Posts Tagged ‘winchester’

Seven Tips for Improving (or Creating) Your Organic Garden

Whether you have a large vegetable garden, border flower beds, or a small herb garden, you can easily introduce organic gardening techniques into your current gardening maintenance routine. Here are some easy tips on improving your organic garden:

1. Develop Quality Garden Soil – Amend the soil generously with organic compost and use other organic fertilizers as necessary to increase specific nutrient levels.
2. Buy Plants for the Site – Gardeners who buy plants well-suited to their garden conditions increase their chances for success.
3. Choose Healthy Plants – A cheap plant isn’t a bargain if it’s baked in the hot sun in a pot it outgrew three months ago. Also check all plant purchases for pest hitchhikers and stress before bringing them home.
4. Care for Plants – The maintenance free garden is a myth. All gardens need some degree of maintenance, so make time to tend your garden.
5. Keep a Garden Journal – Record keeping is informative and motivational. Write down how long seeds take to germinate, when pests appear, the dates of the first and last frosts, and favorite flower and vegetable varieties.
6. Monitor for Garden Pests Regularly – It’s easier to control a few harmful beetles with handpicking than it is to stem the tide of the third generation of pests laying eggs. Control problems early and often.
7. Relax and enjoy your garden – Don’t stress over a few pests. It’s OK to allow a minimal threshold of pest damage in the garden. If all the pests are gone, the ladybugs won’t have a reason to set up house in the garden.

You can read more green living tips at my Home Green Home blog: https://cybergreenrealty.wordpress.com

Enjoy your garden!

Until next time, Peace!

-TMC

Tim Cahill
MBA, Certified EcoBroker, Realtor
Web site: CyberGreenRealty | Blog: Home Green Home
T: 617.599.2775
E: timcahill@avenue3re.com

Five FREE Things (or almost free) To Do After an Open House

Summer is a great time to consider buying a home or condo in the greater Arlington MA area, and an Open House is the perfect way to view a home without any pressure from either your Buyer Agent or the Listing Agent. And since it is summer, why not make it even more fun by doing something FREE (or almost free) in the city after the open house?  Who knows, you might just find the house of your dreams AND learn something new about the Boston, MA area.

Here are a couple of suggestions:

  1. Tour the State House: Tours last approximately 30-45 minutes and include an overview of the history and architecture of the State Capitol.  Weekdays from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.  Closed on weekends and holidays. Admission:  FREE
  2. Climb Bunker Hill Monument: Climb the 294 steps to the top of the Monument for great views of Boston.  Daily:  9 am – 5 pm.  Monument closes to climbing at 4:30pm. Admission:  FREE
  3. Visit The Museum of Fine Arts: With approximately 450,000 objects in the collection, there’s always something new on view.  No general admission fee required every WEDNESDAY, 4 pm – 9:45 pm. Admission: Variable
  4. Visit The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston:  Enjoy the stimulation of contemporary culture at their new waterfront location.  No general admission fee required every THURSDAY, 5 pm – 9:00 pm.  Every THURSDAY night
  5. Ride the Ferry: Take the ferry from Long Wharf to the Charlestown Navy Yard to visit the USS Constitution $.70 each way.  Free guided tours of the USS Constitution.

Do you have suggestions of your own for free, or low-cost, things to do in the Boston area?  If so, why not share them here?

To view of a listing of open houses in the Arlington, Cambridge and Boston, MA areas, check out my Trulia.com Open House search and then visit my CyberGreenRealty.com web site for more details on each listing.  Finally, don’t forget to check the latest weather forecast for the area before heading out.

Until next time, Peace!

-TMC

Arlington MA Farmer’s Market Update – July 2010

Picture of Farm Fresh Produce in Arlington, MA

Can you say "healthy"? Picture courtesy Arlington Farmer's Market web site

The Arlington MA Farmer’s Market opened its 2010 season on June 9th and it’s been a heck of a great month! I’ve had the opportunity to visit every week, picking up something fresh, succulent, and locally-grown each time. My best purchase to date, I have to say, was the tomato plant I purchased on the first day for $1.50. And yes I’ll admit it, I planted it in one of those “Topsy Turvy” upside-down planters. But I’m not ashamed to brag about how it’s tripled in size in just three weeks and it’s already starting to produce some big tomato blossoms. I can’t wait to taste that first home-grown tomato of the season!

If you haven’t yet visited the Arlington Farmer’s Market web site, I highly suggest you do and while you’re there, sign up for the weekly email update newsletter. Karen Blair, the newsletter editor, sends out a great weekly update on what to expect that week. But not only does she let you know about some of the new produce coming in, she includes some great recipes you’ll be tempted to make.

Here’s a preview of what she has to say in this week’s letter:

The market is filled with summer fruits and veggies so stop in to say hello to our farmers and Buy Local!

Bounty of the Season: Cherries, blueberries, tomatoes, peas, lettuce, green beans, cucumbers, squash, radishes, kolrabi, garlic, onions, greens, kale, chard, herbs, summer squashes & beets…and be on the lookout for corn & peaches coming very soon…The market also features meat, cheese, fish, eggs, pasta, maple products, baked goods and local prepared foods….

The Farmer’s Market runs from now through mid-October every Wednesday, 2:00 pm – 6:30 pm, rain or shine.  Conveniently located in Arlington Center, just of Route 60, the market is located in the Russell Common (public) parking lot.  If you have any questions about the market or are looking to share ideas with the organizers, send them in an email to Patsy at manager@farmersmarketarlington.org.

If you don’t happen to live in the Arlington MA or surrounding areas, but you live in Massachusetts, check out the Massachusetts Grown…and Fresher web site for a listing of all Farmer’s Markets in MA.

Before heading out to the market, though, be sure to check the weather forecast on my About Arlington page of my CyberGreenRealty web site.  You never know when a surprise thunderstorm might pass by and the one thing I haven’t seen at the market (yet!) is an umbrella vendor. So be prepared!

Until next time, Peace!

-TMC

Arlington MA Farmer’s Market Opens June 9, 2010

Picture of produce truck delivering fresh produce to Arlington

Yummy, yummy in my tummy!

Summer is finally here! And all the fresh produce (seasonal, of course), will be in abundance at the opening of Arlington’s Farmer’s Market on Wednesday, June 9th. The new hours for this year will be 2:00pm – 6:30pm, at the usual location in Arlington Center in the Russell Common Parking Lot behind Park Terrace and just off Route 60.

The market has one of the areas largest selections of farm fresh produce and locally raised, meat, local cheese, eggs, fish, honey, maple syrup, and flowers. They also have wonderful baked goods from local area bakeries and restaurants, so you’re bound to find something to whet your appetite.

For more information and to sign up for their mailing list, visit the Arlington Farmer’s Market web site for more details.  And for other eco-friendly vendors and businesses in the Arlington area, visit my Eco-Friendly Vendors web page at CyberGreenRealty.com.

Until next time, Peace!

-TMC

Do YOU plan on attending the Farmer’s Market? 

EcoFest Coming to Arlington, MA on May 2, 2010!

Cybergreen heading picture

Save the date now!

The 2010 Arlington MA EcoFest will be held on Sunday, May 2 from 11am – 3pm at the Town Hall Auditorium.

Featured will be a Noon-time discussion by Don Bishop, a local eco-expert, on Organic Gardening and Landscaping. Following the discussion there will be afternoon info sessions on such gardening topics as Native Plants, Invasives, and Organics.

Other highlights of the EcoFest include:

  • Share eco-friendly ideas for lawn and yard gardening!
  • Network with Arlington groups that are involved in sustainable actions!
  • Arlington residents can purchase compost bins at a reduced price!
  • Meet local sustainable landscapers!
  • Learn about the newest products and ideas from local, “green” vendors!

The event if free and open to the public. Refreshments will be available for minimal cost.

Special thanks to the Arlington Garden Club, the Arlington Public Works Department, and the Arlington Conservation Commission as well as the Arlington Vision 2020 task force.

For more info on the festival and to find out how you can get involved, contact Ruth at 781-316-3108 or Patsy at 781-858-8629. You may also email ecofest@town.arlington.ma.us or visit the EcoFest web site at www.arlingtonma.gov/ecofest.

As a special treat and thanks to a grant by the Arlington Recycle Committee, the first 60 Arlington residents to purchase a New Age Composter, regularly priced at $50, will be able to get them for $25! Also available will be Bio-Orb Composters, of which the first 40 Arlington residents will only have to pay $59.95 (normally $89.95)! You may pre-order the Bio-Orb Composters by visiting nerainbarrel.com/Arlington.html.

Do you plan on attending? Or do you currently use either of the composters mentioned above? Tell us your favorite composting story (if there is such a thing!) or send me some of your photos of the EcoFest after you go and I’ll post them here.

If you are also looking for a listing of local Arlington MA eco-friendly vendors, start by checking my Eco Friendly Partners page on my CyberGreenRealty.com web site.

Until next time, Peace!

-TMC

Arlington MA’s 1st Annual CSA Share Fair A Success!

Overhead view of crowd at CSA Farm Share

Step Right Up! Get Your Veggies Here!

Around the middle of February, I wrote a post (see below) about “being green” by buying and eating locally-grown food.  I also mentioned the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Share Fair to be held on February 25th in Arlington, MA.  Well, as Mother Nature would have it, both my post and the CSA Share Fair in Arlington were big successes!

It was a dark and stormy night on February 25th when I ventured out to attend the CSA Share Fair.  I was thinking at the time what a shame it was to have such bad weather on a night hosting such a great event.  Admittedly, my heart also sank a bit when I found parking right out front of the main entrance.  That doesn’t usually bode well for a large turnout…as I said, “usually.”..

As I walked in the front door, I was cheerfully greeted by a man keeping count of the number of attendees coming in.  Looking at me as I shook out my umbrella, he said in a robust, cheerful voice, “200”!  I was surprised and had to clarify with him that I was the 200th person to come through the doors.  With an hour to go, I was visitor number 200, and more were following in behind me!

People checking out information at a vendor table

So many choices!

While it was great to see such a tremendous and enthusiastic turnout, I was a bit bummed that I wasn’t able to meet personally with any of the farmers.  There were crowds at every table and people signing up for CSA shares like you wouldn’t believe.  It almost felt like being on the floor of the stock exchange; instead, this was the floor of the CSA exchange – with people bustling all around to find the perfect farm share to suit their needs and lifestyles. After all the dust settled, there were over 250 attendees at the Fair. This being the first one ever held in Arlington, you can rest assured it will become an annual event. If you’d like to see more pictures from the event, browse to the CSA Share Fair‘s web site.

Couldn’t attend the Fair that night? Not to worry! You don’t need to attend a CSA Share Fair in order to sign up for a share. There are still plenty of options available for the coming harvest season. To find a listing of local farms in the Arlington, MA and surrounding areas that participate in CSA, check the LocalHarvest.org web site for the ones closest to you. Many of the farms also have centralized drop-off points throughout the Boston and surrounding areas, so you don’t even need to trek out to the ‘burbs to pick up your bounty every week!

The Local Harvest web site has a wealth of information pertaining to CSA’s. If you’re new to this concept, you might want to check out Local Harvest’s tips and a recommended list of questions you should ask your farmer as your first step toward achieving food independence.

Until next time, Peace!

-TMC

Rent Some Sun and Save Money

In your mind’s eye, what do you envision a solar panel to look like? Do you think they’re still big, white and boxy? Maybe you think of some ugly black strips across your roof, which look more like a shredded tire laid out flat than a solar panel. Then again, you might be “hip” with the latest PV styles (like these PV panels that look like clay tiles) but you think it’s still too expensive. Fret no more!

Many companies, including two here in Massachusetts (SunRun’s MA partners – Alteris, Inc. and groSolar, Inc), offer you a chance to rent solar panels, effectively locking in your electric rate for up to 25 years (the average lifespan of a solar panel). Moreover, you are relieved of any of the hassles involved with purchasing the panels outright (such as obtaining the proper permits, filing for the appropriate rebates, etc.). Some providers may require a “security deposit,” which may be up to $1,000 at the most.

How does it work? The concept is simple – your solar power company purchases and installs the appropriate equipment based on your historical electric usage. You then pay a monthly rental fee to the solar company, which becomes your new “electric” bill. This monthly fee will be equal to, or lower than, your current bill AND will never rise – sun power is free power! Perhaps best of all, you don’t have to worry about maintenance and repairs – the panels are owned and maintained by the solar company, so they have a vested interest in keeping the equipment in top working order.

In addition to the money saved on your electric bill by switching to solar power, you may also be eligible for one or more of the many current state and federal incentives. Find out if your state offers incentives at SunRun’s Solar State Rebate page. If you purchase locally-made equipment, the incentives and rebates get even bigger!

For further information, check out these helpful resources:

Do you know anyone who’s currently renting solar panels? Ask them to share their story here.

Visit CyberGreenRealty.com for a list of some solar vendors in the greater Boston area. If you happen to be in the market for a new home or condo, you may also wish to visit Avenue 3 Real Estate for a listing of current homes and condos for sale in Arlington, Cambridge, and Somerville, MA. While there, search for homes already equipped with solar equipment and start saving money from Day One!

Until next time, Peace!

-TMC