I will be at a few events this fall and I hope some of you will come out and see me. First up is the Virginia State Fair. Find me in the Horticulture Pavilion on Monday, September 26 from 10am-2pm meeting folks and answering questions about gardening and growing cotton and flax and taking that fiber all the way to clothes.

The first weekend in October is busy. I will be at Scotchtown, home of Patrick Henry, demonstrating flax-to-linen on Saturday, October 1, from 10am-4pm. The next day, Sunday, October 2, I will be at the Fall Fiber Festival at Montpelier Station, VA., also demonstrating flax-to-linen all afternoon. Look for me at the demos tent.

I have been working on a book about my fiber work for the past few years and am happy to announce that it is now with the publisher, Stackpole Books, working its way through that process. Homegrown Flax and Cotton: DIY Guide to Growing, Processing, Spinning & Weaving Fiber to Cloth is expected to be out in print on July 1, 2023. I enlisted the help of my daughter-in-law, Stephanie, to take photos. I will be wearing my homegrown clothes in all the photos you see of me in the book. In this photo I am wearing a linen dress I made from my flax in 2021. I was a bit short on fiber, but when my good friend Jan passed in August 2020, the flax she had grown came to me. It was enough to finish the project. I dyed the warp with Japanese indigo that I had grown and left the weft natural. I made the shirt from cotton that daughter Betsy had grown as part of our Cotton Project. There is a whole chapter on the Cotton Project in the book. The green and brown cotton had crossed and in the process of growing out subsets of seeds to get back to the original green and brown, we found some white. You’ll have to read all about it in the book.

The message in the book is not only to grow your own clothes, but to think of where the clothes you wear come from and how the earth and the people responsible for their production are compensated in the process. Each action we take affects everything else. We have to not only think about those people on the planet now but look to taking care of things for future generations. To that end, I thought it would be fun to have another generation of Conners in the book, so I included our twin grandsons. However, if they were in the book, they would need homegrown clothes. You will see them wearing overalls I made. Since my shirt and their overalls are new this year, I was quite busy deseeding cotton, spinning, and weaving from January through the spring. Here is a teaser photo of the boys that Stephanie, their mom, took when we were doing our photo shoot. You’ll see that photo and a complete one of me and the boys in the book.

It has been quite a journey getting this book done. Besides all the how-to of going from seed to garment, there will be plans for a tabletop flax brake and for a small swift. You can thank my wonderful husband, Walt, for making that happen. I want folks to have no barriers to getting started. This can be done in your garden. I had a lot of catching up in my garden to do this summer, since I had to let some things go. I am caught up now and it is nice to not be quite so busy, although somehow, new projects seem to pop into my mind from time to time. There is always something to do.


2022 Events

I have just posted the events in 2022 that I have committed to. You can see the list here or view it on the events page of my website at www.HomeplaceEarth.com. Except for the talk about transitioning from a home gardener to a market gardener at the Virginia Association for Biological Farming conference (VABF), all the talks are about fiber. I love to give the transition talk, by the way. I want new farmers to start out strong. I was a market gardener myself for 10 years and spent 11 years teaching sustainable agriculture in order to put more farmers out there and have seen people jump into selling their produce before they have thoroughly thought through what they need to do to be successful.

I am looking forward to talking about my work with cotton and flax/linen. As you know, the pandemic has changed the way we communicate and there is no going back completely to the way things were. Fiber guilds that have kept active have quickly adapted, allowing folks to attend meetings and classes that would have been prohibitive before. The Central Virginia Fiberarts Guild is an example of that and has attracted new members from further afield. I’ll be speaking on Zoom at their February meeting. When in-person meetings resume I’m sure there will be a virtual component to the guild’s offerings. Nevertheless, I will be doing some in-person events at other places, as you can see. Hope to see you there!

January 12  Richmond Weavers. Cindy is giving the talk The Sustainability of the Fibers We Use.  This is a regular meeting of the Richmond Weavers. Richmond VA. www.richmondweavers.org.

January 23-24  Virginia Biological Farming Conference. Cindy is giving the presentations Transitioning from a Homestead Gardener to a Market Gardener on January 23 and From Seed to Garment on January 24. The Hotel Roanoke Conference Center, Roanoke, VA.www.vabf.org.

February 6  Central Virginia Fiberarts Guild.   Cindy will give the talk Flax-to-Linen: From Seed to Garment.This is a virtual meeting of the Central Virginia Fiberarts Guild. www.cvfg.org.  

March 11-12  Carolina FiberFest.  Cindy will give the talk From Seed to Garment: grow your own cotton and flax/linen clothes on March 11.North Carolina State Fairgrounds Expo Center. www.carolinafiberfest.org. 

The Carolina Fiber Fest has gone virtual this year and I am giving a free presentation that shows how to go from seed to something to wear with cotton and flax/linen. Zoom in at 2 pm Eastern time on Friday, March 12, 2021 to watch. Find more information at Demonstrations and Talks 2021 – Carolina FiberFest.

Homegrown Linen Vest

Linen Vest 2020 - BLOG

Homegrown Linen Vest

Work with my homegrown fiber, specifically cotton and flax/linen has kept me too busy to post lately, but I wanted to share my most recent project with you–a vest from my homegrown flax (Linum usitatissimum). I grew the flax, processed it, spun it into linen yarn, scoured it, and wove it into fabric for the vest. The processing involves rippling, retting, breaking, scutching, and hackling. I have used my homegrown linen as weft in my weaving before, but this is the first article of clothing where I used it as warp. Warp has to endure abrasion from passing through the heddles on the loom and, since linen is such a hairy fiber, I knew that I would have to address that if I used it for warp. Otherwise those “hairs” would hinder the weaving. I tamed the hairiness by dipping the fiber in a sizing solution that I made from gelatin. There are many versions of sizing you can make yourself. It washes out easily after the cloth comes off the loom. Although I ply cotton before I use it as warp, I used the linen as singles (no ply).The pattern I used is the same one I developed for my cotton vest and you can find the details here. This linen fabric was woven at 12” wide, as was the cotton vest. Since linen does not shrink as much as cotton, I was able to use ⅝” seams rather than the  ¼” that I used for the cotton vest. I wanted to add a bit of color to my vest, so I dyed some of the fiber with my homegrown Japanese indigo and used it for every other warp thread. The color is subtle and you don’t see it as stripes. The other warp threads and the weft is the natural linen color.

My linen yarn measured 38-45 wpi (wraps per inch). I wove it at 24 epi (warp ends per inch), putting two warps through each space in a 12 dent reed. I wove it on a heavy Nilus 4 harness floor loom. Linen warp needs to be held at a tight tension, which may be harder to achieve with a lighter table loom. It also needs a good shed to separate those hairy fibers. The greater distance from the heddles to the back beam on a floor loom, as compared to a table loom, also helps with that separation. I used 7.5 ounces of homegrown yarn for the warp. or 1,660 yards. The weft required less, since the warp includes loom waste. That was enough for the vest fabric plus the side panels on the lining.

linen vest lining - WEB

intended lining side

I have begun to weave the lining fabric for my garments and wove this lining from my homegrown linen. Rather than spin more flax for the lining, I thought I would use up the leftovers from other projects, knowing that there would be a difference in color. Color differences may occur as a result of different harvests, retting conditions, processing times during scouring, etc. Since I would be the only one seeing the lining, it didn’t really matter. Right?

As you will see, it did matter. The leftover linen yarn that I had  was not enough for all the lining, but I had enough extra outside fabric to make up

linen buttons - BLOG

linen buttons

the difference. I used the outside fabric to make the side panels and one pocket. I didn’t have enough of either fabric for both pockets, so there is one of each. The color difference on the shoulder is from different batches of flax/linen, not dyeing. As I was nearing completion I showed it to friends who said they liked the lining at least as much as the outside, so I made it reversible. For the first time ever I made dorset style buttons. I wrapped my linen around a ½” dowel 30 times to make the core for each button. The loops for closure are made using my linen for a kumihimo braid.Cindy in Cotton Project dress - BLOG The only thing in this vest that I didn’t grow is the cotton thread that I used to sew the fabric pieces together.

Weaving with homegrown yarn is much different than weaving with commercial yarn. I had gotten quite comfortable weaving with my homegrown cotton. Although I love the all-cotton clothes I’ve made, I also love the texture of the fabric I have made with a cotton warp and linen weft. In this photo you can see my cotton warp/linen weft shirt and dress. The color in the dress is supplied by the colored cotton I grew, not dyes. I enjoy challenging myself with these projects. You may not be into producing your own clothes, but I hope you find something you are passionate about. Then jump in and enjoy the adventures that present themselves.2018 Logo

Cindy in Cotton Project dress - BLOGYou haven’t heard from me for awhile, but not to worry. I am alive and well and have been busy working on fiber projects. In 2019 I made a dress from my homegrown cotton and flax/linen that won Best in Show at the Fall Fiber Festival at Montpelier Station, Virginia. The photo shows me in that dress and the shirt made from homegrown cotton and flax/linen. I have always said that we are living in exciting times. I think I will change that to we are living in crazy times. I could never have anticipated the conditions we are living in now, and that is why I am writing.

market garden012--BLOGWith so many people at home and spring springing, it would be natural to think of starting a garden. It is a big endeavor to undertake and a lot to learn. Learning is the key here. Children are home and, since you need to be the teacher, you might as well teach them how to feed themselves. I would imagine all the subjects they need to keep sharp in will be covered while you and your children decide what you want to eat, what will grow in your area, how many seeds to order, how to lay out your garden, and the list goes on and on. I taught people how to plan a garden to feed themselves at our local community college for over a decade and know that it is a lot to process in a short time.

homeplaceearth imageBesides feeding ourselves, we also need to consider the soil and to grow cover crops to feed back to it. I produced the DVD Cover Crops and Compost Crops IN Your Garden to teach that part. As for the garden planning, I produced the DVD Develop a Sustainable Vegetable Garden garden plan dvd coverPlan. That video shows how to put together a notebook with your complete plan, thinking through all you need to do. It includes a CD with the planning sheets I developed for my college classes. I have also written the book Grow a Sustainable Diet that has information that you will be introduced to in the DVDs, plus more about planning your diet and considerations for planning your permaculture homestead.

grow a sustainable diet coverI made these videos and wrote the book so that people who couldn’t take my classes could have access to the material for their own education. Together you have the book, lectures, handouts (worksheets), and field trips. You see me in my garden and, in the garden planning video, you see seven other gardens and the gardeners who manage them. They range from a very small backyard garden to a half-acre market garden. These materials are part of the curriculum at the college, but you can use them to learn at home.

If you want to take this journey, the DVDs and book are available from my website at www.HomeplaceEarth.com. You’ll see that I’ve also written Seed Libraries. Maybe some of you experienced gardeners may find that helpful to start a seed sharing program in your community. The complete name of that book is Seed Libraries and other means of keeping the seeds in the hands of the people. Besides these basic learning materials to get you started, you will find free continuing education in past posts at this blog. 

I hope you take time in our rapidly changing world to slow down, catch your breath, and enjoy the unique opportunity that is facing you right now. Plant a garden and enjoy where it takes you.
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cindy in cotton vest - BLOG

Cindy Conner in her homegrown, handspun, handwoven, naturally-colored cotton vest

Have you ever wondered if it would be possible to make your own clothes from what you could grow in your garden? Well, I have done that and would like to teach you how to go about it. I am talking about growing cotton and flax for linen in your garden, processing it for fiber, spinning it, and weaving it into fabric to sew into clothes. Or, if you prefer, you could knit or crochet what you spin. In order to pass on what I have learned, I am giving a workshop on June 8, 2019 at my place, Sunfield Farm, near Ashland, VA. It would be just for that day from 9am-4pm.

The day will start with a garden tour. That is a big deal because I don’t normally open my garden to the public. You will see cotton and flax growing there and the flax will be nearing harvest. You will also see the other crops I have growing, including grains nearing harvest and the compost piles that are in the rotation on the garden beds. I will explain the growing conditions for cotton and flax.

flax straw and line-closeup - BLOG

flax straw and the line flax it becomes

Everyone will receive a pound of retted flax and have the chance to work with it on flax brakes, scutching boards, and hackles. You will produce the line flax that you will learn to spin in the afternoon. You will also collect the tow from your flax and learn how to make it into something useful.

There will be an hour lunch break at noon. Iced tea and water will be provided, but you will have to bring your own lunch and snacks. I am located only a few miles from the small town of Ashland. If you don’t pack a lunch you could get something to eat there. Of course, if you don’t need the whole hour for lunch, you are welcome to go back to working with the flax after you eat.

spindles for workshop - BLOG

spindles you will receive in the workshop

The afternoon will be filled with spinning and learning what to do with the spun yarn. You will receive raw cotton and a metal tahkli spindle to spin it with. Spinning on a tahkli is not something you learn quickly. It will take a lot of practice to get proficient at it. However, the lesson and practice you receive that day will get you started. You will also receive a wooden spindle to spin the flax you processed yourself. Once flax is spun, it is called linen. In the future you can use that spindle to spin tow and to ply the cotton that you spin on the tahkli.

homegrown-handspun- cotton shirt 2016

closeup of Cindy’s homegrown cotton shirt

There is much more to learn besides spinning before you can weave and sew and you will be exposed to all of that in the afternoon. I will be showing the garments I have made from my homegrown, handspun, handwoven fiber. You will also witness fiber being scoured, learn about shrinkage during scouring and weaving, see the looms I use, and learn about the equipment I have acquired and how much of it is actually necessary.

white cotton warp linen weft shirt - BLOG

Cindy’s shirt with white cotton warp and linen weft

That is the tentative schedule for the day. Of course, if it rains, the schedule of events will change, but we will get it all in. Canopies will be set up outside for the flax processing if rain is threatening. The garden tour can proceed during a drizzle, so dress appropriately. Spinning lessons will take place inside or out, but the show-and-tell for equipment will be inside the house, which will be open all day for participants to use the bathroom when the need arises.

The class is limited to 15 students. The cost is $115 for the day, including the spindles, retted flax, and raw cotton. To hold your spot, I will need a check from you for the full amount. If you prefer to pay in two payments, the cost will be $120 with $60 due as a deposit to hold your spot and the remaining $60 to be paid by May 8, 2019. Email me (Cindy) at cconner@HomeplaceEarth.com to let me know you are sending a check and I will tentatively put you on the list and give you my mailing address.

If you are coming from a distance, the charming town of Ashland, VA offers services you may need. There are a variety of hotels and restaurants near Interstate 95 and Rt. 54 at the edge of town. The historic district includes restaurants and the train station where Amtrak stops daily. If you should choose to arrive by Amtrak you could stay at the Henry Clay Inn and we could arrange to pick you up for the class. I have no connections with anyone there, but mention it because it would be convenient if arriving by train.

I am giving this workshop because of the interest that has been shown in my work growing cotton and flax/linen from seed to garment and I want more people to join in the fun. Unless you have acquired some of these skills on your own already, you won’t be able to go home and do all of this right away. However, you will be exposed to the process and learn what equipment you may or may not need. Although you may eventually move up to using a spinning wheel, you will have the spindles to get you started. I spun all the fiber for my first garment, a homegrown cotton vest, on a tahkli spindle. For a preview of what you will experience at this workshop, check out my blog posts about cotton and flax/linen.

I am looking forward to a fun-filled day and hope you will join me. Since the class is limited to 15 people, don’t procrastinate. Once it is filled (everyone’s check clears) I can only put you on a waiting list in case a spot opens up.

See you in June!

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Cassie Dickson teaching how to turn flax into linen.

From the response to the Mother Earth News article about my homegrown cotton shirt in their April/May 2018 issue, there seems to be much interest in growing your own clothes. For those whose weather is not conducive to cotton, you might want to consider flax. Cassie Dickson is teaching a Flax to Linen class at Snow Farm in Williamsburg, Massachusetts June 10-16, 2018. If a week is too long for you, she is teaching a shorter version of that workshop on June 16-17. Cassie taught the Flax to Linen workshop for Clothos Handspinners here last summer.  Find more information about these events at https://www.snowfarm.org/workshops/topics/fiber-baskets/flax-plant-linen-cloth and https://www.snowfarm.org/workshops/topics/fiber-baskets/spinning-delight-flax-linen-thread.

Whether you are growing flax for linen or cotton, and turning it into clothes,  it is an exciting adventure. You could grow both! My latest shirt is white cotton warp and linen weft. I’ll tell you about it sometime. homeplace earth logo

My homegrown, handspun, handwoven, naturally-colored, cotton shirt is in the latest issue–April/May 2018–of the Mother Earth News!

Seed to Shirt-article - Copy  Mother Earth News April/May 2018

You can access the article online here, but it is prettier to read in the print magazine.


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Christmas Heirloom wallhangingLast December I finally got around to making a wallhanging using my old jewelry. It was an idea that had been bouncing around in my head for years, but I never took the time to act on it. If you know me, you know that I wear very little jewelry, but that didn’t prevent it from accumulating over the years.  With my mother’s passing in 2014, the calling to do this became louder.

I began to think of what I would leave behind. The jumble in my jewelry box would be just that, a jumble, to whoever got the job to clean it out. That jumble, however, was full of stories. Everything had a story, just like the patches on a quilt. Not that I plan on leaving this earth any time soon, but if I passed on, the stories would go with me if I didn’t do something about it. By putting these items into a wallhanging, they would get out of the box and the stories would be told. You could make any sort of wallhanging to decorate with your jewelry. For me, decorating a Christmas tree made sense, since the family gathers here at Christmas and the stories can be told to all. In fact, our grown children may have their own tales to add.

I had bought a yard of green batik fabric for a project that never happened and one day I saw it with new eyes. It was the exact piece I needed for the Christmas tree on the wallhanging I envisioned, so maybe it was time to get started. In my mind, the background was a blue batik fabric with stars. Sure enough, that is what I found at the fabric store. Batik fabrics are made with a wax-resist dyeing method and come in many interesting designs. If your local fabric store doesn’t carry them, check with a quilt store.

cow pin and rings

We kept a milk cow for 7 years.

There is a layer of quilt batting between the blue background and a backing fabric and between the green fabric and the blue. I cut the Christmas tree ¼” wider for a seam allowance to turn under. The tree is hand-stitched to the blue background. The pins from the “ornaments” and the thread from items I sewed on quilt the tree, background, and backing fabrics together. The red used on the side borders, also a batik, helps to set off all the colors. The gold cords used to hang it with are what I wore at my high school graduation to designate I was in the National Honor Society. They have been cluttering up my jewelry box since 1969.

typing pin-osu ring-red heart

Typing 50 words/minute with minimal errors on a manual typewriter earned me the winged 50 pin in high school.

Necklaces are great for garlands. Our class rings are here, as well as the pins I received as recognition for activities over the years. Back in the day, charm bracelets were the thing to give girls so that you could give them charms on gift occasions and you didn’t have to think of anything else. I had two charm bracelets and many more charms that never made it to the bracelets. I never pierced my ears or else there would be earrings on this wallhanging. There are numerous 4-H pins from my days as a 4-Her growing up and later as a 4-H leader.

Snyder B-I love to garden pinThis wallhanging tells stories from my life, beginning at birth. There is the small beaded bracelet that was put on me in the hospital when I was born. I was Snyder B and my first born twin sister was Snyder A. Other relatives and friends are recognized in this wallhanging. One summer when we were in high school, my friend Dixie went to France and brought back an Eiffel Tower charm for me. Dixie and I still keep in touch. The pin my husband received for having donated 100 pints of blood over the years is here. What else do you do with something like that? The base is a souvenir given for participation in the Heritage Village at the Virginia State Fair. We were the family that looked like we lived in the log cabin for the first two days of the fair. It is sewn on at the corners with my homegrown handspun brown cotton yarn.

charm bracelets-D pin-blood pinThere are a few pins that belonged to my parents and a large heart-shaped ”D” pin that had belonged to my great grandmother. I never knew her name was Delia until my aunt passed that pin on to me. The angel at the top of the Christmas tree is a pin given to me by the same beloved aunt many years ago. You may not have a collection of old jewelry to do this with, but maybe you have your father’s old fishing lures or a button jar from your grandmother. I’m sure if you start looking around at what odds and ends you have been saving, you will find a use for them in a wallhanging such as this. Before I decided on the size, I laid out what I had on a large piece of paper to see if it would fit, then drew the tree for a pattern.

As you can see, I have had a full life, with more adventures to come. This blog has been quite an adventure, and one that I am happy to have had. In my last post I wrote about balance in your garden. We need to keep balance in our lives, also. Life continues to be busy here and there are other things I want to turn my attention to, so I am going to step back from the blog to keep that balance. Don’t worry, there are no broken bones or other health problems, just lots to do. Everything will still be here for anyone to find. My website at HomeplaceEarth.com will continue to be active with my books and DVDs for sale and the Events page that shows where I will be speaking.  I have had a great time sharing what I know with you through this blog. My wish is that you build on what you learn here and make even better adventures yourself.  Most importantly—have fun!
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taking a soil testOver the years, whenever anyone asked me for advice on organic gardening, my response has always been Feed the Soil and Build the Ecosystem. Often they were expecting recommendations on what amendment or pest control product to use. However, you need to look at the whole system, rather than addressing symptoms of imbalance as they pop up. Now that permaculture is becoming more widely publicized, whole system management is more well known

Feed the Soil—Now is a good time to take a soil sample. I send my soil samples to Waypoint Analytical, formerly A & L Eastern Labs. If you are not good at interpreting the results that they send you, you could contact John Beeby at www.growyoursoil.org for organic fertilizer recommendations. Check with his website for which test to request and where to have it done. You will need to sample the soil from many places in your garden, then mix everything together for your sample to send in. The soil you see in the photo looks really good, but remember that I have been working on my soil for many years.

Correcting imbalances in your soil is the first thing to do if you are not receiving the results you want in your garden. Sometimes, well meaning actions can lead to imbalances, including adding a lot of manure to your garden every year without testing first. Sometimes people lime every year because they assume it is a good thing. It is only good if your garden needs more lime. Even if you do not do a soil test each year, you should have one to use as a baseline, then do one a couple years later to see how things are going. Make cover crops a part of your soil building efforts. The organic matter they add with their roots, and with the plant matter you harvest and use as mulch or compost material, is a tremendous benefit.

Build the Ecosystem—Well-nourished soil cannot go it alone in producing good crops. Malnourished plants will attract insects that will take them out, for sure. However, even well- nourished plants need pollinators. Also, if there are any insects munching your plants, you want to have beneficial insects taking up residence in your garden to eat them. In order for the beneficials to stay, there needs to be some other insects around as food. Buying insects to add to your garden is not as effective as attracting and naturally growing your own,

Chemicals, even those approved for organic production, can harm beneficial insects, as well as the not-so-desired ones. Furthermore, you have to acquire and apply the chemicals. If you include plants that attract the good insects into your crop mix, all you have to do is to stand back and watch the show. That’s what happened when I planted mountain mint, as well as other plants in the margins of my garden. I had visitors to my garden this summer who stopped in their tracks and asked the name of the plant when they saw all the buzzing around the mountain mint. It was an insect frenzy! Tansy is also well-documented as attracting beneficial insects.

goldenrod with honeybees and butterflies

Goldenrod with honeybees and butterflies.

The best time to witness beneficial insects on your plants is between 10am and 2pm in your garden. Goldenrod grows up in the wild areas of my garden if I don’t cut it down through the season. Since I am getting interested in natural dyes, I cut some for a dyepot recently. When I went out with my clippers, there were so many insects buzzing around it that I backed off. I did take some where there was little action going on, but left the rest to the beneficials.

leatherwing on spearmint

Leatherwing on spearmint.

You can also experience all this by letting some of your regular garden plants, such as basil, flower and go to seed. Spearmint, which can take over if you are not careful, attracts many beneficials if you let it flower. I like to have celery come back each year and go to seed. On the way to making seed that I save for culinary use and replanting, the flowers attract an array of good bugs–and all I have to do is watch it happen. Besides the insects you see in these photos, you will see bumblebees, wasps, beetles, spiders, and more in your garden if you allow it to happen.

Assasssin bug babies

Assassin bug babies.

Learn to identify insects you find in your garden so you don’t freak out and destroy the good ones you see that might surprise you, such as the assassin bugs in this photo. I found this young family on my cowpea plants. Although I’ve found ladybugs on other plants, my favorite ladybug photo is one I took on a cowpea plant of a ladybug eating an aphid.

ladybug eating an aphid

Ladybug eating an aphid.

To attract many of these good insects, you need to have permanent plantings. Weedy fencerows can provide  habitat. Not tilling all your garden at once will help, as well as having permanent paths. A border with permanent plantings will provide overwintering habitat. These things will enhance the year-round beauty of your garden and will be less work for you in the long run. The book Great Garden Companions by Sally Jean Cunningham is a good reference to consult if you want help deciding what to plant to attract specific insects to help with certain pests.

Now is a great time to make your 2018 garden plan to ensure that you plant the desired cover crop, considering what your following crop will be, in each bed for next year. I locate my compost piles on my garden beds and rotate them, along with my other crops to contribute to soil fertility. The advantage of that is evident in the crops that follow. Managing your plantings to attract and maintain beneficial insects in your ecosystem will create a garden that is a joy to be in.homeplace earth logo

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