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A nod to the meat-eaters amongst us:
If you live in the city and can’t seem to make it down to the farmer’s market on the weekends, fear not. Fresh, organic veggies can be as close as your windowsill. A low maintenance “no dig garden” can be planted on a rooftop, a large windowsill, or even a windowbox. The garden literally composts the materials while feeding the plants. Find all the details you need to get started right here.
Green Truck serves healthy, gourmet organic food to Los Angeleans. Their mobile catering trucks run off of vegetable oil and all of their food packaging containers are made from biodegradable products rather than plastics and Styrofoam. Vrooom and yum.
We know organic farming can help reduce the impact on our environment, but we never imagined it could fight crime as well. Alemany Farm is a four-acre organic paradise amidst the urban sprawl of one of San Francisco’s worst crime areas. Executive Director Alice Carruthers says her vision with the non-profit “was to slow the crime down.” Since the farm began in 1991, families have been able to put fresh organic food on their tables and find a safe haven from the hostile environment where their children play and learn about the environment. Check out the story at Huffington Post.
According to just about everyone who covers these things, Chelsea Clinton has been meatless for more than a decade. Insiders say that her wedding will be catered vegan-style and feature vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dishes. The same insiders say that beef will also be served but that it will be grass-fed and organic.
Read more: slashfood.com
Advice from the hitchiker board – Don’t Panic, it’s organic!, originally uploaded by ribot
The organic foods movement took a huge blow last year when a team of American researchers reached the conclusion that organic foods were no more nutritious than industrially grown products (of course there was no mention of the damage industrial farming can do to the environment, but that’s beside the point). Unfortunately, many people read those headlines and decided not to spend the extra money for organics. Few are aware that a 4-year, EU study on the benefits of organic foods suggests that some of them, such as fruit, vegetables and milk, are more nutritious than non-organically produced food and may contain higher concentrations of cancer fighting and heart beneficial antioxidants. Get the whole story here.
Dymaxion Sleep is a hammock-like structure created by designers Jane Hutton and Adrian Blackwell. Part of the International Garden Festival at Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens in Quebec, the installation invites visitors to relax while lying above beds of aromatic plants – e.g., lemon geraniums, lavenders, and peppermint. Smile when you breathe in. Smile when you breathe out.
Hat Tip: treehugger.com Photo by the artists.
Airport sleeping compartments (or micro-hotels) are nothing new, but the designers of Dream and Fly have taken the environmentally friendly concept to a whole new level of cool. According to their website: “Inspired by the nature of a womb, this space aims to transmit a feeling of protection in contrast to the movement and agitation of the outside world.” Dreamy.
Sunflower and scarlet flax guerrilla gardening on Stamford Street, originally uploaded by The Guerrilla Gardener
Guerilla gardeners take abandoned or neglected land and create gardens. Some carry out their actions at night. Some don’t. Depends on who owns the land, but if it’s neglected, ownership takes on a different meaning. Right? More about guerilla gardening at guerrillagardening.org.
John Hantz, of the financial services firm Hantz Group, hopes to rejuvenate the city of Detroit by creating the world’s largest urban farm. Hantz Farms – owned, operated and staffed by residents of Detroit – could provide the city with “hundreds of “green” jobs and a generous supply of fresh, local, safe produce for local families and the region in general.” You can read about the project in more detail at hantzfarmsdetroit.
The roof of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, is comprised of two and a half acres of undulating hillocks that help regulate the building’s temperature and filter water runoff. It’s also a habitat for a wide variety of indigenous plants, flowers, butterflies, and birds.
Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the Academy is “the largest public Platinum-rated building in the world (according to LEED standards) and also the world’s greenest museum. To see more, visit calacademy.org.
How’d you like to have your backyard (or your front yard for that matter) qualify as a certified wildlife habitat? Follow a few relatively simple rules and the National Wildlife Federation will take care of it for you. Start by using native and indigenous plants (e.g., cactus gardens in deserty Los Angeles). Fertilize organically, watch water consumption, use all-natural compost, and you’re on your way. For more information, visit http://planetgreen.discovery.com.
Last year, What if: Projects – a art and architecture group in the U.K. – provided inner-city residents with a half-ton bag of soil each on a vacant lot in Hoxton, east London. The “plots of land” were used to grow cucumbers, onions, carrots, herbs, and wild flowers. One resident grew 200 lettuces after paying about $12. Read the rest of the story at metro.co.uk.
Patrick Blanc is a Parisian botanist and inventor of the Vertical Garden which relies on a new way to grow plants without any soil. Vertical gardens can be created on virtually any wall, indoors or outdoors. Watering and fertilization are automatic. Blanc’s gardens can now be found all over the world. A list of his projects (with photographs) can be found on his website, verticalgardenpatrickblanc.com/.
Hat Tip: www.thegrowspot.com
If you’re in or near Washington, D.C. on October 17th and 18th, the White House invites you to visit Michelle Obama’s Kitchen Garden where carrots, peas, beans, lettuce, and other vegetables are harvested for the First Family’s meals and formal dinners. The tour is free but you’ll need tickets (they’ll be handed out on a first-come, first served basis starting at 8 a.m. each day at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion at 15th & E Streets). For more information, click travel.latimes.com.
originally uploaded by candrews
The Bountiful Backyards’ team includes designers, landscapers, artisans, philosophers and educators who create “beautiful, diverse and sustainable edible landscapes for schools, communities, congregations and homeowners.” Among the services they offer: “Unique designs tailored to your needs and resources, from small organic vegetable gardens to food forests and “installation of designs using environmentally regenerative, and as-local-as-possible plants and materials.” They also offer consultancy packages (by the hour) for do-it-yourselfers.
Artist Katie Holten’s Tree Museum is comprised of 100 specially-chosen trees between 138th Street and Mosholu Parkway in the Bronx, each of which has a story to tell if you dial the number at its base. Tree No. 45, a Little Leaf Linden, has a story told by Patricia Foody, a 95-year-old Bronxite, who remembers her dad bringing her for a walk to the Concourse to visit his brother’s tree in just this location—it was one of the original maples, and many of them had plaques for soldiers who had died in World War I.
You can view each of the tree locations here at Google Maps.
Hat Tip: bldgblog.blogspot.com.
uploaded by mkebbe
The High Line was a 1.5-mile-long unused elevated rail structure running through NYC’s lower west side. Today, thanks to community-based group Friends of the High Line and famed architects Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, the amazing public space is being reclaimed and refitted with pathways resembling train tracks, weed-like plants and benches made of wood, concrete and steel. The southern section, from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street, is now open to the public. For details, visit thehighline.org.
Hat Tip: coolhunting.com
Join three urbanites (one American, one Finn, one dog of no fixed nationality), displaced to the Finnish countryside, as they explore the nature around them, attempt to grow their own vegetables on a steep, rocky hill in a northern climate, compost all of their organic waste, forage for mushrooms, berries and other wild foods in the Finnish forest, bake pies, and knit their own socks. Blog at ahousecallednut.com.
Toby Buckland is the main presenter on BBC Gardeners’ World. At Gardeners’ World Live in June, he designed, built and planted The Ethical Garden, made from recycled materials he collected and handcrafted from beaches and the countryside in the West Country where he lives. His garden not only won a coveted RHS Gold Medal but also won Best Show Garden. His creativity and attention to detail was outstanding, demonstrating just how much he cares about his gardening.