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Bridget Mason: Obama's Call to Service -- The Garden We're Growing

Bridget Mason: Obama's Call to Service -- The Garden We're Growing Huffington Post Take a look at an interesting article we found.

11 things to know before starting a vegetable garden

11 things to know before starting a vegetable garden Take a look at an interesting article we found.

Bringing SPIN to your patch

Bringing SPIN to your patch Take a look at an interesting article we found.

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I've gone to my farm in Kentucky for the weekend. It's a great place to relax, do a little hard physical labor, and forget about the rest of the world. If you don't have such a place, I highly suggest you get one.

In the meantime, here's a little something I unearthed for you to read that has a different spin on backyard gardening.

See you on Monday.

J. Peterman

From: The Philadelphia Inquirer



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Under Construction: Design Stuff & Member Commenting - Changes Soon.
17 Members’ Opinions
February 08, 2009 2:58 AM
2850 First-com Mac said...

I love this idea. With the 'organic' badge being thrown around as widely as 'no trans fats' was 5 years ago, it's hard to know what's truly healthy and what's simply a gimick. This is a great method for smartly raising a variety of healthy produce for your family, without breaking the bank and maybe even adding a little to it (think local farmers' markets, which are popping up all over the place in Northern suburban Illinois).

February 08, 2009 8:15 AM
1198 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Doc Nolan said...

Uh, oh... the reminds me of a project I participated many years ago, when the local communitiy college in Enfield, CT, worked out a deal to use a field once used as a holding lot for cattle by the state prison system (when it still engaged in agriculture).  For those who don't understand the ins and outs of soil fertility, consider the ins and outs of cows (what goes in comes out).

A group of guys met one Saturday morning to measure off 'plots' (total acreage divided by number of folks who signed up).  One of the more mathematically gifted among us calculated that the plots should measure 50 feet by 50 feet -- and off we went.

Now, from a strictly empirical base, I can assure you that you can raise a LOT of vegetables on 2,500 square feet!  And that was indeed a problem.  Keeping up with the corn, beans, cabbage, zucchini, lettuce, carrots, celery, and I forget what else was challenge enough.  But the pumpkins!  Oh, my..... You can only cook pumpkins a limited number of ways.... and try giving away not dozens, but scores of pumpkins... oh my!

I'll never forget how good the food was (though humans also follow the same inexorable in/out paradigm as cattle).  But 2,500 square feet?  Never again!

February 08, 2009 8:20 AM
1198 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Doc Nolan said...

One side benefit of 'The Monster Garden' was a prized photo:  my brother (later a vice president of a major airline) in his Farmer Johns, sans shirt, but with full beard -- weeding.  For years I (kiddingly) threatened to send the photo to his employees, with a note: 'Back when my brother actually worked....'   It was his appearance in those days led a couple of us (smartass) siblings to refer to him as 'The Other Smith Brother' (apologies to the cough drops manufacturer).  For you young 'whippersnappers', cf>

February 08, 2009 8:24 AM
10photoviewsFirst-comFirst-photoHr-1 NonLinear_Grace said...

Poor Gregor!  I didn't know he'd had such a tough time of it.  8th grade biology class was my first introduction, and I remember exam questions where you had to fill out quadrants with the correct dominant/recessive combinations and describe the resulting phenotype.  The concept of equal contribution (one genetic factor from each parent for a given trait) was just a given. 

But it wasn't always.  The belief that woman simply provided "soil" on which fully formed and complete "seed" grew put severe moral limits around the understanding of female sexuality and the feminine ideal. Think about the law of trespass.  Now think about adultery laws, in all their variety and prosecution.  "The Scarlet Letter" is a powerful read. 

If woman's contribution is more than being passive media, then her selection, her consent, and her choices start to matter in a whole new light.  Being an equally creative participant gives woman Will as truly as that gift is given man.  So, I'd nominate Mendel for patron saint of the Liberation.  Poor Gregor.  He'd probably have a tough time with that.

February 08, 2009 11:11 AM
10photoviewsFirst-comFirst-photoHr-1 NonLinear_Grace said...

I meant - Vote.  He gets my vote. 

February 08, 2009 1:41 PM
Com-100Com-300First-comHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Gia said...

Makes you want to go out and get your hands dirty.

February 08, 2009 1:56 PM
10photoviewsCom-100First-comFirst-photoHr-1 unhinged said...

Mr. P, once again quite timely.  Its sunny and warm here, well mid 40's and the snow is disappearing quite quickly.  But just a tease.  The garden remains mostly covered.

February 08, 2009 2:13 PM
39steps3 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Olivia said...

I put in my first garden at around eight years of age, spending one of many summers at Momee and Pappy's place. My grandmother took a bored but willing kid out to a flat spot near the house, showed me how to use the iron hand tiller my great-grandfather Powers (I just called him Jesse) bequeathed his progeny, and turned me loose. The little monster was all iron, rusty, and fashioned by a blacksmith-a push plow on an iron wheel, and it worked me to exhaustion. I thought I was doing something, though. I can't remember now what I planted, but I do remember going out every day to weed around my babies, and marvel as they put their wee heads up and grew for me. And I remember the pride I felt when we ate some food I miracled up from seeds and water and elbow grease.

It's a year wasted if I can't plant a garden.

February 08, 2009 2:23 PM
Me 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300First-comFirst-photoHr-1 Cynthia said...

Think ya'll know where I stand on this by now. Shall I preach it again?! Why the heck not.  :o)

Great ‘place' to get things started:

Also check out:

And for container gardening:

We grow everything and what I don't sell we trade/barter for other stuff. And let me add compost doesn't smell as long as you follow the rule of vegetable peelings, etc but no fats of any kind - attracts bugs and critters along with the smell.  

If you dig in the soil in your yard to grow get it tested at your local co-op first. You never know what is in there. Also if you use 'city water' to water you garden with 'draw' the water and let it set in an open container for a while letting the chlorine dissipate.  Build the soil with compost, do you best to garden organically.

February 08, 2009 2:24 PM
Me 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300First-comFirst-photoHr-1 Cynthia said...

Once again I am linked challenged - copy and paste the links. Sorry. 

February 08, 2009 6:23 PM
Img_5428-1 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1 Capt Neptune said...

Isles: Thought about you today. Got to spend the day on an MJM 34z. Cruised along at 33 knots smooth as silk. The teak was all glassed with Ameron epoxy. Its was very pleasant, but alas, not a sailboat. No room for a garden.

February 08, 2009 7:30 PM
Com-100First-comHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 jmr said...

Speaking of trees, (trying to stay on topic) A Tree grows in Brooklyn, the best "tree" and Brooklyn movie comes on at 8 on TCM. Just thought I'd mention it. You don't even have to live in Brooklyn to appreciate it.

February 08, 2009 9:07 PM
10photoviewsCom-100First-comFirst-photoHr-1 unhinged said...

Okay, I'm dying for my garden and fresh veggies, not from the grocery store and transported.  But cant heip but notice the soil on this website.  So you add a bit of alfalfa, some blood meal, etc. and presto it turns into fertile muck, producing $25k a year.  I like the principles, I like the concept, but wondering if you get the instant soil conversion kit with $83 manuals.  I believe Elliot Coleman said it took 5 years to get everything right.

I'll stick with TWIRL gardening, "Through Work I'll Rejuvanate Land".  In the middle of Michael Pollan's Second Nature.  So many factors at work against a garden, but we succeed.

February 08, 2009 9:47 PM
10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Peter Lake said...


I can almost visualize your wee-self pushing that cast iron plow and willing your garden to grow. Another day at the "EyE" blessed with another one of your enchanting stories.

Thank you

February 08, 2009 11:18 PM
Img_2558 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Jonathan Eells said...

Neptune, that sounds like a good day. We've had 30kt winds and horizontal sleet and snow all day today, and for the last three days. Blechy. On the other hand, all the dirt for my garden was delivered and dumped in the garden literally in the hours before this system set in last week. Once this snow melts off and it stops being so disgusting outside, I'm going out to build the hoop house, the raised beds, and finish the anti-critter preparations. Busy like a something or other.

February 08, 2009 11:59 PM
Bwme 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 nachista said...

I've never raised plants for profit, but growing your own flowers and vegetables (even if they conspire against you) has a certain reward that goes far beyond the final product.  Or maybe I just like playing in the dirt.  I'm a sporadic gardener with delusions of grandeur, but even when my roses are puny or putter out production in August or my herbs go from vibrant to nothing in a week, I still keep at it because it makes me happy.  It is ridiculous how proud I am when my Hydrangeas produce one small bud and the leaves aren't crispy.  If only I could find the same enthusiasm and satisfaction in my day job.

February 09, 2009 3:19 PM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1Hr-5 Georgia said...

Having 'pared down' from a big two-story house I loved and miss, to an apt/condo/call it what you will, I'm reduced to plantings in windowsills and on a small rectangle in front that the Asssociation's official gardeners somehow overlooked, right under a big tree and I love shade gardens, adore big rocks so have lots of those plus things that love shade, like herbs, especially pretty is rosemary, tall or crawling, oak-leaf hydrangeas, several other favorites.  Thanks to my friend with wonderful garden and animal habitat, of whom I told you, I've learned to create compost on a small scale for my tiny pots. Herbs and ferns like me, though on the whole I haven't a genuine green thumb, but have had even maidenhair and asparagus fern survive all winter because I placed them sheltered from wind. If I grow anything edible aside from herbs I'll report. 

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I've gone to my farm in Kentucky for the weeken...


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