Big Thanks to All of You!
Our gardens are down and the weather is finally committing to fall as the calendar closes in on Thanksgiving—what better time for us to say how much we appreciate all of you?
Dirty Gaia did a lot of collaborating this year. We partnered with Winnakee Land Trust for our Walk the Land series, exploring Rhinebeck’s Vlei Marsh Preserve through the eyes of specialists. Winnakee’s Bob Davis hosted the forest walk, showing how the trees on the land express its varied history; Alan Peterson of the Ralph T. Waterman Bird Club led a walk identifying the marsh’s impressive array of winged residents and seasonal visitors, and herbalist Dina Falconi (@foragingandfeasting) introduced us to all sorts of wild edibles that call Vlei home, including an exuberant batch of chicken-of-the-woods mushrooms and mustard greens that make for a zesty pesto.
We also taught an afterschool gardening class at Chancellor Livingston Elementary School, engaging young hands in dirt and seeds and their miraculous potential. Our expanded Edible Gardens Tour was a hit again this year, and we donated a state-of-the-art Aerobin 400 composter to our longtime partner Morton Memorial Library, where Erik Kiviat later gave a talk on invasive species, the good as well as the bad.
As a partner of Library of Local, we supplied flower and vegetable seeds and cultivation support to 15 mid-Hudson libraries early in the year. Some of you joined us for Suzanne Kelly’s saffron workshop at Green Owl Farm, harvesting saffron threads from her beautiful, and beautifully scented, crocus sativus flowers. Amelia Legare at The O Zone let us make a mess of her lovely Red Hook space with our Winter Sowing Workshop, where we demonstrated how to jumpstart the season by planting seeds in water jugs while snow’s still on the ground. (Confused? Come to the 2023 class in March!). And we Zoomed with apiarist Grai St. Claire Rice, who explained the beneficial codependence of honeybees and their favorite flowers.
We can’t thank our remarkable and generous hosts, presenters, experts and partners enough for joining us in these nature-boosting educational endeavors. And to all of you who share our interest and delight in the natural world, we are grateful beyond words. Thank you so much for coming to our events, providing feedback, and being an integral part of our merry green band.
Wishing each of you a warm and happy Thanksgiving, and we look forward to seeing you in the new year.
In the meantime, keep an eye out for our winter tracking workshop! We’ll be back at Vlei to find traces of—and perhaps sight—its elusive winter inhabitants.
Sue, Kaitlin and Margot