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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URBAN FARM BRINGS FARM LIFE TO INNER CITY KIDS

“Founded under the initial name Embracing Horses in 1993, The Urban Farm at Stapleton was established to provide equine education and interaction for 15 inner-city youth. In the 25 years since its establishment, The Urban Farm has expanded its programming. They now offer educational opportunities in animal husbandry and agriculture.

The original goal of the organization was to “work with inner-city kids get them experience riding horses, develop them, make them more responsible, build respect for the animals.” Executive director, Mike Nicks explained that the present mission stays true to the farm’s origins. “We use practical work experience in the farm setting to inspire excitement for learning while fostering respect, responsibility, curiosity, caring and grit.””

READ THE FULL STORY AT: “303Magazine.com

D.C. looks for groups to transform vacant land into urban farms at two locations

“The District is searching for organizations to create and run urban farms at two locations in Kingman Park and Brightwood Park. Totaling more than 20,000 square feet, the parcels are currently vacant. Once redeveloped, they would be managed through D.C.’s Urban Farming Land Lease Program, which was established to foster a sustainable system for locally grown food. The D.C. Department of General Services (DGS) recently put out a solicitation for bids.

“The Department reserves the right to make multiple awards to different applicants for sub-areas within each Site, however no such subarea will be less than 2,500 square feet,” notes DGS in its request for proposals. The Brightwood Park site is situated on an (unnamed) alley between 9th and 8th streets NW, near Longfellow Street NW, while the Kingman Park site is located in the 600 block of Kramer Street NE between 16th and 17th streets NE. Applicants must have “experience in agricultural production,” per DGS, and responses are due Nov. 21.

The opportunity arises as urban farms are becoming more popular across D.C., particularly in underserved areas where traditional grocery stores are lacking—areas commonly known as “food deserts.” Other major cities like New York are also seeing an uptick in urban farms.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT: “DCCurbed.com

The Artist Creating Urban Farms to Feed Philadelphia

“Not many churches can boast their own Garden of Eden, but South Philadelphia’s historic Union Baptist Church (UBC) can. When Loretta Lewis and other veteran congregants of UBC opened a soup kitchen 20 years ago, they made a solemn pledge: “We just vowed that we’re not going feed people anything that we wouldn’t eat or feed our families,” she says. “The people who come are used to eating substandard food, but here they have never had substandard food.”

The soup kitchen volunteers have always prepared for the weekly Friday luncheon by shopping for and cooking food in an industrial kitchen in the church’s basement, adjacent to a dining room with cloth-covered tables, where people from nearby shelters are welcome to enjoy a free, nutritious meal.

And for the past year, sourcing fresh vegetables—often a big challenge for the church—has been easy. The soup kitchen’s pantry is now supplemented by hyper-local produce, harvested the same day from a new garden in a previously underused plot next door to the church.

Meei Ling Ng, an artist and urban grower who lives nearby, began a collaboration with the church a year and a half ago to develop what they’ve jointly called the UBC Garden of Eden. “I want to promote ‘grow food where you live,’” Ng says. “That’s always my project title, everywhere. And ‘provide fresh, healthy food to the needy, to the homeless.’ It benefits the rest of the community, too, through educating how to grow.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT: “CivilEats.com

Vintage photos: World War II “victory gardens”

“Urban gardening may be catching on now, but today’s urban gardeners have nothing on their grandparents. During the World Wars, the U.S. government urged citizens to plant their own small vegetable gardens. It was a super positive spin on “We don’t have enough war rations.”

I don’t know what people would do today if the government asked them to grow cabbage in their front yards, but people back them were ready. Around 20 million families planted victory gardens. They grew 40 percent of the country’s vegetables by 1944.

Naturally, the government wanted to remember this successful project, so it kept a collection of photos. I happened upon them the other day, and I couldn’t stop looking. Some were sweet, some were inspiring, and some made me a little sad … even uncomfortable. I thought you might like to check them out too. (The 1940s captions are way too good to get stuck in tiny text.)”

SEE ALL THE PHOTOS HERE: “TreeHugger.com

Urban Farming Organization Visualizes a Franchise Model to Produce Fresh Fish and Vegetables

“On a cool September morning, Dre Taylor dodged raindrops while talking with several people tending beans, peppers, tomatillos, collards and more outside of a 4,500-square-foot building. This is Nile Valley Aquaponics, a vibrant fixture in Kansas City, Missouri’s urban core. The name came from Egypt where people cultivated plants and fish thousands of years ago. Goats and picnic tables share outdoor space and offices occupy a nearby house.

Last summer (2018), Nile Valley Aquaponics grew dozens of fruits, vegetables and herbs, from tomatoes and squash to basil and sage, kale and Swiss chard. Its 100,000 Pound Food Project seeks to produce 100,000 pounds of local fresh fish, vegetables and herbs, creating greater access to healthy food choices, while providing volunteer opportunities and economic stability in the area. Health education is also important. Several October classes will address growing mushrooms, building a greenhouse for less than US$500, and building a personal aquaponics system.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT: “EcoWatch.com”

Hurricane Michael Destroys Crop of a Lifetime

“In Southeast Alabama’s Wiregrass region, known for its fertile soil and productive farms, the 2018 cotton crop was shaping up as perhaps a “once in a lifetime” crop. Then along came Hurricane Michael, ripping through the lower, eastern corner of Alabama on its way from the Florida Panhandle into Georgia on Wednesday.

Across Georgia, agriculture crops, including cotton, suffered similar extensive damage, with some farmers suffering total losses as assessments continued. In Alabama, most counties across the state escaped damage from Michael, but a handful of agricultural counties in the Wiregrass region that rely heavily on cotton, which is more susceptible to the elements than other crops, were not so lucky.

As this fall’s cotton harvest neared, with white fluffs abundantly emerging at record or near-record yields, Michael tore across the Southeast as a storm of a lifetime, one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever hit the United States in the history of record keeping.”

READ THE FULL STORY: “NewsWeek.com”

Inside Big Tex Urban Farms

“Among all the fried food at the State Fair of Texas you’ll find a greenhouse working to feed North Texas.

The Big Tex Urban Farms grows fruits and vegetables year round on the fair grounds. The project started in 2016 as a mission to help food-insecure communities in southern Dallas.

Farm manager Drew Demler said all the produce grown goes to charities working to fight hunger. The farm uses raised boxes and hydroponic systems to grow green beans, black eyes peas, cucumbers, onions, potatoes, herbs and more.

During the fair they invite people to step inside the greenhouse to see what they’re doing and ask questions.”

Read the FULL STORY: “NBCDFW.com

Grant program offers money, and legitimacy, for urban agriculture

Michael Chaney, Project Sweetie Pie founder, talks to student workers Wednesday about trellising tomatoes at Karamu Garden in north Minneapolis.

“Urban farming in Minnesota reached a milestone this summer, when the state announced the first round of grants for agriculture education and development projects in cities.

It’s the first time the state has allocated money specifically for urban agriculture, and it took several tries to get the legislation passed. Michael Chaney, a long-time advocate from north Minneapolis who founded Project Sweetie Pie, a grant recipient, said he approached lawmakers with the idea about four years ago. At the time, he saw plenty of interest in urban agriculture — but not the kind of financial support that exists for rural farmers. “I was disenchanted and discouraged,” Chaney said.

Advocates said state investment is crucial because it lends credibility to what Chaney calls the “changing face of agriculture.” Such state funding, even a small amount, can usher in a shift toward seeing urban areas as potential farms and their residents as fellow food producers.

That shift can also bring education and economic opportunities that are often more associated with rural areas. “Agriculture has been deemed corporate ag with rural roots and conventional farming techniques,” Chaney said. “What we’re proposing with urban farming is a whole reconfiguring. … What’s the role of urban communities in growing food?””

READ THE FULL STORY: “MinnPost.com

Healing in the garden ‘The Pesto Project’ at East Side Center aids mental wellness

“GLENS FALLS — It might not seem like soil and some seeds could make a difference in someone’s life but for the clients at the East Side Center, nurturing plants and flowers have helped them to blossom.

Jodi Gagnon, who said she deals with alcoholism and has post-traumatic stress disorder, was attending a dual recovery meeting last February when she learned about an ongoing gardening project behind the adult psychiatric rehabilitation building on Maple Street.

Gagnon was new to the area and the outside world was “terrifying” for her. She had never gardened before but soon she was planting seeds in little containers and gradually progressed to doing small tasks in the flower and vegetable beds.

When her PTSD symptoms worsened on weekends she found salvation in the garden, picking up debris and touching the flowers and crops.

“I would feel this sense of relief,” she said. ”It was a very big part of my recovery by getting out of my comfort zone.””

READ THE FULL STORY AT: “PostStar.com

Urban farm offers women a place to live & work after getting out of prison

 

 

“INDIANAPOLIS — An urban farm opening in central Indiana will provide women coming out of the criminal justice system with a place to live and work so they can get their lives back on track.

While working at Bellfound Farm, the women will also receive mental health counseling, coaching and skill development training.

Alena Jones, co-founder and COO of Bellfound Farms, says they are getting started with a grant from the Women’s Fund of central Indiana.

“When we’re talking about how nine out of 10 women who have been incarcerated have experienced trauma, what we know about being in a green environment is that it calms your nervous system down and gives you a little bit more brain space to process what’s going on inside of you,” said Jones.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT: “TheIndyChannel.com”