04 June 2011

Urban Farming

Demeter ("the ancient Greek chthonian goddess of agriculture and the protector of marriage and the social order, identified by the Romans with Ceres"), a.k.a. Ma Nature, has finally let go of a very cold and rainy Spring here in the Midwest.  It's  warm enough to plant at last - and so I did with delighted diligence.

In addition to the house plants, which appear ecstatic to be outside, and some red and white impatiens, our front porch now holds several pots of kitchen herbs: basil (2 kinds), cilantro, rosemary, lemon balm, sage (2 kinds), and "sugar herb" <-- also known as stevia rebaudiana. This last item is an experiment.  Totally devoid of nutritional value, it is supposed to be gazillions more sweet than sugar (and somehow not a problem for diabetics, which seems not quite believable).  And as also as an experiment, I'll see if some extra brussell sprout seedling plants and onions can make a go of it in the last few pots I have left.

Two blocks away is our neighborhood's community garden.  We upped for a 4x8 plot this year. I've long been intrigued by the square foot gardening approach - so I now I finally get to try my hand at it.  

My map for planting

It was a cool-ish day today with low humidity: perfect for planting seeds and transplanting some seedlings.  Beloved Spousal Unit helped me set up the chicken wire fencing. (Chicken wire isn't called that anymore, apparently.  It was labeled as poultry fencing.  No wonder I couldn't find it in the store!)

Come harvest time, we hope to have
  • beans (3 kinds)
  • brussel sprouts
  • carrots 
  • cauliflower
  • leeks 
  • lettuce
  • onions
  • zucchini (only planted 2, lest we be overrun!)
And several large sunflowers for bird seed.   


  1. The wife has a few square-foot-gardening boxes in the backyard. Necessary to produce anything in our clay-rich soil. The bugs especially like it since they don't have to travel as far to eat all her seedlings.

  2. Interesting garden (or p-patch as we'd say out here). The paths are very wide, and I wonder why they were made so wide restricting the amount of space each gardener is allotted.

  3. Mike, That's why I put up the "poultry fencing" - keeps bugs out! ;-D

  4. Ryan, The garden was set up last year by a community group. I don't know why the paths are as wide as they are, but 4x8 is a very do-able size for this gardener! (This group seems to have a strong social mode going, though. There are decorative trellises and park benches at the entrance to the gardens and another 'centerpiece trellis' in the center. I think the folk who designed it are more into looks than food growing!)


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