Posts filed under ‘Home Garden’
A couple weeks ago my friend asked me to take some photos of the Beach Flats Community Garden in Santa Cruz which they can use for their upcoming blog. Some of them turned out pretty good.
From my Santa Cruz Indymedia post:
The weather is warming and this years summer crops at the Beach Flats Community Garden are coming up. It’s been over a year since the Garden was first threatened with closure by the overburdened and resource-strapped Community Center which oversees it. Since, members of the community have banded together not only that once, but again last December, to make sure the garden stays open, the second time in the face of city budget cuts. Despite the threats, gardeners continue to plant, tend and harvest.
Not only is kimchi so tasty, it’s good for you! Kimchi is a yummy Korean fermented salad usually made with cabbage and various spices, similar to sauerkraut. I love it when it’s really garlic-y! Lately, it seems like everyone is talking about probiotics and fermented foods as essentials to digestive health, so take a clue and get yourself some! Check out this homemade batch by the Urban Homesteaders made with homegrown carrots, daikon radish, green onions and cabbage.
If you’re in the Bay Area, Santa Cruz-based Happy Girl Kitchen is doing Fermenting and canning workshops which you can attend for a small fee. The day is complete with local organic lunch! Fermenting and canning your own food is a great way to use up the excess harvest from the garden and is good for the planet since there are no food miles from your plate to your backyard.
Andrea, the author, went to a permaculture course in her hometown of Vancouver, BC, and learned a simple method of charting out the plan in a grid:
I find this a great way to quickly see if I’ve got any obvious empty spots in a bed. In one bed, for example, I just had carrots and tomatoes, which left big blank spots in the “Harvest” row for spring, and in the “Plant” row for fall. By adding an overwintering vegetable such as leeks or Brussels sprouts to that bed, I could plant in fall and be harvesting the next spring – getting that much more action out of a single bed.
I’m by no means an expert gardener. In fact, this is really only the third season I’ve been growing food. But I have to say this is my favorite batch of plants yet. I dug up a patch of the lawn outside my apartment and took care to only carve out enough space that I could manage on my own. The first round of plants included four tomatoes (two in pots), two zucchini, four butter lettuce, a row of baby spinach, a row of spring mix, three broccoli, one green bell pepper, an eggplant, several basil plants, cilantro, parsley and a couple strawberries. I was worried when the lettuce started disappearing due to a hungry gopher, but fortunately for me, the neighbor cats took care of him before he did too much damage. However, I soon discovered the cats love to sleep and dig in the garden. A tomato and a zucchini start suffered broken stems due to cat nap. They have since recovered and since the cats saved me from doing the dirty gopher removal work, I am happy to have them nearby. (Though I do think they dug around newly planted seeds where I haven’t seen one sprout in over two weeks.)
By now, mid-August, the first rounds of greens are long gone. I have had zucchini coming out of my ears now for almost two months and the long-awaited tomatoes are finally stating to redden. In Santa Cruz this year everyone has been waiting and waiting for the tomatoes and they are finally upon us! See more garden photos on my flickr page.
I finally took a couple shots (with my camera phone, sorry for the quality) of the Food Not Lawns house in Santa Cruz. Over a year ago, maybe two years ago, the front lawn of this house was dug up and replaced with a space for growing food. Well-kept and gorgeous, the crops are always rotating with a mix of veggies and flowers. There is a drip watering system, too. Had I more gumption, I would have stopped by to talk to the residents of the house, but alas, I was hungry and on my way to eat Indian food. Anyway, back when it was first set up, this project was the first I’d heard of or seen of Food Not Lawns and prompted me to go to a session on it at the Eco Farm conference in January. It’s just the inspiration I needed to rip up my own (very small) patch of lawn behind my apartment and plant food there. The book, written by Heather Flores, is full of tips not just for gardening, but all kinds of permaculture projects. A friend of mine used the instructions in the book to set up a water system that takes gray water from the house and cycles it though the yard.
Your Backyard Gardener is one of the cooler things I’ve heard of in a while. If you are too busy saving the world in other ways to grow your own food but you’re still concerned about access to local, organic food, you’re in luck if you live in the Portland area. Your Backyard Gardener consults with families about what kinds of veggies they like to eat and then turns their lawns into backyard farms. Drip irrigation is set up so maintenance is minimal and someone from the organization comes to your house once a week to harvest and check on things, maybe do some weeding or plant some new seeds. The City of Portland recently awarded Your Backyard Gardner a “Best of…” award for Sustainable Food Systems. This is a great way to provide our communities with local, organic food, bringing the concepts of Urban Farming and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) to a whole new level.
Over at my tilthyrich.com Jimi wrote a great post on making your own worm bins. Not only does it detail how to get started, but he put some great problem solving tips in there, too, for instance, “Smelly bin? Worms are vegan” and more.