Saturday, October 19, 2019

Bernie's Campaign seeks Jericho Donations

Collect your leaves for Bernie campaign.

No, I am not running for office. However, I am campaigning for soil, insect, and other species health. Forgoing raking of leaves is good for your time budget, good for soil health, and good for birds, insects and other species.

If you are raking up your leaves, please consider donating them to Bernie.  I am experimenting with various materials towards improving soil, leaves being one of those materials. In addition, we are continuing to accept pine needles and wood chips. One of our yard goals is towards rebuilding, restoring, and supporting the organic matter that composes healthy soils.

Halloween treat for Bernie -
I love candy but this year I hope you will fill my Halloween bag with leaves. Or leave a few candies in the bags of leaves :).
You are welcome to drop off bags of leaves, or truckload sans bags, onto the driveway at 320 Browns Trace any time this fall.
Alternatively, send me an email if you wish for us to come by to pick up your bags of leaves. (Pick up service is open to those within 3 miles of our residence).

Please note: This request is only for leaves from yards without outdoor cats or dogs or lawn chemicals.

Soil is much more than dirt!

Peter of Browns Trace donated the first batch via pickup truck. Thank You Peter!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Jericho VT Scenes - October is for walking

     October is for walking as Jericho, VT resembles the iconic Vermont foliage scene reminiscent of Rockwell and Frost. Rockwell seems more alive today than frost, so far kept at bay this month except for one cold morning. Today is bright, mid sixty degrees, just enough white clouds to accentuate the blue sky, apple crisp air, and the quiet of solitude that allows you to open your senses to nature's festival. 

    Jericho's Mobb Farm trail is where I am headed. Tag along if you like, down Brown's Trace, onto Fitzsimons dirt road with a horse barn tucked into golden yellow and red leaved maples and oaks. Listen to the sound of our steps on the hard packed sediment while grazing your eyes on the recently hayed fields with circular hay bails rolled into place. A sense of place and belonging - that is what one begins to feel as we head up the hill toward Mobbs.

     The entrance trail leads straight to the heart of Mobbs, yet only offers a teasing taste of what lies ahead. The gentle curve leads the eye and mind towards the sequestered island of seclusion, where birds, butterflies, grasshoppers, softly swirling streams and brooks, gently swaying grasses, golden hues of reds, yellows, bright oranges and burnt oranges, greens of many shades, and nature sounds drift on the breeze.

Feel your steps lighten, your shoulder muscles and tendons release and relax, listen to your breath, calm and deep, taste the air, and perhaps an apple from the apple tree on the side of the trail. Bite into that golden treasure-find as you step into the treasure trove of woodlands. Taste what is real, alive, and open to you at this place, at this time, at this moment.

     Those chipmunk chirps, and bird chirps, leaves crackling under your feet; those are doorbells announcing your entry. Stop, look, listen, every so often. Hear who and what else is around you - observe whom you have come to visit. Some are more easily seen than others, so walk slow and quietly and meet your new neighbors.

  Take in the vistas for their pure beauty and to relinquish any anxiety or worries you may have carried with you. Trees are not only beautiful to gaze upon, they also are wise, forgiving, and patient. Let them speak to you, absorb their wisdom, strength, and perseverance.


     Remember too, to watch for less lofty wonders as well. Rockwell paints with all sizes of brushes. Colors change with the brush of a season.

     Seeds are the promise of renewed life. Hope is eternal. Life is a hard fought tenacious persistence.

     Which trail will you follow? Where will it lead you? How will you develop along the way?
Path spells adventure, or does yours offer a melody of contemplation, self realization, or simple peace and comfort?

What field of dreams will you carry home with you? 
October, in Jericho, VT, along Fitzsimons dirt road, lined by Rockwell and soon to be covered by Frost. 
Pleasant journey, and remember
October is for walking!

Hugs from Bernie and Jericho!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Jericho Ctr native perennial green belt planting - Green Curb


Donate and Install a GREEN CURB - Project status report

See the latest status update and new photos below introductory statements.


In lieu of a cement curb, perhaps we can create a Native Perennial curb or Green curb. And so the project began. 

With approval from the Jericho town selectboard and a nominal grant to purchase 144 black-eyed susan starter plants from Intervale Conservation Nursery, vision number one was off the blackboard and into the soil of Jericho. Donations from residents bolstered the initial plant purchase.

Welcome to the greenbelt, made of hard packed fill of mostly sand and rock between the road and sidewalk.  Digging in this substrate nearly required dynamite and a pick ax. Lacking a dynamite and pick ax town permit, my shovel and I took up the task. 

Growing native perennials on the greenbelt raises the visual barrier between auto and pedestrian and giving notice to travelers – we are community!

See the updated donation list below. Note the very generous gift from Jane Sorensen of the fabulous *****River Berry Farm in Fairfax. 

The bumble bees were jumping onto the asters before I could even get the plants in the ground! 

Today, I counted 12 bumblebees and one honey bee on the aster next to the digital speed sign, and many more pollinators along the way on other plants.
Remember to plant warm hugs, and Native Plants! Our pollinators need all the help we can give them. 

*Green Curb project Thank You Katrina Allen, Patty Carroll, Bert Lindholm, Leslie Nulty, Ann & Tom Baribault, Gaye Symington, and Gail Shipman, Trish Kargman, Bob and Gail Schermer, for donations of native perennial donations to the project. Special thanks to Jane Sorensen of River Berry Farm for a donation of well over 100 plants

 Thank You Mickey and Christy Dutcher for water from your outdoor hose line and mulch and cart repair. Thank You Sally Lacy for the use of orange safety cones. Thank You for those helping with watering including Sally Lacy, Bryant PleissSarah Brown.  Thank You Tom and Ann Baribault and Deborah and Nick Governale for wood chips used for mulching some of the green belt plantings.

DONATIONS of Native plants accepted through fall.  

Names (and native range) of some of the plantings in the Browns Trace greenbelt include: 
Bold = native to U.S.  Note the number of VT natives!

  • Black-eyed susanRudbeckia hirta L. - Central U.S. (Native to a small section of VT)
  • New England AsterSymphyotrichum novae-angliae - (VT native)
  • Primrose or SundropsOenothera fruticosa - Eastern & Central N.A. 
  • Phlox - Phlox paniculata - Eastern U.S.
  • Joe Pye weed - Eutrochium purpureum - (VT native)
  • Spiderwort or Spider lily - Tradescantia - Eastern U.S. 
  • Yarrow - Achillea millefolium - (VT native)
  • Obedient plant - Physostegia virginiana (VT native)
  • Golden Star, Green and Gold  Chrysogonum virginianum (N.E. U.S.)
  • Little Bluestem (Tall blue-green grass) Andropogon gerardii (VT native)
  • Big Leaf aster - Eurybia macrophylla (VT native)
  • NY aster - Symphyotrichum novi-belgii (VT native)
  • Heath aster - Symphyotrichum ericoides (VT native)
  • Smooth aster - Symphyotrichum laeve (VT native)
  • Tall Cinquefoil - Drymocallis arguta (VT native)
  • Turtle head - Chelone glabra (VT native)
  • Slender Mountain Mint - Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (VT native)
  • Showy Goldenrod - Solidago speciosa (VT native)
  • Spotted Joe Pye weed - Eutrochium maculatum (VT native)
  • Boneset  Eupatorium perfoliatum (VT native)
  • Blue Wild Indigo Baptisa australis (Eastern U.S)
  • Eastern Purple Coneflower - Echinacea Purpurea (S.W. U.S)
  • Showy Tick Trefoil - Desmodium canadense (VT native)
  • Anise Hyssop Agastache Foeniculum (N.E. U.S.)
  • Hosta - Hosta ventricosta - China
  • Orange day lily - Hemerocallis fulva - China or Japan
  • Lily (various hybrids)
  • Creeping Geranium, Geranium -
  • Peony, Paeonia - Asia, Europe, Western N.A. 
  • Iris, Iris 
  • Daisy

Yum, Yum. Thank You Jericho!

Tri Colored Bumblebee

England States (Report from The Univ. of Maine)
Later-season floral resources could be in short
supply in NNE, and this represents a form of habitat
loss. By early September, mowing at roadsides, on
landfills, and elsewhere typically reduces the flower
count many-fold; goldenrods and asters are among
the native plants that become less available, and may
be diminished to the point where they are unable to
provide forage for late summer bees (especially some
Andrena species, Bombus, Colletes compactus, Hylaeus,
Melissodes, and numerous Halictidae including multi-
voltine species such as Augochlorella aurata). Repeated
and intensive mowing in autumn could have particular
consequences for Bombus species, as the new gynes are
available for mating and need to increase fat reserves
for their upcoming hibernation.

  • Little Bluestem (Tall blue-green grass) Andropogon gerardii (VT native)

                                                                                                  Obedient plant - Physostegia virginiana (VT native)

DONATIONS of Native plants accepted through fall.