We’re doing the 12 days of Christmas Appropriate Technology style.
Day 4: 4 bright green thumbs
Today is all about urban gardening and composting.
1. Victory garden kits from Make
Victory Gardens 2007+ calls for a more active role for cities in shaping agricultural and food policy. It is a concept currently in development with the city of San Francisco that would provide a subsidized home gardening program for individuals and neighborhoods.
This program offers tools, training & materials for urban dwellers to participate in a city-wide transformation of underutilized backyards– turning them into productive growing spaces.
The project draws from the historical model of the 1940’s American Victory Garden program to provide a basis for developing urban agriculture as a viable form of sustainable food practice in the city.
2. Cooling Singapore with Urban Gardens from World Changing
A growing culture of urban gardening in Singapore and other major cities in Asia may hold the key to reducing city temperatures, Reuters reports. Apartment dwellers who tire of endless rows of concrete buildings have resorted to planting vegetables in boxes, trees in troughs, and even lawns on concrete yards. Gardeners boast of the visual aesthetics of the gardens, but the vegetation itself has the added benefit of blocking the sunâ€™s rays and lowering temperatures through evapotranspiration, according to experts.
3. Guerilla Gardening: A Manualfesto from Treehugger
From Toronto to London, green-fingered rebels have been surreptitiously planting up neglected land with flowers, trees or vegetables, simultaneously brightening up their neighborhoods, fostering a sense of community, and often even growing food for those around them. Now weâ€™ve come across Guerilla Gardening: A Manualfesto – a book that aims to guide would-be guerrilla gardeners through the process.
4. Aquaponics – The Urban Food Revolution from Treehugger
Aquaponics, from a laypersonâ€™s point of view, is the merging of aquaculture and hydroponics into a process that seems to take all of the positives from the above production systems and leave the negatives far behind.
5. My Empire of Dirt: An Experiment in Brooklyn-Style Subsistence Farming from New York Magazine
The â€œlocavoreâ€ movement says we should only eat what is grown within a few miles of where we live. How about a few feet? An experiment in Brooklyn-style subsistence farming, starring smelly chickens, an angry rabbit, a freak tornado, a vegetable garden to die for, two psyched kids, and a marriage in the weeds.
1 Four tons of the good earth delivered to the driveway. 2 The spiderhole, five and a half feet deep and counting. 3 Building the two-story rabbit hutch. 4 The Farm nears its harvest. 5 A breeding pair of twenty-pound Flemish Giant rabbits.
(Photo: Amy Eckert [rabbits and garden]; courtesy of Eric Slater [spiderhole and hutch]; courtesy of Manny Howard [earth])
ONE MAN-MONTH OF FOOD CRAMMED INTO 800 SQUARE FEET.
A Four vegetable planters: cucumbers, cantaloupes, peppers, and heirloom tomatoes.
B The garage, a.k.a. â€œthe Barnâ€: tool storage, rabbit feed, chicken feed, six rabbit hutches, a slaughter station, a refrigerator, and four egg-laying coops.
C The field, in four beds: 1 Tomatoes, beets, celery, yellow squash, purple eggplant, and a fig tree. 2 Collard greens, cucumbers, and callaloo. 3 Cabbage, Japanese eggplant, white eggplant, rhubarb, leeks, garlic, onions, fennel, rosemary, thyme, and mint. 4 Corn, broad beans, basil, bok choy, and parsley.
D The duck run: a duck coop, a duck pond, and two wayward rabbit hutches.
E The chicken run: a high-rise high-capacity chicken coop and a livestock holding pen (on the porch).
F The potato crop: a raised bed technically known as a â€œdrill.â€
(Photo: Clockwise from right, courtesy of Manny Howard; Amy Eckert . Illustration by Jason Lee)
6. Vermicompost: Our Worm Bin Rocks! from Podtech
7. Critters found in one cup of compost from Boing Boing
A scientist at the University of Illinois received a cup of compost from a friend; he put it under the microscope and created a very cool composite image of all the creatures living in that one cup of decay.
8. Winter Compost December 2007 from Veggie Mama