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message 1: by Clare (last edited Jul 28, 2018 02:36AM) (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
Growing plants in straw bales is becoming popular. If you buy the straw from an organic farm, you can be sure it is an organic way to raise your crops. You raise only as much as you need at a time, and the spent straw makes a good mulch. Be prepared to do a lot of watering, so you might want to capture rain from the roof.

Here is a very helpful book, the location is North America but it can easily be adapted.
Growing Vegetables in Straw Bales: Easy Planting, Less Weeding, Early Harvests. A Storey BASICS® Title
Growing Vegetables in Straw Bales Easy Planting, Less Weeding, Early Harvests. A Storey BASICS® Title by Craig Lehoullier

message 2: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
Today, just making the time and space to grow your own food for the year is the alternative.
Here is an excellently written book about how a family did just that; recipes are included, as well as a look at modern agriculture and food production.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

message 3: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
Of course you can always forage for food, especially at this time of year. The Fruit Forager's Companion: Ferments, Desserts, Main Dishes, and More from Your Neighborhood and Beyond
The Fruit Forager's Companion Ferments, Desserts, Main Dishes, and More from Your Neighborhood and Beyond by Sara Bir
This is a gorgeous book which will send you out with a basket on a tour of exploration.

message 4: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
Here are a couple of books about traditional farming written by the people who carried it out. These were mixed farms and the manure was used to fertilise the fields. In one case the land was owned by a great house so flowers and fruit were very important.

The Days of the Servant Boy
The Days of the Servant Boy by Liam O'Donnell

Apricot Village

message 5: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
Using ground-up ghost peppers to protect seeds from mice. The seed is not harmed and neither is the environment as it's only natural capsaicin.

message 6: by Clare (last edited Feb 02, 2019 04:54AM) (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
Foraging for ramsons, wild garlic leaves, in Wales. This writer makes them into pesto and recommends other leaves and a book.

Denis Cotter, Wild Garlic,Gooseberries… and Me: A Chef’s Stories and Recipes from the Land, (Collins, 2007).

message 7: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
I read about brown seaweed recently and have been adding an eighth of a teaspoon of powdered seaweed to my porridge each morning. I feel it is doing me a lot of good. Seaweed contains iodine which is needed for a healthy thyroid. My jar is an organic brand from the island of Jersey.

Japanese food such as sushi often comes with seaweed but this is a low-iodine version so it is safe to eat a lot. You don't overdo iodine.

message 8: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
Indoor farming can be organic and in one case, the farm draws its water from the air instead of the city water supply. City indoor farming is taking off in a big way for salad greens and this look at Chicago shows how smart it is to supply the big market. 820 urban farms, some of them on top of factories.

message 9: by Brian (new)

Brian Burt | 449 comments Mod
I work for a food service company, and we just announced a partnership with a very cool startup called Square Roots. It's all about indoor vertical farming in urban areas to, at least in part, mitigate the problem of food deserts. Love their mission!

message 10: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
Wonderful! Thanks for the photo.

message 11: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
I found a great channel on YouTube about natural growing, thanks to my husband Allan sending me a link.
This video is all about spreading ash from fires and barbecues on your vegetable garden. Including which plants do not like ash.

message 12: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod

Live for a year on what you can grow or forage...

message 13: by Clare (last edited Dec 24, 2019 03:25AM) (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
Gizmodo asked a few experts what was the healthiest food. All recommended eating more and a variety of fruits and vegetables, and one expert tells you how to make your lawn an organic garden.

Also: " Researchers in Colorado found that planting food next to sidewalks and on front yards, strengthens neighborhoods, cuts down on crime, and builds what is calls “collective efficacy.” "

Here is the research article on the gardens.

message 14: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy | 1612 comments Mod
I once knew someone who turned her front lawn into a corn field. I love that idea.

message 15: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
Smart greenhouses - if you don't put in chemicals there won't be any, and you can apparently grow enormous quantities of food.

message 16: by Clare (last edited Apr 17, 2020 06:39AM) (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
A new Pdf is available from Ireland's EPA, giving easy-to-follow info about gardening without chemicals.
Among their advice is to choose varieties and species which are not prey to slugs, suit your soil type and so on. Composting, pest control, weed control and watering are included.

message 17: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 2192 comments Slugs are easy to get rid of. Just put a small cup or two of beer out in the garden. They will pile into it and drown.

message 18: by Clare (last edited Jul 09, 2020 06:10AM) (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
Green roof farming.
This may be the only connection some city kids have with nature.

message 19: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
Make Use Of shares a list of five gardening websites and apps.

message 20: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
Thanks to the Royal Dublin Society for this:

"The McCormack Family Farm journey from a one-acre garden to a multi-million-euro vegetable farm is a remarkable success story. Edward McCormack started the business in 1984 by growing vegetables in a neighbour’s one-acre garden to sell to restaurants, and over the years the farm has grown in size to 250 hectares. In late 1990s Edward and his son Stephen, who now manages the farm, decided to pivot the business, moving away from low-margin vegetables such as potatoes and carrots in favour of higher value herbs and salad leaves such as rocket and spinach. The father and son team realised that most products in this category were imported and they strongly believed in delivering a quality Irish product to the market.

McCormack Family Farms continue to develop new product lines and supply many of the leading retailers in both Ireland and the UK. They have established a strong brand that is recognised by both customers and retailers for delivering high quality baby leaf salads, herbs, edible flowers, and microgreens. The McCormack’s have noticed a strong growth in demand for their products in recent years and currently produce approximately 50 tonnes of baby leaf, and 10 tonnes of herbs, each week making them one of the largest producers in the country. The farm is an important employer in the local area with 110 full times staff and up to 150 employed in peak season.

The McCormacks are also involved in many community and education initiatives. They host several farm tours each year, for everyone from local school students to international young farmers eager to learn from their success. Stephen McCormack and his team also support the Meath Feeding Homeless programme, which is very close to their hearts."

message 21: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
Quite an alternative - applying science to the work of making deserts fertile.
Sand grains are coated with a tiny layer of standard clay, so they can absorb water and stick together in a layer where plants can develop roots.

Good side if this is done cost-effectively would of course be that people in (increasingly) arid lands could grow more crops and provide their own food. The greenery would shade the land, provide humus to enrich the new soil and grazing, and would help absorb sunlight and carbon both.

Bad side would be that Earth's population would increase as it did during the green revolution of the 1960s. The human population will increase to match the food available.

message 22: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
The World's biggest rooftop greenhouse is in Canada, where it uses previously unused rooftop space on a warehouse.

And it's an organic vegetable farm.

""The advantage of being on a roof is that you recover a lot of energy from the bottom of the building," allowing considerable savings in heating, an asset during the harsh Quebec winter, he explains.

"We also put to use spaces that were until now completely unused," he said.

Fully automated, the new greenhouse also has a water system that collects and reuses rainwater, resulting in savings of "up to 90 percent" compared to a traditional farm.

Lufa "more than doubled" its sales during the new coronavirus pandemic, a jump attributable "to contactless delivery from our online site," says Sorret."

message 23: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
Author and archaeologist Francis Pryor
Francis Pryor tells us how he and his wife opened their garden to visitors this year, despite the ongoing restrictions.
As he lives in fenland, he explains about drainage and other situations.

Flag Fen A Concise Archæoguide by Francis Pryor The Making of the British Landscape How We Have Transformed the Land, from Prehistory to Today by Francis Pryor The Fens Discovering England's Ancient Depths by Francis Pryor

message 24: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
I found a new List about books on microgreens. There's a wide variety of books and authors.

message 25: by Aaron (new)

Aaron Lugo | 2 comments Hi, someone can help me with a book about biochemistry in the soil in relation with the plants, I need to know how the plant gets the nutrientes and absolutely everything that have relation with it. Please group!

message 26: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
Hi Aaron,
this is the first one to come up on Google. From China.


If your college works with Jstor you can just sign in.

An article that covers the basics

You can also find decent articles on Wikipedia and look at the references to see where they are getting the information.

I don't have any books to recommend personally. But there is far more on line now than previously.

message 27: by Aaron (new)

Aaron Lugo | 2 comments Thanks, its a pleasure to receive an answer for you Clare, greetings from México, im doing master in sustainable organic agriculture!

message 28: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6619 comments Mod
Glad you are with us, Aaron, and wishing you every success.

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