Every so often a wave of nostalgia brings me home to Wisconsin. Scents on a passing breeze, the morning bird songs, a hand-written note. Whatever the trigger, it momentarily sweeps me off my feet — a feeling more sweet than bitter.

As the southern coast of North Carolina settles in with the heat, but not yet the stifling humidity, timing is right for taking off your shoes and walking barefoot through the soft grass and warm garden soil. Or it would be if ours weren’t straight from the pages of Where the Wild Things Are. These are not green pastures you’d like to lie down in. Trust me.

Add to the list of things I miss about home: lawns and gardens devoid of fire ants, snakes, fire ants, spiky quackgrass and other prickly invaders, broken shells from ancient oceans, fire ants.

Garden-late May_HGN

And yet, through pain comes beauty. In some instances, at least. The 2015 raised bed changes daily, providing new delights each morning. Collards, dill, mint, chives, and a few lingering strawberries continue to thrive, with pea and okra pods beginning to form, and the squash, cucumber and melon plants blossoming. This may even be the year that broccoli and cauliflower decide to grow for me!

On the agenda this weekend (with shoes on) is transplanting my pepper and eggplant seedlings from their yogurt containers into the bed, snatching the blueberries from our bush before the mockingbirds gorge, and working in homemade compost (including coffee grounds, egg shells and other food scrap goodness).

What about you? Is it a weekend for getting your hands dirty, or are there still graduation parties to attend? Take time to remember what’s special about your childhood home, plus the things to be thankful for where you are now. And don’t miss the links below!

Cheers, Heather

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Interesting, fun, delicious reads:

  • Since its inception 75 years ago, June Dairy Month recognizes dairy foods and the farmers who produce them. Both products of the great Dairy State, we have lots of love for dairy. Consider showing your own love by supporting the Great American Milk Drive — a program that both raises awareness of the growing food insecurity issue in our nation, and improves hungry families’ access to protein-, calcium-, potassium-, and vitamin D-rich milk.
  • Live and learn on organic farms around the world. Neat concept!
  • A light-hearted Field Guide to New Englanders from Yankee Magazine (a guilty pleasure magazine of mine). New England friends — who can you relate to?
  • NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts offer a nice reprieve from whatever you’re doing, and are available to stream at any hour. The most recent with Jason Vieaux and Yolanda Kondonassis is delightfully calming.
  • This week’s pinned words of wisdom.

Recently on HGN:

  • Weekly Suppers: 18 – 22 May
  • One last hurrah for Mediterranean Diet Month with a recipe for salty-tangy Preserved Lemons.
  • For those of you who like receiving posts in your inbox, simply enter your email address over there in the sidebar, or check the box to subscribe when you leave a comment below! No spam–promise.

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From the Author Grow Well


  1. Deb Hansen says:

    Before I moved to Wisconsin from extreme southern California, we had to deal with trap door spiders, scorpions and tarantulas. Definitely glad to be gone from there! I’ll take the mosquitos over arachnids any time. And you are correct about nature- there’s nothing more therapeutic than taking a long walk and smelling fresh cut grass or lilacs!

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