A small garden adds significantly to the gardener's quality of life. Many small gardens and farms together produce a significant fraction of an area's vegetables and fruits. Vegetables and fruits are mostly water, so the less trucking about of water that we do, the better.
Calorie crops are whole different problem. Calorie crops, the energy dense grains and legumes that provide a big chunk of our diet, are hard to find locally.
It was not always so. In the 19th and early 20th… Continue
Added by Celt M. Schira on March 22, 2010 at 12:30pm —
It's horse poop season. Now is the time to check around for used horse bedding, borrow or rent a truck and go shovel some up. Horse bedding and its embedded poop is far easier to come by than cow manure, for social reasons rather than sheer volume. We have some 83,000 dairy cows in Whatcom County. Their manure is either a resource or a problem, depending on how you look at it. (Gene Lodgon's comment about dealing with the manure from large dairy operations was that it consisted of making a… Continue
Added by Celt M. Schira on March 21, 2010 at 11:30am —
Wheat breeder Dr. Steve Jones, the director of the WSU Mt. Vernon research station, gave a talk recently on small scale grain growing, harvesting and threshing at Inspiration Farm. It was standing room only, and the packed house included a broad spectrum of farmers, the young and pierced, the middle-aged hippies, the boys from long time family farms in Lynden. Steve's message was that there is a resurgence in small grain growing in communities all over the country. We have lost the… Continue
Added by Celt M. Schira on March 19, 2010 at 12:30pm —
this morning i read an article about how the water and sewage systems in many cities are badly in need of repair. this comes at a time when the government is broke. what a pickle!
if sewage systems were designed at the neighborhood (or city block) level, it would have prevented a lot of the costly problems we face today.… Continue
Added by David Zhang on March 18, 2010 at 12:04pm —
Many of you are most likely already aware of Michael Moore's latest documentary, "Capitalism-A Love Story
However, if you missed it during its theatrical run, I suggest you will be well rewarded by viewing it on dvd. The reason for saying this is not just the value of looking at our capitalistic economic system with "fresh eyes," which you will get with Moore's trademark humor (and cynicism), but also for the extras contained on the dvd that… Continue
Added by Rob Olason on March 13, 2010 at 8:53pm —
In all gardening, start with your life. What do you like to eat? How much time can you devote to gardening, really? I always suggest that people start small, something between 32 and 150 square feet. In really tight spaces, you may have even less garden. Not to worry, the most challenging gardening is the first 10%.
The philosophy of square foot gardening is to maximize the value of small spaces. Square foot gardening is a very old idea. F.H. King wrote about small space intensive… Continue
Added by Celt M. Schira on March 8, 2010 at 2:00pm —
In this fascinating article, Richard Heinberg summarizes his forty year journey of discovery that led him to become a persistent voice of warning that our endless growth economy was nearing its conclusion. After the failure of the Copenhagen talks, he says he's done warning, now is the time to create a new future.
"We must assume that a satisfactory, sustainable way of life is
achievable in the absence of fossil fuels and conventional economic growth, and go about building it. This… Continue
Added by Rob Olason on March 5, 2010 at 1:22pm —
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 —