Food Security

Some think food security is overstated. Check out the lines at food banks in 2020.

Industrial farms release the most toxic elements to the environment – nitric oxide. It contributes in a big way to global warming. Yet there are many opportunities to live more holistic lives.

Are you horticulturally ignorant? There are internet and you tube resources available. You should not be afraid to fail. It all starts with composting. Be the first in your affluent, middle class or poor neighborhood to make a food source difference. We can save the planet but we need more than talk. We need you.

Marge and Joe do it. You can too.

Just Do Compost!

Venus and James are enjoying their new home. Venus was a member of our Quincy High School tennis team. They both want to do their environmental part. They just installed a simple compost container in their backyard. They had plenty of materials to fill the composter when I arrived. We added leaves, shredded paper, food scraps, starter compost, ash and red wiggler worms.

It appears that young couples understand that it is the little things that will make an environmental difference. James comes from Queens New York. He studied dentistry at Tufts Medical School and that is what brought him to Massachusetts. He mentioned that his parents composted in Queens.

Parents, you can influence your children by thinking that we all play a role in a sustainable future. Compost, compost, compost.

Garden Art

Sometimes it is difficult to get members of the family involved in our gardens. Julia posted on her blog an interesting idea from the Children’s Museum.

I would enjoy seeing gardens from the creative minds of children. When you send the photos to me, I will post some of them to exhibit the “Lens of a Child”. You might share with the child ideas as a stimulus for this project. Or, just give them your cell phone. Try to learn what your child sees: germination, pollination, seed development (seed savers), flowers just before the vegetable develops, harvesting, the family garden or the vegetable on the dinner table. You can teach your child a lot of science in a garden.

What is Land ?

This is a photo of Manuel. Cristian has told me that Manuel is a hard worker. Notice that Manuel is having his picture taken in back of a Square Foot Garden. The reality: the soil in Honduras is depleted, chemicals are too expensive for poor people to afford and weak plants are vulnerable to pests.

Yesterday, Manuel and Cristian planted yellow squash. It will be interesting to see the results when comparing the squash being planted in depleted soil as opposed to the composted mix.

Carrots ?

I think the Mel’s Mix may be too rich. My Dad had great carrots (sandy soil). Cristian in Honduras is growing carrots on the worst land that I have ever seen.

In Honduras American and international companies took over the land. They gave people jobs but at pennies on the dollar. When the fertile soil was gone they moved their fields. That is why it is so essential for the people to learn about composting. That is why Square Foot Gardening will work so well as Cristian develops a new horticulture brand through composting.

In the photo those are carrots growing. Terrible soil. But those are growing and my carrots are pathetic. We has wealthy Americans throw away the carrot tops. Did you know that there is the same amount of vitamin C in the tops as in the carrots? The way to use them in cooking is to blend them in soup, stir fry or smoothies. With so much hunger around the world we need to teach about nutrition. That is what San Yves is all about.

Seeds for Honduras

For several years I used to be able to get left over seeds from garden stores to take to Honduras. Now the stores are required to send them back to the seed companies. I hope that some of you will send me your left over seeds. I will take them to Honduras for planting next year. Message me if you need my address.

The people’s diet consists of rice, beans and corn. The malnutrition stems from the fact that they are not eating enough vegetables and fruits with micro-nutrients. Right now we have people teaching others to plant, grow, harvest and cook nutritious vegetables. This is a opportunity for you to partner with us. Message me and I will send you my address.

Art Work

I met Andrea Mohr at Motor Cycle week in New Hampshire two years ago. She bought a pine needle basket to support the women that my wife works with in Honduras. She was moving to Maine from New York City.

I think that we talked a little about Square Foot Gardening. She just posted pictures of her new garden design. Truly amazing.

Just think, you could be enjoying something like this in your life.

Not just Water

When I fill the Britta water filter at home the chlorine gas fills the air with a foul stink. I think the Town is putting extra chlorine in the water during the pandemic.

We can all filter the water that we drink. However when you spray plants from a hose the chlorine goes into the soil and kills the microorganisms. Those microbes build organic complex structures. Rain barrels are useful for eliminating the chlorine that kills those microbes. If you don’t have a water barrel you can eliminate some of the chlorine and florid chemicals by spraying into a watering can first. The chlorine gas will be released. If your city or town is using a lot of chemicals in the water you will smell them right away. Take just one more step to grow organic healthy plants and spray the chemicals away.

Root Factor

Plants have three basic components; roots, stems and leaves. I grow some of my tomatoes in plastic planters that have open bottoms.

Tomatoes are able to grow roots along the stems. Some people let the stem get leggy and then lay the stem down in a horizontal position to allow more absorption of water and nutrients through the the increase in area. If you are growing in a planter, you may want to consider placing the young plant close to the bottom of the container. As the plant grows and reaches for the sun, add soil around the stem. In a short time, small roots will appear along the stem that are buried in the soil mix. Those roots will increase the absorption factor for the plant. The size of the planter that you use will help determine the root growth. A planter that is too small will reduce root development.

For early tomato growth, I put a used five gallon water jug over the plant to allow in sunlight but to keep the plants warm at night. The jug also reduces evaporation of water. Then I added drip irrigation using a 2 liter tonic bottle to drip compost tea.

Container planting provides flexibility for people planting in limited spaces. Good times.