Judy Isacoff

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Writer, naturalist, educator and garden designer, Judy Isacoff has published in regional monthlies, weeklies and dailies as well as professional journals in the field of environmental education. She is a columnist for the Battery Park City, New York Broadsheet Daily and The Broadsheet and for five years contributed a weekly astronomy column to The Berkshire Eagle. A leader in nature study and curriculum-based gardening at schools in urban and rural settings, Isacoff is passionate about cultivating the sense of wonder through her teaching and writing. Her website: NaturesTurn.org

Articles by Judy Isacoff

NATURE’S TURN: Winter’s sweet good-bye

Monday, 16 Mar 2015 - “A sap-run is the sweet good-bye of winter. It is the fruit of the equal marriage of the sun and frost.” -- John Burroughs, in Signs and Seasons, 1886

EYES TO THE SKY: Seasonal change is aloft, vernal equinox

Monday, 9 Mar 2015 - March 9 – 22, 2015  What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.
………… No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night. from “Leisure” by William Henry Davies Mt. Washington — Seasonal change is aloft, visible in the nighttime skyscape and, […]

NATURE’S TURN: ‘Vegetable magnetism,’ edible landscapes

Tuesday, 3 Mar 2015 - Our fascination with plants involves everything about them, including underground tubers, bulbs, and, by extension, the special charm of seed packets -- all of which hold the promise of new growth. Altogether, their appeal is so compelling that when choosing varieties and quantities for the new year’s garden great restraint is often required when purchasing.

NATURE’S TURN: Seeding our gardens, caring for the earth

Monday, 16 Feb 2015 - "To grow healthy food requires a vibrant diversity of plants, animals and soil life. These form the immune system of your land that together help each other to sustain the farm. The soil we work with as part of a farm organism needs our help to be healthy.” -- Lia Babitch, seed garden manager at Turtle Tree Seed

EYES TO THE SKY: Exquisite planet, moon pairings at dusk, dawn  

Monday, 9 Feb 2015 - In deepening twilight, above Venus the planet Mars emerges, with its dim but steady, rusty-gold to orange light. The two planets appear closer together each evening, an exquisite show culminating on the 20th when a waxing, eyelash crescent moon joins the pair the day before their closest approach.

EYES TO THE SKY: Astronomer Bob Berman  

Monday, 26 Jan 2015 - “There’s no such thing as free will. Astronomy was my destiny. My first memory of life is looking into the night sky from my carriage or stroller. I memorized every star in the sky and their spectral classes by the time I was 12 or 13 years old." -- Astronomer Bob Berman

NATURE’S TURN: Garden to table: Good keepers

Monday, 19 Jan 2015 - In planning the garden my emphasis is on staple crops that store without any preparation and fit into the existing storage “infrastructure.” Additional priorities include planting produce that is expensive to purchase in winter or not available organically grown.

NATURE’S TURN: Winter garden 

Monday, 5 Jan 2015 - In the first of her biweekly columns about growing and gardening in the Berkshires, Judy Isacoff writes: "Stars, the sunlit moon and planets circle the expanse of frozen, fertile ground during these long nights. There’s the sense of a night shift at work underground."

EYES TO THE SKY: Planetary drama at dawn, then dusk

Monday, 29 Dec 2014 - Uniquely, right now it is easy for relatively late risers to enjoy the beauty and wonder of celestial dawn. Beginning today and lasting through January 10, sunup in our locale is at 7:22 a.m., the latest of the year.

EYES TO THE SKY: Winter Solstice: Sightseeing beyond the Milky Way

Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 - "The cosmos, for me, is a vast space to explore for both beauty and science. The beauty is self-evident…. The science is important to help understand the place humankind has in the universe and even in daily life." -- Astrophotographer Kent DeGroff