Window Farms

Window Farms

Jan 21

Starting a farm is really hard, especially in an urban neighborhood. Starting a garden is easier, but still requires land, time, money and some starting knowledge. But starting a Window Farm? That actually seems pretty easy. This is a great idea for someone who is only renting, or someone who owns but doesn’t have much land. It would also be great in an office window. It’s basically...

From Dirt to Dinner course

From Dirt to Dinner course

Jul 15

Last month we posted about the Orange County Extension Center offering a 6-week course called From Dirt To Dinner. The course was said to cover starting seeds, growing them, pest control, the best time to harvest, preserving methods, food safety, and ultimately how to best cook the foods you grew. I currently have the luxury of having Fridays off, so I was quick to sign up for the course. I was a...

Patio Garden: Summer

Patio Garden: Summer

Jul 14

I feel a little like a first-time parent when I post pictures of our garden (see below for more), showing it off at all times of day, in all stages of growth. But I think it’s important because 1) it keeps a record that we can go back and review, and 2) it shows all our readers (that’s you!) that we are doing (read: trying) to do (some of) the things that we recommend to our readers....

Organic Growers’ Meeting: Growing Blueberries

Organic Growers’ Meeting: Growing Blueberries

May 22

The Organic Growers’ Meeting on May 18 was a great success. The room was pretty well packed, the seats filled with attentive growers, all anxious to produce their own little patch of blueberry bliss. Ethos Vegan Kitchen provided some free pizza, and Our Vital Earth announced its new worm container, The Worm Cafe. (It’s basically a Can-O-Worms that is rectangular, with some other...

Hey, it’s organic!

Hey, it’s organic!

May 01

Three weeks ago, my yellow cherry tomato plant had no fruit on it. Now tomatoes abound. What’s changed? Just a little pee is all. Yup, we’ve been periodically adding our nitrogen rich urine to this plant and it loves it! And our other tomato plant, the one we haven’t been giving any urine, has exactly one pitiful fruit growing. The good part in all this, it’s natural,...

On the Patio

On the Patio

Apr 17

Our patio is small, and overwhelmingly tinged green and grey by the concrete and stucco, but it is more enjoyable this Spring than ever before. The perimeter of potted plants creates a sort of urban jungle. I can nearly hear the green things drinking water and stretching their appendages toward the sun. The roses make a beeline toward the screen canopy, growing with unexpected speed in the...

UCF Arboretum

UCF Arboretum

Apr 15

I spent my morning at the organic community garden at the UCF Arboretum. The Arboretum sits on the UCF campus and is part of conservation land. The Arboretum was started years ago with the mission of giving “students, faculty, staff, and the greater community of Central Florida a comprehensive environmental and outdoor living laboratory for education, research, recreation, and human...

Local Producer Spotlight: Sundew Gardens

Local Producer Spotlight: Sundew Gardens

Apr 08

“I’ll give it to the chickens,” says Tom Carey, owner of Sundew Gardens in Ovideo, Florida, as he demonstrates a head of lettuce gone to seed. “These leaves will taste way to bitter for people to enjoy.” It’s a warm Spring morning that is quickly becoming hot, and Tom is explaining his techniques for soil cultivation, pest control, and planting cycles, while...

Vegetarian Burrito Bowl

Vegetarian Burrito Bowl

Mar 27

Looking at my empty Chipotle burrito bowl last Wednesday after I devoured its contents, I wondered if I could do something more constructive with it than add to the local landfill. Ever since I went to an Edible Landscaping class at the Orange County Extension Center and the speaker told me of his success growing lettuce in his office, I’ve wanted to try duplicating his efforts. With this...

The Life of a Dirt Farmer

The Life of a Dirt Farmer

Mar 21

We went to our first Organic Growers’ Meeting last Wednesday, the monthly meeting hosted by the Simple Living Institute. Every month, they bring in a guest speaker and hold a plant raffle. We walked away with six plants, including lettuce, zucchini and swiss chard. We also brought a camera to record this month’s guest speaker, Tom Carey, owner of Sundew Gardens in Oviedo, Florida. The...

Vermicomposting

Vermicomposting

Mar 20

We posted back in October when we started our very own worm composting bin. Here it is 5 months later and for your viewing pleasure we made a whole video on how to get started and use your very own worm bin! Woot woot! Our first video post! Things I don’t think I covered very well were what exactly can go into your worm bin. So here is the good list: fruit and vegetable peels, pulverized...

Building a Community Around Food

Building a Community Around Food

Mar 18

Happy food is about more than happy animals; it’s about happy ecosystems and, more importantly, happy people. Eating is something we all have in common, but not everyone is privileged enough to have a choice about how they enjoy it. Laura and I both grew up in families that took advantage of that choice. We ate dinner with our families and learned to love good food, good ingredients, and...

Social Farming

Social Farming

Mar 09

I had this great idea recently, based on what I know of the Central Florida Sustainable Food Project which is trying to produce a printed Local Food Resource Guide with local growers and restaurants that cook with local ingredients. Since I’m currently reading The World Is Flat by Michael Friedman, I immediately started thinking about crowdsourcing, and about how great it would be if we had...

The joys of gardening…

The joys of gardening…

Mar 04

Yesterday was my birthday, and this photo is what I saw as I left our house for work. The flower has been in the works for a couple weeks but it chose my birthday to open up. It’s like it bloomed just for...