Artichoke and Euphorbia in Brooklyn Garden

To me this image says Urban because it combines an ornamental plant, Euphorbia, with an edible plant, Artichoke. It is an example of how, even in a small urban space, we can plant gardens that are both interesting, unique, useful and practical.

Artichoke and Euphorbia Leaves

This is my entry for this week’s photo challenge. It means summer to me because I love mixing edibles in with my flower beds and I find that artichokes look particularly good in a perennial bed. I love the way their leaves are structured. And I love artichokes!

Seaweed For Your Garden

April 16, 2012

TomCorser Seaweed 3

TomCorser Seaweed 3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Martina Fugazzotto, who has a blog entitled farmtina, has a post on her site written by her mom. Apparently her mom knows about some very interesting ways to use seaweed in the garden.

If you go here you will have the chance to be enlightened, as I was, about how to use seaweed to keep down weeds, repel slugs and restore nutrients without adding too much salt to the soil.

The Boxcar Grocer

April 12, 2012

Alison and Alphonzo Cross
Founders of The Boxcar Grocer

In many underprivileged neighborhoods there is an inadequate supply of healthy food. Due to (often mistaken) preconceptions about crime rates, insurance, shoplifting, and vandalism, chain supermarkets are reluctant to open stores in these areas.

As a result, many people who live in these neighborhoods are forced to rely on local corner stores which carry mostly overpriced, unhealthy food.

Sister and brother Alison and Alphonzo Cross are trying to put an end to that in Atlanta with a new venture, The Boxcar Grocer. According to its co-founders, The Boxcar Grocer is “at the intersection of food justice and high concept retail.” In other words, it is testament to the fact that you can have a corner store in an urban area that provides healthy food choices to those with limited transportation options.

The Boxcar Grocer gets much of its produce from growers in and around the city of Atlanta. There is great information, including videos, on the Community page of their web site about some of the farmers they work with.

As the Cross team puts it, “with community support, we will have a thriving model of convenience store retail that successfully unifies the ideals of the larger environmental and food movements with the needs and voices of diverse urban communities such as Castleberry Hill, Mechanicsville and the West End areas of Atlanta.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Find A Place To Compost

April 4, 2012

A picture of compost soil

A picture of compost soil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have stuff to compost but no actual place to compost? Go to FindAComposter.com, enter your location and compost centers will magically appear on your computer screen.

As for keeping the stuff to compost until you get to the compost site you have a couple of options. As we don’t have much counter or under the sink space I put it in a plastic bag in the freezer. But if you have a bigger kitchen there are all kinds of small, kitchen top and under the counter compost pails with charcoal and other kinds of filters that work well.

On Urban Gardens I saw a post about Farrah Sit‘s wonderful hanging planters.

What struck me about these planters is not only their beauty but their dedication to craftsmanship. The planters are made from hand sanded porcelain, the straps are vegetable tan leather, a type pf leather that is strong and smooth, and connected to the planters with a solid brass screw.

Because the planters don’t have drainage holes I suggest filling the bottoms with a few inches of gravel and planting with something that doesn’t mind having slightly damp roots. Mint is a plant that comes to mind. It is very easy to grow, smells great and you can cook with it. Iris versicolor  is another as are various kinds of Wood Sorrel (Oxalis), which is pictured below.

Oxalis acetosella : Oxalis petite oseille, Gy,...

Oxalis acetosella : Oxalis petite oseille, Gy, avril 2004, licence GFDL (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you like these planters you should look at Farrah’s other designs at her web site.

Hoover’s Soular Food

March 29, 2012

Greens and Root Vegetables in a Corner Of Hoover's Garden

In Austin, TX there is a tradition of food trucks. To me they kind of look like a cross between a trailer home, a submarine, and the take out window at a fast food joint. But a lot of brick and mortar restaurants get their start as food trucks and you can get a lot of good food at the trucks.

The general path is to start with a truck and move on to a restaurant. One man, however, went kind of backwards. He had a restaurant and then started a food truck. That man is Hoover Alexander.

After several years of running Hoover’s Cooking, a Tex-Mex restaurant, Hoover began to feel disconnected from the passion he had previously had for cooking. He felt as though he was getting away from his roots; from the way his family had taught him to cook according to the seasons using every part of the animal, fish or vegetable you were cooking with.

In an effort to get himself back on track he planted a garden. It was this garden that led to the idea of opening a food truck serving veggie-centric, locally sourced food.

I recently ate there and the food was terrific. For those of you who live in Austin I highly recommend a trip.

Hoover’s Soular Food is located at:

1110 East. 12th St.

Austin, TX

%d bloggers like this: