Posts filed under ‘How-To’

Choosing the Best Container Gardening Vegetables

Growing Green Beans (‘Jade’) in a Window Box

Selecting the right container gardening vegetables is one key to a successful balcony farm. If you choose the right vegetables for container gardening, you’ll have far fewer problems, and bigger and better yields.

A vegetable container garden has limited space, so you’ll want to focus first on the vegetables you like the most. Make a list.

You’ll also want to grow vegetables that give you a continuous harvest, like green, leafy vegetables that allow you to pick a few leaves as needed, or vegetables that kick out a few ripe fruit a week, like tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, eggplants, and peppers.

Fast-growing vegetables like radishes, beets, and turnips are also good choices for container gardens.

Read Choosing the Best Container Gardening Vegetables at Grow-it-Organically.com

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May 7, 2018 at 11:06 am Leave a comment

Warmshowers connects tired cyclists with local hospitality

 

It’s kind of like couch-surfing, but only for people on bicycles.

Nothing beats a home-cooked meal and a warm shower at the end of a long day in a bike saddle. For most bike travellers, these are rare luxuries, hard to find in a roadside campground. That is why an organization called Warmshowers was created. The online community connects weary cyclists with friendly hosts who know what it’s like to feel worn out and in need of a little comfort. The hosts are able to travel vicariously through their visitors’ experiences, bringing the world to their own doorstep.

Warmshowers has been around since 1993, so it’s not surprising it was covered on TreeHugger more than 10 years ago. At the time, Christine called it “couch-surfing for bicyclists,” and that remains an apt description. The organization has grown immensely since then, although some rules remain the same. Hosts cannot be paid for their hospitality, although it is understood that guests provide a thank you gift of some kind in return or, at the very least, pay the favor forward.

Read Warmshowers connects tired cyclists with local hospitality by Katherine Martinko at Treehugger.

April 30, 2018 at 10:58 am Leave a comment

Don’t Just Plant, Plan!

Not unlike a well-organized closet or a well-designed kitchen, a well-planned food plot is an inviting respite from your daily grind. Before you get caught up in a frenzy of spring planting, step back, take stock and spend a weekend charting a course for the growing season and laying the groundwork for a successful garden

Read Don’t Just Plant, Plan! by Brian Barth at Modern Farmer.

April 25, 2018 at 10:28 am Leave a comment

Many Canadians are recycling wrong, and it’s costing us millions

 

Canadians are throwing too much garbage into their blue bins, sometimes out of laziness or ignorance, but sometimes with the best of intentions. And it’s costing recycling programs millions of dollars a year.

Even a few spoonfuls of peanut butter left in a jar can contaminate a tonne of paper and make it unmarketable — destined for the dump. Same for that glob of yogurt left in the bottom of the container.

Contamination has recently become a much bigger issue because China, the world’s biggest importer of recyclable material, started banning imports of paper with more than 0.5 per cent contamination — a standard that North American cities are struggling to meet.

Read Many Canadians are recycling wrong, and it’s costing us millions by Emily Chung at CBC News.

April 23, 2018 at 10:29 am Leave a comment

How to fight Insectageddon with a garden of native plants

People across North America love to garden, yet the vast majority of garden plants are non-native species.

Day-lilies, peonies, roses, chrysanthemums and butterfly bushes, just to name a few, are all non-natives. They evolved in far-away places such as Europe and Asia and people transported them to North America.

With Insectageddon — the great insect die-off — upon us, it’s time to rethink our gardens.

Birds (and other larger animals) depend on bugs. “Nearly all terrestrial birds rear their young on insects, not seeds or berries,” writes Doug Tallamy in his book Bringing Nature Home.

A simple way to think of it is this: Native plants maintain natural ecosystem food webs, whereas non-native plants don’t. Native plants will attract and support healthy insect populations in your garden, which will provide essential food for birds and other animals.

Read How to fight Insectageddon with a garden of native plants by Nina N. Zitani at The Conversation.

March 26, 2018 at 10:51 am Leave a comment

Top 10 Energy Efficiency Tips for the Home

In this story, we look at both of the modest and extensive ways you can improve your home’s efficiency—small and big steps that can add up to big savings, and a significantly reduced carbon footprint.

To assemble our list of top ten actions you can take, we accompanied EnerGuide for homes auditor Jeff Paton as he conducted an EnerGuide assessment of Brian and Laura Finley’s 1956 home in Edmonton, Alberta. Then we pushed beyond the EnerGuide assessment and put together this list of the top 10 ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home.

Read Top 10 Energy Efficiency Tips for the Home by David Dodge and Scott Rollans at Green Energy Futures.

March 14, 2018 at 11:38 am Leave a comment

How to Tap Trees for Syrup

To get started, follow these simple steps, and be sure to disconnect the tap when the tree’s leaf buds swell, a sign that the sap will soon turn bitter. If done correctly, the process won’t hurt the tree. Think of it as an arboreal version of donating blood, only far more delicious.

I make my own syrup now, albeit from the black walnuts in my neighbor’s North Carolina yard. Other trees that produce sweet saps include sycamores, butternuts, and shagbark hickories, as well as all manner of birches, box elders, and maples. Just be forewarned: Many of these alternatives contain less sugar than the aptly named sugar maple, so you’ll have to boil a lot of sap to yield a very small amount of syrup.

Read How to Tap Trees for Syrup by Frank Hyman at The Modern Farmer.

February 28, 2018 at 11:31 am Leave a comment

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