Message from Doug / February 23, 2021

I thought I would open this, our first newsletter, with a reiteration of what Homegrown National Park™ is all about, and why it and other conservation efforts around the world are so urgently needed today. There have been 5 great extinction events in the history of life on earth; each one came close to eliminating life altogether and after each one, it took many millions of years for life to rebound in the form of new species.

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Window Strikes and Native Plants / by Jim Cubie

The Challenge Bird-friendly backyard programs must succeed. They are the best option for increasing bird populations on a yard-by-yard scale. Bird-friendly programs will fail, however, if they do not start by protecting birds against what is killing birds in yards — unprotected windows. We must recognize that windows are part of the backyard ecosystem. If we do not, the gains in bird population from bird-friendly backyards will be negated by bird deaths hitting windows.

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Muddy Musings on Non-Gardeners / March 30, 2021

I’ve been thinking a lot about mud which eventually made me think of other things, including non-gardeners.

As we emerge from the longest, strangest, discombobulating, navel gazing winter of lockdown, spring has arrived. Warm and sunny weather is melting the snow and ice creating a slippery stew of mud and deep grooves on our dirt road destined to splatter whatever you are wearing or driving. Mud becomes a constant consideration for all we do from the least messy way to walk to our mailbox, or the less treacherous route to drive. One day, anxious to get to my second Covid vaccine appointment, I drove faster than the 20 mph speed limit on our unmanageable road, and the mud took over. As I was about to veer off the road, I had just enough time to regain control while considering the irony of a head-on collision with a tree while en route to the life-saving jab.

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Dirt Road / February 23, 2021

It’s been five years since leaving NYC and trading in my high heels for muck boots and life on a dirt road. It still feels like freshman year at the University of Dirt Road.

When I traded 40 years of NYC for full time rural country living it was because I had this urgent need to be “outside;” it was more than Central Park or weekends in the countryside could deliver. I, who had spent the happiest part of my adult life traveling for business to major cities around the world, surrounded by humans, concrete and the occasional city park, now had this inexplicable need to be closer to nature.

Based on this rather sketchy notion, my husband Tom and I upped and left NYC. How we landed in a house on a dirt road in rural New England is a story for another time. Suffice it to say that the decision to live full-time countryside had nothing to do with gardening.

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