A hollow victory for urban gardening movement (Google / SFBG)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://www.sfbg.com/blogs/politics/2008/07/a_hollow_victory_for_urban_gar.html

A hollow victory for urban gardening movement

When I first heard about current plans to build a “Victory Garden” in Civic Center Plaza — which will be officially planted tomorrow at 10 a.m. in a ceremony featuring Mayor Gavin Newsom and Alice Waters, the pioneering restaurateur who founded Slow Food Nation — I thought it was a really cool idea. Here was the city of San Francisco giving some of its most prime and high profile real estate over to the urban gardening movement, which seeks alternatives to the fossil fuel dependent industrialized food system.  And the Victory Garden concept is great, conjuring up the collective commitment to our national interests that inspired patriotic citzens to plant gardens during the two world wars. Sure, the logistics of tending and securing the garden might be tough, but Newsom seemed to be making a commitment to put city resources behind this important symbolic statement. Continue reading A hollow victory for urban gardening movement (Google / SFBG)

Urban Gardening: Much more than a passion du jour (Google / Haas414)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://haas414.wordpress.com/2008/07/09/urban-gardening-much-more-than-a-passion-du-jour/

Urban Gardening: Much more than a passion du jour

July 9, 2008

I’ve got a wonderful new passion in my life. It’s helped put food on the table and brought me a satisfaction that exceeds virtually any that I’ve known before. The best part is not just that it will continue to reward me, and those around me for some time to come, but that anyone can have it. This wellspring of satisfaction and joy is a two feet wide, ten feet long, and sits in my backyard. What is it? A pet? A car? What exactly is it? It’s a garden. A long, narrow, bountiful garden. Continue reading Urban Gardening: Much more than a passion du jour (Google / Haas414)

Unconventional and Conventional Urban Planting (Google / Weburbanist)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://weburbanist.com/2008/07/09/5-different-types-of-gardening-unconventional-and-conventional-urban-planting/

5 Different Types of Gardening: Unconventional and Conventional Urban Planting

Written by Urbanist on July 9th, 2008 / Many nice pictures !

There’s no doubt that growing plants is a rewarding way to beautify our indoor and outdoor spaces, and gardening is increasing more in popularity with each year that passes. While you may associate gardening mostly with standard residential or commercial landscaping, there are actually many different types of gardening that encompass various styles, techniques, locations and types of plants. Here are 5 different types of gardening that illustrate how varied this age-old pastime really is.

Container Gardening

Gardening in containers rather than the open ground opens up a whole new world of growing plants, allowing the gardener to bring plants inside during the cold season and use all sorts of vessels to contain them. With containers, even gardeners living in urban apartments can grow food, herbs, flowers and foliage in sunny windows or on balconies and rooftops. Container gardening eliminates the problems of weeds, most soil-borne diseases and gives the gardener ultimate control over moisture, sunlight and temperature.

Container gardening provides the perfect opportunity to recycle used household and industrial items that may otherwise have ended up in a landfill, from an old boot to a porcelain pitcher or even a bathtub.

Containers of plants can be grown indoors, outdoors, in conservatories or greenhouses. They can stand alone or be arranged in groups to provide maximum aesthetic appeal, varying the height, color and texture of the plants as well as that of the containers to achieve visual balance.

Raised Bed Gardening

Like container gardening, raised bed gardening allows the gardener to have total control over the soil being used to grow plants. Since raised beds are actually freestanding structures, typically made of wood, stone or concrete, the quality of the soil beneath them doesn’t have an effect on the results. Raised beds allow gardeners to grow a variety of ornamental, edible and medicinal plants on top of even the most barren surfaces, from rock-hard clay to concrete slabs. They also provide better drainage, keep the soil warmer and require less maintenance than traditional gardens.

Raised beds are often made of planks of wood screwed or nailed together in sizes typically ranging from 3’ x 8’ to 5’ x 20’. Leaving the width of the bed relatively small enables the gardener to reach inside to care for plants, preventing the need to step on and compact the soil. Beds are usually 8 inches to 3 feet in height, depending on the needs of the plants being grown. Raised bed gardens are filled with good quality soil mixed with compost and rotted manure.

Raised beds are especially well suited for disabled or elderly gardeners, since they can be built high enough for one to remain seated comfortably while gardening, eliminating strain on the joints and spine.

Indoor Gardening

Indoor gardening brings the beauty of nature inside, all year long. Many people grow houseplants for the visual benefits, but they also act to purify the air, drawing in airborne pollutants as part of the photosynthetic process. Houseplants can significantly improve air quality, especially in newer buildings that are completely airtight.

Common houseplants that help purify the air include English ivy, spider plant, golden pothos, peace lily, Chinese evergreen, bamboo or reed palm, snake plant, heartleaf philodendron, dracaena and weeping fig.

Caring for houseplants is easy even for the most inexperienced of gardeners. The plants rarely require much more than the recommended levels of sunlight and water.

Water Gardening

Water gardens can be made up of any vessel that contains water – from a pond or half-barrel to a an old bathtub or watertight planter.

(continued)

Community Gardening

Community gardens are public spaces where you can typically rent a plot of land to plant ornamental, edible and medicinal plants as you like. Not only do community gardens provide access to fresh produce, they beautify neighborhoods, give a sense of community and connection to the environment. Some community gardens are tended communally, allowing everyone who helps out in the garden to have a share of its bounty.

These gardens help bring food production back to the individual, regardless of personal access to land for growing plants. Community gardens aren’t just for growing fruit and vegetables, though. Many community gardens are made up of native plants, herb and butterfly gardens and/or purely ornamental plants, often as a setting for sculptures and other art displays.

There are an estimated 18,000 community gardens in the United States and Canada. If you don’t have one near you and would like to start one, CommunityGarden.org is a great place to start.

Urban gardening, past, present and future (Google / Sacramento History)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://sacramentohistory.blogspot.com/2008/06/urban-gardening-past-present-and-future.html

Urban gardening, past, present and future

Lately I have been poking through my old issues of Mother Earth News and some of my cheap-living library, gleaning ideas for a class on frugal living for work, as well as inspiration for the ever-present desire to save money at home with fix-it tips and homegrown edibles. About 10-12 years ago I had a brief interest in backwoods homestead type living, and picked up quite a few old early-1970s issues of Mother Earth News and similar materials from that era. I read quite a bit of it, but ended up deciding against that sort of lifestyle–partially because a friend (Xeney) shared quite a few horror stories about growing up with hippie back-to-the-land parents, and partially because my wife and I, despite our grumpy and independent nature, are pretty much city people. Over the years, I channeled my interest in self-sufficient lifestyles by doing things like baking bread from scratch (including grinding whole grains) and other low-cost/high-reward eating strategies. I also got interested in backyard gardening. My first couple of attempts were fairly dismal, due to lack of sunshine, but my last house had enough sunshine and a tiny backyard (around 250 square feet,) enough to grow quite a lot of vegetables. Continue reading Urban gardening, past, present and future (Google / Sacramento History)

Let gardeners have the good yards (Google / SFGate)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/06/20/HOLIVKVK7.DTL

Let gardeners have the good yards

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sometimes the gardening bug chooses to infect the wrong people. For instance, I know a woman who is an ardent environmentalist and would grow her own tomatoes if she could. At some point in life she caught the gardening bug, but it’s all for naught. She lives in a condo. A shady condo at that. Which means her desire for growing tomatoes is wasted. That’s a shame. On the other hand, I know plenty of people who can’t catch the gardening bug to save their lives. I’ve seen their backyards and have surmised that they don’t know one end of a shovel from the other. Every once in a while, they might add some water to the mess of dead weeds or grass, maybe once every few weeks, which, I’d like to point out, is not what thirsty lawns are looking for. Of course, that’s all right by me. I don’t see the point of wasting water on grass, anyhow. I’d just as soon fill an unkempt yard with chickens. Or rows of corn. So I have a proposal to make. I suggest rezoning all of our urban neighborhoods into two categories: homes that can support a garden and homes that can’t. We could even divvy up the homes among people who garden and those who don’t. We would start by selecting locations with the most fertile soil and declaring their inclusion in a new “Urban Farming Zone.” Continue reading Let gardeners have the good yards (Google / SFGate)

Effect of a new Indian organic fertilizer (Willem)

My Indian correspondent Yogesh PATEL has sent to me 5 kg of a new organic fertilizer he has developed. With my friends of the allotment gardens Slotenkouter in 9040 ST.AMANDSBERG (Belgium) we have set up some tests on different vegetables. In due time we will present a detailed report on the results. Today and with great pleasure, I can publish the first pictures showing the very positive effect on the growth of carrots. Please enjoy with us this remarkable success in one of the allotment gardens :


Edward VUEGHS in his nice allotment garden, showing proudly the effect of the PATEL- fertilizer on carrots.


Four rows of carrots sown the same day. A few weeks later the soil along the rows was treated from left to right as follows :

Row 1 and Row 2 (left) : carrots treated with a mixture of 4kg of PATEL-fertilizer per 80 kg of local garden soil.
Row 3 (center) : carrots untreated, growing in local, quite fertile garden soil.
Row 4 (right) : carrots treated with a mixture of 2 kg of PATEL-fertilizer per 80 kg of local garden soil.

See the remarkable difference in growth and this only 14 days after treatment.


Row 1 and Row 2 (left) : carrots treated with a mixture of 4kg of PATEL-fertilizer per 80 kg of local garden soil.
Row 3 (center) : carrots untreated, growing in local, quite fertile garden soil.
Row 4 (right) : carrots treated with a mixture of 2 kg of PATEL-fertilizer per 80 kg of local garden soil.

Still any doubts about the positive effect of PATEL’s fertilizer ?

In a couple of weeks, I will gladly inform you on the results of the carrot harvest by Edward VUEGHS. Stay tuned on the value of Yogesh PATEL’s organic fertilizer !


I am now wondering if this fertilizer can help us to combat drought and desertification. Therefore, I intend to use it in combination with our TerraCottem water and fertilizer stocking soil conditioner in some of the drylands, e.g. In the refugee camps in Algeria or in Tamil Nadu (India).

Urban gardening: tips for the growing season (Google / BC Local News)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://www.bclocalnews.com/okanagan_similkameen/lakecountrycalendar/lifestyles/20438159.html

Urban gardening: tips for the growing season

Vancouver, BC (June 9, 2008 ) – Many Canadians are joining the Real Food Movement by growing their own fruits and vegetable in small city spaces with the help of Hellmann’s® Urban Gardens. Thoughtful planning and a sunlit window or balcony is all an urbanite needs to create a seasonal source of fresh food close to home. Locally grown crops have a higher nutritional value and make meals taste even better. Get started with these helpful tips from Hellmann’s and Evergreen. Continue reading Urban gardening: tips for the growing season (Google / BC Local News)

Spades and scoops weapons of choice in war on ugly (Google / The Budapest Times)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://www.budapesttimes.hu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=7935&Itemid=27

Guerrilla gardening

Spades and scoops weapons of choice in war on ugly

A movement aimed at combatting the neglect of public spaces is taking a militant approach: using the language of warfare the organisers of the Zöld Vadművelet (Operation Green ) project and the Hegyalja Festival are calling on citizens to take the initiative and do something for their city. Behind its combative image, the project is actually about performing illegal gardening actions overnight to spruce up shabby areas.
Continue reading Spades and scoops weapons of choice in war on ugly (Google / The Budapest Times)

Gardening a connection to fresh food, community (Google / az central)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2008/06/12/20080612greencolumn0530.html

Gardening a connection to fresh food, community

by Greg Peterson – Jun. 12, 2008

Special for the Republic

I have a good friend who I call Margaret the Condo Gardner. Her garden is quite the contrast from mine, but she will tell you that it is every bit as gratifying. Most everyone I know who enjoys gardening shares this same sentiment-growing your own food really grows on you! From condo-size to farm and everything in between, the rewards are much the same. And it really is so simple to do.

I started gardening with my family at the age of 13. Today, 34 years later, many people know me as Farmer Greg because I have transformed my home into the Urban Farm. I live in North Central Phoenix, on a street with 24 other 1940s-built homes, and I’ve landscaped my one-third-acre lot entirely in edible plants. These include 60 fruit trees and a wide variety of integrated herbs, vegetables, and edible flowers. In addition to my goal of fresh food, the Urban Farm also is designed to inspire visitors to look anew at where their food comes from and consider growing some of their own. Continue reading Gardening a connection to fresh food, community (Google / az central)

More Seattleites taking up gardening (Google / King5)

Read at: Google Alert – gardening

http://www.king5.com/localnews/stories/NW_060308WAB_gardening_LJ.5845c946.html

More Seattleites taking up gardening

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

By JANE MCCARTHY / KING 5 News

SEATTLE – Your grandparents probably had a garden, but many of us have gotten away from digging in the dirt to plant veggies. But it appears times are a-changing. Area gardening experts say they are welcoming a lot of new gardeners into the fold. There are many reasons people are getting back to basics, but a big one is a desire to cut their grocery bill. Lisa Taylor is in high demand, teaching kids and their parents about gardening at Seattle Tilth. “More and more people are interested in growing their own fruits and vegetables at home,” said Taylor. Continue reading More Seattleites taking up gardening (Google / King5)