Small gardens make a big difference in the gardener's quality of life. In our mild winter climate, a small garden can provide nutrient rich fresh greens all fall and winter and the following spring. But there are good reasons for getting to know your farmer as well.
Don't have a farmer? Check out last year's farm map and talk to some. It's not too early to make arrangements to buy some of the things that you won't be growing yourself, at least not in sufficient quantity. Many farmers… Continue
Added by Celt M. Schira on February 27, 2010 at 5:30pm —
It's the end of February, and the chicory is volunteering. Chicory is a hardy cold season green with a pleasantly burly taste. Raddiccio, best known as yuppie chow, is green in fall when it first comes up. Cut the fall head and eat it in a salad, and the regrowth in cool weather is red, as are spring heads coming up now.
It is the season for inadvertent vegetables. Broccoli is the flowering head of a member of the cabbage family. In the warm false spring that often comes upon us, we… Continue
Added by Celt M. Schira on February 27, 2010 at 4:00pm —
If anyone is interested in seeing how some of these old crafts are done using little or no electricity, go to the BBC iplayer website and type in Mastercrafts in the search box. It will take you to a site where for up to a month you can view each program in the series. Unfortunately it is only available in the UK, fortunately it is possible to view it through a UK proxy. I have been figuring out if there is a way to download the programs to put on a dvd to loan out to TW folks, but no luck so… Continue
Added by Christine Roberts on February 27, 2010 at 12:39pm —
I've created a new blog http://transitionlummiisland.com/
to get the discussion started on Lummi Island.
Added by Randy Smith on February 27, 2010 at 10:32am —
I'm a new member here but have my educational roots in B'ham from my days at Western in the '80's. It's wonderful to be back in this county and my country.
I was reading through some of the blogs and see how many are practicing long-held beliefs and ethics, living in a conscious and harmonious way with the land. I have done this for a very long time, and gradually had to let go completely in Mexico because of the blatant lack of respect for the… Continue
Added by Triana Elan on February 13, 2010 at 4:24pm —
The large and varied onion family is a mainstay of winter eating. Leeks are wonderful, a mainstay of the winter garden. There are spring leeks, planted now and eaten in summer, and there are fall leeks. Fall leeks should get a good start in the warmth of late summer. They can be eaten in fall, or they can just sit there dormant all winter and be there for you in early spring when the stored onions have been eaten or gone mushy. Harvest by cutting off the green leaves and the leeks will keep… Continue
Added by Celt M. Schira on February 11, 2010 at 11:00am —
We are blessed with a mild winter climate. Most years, we can have something fresh from the garden all year. It's that year round gardening that really saves money. For four glorious months, Bellingham is full of fresh local food. The rest of the time, growing even some of your own is a big boost.
The winter garden is planned now, started from June through September, and eaten all fall and winter and into next spring. Winter gardening relies on vegetable varieties that grow in the… Continue
Added by Celt M. Schira on February 5, 2010 at 10:00am —
You can grow a surprising amount in containers. Most people who are container gardeners also have limited space, so focus on the high value plants - herbs, leafy greens for salads and stir-fries, green onions, patio tomatoes in summer and kale and chard in winter. Dwarf snap and snow peas grow happily in containers. I have heard that they are great in salads but none of mine ever made it inside. Containers can also be used to lift the garden up to where the gardener can reach it for gardeners… Continue
Added by Celt M. Schira on February 4, 2010 at 10:30am —
free DOE Webcast entitled: The Community Energy Challenge in Whatcom County, Washington
On Feb 4th at 12 noon, PST. Register to attend. Description:
On Thursday, February 4th at 3pm EDT, the… Continue
Added by Sabrina on February 4, 2010 at 1:37am —
Well, I survived January on my Voluntary Simplicity vow! Actually, I way more than survived; I have had a great time and felt more "in integrity" with myself and my beliefs than I have felt for a long time... maybe since I was too young to have beliefs.
I decided to do an accounting of my first month of self-imposed "poverty," to see how close I came to sticking to a budget of $9350 per year, or $779 per month. Here is the breakdown of what I spent, trying to live very frugally this… Continue
Added by Chris Wolf on February 4, 2010 at 12:14am —
OK, you are ready. You read the gardening books, you picked out a spot for your compost barrel, you have designs on a nice sunny spot for your raised beds. First, outline your raised beds with string and stakes. It is a good idea to lay out all of the beds now, even if you plan to build them in stages. Laying it all out gives you an idea what your garden plan will look like and lets you make adjustments while it is easy.
Make the beds between 2' and 4' wide, depending on your height… Continue
Added by Celt M. Schira on February 3, 2010 at 10:42am —
Can you go a year without spending any money? A man in Britain, Mark Henley, decided to give it a try and a Guardian reporter followed him around for a day, witnessing fire building, dumpster diving and brushing snow off the solar panel.
Take a look...
Added by Rob Olason on February 2, 2010 at 1:59pm —
What can you expect to grow in a small garden? How much garden should you plan for?
Start small if you have never gardened before. Even if you have room for more garden, resist the urge. You could start with just one or two raised beds. 150 square feet is plenty for a first season.
Grow what you eat, eat what you grow. In all gardening, grow foods that you like to eat in quantities that you can reasonably expect to consume. One or two summer squash plants is plenty for… Continue
Added by Celt M. Schira on February 2, 2010 at 8:58am —
This is the year to start your food garden, even if you live in the city, even if your space is tiny, even if your gardening spot is your front lawn, or next to the street, or a bunch of containers, or at someone else's house.
If you have gardened before but not around here, I recommend Steve Solomon's book, Gardening West of the Cascades. He gets a bit excited, but the information about the special quirks of our biosphere is invaluable.
If you have never gardened before,… Continue
Added by Celt M. Schira on February 1, 2010 at 9:52am —
Editor's note: The author presents a definitive essay. Learn why:
• "Those who expect to get by with 'victory gardens' are unaware of the arithmetic involved."
• "There are already too many people to be supported by non-mechanized agriculture."
• "To meet… Continue
Added by Frank James on January 31, 2010 at 9:32am —
I have a ring that I wear pretty constantly-- a simple silver, or more likely nickel, ring. Because of when and how and by whom I came to have the ring, it is a constant reminder for me to own little and give generously.
When I was 16, I had the opportunity to go to El Salvador in a solidarity mission to visit Bellingham's "sister city" down there. It was, of course, an incredible experience for me (in fact, I have not said the Pledge of Allegance ever since I learned what our… Continue
Added by Chris Wolf on January 21, 2010 at 11:40pm —
No matter what nuclear power fans say on the other side of the Atlantic, French power plants are not aging well.
New Nuke Plants are the Answer!
Added by Rob Olason on January 17, 2010 at 10:25pm —
How much food is consumed in Whatcom County in a day, a week, a month, a year? We know that the commercial farms in Whatcom County produce an abundance of milk, fruits and vegetables, more than can be consumed by our country residents. But how much food is produced in backyard gardens by gardeners who grow food to be consumed locally by themselves and others?
As we look to a future economy where imported food becomes impossibly expensive due to high growing and transportation costs,… Continue
Added by Rob Olason on January 17, 2010 at 3:02pm —
My new year's resolution for 2010 is that I am going to practice Voluntary Simplicity, vowing to make little enough money that I don't have to pay taxes toward war (so about $9,350 for the year), and so that every lifestyle choice I make is carefully thought out and in line with my values. I have started this blog to record experiences I have, share tips that I stumble upon, and learn from your tips as well.
I had an interesting experience a few days ago. I… Continue
Added by Chris Wolf on January 9, 2010 at 2:20pm —
Gene Lodgson has written a wonderful tribute to the often ignored tree. For a breath of fresh air, read his essay...
Added by Rob Olason on January 7, 2010 at 7:19pm —