Friday, April 06, 2007

Garden Event Tuesday

I see that the North Adams Public Library is hosting a free talk with garden editor and author Elizabeth Stell, on Tuesday evening (April 10, at 6:30).

The lecture is titled “Gardening Made Easy(ier)” – which as described sounds like it’s intended for garden burnouts (“Has your love of gardening fizzled out? Do you put off weeding because there’s just too much? … Come learn some garden tricks and time-savers. Liz Stell will help you create a strategy for how to get more fun and more flowers out of your yards and gardens.”) But we can all use easier ways to achieve our gardening goals, and such a topic can be used to cover just about anything in the garden. I’m always interested in books written with the input of local gardeners, and I think I’ll attend.

Ms. Stell is the author of Secrets to Great Soil (with our local Storey Publishing, 1998) and coauthor of Landscaping with Perennials (from the famously organic Rodale Press, 1995). She’s an organic gardener of food and flowers at her home in Lanesborough, has taught at Berkshire Botanical Garden, and managed the herb gardens at Hancock Shaker Village.

While doing the Amazon “Search Inside” on Secrets to Great Soil I found a neat experiment, which I think I can properly summarize as a fair use: Take a tablespoon of thoroughly dried soil. Add several drops of vinegar. If the soil fizzes, then pH is above 7.5 (alkaline). Take another tablespoon of dried soil and add water until it’s very moist. Add a pinch of baking soda. If the soil fizzes, then pH is below 5 (acid). (She does point out that you should get a more thorough test before working on your soil’s chemistry.)

1 comment:

naplblog said...

Thanks for the plug! It should be a very good program.