Friday, December 26, 2008
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
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.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
After a trip to Portland, I fell in love with their streets. Flowers overflowing baskets and containers everywhere. It's really amazing what can be done with beautiful plants. If only Nashville's streets could look this good! For a better photo album click here.
Kingfisher Creek is nestled in the West End Area of Nashville, This rain garden helps to protect Kingfisher Creek from the run-off on a quarter mile of road sloping into it. It fills in during the rains and slowly filters water back into the ground. The plants in the garden also help to breakdown automotive chemicals the rinse into the water way.
It looks as though our attempts at more media attention are working. Stay tuned for more articles this spring.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
- Compost your veggies - Not as warm in the winter, and a little slower to breakdown
- Plant pansies and violas - If you can obtain organic seeds, go all out and use the flowers on your salad, these are two of the many great edible flowers
- Get a local CSA - Find a great local farmer and see if he's growing in the dead of winter, if not two words Elliot Coleman
- Look for local Christmas Tree and poinsettia growers
- Shop local stores instead of big "eject money out of your community" stores
Gardens of Babylon at the Nashville Downtown Farmers’ Market has partnered with a local tree grower to provide a wide selection of Tennessee Frasier Firs grown using sustainable growing practices.Wintergreen Farms, run by Simon and Vonnie Smith in Laurel Bloomery, Tennessee, was recently recognized by the North Carolina Christmas Tree Association for sustainable growing practices such as using natural fertilizer and cover crops to prevent soil erosion. They also practice a reduced mowing program on the tree farm to reduce carbon emissions.
Frasier Firs range from 4' -9' in height and from $29 to $99.
Curbside tree pickup and recycling after the holidays is $10 with 100% of profits being donated to the Cumberland River Compact to support water conservation awareness.
Gardens of Babylon also has gifts by local artists such as birdhouses, dog soap, tree swings, cutting boards, as well as fair trade holiday ornaments, garden antiques, and eight varieties of poinsettias. They offer cider for shoppers Friday-Sunday during the holiday season. Customers can support the local economy, get a tree they feel good about, and find unique gifts all in one trip.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Last fall, my girlfriend and I decided to make something of our humble 30 x 30 postage stamp of a backyard. We wanted to combine function with beauty and so agreed to create a garden surrounded by flowers. Living in a new townhouse development in Brentwood, I knew the soil was gonna be a challenge. Weeds tend to be the only creatures which inhabit an untreated patch of ground around here. After being in the landscape and garden center business for almost 6 years now, I now know this is all too common for new homeowners. For those unaware, before foundations are poured, the housing contractors will scrape off all of the natural topsoil. This most likely was previously the result of thousands of years of forest decay, full of rich loamy soil. Although great for growing things, not great for building thousand pound homes on. The contractor needs firm ground to build on, hence scraping until bedrock or churt, packed clay, is reached. Other than the standard landscaping, which often struggles to live, homeowners are left to fend for themselves when it comes to gardening and landscaping. They soon find that digging in clay and rock is no picnic, neither on their back nor on their tomato plants. Whether a home was built within the last year or within the last 10 years, the soil result remains the same, since soil structure and biology can take years to improve. That's where the backyard farmer comes in.
I will now periodically update my progress, beginning from last fall, of transforming crap for soil and space into an organic flower and produce garden. I hope to cover a broad range of topics from composting to cover cropping. Once we find the memory card for my girlfriend's camera, I will be photo equipped. Stay tuned.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Check out the link below. If only the farmers could produce enough. With demand ever increasing, it'll be a couple years before they're able to produce enough. This is a good thing!
Tennessean on CSA's.
Enclave: Downtown and Greenway Snow
Many overlook its capacity to give life. We all are given life by the soil. Everything we eat comes from the soil, but often we don't realize it. Because most of the time its flavored in the form of vegetables, grains, and even more so, burgers and fries. Think of the plant kingdom as a sweetener. The sugars produced from photosynthesis allow for a tastier flavor. Without the sun the soil is not able to come alive.
Stop for a moment and think what goes through your body during the day. It has all been cultivated by the brown crumblies most call dirt. There is a symphony of life below our feet that is so often overlooked. Billions of life forms that form an enormously complex, dynamically synergistic organism. Our fast paced lives have helped us forget this.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Although the details of change can often be slow and arduous, I will currently forgo any personal opinions and will end simply with a formal thank you to the rain which falls outside my kitchen window.