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The Minimalist Gardener

Low Impact, No Dig Growing

By Patrick Whitefield
Chelsea Green
November 20, 2017

Low input, year-round “no-dig” gardening that provides your kitchen with fresh healthy food, without breaking your back

Written by an acknowledged expert, this friendly guide will help you grow food in whatever space you have – large or small, rural or urban – with minimal purchased inputs, and maximum satisfaction.

This is the first in a collection of Patrick Whitefield’s pioneering writings, celebrating his life. It explores a cutting edge of permaculture gardening that is eminently practical and visionary all at the same time.

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December 5, 2017   No Comments

The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables

More In-Depth Lean Techniques for Efficient Organic Production

By Ben Hartman
Chelsea Green
November 03, 2017

At Clay Bottom Farm, author Ben Hartman and staff practice kaizen, or continuous improvement, cutting out more waste—of time, labor, space, money, and more—every year and aligning their organic production more tightly with customer demand. Applied alongside other lean principles originally developed by the Japanese auto industry, the end result has been increased profits and less work.

In this field-guide companion to his award-winning first book, The Lean Farm, Hartman shows market vegetable growers in even more detail how Clay Bottom Farm implements lean thinking in every area of their work, including using kanbans, or replacement signals, to maximize land use; germination chambers to reduce defect waste; and right-sized machinery to save money and labor and increase efficiency.

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December 4, 2017   No Comments

Why it pays to grow herbs at home – even in winter

Basil, parsley and coriander are easy to cultivate: all you need is a windowsill – and some helpful advice

By Alys Fowler
The Guardian
Nov 25, 2017


Herbs are easy to grow; all you need is a windowsill. And, unlike in supermarkets, you get to choose from 40 types: the tiny leaves of Ocimum basilicum ‘Pluto’ pack a mighty punch; O. basilicum ‘Mrs Burns’ is by far the best lemon; and O. basilicum ‘Dark Opal’ is the best purple, with spicy, warm flavours.

Basil is my favourite indoor herb, but parsley and coriander can be treated in the same way. A packet of seed will cost around the same as a shop-bought plant and, sown judiciously, will last a year.

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December 1, 2017   No Comments

Cornell group explores future of indoor farming

Doctoral student Jonathan Allred, center, leads a tour of Cornell greenhouses in November. Photo: R.J. Anderson/Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE): “CCE is the ‘boots on the ground,’ providing everything from technical assistance to the business planning, cost analysis and financing needed by startups and business that are expanding.”

By Jill Monti
Cornell Chronicle
November 21, 2017


Known as controlled environment agriculture (CEA), the systems combine greenhouse environmental controls such as heating and lighting with hydroponic and soilless production, enabling year-round production of fresh vegetables. The process extends the growing season through a range of low-tech solutions – such as row covers and plastic-covered tunnels – to such high-tech solutions as fully automated glass greenhouses with computer controls and LED lights.

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November 28, 2017   Comments Off on Cornell group explores future of indoor farming

Worms Eat My Garbage, 35th Anniversary Edition

How to Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting System: Compost Food Waste, Produce Fertilizer for Houseplants and Garden, and Educate Your Kids and Family

By Mary Appelhof, Joanne Olszewski, Amy Stewart
Worm Woman Inc.
December 2017

For more than three decades, this best-selling guide to the practice of vermicomposting has taught people how to use worms to recycle food waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer for houseplants or gardens. Small-scale, self-contained worm bins can be kept indoors, in a basement or even under the kitchen sink in an apartment — making vermicomposting a great option for city dwellers and anyone who doesn’t want or can’t have an outdoor compost pile.

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November 24, 2017   Comments Off on Worms Eat My Garbage, 35th Anniversary Edition

Meet a Woman Who Keeps 500 Plants in Her Brooklyn Apartment

Oakes with one of her hundreds of plants.

For 11 years, Oakes has lived in a 1,200-square-foot converted industrial space in Williamsburg, which is filled with 500 plants, including a living wall, an irrigated vertical garden constructed out of mason jars, and, in a closet garden, edible plants ranging from the familiar (herbs, greens) to the exotic (a pineapple plant, curry leaves—the latter of which she raves about).

By Dan Nosowitz on July 14, 2016
Photographs by Aliza Eliazarov
Modern Farmer
July 14, 2016


Her apartment is an attempt to cram a country house into a Brooklyn apartment. None of that is really possible in the city, but Oakes does her best: a vermiculture kit beneath the kitchen sink, a compost bin, LED lighting systems, a sub-irrigation system for certain plants, and plants, plants everywhere. Succulents line the bathroom. An old sled on which her pots and pans are hung also include low-light-tolerant philodendrons.

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August 14, 2017   Comments Off on Meet a Woman Who Keeps 500 Plants in Her Brooklyn Apartment

Iowa Urban Farmer Educates Community On How To Grow Produce Without Breaking The Bank

Community members learn about the business of urban farming

By Autumn Diesburg
Daily Iowan
June 25, 2017


“Sometimes, it makes sense to grow greens and sell to restaurants,” Yagla said. “The [community-supported agriculture] worked for me.”

Yagla said his business plan relied on growing food as an extension of homesteading for community-supported agriculture, which Almitra said is a “member-based farm business.”

Members purchase either a full share for $750 or a half share for $375 in a farm, Yagla said. The program has a 30-week season lasting from the first week of May to the last week of November.

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July 1, 2017   Comments Off on Iowa Urban Farmer Educates Community On How To Grow Produce Without Breaking The Bank

How Does an Urban Farmer Work?

Greg Willerer grows a fascinating array of edible greens on little more than an acre of Detroit land.

By Jacob Brogan
June 25, 2017


Sometimes, Willerer sells his produce directly to customers at the Eastern Market, where our first guest of the season also got her start. But one of the advantages of urban farming in Detroit is that “you have a really nice array of restaurants and markets and a close distance between the restaurant and the farm.” Willerer’s farm also speaks to a complex give and take between local businesses: Just as he provides vegetables to local establishments, some of their food scraps and coffee grounds end up in his compost heap, helping to fertilize the next season’s crops.

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June 30, 2017   Comments Off on How Does an Urban Farmer Work?

Home Grown Food Summit 2017 – Register To Watch For Free

38+ experts share their best secrets for growing all your own food and medicine


Mike Adams
The Coming Antibiotics Apocalypse

Howard Garrett
Planting & Managing Trees
(The Right Way!)

Sally Fallon
Nourishing Fats In Your Diet

Sayer Ji
Nightshades Illuminated

Joel Salatin
Salad Bar Beef

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May 30, 2017   Comments Off on Home Grown Food Summit 2017 – Register To Watch For Free

No Dig Organic Home & Garden

New Book: Charles is a pioneer of organic and no dig growing since 1983, creating and cropping four market gardens, the largest of seven acres.

By Charles Dowding & Stephanie Hafferty
Permanent Publications
May/June 2017

They describe how to:

make compost and enrich soil
learn skills you need to sow and grow annual and perennial veg
harvest and prepare food year round
make natural cosmetics, cleaning products and garden preparations

These approaches work as well in small spaces as in large gardens. The Authors’ combined experience gives you ways of growing, preparing and storing the plants you grow for many uses, including delicious vegetable feasts and many recipes and ideas for increasing self reliance, saving money, living sustainably and enjoying the pleasure of growing your own food, year round.

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May 1, 2017   Comments Off on No Dig Organic Home & Garden

Farm Your Yard: Lessons learned by the Director of Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture

Carrie Hargrove shares her hard-earned wisdom about starting a garden. Farm Your yard is a regular segment on KBIA’s Thinking out Loud.

Carrie Hargrove: Something else that was hard for me to deal with in my early days of gardening was this concept of patience. I was really hard for me to accept that you can plant a seed in the ground, and it could take a week or more for anything visible to happen.

By Trevor Harris
Mar 2, 2017


The big reason I was intimidated was because reading all of those gardening books did clarify some things for me, but really was just too much information for me to absorb which led to the unfortunate outcome of me becoming possibly even more confused than I was before. The problem, which I only understand now in hindsight, is that I was making it too big in my head. I should have just dove in and been open to any mistakes that I was bound to make and learn from them.

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March 9, 2017   Comments Off on Farm Your Yard: Lessons learned by the Director of Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture

Two of Martha Stewart’s Favourite Garden Gadgets

10 gallon Compost Tea Brewer from Rittenhouse.

Compost Tea Brewers and and an Indoor Seed Starter

Excerpts from Wall Street Journal Jan 22, 2017

“One of the healthiest ways to feed your plants is to make compost tea, a combination of compost and water that’s heated to a certain temperature and brewed like regular tea. It doesn’t smell. I use the Rittenhouse Compost Tea Brewer. I have the 10- and 25-gallon systems, but they come in small sizes, too, so you can use one even if you only have a porch full of plants.”

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February 2, 2017   Comments Off on Two of Martha Stewart’s Favourite Garden Gadgets

Many Urban Farmers Use Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Portion of large infographic. See complete graphic here.


By PartSelect
Oct 2016

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a concept that gained traction in the US in the 1990s, and has grown exponentially in popularity in the last few years. The concept of a CSA is beneficial on many levels, both for farms and for consumers. In a nutshell, CSA works to offer shares to members of their communities for a (usually quite reasonable) set price. In return, the customer receives a box of fresh, seasonal produce at regular intervals, usually weekly or monthly.

This arrangement is beneficial to farmers who work in an industry where it is normal for fluctuations in their business to occur. It gives farmers a baseline of support throughout the year, and can help them with cash flow ahead of their usual harvest.

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January 20, 2017   Comments Off on Many Urban Farmers Use Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Sunken greenhouse pushes envelope in Minneapolis

Greg Strong emerges from inside a Walipini, an underground greenhouse, in Minneapolis. Leila Navidi, Star Tribune

In October, the city gave Lawton 10 days to remove the walipini. But she and her fellow volunteers weren’t ready to pull the plug on their experiment.

By Kim Palmer
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
December 18, 2016


Underneath a mound of earth in a small northeastern Minneapolis backyard something groundbreaking is happening: Food is growing in the dead of winter.

“It’s so hot in here that the tomatoes are out of control,” said Greg Strong, one of several volunteers who tend the experimental garden. They call it a walipini — a Bolivian word for a solar-heated greenhouse with earthen walls.

It sits in the backyard of Sarah Lawton, pastor of the nearby Northeast United Methodist Church, where volunteers also tend a large community garden on the church’s front yard.

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December 18, 2016   Comments Off on Sunken greenhouse pushes envelope in Minneapolis

Wales: This Gardener Regularly Grows 100-Pound Vegetables

Phillip who is one of 13 children, cultivated his green-fingered wizardry in the family garden.

From Great Big Stories
and Wales Online – David Owens
(Must see. Mike)

Growing up in a family of 13, Phillip Vowles learned to appreciate the effort it took to feed all his brothers and sisters. So when he started harvesting his own crop, he decided to supersize his venture. As Phillip says, “big vegetables feed big families.” Today, his giant veggies top-out at over 100 pounds and can feed more than just a few families.

“I’m retired now but I spent a life in farming after leaving school,” he said. “I was made redundant and then became a self-employed gardener, so you could say it’s in my blood.”

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December 5, 2016   Comments Off on Wales: This Gardener Regularly Grows 100-Pound Vegetables