The Container Gardening Ambassadors (the Fresh Food Home Guards)

All we need is your free moral support to make this world better

by Prof. Dr. Willem Van Cotthem (University of Ghent, Belgium)

Become a member of our container gardening group by clicking the ‘JOIN’ button at https://www.facebook.com/groups/221343224576801/  

(today almost 43.000 members).

Here are some of your trumps

Bottle towers with vegetables and herbs - Photo WVC P 1070455 - Video https://youtu.be/HuykRRspWOY.
Bottle towers with vegetables and herbs – Photo WVC P 1070455 – Video https://youtu.be/HuykRRspWOY.

1. If we show how to build a bottle tower <http://youtu.be/-uDbjZ9roEQ> to all the schoolchildren of this world and teach them how to grow some vegetables and herbs at school, they will enjoy building more towers for their family at home.

Riser with vegetables and herbs growing in recycled bottles - Photo Jojo ROM (The Philippines)  56269_1483085875405_1181604134_31159685_1301366_o.jpg
Riser with vegetables and herbs growing in recycled bottles – Photo Jojo ROM (The Philippines) 56269_1483085875405_1181604134_31159685_1301366_o.jpg

2. If we alleviate child malnutrition in our countries by teaching them container gardening at school, recycling all discarded containers in school gardens, e.g. on risers (see

video https://youtu.be/l7o_5UKIKTo

and <http://www.facebook.com/willemvancotthem>),

there will be sufficient food for decent daily meals and a cleaner environment.

And soon there will be fresh food galore everywhere.

Dwarf orange fruit trees grown in pots - Photo Container Growing - .jpg
Dwarf orange fruit trees grown in pots – Photo Container Growing – .jpg

3. If we convince all young mothers to plant only one fruit tree for every newborn baby and if we plant a fruit tree for every dear family member passing away, we will soon have orchards protecting us against global warming and climate change.

Barrels  cab easily be transformed in vertical gardens with a lot of fresh food - Photo Grow Food, Not Lawns - 542232_449799711742313_474788682_n.jpg
Barrels can easily be transformed in vertical gardens with a lot of fresh food – Photo Grow Food, Not Lawns – 542232_449799711742313_474788682_n.jpg

4. If we pass this message to the world leaders and publish all our photos to show them our green container gardens, it will be a giant convincing step towards a global food revolution.

And soon there will be less hunger because container gardening means solving these major problems at the lowest cost.  People in developing countries have been inventive to grow fresh food in a panoply of containers (pots, buckets, bags, sacks, barrels, …).  There is a lot of indigenous knowledge about best practices and success stories in food production. It is our moral duty to follow their examples and invest in large-scale application of their methods and techniques.  International organizations should reach hands with NGOs to ban hunger and malnutrition without any delay.  They should start in all the schools.

Let us put an important step towards a better future today:

JOIN THE GROUP OF CONTAINER GARDENING AMBASSADORS.  They are the Fresh Food Home Guards !

IT IS TOTALLY FREE : https://www.facebook.com/groups/221343224576801/ 

Kits for beginners

Photo credit: Quickcrop

Beginners Vegetable Garden Kits

https://www.quickcrop.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/grow-carrots-in-containers-300x300.jpg
https://www.quickcrop.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/grow-carrots-in-containers-300×300.jpg

Vegetable gardening can be a little intimidating to the beginner and it is hard to know where to start with all the various information flying around. Our new beginners garden kits were designed to include everything you need to start growing your own vegetables. They include easy to grow vegetable seeds with an appropriately sized planter or growbag and enough soil to fill it. These vegetable growing kits are the perfect start to growing your own as they are reusable, portable and easy to grow in.

When starting a vegetable garden you don’t need to spend a fortune and jump in at the deep end, our beginners kits are great entry level kits as they are affordable and very straightforward to use. They can be placed anywhere you have a bit of space, on patios, balconies, by the back door, or anywhere in the garden.

 

Read the full article: Quickcrop

Rooftop gardens could grow three quarters of city’s vegetables

Photo credit: Minna Takkala

URBAN FARMING GROWING TREND

by MINNA TAKALA – TREND EXPLORER

According to a recent study by EU rooftop gardens could grow three quarters of city’s vegetables. In recent years urban gardening, agriculture and farming have been growing globally. The Dalston Eastern Curve Garden is a good example of community garden program that has turned into a vibrant resource for the local community.

The Dalston Eastern Curve Garden was originally an overgrown, abandoned piece of railway land used as an unofficial landfill site. It received funding from London Development Agency and was finalised in eight month during 2010. Important aspects of the project was to provide opportunities for volunteers and its design and construction offered apprenticeship schemes for local people. It has won awards like Hackney Design Award 2010, Sustain Magazine 2010 Winner – Public Realm, Commended London Planning Awards 2010 – Community Scale Project.

Read the full article: Minna-Takkala

How to solve the hunger problem

Photo credit: WVC P1110748 – 2014-10

Vegetables, herbs and flowers in my experimental pallet garden

Hungry and malnourished families grow their own food

by Prof. Dr. Willem Van Cotthem (University of Ghent, Belgium)

Please check out my latest publication:

https://desertification.wordpress.com/2015/04/27/drought-hit-hungry-households-could-easily-grow-food-in-containers/

The beauty and significance of a school garden

Photo credit: Inquirer.net

THIS vegetable garden at Bonuan Boquig Elementary School in Dagupan City, tended with the help of Grade V and VI pupils, shows visitors the ways of growing food in limited areas. WILLIE LOMIBAO/ CONTRIBUTOR

See the bottle towers along the building and the horizontal bottles (left)

This school garden responds to community’s food needs

by Gabriel Cardinoza, Yolanda Sotelo | Inquirer Northern Luzon

DAGUPAN CITY—The backyard of the Bonuan Boquig Elementary School here is a cornucopia of vegetables grown in discarded oil cans and plastic soda bottles, which are stacked neatly in rows or hang vertically from chicken wire fences. One of the fences is lined with pechay sprouting out of discarded rubber boots filled with soil.

The school’s main pathway leads to a vertical garden tower of recycled containers planted with tomatoes, eggplants and okra.

This poor man’s hydroponic and aquaponic garden, which is tended with the help of Grade V and VI pupils, exposes visitors to ways of growing food in areas without big farmlands.

The garden was built two years ago by school principal Manuel Ferrer, and was the school’s winning entry to the “Gulayan sa Paaralan” competition in this city. In November 2013, Ferrer embarked on a project to turn the empty spaces of the school yard into a vegetable garden.

I did this at the school where I was assigned before, and I wanted to show the students that it is possible to grow their own vegetables,” he said.

Ferrer was the principal for three and half years at Carael Elementary School here. That school’s garden also won the top prize of the Gulayan sa Paaralan contest for two successive years.

To city residents, the garden is a relaxing deviation. As soon as they see the tower garden set up in the 3-meter yard separating two school buildings, visitors immediately encounter 10 evenly spaced plastic drums, each pierced with neatly arranged holes from where romaine lettuce plants protrude for a taste of sun and air, and for easy harvesting.

At the top of the drums sit marigold shrubs, which are natural insect repellents.

Read the full article: Inquirer.net

Herbs at home

Photo credit: Infarrantly Creative

Your kitchen herb garden

By

Found on infarrantlycreative.net - https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/e0/a8/df/e0a8df27b8fe87c623b0097db303d1a8.jpg
Found on infarrantlycreative.net – https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/e0/a8/df/e0a8df27b8fe87c623b0097db303d1a8.jpg

EXCERPT

A Kitchen Herb Garden perfect for any backyard or deck.

Putting the garden together is rather easy and be customized many different ways. We chose to use galvanized containers because I have a lot of them – so many, in fact, I made a Christmas tree out of them. However, any selection of planters would work. We also used a small vintage door but that could easily be replaced with painted plywood or stained hardwood. Or, you could create something similar to this project.

Supplies:

4 containers

Door or plywood Wood for bracing

Screws and washers

Rocks for filler

Empty bottles and cans for filler

Potting soil

Herb plants of your choice

1. Drill Drainage Holes You want to drill holes in the bottom of your containers. Not only will this be beneficial for drainage for the health of your plants, allowing water to drain will also cut down on the weight of the hanging containers. We used a large drill bit and it went through quite easily.

Read the full article: Infarrantly Creative

Towering potatoes

Photo credit: Urban Farmer Seward –

* Potato tower – 100_0622+(Mobile).JPG100_0622+(Mobile).JPG

In the garden: Grow a tower of potatoes in little space

by Carol Barany

Americans have rediscovered fresh, locally grown food, they love it, and, increasingly, they want to grow it themselves.

Last year, 35 percent of all American households, 42 million of them, grew food at home or in a community garden. That’s more vegetable gardens than we’ve seen in a decade, according to “Garden to Table: A 5-Year Look at Food Gardening in America,” a special report of the National Gardening Association.

* Bag - potatoes - Photo Tio Miguelito's Garden - product_3161_large copy.jpg
* Bag – potatoes – Photo Tio Miguelito’s Garden – product_3161_large copy.jpg

This trend was certainly reflected in the slate of seminars presented at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle on Feb. 11-15, where a main focus was on growing edibles. A host of speakers assured their audiences that all it takes is creativity and commitment to produce amazing food in even the tiniest urban space. That’s certainly true in Yakima, where I’ve seen vegetables growing on apartment balconies, in black plastic garbage bags, in planters hung from a fence, in burlap sacks and plastic laundry bins.

* Vertical potato tower - Photo Filip Ring Thenderup - 524197_155330084604427_1429767967_n copy.jpg
* Vertical potato tower – Photo Filip Ring Thenderup – 524197_155330084604427_1429767967_n copy.jpg

At “Towering Tubers: Grow 20 lbs. of Spuds in Less Than 4 Square Feet,” a seminar hosted by Fine Gardening magazine’s Danielle Sherry, I learned how even a sprawling crop like potatoes could be cultivated in a much smaller space. In this case, a simple vertical tower of wire fencing from 2 to 4 feet tall (a use for my ill-conceived tomato cages!) is lined with straw (my de-seeded and chopped ornamental grasses) and filled with compost.

Grown this way, there’s no need to deeply till or amend garden soil (a must for potatoes), there’s no weeding and crop rotation is not a concern.

Read the full article: Yakima Herald

Do you also grow food indoors in the winter?

Photo credit: * Bottles – vegetables – Photo Novos Rurais – 408141_363724003647206_494093603_n copy.jpg

Extension Connection: The Edible Indoor Garden

By Rhonda Ferree, Horticulture Educator, University of Illinois Extension

Many of us have vegetable gardens that provide us with delicious, fresh produce all summer long, but do you also grow food indoors in the winter?
Some types of edible indoor gardens to try include window gardens, containers, special systems and indoor greenhouses. The most limiting factor for growing plants indoors is light, so whichever option you choose must include a bright window or supplemental lighting.
Window gardens are very easy to do, especially when using prepared herb kits. I have small pots of cilantro and lettuce growing on my windowsill right now. I simply sprinkled some seed in a small container, gave it a little water, and placed it all in a mock greenhouse. My favorite mock greenhouse is one of those zippered plastic bags that linens come in, but Ziploc bags work too.
There are many possibilities with container herbs. I often grow rosemary indoors in the winter since it doesn't overwinter outdoors. Another great idea is to do a mixed container of herbs in a large container or strawberry pot. Or try a small patio or salad tomato grown in a five gallon bucket.

Read the full article : Canton Daily Ledger

If flavour rather than bulk is your priority

Photo credit: The Telegraph

Spuds on tap: pick what you need for your meal and leave the rest to grow 

Photo: GAP Photos/Gary Smith

How to grow potatoes in pots

Not only fantastic if you’re short on space, growing potatoes in containers make for a delicious crop

By Lia Leendertz

That sweet, nutty taste and the texture like slicing butter just doesn’t exist in the shop-bought potato, and I wanted it back in my life.

The answer has been to start growing them in pots. There are lots of ways in which this beats growing them in the ground, and a few in which it really doesn’t. Let’s get the negatives out of the way first. This is not the way to grow if you are after bulk and high yield. It is also high maintenance and you will need to remember to water regularly and well.

However, if flavour rather than bulk is your priority then this is a lovely way to grow them.

Potatoes grown in pots become almost a different vegetable. One of the reasons they are so good is that they grow so fast, giving them a soft, moist texture and almost non-existent skins. This also happens to be the secret behind the flown-in earlies: they are grown in places where the soils warm early in the year, so growth is speedy. But most of us don’t garden in a south-facing sloping Jersey field by the sea. After the chill of winter most UK soils are slowly warmed through by a still-weak sun. But pots can be moved to a sheltered corner to bake, onto a sunny balcony or patio, or even into a polytunnel or greenhouse. This will help increase the heat in the compost and therefore the growth rate of the potatoes.

Read the full article: The Telegraph

Thyme: a medicinal herb

Photo credit: Permaculture News

photo credit Lucie Bradley, Woodlands Community Gardens, Glasgow UK

Medicinal Plants in Permaculture……A Series of Monographs

by Lucie Bradley

EXCERPT

The second in the series ‘Medicinal plants and Permaculture’ is the hardy and highly aromatic Thyme (Thymus vulgaris). Although this time of year in the northern hemisphere is a slow one for plants, this herb is highly useful for winter ailments, for adults and children alike.

Considering stacking functions; as a vigorous perennial this plant also provides year-round ground cover and foliage through the long winter months even in the coldest climates. Whilst during the summer, it is adored bee fodder giving a distinctive flavour to the honey (1), a carpet of pretty delicate flowers and full aroma.

Like permaculture, herbal medicine forms part of a strategy that helps to build resilience and reduce disasters by maintaining a healthy, optimal equilibrium. A variety of herbs can be used through the year in advance of changing seasons to build resistance and immunity within the body.

Thyme is a great herb to use as a pre-cursor to the onset of winter, and through winter to maintain optimal health and well-being (although also highly useful at other times too, depending on the ailment and constitution of the individual).

Read the full article: Permaculture News