Author: Beth Benjamin

Fire, Lake, Facebook

I’m afraid to lift the lid of my computer. Closed, it keeps its news to itself. Opened, hand-sized vine maple leaves might float down with charred edges, no wind, just twirling slowly out of a smoky sky onto my desk, four hundred miles away, a different fire now threatening forests closer to here. After a… Read more »

Flower Gardening Tips

There is still time to plant sweet peas and hardy spring blooming annuals like poppies, cornflowers, larkspur, agrostemma, godetia and California wildflower varieties that like to make growth before the weather gets too hot. Planting them in the fall means they’ll be up already with good sturdy roots, and just starting to show new fresh… Read more »

Early Spring Gardening Tips

Nights are really cold, rainy and wintery weather is definitely still with us, but you can tell the days are getting longer. Plum and flowering quince are blooming or budding up, and the earliest spring weeds are starting to grow. Around Valentine’s Day, you might start sneaking in a few hardy spring vegetables. If you… Read more »

Water Becoming

Water is only change Still depth in a mountain pool, now a tumble of light and movement slipping over the granite edge crashing downward, blown sideways, making its own weather Water becoming music A spring seeps from a canyon wall lilts and trickles, giggling down a hillside Finding stillness again Water becoming lupine begun as… Read more »

Vegetable Solace

I am a home gardener in exile, far from my native soil,. I farm in one huge planter long enough to inter both parents end to end, if that were the custom here; wide enough for six rows – little emissaries from the vegetable world – hopeful double winged brassica cotelydons – pak choi and… Read more »

The Lines We Draw

Even after all our careful preparation, planning the perfect home birth: reading, breathing, praying, the baby must come caesarean. We spend hours with the garden fork, crumbling the chocolate soil, tucking the treasured seeds in. Still, spring frost nips the bean shoots. An earthquake changes the meaning of ground beneath my feet. A rock beneath… Read more »