Not at Home on the Range

Community, Food Supply, Soil & Compost
Subsidized Fracking Hits Colorado This is an interesting article documenting the connections between tax subsidies, oil and gas fracking, and harms to the public health. And this article indicates that this kind of extreme oil production is NOT a free market activity, but is possible/profitable only because of subsidies. Repeat: this kind of extreme energy exploration is NOT a free market activity. Yes, this affects soil fertility. Yes, this is a gardening issue. Yes, this is a food issue.[optin-cat id=2074]
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Scientists Discover That Plants Communicate via Symbiotic Root Fungi

Soil & Compost
I rarely recopy articles in their entirety to share on this blog, but this one is so awesome, I wanted everyone to see it for sure. Organic gardening is NOT over-rated. It is not strictly for "tree huggers" and vegetarians, it is not a fad or "so 70's", it is critical for health and the well being of humanity. By Dr. Mercola Human arrogance has always assumed we are evolutionarily superior to plants, but it appears that modern science may be the antidote to this egocentric view. Researchers in the UK have discovered an extensive underground network connecting plants by their roots, serving as a complex interplant communication system... a “plant Internet,” if you will. One organism is responsible for this amazing biochemical highway: a type of fungus called mycorrhizae.…
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Trees Tame Storm water-Interactive Poster

Sustainable Landscaping
This is so cool! Rain refreshes the land and nourishes the green landscape. But as houses, stores, schools, roads and parking lots spread and natural tree cover is lost, so is the absorbing effect of vegetation and soil. The welcome rain becomes costly stormwater runoff. Without the benefit of trees and vegetated infrastructure, waterways are polluted as oils, heavy metal particles and other harmful substances are washed away. Fish and wildlife suffer, drinking water becomes expensive or impossible to reclaim, property values are reduced, and our living environment is degraded. http://www.arborday.org/trees/stormwater.cfm Link provided by Shawna Lawyer Struby from Going Local
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Growing Communities

Growing Communities

Community, Food Supply
Imagine a city in which every neighborhood is filled with healthy street trees, attractive parks, and productive gardens; where the air and water are clean; where neighborhood youth take an active role in improving their environment; and where diverse residents come together to build their city stronger through community stewardship. America's urban environments have become our most important ecosystems. In addition to the fact that more than 75% of us live in cities, the condition of the urban environment affects our economy, our culture, our society and our natural resources on local, regional and national scales. Garden Simply is taking action to improve public education and bring to attention this urban environment to help revitalize our urban communities. Community gardens empower individuals, knit together a stronger community, beautify local areas,…
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An Affair Worth Ending: Fuel and Food

Food Supply, Sustainable Living
By Guest Author, Julie Hitchcock Food. Lets face it, who doesn't love good food? We love to eat it, grill it, serve it and share it with love ones. Every thing from the famed Thanksgiving meal where the table is sagging with the weight of hot delicious foods, to summer picnics with cold salads and sandwiches, food in many ways defines our lives. But its not as simple as we would like it to be, once just a story about land and a farmer, it is now an epic tale dripping all along the way with oil. Not so long ago, food was grown just outside of town, often organically, picked by hand and delivered at the peak of freshness to small grocery stores. Today its a much different process…
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March Update

March Update

Community, Food Supply, Healthy Eating, Organic Gardening
Dear Readers, I have received many emails in the last few days, some unsubscribes, and many new subscribers.  Your emails have been a cross section of geography, thought, and opinion. Garden Notes readers span the globe from  Japan, China, and Korea to Brazil, Australia, and Greece, and yes, the United States. Your comments and emails are read, every one, and I always answer personally, but this time, I have to answer publicly because  a) it is a busy gardening year for me, and b) there are simply too many to respond to personally. My former broadcast was blunt and to the point... take reasonable precautions, chance favors the prepared. What is happening in Japan has the potential to affect our food supply greatly. I determined that this affected this list…
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Farmers Are Flocking to Manure

Farmers Are Flocking to Manure

Farm Animals, Organic Gardening, Small Scale Farming, Soil & Compost
The closest thing I can find to a directory on getting local manure is CraigsList. I am sure if you look hard enough you can find a location or farmer in your area that will happily supply you with enough manure to use for home organic gardening Then, I ran across this article, Why Farmers are Flocking to Manure that throws out this common statistic... "It has taken us about 100 years to reduce soil organic matter to dangerously low levels from about 5 percent, on average, to below 2 percent." That blog article was adapted from the book, Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind" So they are running out of chemical fertilizer. Go Figure. And how fast could our commercial farming industry make the move to organic farming?…
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Why Garden Organically?

Organic Gardening
As recent as 25 years ago, the idea of organic gardening was considered quite a radical concept.  How in the world were gardeners expected to control the weeds, the bugs, and the animals that could threaten a thriving garden without the use of man-made chemicals?  When you think about it, organic gardening is a really simply theory.  For years, people have been growing things without the use of chemicals. The early settlers of our country didn’t have Miracle-Gro or Sevin Dust and they made out just fine.  It only makes sense that we should be able to apply the same techniques and get the same results as they did today.  We should grow food using Mother Nature's ingredients rather than concoctions born in a chemist's laboratory for the good of…
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Going Green.Try These Ten Steps to a Better Garden and Backyard

Outdoor Living
Going Green? Try These Ten Steps to a Better Garden and Backyard Going green is the newest trend worldwide with many people taking steps to reduce their environmental footprint and try to create sustainable practices as opposed to the wasteful living many of us are guilty of now. One of the best places to start is in the garden and backyard. Traditionally, these are areas where a lot of harsh chemicals are used to kill weeds and ensure a healthy lawn, but at what cost? There are plenty of ways to have a beautiful garden and enviable backyard decor while also doing our part for the environment. 1. Use Natural Sunlight One way to begin is to use the very source of light nature provides us. Purchasing solar powered lights…
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The Good In Gardening

Community
As many experts will attest, giving your mood its much-needed jolt is being linked with getting in touch with nature. A messy house, an eyesore for a lawn, and stressful surroundings can contribute highly to the worst cases of sadness and depression. Proper arrangement and order of things at home can be of great help. And taking your gardening to the next level, as your standard suits you, will elevate your mood even better. Whether you possess the green thumb or are just plainly appreciative of nature, studies show that giving way to the natural caretaker in you and touching base with the environment, no matter how simply, will open up the positive side of things. The functional, recreational and aesthetic uses of a garden may help you decide on…
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