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Autumn Harvest PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 18 October 2008 08:01
autumn tomato

Here are some photos of late season garden pickings...tomatoes, cayenne peppers and cherry tomatoes. The aerogarden is full of salad greens, red sails, leaf lettuce. Outside there are two boxes of spicy greens that will migrate to inside when it gets really cold.. Cuttings from the sweet snack tomato will be transferred to the home made aeroponics unit.

peppers and cherry tomatoes Lettuce spicy greens

Later this week info on the homemade aeroponics unit and it's newest planting will be posted.

Last Updated on Saturday, 18 October 2008 08:16
Aeroponics - a secret for growing all year long PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 15 September 2008 10:34

Aerogarden with Tomato PlantsFall is not official here yet, but it's in the air. Tomatoes and herbs outside are just waiting for the final harvest. Lettuce is getting it's second season now that it's getting cooler. Now's the time for kale, turnips and cabbage. This week I'm going to show you what I've been doing inside to keep things going. I have one commercial inside growing unit called an Aerogarden along with a home built unit. The AeroGarden works by automatically turning on growlights with a system that circulates water over the roots which are suspended in the air of the unit. The home built unit is clear so I can see when it needs water, the lights and pump are manuallly turned off and on each day.

I have harvested winter crops of greens, herbs and tomatoes and it is also is a great way to start plants to be put outside in spring. Here is an interesting little secret - the roots on plants grown aeroponically are stronger than those started in soil. It's probably because the thing the plants are most often deficient in is oxygen. Overwatering, dense soil or too much of one nutrient or microbe and the roots don't grow as well. I have been amazed at the roots that develop when grown aeroponically. They are extremely healthy and copious. I started my entire herb garden that was outside this summer aeroponically (green basil, purple basil, mint, dill and parsley) in the aerogarden and they are still thriving outside in late September.

Aerogarden started w/Greens If you are interested in fresh foods but think you have a brown thumb, try this. Adding water and nutrient (the lights will flash to let you know when) are about the extent of effort you have to make besides harvesting your fresh foods.
Pictured at right is the latest planting with salad greens. It's coming along nicely now. I'm planning on getting another unit this winter so I can grow most of my salad foods and herbs. I've been gardening outside and inside for a long time and even built my own drip system garden. If you want to extend your growing season in the winter, there are ways to do it.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 September 2008 11:38
A collage of late summer in the garden PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 06 September 2008 13:38
Late summer in the Garden

September in the garden - a time of great beauty and bounty. Tomatoes hit their peak with herbs and pears.. Yet, it's tinged with sadness because fall is coming (great for lettuce and kale) but then winter. The shadows grow long and no more farmer's market here.. I feel like Persephone, sentenced to cold misery for half the year... Wow that's almost a poem.

Yup, all this "grow your own" stuff used to have a different meaning...and checking out the ole hydroponics stuff - it was expensive and seemed geared to growing of a more shall we say "medicinal" type of herb....But I am stuck on fresh eating. It is addicting, eating things within minutes of picking.. I'm not taking this lying down, so stay tuned to this page for info on how I'm going to keep growing some edibles during the winter, besides the orchid madness in the bay window that faces south east....

Last Updated on Sunday, 07 September 2008 13:33
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.

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photo: Jeannie Cote


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