Instant Payday Loan Lender Instant Payday Loan Lender

3 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Space

June 5th, 2014

container gardening

If your patio is the size of a postage stamp (been there), then making the most of your space is paramount. Luckily, a small space does not mean you have to give up growing your favorite fruits and vegetables; it just means you have to get a little creative! Hoop houses, vertical, and container gardening are three fantastic ways to manage urban and small spaces.

Hoop Houses – These are miniature, unheated greenhouses made with a series of metal hoops covered in plastic, and set over a raised bed to trap heat. 

     Advantages: This creates a microclimate around your plants, while jump starting and extending the growing season. Hoop houses are a low tech structure to build, and should cost no more than $50 if you want to go simple. This method is especially ideal if daylight length is less than 10 hours with harsh winters – but have little space for a greenhouse. With proper ventilation, hoop houses can be used in the summertime too.

     How To: First, a support structure needs to be built using PVC tubing or standard metal pipes – we’ve even seen it constructed using ocotillo cactus bones. Cut that to the size needed for your garden, and push both ends into the ground in an arc. Once you have this done, cover them with plastic, and presto! Your hoop house is ready to go.

Vertical Gardening – While there are numerous ways to create a vertical garden, there are essentially two types of vertical garden styles: those that grow in soil and those that grow in water. If you’re interested in water-based vertical gardening, our hydroponic Tower Garden posts (including our goals, experiences and photos) is something you may be interested in. Check in with us every month for these posts!

     Advantages: Some of the advantages of all vertical gardening include: plants become less pest and disease prone since plants are away from the ground where pests tend to gravitate. Gardeners also don’t have to be stooped over a garden for hours, as less time is spent  harvesting while leaning over a garden bed. Weeding and tilling become less necessary in some circumstances.  Another fantastic benefit? Typically less water is required for vertical gardening, and your plants will look healthier as oxygen has the opportunity to circulate more evenly. 

     How To: To grow a vertical garden inexpensively, use a chain link fence, trellis, hanging baskets, or a garden lattice. Other effective structures include: nailing decorative cans to a wooden fence, using an old dog kennel or shelving unit, and building your own structure using garden fencing and pipes. Watch to see how the vines and plants grow naturally, and secure the plants with garbage bag twist ties or gardening green tape. Plant the vertical garden next to shade loving plants like herbs, and away from sun-loving plants like vegetables. Did you know that if you hang your plants from baskets or pots, you can actually have the same number of plants as a square foot of garden space?

Container Gardening – Container gardening is another practical way to garden in a small area.  Likewise to vertical gardening, almost anything grown in a regular garden can grow well in a container garden.  

     Advantages: This type of gardening is easy to maintain, and can be done inexpensively. Once you have built your container garden, you may continue using it season after season, and year after year.

     How To: Luckily there are a wide array of containers to choose from that will suit a variety of needs. We find that wood, plastic and strawberry containers are the least expensive, but can easily rot and sustain wear and tear after frequent use. Therefore, if you prefer containers that will withstand the hands of time, then ceramic or metal containers are worth the investment.  Just be sure you drill a few holes at the bottom if they do not already have a drainage system.

***Friends, we’re curious: what are your tips for making the most out of your space??

About Us:

Humble Seed specializes in premium garden seed kits that are packaged and themed for convenience and ease. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality heirloom, non-GMO, non-hybrid, and organic seed varieties to those who choose to start from seed. We’re also proud to say we have taken the Safe Seed Pledge!!

 Does starting your first garden seem too overwhelming or you have limited space? Check out this option: The Tower Garden Aeroponic Growing System.

Be Sociable, Share!

Survival Gardening: How To Boost Your Disaster Preparedness

December 28th, 2011

It is as good a time as ever to begin your own survival garden for you and your family.  This year, increased food prices, economic uncertainty and recent record natural disasters have undoubtedly heightened our concern about the safety and availability of food. A desire for a survival garden may also be rooted in the fact that you crave fresh, organic and non-GMO vegetables, fruit and herbs year round. Or like our parents and grandparents during World War Two, “victory gardens” save money, while allowing commercially grown food to be directed to areas that need it.  Whatever the reasoning, survival gardens are easy to construct and following these additional suggestions can allow your family to eat healthfully from home.

How To Start A Survival Garden:  First, decide what your gardening goals are.  Are you looking to add a few more fresh fruits and vegetables to your weekly meals? Perhaps you want an emergency food supply? Or, maybe take it a step further and completely live off the grid? Whatever you decide, it’s best practice to begin by planning a 4-foot wide space for your garden.  You do not want it any wider or you’ll have some trouble planting, harvesting and weeding in the center.  You may make the length as long as you prefer, yet many like to begin with 4×12 feet and the opportunity to grow larger as need be. Pick a location that’s relatively flat and receives sunlight with some shade at certain parts of the day.

After you have found the perfect location, dig an area about 1 foot deep.  You may dip deeper to add more vitality to your garden, but keep in mind that you’ll need more soil to compensate.  Using sized pieces of wood, form an “L” at one end of the garden and use a power drill to set each screw in.  Do the same for all four corners until you have a sturdy rectangular shape. Fill in the hole with nutrient-rich, organic soil, leaving some space a few inches at the top.  Use compost periodically to boost the soil’s needs.

Deciding What To Plant:

Grow any type of fruits, vegetables and herbs you prefer, but do keep in mind that some plants are advantageous to grow together while others will literally steal nutrients from the plant next door.  Check our Companion Gardening blog post to see a complete list of companion plants.

Planting medicinal herbs and plants is a good practice for those who aspire to grow a garden for emergency purposes. Garlic, onions, aloe, cloves, anise seed and other herbs have proven medicinal qualities that could be helpful for injuries and other ailments in a crisis.

Emergency Seed Banks: Many of us want to be prepared in any type of natural or economic disaster, and creating your own emergency seed bank is one way to ensure your seeds are viable when you need them most.  Begin by selecting a wide variety of seeds that are non-hybrid heirloom and non-genetically modified.  Next, make sure your seeds are completely dry and place them in a vacuum-sealed bag.  A Mylar® bag may also be used to ensure tight sealing.  Then, place bags in an airtight, waterproof container or a compact storage case.  Carefully label your seeds and keep planting guides in the container as well. These simple steps will increase the lifespan of your seeds, while giving you more control and self-sufficiency over your food supply in a worst-case scenario.

Storing Fruits and Vegetables: Canning your leftover fruits, vegetables and herbs from your survival garden can prevent waste and can prepare you and your family for most unexpected emergencies.  Using mason jars and two-piece lids will suit you just fine for canning foods.  Make sure the food, cans and lids are sterilized before you label and place the jars in storage for later use.  Freezing food in air tight bags will also retain most of the nutritional value, while blanching vegetables before freezing can stop enzymatic activity that slowly causes the quality of the food to dissipate. Remember that freezing is better for short-term consumption, as a loss of power could mean the loss of your food if you do not have a backup generator.

Do you have a prepared food source for your family in an emergency? 

Be Sociable, Share!

Guest Blog: Jerry’s Garden

January 20th, 2011

One of Humble Seed’s primary objectives is to inform, educate, and inspire positive change in the world. With today’s technology, it has never been easier to convey a message or an idea. Social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and internet blogs are becoming more influential by the day.  Here at Humble Seed, we feel very fortunate that this technology has enabled us to connect with and grow such a knowledgeable and diverse community.

Nothing highlights that more than the spectrum of  guest bloggers we have featured in the last few months. We have had Master Gardner ‘Gardening Jone’s‘ timely piece about food safety.  Dorren Pollack, Chairperson of the Phoenix Permaculture Guild, excellent article “Garden to Table in 60 Days“.  Nutritional coach, whole foods chef, speaker and author Adam Hart’s fun and informative video blog.  And Brendan Cook, Director of Sustainability for EcoAid, support for “Big Garden-Small Carbon“.

So today, we’re happy to introduce to you, Jerry Greenfield. He will be doing a once-a-month guest blog for Humble Seed. He will bring his passion, experience, and unique gardening perspective. Look for his blog post every third Thursday of the month. Now, here’s Jerry….

Hello Everybody!  It’s nice to “meet” you!  My name is Jerry Greenfield and I am the newest guest blogger for Humble Seed.  I can’t even remember at this point how Jim Mitchell (co-owner of Humble Seed) and I got to know each other, but somehow we became friends on Facebook and we’ve continued to grow our friendship over the past several months.

It seems that Jim and I share very similar views when it comes to gardening and living a green, sustainable lifestyle.  I like what he has to say, and he likes what I have to say, so I started thinking that his readers might like what I have to say too!

When I approached Jim about writing guest blogs for his site, he was more than happy to have me!  So here I am, writing my first guest blog for Humble Seed!  My bio should tell you a little about me, but I can elaborate a bit here.

I’m an old man—approaching my 57th year—and have been gardening for decades.  Okay, maybe I’m not that old, but I certainly feel it some days!  I’ve always gardened organically because I started gardening before it was even possible NOT to garden organically!  I think it’s crazy that gardening with nature and by natural means was good enough for our ancestors for thousands of years, but now most of us are in such a hurry to find new ways to garden that we’ve forgotten the fact that we couldn’t have gotten this far without the help nature has provided us.

I’m a strong believer that things are the way they are for a reason.  For example, if plants were meant to have chemicals inside of them that killed or repelled pests, then the plants would naturally have these chemicals—we wouldn’t have to genetically modify the seeds to produce these chemicals.  Another example, if plants were meant to grow faster than they do…ah…then they would, simple as that.  But plants are programmed to grow at a certain rate for a reason and messing around with their natural growth rate can be detrimental to the plant.

I think we’ve been messing around with nature for long enough and it’s time to go back to our roots.  It’s time that we start working with nature again and not against it.  It’s time that we embrace our humility and once again become humble to the seed and all of its natural wonder.

So, I hope you’ll all enjoy my guest blogs!  I plan to offer you advice, share opinions, and discuss current events pertaining to our environment, food industry, and governmental procedures concerning our health and rights to grow and consume natural and organic foods.  Above all, I will promote organic gardening as our means to survival.  Once again, thanks to Jim for allowing me to reach out to all of you, and I’ll catch-up with all of you soon!

Jerry Greenfield Expert Author-EzineArticles.com

Connect with Jerry via his blog and Facebook page: Grow Like Crazy

About Jerry Greenfield

My number one focus is growing my own food. I don’t think that really counts as a hobby. For some people it is, but for me, growing my own fruits and vegetables and saving my own seed is the key to survival. The only person you can count on is yourself, if you ask me. The government is trying to “help” us all with GMOs and welfare, but it’s all a crock. I also like to build things and read Transcendentalist authors from the 1860s.

Be Sociable, Share!

Growing Debt and Growing a Victory Garden

September 20th, 2010

 

Humble Seed will often point out reasons why growing your own food is important, from the freshest foods possible to a sense of personal accomplishment, but there’s another necessary reason why so many families today are turning to gardening: debt.

Today’s economy has forced many families into picking and choosing where they will spend their hard earned money, and sometimes, it can come down to what bills will be paid versus what types of meals will be put on the table. There are families feeling the pressure to buy more processed foods, because they are less expensive. Sadly, processed foods can be very unhealthy. There are also families choosing to grow their own foods, because starting from seed is inexpensive, and the yields can be high—with enough vegetables to feed your family and more for an entire growing season. Aside from the expenses of getting your garden ready and maintaining it, growing your own foods can be very economical.

If you do not have the space or yard for your own garden why not partner with a family member, friend or neighbor and create a joint victory garden? Victory gardens were first created during World War I and World War II in order to minimize the pressure on the public food supply that was caused by the wars. They were herb, fruit and vegetable gardens that were planted at families’ residences and public parks. Today, with the slowly recovering economy and continuing frustrations with the way our foods are being produced and processed, the word ‘victory’ can be an inspiration for a better and more sustainable world. With the popularity of victory gardens growing, it’s clear that people are making informed choices about where they will spend their money, how they will manage to stay afloat during the bad economy, and what foods they will feed their families.

Be Sociable, Share!

Ordering Seed Now Is Important for Tomorrow

June 1st, 2010

Whether the garden season has passed for you to plant your favorite herbs and vegetables or you have not prepared your yard yet for a garden, there’s no better time than the present to buy seeds. That’s right; there’s no better time than the present to buy seeds, even if you’re not ready to plant. Here are four important reasons why you should buy now rather than later.

Seed shortages. Last year’s poor growing season—mostly due to extra wet conditions—may make it difficult now and in the future for gardeners to get seeds such as carrots, cucumbers, onions, and snap peas. When fewer vegetables are grown, fewer seeds can be saved.

Demand for seeds. The poor economy and concerns over chemical use on commercial foods has prompted more people to start their own gardens, thus, more seeds are being sold.

Pre-planning your future garden. Planning a garden takes some prep work. From choosing the perfect garden location for the best sunlight possible to preparing the dirt, and deciding where to plant what, when you take the time to plan your garden ahead of time it will not only alleviate stress but also give you something to look forward to when the time is right for planting. If you’re new to gardening, planning ahead also allows you the opportunity to learn about the herbs and vegetables you want to plant, e.g., planting depth, seed spacing, soil temperature, days to germination, days to maturity, sun, water, etc. Knowing this information ahead of time is extremely helpful when planning out your garden.

Peace of mind. Many people want to know that the foods they’re eating are safe to eat, and growing your own herbs and vegetables is a great way to feel good about what you’re feeding yourself and your family. Another aspect of peace of mind is in knowing that you are equipped to live self-sufficiently in cases of disasters that may deplete our nation’s food supply.

Having a supply of high quality seeds available at any given time is becoming more and more mainstream for many people, as well as being educated on how to successfully grow foods for self-reliance.

Be Sociable, Share!