My Big Garden Blog

compost bin in winter

 

 

 

 

 

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 2/18/14

compressed icicles

I love the snow, I really do.  And shoveling isn’t SO bad really.  And since I do have kids, the compulsory sledding, skiing, making snow angels is actually fun if I wear the right kind of mittens and boots.  And of course, snowflakes and a new blanket of snow are beautiful – I still stop and stand head up in a snowstorm, trying to catch a few flakes on my tongue.  Okay, driving in snow storms….well, is character building and certainly hair raising – and since I have a long commute to and from work every day, I’m now a real character.

But, truthfully, after a while of it all, enough is enough: especially this year, with the now trendy term ‘arctic blast’.   Even as I write this, wrapped in sweaters in my apartment, I am watching a cold windy north wind toss another 6 inches of snow to the ground.  I wouldn’t mind so much if I didn’t have to go out in it.

So, the other day I was both surprised and excited when it occurred to me that I should be starting my seeds indoors…like now!   When I realized that, it felt like a weight was lifted off me, and I could see the proverbial ‘light’ at the end of the dark tunnel of winter.  Spring is in sight!  Winter will end soon!  I can count the days until April 1st, which I personally think of as the official end of ‘hardcore’ winter in Chicago.

And, at the same time I thought “I’m not ready!”   All the seed packets, labels and miscellaneous notes from last year’s garden, were still crammed in a bag, stuffed in a bookcase.  Last fall, I imagined myself in perhaps December, snug and warm on my couch, going over seed books while a snow storm ensued out my windows. I’d make plans, drawings, lists of seeds to try, lists of seeds to never try again, and generally clean out my ‘gardening bag’ for a fresh start in the spring.  But of course, out of sight out of mind…none of that happened.  The bag is untouched.

Compost bin in winter

Compost bin in winter

It’s not like I don’t know why either.  In the spring I start out bold, ready to try new things, and imagining the bounty I’d reap in the fall, swearing that this year I’ll be smarter, more efficient with my plantings.    I start my little seedlings, diligently water them, talk to them, mother them and monitor their grown centimeter by centimeter.  Planting time comes, and there’s the hard work of getting the soil ready, and the realization (again) that it’s going to be harder than I remember, and I’m not getting any younger.  Then it’s the planting, the worry about watering, or too much water, animals, insects, plant disease, and whatever else is preying on the crops.  And then the incessant weeding, and general heavy duty toiling in the 90 degree heat….some days I look at the garden and wonder if going out there will be detrimental to my health – I’ve never had a summer without a sore back, a bit of heat stroke and dirt stained blistered fingers. When the crops start to finally roll in (I say that with exaggeration), it is either a gleeful or regretful experience.  I always think about what I could have done better.  Or, I’m freaking out “What are we going to do with all these tomatoes!”  Finally, when the work in the garden is done, the work in the kitchen begins: canning, freezing, roasting, pickling, and whatever else needs to be done so nothing gets wasted.

Back to February in Chicago….and what’s germinating in my mind now …. Is seeds.  Sorry, couldn’t help the pun.

 

8/7/13 

It’s past mid-summer and I am already totally up my regrets of the season…..started seeds too late, planted too late, should have kept better track of beds and on an on.  On the other hand, the cucumbers and zucchini is plentiful this year (isn’t there usually one thing that makes it all worth while?) and the tomato plants are coming along nicely.   I’m also happy to say I’ve met a personal goal of growing potatoes: last years crop AND this years crop are ready, (never mind that the last year’s potatoes decided to emerge in the middle of the beans). 

The fruit trees (apple, cherry), are fighting for their lives, as usual.  They are constantly either battling the japanese beetles, or getting munched on by the deer.  We had one single cherry this year;  we marched it  into the house and carefully savoured it for all of 2 minutes – it was very good by the way.  We joked that the whole crop came and went in a matter of minutes.  My greatest joy has been that the Bounce sheets really do keep the deer away, at least until their scent dissapears (tip of the day: hang Bounce dryer sheets off several branches of your fruit tree to keep deer away.  They apparently don’t like the scent).  I’ve also been spraying every 2 weeks with Neem Oil, but I probably could spray every week.    No, this is not a completely organic orchard.  There would be no orchard if I didn’t spray.

4/12/13 It’s Early Spring…finally

I know we have no reason to complain in Chicago about the winter we just came out of, certainly not like our neighbors to the east or even to the south.  But, I sure am glad it’s spring.  I mean really, it is amazing to physically experience going from winter to spring, something primal that is unmistakeably basic to being human.  I never really understand how repressed I feel in winter until I go outside on a spring day, hear the birds chirping away, see the green shoots on the ground, and breathe a long sigh of relief.   Sorry to wax poetic about this, but it is something you just gotta experience.  I wonder if people who live closer to the equator can relate? 

I saw this branch with these gorgeous red buds today.  Had to stop and admire.

4/6/13 Early Spring

….And here’s the proof if you don’t believe me.  Caught these little guys blooming today in our local community garden.  Photo taken with my Adroid phone (this is what eventually happens to photography majors….)!

As I sit here typing this, my friends in NY and New Jersey, and other areas of the Northern Coast of the U.S. are still digging their way out of one of the biggest snow storms in their recent history.  And this has followed close on the heels to a devasting hurricane (Sandy), as well as another snow storm and other unnusual miscellaneous  weather conditions along the East Coast of the United States. 

Meanwhile, this winter here in Chicago we are experiencing record lows for snowfall and precipitation in general, and unusual high temperatures for typical Chicago winter.  Last summer we had record high temperatures, and the midwest suffered drought; extreme in Southern Illinois and other local farming communities.   Our rivers have low water levels (the Chicago River is threatening to change direction).  Now, facing spring with no snow pack on the ground, it is likely our farmers will be looking at similar drought issues this year as well.

As we move forward into Spring, and planning our vegetable plots and gardens, it seems more and more critical that we also plan new ways to collect water for our gardens.  Rain barrels, structures to lessen water run-off seem now like essential tools, if we want to make the most of all we plant.

12/19/12: Root Vegetables

Beets and Onions From The Garden

10/19/12: End of Season

Yah, I know it’s been a long time since I posted anything on the site, but I realized I needed to be DOING STUFF, not just writing about it.  So, in the last 2 months, here’s a bit of what I’ve been up to…

– The big Michigan garden took off like gangbusters, and we had a bumper crop of tomatoes.  I learned a lot about the few heirloom varieties I tried (Gardener’s Delight Cherry Tomato and Cherokee Purple), mainly the plants grown very big and tall, and that I don’t particularly like Cherokee Purple.  Here’s why: the stem is very big inside the fruit, and there isn’t enough ‘meat’ to make it worthwhile (the taste was mediocre), at least in my opinion.  On the other hand…Gardener’s Delight Cherry Tomatoes were really great.  Big, juicy cherry tomatoes that dwarfed the hybrid cherry tomatoes we had growing as well.  Plus, we used these big sweet beautiful morsels to make a really good recipe of  ‘oven roasted tomatoes, with garlic and olive oil’.  I will explain more about that later.  We must have made 25 little Ball jars of this stuff, and we froze the jars for winter use.  It’s great on a cracker, with some goat cheese, or added to a spaghetti sauce, and the list goes on.- Another big crop in the garden were the cucumbers.   So, of course I had to try pickling (again).  This time I tried ‘refrigerator pickle’ recipes.  More on that later as well.- Critters: did I mention I caught a racoon in a trap (the humane kind of course)?  I set it free after talking to a farmer friend who said racoons probably wouldn’t bother the garden much anyway – groundhogs on the other hand would be a problem.  I had seen a small animal lurking around the garden, and was upset that all the sunflowers had been chewed down to a nub, and last year all the basil eaten as well.  I had planned to bring the caged animal to a nearby woods, but after catching one realized this is harder than I thought.  First of all, it is not legal to catch, transport and release wild animals, at least in Michigan.  And I certainly wasn’t going to harm the animal (farmer recommended shooting it).  And they can be mean, transmit parasites, and of course dangerous… they bite.  So, I’ve started  to realize the crops that are most delectable to these little guys, and so I just won’t grown them anymore.  And in the end, we really didn’t have too much damage from animals this year, at least to the vegetable garden (the fruit trees are another story).  Here’s a photo of Rocky R., who was not friendly at all, and we parted ways quite happily.  May he live and be well.

– Fruit Trees.  So, after deer, caterpillars and other insects started eating the poor trees down to twigs, I got proactive.  I talked to the guy at the local hardware store (in rural Michigan, this means they know about farming too).  He told me that his father-in-law was a fruit farmer, and used the following measures, as further outlined in below blog on 7/21/12:  hung several bounce fabric softener sheets from the trees (yes, really); laid out 1/2 filled old plastic milk jugs, partially filled with blood meal, air holes drilled at top (I don’t think this did much, but my dogs like to sniff them); and finally sprayed the trees with Neem Oil.  So, there we are, pesticides and all.  I did all of the above, and made sure to spray with the dilution of Neem Oil every 2 weeks or so.  This did wonders, the leaves came back, and I had one very small apple, which fell off the tree at some point.  But still, unexpected to have any fruit the first year.  By the way, for a hilarious read, and an expose’  in the painful realities of gardening, I recommend ‘The $64 Dollar Tomato’, by Bill Alexander.  A gardeners classic.

8/2/12The City of Chicago is spraying citywide, Ward by Ward, to prevent the West Nile Virus.  You will see this kind of truck trailing a fine mist after 8pm.  Click herefor dates when particular Wards will be sprayed.  According to the City’s website, the substance they are using is Zenivex.  According to their website:

“…The material being used to control the adult mosquitoes, Zenivex, will be applied at a rate of 1.5 fluid ounces per acre. It is approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is used to control mosquitoes in outdoor residential and recreational areas…”

7/21/12  The Michigan Garden……..

Michigan Garden and Fruit Trees Mid-July

 

Cucumber Rows

I visit my Michigan garden every week or two, and it’s always shocking and exciting to see how much it’s grown in between.  If I saw it every day I probably wouldn’t appreciate the growth rate.  My mom and I share the garden;  and the joy and the pain.  We harvested our first patty pan squash(one)  that my sister planted one really hot day trying to help us finish getting the seeds in the ground, snap peas (a few cupfuls), cherry tomatoes (about 20), green onions (why did I plant so many of these?) and a cucumber.  After patting ourselves on the back on our small successes so far, we all enjoyed them thoroughly.  But I have a feeling we are going to get hit hard soon – everything is building to a crescendo: the beans and cucumbers are climbing and rambling, the tomatoes are big, green, heavy on the vines, the squash, melons, zucchini and other ground vines have taken over the small garden. In case you don’t know, this summer we are suffering the worst drought conditions in the midwest U.S.  in decades.    We’ve given the garden some watering this year, because of the drought (normally we don’t water because of the high water table).  So, considering the conditions, I was glad to see the carrots and beets that my 12 year old son transplanted with me (I couldn’t throw away the thinned plants) had survived the hot dry days of July.

7/21/12 The Michigan Fruit Trees….

My poor trees are getting eaten alive by deer, caterpillars, and any other creatures that have a taste for them.   I thought about building a fence around them, but the cost was too high (just for hardware cloth and metal posts).  So, I thought I’d try some cheaper methods I heard about:

1.  Used recycled plastic milk jugs, etc. and fill 1/2 way with blood meal.   Apply cap to jug, make some holes in sides of bottles.  The scent is supposed to keep deer away.  I tried this, applying about 6 bottles near 9 trees, and honestly I don’t think it did a thing.

2.  Hung Bounce softener sheets on the trees – deer don’t like the scent.  I tried it – see those white things hanging on the trees in the back of the above photo?  We’ll see how that goes.

3.  Applied Neem Oil.  I’m not messing around anymore.  I will be doing this every couple of weeks.  Here’s the definition of Neem Oil From Wikipedia:

Neem oil is a vegetable oil pressed from the fruits and seeds of the neem (Azadirachta indica), an evergreen tree which is endemic to the Indian subcontinent and has been introduced to many other areas in the tropics. It is the most important of the commercially available products of neem for organic farming and medicines.

Formulations made of neem oil also find wide usage as a biopesticide for organic farming, as it repels a wide variety of pests including the mealy bug, beet armyworm, aphids, the cabbage worm, thrips, whiteflies, mites, fungus gnats, beetles, moth larvae, mushroom flies, leafminers, caterpillars, locust, nematodes and the Japanese beetle. Neem oil is not known to be harmful to mammals, birds, earthworms or some beneficial insects such as butterflies, honeybees and ladybugs if it is not concentrated directly into their area of habitat or on their food source. It can be used as a household pesticide for ant, bedbug, cockroach, housefly, sand fly, snail, termite and mosquitoes both as repellent and larvicide (Puri 1999). Neem oil also controls black spot, powdery mildew, anthracnose and rust (fungus).”

It’s NOT used for cooking!!

 6/7/12 Tomato Blight

Tomato Blight on a plant stem

There’s a tomato (and potato) disease spreading on the East Coast of the United States.   This is an informative article in the Rodale Press about the disease, ‘Tomato and Potato Late Blight’, and links to track it’s progress.   See above photo showing how the disease appears on a tomato plant stem (see the below brochure attachment, for more ways to identify the disease).  It appears similar to other tomato diseases, so hard to identify sometimes.  This is the same fungus-like pathogen that affected the potato in 1845 Ireland, causing the potato famine.  Tbe disease affected tomatoes in 2009, and again this year it has been spotted now in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.

Organic tomatoes are more at risk, since conventional farmers and gardeners are able to use more potent fungicide chemicals to prevent the disease from taking hold in their plants.  But, those same systemic chemicals can be present in your food, potentially causing health issues.

However, the disease can be treated.  It is essential to monitor the plants for early detection and remove infected plants.  Some safer organically approved products to treat the disease are Regalia and Actinovate.  According to the Rodale article, “While certain copper products are approved for use in organic production, copper can build up to unhealthy levels in your soil, cause eye damage, and kill beneficial insects that help create biodiversity in the garden.”

 

6/4/12 The Michigan Garden

My Mom and I finally got our garden planted in Michigan a week ago.  Remember how hot it was Memorial Day weekend?  We were the idiots gardening in the midday sun.  We even had help from my sister (a natural green thumb) and the kids.  My mom sticks to her hybrid tomatoes, but I’m trying heirloom varieties this year, some of which I started in pots in the house (dixie cups).  Some of the roots were strong enough on their own, so had to plant the (slashed) dixie cups as well.  We use two plots, the larger is probably about 30×30 feet, the smaller about 20×20 feet.  This year we put the crawling vines (squash etc) in the smaller plot, because last year they tried to take over the tomato plants.  This year we have about 60 tomato plants, which take up about 1/2 the big plot.  Here’s photos right after planting….more photos to follow through the summer showing progress.

Garden after Planting: Memorial Day 2012

Heirlooms:

  • Tomato – Cherry – Gardener’s Delight (started indoors)
  • Tomato (pole) – Cherokee Purple
  • Beet – Detroit Dark Red
  • Squash (winter) – Sweet Meat
  • Squash (summer)  – Black Beauty Zucchini
  • Squash (summer)  – Scallop (Patty Pan) Blend
  • Brussels Sprouts – Long Island Improved (started indoors)
  • Melon – Cantaloupe – Hale’s Best Jumbo
  • Melon – Cantaloupe – Hearts of Gold
  • Bean (Pole) – Kentucky Wonder
  • Chives – Common (started indoors but did not work well.  Will start again in garden)
  • Cucumber – Straight Eight
  • Basil – Italian Large Leaf (started indoors)
  • Pea (shelling) – Wando
  • Dill – Bouquet
  • Carrots – Danvers 126

And I’m trying these regular hybrid seeds:

  • Beet – Detroit Dark Red, Medium Top (organic)
  • Squash (winter) – Waltham Butternut
  • Squash (winter) – Burgess Buttercup (certified Burpee organic seeds)
  • Onion (bunching/scallion) – White Lisbon
  • Cucumber – Homemade Pickles

Tomato plants: heirloom on left, hybrid on right

And of course, our 9 year old planted some Sunflowers (mammoth russian) for fun.

 

6/4/12 The Asparagus Plot

Visited the asparagus plot, and I am pleased to say that the asparagus plants sprouted a few stems, which opened up into fernlike stalks!  This is just 1  1/2 months after the crowns were planted, and I’m impressed.  I added more dirt to the trench to bring it to ground level.  Since the crowns/roots have to gain strength, we now just have to wait until 2014 to harvest….

Asparagus – 1st year shoots – May 2012

5/8/12 Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse Annual Plant Sale

Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20 , 10 am – 2 pm

CASH ONLY sale.  Plant list is up on the Chicago Park District Website here.

Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse will sell more than 150 varieties of organically-grown vegetable, herb, and flower seedlings.  You can expect a wide variety of open-pollinated and heirloom tomatoes and peppers.  Other highlights include an assortment of greens and onions.  These seedlings are grown organically with the support of a team of dedicated volunteers who make this Plant Sale possible.  This yearly fundraiser supports the greenhouse and their work to connect kids to nature and healthy foods.   If you are bringing kids or want a more relaxing experience please come Sunday for our Plant Sale and Easy Being Green Family Fest.

Friends of Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse will also be selling compost to support our programming and greenhouse improvements.

5/8/12 City Farmer

Wow!  Found  a really great website today – an organization that’s only been around 34 years(!)  The website is called City Farmer News : New Stories From ‘Urban Agriculture Notes’  I have to tell you this is a wonderful site, chock full of great information from around the world.

In their own words: “Shoemakers, fashion models, computer geeks, politicians, lawyers, teachers, chefs … all city dwellers … all can grow food at home after work in back yards, community gardens or on flat roofs. For the past 34 years, City Farmer has encouraged urban dwellers to pull up a patch of lawn and plant some vegetables, kitchen herbs and fruit. Our message is the same today as it was in 1978 and will be relevant far into the future. This website is a collection of stories about our work at City Farmer here in Vancouver, Canada, and about urban farmers from around the world. The site is maintained by City Farmer executive director, Michael Levenston.”

“City Farmer’s first web site Urban Agriculture Notes (www.cityfarmer.org) has hundreds of pages of information about city farming. Begun in 1994, it was the first web site on the Internet to publish information about urban farming. Our Internet websites (.org and .info) grew out of our newspaper publication, “City Farmer”, which began in 1978.

City Farmer teaches people how to grow food in the city, compost their waste and take care of their home landscape in an environmentally responsible way. When visiting Vancouver, British Columbia, visit our staff at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden, 2150 Maple Street, and see how we take care of our urban landscape. See a compost toilet, green roof, cob shed, organic food garden, permeable lane, natural lawn, waterwise garden, worm and backyard composter and more.”

Pretty cool, right?!

Topics include a wide range from urban fish and mushroom farming to aquaponic farming techniques to keyhole vegetable gardening in Africa to Bees and the list goes on and on and on.

4/18/12 Planting Asparagus Crowns

Planted asparagus crowns last weekend, a fine mid-April spring day.  This is the first time I’ve tried planting them, and it was actually super easyThe hardest part was clearing the area of thorn bushes, and my hands are a mess!

Here’s a photo of a crown.  The sprouty part is on the left. 

Here’s how easy it was to plant the crowns:

  1. Dug a long trench about 7″ deep, 6″ wide.  Length depends on how many crowns you have – I had 12 plants so made my trench 12 feet long.
  2. Rested the crowns in the trench, 12″ apart, with the sprouting tips on top.  Some people make a little hill to rest the roots over, with the tips on top.  See photo below.
  3. Spread about 1″ or 2″ of dirt over the plants (enough to cover) keeping the tips exposed.

I watched a few different instruction videos on UTube, some saying okay to fully bury the crowns when planting, but I ended up going with “gradually bury the crowns as the sprouts grow”.  So, I’ll keep an eye on them, gradually covering the sprouting plants with dirt over the summer. See photo below illustrating this progression.

 

In 2 years I might get a few spears, but I heard it is better to wait until the 3rd year to pick them, to strengthen the roots.    And this is what happens if you don’t pick the asparagus spears in the Spring – they eventually open up during the summer to these ferny plants.

 

4/18/12 Organic Farms

Trying to find an organic farm in your area of the country?  Click on this handy link at CNG.org to find farms and apiaries who are ‘Certified Naturally Organic’ in any U.S. State.   Just click on the state you are interested in, and the farms/apiaries are shown on a map.  Click on the farm to view their profile page with all kinds of information about them, and a link to their website if they have one.

4/18/12 The Perennial Plate

Check out The Perennial Plate.com

Latest  feature (episode #99)  is on people who are raising chickens in urban areas where it is not legal (I believe they are in Nashville, TN).

Very interesting website with online episodes of their cross-country trek.

In their own words:   “The Perennial Plate is an online weekly documentary series dedicated to socially responsible and adventurous eating.  The episodes follow the culinary, agricultural and hunting explorations of chef and activist, Daniel Klein.  Season One took place over a calendar year in Minnesota where every Monday for 52 weeks, Klein and cameragirl Mirra Fine released short films about good food.  In Season Two, Klein and Fine are traveling across America, taking the viewer on a journey to appreciate and understand where good food comes from and how to enjoy it.  The Real Food Road Trip began on May 9th 2011, and the weekly videos have continued — bringing the audience along for stories of urban gardens, long drives, blood, hunting and guts…”

4/17/12 The White House Garden

The White House Garden Plot!  Where’s the tomatoes?!

 

4/17/12 For Gardeners: Planting by Phase of the Moon

This is the formula followed: “Above-ground crops are planted during the light of the Moon (new to full); below-ground crops are planted during the dark of the Moon (from the day after it is full to the day before it is new again). Planting is done in the daytime; planting at night is optional!”*

Here’s a more detailed version**:

  • first quarter moon cycle (new moon to half full) – Things that are leafy, like lettuce, cabbage and spinach, should be planted
  • second quarter moon cycle (half full to full moon) – Things that have seeds inside, like tomatoes, beans and peppers
  • third quarter moon cycle (full moon to half full) – Thing that grow underground or are perennials, like potatoes, garlic and raspberries
  • Fourth quarter moon cycle (half full to new moon) – Do not plant. Weed, mow and kill pests instead.

Check out this publication about it:

The Biodynamic Sowing and Planting Calendar , by Maria and Matthias Thun. “Maria Thun and her son, Matthias, base this calendar on over forty years of biodynamic research and experience at their farm in Germany.” “This is the original biodynamic sowing and planting calendar, now in its 45th year. This useful guide shows the optimum days for sowing, pruning, and harvesting various plant-crops, as well as working with bees. It is presented in colour with clear symbols and explanations.”

* From The Old Farmer’s Almanac.com

** From Gardeningknowhow.com

Moon phases 2012

Moon phase Date Time
Full moon January 9, 2012 12:32:14 AM
Last quarter January 16, 2012 02:09:22 AM
New moon January 23, 2012 12:41:40 AM
First quarter January 30, 2012 09:11:43 PM
Full moon February 7, 2012 02:56:10 PM
Last quarter February 14, 2012 10:05:41 AM
New moon February 21, 2012 03:37:09 PM
First quarter February 29, 2012 06:23:15 PM
Full moon March 8, 2012 02:41:42 AM
Last quarter March 14, 2012 07:27:01 PM
New moon March 22, 2012 08:39:28 AM
First quarter March 30, 2012 01:42:04 PM
Full moon April 6, 2012 01:20:26 PM
Last quarter April 13, 2012 04:51:14 AM
New moon April 21, 2012 01:20:17 AM
First quarter April 29, 2012 03:58:16 AM
Full moon May 5, 2012 09:36:07 PM
Last quarter May 12, 2012 03:48:03 PM
New moon May 20, 2012 05:48:21 PM
First quarter May 28, 2012 02:16:04 PM
Full moon June 4, 2012 05:11:44 AM
Last quarter June 11, 2012 04:42:42 AM
New moon June 19, 2012 09:03:00 AM
First quarter June 26, 2012 09:30:31 PM
Full moon July 3, 2012 12:51:46 PM
Last quarter July 10, 2012 07:49:33 PM
New moon July 18, 2012 10:24:32 PM
First quarter July 26, 2012 02:56:52 AM
Full moon August 1, 2012 09:27:24 PM
Last quarter August 9, 2012 12:56:40 PM
New moon August 17, 2012 09:54:31 AM
First quarter August 24, 2012 07:54:46 AM
Full moon August 31, 2012 07:57:45 AM
Last quarter September 8, 2012 07:16:10 AM
New moon September 15, 2012 08:10:34 PM
First quarter September 22, 2012 01:42:34 PM
Full moon September 29, 2012 09:18:32 PM
Last quarter October 8, 2012 01:34:11 AM
New moon October 15, 2012 06:02:36 AM
First quarter October 21, 2012 09:33:48 PM
Full moon October 29, 2012 01:50:30 PM
Last quarter November 6, 2012 05:36:55 PM
New moon November 13, 2012 03:08:20 PM
First quarter November 20, 2012 07:32:36 AM
Full moon November 28, 2012 07:47:28 AM
Last quarter December 6, 2012 08:32:49 AM
New moon December 13, 2012 01:42:24 AM
First quarter December 19, 2012 10:19:53 PM
Full moon December 28, 2012 03:22:40 AM

4/5/12 Cornucopia Institute

….I also highly recommend the Cornucopia.org for their ‘scorecards’ of organic products: eggs, dairy, soy, cereal.  See this link and click on ‘scorecards’ header for more information.

4/5/12 Cornucopia Institute

Found this interesting information on Cornucopia Institute’s site.  Asst. Professor Phil Howard (Michigan State University) has compiled in depth charts/articles about the organic food industry. Click here to link to his site, or click here to link to his article and more charts about the organic food industry evolving structure over the last few decades.

4/5/12 Cornucopia Institute

Another interesting chart from the Cornucopia Institute.

4/3/12 Heirloom Plants

Stopped in at Gethsemane Garden Center and talked to John Diversey, a very knowledgeable member of their sales staff.  He mentioned the following Heirloom Tomato Plants that they will be offering soon, and that their customers have tried in previous seasons and found to grow well in Chicago gardens.

Jaune Flamme Cherry

Cherokee Purple

Brandywine

Caspian Pink

Green Zebra

 

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