The Best Strawberry You've Never Had - "The strawberry is native throughout the northern hemispheres. It is, weirdly enough—along with the apple and stone fruits like the peach—a member of the rose family... It is an incredible-tasting fruit. A fraise de bois tastes like you've never really eaten a strawberry before. Everything is magnified: It's both much more acidic and much sweeter than any supermarket strawberry. It's rich and powerful, reminding you why the Greeks saw the strawberry as a symbol of Venus." (via)
When I moved into my new Philadelphia rowhouse, I was determined to grow the vegetable garden that had eluded me all those years in a cramped Manhattan apartment. But reality struck with the first thrust of my shovel: my soil — a cocktail of concrete shards and construction debris mixed with a bit of sand and dirt — was useless. Faced with the expense (OK, and effort) of building raised beds, I decided instead to go cheap and easy: a straw bale garden. [more inside]
Today, the first Saturday in May, was World Naked Gardening Day. In case you missed it, here's an interview with a participant. "Generally, naked gardening makes sense but naked farming sometimes is a little harder." The day is meant to be funny, lighthearted and non-political.
Back in 2011, Ron Finley took up gardening, planting tomatoes, peppers, chard, melons, squash, pumpkins, onions, broccoli, eggplant, celery, kale and herbs in front of his house in Los Angeles. He reclaimed a strip of useless, scrubby grass between the curb and the sidewalk along his property, except it wasn't permitted at that time, because local ordinances prohibited "overgrown vegetation" in such "parkways." But that didn't stop Ron, the guerilla gardener in South Central LA (YT/TED), who is still spreading his gospel of urban gardens. If you want practice some guerrilla gardening of your own, you can make and hurl seed bombs into vacant lots, which can be scaled up if you happen to have some aircraft and a lot more seed or even sapling bombs, you can really scale up your reforestation efforts. [more inside]
I knew the price of my new home in Kirkwood, just not what it would cost the neighbors who’d lived there for generations An examination of the racial and economic cycles of change in one Atlanta neighborhood, with a nice touch of soul searching and empathy.
Adam Purple passed away this last Monday. He suffered a heart attack while riding his bike across the Williamsburg Bridge. Adam Purple and the Garden of Eden (Vimeo).
Daniel Tomlin, a gardener from Kelowna, British Columbia, claims he has grown the world's longest cucumber. According to Guinness World Records, the cucumber that currently holds the world record for longest ever grown measured "107 cm (42.1 in) and was grown by Ian Neale of Wales, UK. It was presented at the Bath & West Showground in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, UK, on 26 September 2011." Tomlin's cucumber measures just over one metre (44.5 inches). [more inside]
It's wintertime in the northern hemisphere, and the seasonal chill is taking hold. With the year's harvests complete and the earth freezing or frozen, now is the perfect time to plan next year's garden. [more inside]
Farming and gardening tools that are actually useful for women. “Women play a critical role in producing food,” she says. “Our philosophy is to build on the strengths of women.”
The Nordic Society for Invention & Discovery has brought never-before-seen and totally exclusive technologies into the world, such as the Aaltopuck (an ice hockey puck modeled after Alvar Aalto's Savoy Vase), the Flower Shell (a shotgun shell that shoots seeds into the ground), the Wall of Sound (an 8000-watt iPod dock) and No More Woof (a device that wraps around your dog's head and translates his or her brain waves to computerized speech).
Each of Historian Barbara Wells Sarudy's six blogs contains a wealth of esoteric treasures: "President John Adams declared, “History is not the Province of the Ladies.” Oh well, I'll give it a try." [more inside]
sproutrobot.com is just the thing for all of the gardeners who feel the walls starting to close in. Give it your ZIP code and sproutrobot will do the rest. [more inside]
“People have this idea, because it’s a ‘community’ garden, you’ll have a bunch of people sitting around holding hands, singing ‘Kumbaya,’” says Julie Beals, executive director of the Los Angeles Community Garden Council (LACGC ). “Have you seen an actual community?”
Stirrup Hoe. Collinear Hoe. Dutch hoe. Swan neck hoe (hand hoe). Grubbing hoe. Japanese Draw Hoe. In addition to gardening, hoes can be used for trail building. Just make sure to keep your hoe sharp.
In the hostile, arid suburbs of Phoenix AZ, Dennis McClung and his family have created a lush and ingeniously efficient food-production system from an unused swimming pool. HuffPo is also there.
A seed library is a long-term lending institution, for plants. Seed Libraries Preserve Heirloom Varities [more inside]
Jodie: Life in Warsaw. A short film about an American woman trying to grow happiness, living in the socialist-era housing estate where her husband grew up.
Brassica oleracae longata - the curious case of the seven-foot tall cabbage.
"In 1968 Richard Brautigan published 'Please Plant This Book' - poems printed on seed packets. I'm growing a living copy...."
Don't toss that celery base! Did you know you can use it to re-grow a new bunch of celery? The same thing works for romaine lettuce and bok choy. You can regrow scallions or leeks or any cooking onion. You can grow garlic. What about lemongrass or ginger? Try planting pepper seeds or key lime seeds; a leftover pineapple top or the classic avocado pit. You can eat the leaves from carrot tops or sweet potato vines or just keep them as houseplants. Seeds Straight From Your Fridge (NYT link)
Gardening Facepalm Their hearts are in the right place, but this is not how you do it.
As part of a university course, Steve Wheen has started the Pothole Gardener project. He uses plants and miniatures to create sanctuaries of tranquility in broken urban places. via
The USDA has released an updated version of its plant hardiness zone map. Based on low temperatures from 1976 to 2005, it puts most US locations into a slightly warmer planting zone. While many headlines link the overall changes with global warming, the map also reflects factors such as urban heat, prevailing winds, and the slope of the land. The Washington Post has an interactive graphic showing the old and new zones.
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Halyomorpha halys) is an invasive insect introduced from China and first spotted in the United States in 1998 in Allentown, PA. [more inside]
Paige Johnson works as a nanotechnology researcher at the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma. [...] Her current landscape research is focused on the strange and fascinating story of atomic gardening, a post-war phenomenon in which plants were irradiated in the hopes of producing beneficial mutations.
Pruned talks to Paige Johnson about atomic gardens.
Pruned talks to Paige Johnson about atomic gardens.
A new documentary entitled "The Vanishing of the Bees", narrated by actress Ellen Page, begins showing on November 29th, 2010. [more inside]
Beans are bullets. Potatoes are powder. An exhibition of food posters from the National Agricultural Library.
Urban gardening and agriculture are becoming increasingly important as our world becomes more urbanized. Urban Gardening Help is for those environmentally conscious urban dwellers who want to use hydroponics and other tools to create a green corner devoted to nature in their own home. Urban Gardens looks for innovative and eco-friendly designs, trends, and ideas for the stylish urban home. See, for example, tiny herb gardens, where succulent cuttings come in small packages. Urban Garden Casual works with the constraints of limited-space, light, and micro-climates created from the shadows of neighboring buildings by using unconventional ideas like the garden pouch.
Grow It Eat It - food gardening videos courtesy of the University of Maryland. (Lots more on offer from them as well.)
The Kitchen Garden Planner allows you to create a customized plan for a Square Foot Garden. They also have designs for pre-planned square foot kitchen gardens, such as the high-yield garden and the salsa garden.
Your new veggie garden. Early Saturday morning, you and about fifteen others turn up at a strangers home and get to work setting up a veggie garden using permaculture design principles. Once you've done this three times you can put your name on the list to have the horde come to your place. Permablitz began helping people create home food gardens in Melbourne, Australia in 2006, and the meme is spreading, first to other Australian cities, then to France, Uganda and the Netherlands. The veggie gardens are great, but perhaps even better is the way it is rebuilding the community relationships of mutual support that modern urban dwellers could be forgiven for thinking were gone 19th Century practise of barn raising.
Suburban farming, an idea whose time may have come. Short and sweet SLYT from the Wall Street Journal about people growing herbs and vegetables in their own yards in American suburbia.
Square Foot Gardening is the practice of planning small but intensively planted gardens. The phrase "square foot gardening" was popularized by Mel Bartholomew in a 1981 Rodale Press book and subsequent PBS television series. The practice combines concepts from other organic gardening methods, including a strong focus on compost, closely planted raised beds and biointensive attention to a small, clearly defined area. - Wikipedia (previously)
Summer's coming! The tried-and-true food growing tool of the aspiring urban agriculturalist: self-irrigating planters. Make or buy one of these things and vegetable container gardening is a breeze. [more inside]
If you have eaten a tomato this winter, chances are very good that it was picked by a person who lives in virtual slavery.
Whether you're a casual cultivator or gardening guru, PlantCare.com has a wealth of information about the care and feeding of indoor and outdoor plants. You can search the extensive plant database to find information on thousands of house plants, participate in and discuss your favorite gardening topics in the plant forum, and expand your plant knowledge with hundreds of gardening tips and guides.
Eartheasy is about sustainable living. It offers information, activities and ideas which help us live more simply, efficiently and with less impact on the environment. [more inside]
The opportunity of having a whole glorious season of flowering daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths indoors during winter is a reality. A bright floral display and fragrant aroma is always welcome when snow is on the ground and bundling up to keep warm outside is a must. [more inside]
Planning next spring's garden? Just curious about plants? Then check out Plant Information Online, which "provides access to: Current Plant and Seed Sources for 107,631 plants... from 1,054 North American firms that will ship plants; Contact information and links... for 2,448 North American retail and wholesale seed and nursery firms; Bibliographic details for 377,083 images of 140,104 wild and cultivated plants from around the world in botanical and horticultural books and magazines from 1982 to the present; and links to expert-selected sites on growing plants in your region of Canada or the US." (Description from website.)
Rich people's rooftops in NYC offers a fun birds-eye view into a few sky-high secret decks and gardens. Roofs are the new frontier for innovative urban architects, but they aren't exclusive to the wealthy. All kinds of people and organizations are starting rooftop gardens. See the impressive results that two Chicago denizens had growing heirloom vegetables on their roofs (2). [more inside]
I first encountered the concept of forest gardening in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland (1915) [relevant part pages 79-80]; the fictional race of women in her book have completely remade the forests to contain only beneficial and food-bearing plants, which live harmoniously together and replenish the soil naturally. This is actually being done, less than a hundred years later. More; similar, similar.
Allotments: how to get one, and what to grow in it once you've got it. Lots of people have allotments. Lots. Geddit?
Blooming is booming. Whether you prefer DIY or professionals, knowing what to plant and when can be daunting...unless you've got some really excellent websites on your side. And you do! Plantwire will help you find plants through conventional search, tags, or even by colour. Fine Gardening Magazine's site has much to offer: how-to section with videos, design ideas, and a fabulous plant guide. Garden Simply can help you achieve sustainable, organic gardening. Garden and Flower has several convenient guides on how to achieve gardening nirvana - including butterfly garden essentials! [more inside]
Gardeners unite! Folia is a new website for gardeners to organize, document and share their adventures. And now you too can obsess about your seed saving and hardiness zones. [more inside]
About 15% of the average American's household waste is compostable. Even apartment dwellers can turn their potato peelings and coffee grounds into gorgeous, nutrient-rich plant food with the help of worms. You can even buy the little dudes online! Once you have your worm farm set up, the big question is "Can I compost this?" You may be surprised at how often the answer is, "Yes!"
The Cooperative Extension Service, founded in 1914 in the US by the Smith-Lever Act, was established in concert with the land-grant universities to develop practical applications of agricultural research, and spread them to farmers and others throughout the country. As part of this education program, the extension programs have produced and collected an extraordinary amount of practical advice, easily accessible to the layman... [more inside]
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