How to Keep Squirrels and Birds From Eating Your Fruit

Photo by Noel Ramos. Got a tip from Noel Ramos a.k.a. Florida Green Man on how to deal with those pesky squirrels and birds in your fruit orchard. Noel says: I use those clear plastic fruit containers that are used for packing strawberries and grapes. I personally don’t buy fruit in these containers but I asked some neighbors and friends to save them for me and in a short time amassed a large collection. They snap shut over most fruit like...

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Happy Thanksgiving, Now Go Buy Something

...s the vegetable gardening bible around here. Since we started using Jeavons’ methods this fall I’ve noticed a significant improvement in the health of our garden. The only book on vegetables you need to own. Haws Watering Can Jeavons turned me on to this. The can produces a gentle spray that is perfect for watering flats of seedlings. I can’t believe I lived without this thing. It’s expensive but worth it. The Urban Home...

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Make that 11 Vegetable Gardening Mistakes

In my post, Top Ten Vegetable Gardening Mistakes, several readers and Mrs. Homegrown pointed out that I left out “inconsistent watering.” I plead guilty. I would also suggest an “absentminded” watering category, such as setting up a irrigation system on a timer and not adjusting it throughout the season. And those of us in dry climates could also be better about selecting and saving seeds for drought tolerance. Gary Paul...

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Straw Bale Garden Part III: Adding Fertilizer

After watering our straw bales for three days our next step is to apply a high nitrogen fertilizer. We’re following West Virginia University Extension Service’s Straw Bale Gardening advice. They suggest a 1/2 cup of urea per bale or “bone meal, fish meal, or compost for a more organic approach.” (I think they mean blood meal as bone meal does not have much nitrogen in it.) Choosing the organic approach, we’re water...

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Seedling Disaster!

...in the garden!  I’ve had nothing but bad luck germinating seeds this spring for our summer garden and, as a result, our vegetable beds are as bare as the Serengeti. What happened? Here’s a list of possibilities: watering too much watering too little damping off  unseasonably cold weather (we germinate outside here) the occasional hot day on top of cold evenings the mindset of the gardener: being in a hurried, stressed mood as we fin...

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Peat-free Planting Mix Recipe With Coconut Coir

...r starting seeds, we’ve used it for years. Our friend Nancy Klehm taught us recently how to make a seed starting mix with coconut coir instead of peat moss. Thanks, Nancy! Here’s how to make it: Ingredients Watering the coir brick to break it up. Once saturated, this brick will expand to fill the tub. COIR:  A fibrous material made from coconut husks. It is sold in compressed bricks which expand greatly when wet. It is pH n...

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Lady Urine, Water Conservation and Halfway Humanure

.... It’s sort of disturbingly medical-techno. The advantage of this type of funnel over, say, a kitchen funnel,  is that it has a very long nose or nozzle. This, she explained, allows her to neatly direct the urine into a watering can. Very smart. I wondered if other female readers out there had tried-and-true methods for urine collection that they’d be willing to share? I’m terrible at it, myself. This is particularly pertinent f...

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A Prickly Situation

Today’s post is for clueless white folks as our hermanos y hermanas already know this shit. As we’ve suggested before the rule with landscaping at the Homegrown Evolution compound is, if you gotta water it you gotta be able to eat it. But there are a few miracle plants, well adapted to Southern California’s climate, that are both edible and don’t need watering. One of the most versatile is the prickly pear cactus, of whi...

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CoEvolution Quarterly Online

...volution spells “Kourick”) who practiced permaculture before Bill Mollison gave it a name: [Kourick] is developing methods of growing edible and ornamental plants together for maximum beauty, minimum upkeep, and a self-sustaining yield of food. He does it by concentrating on growing perennials that do not need to be replanted each year and annuals that reseed themselves spontaneously. He uses ground cover plants that fertilize other p...

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Countdown

...Urban Homestead . The way we see it, The Urban Homestead was less a how-to book and more a “why should I?” Its purpose was to get people excited about this homesteadish stuff, and see that they could work toward self-reliance, no matter where they lived. Making It is a pure how-to book: Project #1 – #70.  There’s no chit-chat or opinionating. Its focus is on making the home an engine of production rather than consumption...

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