The 6th Annual National Heirloom Exposition!


Image from CropMobster article.

Also known as The World’s Pure Food Fair. Check it out.

It’s here again—and how I wish I could attend this event! So many other responsibilities have taken precedence this year, but next year . . . I am going to make it happen!

Here’s the lineup:

Over 4,000 varieties of heirloom vegetables showcased – and the farmers will be there!

Over 80 nationally and internationally acclaimed speakers, including Dr. Vandana Shiva and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.!

Their 3rd annual dahlia show, with “THE most magnificent spectacular colossal blooms EVER seen on display”.  (To dahlia lovers, this is so exciting.)

Here’s the Program Guide.

Ticket info:

Tickets are available at the gate on September 5, 6 & 7, 2017.
Gates are open 9 AM to 9 PM.
One Day Ticket $10 or Three Day Pass $25 (Purchased at the gate) and Children are Free!

I hope you can attend. If and when you do, please leave a comment and let us know how you liked it, your favorite activities and lectures. (Pretty please?)

Until next year . . .



Filed under Power to the People

Introducing The Monthly Museletter – August 2017


“Lunar Libration” by Tomruen, via Wikimedia Commons

Each moon (month) I receive a local newsletter packed with inspiring quotes and links to fascinating topics. Last week, I asked the wise woman who shares it if I could have permission to pass it on to Flora’s Forum readers. She said yes, humbly stating that she was only sharing what she has gleaned from others!

So, here it is: A list of goodies with a focus on the soulful, the beautiful, the green. I’m looking forward to making this a regular feature. Thank you so very much, dear Karla, for sharing! —SK

P. S. If you’re local (Colorado Springs) and would like Karla’s full newsletter that includes local events, you can write her at karlaann45 @

* * *

My favorite Rumi passage:

“Every day the garden on this side of the fence erupts with new growth. Runners shoot out in all directions. Vines climb gnarled witch’s poles. Ripe fruit dangles like breasts full of milk. Stems and leaves and stalks and flowers tangle wildly over each other—30 different shades of green. A madwoman’s tapestry with all the threads hanging loose, this garden is lush and damp and fertile as the Goddess’ own crotch.” —Jennifer Weston

Could our utility company build a Janicki Omni Processor for our next sewage/water/electricity facility?—YES! Backed by the Gates Foundation, it turns sewage into clean water, steam & electricity to run itself, and surplus energy to sell (a win/win/win!)

“Unity is diversity embraced, protected, and maintained by an infinitely generous love.” —Richard Rohr

How do these Russian women do “the Floating Dance”? Check it out and see!

“It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.” —Wendell Berry

“Women are like teabags—you never know how strong they are until they get in hot water.” —Eleanor Roosevelt.

TURNING GUNS INTO GARDEN TOOLS . . . RawToolsinc , started by Mennonite minister here in Colorado Springs, Colorado!

“When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them, be sure to cherish them. Those weirdos are your tribe.” —WildWomanSisterhood on

Used as a college text, DRAWDOWN: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, is written by a host of experts and edited by Paul Hawken. I never buy a book I haven’t read, and only buy “keepers” – this one I knew right away was a keeper.

Need a little Beauty boost ? Check out Faith Nolton’s shamanic art.

ACT FAST! If you’re 62+, you can get a lifetime Golden Age Passport to national parks & monuments for only $10. At this end of August the price is going up to $80 so the time to do this is NOW! Click here for details.  (Comment from SK: This eight-fold increase for those of us under age 62 is infuriating! If anyone knows of a petition protesting this increase, or where to register a complaint, please let me know and I’ll post the link/s here.) Our wise woman contributor noted that locals could get one at Florissant Fossil Beds, but I would call to make sure before making the trip out as there has been very high demand everywhere.

Japanese architect builds cathedrals, concert halls, and shelters with paper & cardboard! Check his work out here.

And last, but not least, don’t forget about the total solar eclipse on August 21!


* * *

Be Our Patron





Filed under Monthly Museletter

Victoria Regia at Kew

The_Gardens_of_Kew-_the_work_of_Kew_Gardens_in_Wartime,_Surrey,_England,_UK,_1943_D16496 (2)

“The Work of Kew Gardens in Wartime”, 1943, via Wikimedia Commons


From Wikimedia Commons:

“A young member of staff tends the ‘Victoria Regia’, a giant water lily from Guiana, in the tropical house at Kew Gardens. According to the original caption, the lily is very popular with visitors: ‘Grown from a seed the size of a pea in February, it develops leaves up to seven foot six in diameter by July. Underside of leaf is ribbed to help it float, and covered with prickles to keep off fish. Flowers appear in July and August, changing from white to pink on their second day’.”

(My first thought is, What an incredible vascular system on this lily pad! Then I imagine what it must have been like to live in England during that terrible war. –SK)

Leave a comment

Filed under Garden Writers We Love

Sky Father

(c) Museums Sheffield; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Donati’s Comet (November 1, 1858) by James Poole (1803-1886), via Wikimedia Commons.


(When I read Virginia’s poem, I thought of another big celestial event that’s happening on August 21st – a total solar eclipse. Virginia reminded me that there would also be a Perseid meteor shower on the night of August 12th/early August 13th. – SK)

Sky Father

Vibrant sphere of light
Slowly arcs across the heavens,
Casting paths of silver beams.
Ancient traveler over distant lands.
Mute observer, eyes cast down,
Mouth turned up in patient smile,
Silent witness to our lives,
Father of the midnight sky.

(November 1988)

* * *



Virginia Gambardella lives in New York. She has one son and three grandchildren and enjoys: people, holidays, antiques, nature, gardening, fishing, decorating, fashion, sharing knowledge, cooking and baking. She’s a cancer survivor, a pancreatitis survivor, a widow, and the re-inventor of her life, “as necessary.”




Be Our Patron

Leave a comment

Filed under Garden Writers We Love

In the Flowery Garden With My Calico Cat


Pechán_In_the_flowery_Garden_with_my_panelvourite_Cat_1899 (2) József Pechán

József Pechán, “In the Flowery Garden With My Panelvourite Cat”, 1899 


I discovered this József Pechán painting browsing Wikimedia Commons. I could not find that the word “panelvourite” translated into calico, but it makes sense, doesn’t it? Of course, I could be wrong.

I loved this painting – the colors, the happy woman and kitten, and that aloe! We all love our gardens.

József Pechán was born on February 21, 1875 in , Dunacséb, Hungary (so he was 24 when he painted the above painting), and died on March 6, 1922 in Verbász. Both cities are now in Serbia. This was the only painting I found with a garden-theme, though I didn’t do a thorough search.

I found the history on where he was born and died, Hungary, interesting (and sad) [from Wikipedia Commons]: “Hungary’s current borders were established in 1920 by the Treaty of Trianon after World War I, when the country lost 71% of its territory, 58% of its population, and 32% of ethnic Hungarians. Following the interwar period, Hungary joined the Axis Powers in World War II, suffering significant damage and casualties. Hungary became a satellite state of the Soviet Union, which contributed to the establishment of a four-decade-long communist dictatorship (1947–1989). The country gained widespread international attention regarding the Revolution of 1956 and the seminal opening of its previously-restricted border with Austria in 1989, which accelerated the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. On 23 October 1989, Hungary became again a democraticparliamentary republic.”

So, there it is – is a little art for the soul, and a history lesson.

On a personal note: I hope you are all doing well. I received an email from a reader/contributor wondering about me, because she hadn’t seen a Flora’s Forum post in a while. There have been personal issues going on (an illegal two-story house has been built next door to our home and garden that has stolen our privacy, and we’ve been dealing with that, read about what’s going on here, if you’re interested), but as far as health, I am fine and dandy! I hope you are, too!

XO to all,

—Sandra Knauf


Leave a comment

Filed under Art & the Garden

The Dream


Robert Anning Bell, 1901, “A Flight of Fairies” – via Wikimedia Commons.


The Dream

Hold my hand and we will go
to places only fairies know.
Beneath the green-striped lily leaf
beside a nest the robin weaves.
Into the tulip’s lifted cup
We’ll drink the dew drops while we sup.
Then ride a snail across the path,
to splash with sparrows in their bath.
Someday we’ll course a moonbeam bright,
and fade into the magic night.

Virginia Caroline Schmidt Gambardella


* * *


Virginia Gambardella lives in New York, only three miles from where she grew up. Her dad was a naval engineer and adventurer, and her mom was a dressmaker for Bergdorf Goodman. Virginia enjoys: people, holidays, antiques, nature, gardening, fishing, decorating, fashion, sharing knowledge, cooking and baking. She’s a cancer survivor, a pancreatitis survivor, a widow, and the re-inventor of her life, “as necessary.” She wrote “The Dream” in 1991.

Be Our Patron


Filed under Green Poetry

The Woods With No Name


“Hever Castle and Gardens, A White Camellia” by Michael Garlick, via Wikimedia Commons

The Woods With No Name

Morning coffee and my attempt to think of news as stones
that I can shake through a screen to separate
pea gravel from those as big as eggs or golf balls.
The pope gifting his thoughts on climate change.
A man running for Congress assaulting a reporter.
Budget chicanery and bells that toll in Manchester.
All the rocks stayed upside the screen, glommed
to words I meant to string up for a social justice website.

I went to a woods, the woods with no name
where thought senses soft breezes, old firs,
and a few tall weeds. Bending toward the sun,
at the edge of the woods, a camellia that dropped
white blooms weeks ago. Dead twigs as innards,
branches the snow snapped or draped onto the mud.

Thinking in visuals. Open a sightline
to the obelisk raised for a dead son. Gut
what is dead or yellowed. Help what bowed
in defeat to lift up again. Encourage nodes that promise
next year’s bloom, next year’s leaves.

When I was done, a pleasing camellia poem
stood on the verge of the woods with no name.
Pruned so that no one would say who did that?
what happened? Pruned to a shape it yearned
to be but somehow lost in the traffic of daily life.

—Tricia Knoll

In summer 2017 Tricia’s new book, Broadfork Farm, is coming out from The Poetry Box. It salutes life on a small organic farm in Trout Lake, Washington.

* * *
Be Our Patron

Leave a comment

Filed under Green Poetry