Garden Design: Quantity vs. Quality

...t pot. The students who were graded by quantity rather than quality made the best pots. I’ve noticed, from the years I used to be in the art world, that he most talented creative folks I’ve met crank out lots of material. So how do we apply the quantity over quality principle to laying out a garden–especially since you often get only one chance a year to get it right? Above you see some of Kelly’s ideas for the parkway gar...

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Modesto Milling’s Organic Layer Pellets

...ur chickens came from).  In my opinion, if I’m going to go through the trouble of keeping my own chickens they should get good feed in addition to kitchen scraps and yard trimmings. Since I don’t have a pasture to let my hens forage on, this feed is the next best thing. So that’s why I’ve decided to use Modesto Milling’s organic layer pellets, even though it’s more expensive than the feed I used to use. Modest...

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What To Do With Old Vegetable Seeds

...e to distribute those old seeds around our micro-orchard to see what comes up. Fukuoka has some tips in his book The Natural Way of Farming for creating a semi-wild vegetable garden: Include nitrogen fixers (in my case some clover seeds) Use daikon and other radishes to break up hard soil Sow before weeds emerge Scott Kleinrock has used the same strategy at the Huntington Gardens. Here’s what his semi-wild vegetable garden, growing in the...

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How To Make Hoshigaki (Dried Persimmons)

...ersimmon season right now, so if you want to try this at home you better jump on it. While a lot can go wrong in the month it takes to make Hoschigaki, the process is not complicated. What kind of persimmons to use The persimmons used to make Hoshigaki are astringent varieties such as Hachiya. Ideally, choose fruit that still has part of the stem. There is a workaround later in these instructions if you can’t find persimmons with stems. Us...

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Chairs, are they killing us?

...se (Lifespan Extending Villa),2004, photo: Léopold Lambert Maverick architects Madeline Gins and her partner, the late Arakawa (he only used his last name) had the idea that our houses should not be comfortable in the western sense of having lots of couches, chairs and ease of access. Rather, they designed off-kilter floors, awkward doorways and dangerous staircases with the idea that being forced to be more active would give us longer, health...

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The Fine Art of Worm Grunting

For your Monday viewing pleasure we have two videos showing worm grunting in Florida. Worm grunting is a technique used to lure worms out of the soil to collect as fishing bait. Basically, you take a stick (called a “stob”), pound it into the ground and rub a metal rod (known as a “rooping iron”) against the top of the stob. The deep vibrations are said to mimic the sound of burrowing moles, the natural predator of wor...

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Bird Netting as a Cabbage Leaf Caterpillar Barrier

...don’t like that idea, I’ve got others.” Specifically, bird netting. I’ve got an untested theory that bird netting is enough to keep out the white butterflies that give birth to the dreaded cabbage leaf caterpillar, the only serious pest for us at this time of year. So far the bird netting seems to be working. I’ll note that it would be important to keep the leaves of plants well away from the netting so that butterfl...

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Using Greywater from your Washing Machine

...ine from burning out, which might happen if you tried to pump the water through pipes. The tank also slows down the flow of water going out to the garden, allowing more time for it to percolate into the soil. In addition the tank lets the water cool a bit, should we run a load in hot water. Bottom of barrel showing fittings Top of the barrel where the hose from the washing machine comes in For the tank we picked up a used and cleaned 55 gall...

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Why You Should Avoid Staking Trees

...University has some advice: •    If trees must be staked, place stakes as low as possible but no higher than 2/3 the height of the tree. •    Materials used to tie the tree to the stake should be flexible and allow for movement all the way down to the ground so that trunk taper develops correctly. •    Remove all staking material after roots have established. This can be as early as a few months, but should be no longer than one growing season No...

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