Lots of people really want to compost their kitchen waste but don't have the space or resources to create a functional compost system. One great way for smaller families and apartment dwellers to generate some great compost is by using red wiggler or compost worms. While they sell fancy worm farms online, if you want to DIY... my wife the worm queen recommends the following tactics...Read More
Did you know that Edible Eden sources most of our beautiful organic veggie seedlings from one of our best farming mentors Jack Gurley of Calvert's Gift farm? Jack has been making a living growing organic produce for the past 20 years or so and if someone knows the answers to all those endless farming questions...it's him. He has also been mentoring young farmers through Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture for the past several years and Edible Eden founder Josh Rosenstein had the amazing opportunity to participate in that program back in 2012. Jack has been watching the weather and the paying attention to the nuances of the seasons in this area for many years so- when he says this season is starting early...we believe him.
What that means is that while usually we wait until at least May 15th to plant warm season crops outside, this season we can start by May 1st. It also means many of our early season crops should grow faster and get tired sooner so keep your eyes on your lettuces! On the down side, it means we'll most likely have less time to enjoy our tender spring greens before they will need to make way for the warm season crops like tomatoes and cucumbers.
One new thing we are trying out this year is planting spinach seedlings instead of direct seeding. Jack made us trays of densely planted and beautifully germinated spinach seedlings and we have been planting them out all over the place. This allows us to space the little spinach plants more uniformly and get more succulent, healthy spinach leaves from smaller spaces. It also allows us to get a two week jump on the season as the seedlings are already a couple weeks old when we plant them.
Make sure to notice your spinach this year and let's see if this new way of planting does well!
As many gardening gurus, books and videos will tell you- there are lots of tips and tricks to growing food successfully. Choosing the right spot, planting the right crop for the right conditions at the right time, sun, water and nutrients are all important.
Maybe more then any other mistake however, Edible Eden is seemingly always fixing people's gardens and containers that have been built without adequate drainage.
Whether we are talking about a raised bed built with heavy duty tarp material underneath it, planter boxes with no holes in the bottom, or decorative clay containers that have not been drilled through- people everywhere try to grow in containers that don't have enough drainage.
This is not rocket science folks- if the water cannot get out the bottom of whatever you are trying to grow in...the plant will not thrive. Plant roots need to be able to take up nutrients and water from the soil, but that same water becomes a killer if it can't move through the soil and drain away. Without drainage holes, that water sits in the container creating anaerobic conditions and rotting the plants' roots. Very few plants can survive such conditions and even if they don't die they will be stunted and weak.
Recently we re-did seven hefty deck boxes that had been built solidly with a complete lack of drainage holes. This means we had to remove anything planted there, take out all the soil, drill holes, lay in gravel and then replace all the soil. This is a big job and can get expensive if you are hiring someone else to do it! It's so much easier to make sure your containers and beds have appropriate drainage before filling them with soil and plants.
If you are planning a new garden or getting ready to plant some containers make sure to contact Edible Eden for an initial consultation so we can make sure it's done right the first time!
I recently had the pleasure of enjoying a brunch out at Miss Shirleys- we got a vegetarian version of an eggs Benedict dish using little corn fritters as the base and it sure got me thinking... Here is a non-hollandaise sauce, garden-to-table version for your consideration.Read More