Welcome to my Sustainable Urban Garden

My garden is a work in progress, always growing and changing within itself.

My gardens include many herbal beds, raised vegetable beds, raised "citrus heights" citrus tree bed, berry beds, fruit trees, grape arbor, rose beds and many perennial flower beds with annuals too. My greenhouse is still in the transformation stage,
as well as some planting areas.
Enjoy your journey through my gardens, I do!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Locally Grown Organic Food

Making affordable, locally and regionally-grown organic food available to all, rich, middle-income and poor, must become a top priority for city and county governments across the nation. We are very pleased to say that we were able to change the front yard landscape ordinance in Sacramento CA to allow diverse plantings which can include fruits and vegetables.
More local organic food is beginning to be available with every new front and/or backyard home garden. New community gardens and local farmers markets are also supplying fresh local organic produce.

Making the transition to organic food and farming stimulates the local economy, improves public health, sequesters enormous amount of climate destabilizing greenhouse gases, and protects the environment. As global warming intensifies, scientists warn that a continuation of current "business as usual" practices will lead to a catastrophic 8.6 degree Fahrenheit temperature rise by 2100. Our only hope is to make energy-efficient and climate-stabilizing organic food and farming the norm rather than just the green alternative.

Tim LaSalle, Ph.D., CEO of the Rodale Institute, explains how organic farming techniques pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it as carbon in living soil—an overlooked, but significant, route to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change. More at www.rodaleinstitute.org.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Gardening in 2009 and 2010

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year with a great year of garden successes in 2010!!!

We had lots of successes this last year. Our raspberries are getting better and better every year. We added two new peach trees, a nectarine and an apricot to replace the big beautiful one we lost. We have added blueberries to the garden, but have not been gifted with a harvest yet.

Our peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, zucchini, chard, basil, peas, beans, potatoes, onions and leeks did really well. The spinach did not provide a large crop this year, nor the garlic or the eggplant. I think the eggplant just did not get enough care (too little water). As usual we had an abundance of lemons, grapefruit, loquots, figs and blackberries. This year was our first year for tomatillos and we had them coming out of our ears. With only two plants, they provided much too much to process. I still have some sitting on the counter.

(I think I might try #4 this year if we continue to have a wet year)

The Amazing Cucumber

This information was in The New York Times several weeks ago as part of their "Spotlight on the Home" series that highlighted creative and fanciful ways to solve common problems.

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!

6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won't leave streaks and won't harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!