Saturday, September 04, 2010

Started a New Blog For the Next Chapter of My Life

My new blog is here and hopefully I will find my camera or borrow one soon and I will have lots of pics to show off. Lots going on at the moment. :D

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Guest Poster Dan Grifen on Sustainable Agriculture and Biodiversity

Today we have a guest poster. This is the first time for my blog, but welcome anyone who would like to be a guest poster to please contact me. I would love to post anything related to my blog. Cathy

June 1st 2010

Sustainability Through the Consumption of Things Conserved

"In other environmental issues we tell people to stop something, reduce their impact, reduce their damage," - US Ecologist Gary Nabham

Since the beginning of the green movement, there has been a rise in the number of organizations and businesses that are doing their part in the promotion of sustainability through conservation. As human beings, we're told to reduce our carbon footprint, consume less unhealthy foods, and spend less time in the shower! But let's take a minute to step back and look at this from a different perspective; one that Gary Nabhan strongly suggests.

Gary Paul Nabham, phD., is a Arab-American writer/conservationist who's extensive farming work in the U.S./Mexico borderlands region has made him world renown. Specifically speaking, Nabham is known for his work in biodiversity as an ethnobotanist. His uplifting messages and attitude towards life and culture has granted us access to multiple beneficial theories including his latest of eat what you conserve.

According to The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, about three quarters of the genetic diversity of crops been vanishing over the last century and that a dozen species now gives 90% of the animal protein eaten globally. In accordance, just 4 crop species supply half of plant based calories in the human diet.

Nabham claims that by eating the fruits and vegetables that we are attempting to conserve/save, we're promoting the granular dissemination of various plant species. But this goes beyond what we typically buy in supermarkets, particularly because of price and abundance. We must remember to try new things and immerse ourselves in the very concept of diversity. Keep in mind; the benefits of splurging for that costly fruit/vegetable supremely outweigh the cons. Not only are you promoting biodiversity and further eliminating the needs of farmers to remove rare, less purchased crops off their agenda, but you're also effectively encouraging healthier lifestyles.

Agriculturist Marco Contiero mentioned that "biodiversity is an essential characteristic of any sustainable agricultural system, especially in the context of climate change. With sustainable crop efforts being lead by the CGI (Clinton Global Initiative) and the IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) the duo plans to provide a more sustainable crop, untouched by natural disasters, much like the ones experience in Haiti and neighboring areas. Contiero goes on to state "We need to ensure this is the basis for the future…" – This is exactly what Doug Band, the CGI, and the IRRI are doing by engaging in sustainability efforts.

So remember, next time you're in the supermarket picking out navel oranges or strawberries, turn your attention to something that's a bit more "out of season," or exotic in nature. The same goes for salads/salad ingredients; shop outside the norm, picking spices and vegetables that you wouldn't normally incorporate into your everyday diet. During such economic downtime it isn't always easy to maintain the same level of grocery shopping intrigue, but we must also not forget that in this sundry of foods we can find fun!

Dan Grifen – Supporter of all things green and progressive.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

It's been so long and seed starting

Mass plantings on top of lettuce and basil.
Soil blocks with tomato, borage, peppercini's, parsley, cilantro, etc.
Transplants that survived the first planting.
My most gorgeous tomato plant already needing a one gallon pot. :)

Hi all,

It has been so long since I last posted here. After July life got a little crazy, not the best excuse, but life happens.

So, here I am again seed starting time again. And I have a new helper, hence the new pic on my profile. I have a new man who is ready to support my love in life, farming. Life is grand.

So, here I am planting seeds and honing my skills. After the last couple years of doing intensive planting and using newspaper pots I've gone back to what works. Soil blocks and lots of wormy goodness. I did also do some mass planting with basil and lettuce.

My first planting was in February, but because I left on a little Valentine's weekend excursion and didn't leave the best watering system for my dad to water the soil blocks with I only got a few sprouts. So, started some new plants this last week, and they are sprouting like gangbusters.

The mix I used this time for the seedlings is the same as the one I used in 2007. 1/3 organic potting soil, 1/3 worm castings, and 1/3 perlite. I bought some worms last week and have been using the worm juice from my bin on the transplants I have from my first planting and they have had a huge growth spurt. Next I use my handy dandy soil blocker, plant my seeds and use my new awesome sprayer to keep them wet until they sprout. So far I'm having the awesome luck I was having 3 years ago. The newspaper pots I was using seemed to make my soil in my seedlings moldy which caused rot and not many of my plants made it. So, I'm going back to what works and I'm very happy with the results.

So, I'm not sure if I'm going to try the intensive planting again, but I know I will do some more winter sowing. Tomato plants and start some flower seeds on December 21st this year. :)

More pictures

Tomato and Borage sprouts from the soil blocks above. Happy little guys. :)
Winter sown snap dragons. They grow so easily this way. They love the cold.

Seed Starting Pics

Peter Pepper seedlings. Hooray!
My transplants as of 3/18.
Tomato transplants.
Luffah gourds.

More pictures of seed starting

Seed starting set-up in the greenhouse.
My seedlings so far.
Loofah gourds as of 3/2
My largest tomato seedling as of 3/2.

Seed starting set-up

Soil blocks I started in February. The top right you can tell my son is just starting out making soil blocks.