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Excursion from my Small Kitchen Garden

Daughter on Rock

My daugher and I attended a tweetup of garden writers, landscapers, and other enthusiasts in upstate New York. On the way, we stopped for a day of rock climbing in the Gunks. That’s my daughter about 35 feet up the cliff face on our second climb of the day.

My small kitchen garden is a busy place in mid spring, and I hate to travel during this critical time of year. However, the announcement came out recently across my online social network: come to a tweetup in upstate New York.

I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to meet in-person the people with whom I interact regularly on blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. Some I had met last autumn, and looked forward to seeing again. Others I’d not met in person, but I enjoy them so much on line that I was excited to know they’d be at this gathering.

Great Venue for a Tweetup

Our host for the tweetup was Margaret Roach who is an accomplished garden writer. You can visit her garden online at A Way to Garden blog. Margaret’s yard/garden is delightful… a terrific assortment of gorgeous plants and landscaping features that could hold my attention for hours. And, while Margaret’s emphasis seems to be on ornamental plantings, she also has a kitchen garden: a collection of raised beds in which vegetables were already coming on.

Group Photo

Had no tripod on this trip, so we enlisted my daughter to take the group photos. This is one of three she shot with my camera. She took better shots with other cameras, though this isn’t too bad.

Usually, I snap a whole bunch of candid photos of people at social events… this may be my most favorite photographic pursuit. At Margaret’s tweetup, I was not in top form. I shot many photos of people and plants, but I repeatedly caught the people with unflattering expressions on their faces.

So… my photo collection from this event is a bit heavy on foliage and flowers. I hope they provide some sense of how fine a day I had visiting.

Dual Purpose Trip

Rhubarb Flowers

Margaret Roach’s kitchen garden features a dramatic rhubarb patch that was in full-bloom during the tweetup. I encourage you not to let your rhubarb flower, but if your emphasis is ornamental rather than food, this display could add drama to your landscape

In considering this trip, I knew that between Margaret’s home and mine, I would pass quite near the Shawangunk mountains. There there is a rock climbing preserve where I used to climb 30 years ago. My daughter enjoys climbing, and she decided the bother of waiting out my tweetup was an acceptable trade for a day of rock climbing.

So, my daughter and I drove to the Gunks on Friday evening and slept there in our car. We were on the rocks by about 9AM, and we climbed until 2PM. It was very satisfying, though I tried to rearrange some rocks with the top of my head and succeeded only in irritating my scalp.

After climbing, we drove toward Margaret’s and within a mile or so of her house found a State Park that allowed camping. Social activism alert: That NY State park (and so, probably all of them) has added a surcharge for out-of-state visitors. I will not be camping in NY State parks as long as this surcharge is in place. There’s no stupider way to try to recover budget shortfalls than to charge tourists more to be in your state than you charge people who actually live there. If you want to bring more money into the state, run a marketing effort in which you offer discounts to visitors from out of state. Of course, if your parks already draw to capacity, do what you want.

Anyway… my daughter did homework and some cross stitch while I socialized and toured the gardens. My small kitchen garden is a week behind—I’d have planted potatoes, carrots, and peppers had I been home. Still… the tweetup was well worth the time away and the nearly 4-hour drive. I so look forward to the next gathering of garden writers, gardeners, and gardening enthusiasts.

Here is a slideshow of some of the photos I created during the tweetup at Margaret Roach’s garden. I hope you enjoy it:


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3 Responses to “Excursion from my Small Kitchen Garden”

  • As I see everyone’s photographs, it is so interesting observe that none are the same. I mean really not the same. I love that we all shared one experience but also had an individual one as well.

  • Your daughter should definitely get an award for being such a good trooper following us around Margaret’s garden all morning. My teenage sons would never have been so charming. This was my first tweetup with this group and I had lots of fun talking plants with everyone. I agree with Susan that’s it is amazing we all seem to have taken different photos of Margaret’s garden, even though we were all in the same space. I’m so glad I met you and found your blog, I’m growing more and more of my own food and imagine I will find your blog a welcome resource.

  • admin:

    The worst thing about the day for me was how little time there was to connect better with anyone much less with everyone. I believe I’m more of a “conference” person than a “seminar” person. Even a short visit is better than no visit, and I look forward to getting to know you better through your online presence.

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