Just in Time for Winter: How to Build Your Own Mini-Greenhouse | Living on GOOD Gardeners looking to extend the growing season into winter can do so with a cold frame. These handy mini-greenhouses trap heat and keeping cool-season veggies growing in spite of frosty weather. Cold frames are inexpensive to build and don't consume a lot of energy. They yield fresh, local vegetables when mediocre grocery store fodder is being shipped from afar. Fall is the perfect time to build a cold frame and start planting. This modular cold frame design offers two frame options: single- and double-tier. The lid should be kept shut on cold days and propped open for ventilation on unseasonably warm days. WOOD SELECTION: Cedar is best. WOODCUTTING 1 — Each 10-foot, 1 x 12-inch board will yield one 60-inch front/back panel and one 40-inch side panel. 2 — For the two-angled side panels, choose the most flawless 40-inch side panel and mark a diagonal line lengthwise, from corner to corner. 4 — Cut the lid pieces from the 1 x 6-inch lengths of cedar. Text by Wilder Quarterly.
How to make everything yourself - online low-tech resources Energy Bulletin pointed us to the website of Practical Action (previously known as the Schumacher Centre for Technology & Development), an online resource devoted to low-technology solutions for developing countries. The site hosts many manuals that can also be of interest for low-tech DIYers in the developed world. They cover energy, agriculture, food processing, construction and manufacturing, just to name some important categories. We would like to add to this the impressive online library put together by software engineer Alex Weir. The 900 documents listed here (13 gigabytes in total) are not as well organised and presented as those of Practical Action, but there is a wealth of information that is not found anywhere else. Other interesting online resources that offer manuals and instructions are Appropedia and Howtopedia.
Synsepalum dulcificum The berry itself has a low sugar content and a mildly sweet tang. It contains a glycoprotein molecule, with some trailing carbohydrate chains, called miraculin. When the fleshy part of the fruit is eaten, this molecule binds to the tongue's taste buds, causing sour foods to taste sweet. At neutral pH, miraculin binds and blocks the receptors, but at low pH (resulting from ingestion of sour foods) miraculin binds protons and becomes able to activate the sweet receptors, resulting in the perception of sweet taste. This effect lasts until the protein is washed away by saliva (up to about 60 minutes). The names miracle fruit and miracle berry are shared by Gymnema sylvestre and Thaumatococcus daniellii, which are two other species of plant used to alter the perceived sweetness of foods. History For a time in the 1970s, US dieters could purchase a pill form of miraculin. The idea of the "miraculin party" was conceived then. Characteristics Uses
5 Secrets to a ‘No-work’ Garden It took over 20 years of gardening to realize that I didn’t have to work so hard to achieve a fruitful harvest. As the limitless energy of my youth gradually gave way to the physical realities of mid-life, the slow accretion of experience eventually led to an awareness that less work can result in greater crop yields. Inspired in part by Masanobu Fukuoka’s book, One Straw Revolution, my family experimented with gardening methods which could increase yields with less effort. Fukuoka spent over three decades perfecting his so-called “do-nothing” technique: commonsense, sustainable practices that all but eliminate the use of pesticides, fertilizer, tillage, and perhaps most significantly, wasteful effort. Here are the strategies we used which enabled us to greatly increase our garden yield, while requiring less time and less work. 1. With ‘no-till’ gardening, weeding is largely eliminated. 2. Gardeners are always on the lookout for free sources of clean organic mulch to add to their garden.
I Love That Teaching Idea! Growing and caring for Bonsai trees - Bonsai Empire How to Grow Green Onions Indefinitely I'm officially dubbing this the week of Scallions and Pinterest. Mary and I separately came across 2 trending ideas for using and growing green onions on the highly addictive bookmarking site, Pinterest, last week — we couldn't wait to try them. When I came home over the weekend with a bunch of scallions, Mary exclaimed, "did you see this scallion/ginger sauce I pinned — you should totally make that!" Little did she know I had pinned it hours before her, which is virtually light years in terms of Pinterest discoveries. I had been planning to make this ginger scallion sauce from Lottie + Doof since I first set eyes on it. It's a great little accompaniment that could be used in so many ways. So, back to scallions and Pinterest. All I can say is... it works! This is it guys — place a bunch of scallions with their roots in a glass full of water, then place in a sunny window. Here's a shot of some of the green onions with 2 that I chopped down to the roots. P.S. Discover More:
Growing Celery Indoors: Never Buy Celery Again Remember when we tested and shared how to grow onions indefinitely last week? Well, at the same time, we've been testing out another little indoor gardening project first gleaned from Pinterest that we're excited to share the successes of today — regrowing celery from it's base. We've figured out how to literally re-grow organic celery from the base of the bunch we bought from the store a couple weeks ago. I swear, we must have been living under a rock all these years or just not be that resourceful when it comes to food, but we're having more fun learning all these new little tips and tricks as we dive deeper into trying to grow more of our own food. This project is almost as simple as the onion growing project — simply chop the celery stalks from the base of the celery you bought from the store and use as you normally would. In our case, we had a particular homemade bean dip that needed sampling! Update 2: Here's how we are looking at almost 3-4 weeks of growth: Discover More:
Building a Two-Can Bioreactor - Cornell Composting Purpose Two-can bioreactors are designed to be used as small-scall indoor composting units for families, and for composting as an educational tool in the classroom. Materials 32-gallon plastic garbage can 20-gallon plastic garbage can drill brick spigot (optional) duct tape (optional) insulation (optional) Construction Using a drill, make 15 to 20 holes (0.5" to 1" diameter) through the bottom of the 20-gallon can. Note: A system of 10-gallon plastic garbage cans that can fit inside 20-gallon cans can be substituted if space is a problem. The composting process in the cans will take from three to five weeks. Credits
Easy vegetables to grow Planting a garden doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. But the fear of failure keeps many a gardener-wannabe from spending time and energy on planting backyard crops. Knowing the easy vegetables to grow for your region — in addition to when and where to plant them — is the best way to ensure success. When planning your crops, try to space out the planting of foods that have a short harvest season. An ideal garden will always have something to put on the table, rather than an abundant period and then a dry spell with nothing growing. Some of the easiest garden goods for first timers are yellow squash and zucchini, potatoes, radishes and tomatoes. Squash plants can be planted into small hills, and are ready to eat when they are about 6 inches in length. Radishes are another no-brainer crop. Strawberries are popular for their ability to grow in many places and for their sweet, tangy taste and beautiful appearance. Tomatoes are possibly the most popular garden vegetable.
Druid Tree Lore Trees in particular were mysterious, and seemed to me direct embodiments of the incomprehensible meaning of life. For that reason, the woods were the place that I felt closest to its deepest meaning and to its awe-inspiring workings. C.G.Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections Druids love trees and often visit trees and woods to meditate there, hold ceremonies, or simply commune with Nature. Trees and the word 'Druid' Some modern scholars agree with the classical Roman and Greek authors that the most likely derivation for 'Druid' is from the word for oak, combined with the Indo-European root wid - to know, giving their translation of the word Druid as 'One with knowledge of the oak' or 'Wise person of the oak'. Ovates Today, those who study as Ovates within Druidry learn to work with the powers of Nature – they learn the Ogham and come to know the trees as living Beings with their own medicines and gifts. Ogham – the Tree Alphabet of the Druids An example of Tree Lore: Beith - The Birch Tree
Grow your own herb garden - Tantalize your taste buds with fresh herbs - Herb Gardening - Gardens Tantalize your taste buds with fresh herbs You don't need a garden plot to keep yourself supplied with fresh herbs all summer long. A sunny location, some soil, pots and a bit of care can turn a balcony, staircase, deck, patio or window into a private produce department. Whether you're new to gardening or a seasoned pro, these tasty, but easy-to-grow, flavour-filled herbs will have you hooked on fresh. BasilThis tender annual can't tolerate cold, so plant only after the threat of frost is over. Basil has a hint of licorice and is a classic choice with tomatoes and in Mediterranean dishes. Dried basil has very little flavour, so use fresh or make pesto, then freeze. DillThis feathery, fern-like herb is actually a hardy annual and acts as a biannual in some climates. Dill is tall, so plant it behind shorter herbs. Vegetable soups, green salads, chicken and fish pair perfectly with dill's bright, lemony undertones. MintVersatile but invasive, give mint its own pot.