Organic Gardening in Cambridge, MA

"Reading Rodelle's Organic Gardening I learned slowly how important compost is for all growing things. Saving the environment and keeping it mostly wild introduces all the critters: birds, frogs, toads, snakes, possums, raccoons, they all need to co-exist.

So the garden is not just a place for food as much as a little eco-sanctuary for me, my children and these accidental creatures who need home.

Right from the beginning, the garden became my teacher, my guide in living harmoniously with all living things even in a city, just several minutes walk from the subway station.

Eventually I made several quarts of my own pesto, cultivated my own sourdough, made no knead bread. I bought local honey by the tin from a Watertown aviary, I bought tahini in bulk.

I've learned that many so-called weeds are actually Native American healing herbs. I have used knotweed harvested when young like bamboo, and the leaves when you harvest early in the season can be used like grape leaves.

Now I grow much less than I used to, I navigate toward those vegetables that need less care, not prone to insect attack, including kale, chard, raddicio, lettuces, Chinese red bitter vegetables that volunteers itself for the past ten years, tomatoes, a big variety of herbs, mint, lemon balm, oregano, sage, basil, blackberries, blueberries, plums, apples, pears, goji berries and a Chinese medicinal vine called a magnolia vine. I learned the red berries wuwei is a supersour berry used in 50 percent of all Chinese medicine.

I'm comforted by the fact that if you create a sanctuary you are feeding many other creatures besides yourself; I welcome birds, blue possums, skunks, raccoons, snakes, toads, butterflies and critters come and feast on my flowers, berries, pears, greens and more."