The American Community Gardening Association estimates that there are already 18,000 community gardens throughout the country, and for good reason. The health benefits associated with these gardens show how important open garden spaces can be to otherwise “greenless” urban environments.
Assistant Director Lenny Librizzi shared these tips for getting involved in a community garden. The Sustainable Living Institute of Maui is proud to present our new community garden at UHMC, supported by Community Work Day, the Department of Water Supply, Ulupono Initative, and the Frost Family Foundation! We have transformed a drainage basin into a thriving, productive garden on the UHMC campus and a center for learning about food sustainability, rain gardens, home gardening and island food security. All plots have timed irrigation and we can help with getting seeds started, composting and weeding initial plots. SLIM, in collaboration with Roth Ecological Designs, also has completed a demonstration rain garden which is designed to treat and work with the incoming storm water to the site, recharging more than 270,000 gallons of water per year back into our aquifers instead of running off to our ocean nearby. Throughout the year we also offer free and fee-based workshops on a variety of topics, including edible landscaping, pest management, composting and home gardening for beginners. Learn more from CTAHR about managing pests and diseases, and cultivating beneficial insects using insectary plants as cover crops in your garden plot.
The garden is located in between the Kupa’a Building, the College of Agriculture training field, the main campus parking lot, and Wahine Pi’o Avenue, shown by the red box below. A fairly fuss-free annual herb, there’s really not much to growing cilantro from seed. Cilantro tends to bolt (go to seed) early if it gets too hot or too dry, so be sure to water well, especially in extreme heat. If you just want the leaves, you can snip the stems and leaves as they grow or pluck the entire plant. If you want to collect coriander seeds, wait until the leaves are brown, cut the whole plant and hang it to dry. For growing specifications for growing cilantro (like preferred soil pH, planting depths and germination rates), check out the Gardening Guides page. Use whatever stakes you have on hand - wooden stakes, bamboo,  metal - just be sure that they're at least 4 feet high. If you already have a fence structure in your garden, you can use it for supporting tomatoes or other vining crops.
These cone-shaped cages are cheap and easy to find, but can topple easily when the plants start to grow top-heavy with foliage and fruit.
Farmers and advanced gardeners often train their tomatoes to a single vine to achieve maximum production rates.
My three tomato plants (Juliette, Cherry, Brandywine) all grew over 6 foot tall this year, so staking and caging them was a real challenge! My favorite way of staking tomatoes is to get good sturdy fencing that I can leave in place for years. I have a combination of tomato cages, stakes and these new twist stakes where you weave the tomato in it.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same. Growing artichokes (Cynara scolymus) may seem exotic, but theya€™re easy to grow even as annuals.
Many artichoke varieties can overwinter in zone 7 and above, but some varieties are bred for heavy yields in a single season, given the right soil amendments and conditions. Artichokes need a long growing season, so northern and alpine gardeners should start them indoors under lights 8 weeks before the last frost date.

Some artichoke varieties are frost hardy in zone 7 and above, and can tolerate winter low temperatures as low as 14A° F (-10A° C) if well-mulched. To overwinter plants in cooler zones, cut them back to 8-10a€? (20-25 cm) in late October, then cover the stump with 10a€? (25cm) of straw or dead leaves to protect from frost. Where I live in Zone 9, we plant artichokes in the fall, and let them overwinter through our rainy season unprotected. The plants grow through the winter, put on a big burst of growth in March and April, then flower in May.
Each plant produces for 4-5 years, with the chokes getting smaller and more numerous in the later years, because theya€™re producing from side-branches off the main stem. When the artichokes start getting smaller than you'd like, divide the crowns into several divisions, and transplant them into their own space. When growing artichokes, time your planting so seedlings will have 10-12 days with temperatures below 50A° F (10A° C), to encourage early bud set and longer fruiting. While mature artichoke plants have some frost tolerance, seedlings are vulnerable, so protect seedlings from nighttime and early morning frost during this time. Although their ancestors were weeds, artichokes are bred for richer soils, so amend the soil with 2-3a€? (5-8 cm) of good garden compost or composted manure and give these large plants plenty of space if you want a good yield.
Work the manure or compost into the top 10a€? (25 cm) of soil before planting, along with some dolomite lime, dried, ground eggshells, or ground oyster shells for supplemental calcium. Artichokes are space hogs, whether youa€™re growing artichokes in a raised bed, or with single cultivation (soil prepared to 1 shovel depth).
Artichokes should planted about 3 feet (1 meter) apart, but some large varieties might need 4-foot (1.2m) spacing. Artichokes are heavy feeders, even if you build organic soil amendments into the soil at the start of the season.
If youa€™re growing artichokes as perennials, you have to cut the plants back after they flower, and mulch them to keep them from freezing in colder zones.
You might get another couple years of productivity out of the plants if you divide them after the first 3 years, and plant the divisions as separate plants. Artichokes are huge plants, so they dona€™t really make good companion plants for other crops, especially in small gardens. Artichokes have large root systems, and need a large soil volumea€”or a rich potting soil in a smaller volume, and much more frequent wateringa€”to form heavy, solid buds. This artichoke gets all it needs in a 24a€? x 24a€? x 24a€? (60 x 60 x 60 cm) box with plenty of good compost in the potting mix.
This assures the largest and most tender artichoke heartsa€”with less chokea€”and reduces the risk of aphids and their ant attendants moving into the buds. Your e-mail address is totally secure.I promise to use it only to send youThe GiO Newsline. Part of our planning and future projects on the farm includes a community garden initiative for Clinton County to give those in town a chance to grow their own food and and further educate themselves to the benefits that a garden can have.
According to Minnesota nonprofit Green Matters, community gardens decrease crime in urban areas with little vegetation, increase the value of properties in the surrounding area and can help locals save money on food through garden-generated produce. In 2013, University of Utah researchers found that residents who get involved with community garden projects have recognizably lower body mass indexes than nongardeners, with less chance of being overweight. It has already helped establish more than 70 community gardens in New York City, one made with recycled beauty waste with the help of Garnier and recycling company TerraCycle.
If you don’t feel like you’re gelling with the group, try out another one or consider starting your own. Please join us in learning to grow your own food, increasing food security on Maui, and helping us build greater community on Maui.

Community Empowerment: Serve as a center for faculty and students to grow their own food, learn about sustainable agriculture, and bridge different areas of the community together.
Education: Provide students with hands-on tools for learning about sustainable agriculture and how to grow their own food. Farm-to-School: Create a pathway for produce to more easily enter into the school food systems to support the health of the students, staff, and faculty.
All Garden plots are open to college students and staff, as well as people in the community. We grow herbs, bananas, papaya, medicinals and flowers so that plots can be focused on the more common vegetables and ground fruits.
Aromatic, pungent and versatile, cilantro is technically both an herb and a spice since both the leaves and the seeds are used. How you harvest will depend on whether you’re harvesting just for the herb (cilantro) or for the spice (coriander) too. Asclepius became jealous of his pupil; Zeus saved Paeon from the wrath of Asclepius by turning him into the peony flower. So why bother to put complicated and potentially expensive support structures in place to prop them up? This year might grow tomatoes on the fence, next year maybe peas, green beans or cucumbers. I'm just preparing my heavy duty fruit cage to make sure the birds and my pesky little bunnies don't get to them! We eat the big, dense artichokes from the middle of the plant first, then harvest the abundant baby chokes that follow until mid-June. They'll produce for several more years before you have to start again from seed or fresh seedlings. Artichokes are heavy feeders, so cool-season nitrogen-fixing plants like peas or vetch are good planted nearby. In addition to initiatives like Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) and environmental education through the schools, residents are starting to focus much of their attention on building long-lasting landmarks such as community gardens. Instead of driving to a distant supermarket for produce or a faraway park for some green space, it’s just a matter of walking over to the nearby garden.
Not only that, fresh produce from community gardens is less likely to be contaminated with pesticides than other kinds and can be used to teach kids about better nutrition.
Initiatives like these not only help establish community gardens in areas with otherwise sparse vegetation, but get the public involved, increase environmental awareness, and educate the community at the same time.
Throwing a few handfuls of fresh chopped cilantro in homemade guacamole or tacos adds authenticity and depth to otherwise run-of-the-mill flavors.
Support structures such as cages and trellises allow you to maximize your harvest by keeping the plants and fruit off the ground. Tree peonies can be propagated by grafting, division, seed, and from cuttings, although root grafting is most common commercially.
Over 37 pounds of tomatoes from these three plants so far and they're still working strong. They produce permanent woody stems that will lose their leaves in winter but the stem itself remains intact above ground level. BoredFastfood is a collector inspiration channel only and we really appreciate the hard working of origin blogger[s].

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