Tag Archive: gardening



Food scraps with Bokashi bran sprinkled on top, in a fermenting bin

Bokashi composting is an anaerobic process that relies on inoculated bran to ferment organic material in a tightly closed container.

June 2017 Update: I first posted this on December 26, 2016. Since then. I’ve added food scraps and some other biodegradable materials into my Bokashi bin, let it sit, drain off the liquid—all the things one should do to maintain the fermentation. During this time, I saw a white, fluffy mold grow on the edge of the bin in quarter-sized spots. It never got out of hand, just something I hadn’t expected.

My verdict after 7 months of use: the waste didn’t break down as much as I had hoped. Most of what I’d added remained visibly discernible (I could still tell what was the sweet potatoes, rinds, and other foods). I also need to think about the next stage for this fermented waste, as I don’t have a lawn to bury it into to further decompose. As I learned, this is not something you can add to vermicomposting, as the worms RUN AWAY from the fermented shlosh (I ended up getting worms to add to my GT2 tower). In other words, this might be a good idea for someone who has a backyard, or has gardener friends, but not for someone who lives in apartment. I’ll keep the remainder of my original post for those interested in the basics.

If you’re a longtime reader, you’ll know that part of my green lifestyle involves composting and gardening. I just moved into an apartment without a patio or outdoor space, but I still want to compost and grow some of my food. After doing some research, I decided to get a Bokashi composting bin (this one, if you’re curious) and a Garden Tower 2 (GT2) gardening system. The Bokashi bin helps breakdown food scraps through fermentation, which I then put in the GT2 to finish decomposing and feed my veggies, eliminating the need for a large compost bin and worms.

I’ll make another post about vermicomposting (which I did before I moved and recommend if you can maintain it), and can even talk a little bit more about my gardening plans. Today’s post, however, is really to introduce the concept of Bokashi composting. Continue reading


This is my first winter on the East Coast and I’m really starting to miss having sunny skies and green plants all around me. I’m going to grow some potted plants indoors using cuttings, found rocks, and tin cans to re-purpose as pots. I have a general idea of what I want, but it never hurts to get some inspiration…

Bring the outdoors in to your home with these ideas for how to make small-scale plant holders, grow self-sustaining indoor gardens and more.

Source: 10 DIY Indoor Gardens for the Urban Gardener | eHow


Beautiful blood-red aphids (Aphididae, Homoptera) on native Coyote Bush (Baccharis pilularis, Asteraceae)

Source: Treebeard’s Flickr stream

WHY SHOULDN’T YOU KILL APHIDS OR OTHER BUGS?

Gardening is plagued by a speciesist fallacy that I would summarize as a “Don’t like it? Kill it” approach. This approach encourages a lack of empathy, values aesthetics over suffering and death, and ultimately contradicts why many of us garden to begin with. We garden because we actually like nature and how we treat it should reflect that. This blog post is intended to speak out against the typical gardening approach that values human pleasure over all else. If you found it, likely because you don’t want to kill aphids or other bugs to remove them, hopefully you agree.

One of the first steps to wanting to remove aphids and other insects peacefully is turning them from objects into subjects. We should view them as if they were another person. At the very least, we should consider them to be similar to a cat or dog in what moral obligations we have towards them. This is a huge step up from seeing them as a pest or as no more worthy of our consideration than dirt. One way we can do that is by trying to understand aphids on their own terms.

Continue reading: Vegan Feminist: How to Get Rid of Aphids and Other Garden Bugs Without Killing Them.


Potatoes harvested from a garden

Source: Chiot’s Run photostream

While I was looking up the optimal growing conditions for some raspberries cuttings I got the other day, I came across the Food and Self Sufficiency Blog. It’s no-frills with an aesthetic circa 1998, and the last post is dated May 8 of 2012, but don’t let that turn you off—it has a bunch of good tips and information on vegetable gardening; managing an orchard; canning; harvesting wild foods; and making your own bread, pickles, wine, and other foods; and more. Some of it will seem obvious for people who live in rural areas or are from a farming family, but for folks looking to get back to the basics, it’s a great resource. Take a look and tell me what you think.


Source: bughunter99's garden

*Lazy blogger Friday alert*

I’m copying and pasting the words of the brains behind the forum IDigMyGarden. I’ve briefly skimmed through it and it looks like a great place to get info and share stories about organic gardening. 

This online gardening community is different, political, and organic. I decided to start these forums so gardeners would have a free place to discuss heirloom gardening, gene-altered food, seed saving, natural politics and products. We are dedicated to saving our food and horticultural heritage, and hope you enjoy this forum for the free-thinking gardener!

Wishing you great gardening,
Jere Gettle

Visit IDigMyGarden Forums


Source: Beginning Farmers

Since I talked about gardening in the last post, here’s a continuation on that theme: Saving Seeds: For Health, Safety and Thrift from Thrifty & Green Magazine (an excellent combo). It seems like an obvious concept: grow stuff and save the seeds, but in a consumerist culture, where people are encouraged to buy specialized bags for their trash, I can’t assume anything is obvious.

It might be better to grow heirloom plants and save their seeds rather than conventional plants, unless you know for sure the conventional plants you’re growing aren’t GMO (especially difficult for corn). The CLIF Bar Family Foundation (yes, those CLIF bars) started Seed Matters to address the loss of plant genetic diversity we’ve experienced, and how that relates to food security and sustainability.

I should probably make an entire series about food security and the need for biodiversity in our seeds because I can’t convey it’s importance in such a short post. I was fortunate to hear Matthew Dillon from CLIF Bar/Seed Matters speak about the critical role seed plays in our sustenance—during a lunch hour, he covered roughly 200+ years of agricultural, political, and economic history of seed/food. I can’t pretend I can match that, but I’ll try my hand at a few overview posts in the future.

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