I believe that every child in this world needs to have a relationship with the land…to know how to nourish themselves…and to know how to connect with the community around them.

Alice Waters, Edible Schoolyard Berkley, CA

Learning how to start seeds indoors

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This year we tried our hand at starting plants indoors. The idea is to give plants that can’t handle cold temperatures, like Tomatoes, a head start in the growing season. The first day of Spring was March 20th but our last frost date is in the middle of April.

I used this online almanac to figure out when I should begin germinating each plant. I was able to find the last frost date for our region and starting dates for a number of different vegetables by using our zipcode. I also used an online garden planner called Smart Gardener to help with more in depth germination and plant care information.

Per our sources, we began germinating seeds in February, the tail end of winter. By starting plants inside we also had a bit more control over the variables that affect plant growth success:

  • There aren’t any wild animals (or chickens and ducks)
  • No wind or rain to mess with the seedlings
  • No Housemates can walk on them accidentally
  • And you can watch over them very closely!

However, by directly sowing in the ground, you can end up producing healthier and more resilient plants because they grow up much more acclimated to their environment and they won’t have to deal with the shock of transplanting. It’s all a matter of preference and needs.

To begin seed starting, we needed a plant’s most basic requirements: light, water and soil — and the seeds, of course!

 

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"Gardens build community, period." -Ron Finley

This film tells the story of a South Los Angeles edible garden planted in a surprising spot. Ron Finley, its planter, constructed the garden the way he wishes his neighborhood could be. And his vision of repurposing unused open space, like that of many others working together on urban agriculture in our city, should inspire us all, and remind us of how, with a little creativity of vision, and willingness to get our hands dirty, we can remake spaces defined by asphalt and dead grass into productive places of beauty.

An Abundance of Aphids

Aphids. The garden pest of garden pests. Through my learning in the ways of gardening I’d always heard that they were “bad” but I’d never experienced them. So you can imagine my dismay when on a beautiful Spring day, as I observed the plants in the chicken pen, I saw hundreds of them attached to the stems of our Quince shrub.

Noooo!

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Even though I had no idea what they even did to plants I figured there was reason to be concerned. There were so many! Notice all of the little green bugs.

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