Autumn 2015

At The Gate

How do I create an issue? Let me count the stories. First, I sat down in May and read all 118 manuscripts that had come in by mail and email in the last three months. I accepted 13. Reading, deciding, responding, and buying took a week. A hard week. I filed them all away under…  READ MORE


Typing on a laptop in a garden
Amber Kanuckel: From Walhonding, OH: “I am an accomplished ghostwriter (over 1,000 blog posts) and avid gardener (whose green thumb is often all too brown).” Linda Clearwater: Lewes, DE’s Linda has been in the creation business for over thirty years—designing, illustrating, writing, and gardening. Robert Wolfe: Benfield, TX’s Robert has gardened since he was a…  READ MORE


Chicken Tomatoes

love to grow tomatoes. There’s nothing like home-canned sauce, so each year I grow at least 30 tomato plants. For a number of years, I also raised chickens so that I could stock the fridge—and the neighbors’ fridges—with fresh eggs. For a few summers, the chickens and tomatoes got along just fine (i.e., their…  READ MORE

Tending Beauty

Working in my garden is a lot like raising my girls. I often think about what I should do to make both it and them beautiful and healthy and strong. And although I weed and discipline, sometimes it feels as though I’m not really making a difference. There always seems to be one more problem…  READ MORE

Show-and-Tell Potatoes

A couple of years ago, we moved to a place with a large lot. I borrowed my dad’s rototiller, broke up a large area, and planted rows of vegetables. Our son Paul, eight, and daughter Paula, five, helped us plant the seeds. Then we covered them and watered the garden. Paul enjoyed gardening—but Paula became…  READ MORE

Bluebirds in the Pokeweed

ere’s a scenario that used to snap my pitchfork: I’m working in the yard. The guy next door goes for a walk with his son, and passes my way. I chat with the man a bit, long enough to confirm that we still have nothing more in common than our geographical proximity. Then just as…  READ MORE

Molehill Mountain

hine. Whine whine whine. The puppies were whimpering downstairs. I squinted at the clock: 6:02 A.M. Ugh, I mused. Maybe they will go back to sleep. I closed my eyes. The whimpering continued. Wendy and Gretel were nearly housebroken. Ignoring their whining could cause a setback. And Joe, my husband, was away on business. I…  READ MORE

Peanuts from Cameroon

t my community garden in the Bronx, we grew many things. Sunflowers bobbed at the fence line, overlooking the cracked sidewalk and the rundown bus stop. Spindly peach trees offered up small, fuzzy fruits, many of which were stolen before they were ripe. Eggplant and tomatoes bravely forced their way through the crumbling soil. This…  READ MORE


hen I was young, in post-war Germany back in the 1950s, I promised myself that I would never have a garden. Mother was to blame. She had a huge garden. Since she also worked in the family store, she eagerly drafted as many of us seven girls as she could for garden duty. Our garden…  READ MORE

Not Bad Apples

pples have a bad reputation dating back to the Book of Genesis. And we’re never going to let them forget about it, either, since we’ve immortalized their part in the Garden-of-Eden fiasco in scientific Latin. The generic name of the apple is Malus, from the Latin for bad, as in malicious, malevolent, and that creepy…  READ MORE

My Grandmother’s Ring

y grandmother used to love gardening. She lived alone in a rather small house here in Jorvas, Finland (“the cottage,” we used to call it), but had a fairly large garden which she nurtured almost like a much-loved child. She spent hours caring for it every day. I used to visit her once a month…  READ MORE

Exploding Forsythia!

Many things are my fault. The forsythia is/are not one of them. They were here when we moved in. Actually there were more forsythia(s) then in the front of the house but we wanted to see the front of the house so I ‘dug one up.’ Broke two shovels and with sweat not only pouring…  READ MORE

Rhonda’s Garden

he tenth November in my kitchen garden found me cleaning it up just like I had the nine before. Saving the few green tomatoes that still hung from the now-blighted vines. Picking the last chilies that dangled like colored lanterns among the debris. Raking up the coin-shaped leaves of the neighboring pear tree. Once again,…  READ MORE

Dandelion Wishes

he alarm went off, woke me up—and I realized that my hand wasn’t on my baby’s chest! Then I saw that the bassinet was gone. That meant that my husband, Paul, had taken the baby to give me a break. Relief washed through me. I closed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep.…  READ MORE

A Rose Is a Rose Is…Grace Darling?

loved my mother, but I couldn’t grant her wish. She longed, she often said, to have a flower named after her. Flowers and plants named after people are, as we know, numerous. As I wander around my autumn garden putting it to bed, I see many shrubs that soon will be bare brown lumps,…  READ MORE


Long-time readers of GREENPRINTS know that I am constantly looking for good garden books. I love to share excerpts from them to give you appetizing tastes of what’s new. Well, I recently discovered Thor Hanson’s admirable The Triumph of Seeds (subtitled How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, & Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human…  READ MORE

Growing Up with GREENPRINTS, Part IV

As part of our special 25th anniversary year, each issue in 2015 will contain a piece by one of our four offspring about “Growing Up with GreenPrints.” So far, we’ve heard from the three oldest, Nate, Jesse, and Sammy. This go-round, it’s 26-year-old Tucker’s turn! I am the only…  READ MORE

Growing Closer Together

y father was a hobby grower. At least he wanted to be a hobby grower. One year he decided to make wine from the grapes he’d grown on a trestle in the backyard. The resulting creation was a bitter, pulpy drink that he named Chateau du Puck, in honor of my involvement in little league…  READ MORE


He Who Sows Courtesy

The Mountain and I

The Wonder


Celery Pride


Birds and Boysenberries

Messenger for the Bees

Broken Trowel

The Tree

The GreenPrints Letter

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