The End of California Citrus?

...ution warehouses where state entomologists suspect the psylids might have come from? Rather than try to answer the unanswerable, I’m going back to two of my favorite books books that don’t have anything to do with plants. Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable , a meditation on the logical fallacies of economists and Seneca’s Letters from a Stoic have all the strategic wisdom a gardene...

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Fish Don’t Fart

...omes out of their work at Austin’s Rhizome Collective. What all of these efforts have in common is a permacultural design principle of turning a waste product into a resource and closing a loop. Fish make fertilizer and plants clean water, so why not combine the two? I’d like to hear stories from ordinary folks who have tried aquaponics on a small scale. If that’s you, leave a comment!...

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California Agriculture Journal Online

The University of California has put 63 years worth of its journal California Agriculture online for convenient downloading at californiaagriculture.ucanr.org. There’s plenty of detailed (peer reviewed!) nuggets for the home gardener between the pages of this scientific journal. Make sure to check out the article and video of UC Berkeley entomologist Gordon Frankie explaining what kinds of plants are best for attracting bees in your urban...

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That ain’t a bowl full of larvae, it’s crosne!

...author of Perrenial Vegetables has a YouTube tour of his garden where you can see how he grows crosne. Toensmeier interplants it with other root crops that mature at the same time, so you get a mix of things at harvest. The Plants for a Future entry on Stachys affinis has some nice information on how to grow it....

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Garden Design Trends: Interplanting and Plant Communities

...ssed form. The example he uses is the striking garden at Arthritis Research UK. You can see a video of that garden here. Rosalind Creasy has demonstrated, this same interplanting strategy can be used with edible and medicinal plants. Another related design strategy are gardens inspired by wild plant communities. The example Rainer cites is the Daily Telegraph garden seen in the picture above. You can watch a video about that garden here. Now how...

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Greywater Workshop at Good Magazine

...elevating with scrap lumber to get a gravity assist. We’ll also look at Art Ludwig’s direct “laundry to landscape” system. Topics will also include: Greywater compatible detergents Choosing the best plants for greywater Creating mulch basins Greywater dos and don’ts Plumbing parts Water conservation and efficiency Greywater cocktails (just kidding) Hope to see you all tomorrow!...

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Growing Strawberries in a Self Irrigating Gutter (SIG).

...dium and how much of it would be taken up into the fruit? I don’t have an answer to either. If you know of science-based information (i.e. not Livestrong articles) on PVC and growing food please leave a link. Generally, plants do not take up toxins into fruit so I’m not losing any sleep thinking about eating a few strawberries grown in my small PVC SIG. I might think twice about eating greens grown in PVC. The other issue is the use o...

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Why You Should Avoid Staking Trees

The correct way to stake a tree. Image from the Vacaville Tree Foundation To answer the question of why tree staking should be avoided, one can turn to the latest Extension Service advice or to the nearly 2000 year old words of Seneca: No tree becomes rooted and sturdy unless many a wind assails it. For by its very tossing it tightens its grip and plants its roots more securely; the fragile trees are those that have grown in a sunny valley. It...

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Notes on Mark Bittman’s “Behind the Scenes of What We Eat”

...over and over again around here.  It is possible for us all to take action on the local level to support the sale and distribution of healthy food. Here’s a few of his recommendations for policy change: Transparency in labeling, in agriculture practice Regulation of damaging foods: basically make it harder to eat poorly and easier to eat well, for instance: Make it illegal to sell soda to kids Tax the crap out of soda Subsidize real food E...

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