Guide To Sustainable Soil Management

BuildingSoilsOriginal A thorough, free, easy-to-read guide for ecological soil management which includes nutrient management, nutrient cycles, cover crops and other soil-improving practices. “Building Soils for Better Crops is a one-of-a-kind, practical guide to ecological soil management, now expanded and in full color. It provides step-by-step information on soil-improving practices as well as in-depth background—from what soil is to the importance of organic matter. Case studies of farmers from across the country provide inspiring examples of how soil—and whole farms—have been renewed through these techniques. A must-read for farmers, educators and students alike.” LINK: http://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Books/Building-Soils-for-Better-Crops-3rd-Edition DIRECT DOWNLOAD: https://planetpermaculture.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/buildingsoilsforbettercrops.pdf

Setting Up Your Own Edible Rooftop Garden Book

rooftopgardenguide

“Our step-by-step guide is the ideal resource to assist you in the creation of your own rooftop garden, and to ensure its continued horticultural and social success! The guide is written for groups, individuals and establishments that would like to create an urban edible rooftop garden for educational, social, therapeutic or environmental reasons by may not have access to the necessary space to do so in soil. Our objective is to facilitate the process of creation of these edible natural urban oases so that more and more people will learn about rooftop gardening to discover its benefits.”

LINK: http://www.rooftopgardens.alternatives.ca/resources/guides
PDF BOOK: http://www.rooftopgardens.alternatives.ca/sites/rooftopgardens.alternatives.ca/files/ready_to_grow.pdf.pdf
DIRECT DOWNLOAD: https://planetpermaculture.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/ready_to_grow_rooftop_gardens_pdf.pdf

An Illustrated Guide To Common Plant Diseases

VerticilliumWiltdiscyclesm

I’ve just found an excellent website for the most common plant diseases, it’s an amazingly well illustrated document that everyone into Horticulture/Agriculture should check out and bookmark. One of the best resources I’ve come across to date for photographs and illustrations, well worth a look not only when you’re having problems but also to help familiarise yourself with them so you know what to look out for.

It covers the symptoms and signs, pathogen biology, disease cycle, epidemiology, disease management, and scientific, economic and social significance of major plant diseases.

LINK: https://www.apsnet.org/EDCENTER/INTROPP/LESSONS/Pages/default.aspx
FURTHER READING: https://www.apsnet.org/EDCENTER/INTROPP/Pages/default.aspx

Purple Cored Carrots

PurpleSunDob

Check out this eye catching vegetable, a strikingly purple carrot going by the name of “Purple Sun”. Unlike some other varieties its purple pigment goes from skin to core meaning it’s jam packed with anthocyanins, these basically are what cause the antioxidant effect blue berries and black currents have. The pointed roots of this carrot with rounded shoulders are a great improvement on the older purple carrots, producing uniform roots with strong disease resistance, its purported to have a superb sweet flavour too. These can be harvested as baby carrots or grown onto full size.

Height:
30cm (12″)

Spread:
15cm (6″)

Sowing Months:
March to June

Position:
Full sun

PurpleSuns

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The Edible Garden Series

The Edible Garden – BBC TV Series (2010)

Gardener, presenter and writer Alys Fowler attempts to avoid shop bought fruit/vegetables and live off her own home grown produce. Alys focus on different foods and show how anyone can grow, cook and eat from their own garden even if they live in a urban environment. It’s no easy task for her because she doesn’t want to turn her garden into an allotment  so she’s growing her fruit and veg among flowers. Peas and beans are prolific vegetables but they also look beautiful in the borders too. Alys also goes and makes delicious broad bean falafels and pea shoot cocktails and forages for willow to make plant supports. She has two new additions to the family, her chickens!

As with all of these types of programs their is an element of it being unrealistic and just for TV but it’s still worth watching for those that enjoy this type of thing. I’m sure as with everything you’ll learn a thing or two along the way.

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Grow Your Own Food Summit

logo-summit

This is a collection of interviews for anyone interested in growing their own food or living a more sustainable existence.Thirty-four presentations cover everything from community building to creating a food forest to beginning your very first garden, saving non-GMO seeds, permaculture and much more.

So like you I’ve also missed the first couple of days but it runs until the 14th, the snag is the lectures are only available for 24 hours after they post them (10am US Eastern Daylight Time) but it’s worth signing up now for the remainder of the videos and talks. I really enjoyed the one I just listed to the talk with Vandan Shiva about, among other things, the vital importance of seed saving as well as the abundance that comes from say 1 tomato gives you enough seeds to grow potentially hundreds more tomatoes.

I think you’ll like these, so get them while they you can for free.

SIGN-UP LINK: http://www.growfoodsummit.com

Pesticides Found On “Bee-Friendly” Plants Sold At Garden Centers

CCD-research

“Here’s just another reason to start your plants from seeds and cuttings and bring them on yourself rather than buy from Garden Centers and Supermarkets. You could always buy them from a local guy you know and trust and keep the money in the community. Also buying organic certified plants may reduce your chances of pesticide exposure for you and the wildlife.”

Gardeners Beware (2014): Bee-toxic pesticides found in “bee-friendly plants sold at garden centers across the U.S. and Canada

Many “bee-friendly” home garden plants sold at Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart have been pre-treated with pesticides shown to harm and kill bees, according to a study released today by Friends of the Earth and allies.

The study, Gardeners Beware 2014, shows that 36 out of 71 (51 percent) of garden plant samples purchased at top garden retailers in 18 cities in the United States and Canada contain neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides — a key contributor to recent bee declines. Some of the flowers contained neonic levels high enough to kill bees outright assuming comparable concentrations are present in the flowers’ pollen and nectar. Further, 40 percent of the positive samples contained two or more neonics.

The study is a larger follow up to a first-of-its-kind pilot study released by Friends of the Earth last August. The new study expanded the number of samples and number of locations where plants were purchased, and also assessed the distribution of neonic pesticides between flowers and the rest of the plant.

“The high percentage of contaminated plants and their neonicotinoid concentrations suggest that this problem continues to be widespread,” said Lisa Archer, director of the Food & Technology program at Friends of the Earth-U.S. “Most gardeners have no idea that their gardens may be a source of harm to bees. We’re calling on retailers to get neonicotinoid pesticides out of their plants and off their shelves as soon as possible. Until then, gardeners should buy organic plants to ensure the safety of bees.”

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