Archive by Author

Lazy veggies: Perennial Vegetables

Posted 07 August 2009 | By | Categories: Books | Comments Off on Lazy veggies: Perennial Vegetables

perennialvegetablesExcited to read Perennial Vegetables by Eric Toensmeier after reading Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools review. This is how I want to be growing:

In the gardens of paradise, all the vegetables would be perennial. No endless replanting. Just keep picking year after year. Like fruits and nuts. On earth there are more of these heavenly plants than you might think. This book rounds ’em up, with terrifically informative summaries, clear photos, and useful hints. A few of these recurring veggies are familiar — asparagus, rhubarb, artichokes — but most are exotics, so eating/cooking suggestions are given as well. I am a lazy gardener who favors perennials in our landscape garden, so I am inclined to be lazy in the food garden as well. But besides laziness, this is a great culinary adventure — all kinds of Andean root crops I’ve never hear of, and bean trees, and bush spinach — oh my! One hundred new friends. As a bonus the author takes the long-view and makes suggestions about promising varieties that amateurs could breed into better perennials. This is a fabulous book.

Save water and your plants with garden gadgets

Posted 11 July 2009 | By | Categories: Technology | Comments Off on Save water and your plants with garden gadgets

Checking out the latest garden gadgets from Love your lawn and Mother Nature

EasyBloom Plant Sensor

EasyBloom Plant Sensor

A Garden of One’s Own

A Garden of One’s Own

Posted 04 July 2009 | By | Categories: Gardeners | Comments Off on A Garden of One’s Own

Highlights from a slide show of some great gardens by some great writers on wowOwow:

Joan Juliet Buck

garden_marlo.pngMarlo Thomas

garden_judith.pngJudith Martin

Homegrown Evolution

Homegrown Evolution

Posted 25 June 2009 | By | Categories: Make Things | Comments Off on Homegrown Evolution

What a great way to upcycle pallets and create a garden worktable, from Homegrown Evolution found via Cool Tools. This site’s full of great projects and ideas for garden geeks and geek gardens, such as Farm in a Box Aquaponics and vertical microgardens.

Make a Garden Work Table from a Pallet

How to Make a Bicycle Garden Box

Posted 24 May 2009 | By | Categories: Technology | Comments Off on How to Make a Bicycle Garden Box

Bicycle Window Box- For the transient gardener.More cool how to projects

Gardeners pedal to keep water flowing at Chelsea

Posted 20 May 2009 | By | Categories: Technology | Comments Off on Gardeners pedal to keep water flowing at Chelsea

Would love to see this!

from Reuters via Scientific American By Farah Master

LONDON (Reuters) – An experimental garden that uses exercise bikes to water plants is about to make the gentle art of gardening much sweatier, its designers said on Monday.

The water-recycling garden, on display at Britain’s Chelsea Flower Show, features two static training bikes that pump water to plants — as long as someone is there to do the pedaling.

“We are going to have people cycling on the bikes throughout the show,” Gerardine Hemingway, who designed the garden with her husband Wayne, told Reuters at the world famous show in west London.

The garden was designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and the sustainable use of water by encouraging those who use it to think about where irrigation water comes from, she said.

At the show, designers sat side by side on bikes and pedaled to pump water along a circuit which irrigates a vegetable and fruit garden. Excess water flowed to a storage tank below the surface, ready to be pumped again.

The garden, which cost between 40- 50,000 pounds ($61,000) to build, features a “living wall” made of vegetables and fruits including pak choi and strawberries.

After the show, it will be transported to a community park in the town of Gateshead, northeast England.

Hemingway said children from the Gateshead community helped design and decorate the garden.

“The idea is to get the community involved in the creation of the garden so when it goes back to its permanent site in Gateshead they get full ownership over it,” Hemingway said.

(Editing by Richard Balmforth)

A Food Revolution in the Making

Posted 28 April 2009 | By | Categories: Books, Food, Gardening | Comments Off on A Food Revolution in the Making

Great ideas on relocalizing food production from Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of food, in The Huffington Post:

Today, home gardening is on the rise, but most Americans still know very little about where their food comes from, and even less about how the changes in temperature and precipitation associated with global warming may alter national food production. If you break down the fossil fuel consumption of the American economy by sector, agriculture consumes 19 percent of the total, second only to transportation. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a concentrated effort to mitigate its impact on the climate. If we want to make significant progress in reducing global warming we will need to wean the American food system off its heavy 20th-century diet of fossil fuel and put it back on a diet of contemporary solar energy.

Resolarizing the food economy can support diversified farming and shorten the distance from farm to fork, shrinking the amount of fossil fuel in the American diet. A decentralized food system offers many other significant benefits: Food eaten closer to where it is grown is fresher and requires less processing, making it more nutritious, and whatever may be lost in efficiency by localizing food production is gained in resilience; regional food systems can better withstand all kinds of shocks.

Here are few examples of how we could start:

  • Provide grants to towns and cities to build year-round indoor farmers’ markets.

  • Make food-safety regulations sensitive to scale and marketplace, so that small producers selling direct off the farm or at a farmers’ market are not regulated as onerously as a multinational food manufacturer.

  • Urge The U.S.D.A. to establish a Local Meat-Inspectors Corps to serve and support the local food processors that remain.

  • Establish a Strategic Grain Reserve to prevent huge swings in commodity prices.

  • Create incentives for hospitals and universities receiving federal funds to buy fresh local produce which would vastly expand regional agriculture and improve the diet of the millions of people these institutions feed.

This isn’t just about government reform. Organizations, businesses, and even individuals like you can help advance these key initiatives and support both the revival of food local food economies and the health of our nation.

Pairing Leaves and Letters

Posted 23 April 2009 | By | Categories: Art | Comments Off on Pairing Leaves and Letters

From a thoughtful “leaflet” on leaves and letters written and designed by Janine Vangool, who looks at a tree and sees typography.

Seed Card Business Card

Posted 22 April 2009 | By | Categories: Technology | Comments Off on Seed Card Business Card

This inspired business card is part seed paper, part card paper. Tear off seed paper and plant it, then use the remaining part as a flag with plant info on one side and the cardholder’s contact info on the other.

Have previously marveled at the following growing cards:


Windowfarms NYC

Windowfarms NYC

Posted 19 April 2009 | By | Categories: Art, Container Gardening, Vegetables | Comments Off on Windowfarms NYC

Britta Riley and Rebecca Bray have set out to start a window farms craze in NYC. They are creating several different designs for suspended, hydroponic, modular, low-energy, high-yield light-augmented window farms using low-impact or recycled local materials. They are calling for participants to build a window farm and grow your own food at home in a collaborative design project.

This project fits within a larger context of their collaborative work: “crowdsourced R&Diy solutions for environmental issues. Our inspiration for community involvement derives from concepts of local production (think of the coming network of 3D multi-material printers), mass customization, and crowdsourcing. We envision the DIY aspect, not as a nostalgia-inducing hobby or a compromise during hard financial times, but as a futuristic infrastructure-light alternative to big R&D. Instead of waiting for products and services to be developed by industry, local social networks develop solutions for themselves by dividing scientists’ breakthrough findings into actionable local steps.”

Crowdsourcing local solutions to environmental problems. Wikis and instructables aren’t enough – develop tools to help people build on what other have started.

Links for 16 April 2009

Links for 16 April 2009

Posted 17 April 2009 | By | Categories: Links | Comments Off on Links for 16 April 2009


  • Cheap and cheerful shoji-style solar outdoor lighting from IKEA: the SOLIG globe lights and light chain (US$20). Image from a wonderful review of the Ikea Solar Lighting Up Close by Notcot.
  • What materials are best for a school garden bed? Umbra advises on gardens and kids in Grist.
  • Trade, buy or sell local homegrown produce on VeggieTrader, a marketplace for backyard farmers in the USA. (Spotted in Springwise). 
  • OOOOBY store on Waiheke Island, New Zealand and online community for connecting with food growers and locavores to learn and exchange.
  • Exit Art programs in conjunction with their Vertical Gardens exhibition (NYC) of architectural models, renderings, drawings, photographs and ephemera that depict or imagine a vertical farm, urban garden or green roof. It features over 20 projects, both imaginary and real, by artists and architects that envision solutions for building greener urban environments.