Toby Hemenway On How Horticulture Can Save Us

...esteading movement for promoting an egocentric self-sufficiency–”MY food on MY land” as he put it–a kind of industrial farming on a household level. While “self-sufficiency” appears in the subtitle of our first book (our publisher’s idea), it’s not a term we use. Kelly and I always emphasize, like Hemenway, the importance of community. We are much more comfortable with the title “gardener̶...

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Revolution: A New TV Series About Extreme Suburban Homesteading

..., too.4 And America’s long lost archery skills have apparently been miraculously revived. Come to think of it, Hollywood seems to be having a love affair with archery of late. Is the javelin next? Put down those Xboxes kids and start practicing! In Revolution it’s also revealed that people suddenly know the names of plants and what to do with them even without access to Google. But the tranquil suburban homesteading is not to last for...

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Tips on Composting from Will Bakx of Sonoma Compost

...Temperature/Turning Sheet (pdf) to keep track of the temperature of the pile. If the pile dips below 135ºF, turn it. If it doesn’t get up to temperature, add more nitrogen containing materials. If it gets above 163ºF, add more carbon containing materials. After the initial turnings just let it sit unless you have to turn to add moisture. Bakx believes that you should turn as little as possible, just enough to achieve that first period of 15...

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Low Moments in Plant Theivery

...to be one of the grandest of all plant thefts. In the video you’ll see two women stealing an entire lawn. It took forty minutes and the thieves even took a smoking break. The BBC quotes the neighbor whose security camera caught the crime, “I can’t believe the cheek of them. I’m quite speechless about it.” In local plant theft news, a security camera at the Village Bakery in Los Angeles caught a woman stealing plant...

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The Miraculous Lavender

...d. Then I thought, “Is that a lavender plant? Growing here?” Curious to see what would happen, I let it go. I assumed it would not live long. It’s growing out of a crack. It may have sprouted on the back of our last pathetic winter rain, but we’ve had no precipitation for months now. I don’t water it. I don’t send water down the stairs. The soil off the stairs is dry, because that slope is planted with natives,...

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Apartment Parking Lot Gardening in East Hollywood

...ed to come up with a solution . So based on the “Square Foot Gardening Book by Mel Bartholomew I built two 5 ft. x 1 ft. square foot garden boxes from inexpensive ($ 2.15) 1 x 6  x 6 ft. cedar fence boards bought from Home Depot. I waterproofed them by sealing the insides with with pure tung oil from Jill’s paint in Atwater. Each planter gives me 5,  12 x 12 inch sq. ft. spaces for growing. These boxes take up a...

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Advances in Gardening Series: A Garlic Mystery

...w features of the garden this year is a long, trough-shaped bed that Erik installed along the edge of our patio. Its inaugural crop was garlic, which is generally a very easy plant to grow. We’ve done it before, many times, successfully. This year it didn’t work. The stalks failed to thrive. Many plants did not set bulbs at all, looking instead like green onions. The heads that were formed are quite small.  We’re not sure why t...

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Waiting for our tomatoes/Tomatoland

...ly sealed beneath a tight wrapper of polyethylene plastic mulch. Then the growers wait while the chemical does its lethal work. Within two weeks, every living organism — every insect, fungus, weed seed, and germ — in the beds is dead. “It’s like chemotherapy,” said Ozores-Hampton. Once the soil is suitably lifeless, it’s time to plant tomatoes. And methyl bromide is just the start–it’s just soil prep...

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Top Ten Vegetable Gardening Mistakes

...are best to outsource to the professionals at the farmer’s market. 4. Not having a plan My brain, to put it politely, is non-linear. If I were to overcome that cognitive flaw and plan out how much and where things should be planted I’d have both a steady supply of produce as well as a more attractive garden. 5. Not labeling plants What kind of okra is that? I have no damned idea. Too bad when I want to plant it again next year. All...

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Derek Jarman’s Garden

...wind-swept patch of land opposite a nuclear power plant on the southern coast of England. With just a few hardy plants and some scavenged pieces of wood he put together a stunning garden. He wrote a book about it called, simply, Derek Jarman’s Garden. You can also view a flikr photo set here. Photo by angusf Jarman’s friend Howard Sooley, writing in the Guardian, described the garden and cottage: Prospect Cottage sits more...

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