“Gardening practices alone won’t solve global warming, but they can move us in the right direction, just like installing super efficient light bulbs and using reusable bags,” said Karen Perry Stillerman, a DC-based senior analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists Food and Environment Program, which released the guide.
Tips include avoiding chemicals and motorized equipment, planting trees and shrubs so they shade your house and block wind, minimizing fertilizer and water use on your lawn, composting, and planting winter crops.
If you’ve ever had a tomato or zucchini plant gone wild, you might appreciate this.
Soon, an area farmers market may carry produce from folks who farm in their own backyards. The Maryland Organic Backyard Initiative (MOBI) wants to create community farmers markets that lets people who have organic gardens trade with each other.
Tonight and for the next two Thursdays at 7:30 at Crossings in Silver Spring, MOBI will hold classes where organic backyard farmers or wanna-bes can meet and learn how to grow, eat and trade delicious, organic, fresh, locally grown produce.
An area filmmaker is now editing a documentary on seven community gardens in DC — and the people who tend, love, and learn from them.
The film will explore the role of these gardens not only as sources of fresh, nutritious food, but as outdoor classrooms, places of healing, centers of social interaction, and oases of beauty and calm in inner-city neighborhoods.
This here is Pickles, a green and very talkative rose-ringed parakeet last seen in a tree in the Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle. Pickles’ owner Scott likes to take the bird on his shoulder, pirate-style, for walks around the National Mall on weekends, and on nice days, perch Pickles on tree branches in the Gardens to let him get some nature.
This praying mantis was sitting on the railing of my deck as I was coming in from picking peppers in my garden. What a nice surprise, I thought. I have always associated mantids with good fortune. As I looked closer, I noticed that this one had an engorged abdomen and appeared to be ready to birth a giant-ass egg sack.
I can’t wait until next spring, when the little ones appear and eat all the other insects and spiders. Maybe that’s weird for a vegetarian to admit, but it’s true. This is one of those things that gives me hope about the coming autumn and winter.
Even though things wither and die as the days grow colder, like the poor little unwed mother praying mantis, I know that in that egg sack little critters are quietly awaiting the spring and will slowly mature until they burst forth to eat all the darned spiders, who are probably just as fertile and ready to lay eggs right now.
Whatever gives us the hope it takes to push through the cold weather and emerge on the other side of the cold is worth latching onto. For me, it’s the arrival of mantis season and the hope of no spiders.
I know the season has not quite changed yet, but to me it’s already autumn. The garden has stopped producing, and it was a bum crop anyway this year. Pretty much all I got were some freaky cucumbers (another example here) and a handful of tomatoes that started to grow and then got stolen by some animals who apparently loved my garden as much as I had hoped to.
On the bright side, I was able to get some rosemary well entrenched in place of a dead shrub and with luck my grapes will really take off next year. They say the third year is the magic one, so I hope to have a better report then. The roses did very well in their first year and should winter well in our mild climate.
It’s about time to slow down, pour a glass of wine and make a toast to the passing of summer and the coming of autumn. Who knows – next year at this time we may be celebrating a bumper crop of whatever I plant and snacking on grapes, whose perfume will waft gently on the cool evening air with the promise of a late, delicious harvest.
What culinary delights are you still enjoying from your garden?