City life can be exhausting. A long daily commute through a concrete jungle of gray and brown is a reality of life for many in and around our urban areas. But amid this manmade, non-organic reality, small urban yards can be the sanctuary we need to escape, relax and recharge after a tiring day. You […]
Photo Credit: Urban-Waterfall by Trois Têtes (TT) used under CC BY-NC 2.0
City life can be exhausting.
A long daily commute through a concrete jungle of gray and brown is a reality of life for many in and around our urban areas.
But amid this manmade, non-organic reality, small urban yards can be the sanctuary we need to escape, relax and recharge after a tiring day.
You may be fortunate enough to have a lawn, and if so you shouldn’t take this for granted.
Taking care of your lawn can often be an enjoyable and relaxing activity, and it creates a beautiful space for you to enjoy with friends, family and neighbors alike.
The first thing you need to consider when caring for your lawn is how you intend to keep it maintained. In an urban space, it is important to make the most of the area that you have, so you can get the fullest experience from your yard. This invariably means keeping your lawn well trimmed and neat, if you decide to have one at all.
A mechanical lawn mower is now considered an essential for cutting your lawn efficiently, and you should consider a model appropriate to the size of the area you need to maintain. In case your lawn mower breaks down, it may be worth identifying equipment repair companies, such as Pat’s power equipment repair.
You should take care to keep your grass trim and short, according to your preference. A well-manicured lawn can add value to your home, while making your yard the envy of your neighbors. With the right lawn mower at your disposal, it should be possible to efficiently cut your grass as and when required.
It is important to water your lawn during dry periods of weather, and people often use sprinkler systems to ensure effective watering at appropriate intervals. Especially in hot summers, it can be important to keep the grass well watered, to prevent the lawn from drying out and eventually dying. You may also want to supplement your watering with nutrients, which can help to keep your lawn looking its best.
When you are using nutrients, fertilizers and other products on your lawn, it is essential to think about the environment, and the health of pets, wildlife and young children. Toxic sprays and formulas might be good for the health of your yard, but not always for the wildlife you might want to attract. Instead, it is preferable to choose organic products for lawn care, ensuring you can achieve a safe but effective treatment. Keep in mind that lawn clippings decompose quickly and will act as a fertilizer. There’s need to clean them up, unless they’re really long.
Caring for your lawn does not have to take up all of your spare time. With the right tools, and a simple, consistent approach, you can keep your lawn luscious and well manicured. This will help make sure you can enjoy your yard to the fullest, so you can properly start to relax after another stressful day in the city.
I think you know I can’t resist a weird tomato. Crazy colouration, misshapen fruit, variegated foliage… the freakier, the better. One of the first tomato anomalies I tried were varieties with fuzzy foliage, and peach-like fruit. There’s a bunch out there: ‘Garden Peach’, ‘Wapsipinicon Peach’, ‘Elberta Peach’… I think you get the idea. All of …
Back in 2010, when I was travelling to promote the release of my second book, Grow Great Grub, I made a stop at a small bookstore in Montreal. Before the event, I went plant shopping with the store manager, who wanted to get a little herb garden planted in front of the shop. In the …
If you live in Canada, and even if you don’t, you may know that the federal government is working to change the laws around recreational cannabis use and possession, effectively “ending”* a long period of prohibition that dates back to 1923. Legalization is set to occur this summer (July 1, 2018). Obviously it is not …
Lady Banks’ Rose (Rosa banksiae) Join me at Douglas E. Welch Photography on Facebook and Follow Learn more about roses with these books †† * A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs ** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! † Available from the […]
Part of a series from A Gardener’s Notebook From leftover pumpkin to new pumpkin plants. One more getting something from nothing in the garden. Music: Carefree by Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com) under Creative Commons License Learn more about pumpkins and squash with these books †† * A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports […]
Native Plant Celebration & Symposium, Wildflower Show & Plant Sale Saturday, April 7, 2018 – 9am-4pm Sepulveda Garden Center16633 Magnolia Blvd., Encino, CA 91436 The annual Wildflower Show of the Los Angeles / Santa Monica Mountains chapter of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is scheduled for April 7, 2018 at the Sepulveda Garden Center […]
Sepulveda Garden Center 16633 Magnolia Blvd., Encino, CA 91436
The annual Wildflower Show of the Los Angeles / Santa Monica Mountains chapter of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is scheduled for April 7, 2018 at the Sepulveda Garden Center in conjunction with a simultaneous Native Plant Celebration & Symposium, plant and book sale. The Symposium will feature speakers throughout the day. Plants for sale will be available courtesy of our Symposium partner, the Theodore Payne Foundation. We welcome California native wildflower cuttings from your home gardens.
Back in the earliest days of the internet, Mort Mather looked around for someone to help him publish his work in this new cyberspace thing. He found me. We published his archive of organic gardening information which has helped hundreds of thousands of people garden organically.
“Mort Mather has captured the feel, the sounds and smells of rural life in the 40's”—U.S. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree
“Mort's writing is every bit as wonderful as the food in his splendid restaurant.”—J. Courtney Sullivan, author of the New York Times bestselling novels Commencement, Maine, and The Engagements
“A Stone's Throw is a wonderful collection of stories, told from the perspective of Orvie, a young boy growing up in the 1940s. Orvie's world is a swirl of outdoor adventures, forts, farm animal, school, chores, and family struggles. Through witty dialogue, rich descriptions of life on the farm, and the captivating voice of Orvie himself, Mort Mather invites you to enter Orvie's childlike imagination, and to remember your own. I love these stories and I know you will too.”—Patricia Leavy, Ph.D., bestselling author or Blue and LowFat Love
Mort is a shareholder of Good to Go Farm-to-Counter, LLC, our small, organic and local food takeout restaurant opening soon in Cherry Valley, NY. We still have $100 shares in the LLC available to our friends. To find out how you can invest, click here!
After decades of public hand-wringing about the empty calories and environmental impact of fast food, the farm-to-table notions that have revolutionized higher-end American restaurants have finally found a lucrative spot in the takeout line. The result already has a nickname: farm to counter.
“This is not a passing fad,” said B. Hudson Riehle, the research director for the National Restaurant Association, who added that locally grown food and sustainability were the top two customer priorities reported this year in the group’s annual poll of American chefs. “It’s only going to get stronger.”
We knew this was a good idea, but we had no idea the idea was already catching on and some farm-to-counter operations are already becoming chain restaurants. If you're interested in getting in on the ground floor of the Good to Go project, which we now hope could become a chain someday, get involved! We're crowd-funding a 20% share of the company!
The following post is from our new site for our new business: Good to Go Organic and Local Food Takeout Restaurant. Robin and I jumped on the chance to take over the very small space of the former Nectar Hills Farm store in Cherry Valley, NY, and turn it into a small, to-go only restaurant featuring organic and local food from our area.
We are crowd-funding the venture--offering shares for $100 worth 0.1% of the company. We hope to sell 200 shares, worth 20% of the company. We're asking our friends, family, and readers to buy shares and support this effort to bring local and organic food to the tables, sidewalks, and picnic areas of our beautiful part of the central leather-stocking region of upstate NY. Visit the website for more information on how to invest (be sure to read the business plan).
The storefront of Good to Go Organic and Local Food Takeout Restaurant in Cherry Valley, NY
My lease is signed, and 17 1/2 Main Street is waiting patiently for me to turn it into a tasty, healthy dynamo of a little kitchen. To do that, I'll need a bank loan, and to get that, I need an impressive show of support. From Friends, Family, Sustainable Food Enthusiasts, Upstate Small Business Investors, and of course, the many that want to see our dear Cherry Valley flourish.
The bottom line is this: When I open, I will give this kitchen all I have: my heart and soul, blood, sweat and tears, and time and energy. The copious amount of encouraging words I've received has been overwhelming, but what I need from each of you now is another cliche altogether: put your money where your mouth is.
If you can't afford a whole share, go in on one with somebody. That's only fifty bucks: one for every year of my life that has led me to this very point. Please, I am raring to go. Literally: Good To Go. Help me get started: stomachs, palates, lives, minds, farms, the economy, the state, karma, earth...all these things will improve with this venture. Get excited with me.
It's mud season up here in the Northeast, and this is the time of year I start itching to get in the mud pit. It's also the time of year I envy you folks at more southern latitudes, who are probably already eating things from your garden. We're still a few weeks away from eating the ramps (aka wild leeks) that have poked up through the leaf carpet in the woods behind our house, little oases of green in the sea of brown.
Harvesting ramps, by the way, is considered foraging, but since they're just a few steps away from the back garden rows, and we take careful steps to make sure they spread (we only take 25% of each patch, we collect the seeds and spread them in new areas, and we sometimes plant bulbs in new areas), it's kind of like they're part of the garden. A delicious, garlicy, spinachy, oniony, leaky, mouth watering part of the garden [Homer Simpson gurgling sounds]...
All the muddy beds were overwintered with our local, organic nitrogen source, pictured here bagged and for sale in its honor wagon down the road. There's not much I can do until that mud dries up and I can get out there and plant. In the mean time, I've been bringing in more manure and building beds in areas that dry out faster, where I've been planting early greens, spinach, and peas. The deer really love the young pea shoots, but when it's still dropping below freezing at night (the forecast low for tonight is 25), I have to put a plastic tunnel cover over the row anyway, to keep the ground temp up, and that keeps the deer away from the peas until they're big enough that the deer aren't interested anymore.
Someday I'll stop playing those silly games with the wild animals, and just put an electric fence up, but for now, it's all about row covers, timing, and trapping and relocating. Last year I didn't get the trap up until after the woodchuck had eaten all the dill. This year, the trap is out already.