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At Wattles Farm in LA, 30 years of work bears fruit

The community garden is positioned in what had been the lower fruit orchard of the Wattles estate

By Jeff Spurrier
Los Angeles Times
February 16, 2011


As in most community gardens, Wattles Farm has a rule against trees in personal plots, lest the shade impede crops and raise tensions among neighboring gardeners. One exception here is the lemon tree in the space gardened by Gina Thomas, head of the tree committee. “It was here before I was,” she says. “So it was grandfathered in.”

It’s fitting. Thanks to her decades-long effort, the variety of fruit-bearing shrubs and trees in Wattles’ common areas is staggering: bananas, mangos, papayas, nectarines, apples, guavas (including lemon, strawberry and pineapple guavas), key lime (grafted onto an orange tree by Thomas 30 years ago), dwarf tangerines, olive, figs, Oro Blanco grapefruit, Washington navel oranges, blood oranges, persimmons, pomegranates, Chinese pear, cherimoya, peach, apricot. The list of multicultural delights goes on and on.

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Cornell’s Controlled Environment Agriculture – that’s hydroponics in hoop houses

Growers handbooks on hydroponic lettuce, spinach and pak choi

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is an advanced and intensive form of hydroponically-based agriculture. Plants are grown within a controlled environment so that horticultural practices can be optimized.

CEA techniques are not simpler than older systems for growing plants. Indeed, they demand sound knowledge of chemistry, horticulture, engineering, plant physiology, plant pathology, computers and entomology. A wide range of skills as well as a natural inclination to attend to details are necessary for a person to operate a successful CEA production in either a research or commercial setting.

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February 16, 2011   1 Comment

Wil Bullock gets urban kids into the farming life

Isaiah Rambert (left) and Wil Bullock examine vegetables at the Powisset Farm in Dover. The City Harvest program will move from the Dover farm to the Bradley Estate in Canton.

“We bring in kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs and we teach them about the outdoors.”

By Kate Shively
GateHouse News Service
Feb 15, 2011


RANDOLPH — What do inner city teenagers and farming have in common? Wil Bullock, a Randolph environmentalist and farm educator, has made it his personal mission to strengthen the connection between the two.

Bullock, 29, was awarded a $10,000 TogetherGreen Fellowship to expand his City Harvest Youth Corps, a program that hires teenagers from inner city communities to teach them about local agriculture.

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