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Tales from the Bent Twig Trail: The Heart of Winter

The Heart of  Winter  by Wren Smith The heart of winter beats beneath my frozen feet and beneath the crunching earth. It beats beneath my hearing, beneath my seeing.  The heart of winter beats in the sleeping wooly bears. In their curved coats of black and brown  down in crevices under the logs, like banned question marks. The […]

Tales from the Bent Twig Trail: Wood Ears

There’s nothing like coming in from the cold to a warm bowl of soup! For me this is especially true if the steaming broth belongs to bowl of hot and sour soup – one balanced with heat and tang and chock-full of wood ear mushrooms! I was away from Bernheim when we received a lovely light layer […]

Isaac’s Café Specials – January 4-8, 2016

Josephine Nuese, author of “The Country Garden,” said, “ Anyone who thinks gardening begins in the spring and ends in the fall is missing the best part of the whole year; for gardening begins in January with the dream.”  This is so true!  Every time I meet with Cole Alexander, Bernheim’s Edible Garden steward to […]

A Warm December: What Does it Mean for Spring?

Many of you may have noticed the spring like landscape at Bernheim or in your neighborhood in the last few weeks. The early blooms are not that harmful to our plants overall. Many of our trees and shrubs are still dormant and our return to colder temperatures this week should keep further blooms from coming […]

Tales from the Bent Twig Trail: Woodland Ornaments

Walks in the woods can be gifts that keep on giving.  I often find clues in one season that help me make discoveries in another. For instance, just a few months ago I came across this low growing vine with heart shaped leaves, most of which were arranged in several whorls of three around the […]

Tales from the Bent Twig Trail: Season’s Greetings

Regardless of the season, Christmas ferns (Polystichum arotichoides) are a gift of green. Aptly named with their stocking shaped pinnae (leaf like structures) that make up each frond. Christmas ferns brighten the forest floor with their perennial splash of color. Although visible at Bernheim year round, these ferns are particularly noticeable around the winter holidays when […]

Gifts of the Winter Garden

It was December 11th and I was walking back to Isaac’s Café from the Edible Garden with a basket full of green and purple cabbage, butter lettuce, kale, carrots and several varieties of fresh herbs including parsley, sage and fragrant cilantro. The wheels were turning as I was imagining just what I could make with […]

Tales from the Bent Twig Trail: Imaginings

There’s something about the starkness of the winter landscape — the muted colors, the openness of the forest, the negative spaces created by the bare branches of trees that sets my imagination on a whirling dance. Maybe it’s because I’m a lover of greenness, and the lack of it makes my mind play games with […]