Garden Blog

by Cindy Tillson

The Scoop on Poop

November, 2019

The Maritime Aquarium asks that we all live a Sound Friendly Lifestyle.  They point out that what we do on our land and our public lands has a  direct connection to the water quality of the  Long Island Sound and its contributing waterways.


Picking up after your dog is one thing you can do.  The Aquarium estimates that two or three days’ worth of dog poop from 100 dogs can contribute enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay and all watershed areas within 20 miles to swimming and shell fishing.  One hundred dogs?  I would guess that at least that many walk in Haddam Meadows State Park every day.  Wow!  You don’t even have to be walking beside the river to contribute bacteria—if it can get into storm water runoff the same thing occurs.  Keep that in mind when your dog poops in the woods.


Littering is bad too.  We all know that.  As you probably also know, aquatic life winds up eating bits of plastic, which if it doesn’t kill them, may well end up on our dinner table—also not good.  Litter is unsightly and unnecessary. 


I am so pleased to see that the State of Connecticut has seen fit to install poop stations, trash and recycling receptacles at Haddam Meadows.   I have been walking my dogs in the Meadows for eleven years now.  There used to be lots of poop on the ground.  Besides causing bacteria in the water, it could be most unpleasant under foot, not to mention the parasites and germs that can be picked up if stepped in.   Dog owners seem to have risen to the occasion.  With bags provided in three places, the excuses for leaving it are few.  I don’t see much poop on the ground anymore.  When I do see it, I wonder why people don’t pick it up.  Maybe they would if they knew the far-reaching effects?  If they read this, now they do.


I see far less litter there too.  There are dedicated volunteers that pick up litter there but, unless it is my imagination, I think there is less for them to  pick up since there is a place for people to put it.


Another thing people can do us use less fertilizer on their lawns.  Excess fertilizer runs off the lawn and into the watershed.  The nitrogen in this runoff actually causes algae blooms which deplete the oxygen in effect, killing areas of the Sound.  Please have your soil tested to see if you even need fertilizer.  Don’t just assume.  If you mow using a mulching blade and leave the clippings, they break down greatly reducing (if not eliminating) the need for nitrogen fertilizer.  You most likely don’t need all of the nutrients in commercial formulas.  A test will tell you exactly what you do need so there won’t be excess to run off in the first place.


Connecticut people are becoming more responsible for their actions pertaining to the environment all the time.   We should all give ourselves a pat on the back.



A Couple More Thoughts…


The November meeting of the Haddam Garden Club is closed to the public.  It is our annual meeting off site.  The December meeting is closed as well so we can become elves and make the lovely holiday decorations for our town.


This is my final article.  I have enjoyed writing them and hearing your positive feedback.  Terry Twigg, Haddam Garden Club member and CT Master Gardener will be taking over.  


Recipe from DIGGING IN, the cookbook of the Haddam Garden Club.


CHERRY SPRITZ COOKIES submitted by Melanie Giamei

Yield approx. 6-7 dozen


1 cup butter, softened

1 (3 oz) pkg cream cheese

1 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp orange rind, grated

2 ½ cups flour

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 4 oz. container of candied red cherries


Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar.  Beat in egg yolk, vanilla and orange rind.  Blend flour, salt and cinnamon, which have been mixed together, Fill cookie press using wreath shape.  Form cookies on ungreased sheets.  Cut candied cherries in half and press them into each cookie center.  Bake about 12-14 minutes.  Cool on wire racks.


About Cindy Tillson


Cindy has been gardening since she was a small child helping her mother.   She has always found great satisfaction in making things grow.   She joined the Haddam Garden Club around 2008 which greatly expanded her knowledge and allowed her to work alongside seasoned Haddam gardeners on community projects. 


In 2015 she became a certified  CT Master Gardener.   She has accumulated a limited clientele of people needing things pruned, weeded, and otherwise tended as well as diagnosing and treating agricultural ailments, all organically. 


She has great respect for wildlife and keeping our environment healthy for animals and people.  She firmly believes that this can all be done without chemical pesticides and herbicides.


She heads the Garden Club committee in charge of the Butterfly Garden at the Brainerd Memorial Library and co-chairs the committee in charge of the other library gardens. 


In February 2017, the garden club was looking for someone to take over publicity.  Cindy rose to the occasion and began writing a monthly column for the Haddam Bulletin and Haddam Now.  These columns are her blog on the Haddam Garden Club website.  


When she isn’t gardening, she enjoys walking with her dogs, Rodney and Gracey, playing board games with her husband, Dick; reading, jigsaw puzzles and knitting.

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Website last updated on 11-13-19

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