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Category — How to

Edible Perennial Gardening: Growing Successful Polycultures in Small Spaces


By Anni Kelsey
Permanent Publications
April 15, 2014

Excerpt from review by Rory Prendergast in Permaculture UK:

Anni Kelsey’s first book Edible Perennial Gardening is receiving great reviews from some eminent people such as permaculture author, Patrick Whitefield, Agroforestry Research Trust founder, Martin Crawford and the edible forest gardener, Eric Toensmeier. Their feedback is in advance of the book’s launch at the Edible Garden Show (28th-30th March) in London where the author will be speaking. The book details the many ways to grow perennials in low-maintenance polycultures, an ideal method for small urban or rural gardeners to grow year round delicious, unusual edibles that look beautiful too.

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April 1, 2014   Comments Off

The How-to-Guide for Aspiring Urban Micro-Agricultural Entrepreneurs


A free download

By Laura Thornton
Sustainable Urban Development
Published: 2012, Pages: 25

The How-to-Guide for Aspiring Urban Micro-Agricultural Entrepreneurs was created by Sustainable Urban Development for residents of West Philadelphia who want to increase their access to fresh, healthy and affordable food. The guide equips anyone interested in urban farming with the information they need to reclaim vacant lots in the city and build a for-profit urban farm.

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March 28, 2014   Comments Off

Say it with a heart-shaped tomato this Valentine’s Day!

Love is… a heart-shaped tomato. The moulds are being sold by Suttons Seeds in Devon.

Grow heart-shaped veggies for your lover as romantic moulds go on sale

By Deborah Arthurs
Daily Mail
Feb 10, 2014


People can now buy their weight-watching partners a healthy alternative to Valentine’s Day chocolates – heart shaped vegetable moulds.

The quirky contraption can slot over a variety of crops while they are on the stalk and makes them grow into the novel shape.

It can be used on many fruits and vegetables including cucumbers, tomatoes, squashes, lemons, mandarins, oranges, aubergines, and courgettes.

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February 13, 2014   Comments Off

One acre, 43,560 sq. ft., $43,560, a project at Virginia State University

Clif Slade answers questions while participants look at crop varieties at the $43,560 demonstration plot. (Image from VABF)

“It’s all following the field of urban agriculture. Farmers now are retired people coming back to land left to their families, retired engineers, or may live in an urban area and just want to help communities.” (Huff Post article)

Excerpt from Farm Bureau, Virginia

The 43,560 Initiative, a project at Virginia State University, seeks to illustrate ways to farm a small amount of land for a big payoff.

“There’s 43,560 square feet in an acre. Our objective is to gross that much from one acre. There have been books written about it, and we’re attempting a demonstration to see if you can do it. We’re trying to make a dollar per square foot, and you would net about half of that,” said William Crutchfield, field coordinator for VSU’s Small Farm Outreach Program.

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February 7, 2014   Comments Off

The Market Gardener


A Successful Grower’s Handbook for Small-Scale Organic Farming

By Jean-Martin Fortier
New Society Publishers
March 2014

Les Jardins de la Grelinette is a micro-farm located in Eastern Quebec, just north of the American border. Growing on just 1.5 acres, owners Jean-Martin and Maude-Helene feed more than 200 families through their thriving CSA and seasonal market stands and supply their signature mesclun salad mix to dozens of local establishments. The secret of their success is the low-tech, high-yield production methods they’ve developed by focusing on growing better rather than growing bigger, making their operation more lucrative and viable in the process.

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February 3, 2014   Comments Off

The Backyard Homestead Book of Building Projects


76 Useful Things You Can Build to Create Customized Working Spaces and Storage Facilities, Equip the Garden, Store the Harvest, House Your Animals, and Make Practical Outdoor Furniture

By Spike Carlsen
Storey Publishing
2014 – coming in April

Homesteaders, gardeners, small farmers, and outdoor living enthusiasts will love these 76 DIY projects for practical outdoor items designed to help you live more sustainably and independently. Expert woodworker Spike Carlsen offers clear, simple, fully illustrated instructions for everything from plant supports and a clothesline to a potting bench, a chicken coop, a hoop greenhouse, a cold frame, a beehive, a root cellar with storage bins, and an outdoor shower. Most of the projects are suitable for complete novices, and all use just basic tools and standard building materials.

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January 24, 2014   Comments Off

Handbook For Home Gardening In Cambodia

cambhome garden

The Complete Manual For Vegetable And Fruit Production

Editorial Team:
Aminuzzaman Talukder (Writer/Editor)
Dora Panagides (Editor)
Hou Kroeun (Editor)
Regina Moench-Pfanner, M.Sc., Ph.D. (Editor) Saskia de Pee, Ph.D. (Editor)
Martin W. Bloem, M.D., Ph.D. (Editor)
2003 Helen Keller Worldwide – 112 pages


Foreword by Dora Panagides and Aminuzzaman Talukder

Homestead food production is a long-term, food-based strategy for combating micronutrient deficiencies, particularly vitamin A deficiency. A large proportion of people affected by micronutrient deficiencies can be found among the poor and marginalized populations of the developing world. The high cost of most micronutrient-rich foods available in consumer markets can limit their consumption in such populations. More than a third of Cambodians are living below the poverty level and many households face chronic food insecurity.

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December 24, 2013   Comments Off

New Minnesota school garden guide released


Colorful 268-page guide features 31 K-12 lessons linked to the state’s academic standards

The Associated Press
Minnesota School Gardens
Developed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture in the Classroom Program – Fall 2013
272 pages – free guide is available online
(Must read. Mike)

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Minnesota teachers have a new resource for planning, planting and harvesting gardens with their students.

Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom has published a guide for school gardens. The colorful 268-page guide features 31 K-12 lessons linked to the state’s academic standards in science, social studies, language arts, health and math.

The state agriculture department, which helped develop the guide, says it’s bursting with delicious ideas to build connections between the classroom, the school garden and the cafeteria.

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December 17, 2013   Comments Off

Accessible Edibles – Vertical Grow Bags


In Britain one plastic bag, compost and seed planted with Tumbling Tomatoes will cost approximately £0.47 per bag. The average bag will produce 2.5Kg of tomatoes in one season.

By Mike Tomkinson
Rotary Club of Rochdale England
Dec 6, 2013

From an email:

For the last four years our Rotary Club in the U.K. has been developing ‘UrbanFarm’, a very simple method of growing vegetables and fruit in vertically hung bags. We originally designed it for use in arid climates as it uses only tiny amounts of water however it works well anywhere regardless of water availability. We’ve carried out project trials in England, Kenya and Bangladesh with great results as virtually the only cost is the price of a seed which can often be had for free from development agencies.

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December 11, 2013   Comments Off

Edible hedges: grow a vertical allotment

Use young seedlings to start off your hedge. Photo by Jason Ingram.

Hedges can be a vertical allotment, a linear orchard of hips, herbs, nuts, edible flowers and leaves, fruit and spices

By Mark Diacono
The Telegraph
22 Nov 2013


The smaller oriental quince (Chaenomeles sp) provide plenty of fruit that take to regular quince recipes perfectly. Not everyone has room for a quince tree, but a hedge that includes ‘Crimson and Gold’ or ‘Salmon Horizon’ are as flavoursome as they are fruitful. Try a few of the fruits zapped in a blender, passed through a sieve, sweetened with honey and diluted to taste.

Their smell when ripening – they’re picked when still hard in autumn and brought indoors to ripen – is even spicier than regular quince.

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December 6, 2013   Comments Off

The Art of Simple Food II: Recipes, Flavor, and Inspiration from the New Kitchen Garden


“Every time I see them measuring the vegetable beds for their math class, or harvesting ancient grains out in the garden for a history class, or stealing a taste of a ripe mulberry, I am reminded that there is nothing more transformational than the experience of being in nature.”

By Alice Waters
Clarkson Potter Publisher
Oct 29, 2013
448 Pages


I started my kitchen garden because I was longing for mesclun, that very particular French salad made of distinctive sweet and bitter greens and herbs. I had been daunted by the thought of growing food, but then, driven by desire for that flavour from Nice, I turned my backyard into a salad garden for the restaurant. My success surprised and delighted me. I was so excited to have my yard filled with lettuces I loved.

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November 30, 2013   Comments Off

‘Oya’ – A terra cotta water saving device for gardens

Terra cora vessels to water plants

By Josh and Kenny of Growoya
Fall 2013

Excerpts from their Indiegogo page:

The Oya is a locally made terra cotta vessel that is used to water plants. It is fired at a temperature that allows it to remain porous; therefore, when the surrounding earth is dry, more water seeps out. This means your plants are receiving the exact amount of water they need, which leads to healthier plants and bigger yields. No surface watering means saving water and less weeding. It also means you only have to water every 7-10 days. Vacations just got easier.

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November 21, 2013   Comments Off

Sustainable Financing and Urban Agriculture


Urban agriculture Magazine No. 26

Oct 2013


Sustainable financing can be viewed from two perspectives. According to the first, an adequate mix of public and private financing, and significant reliance on local finance options, for any activity is necessary to avoid dependency on external funding (often project related). The second perspective relates to the purpose of the investment, focusing here on value chains in the sanitation and (peri)urban agricultural (UPA) sectors.

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November 14, 2013   Comments Off

Les Micro-Jardins du Sénégal


An illustrated manual

Organisation Des Nations Unies Pour L’alimentation Et L’agriculture
Rome, Décembre 2010
42 pages – in French


Avant Propos

Les micro-jardins sont de petits jardins adaptés aux villes et en particulier aux quartiers avec une haute densité de population sans espace autour des habitations. Les micro-jardins permettent aux familles à faibles revenus de produire à la maison des légumes et divers condiments pour enrichir le repas en vitamines et oligo- éléments essentiels pour la santé. La technologie des micro-jardins est simple et peu coûteuse et tout le monde peut cultiver les micro-jardins car ils ne requièrent que peu d’efforts physiques. Les micro-jardins fonctionnent en cycle fermé et permettent ainsi d’économiser l’eau d’irrigation et les engrais.

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October 22, 2013   Comments Off

Urban farming practices developed in France in 1850 still are used in cities today


The success of the gardeners of France, from the late 1600’s through the early 1900’s, established urban gardening practices that endure into the 21st century.

By Randy Bell
Michigan State University Extension
June 20, 2013


Hoop houses (also known as high tunnels) are modernized versions of the cold frame devices used in France in the 19th century. Cornell University and the Regional Farm and Food project published, “High Tunnels,” a useful resource guide for hoop houses. It says, “High tunnels are inexpensive, passive solar structures designed to extend the growing season and intensify production. By protecting crops from potentially damaging weather conditions (frost, temperature fluctuations, precipitation, wind, or excess moisture that delays planting or cultivation), high tunnels also reduce risk and enhance the quality of the harvest.”

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July 27, 2013   Comments Off