Our organic gardening ace in the hole

This lovely but scary spider sits square in the middle of our organic container edible garden in Lake George, NY. We've watched him (her?) get noticeably plumper over the summer, he's (she's) a wonderful ecological neighbor. The spider eats any garden pests who might dare visit, and our tomatoes, peppers, beans, lettuce, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, [...]

A new butterfly habitat garden in Queensbury, NY

This week I installed a habitat garden design in Queensbury, NY. The project was especially exciting because of the property's proximity to wetland habitat. In every direction around the home in fact, there are wetlands, and 3/4 of the photos used for our wetland habitat post were from within one mile of our ecological garden [...]

An urban oasis habitat garden in Glens Falls

This week I designed and installed a native plants garden that will double as a living fence. The home is located in an urban area: the heart of downtown Glens Falls. The homeowner would work in the existing gardens and people would walk by on the street and be able to see in. The new [...]

India Spinach: an obscure but delicious green for the edible garden.

This summer many of the edible gardens I've planted, in Saratoga and the capital region have included the obscure but hardy spinach known as "India Spinach." I found out about it from the Otrembiak brothers in Rock City Falls: they have a booth at the Saratoga Farmer's Market and they grow seedlings for many obscure [...]

Lake George Rain Gardens Progress

This past May I collaborated with some local contractors on a large rain garden project in Lake George, NY. This week we returned to take some photos of the rain gardens progress. Shown above is the rain garden that we manipulated to behave as a wetland habitat; this piece of the property has standing water [...]

Our Container Vegetable Garden, in Lake George, NY

My home edible garden is in containers, and it's teeming with life force, vitality and fruition. We planted everything in mid to late May. We've been disciplined about watering when there's no rain and the most excellent organic soil available was used. This is one great advantage to container gardening: you get complete control of [...]

An organic food garden deep in Saratoga

The past week an organic produce garden was developed deep in Saratoga county. The soil is sandy; we amended with 6 bags of compost humus. Many unique plants are being experimented with, like Italian Spinach and Tomatillo, as well as many standards. A farmer told me the other day that the more people who are [...]

Homemade Pesto

In the region of the world where I live, (the Saratoga and Lake George area) gardens are just starting to produce basil in useable quantities. The Saratoga Farmer's Market is the first place I've seen basil for sale, and only one organic herb farm has it ready fresh from their gardens. I also found garlic [...]

Potatoes out of Negligance

About 2 months ago I bought some attractive Fingerling Potatoes from the Saratoga Farmer's Market. I promptly forgot about their prescence in the house and they grew long, spindly eye buds and the potato bodies turned soft and flacid. Finally today I got around to picking the eyes off the potatoes to plant them. The [...]

Children’s Gardening Project

This week found me delightfully engaged in one of my all time favorite types of gardening projects: I was comissioned by an amusement park center near me to design and install some Children's Gardens, with the kids there helping! We decided to use Little Acres because they are the perfect size for manageable fun for [...]

Jessecology and Ecological Lawn Care

In the 8 years that I've been working in gardens in Saratoga and Lake George, many of my clients have requested help with lawn care. My interest in lawns is beyond non-existant. I actively encourage everyone to replace lawn space with gardens, or at least plant maintenance free turf like Creeping Thyme or Sedum. People [...]

Trip to the Native Plants WildThings Rescue Nursery in Photos

My family was fortunate enough to visit the WildThings Rescue Nursery yesterday. The experience was breath taking. The proprietor of the nursery -Dawn Foglia- travels each week to the Saratoga farmer's markets. Gardening in Saratoga has become much more habitat friendly thanks exclusively to this one woman's serious grind. First, some stinky herbs for bug [...]

Local Food Gardens in Saratoga

Today I was invited to visit the Gomez Family Farm, highly productive vegetable gardens south of Saratoga. The style of gardening is work horse utilitarian, high volume output and all natural methods. It was beautiful to observe. The Gomez' produce can be acquired at the farmer's markets in Saratoga year round, and other farmstand locations [...]

Another Native Plants Garden Project in Saratoga

There's a garden mid-way between Lake George and Saratoga that was designed this spring to be a habitat spot; full of native plants that attract butterflies and songbirds. The garden is happily located on a farm, so there is more than the average amount of wildlife rambling through. The photo above shows our Buddleia, or [...]

Worm Castings to the Rescue

This week we realized a large mistake had been made in soil medium at the farm stand garden. An error in communication resulted in the beds being top dressed by the farmer with undigested horse manure, rather than fully composted cow manure. Both are available on the property; this was simply human error and hopefully [...]

Beautiful Wildlife Garden in Southern Saratoga

Today I found myself in one of the most beautiful native plant habitat gardens I've ever seen, weeding and sculpting the wild beds for my Saratoga home owner. The gardens were single-handedly planted by one lady. She has excellent taste and a great handle on her Latin taxonomy. This property is full of fun, other-world [...]

Organic Gardening for (and with) Tea

Tea is medicine to me year round; iced tea is literally a spiritual experience for me in the summer. There is something ethereal about the process of seeing herbs grown organically in all their aromatic splendor, harvesting them and seeing them transform, as if by magic into tea, a substance so subjectively wonderful and really [...]

On Beneficial Insects in the Garden

One of the staples of organic gardening and companion planting is attracting beneficial, or predatory insects to the garden to help. Yesterday, in a garden halfway between Lake George and Saratoga, I saw this Dragonfly. That means that the home gardener is doing something right: his property is loaded with Dragonflies, Bees, Butterflies, Assasin Bugs, [...]

A Tenacious Beauty

This summer, Mullein is the habitat plant to catch my eye. I've seen it in gardens since I started this work in 2005, and often heard my colleagues who were also trained in ecology vaguely reference Mullein's capacity to be a medicinal plant, and it's ethnobotany uses. I looked into this today. Many home owners [...]

A farm stand garden in Saratoga County

A unique and wonderful project has unfolded in Jessecology-land this summer. A client found me who has nothing but space- seriously, his family is situated on a 100 acre horse and cow farm- and he wants to grow his family's own produce, but needs help as he has never done it before. Since we don't [...]