wanting to trust – concerns about honey

We think of honey as nutritious and pure, but it ain't necessarily so.  Most of us want to trust others, and then we get burned and keep our guards up and become cynical.   Recently my emotions oscillated back and forth and I still don't know where I come out. I produced just under 5 gallons of honey last year, which should have been sufficient to carry me through the winter and spring until my next honey harvesting sessions.  But it tasted so good and so many wanted a bottle that I ran out Read more [...]

observation and analysis

I used to think observation was the key talent.  On trips through the Kruger game reserve in South Africa my siblings and I competed to spot the lion, cheetah, leopard or unusual game first.  On a river boat trip through north Australia we competed to be the first in the launch to spot the saltwater crocs ("salties") lazing on the banks.  And for such contests a sharp eye was all that was needed. But in my interactions with nature, observing the discordant object is only the first step.  Understanding Read more [...]

something new every day

I learn new things every day.  If I was an attorney I would be studying up on the impact of new legislation and recently decided cases.  An accountant - the impact of new GAAP and the merging with international standards; a business executive - new moves by competitors as they strive for competitive advantage.  For me, my classroom is observing what's going on around me. In my post of February 23 I noted that one of twelve muscadines (grape vines) I transplanted did not survive and I provided Read more [...]

to thine own self be true

I was forking the compost into a new bed (better to use a fork than shovel to save the earth worms) and my mind as usual was galloping along revisiting past scenarios, themes and friends. And the phrase from Hamlet "to thine own self be true" hovered into view. Of all the bandied guidelines such as "a good name is better than great riches" or "love your neighbor as yourself" being true to our own self is for me the most difficult. And the difficult part is figuring out my own self. I worked Read more [...]

wood and veneers

When I buy furniture, and right now I am accumulating desks in the basement for work stations, I only buy real wood.  Most furniture is particle board (or chipboard) covered with a wood veneer or melamine based overlays.  Veneer furniture is  cheaper to make than real wood furniture and the veneer looks more impressive (at least to the untutored eye).  But it is not as resilient - it appears sturdy but when relocated it is prone to chipping and, once the veneer is chipped, you see the particles Read more [...]

responsibility to animals

I had a good time at the Georgia Organics annual conference - its 15th and my 7th.  The Friday workshops and farm visit and the Saturday educational sessions were excellent and the two keynote speakers have national repute and lived up to expectations.  At my breakfast table on Friday morning was an organic livestock farmer.  I asked him a question which was triggered by the assistance I am providing to two ailing chickens:  "What do you do when one of your animals get sick?"  His answer was Read more [...]


Winter is a good time to turn my thoughts to propagating plants.  Although I live in the south (Georgia) some days are really miserably cold, windy and rainy.  What better time to learn up on new propagation techniques. Oaks Oaks do not transplant easily.  Even young oaks seem to have interminably long tap roots.  And it is difficult to tell a small sapling young oak from a 5 or 10 year old sapling old oak since oaks are content to bide their time in the shade of larger trees until the Read more [...]


"Succession" has been in the news, more so in England than the United States, when last week (October 28) the rules for succession to the British throne were amended to ensure that the first born of any future monarch, whether male or female will inherit the crown. However, though related, this is not the succession I have in mind when I look at my yard, which previously was regularly scalped by a lawn mower, now transforming itself into an impenetrable mass of "weeds". When we selected a Read more [...]

the weak and the strong

I walk through the woods after a storm. A number of trees have fallen. They are smaller than the trees which remain standing – smaller in girth and smaller in height, though of the same type. The woods were harvested about 30 years ago so most of these trees began growing at the same time. The trees which grew faster won more sunlight which enabled them to grow even faster. The trees which fall down after strong winds couldn’t compete with the stronger trees. Even among the stronger trees Read more [...]