Fall has officially arrived, and actually brought some fall-like weather. The cooler nights and bright days make for a good time to get out and enjoy the garden. Our early frost date is October 10, but in recent years, we have remained frost-free much later, often well into November. Still, …

This coming Lord’s Day is the celebration of our dear pets and companion animals. They shall be blessed. And we shall take up an offering of animal related items that will be donated to our local Humane Society.

Divorce impacts both parents and children within a family. Depending on a child’s age when divorce occurs, it can affect a child’s behavior in different ways. Learning the most common effects of divorce can guide parents through difficult interactions and can also help lessen the stress your…

When one thinks of the sense of taste and the garden, one usually thinks of an orchard or a vegetable patch. Indeed, such gardens often provide wonderful stimulation for the sense of taste, but there are many other ways to experience a garden by taste.

The end of summer is happening. Even though it is unavoidable I’m not happy with this inevitability. I know all seasons are of the same length, but summer seems much shorter. I’m not ready for it to end. Would an amendment to the constitution work? Is anyone paying attention to this arbitrar…

Scientists say the sense of smell is closely connected with the part of the brain where memories are stored. That plays a big part in the way we experience our gardens through the sense of smell. I have had numerous people who have asked me where to get starts of specific roses that their mo…

Most people are looking for ways to be more confident in their daily lives. But what exactly is self-confidence? According to Webster’s Dictionary, “Self-Confidence is defined as confidence in oneself and in one’s powers and abilities.”

I once had a visitor from a city who said the noise in my garden awakened him in the morning. This person was used to hearing car horns, trains and traffic, but not the sounds of birds, insects and animals. I, on the other hand, find the sounds of my garden soothing. A blind friend, who visi…

I Have Lived In Cities, But I grew up in a small town in north central Illinois. How big was my small town? Back then about 1,200 souls or a third the size of Paoli my nearest town. Wherever I went after growing out of Princeville I would go to a larger community. The University of Illinois-…

According to the CDC, electronic cigarettes or vapes have been the most used tobacco product by youths since 2014. Many teens believe that partaking in e-cigarettes or vapes is “no big deal.” Due to this perception, the use of e-cigarettes or vapes amongst teens is rising.

Last week, we discussed textures in the garden as they relate to the sense of sight. This week, we continue the discussion on textures, but as they relate to the sense of touch. The sense of touch is not one that we usually associate with experiencing a garden. However, it is one of the ways…

I have a couple of business cards. One says, “Reverend Bob Turner, Presbyterian Minister (semi-retired), revbobturner@gmail.com, 502-314-5445”.

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Last week, we discussed the sense of sight in the garden as it relates to colors. This week, we will continue our discussion with textures. If variety is the spice of life, textures must be the spice of the garden. Each plant has a texture that is a little different from all others, and, eve…

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Each Wednesday morning, I stop first at the Lost River Market and Deli to pick up my produce purchase list and enough money to buy what is needed. Then it is on to some Old Order Amish farms up around Orleans. This recent run was going to be much the same as last week. Corn, potatoes, tomato…

Last week, we began a discussion of creating new garden beds. While some gardens are intended to be only utilitarian, such as for the production of food, most gardeners want the beds to create spaces to be enjoyed by all of the senses. A well-planned garden is not just seen. It is experienced.

Going back to school can be stressful for children in many ways, especially as we continue to deal with the pandemic and its aftereffects.

Fall is an excellent time to put in a new garden, but now is the time to get the plans done. The better a garden is planned, the better the chances for success. A little time now may save you a lot of time in the future.

The transition from elementary or middle school to high school can come with a wave of emotions for both students and parents. Often there is excitement surrounding the new environment, both socially and academically. Anxiety is also commonly experienced among incoming freshmen.

As August arrives, it is time to get the fall garden planted. Just when you are ready to give up on the garden, the lure of good vegetables for the cooler days ahead gives us the drive to try again. There are several reasons to do a fall garden. In many cases, the cooler fall weather will al…

I know you feel it. The new school year is looming. A new school year always comes with a variety of emotions, excitement, nervousness, and dread (Looking at you, common-core math…). One of the hardest things about starting a new school year is settling kids into their school year routine. I…

Last week, I took a trip to northeastern Pennsylvania to the Pocono Mountains. It was just a vacation with a great nephew and two great nieces, and we really had no firm plans other than to get away for a while. Of course, I always love to check out the gardening scene wherever I go, and the…

Children and adults may react to stress in different ways. Trauma and stress can cause the brain to feel challenged or threatened, and the part of the brain that reacts is often on high alert.

It is difficult for a gardener to take a summer vacation. Just the thought of leaving the garden in the summer increases my stress level. I could miss the first ripe tomato or the blooms of a particular flowering shrub. Timing is everything. Of course, I could travel at less busy times of th…

The last few years have brought new sources of uncertainty and unforeseen challenges to everyone’s lives. As we’ve moved forward from a global pandemic, we’ve all adjusted to embrace new ways of living to accommodate the needs of our society.

As a Youth First Social Worker, I have been fortunate to facilitate several Reconnecting Youth programs with small groups of high school students. One semester, the group I was working with selected some inspirational “pay it forward” activities to complete.

Much-needed rain came to Southern Indiana last week. Brown lawns greened and gardens put on some lush growth. Unfortunately, the weeds also took off. The new growth also seems to give gardeners a reason to garden. It is a time for planning the fall garden.

When folks gather and talk about sensitive issues, they very often avoid the most essential matter that is causing all the verbal contortions. It’s called “The Elephant In The Room Syndrome”. The “Elephant” is the real issue, but it is too explosive and sensitive even to be mentioned. It tak…

There is no doubt that the queen of the summer garden is the tomato, especially here in Indiana. Nothing tastes better than that first ripe tomato fresh from the garden. Unfortunately, the tomato plant has numerous diseases that will shorten the harvest. Still, most people who garden list th…

It’s no secret that there has been a great shift in the types of activities that children prefer. According to the Child Mind Institute, the average American child spends 4 to 7 minutes a day in unstructured play outside, while spending over 7 hours a day in front of a screen. These numbers …

I am about to have a major life change that will affect my gardening. In a few days, I will be retiring from my job at the Southern Indiana Center for Independent Living. I will continue to pastor the Orleans and Leipsic United Methodist Churches, but I will no longer have a job to go to eve…

Author Jill Churchill once wrote, “There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.”

“Oh, anyone can raise squash!” So, we were told when we first thought about cultivating a new garden here at Windsong Farm. “Why, everyone grows squash. There’s so much squash that you have to lock your car to keep people from tossing a sack of the stuff on your back seat.” Maybe so.

Most of us are familiar with the unpleasant feeling of being excluded. In order to raise children who celebrate diversity and include others, we need to be comfortable starting conversations about differences.

With the official first day of summer quickly approaching, heat and humidity arrived in the Ohio Valley to give us a preview. While it is tempting to just sit in an air-conditioned house and let the garden go, it is possible to do some gardening, despite the uncomfortable conditions.

Did you know that according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, half of American adults can’t read a book written at an 8th grade level? Although this statistic may be surprising to some, it reveals the need for learning to extend beyond the classroom.