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Claire Morenon places chopped tomatoes into jars for canning Aug. 20 at her home in Florence.

Canning, freezing, drying and other ways to stock the larder

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

“I like bringing a little summer into winter,” says Kristen Wilmer of Florence. Wilmer works for Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) and is a strong supporter of making the best of the bounty we have in the Pioneer Valley. Besides making use of local products and the harvest from our own gardens, preserving foods is a good economic strategy, and for many the process is as enjoyable as the final product. “Be adventurous. Try new things. Do your canning or food preservation projects with a partner or get the whole family together to help,” said Sarah Berquist of Hadley, who also teaches at the …

Made in the shade

Friday, September 5, 2014

Doing things properly: Western Massachusetts Master Gardener Association’s local projects and new training program

Friday, August 22, 2014

Nobody gardens alone, is something many gardeners know. Whether a novice or an expert, most gardeners need advice and support at some time. They need help identifying pests. They need information on the best variety of cucumber or aster. They need another strong back to divide a daylily or ornamental grass. Members of …

Get Growing: Beneficial insects

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Even the youngest gardener knows that lady bugs are good guys, otherwise known as beneficial insects. And most gardeners of any age are becoming more aware of the crucial role bees play as pollinators. But there are other …

Your Place: Why wood floors chip; worries over water

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A few weeks back, a reader asked for reasons why a wood floor was starting to extrude chips and slivers from between the boards. Doug Sandilands, of Shamrock Flooring in Aston, Pennsylvania, says it’s his guess that the chips and slivers coming out of the floors are from …

Get Growing, tips from local Master Gardener Cheryl B. Wilson: Weeding time

Friday, May 16, 2014

Plants are popping out of the ground these days thanks to the warm temperatures and lots of rain. It’s time to get ahead of weeds before they overwhelm perennials and all those annuals you are about to plant. …

The fab fanatic: Man turns his house into a shrine of The Beatles, pop culture

Friday, May 16, 2014

The home of Johnny Jones is quiet and plain from the outside. The only movement on this spring day comes from leaves skittering on the long and winding road that leads to the Tudor-style house. But inside, the …

Your Place: Take heater troubles straight to manufacturer

Friday, May 16, 2014

Question: A year ago, we had a plumber install a Nevian instant hot-water heater at our home. Everything worked fine for about four months. Now, sometimes when we turn on the bathtub water, it will be cold, and …

Bathroom grab bars get stylish

Friday, May 16, 2014

The renovation of the master bathroom in my 83-year-old father’s new house turned out beautifully, with a frameless glass shower and handmade ceramic tile accents. Neither of us wanted to make it look institutional with a grab bar. …

Spotlight your home’s best side: Staging helps it sell faster, experts say

Friday, May 16, 2014

Maria Sapuppo needed to sell her comfy bi-level with five bedrooms and three bathrooms last year, but her real estate agent warned it looked a little too “lived-in” as it was and suggested staging it. Sapuppo, a River Vale, N.J., mother of two, agreed since she said she …

Get Growing: Bulb foliage

Friday, May 9, 2014

Please, please, please do not cut back that dying daffodil foliage. Or the foliage of tulips, crocuses, snowdrops, iris reticulata or other spring-flowering bulbs. “But it looks awful,” you say. Tough, is my response. If you want your …

Your Place: Salty ocean air can harm air conditioners

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Jersey Shore homeowner wrote me several weeks ago about replacing an air-conditioning unit and expressed disappointment that I didn’t show up to install a new unit guaranteed to last 100 years for free. Yet the problem of salty ocean air doing in air-conditioning units before their time …

In May, let a thousand plant sales bloom: Get the scoop on plant sales in your area

Friday, May 9, 2014

May is the season for area plant sales featuring perennials, shrubs and trees dug from your neighbors’ gardens. The sales benefit schools and libraries, historical societies and beautification projects. They are organized by garden clubs, women’s clubs, library …