Gardening is a good idea. The more people garden the better things will get. These are the kinds of thoughts taking root as I wrap up my 6-month basic Master Gardener Volunteer training program.  (see my post on master gardening ) I’ve been to all 12 3-hour classes, and left […]


Though I think that the expanses of turf that constitute most lawns have  all the classy appeal of Astroturf, and are an generally an environmental travesty, there are some things to be said for this stuff: Prevents erosion Slows down runoff Filters water Is better than a non-permeable surface So, […]

Board and Batten on Our Barn

When we decided to build a barn on our land, our daughter/architect quickly sketched up a shape that would maximize future solar panels and provide the most possible headspace for a loft area where we could camp.  We took her plan to Mike Yaker, a local timber framer, who crafted […]

Pondweed Paradox

Amphibians seem to be under siege these days, but in our little pond, they are thriving, so I hate to mess with success.  Nonetheless, I have watched the pond pack itself more tightly every year with some kind of pondweed. I thought it was Eurasian Milfoil, but what is growing […]

Spreading the Love

So,  I want to share my latest published article — a profile for On Wisconsin of Barry Levenson, currator of the National Mustard Museum. Mustard is one of the simple but intense joys of life. A  very sustainable condiment. On October 28, 1986, at 2:30 a.m., Barry Levenson MA’73, JD’74, […]


This spring we purchased an officially sanctioned bluebird house to support the Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin (BRAW),  and we placed it according to their directions.  As with all real estate, location is key. A pair of bluebirds are looking for 1-3 acres of predominantly open land to call home.  […]