Posts filed under ‘Home Gardens’

Vertical Garden With Recycled PET Bottles

Interesting Brazillian design that recycles, decorates and provides food.

See full Treehugger article..

April 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm Leave a comment

PERMABLITZ- Restoring Hawaii’s Food Security

7:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
January 9, 2012
Pukalani Community Center’s Poolroom.

Matthew Lynch will introduce PERMABLITZ– a grassroots movement restoring Hawaii’s food security, one backyard at a time – to Maui residents.

Matt is a local boy who has spent the last two years wandering the planet in search of people, places, and projects making a positive contribution to our world. His work in Sustainability, Regenerative Agriculture, and Regenerative Enterprise has taken him (so far) to Australia, New Zealand, Mongolia, Germany, and now to Maui.

Permablitz was recently featured on Hawaii News Now, and Matt recently shared the stage at TEDxHonolulu with some of Hawaii’s leading innovators.

Come and learn more about how the simple act of helping each other grow our own food can help build resilience, enrich lives, and move us beyond sustainability towards building communities which restore and enhance the world around us.

The event will be held at the Pukalani Community Center’s Poolroom (across from Foodland, connected to the swimming pool complex). It is free and open to the public. Questions, call Melanie at 573-9260

January 5, 2012 at 11:50 pm Leave a comment

Indoor Electric Composter


NatureMill Indoor Composter


Click image for History Channel video report.


You can add food scraps every day. Takes 2 weeks to make a basketful of ready-to-go compost. Very low electric usage.

December 2, 2010 at 4:30 pm Leave a comment

The American Meadow Garden

 In his new well-illustrated book, The American Meadow Garden, John Greenlee has targeted the Great American Lawn – that notorious sink of fossil fuels, water, chemicals and spare time – for destruction. “The revolution is clearly on,” he says, adding: “It’s a one-garden-at-a-time revolution.” Greenlee describes one of the most exciting new directions in horticulture and design, yards made of combinations of grasses and compatible accent plants for different kinds of meadows. One chapter catalogs grasses and grasslike plants now available in the horticultural trade; another showcases outstanding domestic meadows, including some of Greenlee’s own designs.

[via the San Francisco Chronicle].

October 21, 2009 at 4:34 pm Leave a comment

Vegetable gardens crop up in Seattle parking strips

Seattle Times Newspaper, July 25, 2009, By Maureen O’Hagan

The Seattle City Council is working to increase availability of affordable, locally grown food. One approach: allowing folks to grow vegetable gardens in parking strips — the no man’s land between sidewalk and curb.. (see full article)

July 29, 2009 at 11:24 am Leave a comment

Ecology Action

Ecology Action
is a Santa Cruz, CA nonprofit environmental consultancy delivering cutting edge education services, technical assistance, and program implementation for initiatives that assist individuals, business and government to maximize environmental quality and community well being.

Since 1970 Ecology Action has combined municipal, foundation, and private funding to establish cutting-edge conservation programs, prove their effectiveness financially and operationally, and establish each program as a permanent community resource.

They seek innovative ways to instill environmental awareness, promote pragmatic change, and create opportunities for individuals, businesses, and community agencies to save money, create jobs, and contribute to a sustainable local economy.

Browse some of their current programs:

Bike Smart!
Promotes safe bicycling through fun, hands-on education programs at Santa Cruz County schools.

Bike to Work
Provides incentives, free breakfast, and support to get you hooked on bicycling as transportation.

Business Waste Assessment
Waste assessment software to help government and businesses reduce waste, save money, and promote resource conservation.

Clean Beaches Coalition
Ongoing beach cleanups including the Annual Coastal Cleanup

Climate Solutions Program
A leadership initiative to mobilize the entire Monterey Bay Area to radically reduce our carbon footprint.

Electric Bike Information
Providing reduced prices, safety and skill training, and increased service for Santa Cruz County residents.

Folding Bikes in Buses
Providing reduced prices on folding bikes and bus passes to promote bike with bus transportation for Santa Cruz County residents.

Cabrillo College Go Green
Choose an alternative to driving alone and you can make a difference in reducing traffic congestion and greenhouse gases. For Cabrillo College students, staff and faculty members.

Green Building
Information about the design and construction of healthy, sustainable places to live and work.

Green Business Program
Offers free technical and promotional assistance to help you become a certified green business.

Green Gardener Program
Provides professional training and certification in ecological landscaping and helps customers find certified Green Gardeners.

Home Composting Program
Offers a wealth of home composting resources and opportunities for the residents of Santa Cruz County.

Household Hazardous Waste
Provides information about local and regional drop-off facilities and alternatives to traditionally used chemicals.

Integrated Pest Managment
Provides information and technical assistance about less-toxic alternatives to traditional pest management.

Livestock and Land
Provides technical assistance and cost share dollars for manure and land management approaches that protect water quality.

LodgingSavers Program
Delivers a comprehensive suite of rebated energy efficiency retrofits to Lodging Properties in PG&E service territory.

Model Schools Program
Reduces pest problems, flooding and erosion, and the use of toxic chemicals in schools.

Multifamily Recycling
A partnership with twelve local agencies and haulers, implementing comprehensive recycling and waste reduction programs at low income multifamily housing complexes.

Oil Recycling
Provides information about local and regional used oil and filter drop-off facilities for cars, boats, and farm equipment.

Our Water Our World
Raises public awareness about alternatives to using hazardous pesticide and fertilizer products in and around the home.

Santa Cruz County Recycles
Provides information that enables people and businesses to reuse, recycle, and buy recycled in Santa Cruz County.

Special Event Recycling
Offers recycling and waste reduction programs at events through technical assistance, outreach and education.

RightLights Program
Provides subsidized lighting upgrades and free professional assistance to help businesses lower energy bills and boost cash flow.

Tourism Recycling
Offers recycling and waste reduction programs at events through technical assistance, outreach and education.

Transportation Membership Services
Encourages member employees to use other ways than driving alone to commute to and from work.

Waste Free Schools Program
Assists Santa Cruz County schools in institutionalizing campus recycling, composting and reduce / reuse programs.

May 16, 2009 at 7:11 pm Leave a comment

A Way to Control Nut Grass

 This information on getting rid of nut grass (Purple nutsedge or Cyperus rotundus) comes from a C/T/H/A/R (College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources—University of Hawai’i Manoa) publication.

This is from removing from ornamental areas but seems appropriate for organic veggie gardens too—if you have 2-4 months.

 Weed cloth, or woven black polypropylene weed mat, can be effective in suppressing purple nutsedge when used properly. It is porous to air and water and can be an effective tool for reducing underground tubers without the use of chemicals or tedious hand-weeding. It is a very durable material that can be re-used many times if handled carefully to avoid making holes by tearing. Using weed cloth against purple nutsedge requires that the garden area be fallow (not planted or tilled) for a period of 2–4 months. After the last crop is harvested, remove all plant residues by mowing or rototilling, and cover the planting area with the weed cloth. The method of securing the cloth to the soil is crucial in preventing purple nutsedge penetration through the weed cloth. The preferred securing method is to use long (10–12 inch) spikes fitted with a large flat washer. These spikes secure the weed mat to the ground but should not be used to pull the weed mat too tight. There should be enough slack to allow some air space between the soil and the weed mat. The worst way to secure the weed mat is to use rocks, soil, or other heavy objects. When the weed mat is held tightly to the ground, purple nutsedge shoots can push through the fabric.

With the weed mat properly in place, purple nutsedge is induced to sprout by generous and frequent watering. A new weed mat tends to repel water, but after a 2–3-week exposure to full sunlight, shrinkage occurs and water can pass through the material. As the purple nutsedge germinates, it pushes the weed mat upward, as if it was inflating it. The purple nutsedge grows so fast that when the pointed tip of the leaf blade gets caught in the weave of fabric, the rapidly elongating leaf blade starts to crinkle up behind it, and penetration of the cloth is thus prevented.

The weed mat must remain in place long enough for weeds to germinate below it and die from lack of sunlight. After several cycles of weed growth and die-back during the 2–4-month period, the weed mat can be removed and the garden replanted. Most of the weed propagules (including purple nutsedge tubers) will have tried to emerge and died.

When the plastic is removed, it is important not to disturb the soil unnecessarily. Cultivation brings up lower layers of soil that will likely contain viable weed seeds and purple nutsedge tubers. Mulching the soil surface after removing the weed cloth will help to suppress any weed seeds remaining in the soil and slow nutsedge germination by preventing increases in soil temperature.

Download the CTHAR document.

May 8, 2009 at 11:50 am Leave a comment

Victory Gardens

What is a Victory Garden?
During World War I and World War II, the United States government asked its citizens to plant gardens in order to support the war effort. Millions of people planted gardens. Emphasis was placed on making gardening a family or community effort — not a drudgery, but a pastime, and a national duty.

Why plant a victory garden?
Today our food travels an average of 1500 miles from farm to table. The process of planting, fertilizing, processing, packaging, and transporting our food uses a great deal of energy and contributes to the cause of global warming.
Planting a Victory Garden to fight global warming would reduce the amount of pollution your food contibutes to global warming. Instead of traveling many miles from farm to table, your food would travel from your own garden to your table.

How can my actions make a difference? I’m only one person.
Each one of us may only be one person. However, we each have an impact on the environment and can make changes to reduce our impact.

I have no backyard, what can I do?
You can combine vegetable plants with flowers in your frontyard. You can plant in containers on your porch, patio, or balcony and can grow sprouts indoors. You can also choose to purchase foods which are grown close to home by visiting your local farmer’s market. If local foods are not available to you, choose foods which use fewer chemical pesticides – such as organics, are in season, or have minimal packaging.

Do I need to use a lot of pesticides to increase yield?
Organic soil building with compost pays for itself with increased plant productivity.
What do I do with the food that I grow?
Eat what you can and then share or preserve the rest.

Wondering how to get started?
Contact your local County Extension office for information on gardening in your area.

Growing food with family, friends, and neighbors can be a community building experience. Trade produce and share tools with neighbors. Visiting the farmer’s market can bring you into direct contact with the people who are growing food.

Look for more information at:
Revive the Victory Garden website

Future FarmersVictory Gardens 2007+ website

May 7, 2009 at 12:20 pm Leave a comment

Focus Maui Nui—Victory Gardens


Revive the Victory Garden website

Future FarmersVictory Gardens 2007+ website

May 7, 2009 at 11:43 am Leave a comment

Eat the Suburbs: Gardening for the End of the Oil Age (video)

April 22, 2009 at 3:13 pm Leave a comment

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