Welcome to Bepa's Garden!
This blog is about organic gardening, healthy eating and healthy living.
Each month I will be posting Garden To-Do Lists, Tips & Techniques, Garden Project Plans, Photos from the Garden, Recipes and Book Reviews.
I hope you enjoy reading and I hope I can inspire others to start a backyard garden!
Happy Gardening!


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Day trip - Putney, VT

Saturday morning we decided to take a day trip to Putney, Vermont to go apple picking at Green Mountain Orchards. The weather was spectacular with typical fall Vermont clear blue skies and cool, crisp air!

Once in Putney, we stopped at the Putney Co-op for breakfast. Fresh local egg, cheese and soy sausage on home-made bagels - YUM!!

While eating breakfast we noticed the Community Garden sign across the parking lot and ventured over to have a look.

It is a very impressive community garden and gave us some really good ideas and inspirations for our school garden project!

 There were many plots laid out with wood chips between each bed for walkways.

There were all sorts of delicious vegetables growing like kale, chard, lettuce, greens, basil, peas, butternut squash, pumpkins and raspberries!

The fennel bulbs were huge and looked amazing!

After looking at the kale we were craving our daily kale smoothies!

The community garden had their own compost areas,

and a greenhouse!

Putney seems like a great community where people come together to garden. The Co-op sells produce and goods from local farmers and merchants, and they have several programs to help feed the hungry.

It was truly an inspiring start to what turned out to be another fantastic day in Vermont!


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Morning Photos

This morning my family and I went for an early morning walk to enjoy the brisk, fall-like weather, and to gather beach stones for a wedding wish jar.

Here are a few photos from our trip.

First we stopped at Waterford Beach ...

Then we stopped at Harkness Memorial State Park ...

Arial view of mansion and gardens
The heliotrope gardens

Notice he is holding ducks
Strange seed pods from the ivy growing on the arbor


It was a very relaxing way to spend the morning and enjoy the cooler weather. 
The beach stones that we gathered are for my brother-in-laws wedding which will be held next Saturday in the mansion at Harkness. It's a beautiful setting with the gardens and restored mansion overlooking the ocean, and it should be a beautiful wedding.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Reclaimed Lumber Mission Style Coffee Table

Well it is certainly starting to feel like fall around here, and like the changing of the season I find myself spending more time in my workshop than out in the garden. This usually happens each year after the summer gardens have been cleaned and the winter gardens have been planted.

I had acquired some white oak that had been in an area where it was exposed to fumes from animal urine, like a horse stable, and the wood looked very weathered. Ironically, Mission style furniture was usually put into a tent and "fumed" with ammonia for 48 hours to darken the wood to create a dark brown  hue. The ammonia reacts with the tannin in the oak and produces a mellow darkness that normally comes with natural aging of wood. Gustav Stickley used to use this technique to finish his furniture.

 I didn't want to waste the oak, so I decided to use it to make a mission style coffee table. I like to use mostly with hand tools when I build furniture. I don't like the noise of power tools or the dust created by them. I like it quiet when I work so I can concentrate on what I am doing and put myself into each piece I build.

After the wood was cleaned, I cut it into workable boards and then cut out all the parts. The legs, apron and ends were all held together with mortise and tenon joints, and the boards for the top were glued up with a breadboard edge.

The table turned out great and the finish looked better than I had hoped for. I wasn't sure if the discoloration would show through the finish, but the wood had a warm, deep chocolate hue! It doesn't really show it's true color in the photos.

The table is a nice addition to our living room and compliments the mantle and bookcases.
Now I think I need to build a couple matching end tables!

This was another easy to build project and, like the farmhouse table, I have included the plans on my project plans page for anyone interested in building one.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Farmhouse Table Plans

As promised, I have posted the plans for the Farmhouse Table 
on my Project Plans page.

If anyone is interested in building one, please feel free to download the plans!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Time to start thinking about the winter garden

The summer growing season is beginning to wrap up here and I am starting to prep the gardens for winter growing. I love gardening, but each fall I look forward to clearing the beds, putting some to rest for the season and setting up others to grow greens throughout the winter.

The zinnias are starting to look a little weathered, but I am waiting for the heads to dry so I can save the seeds for next year.

 Sunflowers on the side porch are still blooming like crazy and the finches are enjoying them in the late afternoon. Hopefully they will leave some seeds for me!

I let a bunch of lettuce go to seed so I can save the seeds for next years garden. I harvested that last night and cleared out the bed. The tomatillos are loaded and I am still waiting for them to drop off the plant.

The Thai basil and sweet basil are still growing strong. Soon the seed pods will start to turn brown and I can harvest the seeds. The basil leaves will go into the dehydrator to be preserved for winters use.

It has been extremely difficult this year to manage both our home garden and the school garden, so I have decided to plant only greens, lettuce, flowers and herbs (both culinary & medicinal) in our home garden, with just a couple tomatoes, peppers and eggplant in containers on the deck. Hopefully by not planting as much at home it will make it easier to manage both gardens.

  I will also  be planting a large raspberry and blueberry patch where the back gardens are now and adding another greenhouse so I have enough space to grow seedlings to sell.

Soon it will be cold and snowy, so now is the perfect time to build a cold-frame or two to protect your plants through the winter.

My plans are still available for anyone interested in building one for themselves. They are inexpensive to build and work really well for growing through the winter and starting plants early in the spring.