Michelle Smith

Gardening Tips: Dishing the Dirt

Gardening Tips: Dishing the Dirt

February 8, 2023 at 10:45 am

Editor’s Note: This column first appeared on 1 February 2017.   What to do this week: When you think about what seeds need to germinate, the main thing is soil, obviously. You want your soil to hold water, but not too much. Roots need air too, just like us. SoRead More

Gardening Tips: February Freeze

Gardening Tips: February Freeze

February 1, 2023 at 12:00 pm

Editor’s Note: My day perennials have poked their heads up already, so I reached out to the Spectator’s gardener to ask how to deal with this situation.   What to do this week The flowers are understandably confused this year. They are going to be in for a shock laterRead More

By J.M. Perkins (Firm); Henry G. Gilbert Nursery and Seed Trade Catalog Collection [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

Gardening Tips: All About Onions

January 25, 2023 at 3:35 pm

Editor’s Note: This column last appeared on 24 January 2018.   What to do this week: It’s almost time to plant onions. Yes, already. This is seed catalog season, as you may have noticed by the previous few columns, but I must admit it is not actually necessary to placeRead More

Gardening Tips: Fun with Seed Catalogs

Gardening Tips: Fun with Seed Catalogs

January 18, 2023 at 11:45 am

Editor’s Note: This column last appeared on 17 January 2018.   What to do this week: It is still winter, and we are still holed up with our seed catalogs. In case you haven’t noticed, some catalogs are better than others. Some are pretty, and inspirational for that reason. OthersRead More

Farmer spreading grasshopper bait in his field. Year unknown. (Dorothea Lange, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothea_Lange, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Bean There: Footsteps of the Farmer

December 14, 2022 at 11:47 am

Editor’s Note: We’re re-running another of Michelle Smith’s timeless farming columns, this one originally published on 24 January 2018.   There is a country proverb that the best fertilizer is the footsteps of the farmer. Anyone who follows me through an average day could be forgiven for taking this literally,Read More

Bean There: The Locavore’s Dilemma

Bean There: The Locavore’s Dilemma

December 7, 2022 at 1:45 pm

Editor’s Note: This column first appeared in September 2017.    Inspiration for this column can come from the strangest places. This time, I was deep in the heart of my favorite blackberry patch, high canes arching above my head, hands and mouth stained as purple as my bucket. A flockRead More

Beans. (Photo by Nadia Talent)

Gardening Tips: Seed Storage

November 30, 2022 at 11:30 am

Editor’s Note: The Spectator is reaching into Michelle Smith’s archives for gardening tips and this week found a column that was first published almost exactly five years ago, on 29 November 2017.   What to do this week This week is a good time to get your seeds safely storedRead More

Black mustard seed. Photo by Sanjay Acharya, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=66997861

Winter Greens

November 9, 2022 at 12:45 pm

Editor’s Note: This column last appeared on 13 November 2019.   What to do this week The garden is just about done for the year, but already I want to keep the taste of something fresh in my kitchen. Fortunately this year it is not too late to bring someRead More

Flooded farmland after Tropical Storm Lee, Campbell Hall, NY (Photo by Daniel Case [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Bean There: Weathering Climate Change

November 2, 2022 at 12:11 pm

Editor’s Note: We’re reaching into Michelle’s Smith’s archives for posts as useful now as when they were first published and this week, we’re revisiting one of her lovely long-form essays, last published in November 2020.   The cat and I huddled under the blankets in the dark as the windRead More

Bean There: Comparing Apples to Apples

Bean There: Comparing Apples to Apples

October 26, 2022 at 1:15 pm

Editor’s Note: I’ve been enjoying my favorite apples — Gravensteins — this season and they reminded me of this great Michelle Smith column about apples which first appeared on 15 February 2017.   I have something to confess. For someone in my position it is, well, more than a littleRead More