Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Northwest Edible Life: Backyard Orchard Culture: Too Good To Be True?

Awesomely inspiring blog post about growing fruit on a small scale. You'd better believe I will be giving this a shot in my backyard this year!
Northwest Edible Life: Backyard Orchard Culture: Too Good To Be True?: "I have struggled for a few years with a desire to have more fruit trees than my 1/3 acre lot can accomodate. A third-acre is actually pretty..."

UN Report: Eco-Farming can double food production in 10 years

A new UN report gives a giant thumbs-up to "ecological methods" in agriculture.
"To feed 9 billion people in 2050, we urgently need to adopt the most efficient farming techniques available," says Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food and author of the report. "Today’s scientific evidence demonstrates that agroecological methods outperform the use of chemical fertilizers in boosting food production where the hungry live -- especially in unfavorable environments."
Just to clarify, the report defines agroecology as the "application of ecological science to the study, design and management of sustainable agroecosystems" and states that:
The core principles of agroecology include recycling nutrients and energy on the farm, rather than introducing external inputs; integrating crops and livestock; diversifying species and genetic resources in agroecosystems over time and space; and focusing on interactions and productivity across the agricultural system, rather than focusing on individual species.
Essentially, everything that modern industrial farming is not. But you know that already, right? In any case, it's great to see things like this surfacing. Now if only the US would follow the report's recommendation to "implement public policies supporting the adoption of agroecological practices".

Thanks to VegNews for pointing this out. You can find the full pdf of the original report here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

New veggie bed in the works

This weekend we double-dug our new veggie bed and started marking off where our path will be. Next we're going to surround it with a chicken wire fence to help ward off the varmints. As you can see, we're going for a somewhat keyhole style plan, except not round. Well, whatever the shape, before you know it, I'll be planting peas!

Please disregard the chaotic nature of my yard at the moment... stacked up yard furniture, misc canoe, cold frame placed randomly on the grass, and raised beds perched precariously above ground. What can I say, the snow just melted and all I have time for is getting ready for planting ASAP!

The heralds of spring

Spring is right around the corner, which means I'll probably be posting a lot more gardening related stuff. For example, I've already got some seedlings going for spring planting!

So far I have onions, celery, a few annual flowers (sweet pea, pansy and impatiens), bell peppers, hot peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and eggplant underway. This will be the first year I've tried celery or eggplant, and the first in a while that I've bothered trying broccoli and brussels sprouts, but I'm hopeful.

Here are a couple pics of the happy wee plants:

And in other springtime-is-near news, bulbs are pushing up their noses around my yard! I think only a gardener could understand just how THRILLING that is to see after a looong and snowy winter. :)

Megumi Sakakibara Free-Motion Quilt - Done!

Okay, this has actually been done for a while but I'm a slacker about posting. I decided to vary the binding just for fun, and to add a little extra excitement since I made the back so boring (all white).

The light makes the colors kind of hard to see, but I'm guessing you get the drift.