Tag Archives: community gardens

Publication: The DC garden boom in Civil Eats

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I have a piece in the fine publication Civil Eats! I’m proud to bring news of DC’s urban agriculture boom to a national audience.

Check it out: An Urban Farming Renaissance in Our Nation’s Capital

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Analyze that Dirt

bags of soil

Soil samples from my plot and my garden neighbors’ are mixed, dried, and ready to ship to U Mass.

Colleges just had that special break where students drink on the beach and faculty stay home to watch 90s movies, and I have potatoes sprouting on my kitchen table. So even if forecasters predict snow tomorrow, spring is officially here! For gardeners, that means it’s time to send in soil samples for testing, if you haven’t already.

Wondering what the deal is with soil testing? Here’s my basic guide to getting your dirt analyzed:

  • It’s a good idea to test levels of various materials in your garden soil every year or two. It’s like getting a physical and doing blood work. Then you can add whatever nutrients you need to grow the most abundant and nutritious plants or, in some cases, remediate or move on to avoid harmful contaminants like lead. Find out more on this and the movement for better soil from the Bionutrient Food Association.
  • A good time to do this in the D.C. area is usually late February. But if the ground is frozen solid during that time like it was this year, late March works.

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Five tips for launching an urban garden

garden on 10-28-12

My community garden plot in D.C. does its thing last October. Photo by Rhea.

Lately, it seems everyone is trying to start an urban community garden. It also seems I have a knack for stumbling upon successful ones. So I connected the two and pitched it to Civil Eats. The editor miraculously accepted it, and I’m thrilled to share the result, “Five tips for launching an urban garden.”

 

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Filed under Gardening, Sustainability

Delight and dread for a new gardening season

The Mid-Atlantic winter may not have produced a Snowquester, but it’s still spitting out frosty nights. Soon, even those will become a threat of the past, bringing in — to my delight and dread — a new gardening season. Just like the one depicted above. Continue reading

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Recent publications: Something from nothing

Two stories on two rather different topics appeared in two divergent publications this week. One thing they have in common is that I wrote them. They both, I realized, also carry the theme of making something from thin air. See any other similarities?

Growing something out of nothing: The story of D.C.’s Wangari Gardens, on Grist.org, December 4

The Mad Lib legacy, on DeafEcho.com, December 6

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