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

Un potager bio hyper productif en permaculture

 

FOR OUR FRENCH SPEAKING FRIENDS

POUR NOS AMIS FRANCOPHONES

En 60 jours, il est passé de quelques graines à un potager bio hyper productif en permaculture

Par Mathieu Doutreligne

Dans l’agitation de notre vie quotidienne, l’idée de faire pousser ses propres légumes semble impossible. L’histoire et les photos qui suivent vous prouveront le contraire et vous donneront la motivation nécessaire pour réaliser vos rêves.

TRANSLATION: In the bustle of daily life, the idea of growing your own vegetables seems impossible. The story and photos below prove the opposite and offer you the motivation to achieve your dreams.

===========

Si les autorités le permettent – If the authorities accept it.

 

 

Roof farms and vertical farms

Photo credit: Treehugger

Green roof at Toronto’s Mountain Equipment Coop (credit: Suzanne Jesperson)

Green roofs, living walls and vertical farms are all morphing into living green buildings

by Lloyd Alter (@lloydalter)
Design / Green Architecture

21 photos

EXCERPT

The green roof installed at Toronto’s Mountain Equipment Coop in 1998 it was one of the first of its kind- the extensive lightweight planting of low-maintenance, smaller native plants. It was not designed to be looked at; the only way you can get to it is via a ladder and a roof hatch, and the only people who can see it are in the new condos surrounding the store now. It was a nice touch, but nobody knew what a revolution in building design it was the start of.

Livging walls - credit SPARK - http://media.treehugger.com/assets/images/2015/03/spark-1.jpg.0x545_q100_crop-scale.jpg
Living walls – credit SPARK – http://media.treehugger.com/assets/images/2015/03/spark-1.jpg.0x545_q100_crop-scale.jpg

There really is no reason that ground, walls, balconies and roofs cannot all feed us, provide habitat for wildlife, shade and cool our buildings, and provide feedstock for our furnaces and electrical generators. There is no reason that our own waste can’t be digested on site and provide compost for the farm. There is no reason that our buildings cannot provide employment for people living in them, growing the food that others in the building can then have for dinner.

This is the future of green living building, it’s not walls, roofs or garden; it’s everywhere.

Read the full article: Treehugger

On one square foot

Photo credit: Quickcrop

A square foot garden grid

New Square Foot Garden Plans

Square Foot Gardening is an easy to understand method of planting vegetables which splits a gardeners plot into square foot areas rather than into rows. This system is especially good for beginners as it makes plant spacing much easier and also makes more sense for growing in a small space as most beginners do.

The idea is each square foot contains a certain amount of each crop depending on the size of the vegetable and how close they can be planted. The original SFG is an excellent concept but we do feel many of the planting distances are too tight to grow really impressive vegetables. Yes, you can grow some acceptable crops at the recommended spacing but if you have seen really healthy and vigourous fruit and vegetables I think you will be a little disappointed. For this reason we have created our own New Square Foot Garden Plans with more room for the plants to grow.

Here are a few reasons why wider spacings are better for your garden:

Read the full article: Quickcrop

Grow edibles on rooftops

Photo credit: Brisbane Times

Dr Sara Wilkinson tends a tomato crop on a rooftop above Broadway at UTS. Photo: Peter Morris

Rooftops offer a viable and sustainable space for growing edible produce

by Robin Powell

What if the greens you need for tonight’s dinner were grown on the roof of the office where you work? From a cook’s perspective this is a dream – fresh produce and no time wasted on shopping. And the advantages of urban farming extend way beyond the wellbeing of the time-poor consumer. Produce farmed on urban rooftops also contributes to reducing the heat island effect of cities, lowering summer temperatures and minimising the carbon footprint of food.

Roof garden - Photo Jardin Inspiracion - 1546347_644306198944314_987979625_n_2 copy.jpg
Roof garden – Photo Jardin Inspiracion – 1546347_644306198944314_987979625_n_2 copy.jpg

Rooftop vegetable gardens increase urban biodiversity; decrease stormwater run-off; offer psychological benefits to those involved with the garden and with fellow gardeners; and can even protect and extend the lifetime of the roof.

Interest in green roofs is growing like dandelions in spring: the City of Sydney reports an average of one development application a week for a green roof or wall. Already, 100,000 square metres is given over to green roofs across the city, and Lord Mayor Clover Moore says the City is doing all it can “to introduce more of these features into our urban landscape”.

* Roof garden - Photo Les Urbainculteurs - 1503385_633030990087111_1484373713_n copy.jpg
* Roof garden – Photo Les Urbainculteurs – 1503385_633030990087111_1484373713_n copy.jpg

Yet few are food producing. Sydney’s environmental conditions suggest an urban harvest could contribute significantly to food production. The city of Toronto, for instance, which is under snow for three or four months of the year, estimates that 10 per cent of its fresh food could be grown within the city limits.

Read the full article: Brisbane Times

Wherever you find a sunny location, you can grow vegetables

Photo credit: Michigan State University Extension

If drainage is an issue, raised beds can be very productive and easy to manage. Photo credit: Rebecca Finneran, MSU

Choosing a smart site for your vegetable garden

Selecting the optimal placement of your vegetable garden is important for success

EXCERPT

Vegetables can be grown in a wide variety of containers, and they need not be fancy. Even a burlap bag will do. Photo credits: Marilyn Goodson, MSU, http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/images/Plant%20Ag/VeggieBurlapContainers.jpg
Vegetables can be grown in a wide variety of containers, and they need not be fancy. Even a burlap bag will do. Photo credits: Marilyn Goodson, MSU, http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/images/Plant%20Ag/VeggieBurlapContainers.jpg

Selecting the optimal placement of your vegetable garden is important for success. When it comes to choosing a site to plant your vegetable garden, understanding the essential key components including sunlight, water and good soil will ensure your garden bounty. Picking fresh vegetables from your own garden or patio container can be very rewarding. In addition, you may discover new foods to add to your plate and may influence others to try new vegetables.

Read the full article: Michigan State University Extension

 

Containers in the farm-to-table movement

Photo credit: Google

Ethnic restaurant Asian garden

Farm-To-Table Will Change Us [Opinion]

by Carol Miller

Unlike all the trends our industry has seen come and go, the farm-to-table movement has the power to rewrite our future.

A trend is like a wind that disturbs a pond but doesn’t reshape it. Take gazing globes, huge 10 years ago. They made our industry a lot of money, but their popularity faded, and we moved on, unchanged.

Container gardens had a bigger impact. They were a hit with customers who wanted instant gratification and with retailers who liked selling several products at once. They also reflected a changing customer base, who valued getting the visual impact of gardening without the work.

Home grown vegetables - http://perfectgardeningtips.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/container-vegetables.jpg
Home grown vegetables – http://perfectgardeningtips.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/container-vegetables.jpg

I want to take the time to unpack that thought. Container gardens’ popularity rose along with the flood of smart phones, big, immersive TVs and games like Candy Crush. People still eat out, go to theaters and, yes, garden. But they spend less time doing so.

So it can be argued that selling container gardens was a necessary adaption to our customers’ lifestyles.

Combo gardens had a bigger impact than gazing globes. But what gazing globes are to container gardens, that’s what combo gardens are to the farm-to-table movement.

Read the full article: Today’s Garden Center

Indoor Plants in Winter

Photo credit: The Record Herald

Rosemary in window-Turn 1/4 every few days to keep growth even (B.Petrucci)

Winter Care Tips for Indoors Plants

by Carol Kagan, Master Gardener

EXCERPT

From Master Gardeners I have learned a few key things, so here is my quick tip list followed by a number of great resource sites. It is important to check the needs of each plant since they can vary greatly.

Aloe roots crop - http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BhvAgFZ2Q4s/VMEdUMUBThI/AAAAAAAADU4/Yo2jVQRwhsw/s1600/aloe%2Broots%2Bcrop.jpg
Aloe roots crop – http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BhvAgFZ2Q4s/VMEdUMUBThI/AAAAAAAADU4/Yo2jVQRwhsw/s1600/aloe%2Broots%2Bcrop.jpg

1. Be sure the plant is potted in the right size container (with a drainage hole) and right potting soil.

If you are digging it up and dragging it in from the outdoors then potting it up, don’t use garden soil. It’s too heavy.

2- Water only as needed when the soil is dry.

Water from the top until water comes out the drainage hole (You do have a drainage hole, right?) into the saucer. About two hours later, drain any excess water from the saucer. Don’t allow the roots to stand in water. If you don’t see drainage but have watered well, check for a clog in the hole and clear it. Inconsistent watering is one of the primary reasons for plant loss.

3- Use room temperature water.

Leave tap water out overnight, uncapped or uncovered, to allow the chlorine and fluorine added to city water to dissipate. Although these probably don’t harm plants, you want the water to be at room temperature anyway. Rainwater, snow melt and well water are ok. Don’t use water run through water softeners.

4- Light should be appropriate for the plant. – See more at: http://www.therecordherald.com/article/20150122/BLOGS/301229993/1391#sthash.uFCa0nro.dpuf

Yes, we can be an urban gardener !

Photo credit: Wisma Kreatif

Being An Urban Gardener, Get Advantages To Container Gardening

By Incog Nito

EXCERPT

Get Advantages To Container Gardening

Whether it’s to save money, an act of preparedness, or simply an incredible pastime, container gardening is a versatile and wonderful method of growing food for you and your household.

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSkRaCYnadqa78sSHBM-_H3ZePuWC3wMqj_rg7Ama3N5YnodYCP
https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSkRaCYnadqa78sSHBM-_H3ZePuWC3wMqj_rg7Ama3N5YnodYCP

 

Container gardening is a simple method to garden, specifically when you do not have backyard area. With the increasing expenses of food and people having less to invest, increasingly more of people are amusing the concept of growing our own. Not all of us are lucky sufficient to live on a farm or have lots of acreage in the countryside. Numerous people keep an eye out of the window just to see the cement and brickwork jungle of the suburban or city spread.

http://images.thefuntimesguide.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/43/files/vegetable-container-gardening-ideas.jpg
http://images.thefuntimesguide.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/43/files/vegetable-container-gardening-ideas.jpg
Advantages Container Gardening:
  • You conserve a lot of money!
  • Its a great, gratifying and enjoyable pastime
  • Your food tastes So much better, and is more healthy and nutritious
  • You are less depending on grocery stores
  • Your home is transformed into a wonderful green Eden
  • You understand your food is not laced with pesticides and chemicals
  • You’ll get a much healthier and calmer way of living, and be more in-touch with nature
  • It’s a wholesome, instructional and exceptional activity for the children
  • You acquire important understanding and life-skills
  • Growing your very own food significantly lowers your carbon footprint

Read the full article: Wisma Kreatif

The importance of urban gardening

Photo credit: Google

Youth community gardeners care for more than 1,400 plants at the Cadillac Urban Gardens in Southwest Detroit.

Urban agri can boost food security in cities—DA

A mixture of urban agricultural production technologies can enable cities to produce their own food, complementing the government’s efforts in the countryside to maintain food security in the country, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Exploring Negros Occidental: the "Organic Capital" of the Philippines: http://ati.da.gov.ph/ati2/sites/default/files/u278/29.jpg
Exploring Negros Occidental: the “Organic Capital” of the Philippines: http://ati.da.gov.ph/ati2/sites/default/files/u278/29.jpg

At the launching of DA’s  urban agriculture project in Las Piñas City on February 4,  Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that urban agriculture can provide additional source of fresh and safe food and extra income for urban residents, among other benefits.

The project is implemented in partnership with the DA Regional Office for CALABARZON, Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Office of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food.

Urban gardening in Davao (Philippines): Jojo ROM's A-risers : https://desertification.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/riser2-jojo-rom-285968_2051946656569_1181604134_31935796_8041270_o.jpg
Urban gardening in Davao (Philippines): Jojo ROM’s A-risers : https://desertification.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/riser2-jojo-rom-285968_2051946656569_1181604134_31935796_8041270_o.jpg

Among the production technologies proposed by DA are edible landscaping, green riprapping, aquaponics and container gardening.

 

Backyard gardening in Manila (Ph.): https://adaptation-fund.org/sites/default/files/HM_Manila_Philippines_Velas.jpg
Backyard gardening in Manila (Ph.): https://adaptation-fund.org/sites/default/files/HM_Manila_Philippines_Velas.jpg

Norby De La Cruz, a resident of Las Piñas and a container gardening enthusiast cited the benefits his family has gained from urban agriculture.

“On the financial aspect, we are able to save since we no longer have to buy some of the vegetables, herbs and spices we need in our kitchen,” De La Cruz said.

Organic lettuce garden in Quezon City Circle (Ph.): http://www.pampangatalents.com/04_Gallery/Philippines/Manila/Memorial-Circle/Urban-Farming/slides/Garden-Lettuce_Organic_Farming.JPG
Organic lettuce garden in Quezon City Circle (Ph.): http://www.pampangatalents.com/04_Gallery/Philippines/Manila/Memorial-Circle/Urban-Farming/slides/Garden-Lettuce_Organic_Farming.JPG

He also mentioned that during emergencies, they have a ready source of food. He likewise shared that having more plants in their house gives them more fresh air, and that gardening has become his way to exercise and contribute to the clean and green program of the city.

Urban farming in Caracas (Venezuela): http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/516/cache/earth-day-urban-farming-venezuela_51635_600x450.jpg
Urban farming in Caracas (Venezuela): http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/516/cache/earth-day-urban-farming-venezuela_51635_600x450.jpg

Alcala said that urban agriculture may not be able to produce all what city dwellers need but this is a way to increase awareness on agriculture and the government’s programs to ensure food security.

Read the full article: Philippine Information Agency