chickens raised beds

Chickens vs. Vegetable Beds, Round Two

In February I posted a picture of my modest collection of raised beds and asked for ideas about how to keep the chickens out of them.  Jessi Blum, author of Free Range Chicken Gardens, chimed in with some good advice.  I wanted the best of both worlds:  total chicken protection with very little effort on […]

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Posted by on July 18, 2012 at 7:00 am   This post has 18 responses.

Urban Gardening, For Reals.

There’s a little run-down blue house a couple blocks away that has been continuously occupied for the last five years by a rotating group of newly-arrived Laotians. (At least, I believe them to be Laotians, based on a conversation I once overheard as I walked by.)  I can always...

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Posted by on July 11, 2012 at 8:00 am   This post has 7 responses.

Am I Eating the Right End?

A few years ago, I interviewed a gardener from Bangladesh who grew exotic gourds like fuzzy melon and snake melon in the Fenway community garden in Boston. She pointed out that the growing season is short, certainly compared to her home country, so before she got the gourds, she...

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Posted by on July 6, 2012 at 8:41 am   This post has 9 responses.

Grazing My Way Through The Lull

Though I’ve been doing a vegetable garden for 20 years, I often rue my stupidity at this particular moment, when, if I’m not vigilant, there is nothing in the garden to eat.  This season, we’ve already had lots of nice spring meals of sugar snap peas and favas, garlic...

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Posted by on June 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm   This post has 16 responses.

Patience With the Experiment

Though gardeners are supposed to put down roots, I’ve made an awful lot of vegetable gardens in the last decade. When I first bought a weekend place in the country, I made a garden right behind the house. It worked well in high summer, but my fall crops did...

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Posted by on June 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm   This post has 29 responses.

Worst City/Gardener Clash Ever.

UPDATE:  Thanks to our alert readers for pointing out this Change.org petition you can sign. Meet Denise Morrison, a Tulsa gardener who carefully read the city code and followed it, planting nothing in her front yard that exceeded 12 inches in height unless it was edible. She grew an...

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Posted by on June 19, 2012 at 3:56 am   This post has 33 responses.

Guest Rant: Low-Hanging Fruit

Y’all welcome Friend of Rant William Alexander, with this interesting horticultural report: It seems like I’d just barely picked the apples from my 4-tree orchard at my home in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley last fall when a freak October snowstorm come through, the foot of wet, heavy snow clinging...

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Posted by on May 9, 2012 at 4:50 am   This post has 9 responses.

Meet the Farmer Pirates

This is how Buffalo urban farmer Dan Ash explains it: “Pirate is a word that embodies resistance, and for farmer pirates that means resistance to the current industrial food system. We’re opting out by growing our own food.” It was just a couple years ago that a family who wanted to use...

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Posted by on May 7, 2012 at 4:10 am   This post has 8 responses.

Good Taste, White Flower Farm Style, versus Good Taste, Kitchen Style

It’s been many years since I paid any attention to White Flower Farm.  I used to order a bareroot rose or shrub from them now and then.  Early in my career, they disabused me of the notion that it was good to order perennials by mail by taking lots...

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Posted by on March 16, 2012 at 6:25 am   This post has 32 responses.

Short History of Humans Eating Fruits and – not so much – Vegetables

 

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Posted by on February 25, 2012 at 5:37 am   This post has one response.

Dear Seed Companies: Please Stop Making It So Damn Hard To Love You.

Just look at this amazing, astonishing, beautiful, very unusual new purple tomato.  Does it not fill your heart with lust?  Do you not want to order one of these RIGHT NOW? What?  You don't see it?  Why is that? Because the seed companies make it so damn hard to...

Read more in: Eat This, It's the Plants, Darling, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on February 22, 2012 at 11:36 am   This post has 10 responses.

Chicken Gardens: We Have a Winner!

Thanks, everybody, for your comments in response to my chicken gardening dilemma. Jessi Bloom, author of Free Range Chicken Gardens, chose a winner and offered all kinds of interesting ideas for keeping the girls out of the vegetable beds.  First, our winner is Kerry, who Jessi chose because she...

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Posted by on February 8, 2012 at 4:31 am   This post has 3 responses.

The Organic Egg Scorecard

  This winter, I bought two dozen eggs.  I'm generally content to just do without as my hens go through their winter moult, but there were a couple of times when I just needed eggs for something or other, so off I went to try to pick up something...

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Posted by on January 18, 2012 at 4:55 am   This post has 15 responses.

Fun for Potato Obsessives

That would be me!  Potatoes are just about my favorite crop.  They are famous for yielding the most food in the smallest possible space, why is one explanation for why the land-poor 19th century Irish became so dependent on them. They are very forgiving, producing early, late, everywhere in between....

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Posted by on January 13, 2012 at 7:59 am   This post has 20 responses.

Urban Self-Sufficiency, One Crop At a Time

Here's one way to go about making a city more self-sufficient, food-wise:  Start with just one crop. Once you get that one right, move on to the next one. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Friends of the Urban Forest is doing just that:  They are mapping every Meyer...

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Posted by on January 11, 2012 at 8:54 am   This post has 18 responses.

Making the Case for Good Food

I was in New York on Sunday, and some friends invited me to an event sponsored by the picky eater offshoots of Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Big Food and the Food Justice committee of Occupy Wall Street. The event included a farmers' rally in an East Village community garden and...

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Posted by on December 9, 2011 at 7:52 am   This post has 8 responses.

Fruit Trees: A Triumph of Hope Over Experience

Rest in peace Of all the amazing plants in my garden–'Scheherezade' lilies 8 feet tall, 'Big Smile' tulips the size and shape of a dinosaur's egg, 'Russelliana' roses that explode into phosphorescent magenta blooms in June–there is only one that causes gasps of astonishment…and that is my peach trees....

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Posted by on December 2, 2011 at 7:48 am   This post has 20 responses.

Turkey madness

Photo by kc kratt. Up until now, on Thanksgivings when I cook, I’ve been satisfied with small fresh turkeys that didn’t seem to be injected with anything weird. I was never one to sign up for the expensive “organic” birds through the local food co-op. In my view, the...

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Posted by on November 21, 2011 at 5:30 am   This post has 10 responses.

Curry Please

I really enjoyed my visit to Cornell Plantations this week, particularly the herb garden, which was still looking good after several hard frosts. Even in the relatively chilly November air, I was overpowered by scent as I passed one of the 17 theme beds.  This was clearly the "tussie...

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Posted by on November 4, 2011 at 5:07 am   This post has 8 responses.

Just for looks?

What we took for a centerpiece at a recent al fresco lunch* turned out to be an appetizer—baby carrots, tiny radishes, and micro-greens planted in an edible “dirt” made out of dried malt and chocolate. It was granular and only slightly sweet, not at all like the crushed cookie...

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Posted by on September 19, 2011 at 5:00 am   This post has 10 responses.
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