The Village Voice‎ > ‎2011‎ > ‎

Village Voice 09 2011: September

Announcements


Be sure to check out the Happenings page for town events, merchant's live music nights, art receptions, children's activities, and much more!

Saturdays Zionsville Farmers Market; 8 to 11am; Apple Day on Sept 3rd!

Sept 11th (Sunday) VRA Garden Club Meeting; 7pm; All are welcome to our last meeting of the year!

Sept 24th (Saturday) Annual VRA Block Party and Picnic on Main Street; 6pm; All village residents welcome! RSVP at RSVP@zvra.com

Oct 11th
(Tuesday) VRA October Meeting; 7:30pm; All welcome to meet your neighbors and learn more about our Village!

Oct 14th and 15th (Friday and Saturday) GhostWalk; 6:30 to 10pm; The VRA will be selling fall snacks both nights as a fundraiser; Order your tickets today!






Letter From The President


Hello Neighbors-

Get it on your calendar-the VRA Block Party Picnic on Main St is September 24th at 6pm! The VRA will have burgers and dogs on the grill, and some sodas and waters. Just bring a dish to share. Please RSVP to rsvp@zvra.com so we know you are coming. Bring your neighbors who aren't usually part of the VRA!

We had a great workshop on Aug 17th to start the conversation on the First Street Beautification process. Thanks to the many VRA members who were able to get to the meeting and share their time, thoughts and ideas. I also shared the many emailed suggestions with the designers. Having these community input sessions is a great way to tap into the community, and we can all thank the town for letting so many people throw in their two cents. You can get more information about the process of this project by going to the 1st St. website

http://www.reasite.com/firststreet/

As a member of the VRA and the Zionsville Architectural Review Committee, I have been invited to the working group for moving forward with the 1st Street Project. Here are my initial thoughts before this project goes forward:

Thanks to the Town and Mr. Lantz and all the Engineers and Designers for taking the time and energy to put together the workshop and all the meetings on Wednesday. This process is a worthwhile way to get the conversation started in regards to the upcoming 1st St improvement process.
After spending a couple of days going over the initial design concepts with some neighbors and in my head, a few things come to the forefront as important items for Zionsville to consider for this enhancement project.

First is that this is an improvement/beautification project--not an entire transportation project. While taking the suggestions and ideas for major transportation changes to heart for future consideration, making major changes to the street plan doesn’t seem reasonable at this point, if for no other reason than budgetary restrictions.

Second is that we should look at the simple parts of this project. While there were many great ideas that came out through the course of the workshop, we don’t need to use all of them all at once. We should focus on a few that will impact the look of First St. most.

In my opinion the first steps/those items are:
  • Dumpster consolidation on side streets
  • Pedestrian Friendly Crosswalks at Oak, Pine and Hawthorne created with paver bricks to tie in the feel from Main St
  • Sidewalk improvements on the West side of 1st, south of Oak
  • Additional green space/trees on West side of 1st , south of Oak
  • Use similar furnishings/signage on 1st Street as is on Main St for a cohesive appearance.
    • It is my belief that the current look of the scrolly green light and sign poles is inconsistent with the old village feel of the Zionsville Business District and simple tapered black poles with the lights on overhanging arms would be correct. Similar poles should be used for the signage.
  • Simplify the furnishings/signage/way finding on both Main and First St.

The merchants and business owners with fronts both Main and 1st St. are in a difficult situation. Similar towns would have the “backs” of their building be hidden in an alley, but in Zionsville’s case, their “backs” are really 2nd “fronts”, and 1st St. is an entrance to our town. It should be acknowledged that these businesses have unique challenges and we, as a town, should do as much as we can help these 2nd fronts look better. I hope they are willing to make some small concessions to help overall appearance as well. Looking for a solution to consolidate the dumpsters is the first step in making 1st St not only look better but also easier to navigate for pedestrians. In order to make that small hassle easier to swallow, perhaps there might be some other inducements that the town might be able to make to help, such as allowing for increased signage (or relaxed signage rules) on the backs of those 1st Street businesses.
Due to concerns for maintaining new potential greenspace, the best solution may be simple grass or ground cover and trees installed around new sidewalks. Elaborate plantings are nice, but not necessarily in keeping with the old village feel. They have also proven difficult to maintain in the past. If there is still a desire for more decorative plantings, those could be in planters or pots. The responsibility for maintaining this should be on the Town, and there needs to be appropriate additional funds allocated for this. It is still the responsibility of the business owner to maintain and keep clean the areas on all sides of their businesses. For example, sweeping the sidewalk is perhaps not a mandatory thing, but if the entry to your business is a mess, people may think twice before they enter. Shoveling the sidewalk in front of your business or home IS mandatory. Additionally, if a business owner would like to do improvements to the look of their buildings, there are funds available from the Town, through the Façade Grant Program (ZARC), to help offset the cost of this.

Keep it simple--this is a cleanup and beautification project. Not an entire new downtown transportation plan. Initial design option #1 makes the most sense to begin with. It is important to pare that plan down to the essentials and make this west entrance to the Village Business District nice, clean and inviting. We have a unique and valuable commodity in our Village, and we need to keep it as such. This project shouldn’t look like Carmel, Bloomington or Downtown--it should look like Zionsville.

Sincerely
Chris Bucher
VRA President


 VRA Garden Club News

 By Delma Mindel

We met August 17th at the home of Jennifer Blandford and Mark Ammon on Walnut St. Sitting on the deck, enjoying the cool breeze and refreshments, we wondered about the origins of the brick-lined hole that Jennifer discovered several weeks ago while she was digging in the garden. Was it an old cistern? Part of a septic finger system? The entrance to Middle Earth? Leaving that topic and our comfortable chairs, Jennifer took us on a garden tour, where we discussed plants and plant design and admired the garden scape design Jennifer created after the previous tenant dug up and took pretty much the entire garden with them when they moved. We’re also interested to see if Jennifer and Mark take the old concrete curb sticking out of the ground on the west side of the house and turn it into a dramatic piece of garden art.

Next month’s meeting will be Sunday, Sept. 11, at 7pm, at the home of Ellen and Jeff Butz on 4th St. Please note the change in the date!

We will enter a “secret garden”, accessed from the screened-in porch, which contains owner-made bronze fountain and other statuary along with a variety of hosta and perennials. The side yard garden contains simple yews with a variety of textures created by the dappled sunlight. Please let Ellen and Jeff know if you plan to attend.

No help is needed with the light refreshments. (Please do not RSVP to Delma)


The Ghosts Return

by Beth Bugbee

By popular demand, the GhostWalk is back and will be haunting the streets of Zionsville on October 14th and 15th. GhostWalk is a 45-minute guided walking tour of our historic village where guests stop at 8 different vignettes to experience reenacted ghost stories from Zionsville’s past. GhostWalk runs from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. each night, with tours leaving every 10 minutes from the front lawn of SullivanMunce Cultural Center , located at 225 W. Hawthorne Street. Ticket prices range from $5.00 to $10.00 per person and can be ordered at www.sullivanmunce.org or by calling 317-873-4900.

GhostWalk was the brainchild of Lynne Manning and Marianne Doyle, formerly with the Cultural Center. It has been on hiatus recently but this year it will be back with spooky stories about a barber shop, a mysterious wall, a death and other bone-chilling events. There will be delicious fall snacks available for purchase if you become weak with fright. Be sure to mark your calendar to enjoy the family-friendly fright night!


Kudos

by Kathy Scales

Big, big, BIG kudos go to Maple Street resident Amy Lacy, LeighAnn Akard, Janice VanGorder, Zionsville Meadows, Commercial Artisans, numerous other businesses and volunteers and 44 gorgeous “ladies” who have raised over $25,000 to date (with more monies arriving daily!) via the Z’Sparkle event held on Main Street for the Indiana Alzheimer’s Association. Huge turnout! Lots of laughs! Great support for a worthy cause sadly afflicting far too many we know.

Kudos to My Sugar Pie on Pine Street and Greek Pizzeria on Main Street for choosing the Village to open their businesses! For Greek Pizzeria, this is their 14th location. How lucky are we!!!!!!!!!!

Kudos to As The Crowe Flies on 1st Street who took a brick walkway between Main and 1st Streets and turned it into a delightful path of flowers, wind chimes, statuary, fountains, etc. It’s my morning treat to myself.

Who is the flower angel from Canada planting alongside buildings where there are empty, ugly patches of dirt and stone? It’s Norma from Holistic Practice on Cedar Street! She is also responsible for another enchanting garden between her building and the Zionsville Lighting Center/Antique Mall. Watch for daily tweaking. Kudos and a big thanks, Norma! We’re so glad you chose the Village for your business, too.

An appreciative kudos goes out to representatives of the Town of Zionsville, engineers, and architects responsible for the 1st Street Enhancement Project. They listened to thoughts, ideas, and concerns from the Village Residents Association and the downtown merchants thoughtfully and respectfully the entire morning of Wednesday, August 17th, and then provided renderings for us to view that evening making it a really long day for them. Thanks, guys!

Main Street resident Sarah Zack would like to give kudos of her own. Here’s her email: "Thank you to the mystery person who left John and Emily a basket full of Geode Quartz and the heart shaped rock on our doorstep. What you probably know is the kids LOVE Geodes, and immediately displayed them on the front porch. What you did not know is our cat, Hoosier, died the day before, and John thought the heart shaped rock was perfect for Hoosier’s head stone. It was just what the family needed. THANK YOU! With love and gratitude, The Zack Family

Sounds like “All is Well in the Village!”



Backyard Delights: Elderberries

by Carrie Ciula

When walking through a forest~ or any other natural place that radiates abundance~ I feel most alive. I know that I am far from alone when I write that I deeply sense the power behind and artistry within the way ‘eco~pieces’ fit so perfectly into a rich and dynamic whole. I lack an adequate description for how this harmony puts me at ease...

While enjoying the nutritionally rich ‘sparkle’ of a salad that was collected five minutes before meal time (when much of the produce at the market was grown a month ago) and curtailing grocery bills are both notable benefits of foraging~ one of the greatest treasures of collecting and eating wild foods is of a soulful and mindful nature. There is something about picking and noshing on wild plants that ‘charms in’ the most discerning of onlookers. Even folks who sport a serious disinterest in nature will toss out a dozen questions when they spot you, trail side, plucking up an ‘offensive’ weed and sticking it in your mouth. This intrigue is more than just inquisitive criticism; it is an outward expression of a deeper, more intuitive, nudging. Foraging reminds us that our food is not created in a factory or a supermarket. It is created by our Earth...and it reconnects us in a deep and sustaining way~ going far beyond the boundaries of physical nutrition. No advancement in science can make this variety of beautiful connection obsolete. While the below is about dining directly from Earth’s garden, if you have skills at reading between the lines, you’ll recognize a very sincere plea for less consumption and more self-reliance. I encourage all of us to do all that we can do to nourish ourselves, our children & the planet that nourishes us all......
......dig up, dig in, ‘re~wild’ yourself.....and enjoy!!!


Elderberries

Clusters of small white flowers dropping from the elder tree give signal to the nearby arrival of small, round, juicy, deep-purple elderberries. Hanging in clumps from the busy branches of the 5-12 foot elder tree (or shrub)- they're not difficult to spot. The most well known species is the American elder. This medium to large shrub is a member of the honeysuckle family- and has smooth, gray bark and opposite, compound leaves. The leaves are divided into several sharply serrated, 2-5 inch elliptical (widest in the middle- and tapering evenly to both ends) leaflets. The fragrant, lacy blooms of the American elder open in late June and July and contain hundreds of five-petaled, white flowers that span out about 6 inches.
Like most wild plants, the berries of the elder bush are packed with highly bioavailable nutrients. They provide large amounts of potassium and beta-carotene as well as calcium, phosphorous and vitamin C.

The fun scoop: The most powerful wand (the ‘Elder Wand’) in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is concocted of wood from Sambucus canadensis or the American elder. Because I am a fan of all things magical, especially in relation to the hidden (and not so hidden) mystical properties of the sacred plants around us- I’m further pushed to share that in European folklore, fairies and elves would appear if you sat underneath an elder bush during midsummer nights. Interesting, as the strong scent of large masses of elder leaves are thought by some to have a mild narcotic effect. It is written that the lovely elder possessed potent magic~ with the capability of driving away evil-doers. Pocketing the twigs was considered a charm against certain illnesses. All passed down tales aside, my guess is that much of the elder’s charm hails from its ability to heal. The flowers and fruit are wonderfully medicinal. Hippocrates had already made note of this in 400 B.C……..

Elderberries have diuretic and detoxifying properties~ and elder flower water is infamous for its skin softening and restorative actions. Bioflavonoids support circulation and capillaries. An infusion or tincture is commonly used to help alleviate ‘colds’ and ‘flu’ as it is astringent, expectorant and induces perspiration- making it helpful for bringing down a fever. The flowers can be steeped in oil to make a soothing ointment for sore muscles, burns and rashes.
The berries and the flowers of the elder bush are edible. The leaves, roots and bark (though medicinally mentioned in several older herbal books) contain a bitter alkaloid and glycoside that may change into cyanide~ and are not edible!

Harvesting elderberries is fairly easy- a carrier bag or bucket and a good pair of scissors (or simply your hands to pinch off clusters) will reward you with a bag full of berries in very little time. Each berry can, then, be removed from their stems~ however, if you do not want to take the time for this semi-tedious task or to deal with berry stained hands~ the following method will be a treasure;). -> Simply place the entire clusters in the freezer- giving space to each on a plate or tray of some sort. After the berries have frozen solid, they are very easily removed by rubbing the clusters of berries between your hands. Make sure to do this over a large bowl as the berries snap off from the stems easily and can become a bit of a nightmare to cleanup if not careful. You can place the frozen berries back into the freezer for later use or use them frozen or thawed in recipes.

I have read that elderberries (like the above mentioned leaves, roots and bark) also contain a certain amount of cyanide. While eating a few of them raw doesn’t necessarily create a problem (noshing on a couple is so much fun while collecting)- eating too many can make for a not-so-pleasant experience. Cooking the berries apparently takes the cyanide out, making them safe for consumption. I’ve experienced my fair share of feeling ill after ‘testing’ out non-staple food items…and, as a result, have not been brave enough to test the limits of raw berry consumption;). With foraging, I like to lean towards safety and familiarity, at any rate, and would suggest cooking the berries if you’re planning to eat many of them.

Elderberry syrup is a staple in many of my herbalist friends’ cabinets—after perusing through several past shared recipes, however, I have opted not to dabble in syrup making almost solely based on the amount of sugar that it takes to preserve the concoction. It’s true- I have a ‘thang’ against concentrated sugar, and am dedicated to avoiding sizeable amounts of it. That written, I’m not as enthusiastic about side stepping the antioxidant bliss of elderberries altogether- so, after much ‘strategery’ (thank you, G. W. Bush;)), I decided to try freezing the cooked elderberry juice~ a method that I’ve successfully used for preserving other juices and herbs...it worked out quite well………

Elderberry Juice Cubes
  • Pick berries off stems as best you can (you can use a fork to separate berries from stems, or use the freezer method described above.)
  • Rinse berries in a bowl of cold water until clear and clean~ drain water.
  • Using a size appropriate pot, heat on medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes~ stirring frequently (berries will turn from a black-purpl’ish color to red-purpl’ish once they're all cooked.)
  • Remove from burner, let them cool off a bit~ then mash them up using a potato masher or the bottom end of a glass jar. Try to release as much juice from the berries as possible.
  • Spoon (or pour) mixture into a strainer positioned over a bowl, and press with a spoon to push the juice through.
  • Pour syrup into ice cube trays and freeze. When you need an immune system boost, just pop a couple out and blend with leafy greens, fruit, spring water, lemon juice (whatever sounds good) for a rejuvenating treat!


*blending nutrient dense leafy greens with antioxidant and water rich fruits into a ‘green smoothie’ is an easy and incredible way to boost your health and vitality...

‘Elder~Green’ Smoothie

2 bunches of any variety of lettuce
1 bunch cilantro
1 cup strawberries
1 cup raspberries
4-6 elderberry juice cubes (from above)

Add just enough water to blend until smooth & Enjoy!


Chocolate Elderberry Ice Cream
3 cups coconut milk
2 cups cooked and strained elderberries
1 avocado
4 tablespoons cacao powder (or carob powder)
vanilla stevia, to taste (usually 2-3 dropperfuls)
a pinch of sea salt

Blend all ingredients (except elderberries) until smooth. Pour into a chilled ice cream bowl and run according to manufacturer’s instructions. Mid-way through, or after the mixture begins to freeze~ add in the elderberries. Finishing freezing and enjoy!


(The one rule, sans exception, of foraging; KNOW YOUR PLANT. While the benefits of eating wild plants are significant and very worthy~ there is no room for error. You can, and should, take all of the time that you need to get to securely know a plant before consuming it...in a way that you can comfortably and positively identify it 100% of the time.)

Carrie Ciula is a writer, educator and mind/body therapist, focusing on health and sustainability through indigenous nutrition and vibrational medicine.
(Learn more at www.carrieciula.com)




Village People- Meet Your Business Neighbor: A Space to Create

by Sarah Zack

A Space to Create is quite possibly Zionsville’s best place for your creative outlet. This wonderfully decorated space is customized for ages 1 to 101. Jenny Tucker, aka “Ms. Jenny,” founder of A Space to Create, is a Zionsville resident and has an incredible knowledge of children, art history, and Art itself.

Ms. Jenny has been the Art Teacher at Interactive Academy, as well as teaching art classes out of her home, for the past five years. Her teaching methods are impressive, connecting famous artists to art work. She starts the majority of her lessons with background information on a famous artist (her library and knowledge of Art History is extensive). After learning about an artist and his/her style of art, students are encouraged to use their own creativity to produce a one-of-a-kind work of art.

For the fall session, Ms. Jenny is offering a Mom and Tot Class (ages 18 months-2yrs.), Mom’s Hour Out (preschool ages 3-5yrs), and Kindergarten Art Enrichment (conveniently offered to work around the ZCS AM/PM schedule). After school Punch Card Art Classes (ages 4 and up) are available to meet the needs of school-aged children and can be used as their schedules allow. Additionally, A Space to Create offers Evening Workshops for teens/adults and Birthday Parties. Both are customized for the host(ess) and include an art tutorial, art supplies, and food/drink (optional)- creating a private event that is ideal for fun and enjoyment.

As a mom and art teacher, I was impressed by the level of knowledge, flexibility and comfort A Space to Create offers. I encourage you to visit this new and exciting Zionsville business.





65 Cedar Street, Suite 3, Zionsville, IN 46077 -- (317) 658-6913
www.aspacetocreateart.com -- jenny@aspacetocreateart.com







EPA Regulations Add to Paint Jobs

by Heather Lusk

The day the exterior painters finally arrived at our home, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. What I had assumed would be simple to do - after all, I was going to pay someone to repaint our house - had become a year-long series of setbacks and roadblocks.

As of April, 2010, the EPA put in place regulations for homes constructed prior to 1978 which generally means they most likely have some traces of lead paint. (Lead-based paint was banned in 1978). Before a professional can even consider painting one of these homes he or she must undergo a full day of training to be certified. Either the painter assumes the home’s paint contains lead or the home can be tested (for an additional fee) to verify whether or not lead paint exists. If it does, the painter then must follow EPA specifications to contain, clean and properly dispose of lead dust and paint.
Not following these specifications can result in hefty fines, as high as $37,500 per violation. After attending the day long course, the painter may eventually decide the restrictions are not worth the effort. Several painters who didn’t want to tackle our house stated that they had been following most of these rules for years, but were terrified that the slightest misstep might result in a fine.

There’s an obvious benefit to these regulations, protecting both homeowner and painters. The dust from lead paint is well documented for causing issues as mild as inattentiveness and irritability, up to those as extreme as learning disabilities and brain damage. While young children are most vulnerable, adults are not immune and are at additional risk for hypertension and mood disorders.

The protection though comes at a price. The EPA estimates a cost increase of $8 to $167 for an interior job, although contractors seem to feel the cost will be higher than that. Not only will they need to invest in training plus new materials like Hazmat suits, disposable tarps and bags, HEPA filters and face masks, many also seem to be hedging against the risk of fines and unchartered legal territory. According to the owner of a Indianapolis paint shop, his small business clients are nervous about the future repercussions should pets or family members fall victim to lead poisoning years after painting is complete. He believes many of them will wait and see what happens to larger businesses over the next few years before tackling the untapped issues themselves.

For my own little job, I was directed to the Lead Prevention section of the Indiana Government’s website (http://www.in.gov/isdh/19153.htm) which has a link to find contractors who have taken the EPA’s course for lead paint abatement. Then I hit another unexpected roadblock. Of those contractors willing to deal with our old house, two had such full schedules they couldn’t pencil in our job for nearly a year. Even the contractor I chose was booked for the next four months. Five months later they arrived.

After all of the headaches and time it had taken to reach this point, I half expected our home to be wrapped in a bubble like the house at the end of ET: The Extraterrestrial. Maybe we would each be given our own personal Hazmat suits (do they come in 2T?) and gas masks to wear at night. Turns out the process wasn’t that different than what I would have expected before these rules. The containment was purely vertical, catching any pieces of lead and dust on disposable tarps placed several feet from the house foundation outward. While I think the basic processes were followed however, I wonder if they were as thorough as the EPA would have liked. It’s difficult to know how seriously many contractors and their employees are taking these changes.

In the end it seems the fear of these extraordinary fines is higher than the reality that anything will actually happen. According to Jim Nash of the EPA, the only way compliance is being checked in Indiana is if a complaint is actually filed. This can either come from a homeowner reporting an issue or more often a competitor who didn’t receive the bid. And while the fine is steep, companies currently under investigation are usually settling their complaint by donating time to not-for-profit paint jobs. I’m just glad our house is finally painted.



Monthly Recipe: Squetti

by Caron Peper

About this time of the year, Indiana gardeners are beginning to tire of summer squashes. I, for one, do not tire of the glut of squash offered to me because of a recipe I have been experimenting with over the past few months. While the texture is different, the taste is very similar to spaghetti (as squash has little taste to add to the dish).

While my daughter still prefers using Spaghetti Squash prepared for the noodles because of the texture (So Good!), I never have leftovers when I make Squetti for dinner. Unless preparing for a very light lunch or snack, I would advise using a heary pasta topping or large salad to the side. Meals centered on whole foods rarely pack the caloric punch that "traditional" or processed foods offer. My family is very active and find the use of a very meaty marinara sauce necessary to satiate our daily caloric needs.

Squetti
1-2 squash per person (long varieties are best- zucchini, yellow straightneck, yellow crookneck)
1-2 garlic cloves minced
oil
pasta toppings of choice (optional)

You may peel squash and take out seeds if desired. I generally do a quick peel but don't worry if some peel is left. Slice into "spaghetti" strips, slicing thicker and wider than standard wheat pasta. Lay the strips out to dry for 3 hours. After drying, warm oil and garlic on medium heat in a pan. Add noodles in small batches and saute 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and serve with or without a topping.



Village Voice Arts

by Sarah Zack

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Gardener's Diary

by Delma Mindel

Summer is starting its gradual decline as it usually does this time of year, the sun moving incrementally from nearly overhead to a more westerly position, and I am feeling sad. I relish the view of the garden from my kitchen window, and from the screened-in porch, and sitting next to the pond watching the goldfish perform their water ballet. Or my cat Molly, reclining gracefully on the stepping stones by the bird bath, watching for any bird insane enough to attempt to bathe with her close by. Sometimes I rig up the sprinkler so it sprays up into the spruce tree, so, safe from Molly’s cruel claws, birds can shower among the branches as the water cascades through the evergreen needles. I try to remind myself, instead of anticipating and imagining the disappearance of all that is green and growing, the bright colors, the sound of the pond’s waterfall, to just stay present to now. Deeply relish and notice, with alert awareness, all that is blooming and vibrant now, letting go of anticipating the gray, cold winter ahead. It’s summer. Everything is blooming and green. Enjoy it now. Don’t start thinking about the 150 year old oak tree on the west side of the house and its gracious gift of millions of leaves and acorns in October. The squirrels will be delighted.

The word on the street, er, grapevine is that many tasks await the September gardener. Sow seeds for lettuce, spinach and other cool-season greens. Divide daylilies, irises, peonies and phlox. In late September, all the way up to November as long as the ground isn’t frozen, brrrr, plant spring-blooming bulbs. Remember it takes about four weeks for bulbs to develop a good root system before the freeze. Fall is considered the best time to plant trees and shrubs, so think about the best spot for your new addition, or transplant. If you rather wait until spring to plant, dig the hole you need for that tree or shrub this fall and all winter long, deposit vegetable scraps (no meat or dairy)from your kitchen, topping off each time with a two-inch sprinkling of dirt, creating a nutrient-rich mulch for your spring planting. Consider saving your leaves, which carry 50-80% of the nutrients trees have extracted from the air and soil over the summer: carbon, potassium, and phosphorus. Mow over them, or do what my husband Mike does. He uses a leaf blower/shredder and dumps them on our flower and vegetable beds every fall.

Happy fall gardening…see you at the VRA street party in September!


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