Category: Gardening

Buckwheat

Buckwheat growing at Khadigar Farm. Photo by Will Bonsall. By Will Bonsall Gardeners rarely include buckwheat among their garden crops, except occasionally as a green manure. That’s not a bad idea, although often not the best. For soil that already has a modicum of fertility, other green manures – oats, for example – return more

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Amaranth An Ancient Food for Modern Gardens

An amaranth inflorescence. Amaranth produces nutritious seeds, and plants can be part of sustainable cropping systems. Photos by Will Bonsall. By Will Bonsall Amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus) is a New World crop, a staple of the ancient Aztecs, who popped it and mixed it with honey to make a treat somewhere between marzipan and Cracker Jacks.

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Recreational Tillage

By Eric Sideman, Ph.D. The rototiller has gotten a bad rap in recent decades. Perhaps it deserves it, perhaps not; in any case it is important to avoid its misuse in order to preserve soil. Temptation to use this power tool is worst in the early spring, when cabin fever or perhaps simply being anxious

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Vegetable Oil

Oil being expressed from black oil sunflower seeds in a Piteba press. Photos by Anita Budhraja. After the oil has been pressed and the sediment and pigment allowed to settle for hours, the product is decanted, giving finished, ready-to-use oil. By Will Bonsall Those of us who seek to be more self-reliant are often content

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Fall Cleanup or Not

Sheep feed on a summer cover crop of Japanese millet, with another garden in the background. Photo by Eric Sideman. By Eric Sideman, Ph.D. Gardeners do not often think of themselves as managers, but they are. At this time of year, which I refer to as Fair time, gardeners have to make a very important

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Hugelkultur

This low garden bed was made with leaves, twigs, tree branches and compost – similar to a hugelkultur bed but lower, and without very large logs. Bobbie Goodell photo. Produce from the garden bed. Bobbie Goodell photo. Hugelkultur mounds can be higher – like this one made by Jack Kertesz of MOFGA and Unity College

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Three Season Polyculture

A new type of “three season” (autumn, winter and spring) vegetable garden polyculture is being tested on Jajarkot Permaculture Program Resource Centers in Nepal. An adaptation of this method will be tested with summer crops next. The system is based on a pattern developed by Ianto Evans of Zopilote Association in Oregon and includes, as

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Gentle Gardening

Jean English photo. By Sue Smith-Heavenrich Every summer I put in a garden: a patchwork of red and green lettuces, the traditional trio of corn-beans-squash, a splash of cosmos and bachelor buttons. Our garden puts food on the table, I tell my husband when I ask him to till up just one more weedy patch.

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Is There a Place for Wheat in Your Garden Part 2

Part II: Harvesting and Propagating Wheat Toki Oshima drawing [Part I of this article, covering types of wheat, weed control and planting, appeared in the March-May 2010 MOF&G] By Will Bonsall The last time I wrote about home-scale wheat growing, I referred in passing to other crops occupying the same ground at the same time.

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Garden Protection

June Zellers with lettuce grown safely inside the protection of a low electric fence. Note the charger housing in the background. Tomash photo. Strategies That Work: Fences and Traps © Adam Tomash 2010 When the corn is coming in or the cabbage transplants just went out, I have trouble sleeping unless I know my “babies”

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