June 2009 Blog Posts (78)

A Tale of two Tomatoes

From Section Z

Buy local and live free.

The food industry is consolidating at an alarming rate. The top companies producing meats, grains, and other staples now enjoy virtual control over the markets for their products. It's gotten to the point where much of our nourishment depends on a handful of giants. And they're shipping foods an average of 1500 miles to reach your plate, a… Continue

Added by Pete Russell on June 9, 2009 at 1:52am — No Comments

Nature and Nurture, Slowly

relax with food gardening

By Barbara Damrosch

It's often said that a green thumb is a dirty thumb. The best way to learn to garden is simply to start doing it, with a sharp eye out for the way plants grow successfully in the wild. Certain rules apply, and whether those are unchanging natural laws and part of a grand plan, nobody knows. But there are enough observable… Continue

Added by Pete Russell on June 8, 2009 at 8:30pm — No Comments

I've Got Worms

What better present could a gardener ask for: but worms. My father in law who now classes himself as too old to garden any more, but manages to grow vegetables that rival most I have seen, has passed over his worm farm. He assures me that they produce the best "worm wee" in the west. So far they are eating up the vegescraps and the compost is missing out.

I wondered if it was too cold for them, especially since we have had a couple of frosts lately, and thought about bringing them inside… Continue

Added by Mark on June 7, 2009 at 8:00pm — No Comments

Swede seedling update

I planted the swede seedlings out today. So long as they survive, they will have done better than the small ones I transplanted as they have all disappeared. Even the few plants that grew from seed sewed directly in the garden (the ones that survived my neglect) also seem to have disappeared. I'm thinking slugs and snails are probably the culprit. Should really start going on nightly raids again...

I have left the yogurt pottles around… Continue

Added by Sarah Walsh on June 7, 2009 at 11:38am — No Comments

Community Gardens blossom

The recession and the concern over the environment have sparked a boom in community gardens across the United States. Reuters Fred Katayama… Continue

Added by James Samuel on June 6, 2009 at 10:19pm — No Comments

Pollination: The Poke, Shake and Leave

By Eight Square Metres

Flowers have started appearing on some of the plants so I had a quick Google to see if my assistance was required in reproduction.

Specifically, the plants I was interested in were the pea plants, the tomato plants and the chili plants, each of which has a number of flowers now. I was surprised to see that a… Continue

Added by Pete Russell on June 6, 2009 at 4:36pm — 1 Comment

I, Locavore--Window Box Organic Farming

organic lettuce on balcony

By Robert Sietsema

The view from my bedroom window looks past fields of organic lettuce (click to harvest)

Food doesn't get any more local than that: When dinner comes, I walk from the kitchen to the bedroom, snip a bowlful of baby lettuces, and then return to the kitchen to douse my salad with vinaigrette. The lettuce is often still warm from the sun, and… Continue

Added by Pete Russell on June 6, 2009 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Farmers markets bloom at hospitals

By Madison Park

As patients are tethered to dialysis machines, and many lay bedridden from obesity-related diseases, the hospitals' fast food joints and cafeterias dispense fried goodies and slick burgers that contributed to such conditions.

"With fast food establishments, hospitals are sending a message that food… Continue

Added by Pete Russell on June 5, 2009 at 8:11pm — No Comments

Michelle Obama visits White House garden helpers


WASHINGTON (AP) — It was time for Michelle Obama to return the favor.

She put out the welcome mat at the White House and is opening its doors to all types of visitors, schoolchildren especially. She even turned to some fifth-graders for help when she decided to plant a "kitchen" garden on a patch of the… Continue

Added by Pete Russell on June 4, 2009 at 10:23pm — No Comments

Another rainy and cold day in Colorado Springs...

but who can afford to fuss about free water! The high here was about 45f and it has rained or been foggy all day. I can't really wait to see what Pikes Peak looks like when the clouds break. It has been snowing there for days. I brought the tender seedlings back in because of the cold night temps. At least it isn't snowing here.

Added by Margaret Beers Oliver on June 4, 2009 at 11:36am — No Comments


The wind quit, and the chill off the snow fields on the mountain is intense. I havve brought in everything that isn't firmly planted in the earth as it seems like it could frost. I hope that I can get this garden really kicked in. One thing I have found is that if you put compost on as a top dressing your roses go wild! I planted rainbow swiss chard (silver beet) today and hope that it comes up in spite of a cold evening. Sunday I planted golden zuccinni and think I may have gone over board on… Continue

Added by Margaret Beers Oliver on June 3, 2009 at 3:00pm — 1 Comment

In a pinch

From Karen K. Brees, the author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Preserving Food"

One of the most aggravating situations is finding you're out of a certain ingredient when you're already committed to the recipe. Sometimes, though, you've got a satisfactory substitution at hand. It just takes a little know-how...

Out of baking powder? Make your own with 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar plus 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.

Out of sour cream?… Continue

Added by James Samuel on June 3, 2009 at 4:30am — No Comments


Well, its been raining but its still warm. The vege's are growing and keeping well ahead of what we can pick and eat. This means some are starting the reproductive cycle and going to seed. Pak Choy have have such lovely yellow flowers it seemed a shame to pull them out so I've left them there to add some colour. The leeks are growing well and have started to fatten up. The courgette plants are still producing albeit rather slowly.

The… Continue

Added by Mark on June 2, 2009 at 7:13pm — No Comments

june 2009

june, its my birthday chooks arn't laying so had to buy eggs to make my own bd cake.

just started dubble digging number three vegy plot. (not a frase you hear so much nowadays but i cant afford raised beds and we have 6 inches of top soil before you hit clay) big tree is now mostly down and spread like a big tree jigsaw across the grass whilst i cut it into lumps for next years fire wood.All the council asked was that we grow a new native some where on the plot. and i am curently trying to… Continue

Added by John Howard on June 2, 2009 at 11:53am — No Comments

The Poetry of Compost

By Paul Knigsnorth

Your compost heap can be an untapped powerhouse of energy, says Paul Kingsnorth - it's just a matter of learning to harness it

I am writing this in the depths of winter. Snow is forecast for tomorrow. I haven’t been down to my allotment for a while: there’s not much to do there, other than pick… Continue

Added by Pete Russell on June 1, 2009 at 10:51pm — No Comments

Gardening Books


This spring a young man’s — and woman’s — fancy should turn to vegetables. Judging by the new batch of garden books, we’re creeping into a back-to-the-land movement, rather like what happened in the 1970s but without the macramé. Yet — we’ll soon be making plant holders. Again. This being America,… Continue

Added by Pete Russell on June 1, 2009 at 6:16pm — No Comments

Chicken manure.

See the two photos...Today I cleared a small patch of bean and pean remains and some old tomato plants and spread chicken manure thickly. It will weather in the next 2/3 months and be ready for corn planting in the spring.

Added by Robyn Wolfe on June 1, 2009 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Gardening boom extends to city plots

Experts say the surge in interest home gardening can be attributed to several factors: the burgeoning local foods movement, the downturn in the economy and increased concern about food safety. They say that the trend began last year but has intensified in 2009. According to the South Burlington, Vt.-based National Gardening Association, 7 million more households plan to grow herbs, berries, fruits or vegetables this year, a 19 percent jump. In 2008, the number of households with gardens… Continue

Added by Mark Fowler on June 1, 2009 at 7:09am — No Comments

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