'The Woodchuck Returns To The Garden' With A New Book

Sep 23, 2014

Fall is here and for many Vermonters that means wrapping up the gardening season. But others are thinking about getting their hands in the soil, and planning ahead for next year's garden.

Author, gardener and VPR commentator Ron Krupp has a new book out where he chronicles the full year of a garden. It’s called The Woodchuck Returns To Gardening.  He views it as a companion to his first book, The Woodchuck’s Guide To Gardening.

The book chronicles two full years, 2012-2013, to give readers a comparison of how each season can be different. In addition to sections on the care of different vegetable and berry varieties, the book includes journal entries, artwork, stories and poems, by Krupp and others.

The book also has a personality, the Chuckster, who makes fun of Krupp along the garden path.

In the decades that Krupp has been writing he says increasingly he’s dealing with the changing climate. “I’ve noticed more extremes. I never know what to expect anymore.”

For 25 years, Krupp has tended a plot at the Tommy Thompson Community Garden.
Credit Angela Evancie / VPR

More people are taking up gardening, and he’s seen a growing diversity of people using the Tommy Thompson Community Garden in Burlington’s Intervale. That’s where Krupp has his plot. “They’re growing crops I’ve never seen before.” Krupp says some of his joys of working with people from other countries are the dishes they bring to garden potlucks and their ideas for cooking the vegetables.

Krupp has done most of his gardening over the past 25 years in the community garden. He said people shouldn’t feel constrained by lack of garden space at home. “If you live in an apartment you can be part of a community garden. If you have a deck you can have plants in pots, you can grow, potatoes, peppers, greens.”

Krupp says as the gardening season wraps up it’s time to prepare for next spring by putting down a layer of compost and planting cover crops on garden beds.