The word “chore” has such negative connotations, especially… Continue reading Get To Work in the Fall Garden To Ensure A Beautiful Spring

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