One of the most frustrating experiences you can have in the garden is to see a plant—or worse, and entire bed! —struggling with disease or pests. Conscientious farmers want to bring health to their gardens, but the chemical remedies provided on the shelves of… Continue Reading “Homeopathy for Plants”
Nora Waln was an unusual and adventurous woman. A Philadelphia Quaker and best-selling writer and journalist in the 1930s–60s, she was the first to report on the spread of Nazism in the lead up to WWII, and wrote on Mongolia, communism in China, and… Continue Reading “30 Generations of Farming”
Barley (Hordeum vulgare) is a dynamic late autumn, winter and early spring grain crop that is somewhat higher in calories that other short-day crops. Added to soups, it tastes great, and thickens the broth beautifully. It can also be used as a fodder crop… Continue Reading “Barley – A Versatile Crop”
Climate change has made the “treasure trove of the past a seedbed for a whole new generation of farmers and gardeners striving for agricultural sustainability.” With an emphasis on working the land in harmony with nature and producing more food through soil improvement and water management, this book is a gem and worth a read!
Sweet Potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are starchy root vegetables originating from Central or South America. Not to be confused with starchier and drier yams (Dioscorea) from Africa and Asia, sweet potatoes have a long shelf life and are usually sweeter and moister than regular white potatoes (Solanum tuberosum). In addition to being delicious, they are a very important crop in diet planning, because of the number of calories they contain per pound, and for overall sustainable gardening and farming!
“Hedgerows” is an old English term that refers to narrow planting strips of trees or shrubs that grow along field borders, fence lines and waterways. These borders serve as effective windbreaks and improve conditions for the nearby crops, forming an “edge habitat” that supports ecological diversity.
Aren’t trees magnificent? They make oxygen, shade, food, building materials, fuel, habitat, and soil. They’re beautiful. They last for years – some for generations! They consume greenhouse gases and help keep our planet cool enough for us to live here. They draw nutrients from deep underground and deposit them on the surface when they drop their leaves. When they die, they form nurseries for new trees. They are a precious natural resource. Earth is currently home to ~3 trillion trees. Which seems like a lot…right? But the truth is, we could do with more. A lot more.
I wrote this post earlier this year, the week before Arbor day. In honor of the forest-friendly holiday, I thought I’d talk about one of my favorite trees (or, more accurately, a shrub): Eastern Leatherwood (Dirca palustris L. Thymelaeaceae), which is native to eastern… Continue Reading “Eastern Leatherwood”
I’m really enjoying experimenting with re-sprouting vegetables from kitchen waste! Just as celery bases and carrot tops can be cut specially and then planted to regrow without the need for seeds or seedlings (see my March 6, 2018 post), the same can be done… Continue Reading “Resprouting Vegetables: Part 2”
Do you ever wish you had a magically inexhaustible supply of food? Well, for some crops, that’s _almost_ possible. Celery and carrots are amazing vegetables: they’re delicious, high in nutrients, and staples in much of our cooking. As if that weren’t enough, these powerhouses… Continue Reading “Resprouting Vegetables: Part 1”