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Archive for the ‘Urban Gardening’ Category

Cukes in June....?

Pickletime

Cukes from Lancaster Farm Fresh via the Co-op, dill from Emerald Street Urban Farm, garlic scapes from our Lancaster Farm Fresh CSA.

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We had a bit of work to do to get the garden plot cleaned up.

Hoo boy

I mean, just a little bit.

Luckily, I had some help. As in, luckily, I had two able bodies to do most of the work.

in progress

Whew! All ready for radishes, cukes, tomatoes, peppers, basil.

Cleaned out

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I’ve been pickling, a lot, to try to keep up with the mountains of produce in the fridge. I’ve only canned dilly beans though, so have mostly been doing just fridge pickles. Right now, there are red onions, kirbies, jalapenos (how do you spell jalapenoes? Jalapenos?), and a now empty jar that was pickled tomatoes, my favorite so far. This batch was a mix of cherries from our garden plot, as well as tomatoes from a mixed pint of cherries from our share.

Pickled Tomatoes2

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Sage

We found out on Saturday that we were lucky enough to get a plot at the Liberty Lands community garden. I’ve only done a little container gardening the past few years so I’m excited to have a bigger space to grow some veg. We’ve also added a little herb garden in our new-ish backyard. To say that our yard needs some work is an understatement, so it’s really nice to be able to have some separate space to do some gardening.

Cat mint

One of the awesome activities that the garden participates in is the City Harvest program. Gardeners grow produce that’s then donated to a local feeding program. Obviously I can get on board with that. Seeds and seedlings (started by inmates of the PA prison system) are provided to gardeners who plant them in their own gardens. Liberty Lands donated over 300 pounds of produce last year. Between the earthquake in Chile and the bad weather in Florida (among other factors), food banks are going to be super lean on produce until well into the summer, making this program even more crucial this year.

Chives

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I am obssessed with this blog. Every time it pops up in Google reader as having a new post, I immediately click. I just can’t get over the fact that these folks dumpster dive for their groceries. I also can’t believe how much I can’t believe it, since I work for an organization that RESCUES food that would typically end up in the garbage. That’s what food banks DO, for pete’s sake. And let’s be honest, a lot of the food we get doesn’t meet certain standards for whatever reason. Sometimes it’s short-coded or on the brink of expiration. Sometimes the packaging isn’t quite right or the labels are on upside down. Sometimes a store is just turning over their inventory and we get the stuff that doesn’t have the shiny new and improved marketing look and feel. Somehow, this seems different to me than what the Frugans are doing. Of course we’re not fishing stuff out of the garbage, obviously.

I know myself, and I know that I would never eat something that was fished out of the trash. It harkens back to a Seinfeld episode about a famous eclair. The Frugans eat cupcakes out of the garbage! Why do I have such a strong reaction to this? Part of it is that someone else rejected it, so it must be bad. Plus, garbage is stinky sometimes.

It makes me think harder than usual about how I can waste less. I’m pretty cognizant to begin with yet there’s still that bunch of floppy celery in the fridge, staring out at me every time I open the door. I’ll probably try to revive it by shocking it in ice water, like I learned from Kale for Sale. I’m also looking forward to doing some composting this summer and putting less stuff down the garbage disposal.

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Detroit of all places is set to become the next up and coming center of urban gardening. Can you believe it?

And Philly has its own plan in the works. I spend a lot of time driving around the city and the empty lots in the poorer neighborhoods are such eyesores. It would be great to fill in some of that empty space. On the other hand, awesome murals often spring up on the sides of row homes for just that reason:

36th and Haverford

36th and Haverford

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