Vegetable Garden Note Taking

A page from Thomas Jefferson's garden diary.

A page from Thomas Jefferson’s garden diary.

My worst mistake in the fifteen years we have been gardening here in Los Angeles has been my shoddy note taking. Even though we don’t have frosts to contend with, it still can be tricky to figure out when to plant vegetables.

In a lecture I attnded at the National Heirloom Exoposition, Sonoma County gardening guru Wendy Krupnick had a simple suggestion for what to take notes on in your vegetable garden:

  • variety
  • planting day
  • first harvest
  • last harvest
  • comments

She suggested a minimum of three years of note taking.

If only I had this data! If there isn’t one already, someone should come up with a social note taking app for vegetable gardening that would aggregate information for each local microclimate. Leave a comment if such a thing exists.

And for more great gardening advice from Krupnick, check out iGrowSonoma.org. Most of the info is relevant even if you don’t live in Northern California.

Saturday Linkages: Speedos, Blue Eggs and the Rise of Rye

A rancher of the future

A rancher of the future according to the 1981 children’s book Tomorrow’s Home.

Trojan Horses, Recipes, and Permaculture http://www.patternliteracy.com/770-trojan-horses-recipes-and-permaculture …

How bad for the environment are gas-powered leaf blowers? http://wapo.st/14bgqIQ 

In Pursuit of Tastier Chickens, a Strict Diet of Four-Star Scraps http://nyti.ms/15yN8EY 

Rye’s Rise: New Loaves That Are More Than a Vehicle for Pastrami http://shar.es/i9wrV 

Let’s get (soil) physical… https://sharepoint.cahnrs.wsu.edu/blogs/urbanhort/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=943 …

The Cold War Bunker That Offered Subterranean Suburbia Below Las Vegas http://gizmodo.com/the-cold-war-bunker-that-offered-subterranean-suburbia-1258816518 …

Speedos, Computers, and Robot Butlers: Rural Living in the Future http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/speedos-computers-and-robot-butlers-rural-living-in-1203668270 …

Take Your Vows: To Farm is To Be Married http://garynabhan.com/i/archives/2249 

Find A Blue Chicken Egg? Congrats, Your Chicken Has A Virus http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-09/find-blue-chicken-egg-congrats-your-chicken-has-virus …

Uncivilisation: the Dark Mountain Manifesto http://www.newstatesman.com/books/2009/09/civilisation-planet-authors …

Power from the Tap: Water Motors http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2013/09/power-from-the-tap-water-motors.html …

For these links and more, follow Root Simple on Twitter:

The Connection Between Human Health and Soil Health

What’s the connection between soil and human health? It’s an intriguing question that family physician and author Dr. Daphne Miller discusses in the lecture above and in her book Farmacology: What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us About Health and Healing. In the research for the book Miller visited farmers who, as she put it, “farm in the image of nature,” who approach the farm as a living organism.

While she cautioned that there is little research behind the connection between farming practices and health, she suspects that biodiversity on the farm may be an important factor in our well being. To back this idea up she cites:

  • Erika von Mutius, who found an intriguing connection between children who grew up on farms and their lack of asthma and allergies later in life.
  • Research that is taking an Integrated Pest Management approach to cancer, treating it as a symptom of a lack of internal biodiversity.
  • Studies that have shown the higher nutritional value of eggs from chickens raised on pasture.

It seems obvious that there’s a connection between the health of a farm and our own health. Biodiverse soils produce healthier, more nutritious food. And way too much of the food we eat comes from farms where the soil is treated as a sterile growing medium. As Miller notes, “We are the soil.”