Many people think of fall as the time to put your garden to bed or take a break from gardening, but fall is a great time to get a head start on your spring garden. Part of sustainable landscaping is planning your garden work so that it is personally sustainable for you. Getting a jump on your landscaping in the fall will save you a bunch of time in the spring when you will have more gardening tasks than time to do them.
Great video from Kitchen Gardeners International! They are starting a campaign to encourage the president, or more realistically, the next president to “eat the view” i.e. tear out some white house lawn and plant a vegetable garden.
As the local food craze has gotten rolling, more companies are popping up to help people grow food in their own backyards. For many busy folks the idea of getting a vegetable garden started might seem overwhelming. Now you can pay someone else to farm your backyard for you. Your Backyard Farmer serves Portland, Milwaukie and Lake Oswego. Check out this cute video describing their services.
A similar company is now getting started in the San Francisco Bay Area. MyFarm provides vegetable gardens to residents in San Francisco and the East Bay. They were recently featured in the SF Chronicle.
While I think these companies are providing a great service for those who really aren’t interested in learning to garden for themselves, I think it’s too bad that more people can’t make the time to learn some gardening basics. I realize that there are lots of folks out there with more money than time, but growing your own food can be a great pleasure and isn’t as difficult as people make it out to be. It wasn’t that long ago that most families in this country were farm families and grew the majority of their food themselves. All it takes is slowing down and taking the time each day to observe your garden, noticing changes and taking action. I love to watch my garden grow. Taking the time to notice changes in your plants slows down your persective and tunes you in to the wider world, the weather, the cycles of the moon, and what insects are flying or crawling around your little plot of land. Having a garden is so much more than simply getting fresh organic produce, although some fresh, sweet strawberries might be the catalyst that gets your butt into gear.
Kelly at Planet Green writes about her adventure buying Amaranth greens at her local farmers market in
Try a New Vegetable: Amaranth. It’s true that calling it “pig weed” doesn’t make it sound very appetizing, but those pigs are onto something. Amaranth is tasty and easy to grow. Some varieties are grown for their nutritious greens while others have been bred to produce high yields seeds, which are tasty eaten as porridge or like rice. Still other species of Amaranth are grown for their exotic looking flower heads, particularly the old fashioned variety also known as “love-lies-bleeding.”
Amaranth is an easy to grow summer annual. In fact, in many parts of the country members of the genus grow as weeds as the name “pig weed” indicates. I wouldn’t recommend trying to grow it to harvest the seeds unless you have an exceptionally large garden, but the greens and flowers could both be pleasant additions to the home garden.(Photo by Andedam used under creative commons license.)