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Urban Farming Course PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 March 2012 14:49

I ran across this and it looked pretty interesting. If you are near an empty lot in an urban area and have a hankering for growing things try this site. URBAN FARMING COURSE.

Mission: To create a movement of urban farmers to build communities, resilient local food systems, and income to support their families.

Your Guides: Curtis Stone, owner and operator or Green City Acres, a 3/4 acre pedal-powered urban farm in Kelowna, BC ($60,000 sales in his second season) and Luke Miller Callahan, founder of GroAction, a hub for social entrepreneurs.

With the economy the way it is and gas going up, this makes a lot of sense.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 March 2012 15:00
 
Pocket Gardens PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 24 March 2012 08:01

There was an interesting article on Huffpost on pocket gardens.

If you are interested, try looking at some Japanese gardens. They have (especially in Tokyo where space is at a premium) gardens in really small spaces. Many times, these areas are points of quiet or areas for meditation. I wrote about this last fall in an article called Garden Spaces (Here is the link: Garden Spaces) . You can find all types of areas to put plants in. Have an ugly brick wall facing you? Put up a wired grid and hang small pots off it. Have an ugly garbage can? Put a stand with plants in front of it. If you look around your limited space, you can find areas to put plants in. Stoops are good for staggering pots of flowers or herbs. If you have an unsightly chain link fence, put fence boxes on it with hanging plants to hide it. The ideas will come as you start looking around your small space, just be mindful of the watering and sun needs of the plants.

A great book on these tiny gardens, which features some incredible gardens on balconies and in backyards, is GARDEN VIEWS, Water and Stream Gardens, by Tatsui Teien Kenkyujo. Another good source is CREATING SMALL GARDENS by Roy Strong. Living in a city, we often miss the natural world of plants and green. But this doesn't mean you can't add some yourself with a little imagination and elbow grease. Here are the books mentioned above available on Amazon.com:



Creating Small Gardens:



Garden Views, Water and Stream Gardens:


Last Updated on Saturday, 24 March 2012 10:47
 
Happy Seed Starting Time! PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 March 2012 07:09

The daffodils are up and we already heard a robin singing here in Jersey City. Here's hoping winter doesn't roar back in. Anyway, I've started some favorites inside here. Check out the Garden Giveaway link (below the poll on the home page menu) for the largest collection of free to order seed catalogs that I've ever seen. The time is now to get your orders in. I've used the Jiffy Peat pots and plastic greenhouses again. You can find a picture and short review in the Reviews You Can Use section. These work for leafy veggies, lettuce, chard, kale, even tomatoes and flowers. I would not try them with radishes or carrots though (anything that is a root veggie). i would use the small pots with soil for those.

This year, I have started kale, chard, Snow peas, lettuce, purple basil, moonflowers and some cosmos inside. Kale and chard have proven to be very tasty, loaded with vitamins and can stand the heat of summer better than lettuce. (they don't go to seed as fast.) On order from Burpee are tomato plants (this year it's Big Boy tomatoes) and the sweet red pepper plants that did so well in the garden last year. The early tomatoes did not do so well in the garden last year, I suspect due to the colder weather we had in May and June. Returning in this year's lineup are the blueberries (two plants), blackberry (one), chives, some parsley, lavender and columbine. These spent the winter in the square foot box that was turned into a coldrame.



Seed Starting Inside

Viewing the online poll here, it appears most gardeners are on their way with planning their gardens. Thinking and planning ahead always lead to a better season. You can schedule an early spring crop and have the next round of plants or seeds ready for summer or early fall. With a little pre-planning, you can extend your growing season from early spring well into the fall. Happy Gardening!



Last Updated on Saturday, 24 March 2012 07:25
 
Orchid in Bloom PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 09:59



The first of the winter orchids has bloomed. This yellow phalaenopsis helps brighten the window up here. Seems we are getting off to a slow start this year, maybe because many of these plants have been here for over 5 years now! Since the light didn't do the color justice, I brought it outside and took a pix in the sun.



New features are being added to this site. GARDEN GIVEAWAY will feature a weekly garden freebie of some sort, or coupon.This week it's a free catalog from the NY Botanical Garden of their classes. What is of special interest are the short DIG IN classes being given on Saturdays at various locations including midtown Manhattan, the Botanical Garden itself and in Westchester County, NY. The classes cover everything from container gardening to identifying edible species of plants locally. Look into the pdf to find out more. The Garden Giveaway link appears on the left hand column under the poll.


Let us know where you are with your garden planning for this year. Based on responses we can tailor info we present. For instance, if more people are interested in seed starting we will feature that. Or, if more are interested in buying plants we can hunt down sources for that topic.

The third new feature is called REVIEWS YOU CAN USE. I am a customer of my own My City Garden Store. The store features items that have been picked out for relevance to gardening in small urban spaces. I'll give a short review of items I have bought and actually use. I just bought a indoor greenhouse/rack,so you can see a short review of that purchase. The link appears in the main menu.

Last Updated on Saturday, 24 March 2012 07:25
 
Flowers in Winter -- Well, it's supposed to be winter now PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 15:52
Orange_Peach_Hibiscus

With some orchids finally waking up into buds, we've also got the peach hibiscus and the orange geranium in flower. Really nice to see when outside is so grey and dismal. The cherry tomatoes in the aerogarden are getting ready for a a salad appearance and we just harvested and ate most of the kale (yummy steamed and fried with onions, Spike and butter) and salad greens. Nice to have real fresh food in the winter.

Right now, it's about 60 degrees out on the first of February. Granted, February is when the balance swings to things warming a bit, usually with more snow, but we've only had 2 snows, one in October and a light one last month. Sitting outside in a sweater is nice, but seeing a honeybee flying around, bulbs coming up like it's March makes me think plants aren't really gonna get rested and the non beneficial bugs like fleas aren't going to be eliminated. Anyway, it's out to the coldframe to check on the residents there. The berries, columbine, lavender, etc. seem to be doing pretty well in there.



Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 15:56
 
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