Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Home gardens (137)

Master gardener tip of the month

MGOC Trowel Talk / November 2017

My veggie garden hasn’t been tilled for four years and the soil is very rich and healthy. When I started gardening, I was taught that rototilling or double-digging a garden was the way to get organic matter mixed in and to ensure light, friable soil. Today’s science tells us that turning over the soil is actually bad for it. The mycorrhizal fungi and micro-organisms that make the nutrients and trace elements available to the plants are in that top layer of soil. If we constantly work the soil, we are disturbing those organisms – in effect, we are burying them and cutting off their air supply. New ones will colonize but instead of having a continuous, dynamic, healthy soil, you are constantly starting over.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Drought busting #3

The Edible Garden / Edythe Falconer / August 2017

As in all aspects of gardening, we augment the resilience of our plants – come what may – by building and maintaining the best possible soil – well-structured and well fed with regular dosages of organic matter.

It has been said, for example, that up to 75% of plant moisture needs can be met if soil has good structure with the capacity to retain both moisture and nutrients.

What is well known but worth repeating is that the application of organic mulches has a huge impact on plant ability to withstand temperature extremes. Mulching keeps down weeds, killing the competition – and eventually mulch breaks down to become the building material for more of the soil aggregates needed by resilient soils. Also worth mentioning is that mulch helps prevent evaporation and assists in water absorption when you do water or it rains. Organic amendments are also essential for healthy populations of soil microorganisms. These tiny creatures break down organic matter to make nutrients more available to plants.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Why you should turn your yard into a mini-farm

Yes! Magazine / Jennifer Luxton, Erin Sagen / 26 July 2017

[ FULL INFO-GRAPHIC ]

Cut and come again edibles

The Edible Garden / Edythe Falconer / July 2017

If we want to get the best out of our plants harvesting them a bit at a time is a good idea and doesn’t leave gaps in rows of healthy homegrown goodies. There are several plants that lend themselves readily to this procedure.

Even those of us who don’t grow rhubarb will know that this plant will keep on regenerating throughout the growing season. You in turn as the prospective cook will always have fresh stems near at hand. Top dressing around the plant once or twice per year will ensure good production over time.

There are other plants that are similarly obliging and at least two of them belong to the cabbage family. These are broccoli and broccolini. In the case of broccoli once the main stem has been harvested the plant will keep on producing smaller heads that are just as tasty as the larger first one.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

6 methods for harvesting rainwater

Mother Earth News / Kelly Coyne, Erik Knutzen / 30 April 2014

After conservation, the second step toward water independence is harvesting rainwater. The number of ways you can go about this might surprise you.

Rainwater harvesting is an easy and positive course of action for people in nearly every climate in the world. Living in a dry place such as the desert southwest may make it seem more urgent, but no matter where we live, rainwater harvesting is a positive step toward changing our attitude toward the water that falls for free from the sky. Rainwater can be sent to where nature intended it to go — to the soil.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Teaching gardening skills to schoolchildren

Transition Brockville / 17 May 2017

A local nurserywoman’s dedication to teaching schoolchildren how to make gardens and grow food and flowers will be featured at the next Transition Brockville presentation on Sunday, May 28, 2 p.m., at the Brockville Public Library.

In addition, Transition Brockville will officially launch its collection of books on sustainability, now housed in the public library.

Donna White, co-owner of Green Things nursery on County Road 2, just east of Brockville, has been running her school program, Green Heart, for the past nine years, teaching children of all ages at St. Mary High School in Brockville, St. Mark elementary and South Grenville District High School in Prescott, and a Gananoque school.

Sometimes the project is a vegetable garden, a kitchen garden, or an edible flowers garden; other times kids plant trees, shrubs and perennials. Supplies from the nursery are donated by the schools, and White volunteers her time, for example, coming one week to teach seed starting, another to teach how to transplant what the kids have grown.

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The Transition Framework

Resilience is the ability of a system or community to withstand impacts from outside. An indicator is a good way of measuring that. Conventionally, the principal way of measuring a reducing carbon footprint is CO2 emissions. However, we firmly believe that cutting carbon while failing to build resilience is an insufficient response when you’re trying to address multiple shocks such as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis together.

— Transition U.S.
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