Friday, September 24, 2010

Planting Seeds for Urban Gardens - Food Starts for Urban Permaculture

A good start to any Urban Garden and Urban Permaculture project includes healthy seedlings.

Seeds scattered on or planted in the ground can be affected by birds, small animals, heavy downpours, wind and or other external environmental influences.

We have found using seed trays - especially the 60 count and 72 count per tray - kept on a sunny window ledge, under a patio cover or in a small row tunnel or greenhouse - helps the seeds grow rapidly, develop good, solid root structure and strong first true leaves.

Judy like to mix her own soil for starting seeds, but any reputable potting mixture that is relatively consistent in texture (no lumps), contains dark, organic matter and possesses enough structure to facilitate drainage (you don't want the potting mix to hold too much water), will work.

Urban Garden Vegetable Starts in 72 Count Trays
These trays are available at your local nursery, can be ordered over the internet or found on your local internet trading sites.

We build a bench out of fencing and scrap wood or metal and there you have it!

Growing your own vegetables is one way to make sure your food is free of pesticides and other poisons that may cause cancers.

Urban Permaculture!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Small Raised Beds Grow Lots of Food in the City - Urban Permaculture

Urban Garden - Raised Beds
Amazing, simply amazing.  You can grow so, so much food in a small raised urban garden bed in the middle of the city!

A couple important things to remember though - are:
  • Use untreated wood for the walls - I like 2 x 10 pine from the local building store - try and use wood that has been certified as being raised sustainably, such as FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).
  • Make sure you incorporate a well drained material for the base (rock, gravel or sand)
  • Wash your base down real good before adding your growing soil or topsoil to remove any lime or high pH material
  • Add your organic matter, including,
    • mulched leaves (don't use yard waste from yards that spray chemicals)
    • kitchen compost
    • cow or horse manure
    • worm casings
    • and other good organic compost
  • Add your mulch, and 
  • Plant your veggies!
Keep the critters out with a small wire or twine fence and before you know it your raised bed will be producing volumes of greens, peas, beans, okra, eggplant and more!

Happy Urban Gardening!


Feel free to email me your questions here...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Growing Herbs in the City - Urban Permaculture

Many herbs do well in terra cotta pots on a small patio.   Many of the culinary species we are used to cooking with, originally grew in rocky, arid soils of the Mediterranean.

Growing Herbs in the Urban Core - Permaculture in the City
Thyme, marjoram, rosemary, oregano and others can easily be grown in small spaces, providing sunshine, water and compost are provided.

Happy Urban Gardening!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Time to plant Winter Vegetable Gardens here in Florida

I love the winter garden.  Though Judy tells me it is hard to determine just when to plant the winter veggies - the hot and humid dog days of September can really hurt arugula and winter mix lettuces-greens - I always look forward to the stretch of year where  a good batch of tasty, organic greens is just outside the back door.

Check out Judy's latest raised bed planting - a whole new set of Winter Greens!

Winter Gardening Starts in Florida, Judy's Garden (September 2010)

You can grow an amazing amount of food in a very small, Urban Core plot.

Be sure to use non-treated wood for raised beds - we use standard 2 x 10 pine boards for one of the home improvement stores.

Lots of organic compost to keep the nematodes at bay.

Happy Urban Gardening!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Urban Food Gardens - Hanging Planters - Porch Gardens for the City

Rob Overly, the renown Jacksonville sustainable and green architect - and Rotary Water Congress man is always looking for simple yet effective ways to be 'green'.

Growing food is one way.  He has a huge orange tree - special orange tree - in his front yard (must try) - and is now talking about terracing the front lawn from his door to the road and planting blueberry bushes all the way down the slope.

Back to the food growing.Not only does Rob think about growing food, he thinks about the topic in a sustainable manner.

Rob is into vertical green - you can see the green screen he planted in front of his west facing window (shades during summer and allows for sunlight penetration during winter).

So it was natural he thought about growing vegetables vertically in his front patio area.

Leave it to Rob to design a cost-effective replacement to $ 20.00 upside down topsy turvey tomato growing hanging basket

Using 2 liter plastic soda pop bottles he cut the bottom section off (bottom section becomes the top), installed a couple holes for the hanging rod, added soil, twine and plants and hung the vegetables along his porch roof.

Great job Rob! 

Check out the photos.

Rob's Hanging Planters
Urban Food Gardens - Rob's
Hanging Food Planter

Urban Permaculture the new paradigm in Urban Survival thought.

As always, comments and ideas should be shared.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

9 Best Food Plants, Foolproof and Easy to Grow in the Urban Core

Growing your own food is a path to independence and true freedom.

Urban Foodfare is the take control counterpart to Urban Warfare.

With Urban Foodfare your body is healed.

Urban Foodfare creates community.

Urban Foodfare offers freedom form bondage to those who would control what, when and how much you eat.

Today is the first blog of hopefully many.

The nine Urban Core Food plants to start with are:

1. Lemongrass
2. Rosemary
3. Garlic Chives
4. Banana Peppers
5. Greens
6. Mint
7. Broccoli
8. Eggplant
9. Okra (Quimbombo)

Look what I picked out of our backyard garden in the span of 5 minutes the other day!

Judy's Urban Permaculture

We will be talking about how to cost-effectively grow much of the food you need, teaching you about organic methods of raising your own - be it a small patio garden, an edible landscape or larger garden.

Looking forward to sharing the journey with you!

Email us with your questions.