Plum Lemon Tomato Power’s Heirloom Tomato

d those loads of melamine laced pet food from China, they did somehow manage to track 1,840 confirmed cases of food-borne illnesses in domestic tomatoes. Again, urban homesteading revolutionaries, GROW YOUR OWN! We found that label and it’s a tomato called “Power’s Heirloom”. Here’s how the Seed Saver’s exchange catalog copy describes it, “First offered in the 1990 SSE Yearbook by Bruce McAllister from Fr...

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Stickers for the Organic Gardener

Via BoingBoing a clever re-purposing: “Evil Mad Scientist Labs wants you to proudly label your organic garden with these handsome “Now Slower and with More Bugs!” stickers, originally produced to adorn software products. The influence of the Slow Food movement is increasing, and gardening is getting ever more popular. Even the tech bloggers are posting about local pollinators and getting beehives. In this environment, it is fi...

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Straw Bale Garden Part V: Growing Vegetables

...oing a lot better. The bales are home to organisms that support healthy vegetables: mushrooms and worms. When I dug into the bales to plant some chard seedlings yesterday I found a lot of worms. I had thought that straw bale gardening was like hydroponics–essentially fertilizer added to a growing medium. But the presence of worms and mushrooms indicates that well rotted straw bales are more like the kind healthy soil that supports a web of...

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Defining a Garden’s Purpose

...an Francisco. Thankfully the Fling did not involve sitting in a sterile hotel conference room. Instead, we boarded two buses and took a look at fifteen spectacular gardens in the bay area over three days. I’ll share the gardening lessons I learned over a couple of posts. But if I could take away only one lesson it would be this: every garden has a purpose, but great gardens have clear and beneficial purposes. Dead Grass and Junk The uninten...

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Saturday Linkages: Of Tiny Shops and Margarita Dermatitis

The smallest shop in London. Gardening How to make a ferrocement raised bed: http://www.ruralize.com/Genes  Projects/ferrocement/ferrocement garden bed.html The Agony and the Ecstasy of Gardening with Children: http://www.nwedible.com/2013/06/the-agony-and-the-ecstasy-of-gardening-with-children.html … Live light Join the Aussies in a Plastic-Free July: http://www.plasticfreejuly.org/the-challenge.html Stuff to worry about With 2 Weeks’ W...

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Straw Bale Garden: What I Learned

...will fall over eventually. I knew this but was too lazy to actually do it. Straw bale gardens are a great option for those cursed by poor or contaminated soil. I’ve got lot of bales to compost! My future in straw bale gardening I’ve decided to continue straw bale gardening on a smaller scale. I’m going to build some raised beds and fill them with soil, but I’m leaving room for two bales to grow nitrogen hungry crops, pr...

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Straw Bale Garden Update: Success!

Ladies and gentleman, straw bale gardening works. I left town for a week earlier this month and, during my absence, the vegetables in the straw bale garden exploded in size. The Tromboncino squash on the left, is threatening to envelop the entire yard.  The tomatoes are equally vigorous and covered in ripening fruit. Zucchini is on the menu. While it takes an input of outside resources in the form of straw and fertilizer, straw bale gardening i...

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How to Plan a Vegetable Garden

...ike to eat. A planning form from Ecology Action Deciding How Much to Plant To decide how much to plant I rely on the charts in John Jeavons’ book  How to Grow More Vegetables . I took his three day Biointensive gardening class early last year and recommend it highly, especially for learning how to use the, at first, intimidating charts in the book. Jeavons handed out a handy planning form during the class that works with the tables...

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Arduino Homesteading Projects

...’d compile a list of Arduino based project related to the “low-tech, home-tech” subjects covered on this blog. I’ll keep updating this list as I hear of more projects. Chickens Chicken coop controller Gardening Garden Bot (information about “an open source garden monitoring system). Includes links to other Arduino based gardening projects. Gardening moisture sensor/watering controllers An Arduino waterer that twee...

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Tracking the Mood of the Gardener

...noticed that we have a new feature on the blog–if you click on an individual blog post you’ll see a list of related posts at the bottom. Looking at some of those older posts showed that I have an annual vegetable gardening freakout around November. Why? Two factors: freak heatwaves (that are common here in the fall) as well as skunk activity which is related to applying compost (they are digging for grubs). So it may be, in fact, bet...

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