A Community Growing its Own Food

triciaeApril 7, 2013

I thought this was really fascinating. Imagine an America where individual towns and villages grew their own food for local self-sufficiency. Click around the website to see what all they're doing...it's wonderful. I'm more than a bit envious of their initiative. I stumbled across their website through checking if an etsy order I placed a couple days ago had shipped. Speaking of etsy...I've supported individual artisans from America, Canada, Hong Kong, Bulgaria, and Uruguay instead of big corporations. Fun.


Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Local - Todmorden, England

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Thank you so much, tricia for sharing that site! It is fascinating, and a great example of where we could grow in this country.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 6:31PM
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Makes me want to get out in my own village and start organizing something similar!


    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 6:47PM
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Sounds like a plot to me! (Yuk yuk) In 2010 I weighed everything my garden produced, and calculated its value at the closest comparable rate I could find -- usually my local Farmer's Market. It was over $2,000. Imagine if more families tried gardening. Even if they had small gardens for mostly fresh eating it could be a big savings.

I'm going to be tracking my garden again this year, and working on a journal article with my Master Gardening Instructor -- maybe it will convince more people to try home grown food.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 7:17PM
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People in England are really into gardening. Someone I work with is in our London branch. She just has a tiny apartment, Two of the windows have flower boxes in which she grows radishes and lettuce. At one time she and some friends had a little plot outside the city. She just marvels at pictures of my yard and how many vegetables and berries I grow. And it's only 1/4 acre!

This past Saturday one of the local shows featured a local guy and his book that came out recently. It's called Straw Bale Gardening and the author is Joel Karsten. People from Alaska, Dubai, Saudi Arabia - everywhere have shown interest in it. It lengthens the growing season and is perfect for places like Dubai that don't have good soil. Joel grew up on a farm and moved to the cities and bought a house with really bad soil. That is what led him to come up with this idea. That and sometimes the growing season in Minnesota can be considerably shorter than others.

Basically you treat a bale of straw with nitrogen for two weeks to condition it. Then you dig holes in the top and side and put in plants. The bale starts to decompose feeding the plants. In addition the bale is 35 degrees warmer than the temp outside because of the composting affect. You can start your plants earlier and tent on chilly nights. I ordered the book. I might try 1 or 2 bales this year seeing as our season is late getting started. I think I will plant tomatoes and compare the plants to my ones in pots on my deck. Tricia - seeing that your soil was damaged by Sandy this might be something you want to try. As soon as I pick up the book I'd be happy to share the info with you if you are interested. Two words ......... heirloom tomatoes!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:17PM
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This will be my first year with bale gardening our season is so short being in zone 2 plus we only have clay not helpful for growing. We still have 3 feet of snow. I can't imagine any community near here that would be self sustaining with just gardens. I set my bales out in the fall so they would be ready to plant when the snow melts I can't loose precious days waiting for them to cool down when they start to decompose. Setting them out in the fall speeds things up. I hope it yields a bumper crop I have 6 bales in one spot and 2 in another.

Here is a link that might be useful: bale garden set up

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 1:43AM
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I've used the straw bale system in the past for cucumbers and melons, it worked really well. I now have a small hoophouse but I might try that system again for a later planting of cukes, thanks for the reminder!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 7:29AM
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