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Coffee CSA: Review

coffee csaPreviously, I blogged about Coffee CSA.  More recently, my family has had the opportunity to try coffee from CoffeeCSA.org.  And what a fantastic experience it has been!    We received a medium roast from farmer Mario Davalos Bustamante of Peru.  The whole bean coffee arrived fresh via USPS Priority Mail.  The coffee is delicious.  We have also served it to various houseguests and everyone has complimented us on what fine coffee we served.

How does Coffee CSA work?

CoffeeCSA.org lets you sign up for coffee shares from coffee farmers. The organization is 100% owned and controlled by the farmers on their website.  ... read more

What's a Green Roof?

A "green roof," simply put, is a roof that has been turned into a garden. Unlike a simple "rooftop garden," where the garden is in containers or only takes up a small patch of the roof, with a green roof, the garden covers the entire roof. The roof gets sealed and covered with a waterproof membrane, something that facilitates vegetation (like soil) is spread and vegetation gets planted. Some people choose to build rooftop ponds to help them treat their grey water. This is another type of green roof.


You know you want one!... read more

Breathe New Life into Lattice Gardens

When you imagine the perfect garden, there's a good chance there's a bit of lattice somewhere in your mind. With its classic overlapping grid structure, lattice is extremely versatile in terms of purpose and appearance and it can be designed to suit any style!

Here are a few suggestions for incorporating lattice into your garden layout no matter the space you have to work with, as well as a simple DIY lattice garden project, plus best practices to keep in mind.

Lots of Lattice Options

Lattice is an excellent choice for so many things due, in large part, to its simplicity. In essence, a lattice is a panel of wood or metal strips made into a grid. Lattice in its natural wood tone provides a wonderfully blended backdrop to highlight whatever you are growing or you can paint the lattice in any color you desire to add a pop to your backyard landscaping!... read more

Urban Farming

The word "farm" often conjures up images of pigpens, silos, and acres of corn, not urban “farmers” living in a city.

Urban farming isn’t new. Ancient Persia had urban farms, and so did Macchu Picchu. However, now with the popularity of green living, urban farming has become more common. The environmental benefits of urban farming are numerous. Cities are often the most environmentally-friendly places to live, with public transportation and being able to walk everywhere. If you can grow your own food, it just adds to the “greenness.”

One hurdle when it comes to urban farming is space. Here are some ways around that:... read more

Greener Homes and Gardens

greener gardenThe perfect hybrid of green, healthy and beautiful are qualities that we should look for in our day-to-day lives. Providing a lovely living space while nurturing our families and helping them grow is the formula for a good life. Sadly, not everything is made of sunshine and daisies, and the water you drink and the veggies you eat, might not be as pure as you think. According to the EPA, there are pesticides used on your food can have negative effects on your health and the environment. Although the use of pesticides have been reduced since 2007, the EPA uses close to a billion pounds per year of commercial pesticides on crops in the U.S.

Pesticide manufacturing plants have even been known to make the National Priorities List (NPL), a list of places labeled extremely toxic by the EPA. To help in the  reduction of toxic sites, there are remediation companies, like Sevenson Environmental, that can restore valuable plots of land.

A Bounty In Your Kitchen

If you don't have a yard, or you'd like to keep gardening during cold winter months, there are plenty of kitchen or spare-room friendly gardening options for you. You've probably seen the infomercial for the Topsy Turvy Tomato grower, which can be grown indoors and found online for less than ten dollars. The same company also makes a Topsy Turvy Strawberry grower that can hang from just about anywhere. For the devoted kitchen gardener, Urban Farmer makes a mushroom growing kit for less than 30 dollars. You can grow up to two pounds of fresh mushrooms in as little as ten days.... read more

Signs of Spring: Varieties of Japanese Flowering Cherry Trees

One of the most breathtaking signs that spring has sprung are the flourishing cherry blossoms. Differing from the fruit-bearing cherry trees that most of us are familiar with, ornamental cherry trees, like the Japanese Flowering Cherry are cherished for their beautiful pink or white blossoms. They are usually in full bloom in late March and early April.

Like snowflakes, no two flowering seasons are ever alike. Cherry trees blossom every year, but they might not produce the same amount of flowers as in years past– which depends on the type of winter we have.... read more

Make Your Yard Beautiful the Ecofriendly Way

Having a beautiful yard does not mean that you have to sacrifice the environment. There are many ways to keep up your yard and garden without resorting to pesticides and fertilizers that can harm the Earth. Here are a few tips for ecofriendly gardening:

  1. Choose Native Plants – Choosing native plants for your yard is good in many respects. For one it reduces your need to water as those plants are already familiar with the natural weather systems in your area. It also helps to encourage wildlife like birds and butterflies to visit your yard. Native plants provide an important part of the ecology in your area and do not take over like artificially introduced plants can.... read more

Five Gentle and Effective Ways to Get Rid of Garden Pests

Are insects eating more of your garden veggies than you? Before you start dousing your plants with industrial strength insecticide, consider what you might be introducing to your garden soil and, eventually, your stomach.

Originally developed as neurotoxins during World War II, organophosphate insecticides were first used commercially and residentially in the late 1930s. Since then, the use of many of these insecticides, such as DDT, has either been banned or heavily restricted due to its toxicity in creatures such as in fish and birds. As these were eaten by the next animal up in the food chain, the toxicity levels would increase until it started to reach levels that could potentially harm humans. This toxicity scare quickly brought the issue of finding safe yet effective insecticides to the forefront and commercial and hobby gardeners alike have since been experimenting with both new and age-old approaches to insect elimination.... read more

Farmigo: An online farmer's market

Yesterday Farmigo announced that it has launched the first ever online farmer’s market!  

The online farmer's market is designed to connect communities such as workplaces, schools, or community centers to local farms.  This will help them provide a personalized online farmer's market allowing people to purchase local, fresh food. The first food communities are starting off in San Francisco and New York.  Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Chicago, and Philadelphia will be rolling out soon. 

“At Farmigo, we envision a community-oriented food system in which people and farmers in the same geographic region are connected, and everyone has access to fresh-from-harvest food,” said Farmigo founder and chief executive officer, Benzi Ronen. “The Internet has been collapsing supply chains and rewriting conventional business models for nearly two decades, but until now it has had limited impact on the food industry, which is ripe for change. There has never been a better time to disrupt the status quo and Farmigo is poised to fundamentally change the way food is purchased and distributed.”... read more

Keep your gardening techniques green


green gardening ideasNow more than ever, we are aware of eco-friendly ways to look after our homes; from recycling our waste efficiently, to choosing cleaning products with a minimum amount of chemicals. However, eco-friendly gardening methods are arguably not as well known. Eco-friendly gardening takes a little bit more effort than traditional gardening, however the payoff is worth it as you are not only helping your garden to prosper; you are helping the environment. Here are some simple tips to get you started. 

Eco-Friendly Soil 

Many people don’t realize that traditional commercial soil is made from a non-renewable resource. Peat is the main component of this sort of soil, but it is only grown in certain parts of the world and once it has been harvested it is extremely difficult to grow back. Peat has been harvested so much because not only it is a great material for cultivating plants; it’s also used as a source of energy. However, for your garden there alternative prod
ucts you can use to help your plants grow. Coconut coir is a natural byproduct of the coconut industry and it currently isn’t used as a fuel or food so there is an abundance of it. It promotes plant health and will prevent the coir from being wasted. Next time you’re looking for soil or fertilizer for your garden, see what alternatives are available for you go straight for the traditional products.                                                 ... read more

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