Urban Farming

I have always gardened. As far back as memory serves, we have grown our own food. I never really knew that I liked gardening or that I was even good at it, it was just something that one did. Growing up on a farm in a small rural community, everyone grew their own food. I call this section Urban Farming because it will be primarily dedicated to food growing. This is where my real passion lies.

I have fond memories of my paternal Grandmother. Every January or February we would spend many hours pouring over seed catalogues and making our list of seeds for the summer. We would take stock of seeds left over from previous years and make a note of the seeds that we had saved from our own plants. Our seed order was usually placed some time in February. It was an exciting day when the seeds arrived even though it would be many weeks before we could plant them. I had no idea that I was learning how to be a farmer.

I hope to share my knowledge and techniques with you. Although I no longer live in the country, I have developed ways to make the most of my small urban lot. It really is possible to work full time and have a family and tend a garden. Let me show you how I do it. Read on.

1. Still in the grips of winter. See how to extend your season with an inexpensive light fixture and a shelf.

2. Seed Planting day. Its early March and time to start the tomatoes, peppers and other plants. Step by step instructions on how to plant and grow plants inside to then transplant outside when the weather warms.

3. Light and wind. Now that the plants are up they need four things to thrive.
 Check out what to do next.

4. D.I.Y. Seed Tape. Make your own seed tape with the plant varieties that you want. You will be glad you took the time to make seed tape when it comes time to plant. Have perfectly spaced carrots that don't need to be thinned and lettuce that has the proper space to grow. It's super easy, using common household equipment.

5 Choose the Best One. Some of the little pots are getting crowded. Using a small scissors, cut the weaker plants and leave the stronger plants to grow. A few more weeks to go.

6 Micro Greens. The first picking of the year. Lettuce, watercress, basil, kale, romaine. The plants have been growing for about six weeks. the leaves are small but very tasty. Have a look at the recipe.
Roasted Beet and Feta Salad With Micro Greens and Balsamic Vinaigrette. From grow lights to table in 30 minutes. You can not get any fresher than that.

7. It's Time to Plant. How to Plant a Raised Bed. Seeds first then transplants. Winter is over(finally)! This is how I plant my veggie garden. soon it will be lush and green and we'll be eating healthy organic vegetables. I can hardly wait.

8. Mulching with newspaper and grass clippings. Six reasons why you should.

  1. reduces the evaporation of water from the soil
  2. inhibits the growth of weeds
  3. keeps your produce cleaner
  4. keeps grass clippings out of the landfill
  5. recycles news papers
  6. it's FREE!

Making the most of your small space. The pruning technique, espalier, has been practised in Europe for centuries but is practically unheard of in North America. You don't need to be a pro to do it.

10. Growing Cucumbers Vertically. When You have little space for growing, you have to be inventive. Cucumbers love to climb, they were made for it. As cucumbers grow they send little tendrils that wrap around anything that they come into contact with. This is what helps them climb.

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