Author Archives: admin

Gnat Nix for your holiday gift basket

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For some folks holiday shopping is a joy. Yet for others it can be an ordeal. What to get? Will it fit? Will they like the color? Will they use it? If you fall into the former (or later, for that matter) category, I’ve got good news if you are looking for something special for a gardener. There are plenty of choices that won’t break the bank, and for this exercise let’s get creative and think outside the box.

Good buys: New fungus gnat control

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New Jersey Star Ledger 

By Valerie Sudol 

Fungus gnats are a nuisance for many houseplant lovers and are especially apparent when container plants are brought inside for winter.

Potting soil may have been colonized by these common pests during the summer. When exposed to warmer indoor temperatures, containers can produce a bumper crop of gnats, which look like small mosquitoes.

Aquaponics: The Potential to Produce Sustainable Food Anywhere

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Aquaponics offers flexibility of design - fish and plants can be produced almost anywhere, including roof tops.

 

What is aquaponics?

Aquaponics is the marriage between aquaculture and hydroponics. Essentially it is a "clean and green" method of growing fish and plants together in a closed system. The fish are reared in tanks and their water is pumped to the plants that are growing in soiless conditions. The plants take up the waste produced by fish for growth and the water is returned to the fish. The two systems actually benefit from each other.

Rolling Greens

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Photograph by Linda Rosier, NY Daily News/Getty Images

 

Curt Ellis (pictured) and Ian Cheney won rave reviews for their 2007 documentary King Corn, about the drawbacks to industrial agriculture. They built on that success by filling up the back of a 1986 Dodge Ram with soil and planting tomatoes.

Hortidaily Says Growstones are a Dream Substrate

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By Boy de Nijs

Growstones in Bato buckets in a commercial greenhouse trial in 2009 with tomatoes.  Growstones in Bato buckets in a commercial greenhouse trial in 2009 with tomatoes.

 

Crushed glass has growing media. It may sound a little crazy, yet controlled research trials done by Wageningen University and The University of Arizona/Controlled Environment Agriculure (CEAC) show that plants thrive very well on foamed glass aggregates manufactured for horticulture applications. This is how Growstone, Inc. was born in 2005. The substrate is already available for the hobby grower, but currently Growstone is looking to widen it's reach and transit into the commercial greenhouse market.

At the time the first trials were done by the University of Arizona, Paula Costa was a graduate student at Agriculture & Biosystems Engineering Department. "I was finishing my research project at the CEAC and very quickly got directly involved in setting the first informal greenhouse trials with Growstones crushed foamed glass in the Fall of 2005," says Paula who is now Growstone's R&D Director.

Learning Life Skills

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Photograph by Carlos Osorio, AP

Teens at Catherine Ferguson Academy in Detroit learn to grow plants in a greenhouse. The school serves pregnant and parenting teens, and teaches farming and gardening in addition to core subjects.

The Office Farm

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Photograph by Yuriko Nakao, Reuters

An employee harvests veggies grown inside an office "urban farm" in Tokyo. The Pasona Group, an employment and staffing company, established the growing area to foster a work environment that

Here’s Why You Should Start An Indoor Garden

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Landscape designer Rebecca Cole shares the top reasons (and plenty of motivation) to start a delicious urban farm
By Rebecca Cole

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Historic Roots

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Photograph from ClassicStock/Alamy

In 1943, young people tend a victory garden in New York City. During World War II, Americans were encouraged to grow some of their own food, to offset shortages caused by the conflict.

Urban Farming Is Growing a Green Future

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Photograph by Anthony Behar, Sipa Press/AP
by Green Gotham

With seven billion mouths to feed, human agriculture exerts a tremendous toll on the planet, from water draws to pollution, and from energy use to habitat loss. But there is also a growing set of solutions, from organic agriculture to integrated pest management.

More people around the world are taking a look at urban farming, which offers to make our food as "local" as possible. By growing what we need near where we live, we decrease the "food miles" associated with long-distance transportation. We also get the freshest produce money can buy, and we are encouraged to eat in season.