10,000 Gardens in Africa

Photo credit: Food Tank

All community members are given opportunity to learn, and engage with food through Slow Food project, 10,000 Gardens in Africa.
Slow Food London

Let’s Get Growing: 10,000 Gardens in Africa

Approximately three out of every four Africans are 25 years of age or younger. Many of these individuals are also food insecure, with roughly a quarter of the estimated 842 million chronically hungry people in the world living in Africa. The Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity has re-launched a project aiming to engage these youth in sustainable food and agriculture systems.

Originally started as one of their main projects in 2012, the project created 1,000 gardens over two years in schools, communities, and urban outskirts in 30 African countries. In 2014, this initiative became the 10,000 Gardens in Africa campaign, with the objective of creating 10,000 gardens across the continent, and the mobilization of a network of young African leaders dedicated to preserving biodiversity, traditional knowledge and food culture, and small-scale agriculture. Here are seven reasons why you should know about the 10,000 Gardens in Africa project.

Read the full article: Food Tank

Chillis in pots

Photo credit: The Telegraph

CHILLIES CAN MAKE A BIG IMPACT FOR GARDENERS SHORT ON SPACE

CREDIT: ALAMY

 

How to grow chillis in pots

by 

With their bright fruit and lush, glossy leaves, chillies are perfect for bringing a touch of the tropics to the garden and, whether they’re edible varieties or not, work brilliantly in combination with other plants.

Add them to a hot sunny border once frosts have passed and they are the perfect companion to late summer perennials such as golden rudbeckias, rich red monardas and sunny heleniums, as well as more tender plants like dahliascannas and cosmos.

Read the full story: The Telegraph

 

Teaching Families to Grow Own Food

Photo credit: WFMY

The Jamestown Farmer’s Market is looking for donations of gardening tools as it starts a new non-profit.

Jamestown Farmer’s Market Teaching Families to Grow Own Food

Meghann Mollerus, WFMY

The Jamestown Farmer’s Market’s new non-profit program aims to teach families how to grow their own food. The goal? To alleviate food deserts by capitalizing on a growing trend — container gardening.

“We are going to teach them to grow a garden from scratch,” said Jamestown Farmer’s Market employee Laura Simpson. “They could do a little square in their yard and put something on vines.”

The Jamestown Farmer’s Market opened in April 2015 and shortly after began the process of obtaining a 501(c)3. Market owner Deborah Mitchell said she recognized the need for families to learn home growing skills and saw it as a means of helping alleviate food deserts in the area.

So, the Jamestown Agriculture and Educational Junction — certified by the NC Dept. of Agriculture — will launch early next year, with classes beginning Jan. 25, 2015. Sign up by e-mailing: thejamestownmarket@aol.com, visiting The Jamestown Farmer’s Market’s Facebook page or visiting The Jamestown Farmer’s Market in person on E. Main St. in Jamestown (next to Potent Potables).

Read the full article: WFMY News2

Should you pee on your plants ?

Photo credit: Huffington Post

PHOTOGRAPH BY JOHN HOWARD/GETTY

Discover the incredible benefit of urine in the backyard

by Jean Nick, for Rodale’s Organic Life

Depending on which gardening circles you hang with, the concept of urine in the garden may already have surfaced as a discussion topic. So what’s the deal? Should you seriously pee on your peas, tinkle on your tomatoes, and take a leak on your lettuce?

Related: Is People Poop Good For Plants?

Well, not on them, exactly, but if you aren’t using your urine in your garden and on your compost pile, you are, pardon my French, pissing away a free, valuable resource and missing out an easy way to help close the gaping hole in your household nutrient cycle. Using urine in the garden can help you cut your water use (less flushing) while also cleaning up the environment downstream (no water-polluting fertilizer runoff).

Your #1 Choice For Fertilizer
Recent scientific studies have shown urine is a safe and very effective fertilizer for cabbage, beets, cucumbers, and tomatoes, and pretty much anything else you want to grow. Urine boasts a nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (N-P-K) ratio of 10:1:4, plus more modest amounts of the trace elements plants need to thrive. The nutrients in pee are highly available to plants, too—an extra plus. One estimate suggests a family of four can produce the equivalent of more than 100 pounds of all-purpose garden fertilizer every year. Oh, and the best part? It’s free! Oh, be still, my nickel-pinching heart!

Related: The 10 Best Garden Crops to Plant This Summer

But ewwww…yuck! Is it safe? Yes! Unless you have a serious infection, urine is usually sterile, and the chances of disease transmission from it on the household level are very, very small. And any slight odor dissipates almost immediately once it’s applied to the soil. While we’re not suggesting you drink your urine, know that astronauts on the International Space Station do drink the stuff—after it’s purified. So comparatively speaking, sprinkling it on the soil in the garden is a pretty tame use.

How To Use Your Very Own Garden Gold (Free Deliveries Daily!)

Read the full article: Huffington Post

Don’t throw your wood ash away

Photo credit: Balcony Garden Web

Using Wood Ash in the Garden

Using wood ash in the garden is the best way to employ it, instead of throwing it away.

You can store it or apply readily to fertilize the garden and much more.

Wood Ash Fertilizer

Best way to dispose of the ashes at profit is to spread it on the garden beds. But you should do this with precaution of not exaggerating the doses, wood ash is alkaline.

Wood ash contains calcium carbonate around 25%, potassium 3% and other useful elements like phosphorous, manganese and zinc. In terms of commercial fertilizer, wood ash contains 0-1-3 (N-P-K).

Phosphorus is useful in the coloration of flowers and the flavor of the fruits along with potassium, which is useful in the growth and cultivation. There are several other trace elements found in wood ash such as magnesium, iron, copper, boron etc. These contents may vary according to the type of wood you use for combustion.

http://cdn.balconygardenweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/wood-ash-on-tomato-roots1.jpg
http://cdn.balconygardenweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/wood-ash-on-tomato-roots1.jpg

Type of Wood Ash to be Used

Ash from hardwood trees is most useful and contains more trace elements than softwood trees’ ash, softwood trees are coniferous with needle like leaves.

One more thing you need to know is ash produced from pruning of saplings contains more proportion of potassium and other trace elements, while older wood contains lower concentrations of nutrients.

Read the full article: Balcony Garden Web

There is interest in food gardening again

Photo credit: Tri-City Herald

Young gardeners are making a comeback with vegetable gardening after the hobby saw a decrease in the 1990s.

MIA AIGOTTI — New York Times

Garden Tips: Vegetable gardening seeing comeback

BY MARIANNE OPHARDT

Having been at this job for more than 30 years, I have seen gardening trends come and go. In the 1980s, there were numerous gardeners interested in food gardening, growing vegetables and tree fruit in their backyards. You could always find vegetable transplants available at big box stores, as well as at local nurseries.

In the 1990s, things started to change. Fewer gardeners were interested in growing their own produce. The big box stores changed to offering fewer vegetable transplants, instead focusing on colorful annual flowers. Maybe people realized that gardens and fruit trees were a lot of work, they had easy access to fresh produce from local farmers markets, their busy lives did not allow time for gardening, or a combination of all these.

I am happy to say that we have come full circle, and gardeners, especially people under age 50, are interested in food gardening again. The focus is on veggies and herbs. A survey by Today’s Garden Center shows that these “youngsters” say gardening gives them a sense of accomplishment, allows them to become more self-sufficient and have more control over the safety of their food, and provides a way to get children outside and teach them about nature.

Another point to remember about younger gardeners is their interest in food and cooking. There is a proliferation of TV cooking shows that are enjoyed by young adults and older folks like me. Because the All-America Selections (AAS) organization has noticed that cooking fresh foods is trending, they plan to market their 2016 winning herb and vegetable selections with five videos that demonstrate cooking techniques.

Read the full article: Tri-City Herald

Grow salad greens on your balcony

Photo credit: * Balcony – Bottles – Sweet potato – Photo Edna Palomares – 574655_3430734820619_1361214987_n.jpg

Balcony Gardening – Grow A Salad Bowl

Now is a good time to plant baby lettuce, spinach and micro-greens for early Fall harvest.  You do not need a deep container to grow salad greens and you can grow the greens from seed.  Covering the potted seeds with loose plastic wrap holds the moisture and heat and encourages sprouting.

Growing Container Salad Greens:  “You will be able to harvest your first crop in just a few short weeks, using the small tender leaves that are often not available to buy. These micro-greens are the mix of choice for gourmet salads. Leafy greens also make a flavorful addition to sandwiches or wraps.”

Radishes also mature quickly.  Use radish greens instead of basil in your pesto recipe.

Read the full story: Denvergardeners

Old Produce Into New Food

Photo credit: GOOD

Sweden’s Ingenious Plan to Turn Old Produce Into New Food Sources

by Laura Feinstein

Despite global hunger and widespread poverty, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, humans still waste more than a third of our food. As with most international problems, Sweden already has an ingenious solution. Recently a group of graduate students at the utilitarian sounding “Food Innovation and Product Design” program at Lund University has created a unique way to turn otherwise unusable produce into a valuable source of nutrition. FoPo Food Powder, a system of dried and powdered fruits and vegetables similar to astronaut space food, can be easily dropped into disaster zones to provide non-refrigerated goods. Freeze-dried food is popular for many relief efforts (as well as interstellar travel) because of its ability to retain much of the nutritional benefits of “raw” food. Even food that has expired, or is no longer able to be sold at the market, is still rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein.

When we found out that one-third of the food produced was going to waste while people in the world were starving we couldn’t back out,” student Kent Ngo tellsSmithsonian.com.

Read the full article: GOOD

 

A school garden in the school pool

Photo credit: New Zealand Gardener

Andrew Farquhar/Contemporary Creative

Pupils at Wairakei School in Taupo tend the veges growing in their aquaponics system

How a Taupo primary school pool became a vegetable garden

by CHRISTINE RUSH

What do you get when you cross a former swimming pool, some keen pupils and a whole heap of goldfish? A highly productive aquaponics system.

Wairakei Primary School in Taupo has what is thought to be the only school aquaponics unit in New Zealand. Officially opened in May, it is the culmination of three years planning and fundraising, says teacher aide and Enviroschools leader Diana Fitzsimmons.

The school used to have outdoor gardens but due to the chilly climate and light pumice soil, nothing grew.

“Adding compost and nutrients didn’t help and they were costing a fortune,” says Diana.

At the same time the swimming pool was decommissioned. The pupils came up with ideas for the space: a skateboard park, flying fox, spongeball pit, trampoline or garden.

“They went through pros and cons and how they would run them, and came up with one with the most benefit for school and community: an aquaponics unit.”

Local businesses and tradesmen helped supply and fit the plumbing, equipment and electrics. The pool area is covered with a FlexiTunnel and needs little maintenance.

Read the full article: New Zealand Gardener