Friday, March 20, 2009

White House Vegetables!!!

This is Change Ladies & Gentleman... right before our eyes. Many may not realize, or care of the implications of this momentous occasion, but oh how I can assure is quite momentous. This event coupled with the growing trend of edibles in our industry will soon create a thunderstorm of recognition. A recognition that how we viewed food and nutrition for the last 2 generations was very skewed. The importance of locally grown food which would combat many issues from oil dependence to lessening nutrition, to food scares, will begin to take center stage in how Americans can help rebuild their country. It is very encouraging to see a president and his family doing all they can to establish a new paradigm for our country.

Now where am I gonna put my asparagus?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Save our Ancient Forest

After having the opportunity to walk the "Hill Tract" this past weekend, I was amazed at such a pristine piece of land in the middle of Davidson County. Friends of Warner Parks has been working tirelessly trying to raise a little under 11 million to purchase this old growth forest. It is well worth the money, too. There are said to be very few pieces of land in the southeast with the density of diversity. I would urge you to look more into this as an investment in our future generations. As farmland after forest is bought up, cleared and developed without a true understanding of the footprint we leave behind, we must see ourselves as stewards and not only owners of this very diverse land. For more information on how you can contribute to this cause, please visit

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Story of Stuff

(Click Image to View)
A friend of mine recently told me about this little movie found on the internet that is a quick look into our current commerce situation. Upon finishing the film, I admit I wasn't completely shocked at some of the main issues being discussed. I had heard "snippits" of similar information in my time, however, I must say I had never heard them all laid out in such a simple fashion. Simply put, our world is operating on a broken system. We are obviously witnessing the breakdown right before our very eyes in this country with all the bailouts, credit implosions, and environmental issues. Clips like these are gaining greater attention as light begins to dawn on the people of this world. Unfortunately, the issues discussed in the film are quite magnanimous and, like large giants, take time to change direction. The first step is always to enlighten, the next is to begin taking steps in the right direction, no matter how small. As a business owner and inhabitant of our one planet, I know I must find ways of continually lessening both my environmental impact as well as that of my customer who is inherently my "consumer." My livelihood depends on my commerce counterpart for whom I will be forever grateful. My ultimate hope is that Gardens of Babylon can make an honest future teaching our community the importance of organic growing and sustainable landscape practices, no matter their "budget." Rest assured, I will do my best, but for now, enjoy the show.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Lawn Mowers of the Stone Age

Many people are unaware of the pollution caused by the common mower. The truth is many mowers are still in the stone age. There has been very little regulation when it comes the small engines. This oversight has cost us dearly. One mower running for an hour produces as much CO2 and chemical emissions as 40 cars on the road. A bit disturbing, I will agree.

This is a great site that lays out the harmful effects of inefficient mowers on the environment.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Bill Moyers Talks Agriculture

For those unfamiliar with Michael Pollan and his progressive views on our agriculture system, this interview is an amazing way to update your "food" knowledge to current status. Pollan does a great job at addressing an outdated agricultural system which is based off of government subsidies and cheap fossil fuels. The result is a gluttony of unsustainable growing practices, billions in farm subsidies, lowering of food's nutritional value, and cheap processed foods.
He's very clear with his belief that certain adjustments in our food system can help in our fight to reduce foreign oil dependancy, boost our nation's health care, and reduce unemployment. I believe advocates like Pollan will continue to spread the word and alter how the American people understand food production and purchasing. Locally grown produce is becoming incredibly popular through CSA programs and farmers markets. And for good reason. It's time to get back to a point in our history where we knew how and where our food is grown. Supporting local farms are a great way to keep more money in our local economy while at the same time reducing your carbon footprint. Its a win-win which I know will continue to spread like wildfire across our country.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oak Log/Shitake mushroom growing

Deciding to grow my own Shitake mushrooms turned out to be a little bit trickier than anticipated. I  had the chance to take a class offered at "The Farm" in Summertown this past fall to try and grow Shitake mushrooms for my miso soups or to sell to local consumers.  Heck, just finding the place was challenging.  After a day's class with instructor Frank Michael, an inexpensive purchase of Shitake spawn pegs, cheese wax and a few daubers, I was ready to start innoculating.  Finding the right, freshly felled oak logs was my next challenge.  
After contacting a few local arborists, to find just the right size and diameter I will be ready to start drilling and plugging.  Whoopee, I can hardly wait!  Check back for the next step.

Safe Lawns

Sustainable lawn care is a sound choice. It’s safe for your family and your pets. It’s safe for water quality in your community, preventing runoff of dangerous chemicals contained in petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides. And it improves the quality of your soil, allowing it to absorb water and nutrients and become a home for healthy grass and plants. A healthier lawn will require less maintenance and amendments, saving you money.

Weeds and pests thrive in a “sick” lawn, which only manages with numerous chemical fertilizer and pesticide applications. A natural lawn is strong and resilient because its soil is constantly improving and becoming more complex. It becomes an ecosystem supporting beautiful and healthy plants. And, it eliminates problems caused by synthetic chemical usage.

For 10 benefits of natural lawn click here.  Safe