Thursday, June 30, 2011

Grow Vertical

You can increase yield per square foot exponentially by growing vertically.  This might include growing a pallet garden, on a trellis or netting, hanging baskets, hanging grow bags, or GardenSoxx hung sideways on some shelving. Really, it's up to your imagination.

Pallet gardening is really unique. Here's a link to learn about it. Basically it is where you take a pallet, staple some landscaping fabric around part of it, and throw in some plants and dirt. Maybe it's not that simple but take a look at the link above, it's pretty cool.

GardenSoxx(TM) is a sack of soil.  You cut open a couple of holes and plants something.  It can't get any easier than that.  I saw a commercial strawberry grower using these six high which increased his yield per square foot dramatically higher.

Hanging baskets are old school but you can hang them almost on top of each other is you have the right configuration. Something like this link.

Hanging grow bags are pre-built bags of soil, like this one, where you cut it in small slices and add a plant.

Remember, only your imagination stops you. That's how all the above methods started.

Enjoy your garden!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Different Types of Raised Beds

A short post today.  I saw this video and had not seen some of the types of raised beds before. I thought you might be interested in seeing them as well. Click to see, "Types of Raised Beds from UMDHGIC".

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Start with the soil

Architects and engineers designing buildings start with the foundation. So should you in your garden. With gardening or farming, almost everything starts with the soil. There is a whole web of life going on in your soil that can be fostered and assisted using natural products and techniques.

Watch this video and prepare to be amazed:

With remineralizing the soil, and composting it, he was able to grow food with amazing yield and quality naturally. He used volcanic rock dust.  Some sell and use glacial rock dust. I am conducting an experiment in my garden with different types of rock dust - results to be published here later.

A couple of other ways are growing green cover crops in the winter, especially nitrogen fixing plants like legumes.  Or grow a crop with the intention of tilling it under in the spring - it's called green manure.

You could try the no-till method.  This is a method of gardening or farming where tilling is kept to a minimum or not at all. The thinking behind this is to keep the soil from becoming a dust bowl again - tilled over and over until it is no longer arable.

You can read about soil biology here. You'll be a wiser gardener/farmer for it.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Eat local = locavore

Have you ever heard of a locavore? It's someone who primarily eats locally grown or raised food.  There are even books about it. It had to happen. Someone comes up with a name for everything.

Despite the 'local food' movement being coop'ed by urbanites, at its core it's simply eating food raised near you. I prefer to eat food I raised.  It doesn't get much closer then that. However, I can't raise all I eat so I make a choice at the grocer.

Another option is a CSA (community-supported agriculture). This is where you join others to support your local farmer and you get a part of the harvest. You essentially purchase 'shares' of the harvest. Here's a link to find one near you.

You're probably noticing that food prices are rising. So are fuel prices. This makes sense when you learn that an average meal travels 1400 miles to your dinner table.

If nothing else, try out a local farmers market. You never know what you'll find there. Talk to the farmers, get to know them, how they grow the food the sell.  Here's a link to find a farmers market near you.