Grow an abundant harvest with some timely garden care. Arm yourself with a few basic tools, a bit of time and regular visits to the garden throughout the growing season to keep plants healthy and more productive.

The cover photo of the spring issue of Housecalls, Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice’s biannual community newsletter, features me with Joe Aldsworth, Deputy Chief of Fire and EMS and Deputy Emergency Management Director for Barre City, with the headline “Celebrating Our Community Par…

Summer is a great time to improve your overall well-being by getting outside! Being outdoors for as little as 25 minutes a day can help decrease stress. As one of Come Alive Outside’s Mile-A-Day participants said, “Getting out and moving every day for the past month has been the best part of…

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After a few setbacks in recent years, a beloved Vermont cheesemaker is producing and selling cheese once again.

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Our great-grandmother was our nanny when my sister and I were little, watching over us as we played on the sidewalk outside our building. She was a prodigious walker, as well. Every week, she walked us over to the New York State Education Building to wander its wonderful museum — mastodon an…

Picture a robin, out in the morning and hopping around the park. It finds breakfast in the form of a worm, but out of the nearby trees swoops a bigger bird. The bigger bird acts threatening, and the robin surrenders its worm like a kid giving up their lunch money to the school bully. It’s a …

Are you interested in trying some new recipes from around the world? Have you looked at an Indian, Thai or Japanese recipe and not known where to find the ingredients? Many of the herbs, spices and vegetables, such as hot peppers, used in these culinary traditions can easily be grown in your…

Like me, you are probably getting ready to go to the local garden center and pick up some annual flowers to spruce up your landscaping. This year, consider planting some edible annuals instead.

National Cancer Survivors Day will be Sunday, June 6. National Cancer Survivors Day celebrates cancer survivors and their supporters around the world who will unite to recognize cancer survivors, raise awareness of the ongoing challenges cancer survivors face, and celebrate life.

On a quiet, cool, gray Memorial Day, with occasional showers refreshing the thirsty Earth and enlivening my view across the back porch, Kiki and I, also very quiet, pass the morning together in the office. I’ve been reading; she’s been lying in my lap. I doubt much of anything articulate is …

It was a long summer, as were all summers of my youth, when no cares, no girl problems, nothing more than a part-time job to intrude on a 12-year-old boy’s imagination. Fishing was on my mind as I discovered the challenge, the thrill of landing big largemouth bass at an impoundment about 3 m…

Irises, with their large, exotic-looking flowers waving atop tall stems, are among the showiest early summer blooms. Most of North America’s nearly 30 native iris species are found in the southeastern states and on the Pacific coast; but a few irises grow in the northern woodlands. The most …

Have you been bitten by the gardening bug but aren’t sure where to start? Picking a theme such as a salad bar garden or salsa garden can help narrow down choices and focus your planning. Or how about growing a pizza garden with all your favorite ingredients and toppings?

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I saw a friend recently who was bubbly and excited about her garden. “It’s full of color and stays that way all summer!” she exclaimed. “And it is NO work! All I have to do is water it daily, and give it a little fertilizer every few weeks.” She invited me to come see it so, of course, I went.

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When you face a flower bed and can’t immediately tell what’s a weed and what’s a flower, you have a situation my wife, Cindy Heath, calls Code Red. It happens to the best of us at times, myself included. So, what does a gardener do?

Just over 40 years ago in April 1981, the late Marvin Midgette was the Valley News editorial page editor — when I began this weekly spasm, I still fancied the only way I could compose an essay was the way I always had: on lined paper with pen and ink. So after I had each week’s column done (…

We sometimes humanize inanimate things, especially those with which we share some degree of vulnerability. My 4-score self sees head-to-toe parallels with our 200-year-old gravity feed water system at the Chittenden farmhouse as a failure at any level can render oneself or itself pretty useless.

In the 12 years or so we’ve been heading west, there’s always been a profound contrast between Montpelier and Missoula, particularly temperature-wise, with Montana often approaching triple digits while Vermont remained moderate: sunny, balmy afternoons and cool evenings. What we’d never seen…

This spring, as you walk outside, keep an ear open for two distinctive bird songs: zee-zee-zee-zee-zo-zee or zee-zee-zo-zo-zee. If you hear them, you’ve identified a black-throated green warbler (Setophaga virens), a bird often heard but rarely seen. The first song is a male attempting to co…

Community-organized sales of donated perennial plants are popular and profitable fundraisers for many garden clubs and organizations. Regrettably, they can become “super-spreader” events if care is not used to avoid spreading diseases, pests or invasive species.

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OK, all you parents and grandparents, it’s time to garden with your beloved little ones. That’s right, start them young, make it fun, and they will garden forever. The key part is fun. Never make a child pull weeds. Digging in the dirt is fun. Playing with a hose or a watering can is fun. Pi…

PAWLET — We like to think we know what we know but, sometimes, especially when it comes to the behavior of wild animals, we get educated. And yet, there are times when logic tells you, hey, you might be on to something.

I often watch out for stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) while hiking in central Vermont. As you might guess from its name, brushing against this plant causes a bee sting-like burn that can last for hours. Despite this irritation, humans have used stinging nettles for centuries as food, fiber …

Now that the warmer days of spring are here, it is not uncommon for cabin fever to be replaced with gardening fever. However, it is important to take a step back and consider what can successfully be grown in your vegetable garden.

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, clinicians at Rutland Regional Medical Center’s West Ridge Center mainly continued to work on-site, treating patients while adhering to federal and state safety guidelines. At West Ridge Center, we still have approximately 90% of our staff on-site daily, p…

People age 65 and older are the primary beneficiaries of Medicare, so it should come as no surprise they’re a prime target for medical scammers and con artists. Medicare loses $50 billion to $60 billion each year to scams and false claims, and beneficiaries pay the price in reduced benefits …

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Spring puts a spring in my step, quite literally. I bounce out of the house in the morning to see what is blooming and since early March, I have never been disappointed. You know the regular cast of characters in early spring: first snowdrops with their tiny white blossoms, then glory of the…

One summer, I took a nature drawing class, and we hiked up Vermont’s Stowe Pinnacle to sketch in the cool, mountain forest. I chose to draw a big yellow birch that had established itself on the steep slope. For a couple of hours, I stared at the base of the tree, trying to capture its intric…

With the legalization of cannabis in Vermont for those 21 and older, it is more important now than ever to safeguard our youth for their health and well-being. Youth are resilient and vulnerable, especially when it comes to the effects cannabis has on the developing brain.

Creating and sticking to personal and professional boundaries is known to decrease stress levels, increase energy levels and enhance our ability to make clear decisions. The stress that can come from having unclear boundaries can be immense. It can cause confusion in relationships and increa…

On certain afternoons, if I time it just right, I might spot a brown creeper (Certhia americana) on the trunk of a tree in my front yard. Moving stealthily, almost imperceptibly up the tree, the brown creeper hunts for food within the bark. I watch this avian mission with a sense of apprecia…

Although I could not have predicted much of what happened over the past 15 months, I marvel at what progress has been made in that time. In April of 2020, barely a month after Governor Scott issued his Stay Home, Stay Safe order, CVHHH internal COVID-19 taskforce was meeting multiple times a…

Amy Richardson has a story to tell, and she has more than 18,000 people listening. Since 2013, the dairy farmer and mother of three, who, along with her husband and his family, owns and operates Richardson Family Farm in Hartland, has been sharing images and stories of farm life on her Insta…

The soft rains of early May come and go, pass and move on, like mild surf on a quiet beach. I look up now and then from my desk, toward the edge of the roof at the foot of a valley, to gauge their intensity, rejoicing that my roof doesn’t leak and the systems of the house are, at least for n…