Grow Your Own Organic Food

Top 10 Reasons To Grow Your Own Organic Food

GARDEN_BEETSJul 29, 2013

1. Get The Nutrition You Need and Enjoy Tastier Food!
Many studies have shown that organically grown food has more minerals and nutrients that we need than food grown with synthetic pesticides. There’s a good reason why many chefs use organic foods in their recipes—they taste better. Organic farming starts with the nourishment of the soil, which eventually leads to the nourishment of the plant and, ultimately our bodies.

2. Save Money
Growing your own food can help cut the cost of the grocery bill. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars and month at the grocery store on foods that don’t really nourish you, spend time in the garden, outside, exercising, learning to grow your own food.

3. Protect Future Generations
The average child receives four times more exposure than an adult to at least eight widely used cancer-causing pesticides in food. Food choices you make now will impact your child’s future health.

“We have not inherited the Earth from our fathers, we are borrowing it from our children.” – Lester Brown

4. Prevent Soil Erosion
Soil in developed nations is eroded several times faster than it’s built up naturally. Soil is the foundation of the food chain in organic farming. However, in conventional farming, the soil is used more as a medium for holding plants in a vertical position so they can be chemically fertilized. As a result, many farms worldwide are suffering from the worst soil erosion in history.

5. Protect Water Quality
Water makes up two-thirds of our body mass and covers three-fourths of the planet. Pesticides – some cancer causing – contaminate the groundwater an can pollute the primary source of drinking water.


26 Mosquito Repellent Plants

26 Mosquito Repellent Plants

Make sure you like Plant Care Today on Facebook, be updated every time we find a fantastic tutorial for exciting and innovative ways to use and care for plants.


Recently, we shared a the post – “5 Easy to Grow Mosquito Repelling Plants” which was very popular. We did some more digging and found even more info on mosquito repellent plants over at Hibiscus And More blog where they have a list of 26 along with 5 tips on ways to discourage the mosquitoes in your yard.

Gardening And More: Mosquito Repellent Plants

Easy Grow Veges From Seeds

The 10 Easiest Vegetables to Grow from Seeds
May 3, 2013
Growing your own food is the most gratifying and rewarding act on the planet. Starting food from seeds is easy, inexpensive and fun.  But planning a garden can be daunting and many gardeners do not know where to start.

“Planning a garden starts with choosing what you love to eat,” says Farmer John Fendley of the Sustainable Seed Company. “Your garden is the ultimate grocery store because it’s convenient and tailored to your taste. But there are a multitude of other benefits to gardening such as saving money, eating healthier foods and burning calories.”

Farmer John suggests starting with these 10 simple vegetables to grow from seeds for beginners to have success in the garden:

1. Beets
2. Radishes

3. Peas
4. Swiss Chard

5. Beans
6. Lettuce

7. Spinach
8. Tomatoes

9. Cucumber
10. Basil

The selection available online for unique and delicious heirloom vegetables far surpasses anything found in supermarkets.  And when you begin to harvest and enjoy nature’s bounty, you’ll be well pleased at the money you save, and the amazing food you grew from seed.  So check out the estimated last spring frost in your area, and start your seeds…you’ll be very happy you did.


Vegetable Gardening: 8 Don’t Dos

GARDENING_8DOs&DON'TS8 Things NOT to Do In the Vegetable Garden

Whether you are just starting your first vegetable garden, or have been growing for decades you are bound to make mistakes.

Too Much Fertilizer Can Burn Plants.   I know I make oodles of mistakes each year.  Some are new mistakes, but for some reason I repeat old mistakes every now and then.  I have made enough mistakes over the years I could probably fill another complete website full of my vegetable garden follies.

Fortunately, through my mistakes I have learned what to do and what not to do in a bunch of situations.  Here are eight things NOT to do in the vegetable garden along with an extra bonus tip at the end.


1. Avoid Over Fertilizing Vegetables

2. Do Not Use Synthetic Fertilizers

3. Do Not Plant In Too Much Shade

4. Do Not Forget to Amend the Soil     (Read Full Article)

4 Amazing Vertical Garden Designs

4 Amazing Vertical Garden Designs For Growing Veggies In Any Space


July 19, 2012

Do you want to test out your green thumb but think you don’t have space for a garden?

You’re not alone.

Most of the world’s population is concentrated in urban areas…which aren’t exactly ideal for the traditional garden. Even if you find yourself with little more than a small patch of lawn, or maybe even only a fire escape, you can still start your very own garden.

How? Vertical gardening!

This post is a special one as it is our contribution to Sustainablog’s Pedal-a-Watt Powered Blogathon this weekend.

Our friends at this long-running green blog (and new green shopping site) are publishing for 24 hours straight to raise funds for the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Northeastern Missouri.

Go join the fun: read post contributions from around the green blogosphere, leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for some great green prizes, and join in the Tweetchat at #susbppb.

Now, On To The Gardens…

  • Self Watering Vertical Garden
    Low Tech Magazine has a vertical garden idea that involves little more than empty 2 liters and a piece of plywood. Their plans include instructions on how to implement a self watering system into this garden, but that’s completely optional.Thanks to my friend Derek Makham (@DerekMarkham on Twitter) for sharing this one with me.
  • Gardening In An Old Pair of Jeans
    Got some old pants that have outlived their usefulness? Turn them into a vertical garden!
  • Hanging Shoe Organizer Turned Garden
    You don’t really need all of those shoes do you? Donate them to Goodwill and follow Green Upgrader’s instructions to use the hanging shoe organizer as a garden. It’s practically made for such a task!
  • Step It On Up
    Sometimes you just want to get your hands a little dirty. If you’re more of a DIYer, like me, then this stair step-ish vertical garden design from WebEcoist may be your gardening dream come true.

Do you garden in a small space? If so, please share your setup here in the comments.

Don’t forget to jump over to Sustainablog to read the other pedal-powered blogathon posts! You may even feel moved to donate a little money to the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.


Occupy Community Gardens

Occupy Community Gardens | NationofChange.

Occupy Community Gardens

Februray 1, 2012

It’s time to prepare for spring.  The Arab Spring in the Middle East continues to move forward year round.

Does the occupy movement stand for something positive or something negative?   It depends on the purpose and actions of those who are participating.

Is the occupy movement directionless?  Maybe.   Maybe not.   A positive direction will include a diversity of elements.  Some elements will be economic.  Some social.  Others political.   An element that is already playing a part is community gardening.

Occupying community gardens is a metaphor for the work that community gardeners perform.  Community gardens are associations of individuals who garden at a common location.   The gardeners can exchange ideas and the harvest of their work.

The occupy movement and community gardens have in common that they empower individuals to play more productive roles in their lives.    Community gardens can strengthen the occupy movement and the occupy movement can in turn strengthen community gardening.

Community gardens have an important history and can play an important role in creating a healthy society.  Community gardens produce nutritious food while connecting people to their community.  Some of the world’s most respected restaurants acquire produce from community gardens.

Occupy movement locations have already included community gardens.   For example community gardens are part of the occupy movement in the San Francisco Bay Area in California.

Spring is a metaphor for bringing new things to life.   The Arab spring is planting seeds of democracy.   Community gardens plant seeds of life.  These seeds produce food as well as plants that enhance our environment by adding interest and beauty.   In most places growing plants can be done year round.  Spring becomes an all seasons event. The time to begin is now.

One reason community gardens are important is the emotional and cognitive reward that gardening and community bring to a person’s life.  Not only does the 99% benefit in this way but so does the 1%.  Community gardens are a chance for the whole 100% to benefit.

Harvard’s Howard Gardener’s theory of multiple intelligences includes a human’s connection to the natural world.  This connection is necessary to the human condition.  Community gardening is one way to satisfy this need.

Community gardens are not demands.  They are life enhancing alternatives that help people participate in their society in a meaningful way.  Community gardens are not the only answer to developing sane and well-balanced societies.   They can be one of the answers and one of the most powerful.  Sustainable agriculture and gardening can promote sustainable economies that are good for the 1% as well as the 99%.

Community gardens may not completely replace large scale agriculture but can provide an important alternative in the economics of how humans obtain food.   There is much that agribusiness can learn from community gardens that practice the science of sustainable agriculture. This science is called agroecology.

Community gardens also exemplify economies of scale that allow greater participation by people in all walks of life. If the occupy movement in your area has already started a community garden you can participate.   If your area does not have a community garden you can start one or find someone who can.

Occupying community gardens provides a direction that allows individuals to become more productive while improving lives.   Occupying a community garden can be done for an hour a day or an hour a week.  Those who haven’t started to do this do not need to wait but can start now.

Les Kishler is a Community Gardens Advocate based in California.

(Atricle Link:

TED – A Subversive Plot: How to Grow a Revolution in Your Own Backyard!

Climate-Friendly Gardening in Action

Climate-Friendly Gardening in Action | Union of Concerned Scientists.

Are you interested in creating a climate-friendly garden? These videos can help get you started. Follow UCS analyst Karen Perry Stillerman on her visit to Eden Place Nature Center in Chicago to see how the same practices used to create this urban oasis can transform the American agricultural landscape.

Composting    Use yard waste and table scraps to turn your garden into a global warming mitigation machine.  (Learn more)

At Berlin’s Fabled Airport, Urban Gardening Takes Off

At legendary Tempelhof Airport, site of the Berlin Airlift and now home to one of Europe’s biggest and most unusual urban gardens, it’s sunflowers instead of planes and kale instead of kerosene.

Launched by a dozen “pioneers” in April, the Allmende Kontor plot now has about 300 people growing fruit, vegetables and flowers between the former runways of the airport, which closed nearly three years ago.

Hot peppers, chestnut saplings, cosmos and millet now reach for skies once filled with Allied jets ferrying essential supplies to West Berlin during the 1948-49 Soviet blockade at the start of the Cold War.

The Nazi-built terminal, called by star architect Norman Foster “the mother of all airports”, forms a sweeping crescent in the distance as hobby farmers of all ages and stripes tend to their crops.

Gerda Muennich, one of the organisers of Allmende Kontor, which takes its name from a mediaeval form of community gardening, says the initiative is also meant to reflect the diverse cultural makeup of the surrounding neighbourhoods.

“One of our members plans to break the Ramadan fast with a big picnic here,” the 71-year-old told AFP on a tour of the 5,000-square-metre (54,000 square-foot) garden, referring to the Muslim holy month.

Just beyond the airport fence is Neukoelln, a working class district of Germans, Arabs and Turks undergoing rapid gentrification.

The closing of Tempelhof to make way for an expanded facility on the city’s outskirts has fuelled the transformation of the surrounding area as the noise and pollution of air traffic have given way to a windswept park.

For now, the shuttered airport is an undeveloped space nearly as big as New York’s Central Park and Berliners have embraced it as a playground, cycling and rollerblading down the old runways and barbecuing on a designated meadow.

Off to one side is an old American baseball diamond with a fading scoreboard reading “Home” and “Away” where GIs used to round the bases.

Many of the city farmers fear that investors will leap on the prime real estate when their lease is up, forcing them out. Much of the site is to be landscaped to host the International Garden Show in 2017.

(Read more)

South-Central garden: The time is ripe to revive it –

South-Central garden: The time is ripe to revive it –


A South-Central garden spot again?

The urban parcel once cultivated by the South Central Farmers is again available, for a price. It’s worth pursuing a deal with a foundation to get it growing again.

A look back: Odalys Clemente, then 8, waters her parents' plot. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

A look back: Odalys Clemente, then 8, waters her parents’ plot. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Once there was a farm in South Los Angeles that sprouted among warehouses and railroad tracks. In the shadow of downtown skyscrapers, avocado trees and beans and tomatillos took root and gave 350 families a bountiful harvest and a gathering place. But the plot of land at 41st and Alameda — estimated at 14 acres — was not the farmers’ to keep. Allowed to garden there by the city after it took possession under eminent domain, the land was eventually sold back to a previous owner. The farmers could leave — or buy the property from him for about $16 million.

The 2 1/2-year battle that erupted in 2006 played out like an opera. The South Central Farmers, as the gardeners named themselves, felt betrayed by city politicians. The property owner, Ralph Horowitz, believed — rightly — that he was being unfairly vilified for simply trying to protect his investment. Despite a promise of millions from the Annenberg Foundation, a deal to buy the property and keep the farm going fell through, giving way to the ugly sight of bulldozers plowing crops under. But life went on. Some farmers moved farther south to land that L.A. City Councilwoman Jan Perry helped them find. Others — who kept the South Central Farmers name — moved to land near Bakersfield, where they continue to grow produce that they sell at farmers’ markets and in several Whole Foods stores. And some quit farming altogether. (Read more)

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