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  • graceadams830

    I especially like the part about "Take a picture..and then eat your lunch.", with so much poverty from too high a Gini index, for many school kids getting to eat fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruit from the school garden is likely to be the main motive for working in the garden and/or even attending school at all.

  • Lisa Rau Cannon

    Micro-gardening on a per-family level is a good way to go -- services like GardenNerd give tips and design advice on how to keep these sustainable, even if you live in a concrete-laden apartment complex. In the end, it's the intention that will keep this movement going.

  • Bob Ewing

    Very timely, I am working with three local schools to set up gardens and this article reinforces what I already know and adds to that, plus I can share it.

  • PegJohnston

    In our community garden, we have individual boxes with some community beds around the perimeter with fruits and berries. Going into our 4th year we are noticing that there are several people who take on a raised bed who abandon it pretty quickly or don't harvest what and when they could. Or they don't water consistently. So, we are looking more at management issues, and treating it more as a modified CSA rather than let everyone have their own plot. I think the issues that come up with longevity are important to address--thanks for bringing this up.
    I heard there was an article in NYT this fall about trying to get professional farmers in to take over community gardens. Anyone else read that?

  • james.ratzloff

    Love this article. What has really worked for me in Colorado is to put up a hail/shade net, just over my head, covering the entire garden.

    The net ensures I will not be hailed out - a big deal, since I work very hard on my garden. It also allows me to grow cool season crops all summer long, which are my favorite - kale, swiss chard, etc.,

  • Eric Johansson

    for many folks, gardening and soil is a great way to spend lots of money and getting poor results. I watched for years as my wife made compost, fertilize, recondition soil etc. only to get poor yields. I've become a fan of a form of hybrid hydroponics implemented by the "earthtainer" project. In a nutshell, you have a reservoir for water underneath your dirt. You use a column of dirt as a wick to water your plants from the bottom. A little bit of hose can transports water from your garden hose to the reservoir and two or three holes on the side at the right height keep you from overfilling.

    Here in New England, you can't grow peppers reliably. Every year I tried it in the ground I got maybe one or two small peppers for yield. A half dozen blossoms. Planted late in in a container garden made up of 5 gallon bucket and a reservoir as described above, I've got four or five decent sized green peppers and at least 20 or more blossoms.

    The other advantage of container gardens of this description is that you can control the soil and the level of contamination with it. Urban soil is notoriously contaminated with heavy metals and other toxic elements and need significant decontamination before it can be used for food. And alas, container gardens can be used anywhere you have a few hours of sunlight such as a balcony in a high-rise. Imagine that. People could grow five or six tomato plants or lettuce patches on a little balcony and have far more success than they would if it was planted in the ground 20 minutes away.

    A project I would love to engage in would be designing a plastic mold for inserting into a 5 gallon bucket and producing a kit that would be relatively cheap so we could give it away to school kids. Work with a local hardware store or Home Depot to get their 5 gallon buckets for free and discounted price on potting soil and plants.

    This project alone would make an amazing difference in the lives of children in urban spaces.

    • Jacqueline Hammond

      Eric, I love your idea. I am in washington dc and have been getting involved in eco edu. By trade I am a marketer and have been volunteering my services with various non-profits in this space - negotiating partnerships is something I may be able to help with too. Do you have a prototype? Feel free to email me: jacqueline.t.hammond @ gmail

  • Jed Oelbaum

    Finally, someone brave enough to call it gardening, instead of hiding behind the pretentious "urban farming" label.

    For more information, ask your Grandma.