The growing interest in urban gardening has been sweeping the nation, and more and more small-space gardening ideas have been popping up in the most unexpected places. In the new short documentary Truck Farm, the filmmakers follow the progress of a New York City urban gardener who plants a mobile vegetable garden in the back of his pickup truck.
What is Kimchi? It is probably Korea's best known food. Koreans serve it at almost every meal, a staple dish that easy to make and deliciously sustainable. The first annual Greater Boston Kimchi Festival was held on March 21, 2010, at the Theodore Parker Unitarian Church in West Roxbury, MA (a neighborhood of Boston). Proceeds benefited the church, which needed money fairly urgently for repairs.
One topic that has been making the news on a regular basis is local food. The term localvore (or locavore) is defined as someone who eats regularly from their local foodshed (usually defined as within a 100 to 250 mile radius). But for those just starting their locavore journey, the question is 'how does one start'?
Look out your window. What do you see? Do you see an endless expanse of lawn? This is your first potential source of local food. Start small; for example, plant an herb garden with hardy herbs to withstand the learning curve you will undergo. Just being able to add fresh herbs to your home cooking makes it special. You can impress your friends by saying, "Oh, I just picked the parsley from the garden today!" You say you don't have a lawn to rehab, well then start with container herbs on a sunny kitchen windowsill.
On my walks in my neighborhood with our dog, I am forced to stop every once in a while for the dog to sniff around or do his business. This forces me to slow down from my normally hurried pace and pay attention to what is around me. Since I have been looking at our local foodshed from a variety of perspectives, I thought about what I can find growing within a few blocks from my home; in other words, urban foraging. There is much information on foraging for food in the wild, but I am going to stick to an urban setting.
I live in an older neighborhood dating back to the 1940's. Nature has had some time to reclaim her space and because houses were built in onesies and twosies, the area was not clear cut as is done with so many new developments.
It's always mystified me that people who can afford health insurance and can shop at Whole Foods have access to safe and healthy food, while the ones who can't afford a doctor's visit are left to buy cheap processed food, lacking any nutritional value, and increasing their chances of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and a plethora of other debilitating diseases. What dimwit created this unjust food system? That guy is SO FIRED!
Then one rainy day, Lisa Ludwigsen, resource development coordinator of 'Petaluma Bounty' took me on a private tour of a new organic farm/community garden Petaluma, California.
Urban gardening and sustainability are hot and trendy within certain circles now. But we are well behind the curve. Some have been both urban and sustainable for decades. On the west side of Chicago lives one such pioneer.
Mr. Carl Walton planted his garden in 1970, soon after arriving from Mississippi. It is not expansive, but an average city lot of about half an acre including the house. For Mr. Walton being green or sustainable is just common sense. Sustainable gardening, which limits your inputs and outputs, is both productive and cost effective. His methods include:
Philadelphia’s Public Urban Farm
Until recently, I didn’t know about Greensgrow Farm, but I did know about its co-founder and chief farmhand, Mary Seton Corboy. We had worked together when she guest-hosted with me on a GardenSmart episode a couple years ago. I was impressed with her then, but now I know why I felt such a deep admiration for this woman.
Consider owning and managing your own Apiary
Rearing your own colony of bees a.k.a. Apis Mellifera Domestic Honey Bee
About four years ago... I became keenly aware, that my property in northwestern Pennsylvania was absolutely void of honey bees. Dandelions as far as the eye could see in the spring sunshine, and not a single buzzing honey bee! I soon became familiar with the term CCD or Colony Collapse Disorder...
At that very moment I resolved to bring in my own bees and manage them... what better way to learn about their order? I sought out experts via the Department of Agriculture and soon was on my first field trip, camera in hand, with the Bee Inspector.
I'm a 36 year old commercial real estate lender in the Seattle area with two young boys and a stay-at-home wife. Growing up, my mother had two raised beds in our small back yard where she grew tomatoes, cucumbers and onions, among other things. But I was never into gardening. I have a ¼ acre lot that I hated to mow, let alone landscape and I can't even keep houseplants alive. So how did a black thumb turn into an avid gardener? My garden all started from a discussion with my older brother.
A year ago I had a 250 SF area of my yard that used to be a dog run. In the decade since we owned our home, we never really went back there and it became blighted with foot tall and deep weeds, a crab apple tree and morning glories galore! Talking it over with my brother, who had picked up the gardening bug and had three raised beds in his yard, he suggested I turn the area into a garden.The area had a perfect southern exposure and was already fenced in. At first I laughed at him, but the idea kind of grew on me.
As I'm writing this article, Oprah Winfrey is having a discussion on her program, regarding the label "free range" and where your food comes from. Chickens among other farm animals are in the main stream media frequently these days. Knowing where your food comes from is key to modern health and animal well being.
It's important, in my thinking, to understand how the chicken has made almost universal contributions to human well being, throughout history and nearly every culture of the world. They are in our language, consider how often a term, relevant to chickens, is used in everyday speech. Like it or not, the chicken is apart of us.
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