The Monarch Butterfly Waystation at Healthy Living Market in Saratoga Springs, NY

This spring I was delighted to be asked to be a part of one of the loveliest projects I could imagine. There's a health food store in Saratoga Springs, NY called Healthy Living, which occupies the former JC Penny retail location in the Wilton Mall. Healthy Living sells organic and artisan foods, much of it [...]

A sincerely eco-friendly Christmas Tree

Something has always troubled me about the practice of mass cuttings of conifer trees for Christmas trees this time of year. In my adult life I have never once been able to stomach the tradition in my home, and this year a new inspiration hit. The herb, Rosemary, grown organically in container gardening or as [...]

Edible gardening workshop at the fair

Contrary to what many people think, many farmers and gardeners are still harvesting delicious organic produce even this late in the fall. Thoughtful planning in the edible garden (coupled with good rainfall and temperature conditions) can expand the limits of conventional vegetable gardens and increase our capacity to eat fresh, healthy, organic food longer. Edible [...]

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, [...]

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 [...]

Raised bed success story.

Checking up on a property today, I was delighted to see the Little Acre raised beds teeming with life, vitality and organic produce. We filled the boxes with high quality organic soil and organic vegetable seedlings; the result has been gorgeous healthy organic produce. It is exciting to be able to empower more, and more [...]

More Clifton Park garden designs

People suggest I show "before" and "after" pictures of gardens I'm designing; it's much easier to think of photographing in the aftermath of lots of change. At the outset of any project, there's usually too much concentration and set-up to remember a "before" photo. Today in Clifton Park, NY I was sculpting an edible garden [...]

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 [...]

A visit to the Saratoga gardening Mecca of the Otrembiak Farm.

One of the first things that happened to me upon arrival at the Otrembiak Farm today was holding a baby duckling who immediately pooped on me. I got to help plant melons in the field. The black plastic blocks weeds and heats the soil underneath. One of the melons I planted is shown here. The [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Surprise grapefruit seedlings and joy

This winter I discovered grapefruit. It happened advertantly when I bought some grapefruit shower gel and realized if anything could taste as good as that smelled, it would be impossible to hate it. A couple weeks later, my friend was cutting my hair and offered me an organic grapefruit. Hesitantly I accepted- I've always hated [...]

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 [...]

More on Hops

Rain poured from the sky today as I staked the baby and mid-growth hops vines with fishing line. It was a relief as the weather has been brutal this week so far. In this business of professional gardening, rain is immeasurably preferable to blazing sun. In the rain, we don't worry about sunburn or heat [...]

Hops Orchard Project

This summer I am growing, of my own volition and for my own edification, a hops orchard. At harvest time, in autumn, the hops cones will be sold to Adirondack Brew Pub, the hippest brewery in the Lake George-Saratoga region. Shown in the photos are the teepee structures used for trellising. Hops grow as high [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Little Acres: Non-Permanent Raised Beds

It's just after Memorial Day weekend, and in the Saratoga- Lake George gardening region of the world, that means vegetable gardening installation. Edible gardens are so trendy nowadays as people are more conscious of healthy eating and interested in organic produce. Some of my clients want raised beds; I've been buying moveable raised beds called"Little [...]