This is What Happens When You Decide To Create Your Own Food Security

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By on Growing Food, Yardening

If you’re fed up reading labels in the grocery store trying to find some real food that won’t kill you, I feel your pain. Not to worry, there is a solution and it’s awesome. The truth is, you don’t need to depend on food corporations or the government to keep you healthy. Why would you want to anyways?

Click here to continue reading this article on Grow Food – Not Lawns.

The Joy of Chickens: Weeding

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Our hens with a fresh load of weeds to munch down.

I’ve often extolled the virtues of owning backyard chickens. Our three hens, who arrived in our lives in the summer of 2011, have provided hundreds of eggs, manure to fertilize our vegetable garden, and a natural waste disposal and composting system unmatched by any commercial solutions. This doesn’t take into account the intangible benefit of, well, just being. We can’t really put into words just how good it feels to hear them clucking each morning and observing them happily running around their enclosure on warm, sunny days. Continue reading

The Joy of Winter Gardening

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A bounty of winter goodness in our backyard.

 

One of our favorite aspects of living in Los Angeles is our ability to garden all year round. Although the sun dips barely above the horizon and the hours of daylight shrink from October through March, there’s still enough sunlight to grow certain vegetables all the way through to spring. In fact, you don’t even need to live in the Southwestern United States if you are fairly handy and can construct a decent greenhouse. We, however, are fortunate in that we live in an area of constant sunshine and, though the more sun-needy vegetables won’t grow (well), we still manage to keep a steady supply of fresh greens in our diets during the fall and winter months. Continue reading

Resource: Growing Your Greens

John Kohler is passionate about organic gardening, and this description may be a bit lacking. In fact, John is downright obsessed with finding ways to improve his crop yields in his Las Vegas urban farm (he was actually raided by police thinking he was growing marijuana) and his zeal jumps forth from his videos with conviction normally associated with the most ardent religious preachers. That said, we find almost every topic he covers relevant, even if his videos are a bit on the lengthy side, and John will eventually win you over with his sheer earnestness and honesty. Whether you want to start your first container garden, re-mineralize your soil, eliminate pests, or learn the benefits of different types of produce and how to properly compost, this is the resource to visit. So if you have a gardening question, visit him – now!

To visit Growing Your Greens, click here.

A Midsummer Day’s Dream

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Alicia seeds a garden box with carrot seeds before planting other vegetables in-between the rows.

By Ian Denchasy

After a very successful spring and summer planting season, it was time to revisit the “farm” in Our Urban Farm, cleaning out our various planter boxes, moving them to maximum exposure spots throughout our property, and finally dealing with the old backyard lawn we had allowed to die off over the past few months. It was a hard weekend worth of effort, but there’s just something magical about putting in a solid few hours of manual labor that will eventually pay in vegetable currency. Continue reading

See How One Couple Squeezes An Entire Farm Onto Their Small Los Angeles Property

By Carolyn Silveira (via Upworthy)

Erik and Kelly decided they’d rather grow their own artichokes than have to work at crummy jobs in order to buy them at the store. So naturally, they turned their urban house into a mini-farm.

I loved this home tour because it’s also a radical reminder of what “home economics” really means. Learn why they actually hate the idea of “self-sufficiency” at 2:00, hear about a time when everyone in L.A. had chickens at 6:00, and check out their exotic milk-crate toilet at 11:00.

How to Grow Green Beans Even If You Have A Brown Thumb (via Treehugger.com)

green beans seedling pole beans         CC BY 3.0 Richard Stephenson

Whether you call them string beans, snap beans, or haricots verts, green beans are a great addition to any backyard garden, and because they’re easy to grow and harvest, they can be a good gateway crop for beginning gardeners. Green beans come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, and two distinctly different growing habits, so they can be grown to suit just about any garden space in most climates. And in addition to being a tasty garden treat, green beans can improve soil fertility by fixing nitrogen with their roots. Continue reading

2014 Garden Refresh… Time to Thin, Clean, and Replant

With spring suddenly upon us – at least according to theWP_20140301_002 calendar as we really don’t have traditional winters here in Southern California – we decided to combine our minimalistic approach to our outdoor spaces, cleaning out all the old leaves, furniture, and general clutter inhabiting the backyard, area behind our laundry room, patio, and side entrance on the south side of our property. Out went the old plastic lawn chairs, corroded fire pit, and rusty smoker (retrieved by the unseen curbside pickers in the middle of the night), leaving behind only our patio table and matching chairs, chicken coop, and propane BBQ. Our vegetable boxes also remained, but they survived the cut due to both their productivity and attractiveness (and they occupy former lawn space). Continue reading

Paring Down… Our Journey Toward Minimalism

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One of the main goals of Our Urban Farm – in its reality – is to live as naturally and holistically as possible within the framework of our busy metropolitan surroundings. As such, and in keeping with our action-oriented plans on installing vegetable garden boxes, rainwater catchment containers, and drought tolerant landscaping, we’ve now begun the process of minimizing our material possessions in anticipation of a serious life change coming up in three years. Continue reading

May’s Urban Garden of the Month…

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Location: Superba Ave., Venice, CA.

In 2006, Venice’s Mark decided that his lawn was both “a waste of time and water.” He proceeded to convert it over the following years into a fully functioning vegetable producing wonderland. “I had zero idea what I was doing when I started,” says Mark, “But even the mistakes are fun.” Continue reading