Holistic, Organic and Natural Lawn Care

Most people out there are now aware of the meaning of holistic lawn care and holistic weed control, nonetheless, for the few ones who may still find it a bit difficult to understand, holistic weed control is the control of weed organically, naturally or without the use of any harmful chemicals. Organic weed control comes with a number of benefits which include the safety of the household and the environment as a whole.

Holistic lawn care is quickly growing into a trend for big companies and home owners who are beginning to understand the repercussions of using chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Tests have continued to show that chemicals have dire consequences. These chemicals are harmful to our children, our pets and the environment as a whole especially when used for long periods of time. Continue reading Holistic, Organic and Natural Lawn Care

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Wet Weather Could Be Affecting Urban Farms’ Harvest, But Farmers Stay Positive


BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Many city residents have come to rely on small urban farms to put fresh crops on their tables as they supplement what they buy at the grocery store.

“Right now we’re in the fall season so we’ve got lots of greens, you’re looking at lettuces, kale, collards, mustard greens, cabbage, radishes, all that fun stuff,” said Charlotte Haase, with Civic Works.

READ THE FULL STORY AT: “Baltimore.CBSLocal.com

For eco-conscious city dwellers, urban agriculture is one road to real impact

“Eco-consciousness is a hot trend. It’s become a common occurrence to see shoppers with reusable grocery totes at the supermarket. Bamboo straws are flying off shelves as people opt for eco-friendly products. Urban gardening and composting, too, has taken root as consumers try to minimize their carbon footprints.

These small actions are encouraging first steps, but they’re not enough when it comes to tackling agricultural contributions to climate change. Strong-worded warnings from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) detail the potential for climate disasters to worsen if modern consumption patterns don’t change — and soon.

There’s evidence that reimagining urban environments’ food systems might help reduce carbon emissions. With more than 60% of the global population expected to live in cities by 2030, urban agriculture might be one piece of the puzzle for reducing strain on city resources. The practice typically involves growing food in smaller, city environments such as on rooftops, apartment balconies, or even walls.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT: “Mashable.com

The Apprentice viewers brand the urban gardening task the “worst” ever

The Apprentice sent its remaining contestants into the brave new world of urban gardening in last night’s (November 14) episode, with the not-so-green-fingered candidates being asked to make London a little bit brighter.

The task saw the teams set up their own urban gardening businesses, where they carried out commercial and domestic jobs for their (often not very happy) clients, which included laying some astroturf, popping a few plants along a wall and forgetting to tell the driver of the van that contained everything they needed where he should be going.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT: “DigitalSpy.com

MILWAUKEE VETERANS FIND TRAUMA RESOLUTION THROUGH URBAN AGRICULTURE

After his discharge from military service, Sales went to college and began exploring urban agriculture and its therapeutic qualities. He attending school in Florida when Milwaukee Growing Power founder and CEO Will Allen recruited him.

After arriving in Wisconsin, he founded Green Veterans to help veterans find healing and a way to reconnect with their communities while teaching them about sustainability and entrepreneurship. Green Vets initiatives include food production, waste remediation, wastewater treatment, water conservation, renewable energy and affordable housing.

“The military is very good at turning citizens into soldiers, but not very good at turning soldiers into citizens,” said Sales. “I learned firsthand that urban farming and sustainability as a whole gave me a purpose again after the military.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT: “MilwaukeeIndependent.com

Here’s how local communities are turning vacant lots into thriving urban farms

“In the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, locals stroll through Greensgrow Farms. A couple picks up baby spinach and collard greens grown on site, while a few teenagers greet Milkshake, the farm’s resident pet pig. Neighbors ask each other for recipe ideas as they reach for bundles of fresh herbs. Looking in on this lively urban farm, it is hard to believe that just over 20 years ago this space was nothing more than a vacant lot in a forgotten space.

The chances that more urban farms will grow in the city’s empty lots improved dramatically with the recent launch of the Philadelphia Land Bank, which makes it much easier for the city to transfer its 8,700 vacant lots into private ownership. How easy? It costs about $1 to acquire the vacant lot next door, plus closing fees. Says Mayor Michael Nutter, “We would have liked to have had this about a decade ago.”

Vacant lots, which account for roughly 16.7 percent of large U.S. cities’ land area, have long been perceived as eyesores. Many are unkempt, empty hunks of land between buildings that all too often become sites choked with litter, contaminated by asbestos, lead, and arsenic, and breeding grounds for disease-carrying animals like rats. But more cities are seeing in vacant lots an opportunity to revive neighborhoods.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT: “AlterNet.org

Meet the Plantfluencers

“Horticulture and red wine were served up the other night at the Sill, a boutique on Hester Street, as Christopher Satch, a botanist wearing a T-shirt that read, “Plants Make People Happy,” the company motto, led a workshop on carnivorous plants.

It was plant stand-up — slightly blue patter with quick takes on Linnaeus and Darwin; binomial nomenclature (note the shape of the Venus fly trap for cues to how it got its name); detailed care instructions (carnivorous plants evolved in acidic bogs, which means they need distilled water, not tap, and lots of it); and a show-and-tell of Mr. Satch’s collection of butterworts and sundews.

Among the rapt attendees were Madison Steinberg and Lindsay Reisman, both 23 and working in public relations, and Brayan Poma, also 23, who works in construction; afterward they each took home an attractive tropical pitcher plant. “I like plants, but I kill so many of them,” said Mr. Poma, who wore a green hoodie and a goatee. “Maybe that’s why I find them so alluring.””

MEET THE PLANTFLUENCERS HERE: “NYTimes.com

WINTER IS COMING AND CHICAGO’S URBAN GARDENERS ARE GETTING READY

“Local gardening enthusiasts on Saturday braved freezing winds to learn winter plant management techniques at an urban garden in Uptown, the latest in a series of grassroots workshops aimed at educating city growers.

Breanne Heath, the education program manager at Peterson Garden Project, offered participants tips for caring for perennial herbs, planting garlic and preparing unplanted raised garden beds to weather an oppressive Chicago winter until the spring growing season.

Peterson Garden Project, a Chicago-based non-profit founded in 2010, provides 4-foot by 8-foot raised garden beds, growing materials and learning resources for members, who pay an annual $85 fee to participate. However, membership was not required for the weekend workshop, which cost $25.”

READ THE FULL STORY HERE: Medill Reports Chicago

This Houston Urban Farm Honors Veterans With Jobs

“When Gracie and Bob Cavnar launched the Recipe for Success Foundation in 2005, their main goals were to battle childhood obesity by changing the way children understand, appreciate and eat their food, and to provide the community with healthier diets. Today, their hands-on curriculum is the largest outreach of its kind in the nation, empowering over 4,000 children every month through various initiatives.  But rather than sitting on their laurels, the couple became inspired to do even more. In the historic Sunnyside neighborhood of southeast Houston, they found the ideal location for an urban farm to expand their mission.

Thanks to a generous seed grant from Wells Fargo Foundation and support from the UnitedHealth Foundation and other corporations and philanthropists, the Hope Farms Showcase and Training Center came to life in one of the city’s largest food deserts.  To further their important mission, Hope Farms instated a grant-supported program to train U.S. military veterans to become new urban farmers.”

READ THE FULL STORY HERE: “Forbes.com

46 Best Veggies, Herbs & Microgreens for Vertical Planting

“Vertical gardens allow you grow veggies at several levels, so you can get more out of less space, a definite advantage if your growing area is limited. That is not to say that vertical gardening is just for those with space constraints.

Concentrating your food generation to a limited area frees up space for other uses while the veggies get more attention and care. You don’t have to walk around too much to care for your plants, a great plus in foul weather. Vertical gardening changes the old notion that gardening is back-breaking work. Even the mobility-challenged can enjoy growing food and ornamentals at a convenient height.

Plants grown vertically are more accessible, and gardening chores like planting, weeding, feeding and harvesting are much easier. Diseases and pests get noticed earlier on plants growing at eye level, so remedial actions can be taken right away… No more escape for pests hiding under leaves.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT: “NaturalLivingIdeas.com

11 Essential Fall Planting Tips

1. At the nursery: Buy the best

Look for plants that have healthy foliage and no roots creeping out of the nursery container’s bottom drain holes (which means they’re probably rootbound).

2. Small is smarter

When you have a choice, buy little plants (in 4-inch nursery pots); they’re less expensive (usually under $5), easier to handle, and will catch up to the larger ones with winter rains. Smaller plants are your best bet if you need multiples to fill out a bed. Gallon-size plants, on the other hand, start around $10 each but can provide instant effects.

3. Check plant tags

Find out how big the plants will grow, and whether they need sun or shade. Then choose plants that will thrive in the spot you have in mind for them. “Full sun,” for example, means you should plant in a spot that gets at least six hours of sun a day.

4. Consider compost

Unless you have your own compost pile at home, or perfect garden soil that drains well, buy bagged compost to add to the soil before planting annuals, edibles, and many ornamentals (trees and native plants generally do not need added compost). It’s often sold at nurseries in 1- and 2-cubic-foot bags, and in bulk at garden suppliers. Avoid bagged compost that looks as though it has been piled and stored in hot sun for months—it won’t do much for your soil.

SEE THE REST OF THE TIPS, HERE: “Sunset.com