Ron Krupp


Ron Krupp is a gardener and author who lives near Lake Champlain on Shelburne Bay. His most recent book is titled: Lifting The Yoke - Local Solutions To America's Farm And Food Crisis.

In the spring of 1969 I worked in the apple orchards at Scott Farm in Dummerston. And back then I’d never heard of climate change. Yet today, Zeke Goodband, the manager of Scott Farm is relying more on wild bees for pollination because they work in cooler temperatures and tolerate wind and wet weather. And Goodband says native bees seem more resilient and better able to deal with climate instability.

In hydroponics, plants are fed in a greenhouse setting with fertilized irrigation water instead of soil. And when I was a commercial organic vegetable grower some thirty years ago, I would have been hard put to find any hydroponic lettuce growing in Vermont.

Krupp: The Winter Garden

Nov 30, 2016

It wasn’t that long ago that folks put their gardens to rest in late fall by raking and burning leaves and cutting down dead plant material and hauling it off. This resulted in yards being made clean and devoid of life.

Krupp: Waste Not

Oct 18, 2016

If food waste were a country, it would be the third largest producer of greenhouse gases on Earth.

Krupp: Hunger

Sep 28, 2016

This month, the Vermont Foodbank, together with the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks, has been working to mobilize all 50 states in an effort to bring an end to hunger. This initiative, designated Hunger Action Month, is designed to raise awareness of the fact that 48 million Americans, including 15 million children, are food insecure which translates into children being hungry and not knowing where their next meal is coming from.

Krupp: Bee-pocalyse

Jul 29, 2016

When I was growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, the ‘Louisville Lip’, then still known as Cassius Clay, and later Mohammed Ali, would come into my dad’s drug store after training down the street for the Golden gloves for an ice-cream cone and some change to take the bus home. Then, while eating the cone, he would playfully hold me off with his other hand.

Krupp: Brown Thumb

May 24, 2016

Thirty one percent of all U.S. households, an estimated 36 million, participated in food gardening in 2008. Twenty one percent of food gardening households in 2009 are new to gardening. But I can’t help wondering why these numbers aren’t even higher.

I was at the grocery store a few days ago when the woman at the checkout started asking me some questions about gardening. The woman behind me overheard the conversation and commented that while her sister was a great gardener, she herself had a brown thumb.

Another time, the woman who delivers my mail told me her husband won’t let her garden because she once pulled out a young clematis vine, thinking it was a weed. And these encounters got me thinking about how, for too many aspiring gardeners, life in the backyard can be a string of disappointments - where gardens are places where plants go to wither, and working with shovels and hoes is more like digging grave s than growing plants.

As a young boy in Marshfield, Arthur Gilman roamed the woods and wetlands around his home. His family spent summers at their camp on Peacham Pond. Gilman remembers that even before he started school, he liked to go out every day and look for wild flowers.

One of the most exciting gardening innovations I’ve seen in recent years are the "teaching gardens" run by the Vermont Community Garden Network - or VCGN - where new participants learn the A to Z's of basic organic gardening.

Well folks, it’s been another weird weather year. In fact, 2015 was the hottest year on record. 2014 was the second hottest.

In my front yard, snapdragons, violets, dandelions and forsythia were in flower right before Christmas. I’ve heard from friends that daffodils and crocus were also blooming. And I’ve been worried about the swelling of the buds in the trees.

As the cold advances, I like to reflect on favorite warm weather moments – like the trip I took this summer to the Alburgh Dunes and Bog on a tour sponsored by the Vermont Hardy Plant Club and led by plant biologist Liz Thompson.

Ever since Tropical Storm Irene flooded the slopes and valleys of Vermont in late August of 2011, we’ve become much more aware of how climate change is affecting our lives.

Krupp: Missisquoi

Aug 5, 2015

The Missisquoi Wildlife Refuge in Northwestern Vermont near Canada is by far the best nature preserve in the Green Mountains. It was established in 1943 to provide habitat for migratory birds that extend along the Atlantic Flyway between northern breeding grounds and southern wintering areas. The refuge consists of over 67-hundred acres, mostly wetland habitats, with more than 200 species of birds.

Krupp: Odd Growing Season

Jun 30, 2015

I'd been hoping for a summer of gardening with intervals of blue skies and sun interspersed with soft rain and even a few rainbows. But of course, that's always my ideal scenario and so far it's been a rather strange season.

Krupp: Riparian Buffers

May 29, 2015

The Intervale Conservation Nursery in Burlington was founded in 2002 and is dedicated to growing native, locally sourced trees and shrubs for riparian restoration projects throughout Vermont.

Krupp: Birds in the Bush

Apr 20, 2015

The Bird Friendly Maple Project is a partnership between local Audubon biologists, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation, and the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association with support from the Proctor Maple Research Center and the Vermont Community Foundation.

Turns out there's more to maple sugaring than boiling sap into sweet syrup - and it's all about the birds. Each May, many maple sugarbushes ring with the songs of migratory birds such as the wood thrush, scarlet tanager, the Eastern wood pewee and black throated blue warbler.

Krupp: Spring Reflections

Feb 23, 2015

Right about now, most of us are happy to get out of the cold and blowing snow for a little while. And for three days - from the 27th of February to March 1st, the Vermont Flower Show invites us to do just that. The theme this year is Spring Reflections, and the goal is to inspire ideas for the gardening season ahead.

Krupp: Hard Cider

Dec 23, 2014

Not long ago, many Vermont farms made fresh cider in late fall, storing it in large wooden kegs with an air lock to allow the cider to ferment into hard cider - and eventually, into vinegar.

Krupp: Garden Review

Nov 21, 2014

2014 was a bumper year for tomatoes in my garden, and most of my vegetables grew with abandon. Believe it or not, I'm still eating lettuce and other greens from my cold-frame as well as kale, chard, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli from my community garden plot. I cover the cold-frame to protect the plants from freezing rain and cold to extend the growing season. The vegetables that struggled the most were eggplants and peppers due to the cooler than normal temperature - but we had a good berry year.

For more than twenty five years, I've been gardening at the Tommy Thompson Community Garden in the Intervale in Burlington. During that time, I've taught classes for new gardeners as well as learning as much as I've taught, especially from immigrants from countries like Bosnia and Nicaragua. Aika Sarkosova of the Ukraine has given me heirloom tomato seeds from her country of origin. The Mai family from Vietnam has taught me how to grow and prepare Asian greens.