If your home is in the woods, there are no second thoughts that you live in heaven. Have you ever heard about ‘landscaping’? It is the art of creating your surroundings in such a way that aggrandizes the beauty of it.
It’s that time of year! Maybe you’re already signed up for this season, or maybe you’ve never heard about them. A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share is a local farm offering a certain number of farm “shares” of his/her crop to the public. These vary and typically consist of veggies, but often times include fruit, eggs, cheeses, and even meat. Consumers purchase a share from their selected farmer and receive a predetermined quantity of the farmer’s crop regularly throughout the growing season. Even in Western PA, where we experience a relatively harsh winter, there are plenty of programs and shares to choose from 12 months throughout the year.
WHY SHOULD YOU SIGN UP FOR ONE?
Our eating and shopping habits are not just important for health, but for our local economies, the environment, and the future of our food system.
With all the brilliance of technology nowadays, it’s no wonder the invention of organic gardening, on autopilot, is now capable of becoming the ‘norm’. Developed by a small team of three (Rick, Rory, and Time), FarmBot has grown exponentially as pre-orders for this device skyrocket.
The blueprints for the Farmbot device are available as a free download, so anyone can acquire the blueprints and try their hand at building the device on their own (and even make customized tweaks to it) or, pre-made Farmbot kits are available for those who’d like to build the device with everything required for its construction already included.
Gardening, whether a traditional outdoor permaculture garden, in a greenhouse, or even with hydroponics or aquaponics – is an art form all to itself. It’s similar to painting in a way, yet instead of a paintbrush we get to use seed packets that blossom over time into beautiful colors. Fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, trees, bushes, and everything in between act as the various colors used to create a masterpiece. The soil is the canvas.
Some gardeners may be traditionalists while yet others become impressionists or modernists or develop a style altogether their own. The possibilities are endless and that is what makes gardening a limitless avenue of potential. Gardening grants us the opportunity to create beautiful designs on the landscape, complete with various decorations or pathways that fit into the design like a well thought out puzzle.
Using a greenhouse for growing plants has loads of benefits and opportunities to offer that aren’t available with regular outdoor gardening. They not only serve to protect against insects, pests, and inclement weather, but provide an optimal environment (humidity and moisture) for growing fruits, vegetables, and other plants in abundance.
Plants can be grown year round, out of season or in season, and are packed with the vitamins and minerals your family needs for good health. When planning an outdoor garden, it’s beneficial to also consider using a greenhouse either alongside the garden, or in place of the actual garden itself!
Hydroponics is a method of gardening without the use of topsoil, compost, or digging in the dirt. Instead, plants are rooted in an inert growing apparatus with overhead lighting to assist the plants photosynthesis process, while also circulating nutrient enriched water throughout it’s root system by using an in-line pump.
This method of gardening is an excellent way to ensure all plants receive the same type of treatment, from the amount of nutrients, the dosage of water, and even to the quantity of plants in operation via strategic planning.
Gardening with a greenhouse is an excellent idea for many reasons. They can be built by hand or purchased pre-made, and take up as little or as much yard space as is necessary for the end-goal in mind. Some are even made lightweight and portable. Many gardener’s who use a greenhouse would consider it ‘next-level gardening’ beings as the structure itself acts as a suit of armor for crops and other plants. This gives them the freedom to grow big and strong without being exposed quite as much to harsh elements, insects, and many other types of pests.
Aquaponics is a method of gardening that uses fish and plants together in a symbiotic relationship which mutually benefits one another. The system works by using plants that are suspended in water that has fish swimming in it. When the fish produce waste, it acts as fertilizer for the plants which then absorb the water and these added nutrients through the roots, purifying the water for the fish in the process. Meanwhile, the fish feed harmlessly on the plants, and the cycle carries on.
Aquaponics is essentially the method of using hydroponics; either deep water culture (also known as bubbleponics), or an ebb and flow hydroponics system, yet also adding fish to the process. The added bonus of using aquaponics and/or hydroponics is that no chemical fertilizers, insecticides, or pesticides are used in the process – thus any plants and produce harvested as a result are entirely organic, healthy, and packed with vitamins and minerals.