After 20 years at 62 Windsor Rd. in Westwood, the new Agora Gardens site is fully operational at 309 North St. In Walpole.  We are very pleased with the outcome, and even though it is only late June, we have already harvested an abundance of peas, lots of strawberries, radishes, lettuce, and will shortly be swamped with tomatoes (50 plants that are absolutely thriving). Continue reading...

On May 10, 2016 Agora entered the sustainable, locally grown arena in a big way.  Partnering with Ian Brown Landscaping, we have purchased and installed a super high production hydroponic growing system housed in a retrofitted shipping container.  These are the same containers you find on ships crossing the world's oceans delivering goods to hundreds of countries.  A company called Freight Farms www.freightfarms.com located on Summer St. in Boston, takes used containers and rebuilds them into these fantastic gardening systems. DSC_1089   Continue reading...

Thoughts on J.I. Rodale

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 / Leave A Comment

J.I. Rodale is widely considered to be the grandfather of modern day organic gardening. Eleanor Perenyi wrote a lot about Mr. Rodale in her book Green Thoughts, published in 1981. Here is an exert worth reading and remembering. "Soil isn't a substance to hold up plants in order that they may be fed with artificial fertilizers, and we who treated it as such were violating the cycle of nature. We must give back what we took away. Moreover, we must stop using man-made poisons to deal with pests if toxic residues weren't to build up to intolerable heights. By relying on chemicals we were contaminating the food we ate, the air we breathe, the earth and the waters under the earth." Continue reading...

Companion Planting

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 / Leave A Comment

Companion Planting for Herbs and Vegetables As gardeners, one of the most important things we can do is effectively manage our plots in order to achieve highly productive and healthy yields. Companion planting is a critical component of our management strategy. The right plants in the right location can help each other grow, can suppress weeds and can even serve as natural pesticides. Garden writer Barbara Pleasant offers this simple definition of companion planting, “Companion planting is the establishment of two or more species in close proximity so that some cultural benefit, such as pest control or increased yield, may be achieved.” Continue reading...

Corn on the Porch?

Thursday, February 27th, 2014 / Leave A Comment

For the suburban vegetable gardener, especially those of you who are into raised beds, there are a few crops that just don't work because of space limitations.  Put a few pumpkin seeds in a 4x10 box and before you know it the vines are covering a 250 square foot area and encroaching on your other boxes.  It's probably easier to just go and buy a couple pumpkins when you need them in the fall. How about corn?  Sweet corn picked an hour before dinner is so delightful that it ranks right up there with juicy red tomatoes as the number one summer treat.  Like pumpkins however, growing a decent supply of corn is difficult to do in small backyard gardens. Not anymore! Unknown-3 Continue reading...

Mid-Winter Planning

Sunday, January 19th, 2014 / Leave A Comment

It is January 19, 2014 and we are enveloped in another snowstorm. Yesterday I heard an ad on the radio about treatments for something called "seasonal affective disorder".  This is a form of depression that can strike people who live in northern climates, spend too much time indoors and don't like winter.  If you are reading this blog, you are probably a gardener and are about as far away from getting "seasonal affective disorder" as can be.  Gardeners, or as my friend Chris Reece calls them, "dirt people" thrive in the depths of winter because now is the time to prepare for the upcoming season.  Just think, the shortest day of the year was a month ago!  Every day since December 21st has been getting longer and lighter and closer to spring. Continue reading...

A Law Beyond Belief!

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 / Leave A Comment

Red Sails lettuce is something many of us have grown over the years. It is a beautiful bibb type lettuce with red tipped leaves...very tasty and attractive in any garden. A retired architect, Hermine Ricketts of MIami Shores, FL has been growing Swiss chard, cabbage, blueberries, pineapples, lettuces and flowers in her front yard for 17 years. No more says the town of Miami Shores. Evidently, there is a law on the books that prohibits the growing of vegetables in FRONT yards. Back yards are ok. Continue reading...

Raised Bed/Box Gardening

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013 / Leave A Comment

Whether you are building your first garden, adding on to an existing plot or just want a new look for your garden, raised boxes are just the thing. They are attractive, highly productive and make the whole garden experience very easy. I have about 50 raised boxes, most of which are 4 feet wide and 12 feet long. You never want them to be wider than four feet because you need to be able to reach the center of the box without stepping onto it. Remember, compacting the soil is a big “no no” which will impact drainage and is harmful to the beneficial worms that live below the surface. Other benefits of raised boxes include Continue reading...

Fried Tomatoes

Thursday, September 12th, 2013 / Leave A Comment

Mid September and our tomato plants are on their way out. While we had a very productive year and helped supply Chiara with an abundance of heirlooms (Chef LaCount loves the Prudence Purples), we are left with lots of semi ripe fruit. They may redden up a bit by just bringing them inside and allowing to rest on the counter. Or you can store a few in a ripening container or brown paper bag along with a yellow banana which will increase the ethylene gas needed to speed up the ripening process. In our house however, we are just as happy to fry them up for breakfast lunch or dinner. Red or green, fried tomatoes are a real treat with this old family recipe. Continue reading...