Together: We Compost

Maureen and Steve Demenna are neighbors.  They do not have a suitable area around their house for a composting bin.  We all live close to Hingham Harbor and our land is limited.  They have asked if they could share my composting bins.  They really wanted to participate in composting.

Some mornings when I’m eating breakfast, I see them sharing food scraps with my red wiggler worms.  Kind of neighborly.   I believe that when neighbors share in a common goal, we begin to realize the more we all have in common.

All winter they have been dropping off  their raw food.  Yesterday I harvested the compost in the bin that they were using.  The red wigglers made it through the winter and there were hundreds of them.  The worms are not suppose to survive the New England winter.  I would guess that the increase in the mass of scraps and with Maureen’s coffee grounds, they were able to stay healthy.

I believe that during this pandemic, nature is sending us a message.  Composting is one thing that will reduce chemicals and pesticides in our environment.  Healthy plants do not often get attacked by bugs.  From my experience, if they do, they will survive.



Big Pharma

Time Magazine:


I certainly cannot put myself in the position of all Americans or especially for those in impoverished countries right now.  This pandemic is terrible.

I think many of us have to come to the realization that Nature is Angry.  From an environmental stand point, I think internationally we have a lot to be concerned about.

People are stressed and according to Time Magazine, pharmacies are getting richer.  I think many would agree, that if people get out, exercise a little and do something for the environment that some of the stress might go away.

Today there were some posts on A Sustainable Hingham.  Some members took a walk and picked up trash on trails.  My neighbor will sleep well tonight because he was planting trees.  The plantings look beautiful.  I spent some time making Mel’s mix, sifting compost and worm castings.

It is a difficult time for most.  I hope some can find options for stress relief in a holistic way.  For those nurses, doctors, attendants and people working for essential businesses right now; your are the best.  Be safe.




Oh Shoot!


One of my most revered colleagues used to say: “Oh Shoot” when something went wrong with a chemistry experiment.  By the way, she always made a twist of bad luck into a learning experience.  The title says it for me.

I just blogged about the book The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food and Love.   This ties into the essence of the previous blog.

I planted my first seedlings of lettuce, kale and broccoli in my portable greenhouse on March 3rd just before leaving on a three week trip.  It has been a brutally cold winter in New England.  Some of the temperatures at my home during our period of our absence were as low as 6 degrees.  I returned from Mexico on March 25th.  The plants looked great, had grown a little and I hadn’t done a thing to them.  I watered them on the 25th and put back the plastic covering.

The following day we had a major Northeaster.  The wind blew 60 miles an hour.  It was 29 degrees outside. The plastic cover blew off.   The wind was strong and by the time I got to put the cover back on the Square Foot Garden the plants were a little brittle.  The soil however was not completely frozen.  The plants may or may not survive but we aren’t going lose the farm.

We took a chance by planting in early March.  I didn’t put enough weight on the ocean side stakes. 

Oh Shoot! 

Farmers are so vulnerable.  With climate change we all need to rethink our dietary plans and our food sources.  Produce will cost more this year as California’s draught will affect many food prices.

When it stops raining I will check to see if the frost bitten plants have a chance to mature.   I will also plant alongside the first ones just in case.   No matter what happens, we will be picking fresh lettuce in May.

Nature makes us all vulnerable.  It is exciting to try to figure out ways to work with nature.  Nature often wins as we witness natural disasters around the world.  Learning from our mistakes are valuable lessons.  Trying to find a balance between human needs and environmental stability is something we can all try to discover.

In terms of Square Foot Gardening, it can be fun.  You won’t lose the farm.  We can all participate, One Square Foot at a Time.