Why Thunderstorms and Lightning are good for the garden.

myproductivebackyard

Lush growth after a series of thunderstorms Lush growth after a series of thunderstorms

This summer has been extraordinary in the garden, it is lushest and greenest I have ever seen it in mid-summer.
I usually spend January trying to supplementary irrigating everything because it is so hot and dry.

Not this year. I cannot seem to keep the lawn under control or keep up with the pruning and hedge trimming. The reason is not only because of all the rain we have been getting, but because the rain has come in the form of thunderstorms.

Thunderstorms result in lightning and although lightning is associated with extreme weather, as long as nobody gets hit or a fire isn’t started, lightning is advantageous for the garden.

Have you ever wondered why the garden looks so green after a thunderstorm?
It is because the chemistry happening in the air above us.

As you are probably aware, about 79% of…

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Kitchen Herb Garden – Growing Thyme

Chelsea Hugh Photography

Over the holidays, I participated in a Secret Santa gift exchange, where I was given a box containing three seed packets of different herbs (English Thyme, Italian Oregano and Large Leaf Italian Basil) along with mason jars full of dirt, to plant the seeds in. I was quite excited to have new herbs to add to my collection of growing food.

A couple of days ago, it started to warm up outdoors, so yesterday I planted the Thyme in one of the mason jars. It takes 7-10 days to germinate, according to the packet, so fingers crossed that things go smoothly! One of the benefits of residing in South Florida, is that the weather never stays too cold, even during the winter months. So that is good news for herbs which may not like the cold.

I am pretty excited to obtain more herbs and start an herb garden in my…

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It really is a tiny kitchen…

MY BLOG ~ Sweet Basil's

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A tiny kitchen filled with warmth as well a love for preparing exquisite meals. Friends have often come over and marveled aloud about the great tastes emulating from such a small kitchen. Some have pondered and prayed out loud, “Please God, give her a large kitchen.”  The nuances of my  small, galley-styled kitchen are ever-present in terms of organizing and keeping things handy to focus more on meal preparation rather than a perpetual search for this bowl, pot, dish, etc.  However, it does not impede my ability to produce a fantastic meal. When working in my kitchen, the focus is not on what I don’t have, rather what’s available when entering the “zone,” and above all, that includes a passion to re-imagine love with every meal.

What amazes me about my tiny kitchen is the number of people who have stood in this small, but intimate space, anxiously waiting for…

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The Permaculture Wardrobe

freedomfarmtv

TCP_Permaculture_Wardrobe

Permaculturists frequently speak about the Permaculture Wardrobe. I first heard it from Geoff Lawton, but I am not sure if the concept originated with him. The wardrobe is an idea that describes the knowledge that can be drawn from and the skills that can be applied to a Permaculture project. I have seen the wardrobe in my head for years, and I finally decided to put pen to paper.

If we have a chance of turning things around, everything we do must agree with Permaculture’s Three Ethics engraved at the top of the wardrobe.

I purposely do not have the doors opened all the way. This serves two purposes. First, it provides space for all the information, skills, design methods, etc. that I could never really fit in a drawing (especially that one topic that you think I left out!). Second, for me it represents that there will always be…

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The Many Stripes of Sustainable Agriculture

text meets art

Full article available online here: http://craftsmanship.net/many-stripes-sustainable-agriculture/

The Many Stripes of Sustainable Agriculture from Issue 1, Craftsmanship.net

Was Jared Diamond right to call agriculture the worst mistake of the human race? Ever since industrial techniques were developed in the late 19th century, the earth’s soil, water and air has steadily degraded. It’s often argued that all this damage is simply the price we must pay for agriculture’s rising productivity. Maybe. Maybe not. Whatever the case, it’s become clear that industrial agriculture—even its organic little cousin—is based on a fossil fuel economy that is slowly running out of juice. Which points us to an obvious question: Are any of the other alternatives vying to replace this system ready for prime time? Well, it depends on your budget, and your belief system.

At this point, there are almost as many different camps of “sustainable agriculture” as there are food crops. We have Agro-forestry…

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How to Create a Permaculture Design

Permaculture Hamilton

IFG

Integrated Forest Gardening: The Complete Guide to Polycultures and Plant Guilds in Permaculture Systems is an indispensable book for North American cold climate permies whose land receives a reasonable amount of rainfall. In the video link, below, Geoff Lawton interviews his former student, Daniel Halsey, who is co-author of this excellent guide. Halsey walks us through the artwork sequence of making a permaculture design for a client, which I had never seen taught on-line before. The authors make permaculture design look socially acceptable for an urban or suburban setting. Permaculture designs can look quite messy because many of the beneficial species, such as borage and comfrey, are floppy and weed-like. Either Integrated Forest Gardening or Gaia’s Garden would be suitable low-cost textbooks for teaching Introduction to Permaculture in the Hamilton area. Click the link to view:

How to Create a Permaculture Design.

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