Going Organic

Going Organic

Going organic is much more than just switching from Monsanto-manufactured chemical warfare, to herbal sprays and less-toxic powders. Going organic is an opportunity to rethink. It is a journey of rebuilding with different, yet similar, basic components. When we build our garden organically, we must leave behind the grow-what-I-wish-and-spray-the-bad-bugs domination mentality. There is a whole ecosystem out there which synthetic-chemical gardening techniques ignore and motor over. Going organic is an opportunity to step into that ecosystem and to embrace it,…

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The Lost Art

The Lost Art

“Can she bake a cherry pie?” chants the American folk song. That didn’t mean opening a can of goo from the supermarket and dumping it into a frozen pie shell. It mean knowing when the cherries were sweet and ripe, harvesting and pitting them, creating the pie shell from scratch (perhaps hand-churning the butter), and knowing what other local and available ingredients to mix in to make it all taste good. The song referred to a real and necessary skill…

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Vegetable Garden Design in brief

Vegetable Garden Design in brief

a handout written for the Emerson Avenue Community Garden 1) Include food. There are so many reasons we need to be growing food right now in this society (list here http://envirochangemakers.org/FoodSecurity.htm ) and this garden is the place to show people how it is done. Certainly a “working flower” is nice here or there, but these beds are predominantly an opportunity to showcase the beauty food plants can have. Scan a few gorgeous food-garden books to understand how very much…

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Places to learn about seed saving

Places to learn about seed saving

An online booklet to get you started http://www.seedalliance.org/download-form-1/ (more cool stuff from them http://www.seedalliance.org/Publications/ ) A beautiful YouTube about seeds and genetic heritage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9K0cZGQgHA A graphic that explains F1 hybrids and why so few will breed true. http://scienceforhumans.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/punnet-square-mendel-results.jpg At my seed class they quoted 8% as the amount that breed true, and they did not offer a statistic for the % that might be sterile The premiere guide, in my estimation, is Suzanne Ashworth’s Seed to Seed. Start attending the…

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Watering the Garden

Watering the Garden

In the Community Garden at 83rd & Dunbarton, we use what we call “the one finger test.” That means you take your finger and stick it into the garden soil – about one inch down into the soil. The soil down there should feel moist, like a wrung-out sponge. If the soil feels moist, your plants in that location don’t need watering today. The one-finger test means getting your hands into the soil. That means the real dirt, beneath the…

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What is a Transition Enterprise?

What is a Transition Enterprise?

Thoughts from the UK’s REconomy project: 1) Resilience outcome Will benefit the local community by improving its resilience or wellbeing in some way 2) Low Carbon Minimises carbon emissions and thus contribution to climate change 3) Natural Limits Works within the natural resource (and energy) limits of the planet, including ecosystem services. Works with suppliers that do the same. 4) Appropriate Localization Considers viability of business model post peak oil, and level of independence from globalized corporate macro-economy and its risks….

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