Purcell Log Cabin

I have moved. I apologize for the sporadic columns this summer, but I believe I’ll get back into the swing of things soon. There is certainly a lot to write about. First of all, I haven’t moved very far, just a few miles downstream. We spent the last year fixing up the old Purcell house on…

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Seasonal Eating

Seasonal eating has existed for the bulk of human existence, but is new for most of us, as we are used to being able to get any type of produce year-round in the big grocery chains. Our farm offers a different approach, the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Through CSAs small organic farms thrive, and city folks…


Gardens in December

Beautiful and extremely productive gardens have graced that land around my cabin for the past 16 years. They have been well documented on the Volunteer Gardener program, so many people who hadn’t been able to visit still got to enjoy them. These gardens, open to the public, are where my students learn, and where old…

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Biodynamic Farming

Biodynamics is an organic farming method, born in 1924, which suggests that the use of artificial fertilizers will have a detrimental effect on our soils and eventually our human spiritual development. It appeals to me because it values old-time farming practices, such as using compost, cover crops and manure. By giving back to the earth…


Fall Crops

By mid-August I have changed my box of seeds. The last of the summer crops are planted, and it’s time for the fall ones. Although a  few rows and beds of cabbage and lettuce are in to make transplants, I patiently wait until August 15 before I go crazy.



We talk about the weather often. A recurring spring question for gardeners is, “Has the weather settled?” We want to plant frost tender crops, but we do not know when the last frost will occur. As of May 1st, it is not likely going to frost, but there is still a possibility. About 20 years…


Beautiful Spring Things

Spring brings beautiful things, flowers and bees and a bird that sings. Gardeners are busier than bees, blooming in their exuberance and humming right along with mother nature’s display. We’ve added necessary minerals, gently tilled the soil, and livened things up with plenty of compost and biodynamic preparations. Let’s go!

Haslam: Speed up chicken farm permits

Dec. 6, 2011 http://www.tennessean.com/article/20111206/NEWS21/312060047/Haslam-Speed-up-chicken-farm-permits?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s   FRANKLIN — Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday that his administration is trying to speed up the time it takes for poultry farms to get environmental permits. The Republican governor said after a speech to the Farm Bureau that his goal is for the state to strike the “right balance between…

Nashville blogger stirs up a massive cookie bake-off

1:06 PM, Dec. 6, 2011 http://www.tennessean.com/article/20111207/LIFE02/312070082/Nashville-blogger-stirs-up-massive-cookie-bake-off   Purchase Image Lindsay Landis laughs as her mixer splashes her blouse while she makes cookies. More than 620 bloggers are sharing cookies, and their recipes, later this month. / GEORGE WALKER IV/THE TENNESSEAN On Oct. 24, local food blogger Lindsay Landis dropped an idea into cyberspace like a…