TED talk

Watch: A Teacher Growing Green in the South Bronx

TED calls Stephen Ritz  a “whirlwind of energy and ideas” and boy, IS he.  My notes on his TED talk include: “Poorest congressional district in the U.S.” “First indoor edible wall in New York City.” “Triple bottom line.” “Si, se puede moments.” “Growing organic kids.” “From 40 percent attendance to 95 percent attendance.” “New green […]

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Posted by on August 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm   This post has 5 responses.

No Babysitting Required

I’ve been away on vacation for most of the last few weeks, and as is typically true in August, have returned to ridiculous explosions of food, weeds, and crabgrass. You’ll notice that one of the explosions, at least, is positive: food.  So many tomatoes that sauce-making is the only...

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Posted by on August 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm   This post has 20 responses.

Send Me to the Commune

Grated beet salad with red onions, carrots, and a delicious vinaigrette. Grass-fed beef steaks, perfectly grilled.  A potato salad made with homemade mayonnaise and chipotle relish. Melting, sweet homegrown tomatoes with good olive oil, sea salt and basil. Boiled Maine lobster. Broiled baby eggplant with lemon basil and a...

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Posted by on August 10, 2012 at 7:00 am   This post has 8 responses.

Another illegal front-yard garden, and this one’s gorgeous!

This time, the craziness is in Quebec.  And this time, the gardeners’ health is an issue.  According to this story, the couple has lost a combined 100 pounds since they planted the garden in March!  Expect to see a garden-to-lose-weight book coming soon, based on their experience. They already...

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Posted by on July 21, 2012 at 4:53 pm   This post has 10 responses.

A Theme of Complaint

“Every man may be observed to have …some peculiar theme of complaint on which he dwells in his moments of dejection.” Samuel Johnson I was having a delightful phone conversation with my old boss last week.  He always makes me laugh and gives the best advice of anybody.  We...

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Posted by on July 20, 2012 at 12:39 pm   This post has 11 responses.

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...

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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...

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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.
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