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Showing posts from December, 2021

FIELD NOTES: Merry Christmas! You're Fired.

Last week, the CEO of online mortgage company made headlines, and not in a good way, by firing 900 employees on a Zoom call. My initial thought was, if that’s, I’d hate to work for, but then I reflected upon the whole idea of hiring and firing during the holidays and realized my hands aren’t entirely spotless, either.   Growing up in a distinctly blue-collar household, there was always a sense my family’s fortunes were tied to the whims of management at U.S. Gypsum, where my father had worked since returning from France at the end of WWII. The local plant made paint and wallboard for residential construction, the demand for which varied considerably with the ups and downs of the housing market. Although it was an era when temporary layoffs were often used to right-size the workforce during slow times, my father had enough seniority built up that job actions rarely impacted him directly. Still, the idea that on any day, management could send a group of em

FIELD NOTES: Starting a deep compost garden

I read an article over the weekend that suggested the fixins for a typical Thanksgiving dinner cost 15 percent more this year than last. For most of us, that meant an additional $15 to $20 out of our packets. While that extra Jackson, in and of itself, may not be a tremendous burden on most families, those same higher food costs, when extrapolated over a year of grocery buying, represent hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Coincidentally, the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are a great time to start a new garden.  Wait, you can start a garden in the dead of winter? Yes, you can. In fact, for certain types of no-till growing, this is the very best time to launch your 2022 garden. We’ve discussed a kind of no-till gardening called Square Foot in the past. One of the many advantages of Square Foot is that you can start it anytime. You could, in theory, build the raised bed in the morning, fill it with soil in the afternoon, and plant it that same evening. Most no-till techniq