'Twin Oaks,' 2008, from ‘Portraits of Trees.’ Photo: Tom Zetterstrom

NATURE’S TURN: Spring in the winter air. Trees, gardeners wake from dormancy

February 26 – March 11, 2018

“With his sculptural intelligence and understanding of light, Zetterstrom does something rare among photographers of trees: he gives them consciousness.” –Michael Brenson, former art critic, the New York Times; current faculty at Bard College

“Foremost, I respect trees as the record of great lives. Whether they’re 100, 500 or 4,000 years old, you can read all sorts of things into them,” he [Zetterstrom] said. “For some people, trees have spiritual connotations. Many people have lingering associations about trees. Through my photos, I’m trying to amplify that into an appreciation of trees.” –Chris Bergeron interview, Aug. 29, 2010*

Mount Washington — Tom Zetterstrom’s photograph “Twin Oaks” and the reflections on his “Portraits of Trees” guide us to look with awareness when in the company of the trees. The coming of spring seems to animate them. Allow yourself to be moved by their presence, to be receptive to communicating with trees.

The seasons of more active engagement with the land are about to begin. Between winter and spring, freezing nights and warm days stir many of us to tap maple trees, to gather their sap during the warmth of day and boil it over the wood fire that warms the house during the freezing night. https://theberkshireedge.com/natures-turn-winters-sweet-good-bye/

Ash tree twigs, opposite branching, Feb. 17, 2018. Photo: Judy Isacoff

While still dormant, cut old stems of gooseberry, currant and blueberry bushes level with the ground.

Prune dead sections of raspberry canes or cut to the ground. https://www.noursefarms.com/how-to-grow/raspberries/

Cut rotting and dried plants that remain standing in the garden–for example, late kale and asparagus fronds. Cut level with the ground; leave roots in.

Sort last season’s seed supply. Prepare lists of old faithful and new varieties for the upcoming season. Order directly from seed producers or shop locally while supplies are robust.

When should you start seeds? http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1122869760759&ca=b33ed38b-a6de-4ee7-8df7-3cf816ef63de and https://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/monthly-garden-calendar-northeastern-united-states

Step up preparations to eat last season’s harvest–e.g. frozen blueberries, gooseberries, currents, kale, green beans, tomatoes and logs of pesto. Check stored winter squash for small, telltale blemishes and onions for sprouts.

Apples, taken out of storage in a cold room, with frozen gooseberries ready to simmer to a sweet-tart sauce. Photo: Judy Isacoff


Tom Zetterstrom – http://tomzetterstrom.com/portfolio/

Tom Zetterstrom represented by Lisa Vollmer Gallery, Great Barrington – http://lisavollmer.com/

*Review of Exhibition – http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/x259327680/Tom-Zetterstrom-captures-inner-life-of-trees-in-a-forest-of-portraits

Berries – https://www.noursefarms.com/, https://www.noursefarms.com/how-to-grow/raspberries/

Maple sugaring – http://deepmountainmaple.com/maple-facts-and-fictions

Opportunities to Participate

TODAY, Feb. 26, 1–4:30 p.m. – https://www.nofamass.org/events/advancing-season-extension-innovative-strategies-and-resources

TOMORROW, Feb. 27, 7:30–8:30 p.m. – https://www.nofamass.org/events/webinar-soil-testing-fertility-decisions-role-organic-matter-nitrogen-budgets

Register now for a selection of superb gardening classes at Ward’s Nursery, Great Barrington – http://wardsnursery.com/spring-classes