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August Fruit PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 August 2008 11:24

These pears are from a dwarf pear tree in the front yard. This tree always produces lots of pears, We never weighed how much but it is dozens. The grapes are the pink-red type and very sweet.This fall the grape will be cut back and next year the vine will be retrained over another trellis instead of the railing of the stairs, The yard is about 14' by 25' and besides the pear and apricot is planted with tomatoes, greens, herbs and some flowers. The front stairs provide another site for the containers containing tomatoes and herbs and get good sun in the morning. The neighbors here are growing tomatoes, bitter melon, peppers and grapes.

Pears and Grapes
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2008 11:29
Going Local PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 13 August 2008 15:50
homegrown tomatoes homegrown lettuce

These were from the garden yesterday. The beefsteak tomatoes are just getting going (besides Sweet Snack Hybrids and Super Sweet Hybird 100 ) and the indoor aeroponics garden salad greens are just starting to replace the spicy and baby greens outside.

The author of "In Defense of Food," MIchael Pollan, estimates that the distance traveled by food to the plate of an average American is 1,500 miles. The average distance of food grown at home is about 150 feet. The salad or vegetable retains it's nutritional value but another benefit is that it used much less energy to get to your plate and created way less pollution in transport. Trying to get whatever you can't grow at farmer's markets cuts the transpsort distance to usually less than 100 miles. Below are some ways to encourage local food production:

1) Form a non-profit group to champion local food
2) Work with local government to sponsor community gardens
3) Hold forums on sustainable food production
4) Encourage micro market gardening in the city and Spin Farming
5) Form or join a CSA group (Community Supported Agriculture group)
6) Celebrate local food with local festivals, local garden tours, etc.
7) Start seed saving and exchanges with your friends and neighbors
8) Encourage Community Fruit tree planting, use the harvests to make juice for fundraising
9) Encourage "buy local" labels for produce grown locally at the store
10) Encourge your supermarket distributors to bring locally grown food to your market.

A Garden Salad - August 2 PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 02 August 2008 10:42

This salad was grown primarily in containers, so city dwellers, you can do this. It was grown on my stoop (cherry tomatoes, parsley, purple basil, green basil) widow boxes on my fence (spicy greens and baby greens) and a small plot (garlic chives, lemon balm, scented geranium). The spicy/baby greens hold up better in the heat than leafy lettuce. I am now starting my aerogarden inside to supplement the harvest of greens along with my home built aeroponics unit. This ties in with the idea of eating deep in the season -- if you grow it yourself you can always do that.

Photo: Kim Funk

Last Updated on Saturday, 06 September 2008 13:50
August in the Garden PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 01 August 2008 07:45

There is an old saying. "Eat deep in the season". What it means is, eat the food that is currently ripe and available. This is what great eating from Farmer's Markets is about. Trying to eat corn, peaches and tomatoes in January is a problem, they are never as good as in the summer. . Of course, once in a while a special treat out of season is fine (rasberries or strawberry shortcake).

Part of what is nice about having seasons is that there are different things available. Vacationing down on the Jersey Shore as a child, one of the things I liked best was great produce and fruit. Nothing can beat corn, tomatoes and peaches grown nearby. (ie, not gassed, refrigerated, etc.). I have invested in some indoor gardening tools, like the Aerogarden. I am aiming growing my salad fixings, small tomatoes and herbs all year long. It's a small step, growing a salad and one vegetable, but it is within reach even in urban areas. Of course, lots of space helps. I know a gardener who has half an acre and can grow just about all she needs.

However, a small space should not discourage urban dwellers from trying to use whatever space they have. Containers, aerponics, very small plot techniques, etc. can be used to grow food. Right now I use a combination of small plot, containers, aeroponics and patronizing farmer's markets. When you realize that during WWII the victory gardens produced (by one report) 40% of the vegetables consumed, it's an idea whose time has come again. Growing your own greens, herbs and tomatoes allows you to eat deep in the season all the time.

Last Updated on Friday, 01 August 2008 08:18
July in the Garden PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 July 2008 07:49

Welcome to summer in the garden. Just a few shots of the residents so far.
Photos: Kimberly Funk

Jersey City garden
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 July 2008 16:18
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photo: Jeannie Cote


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