Apocalyptic Gardening

attack of killer tomatoWhen the end of civilization comes knocking you don’t want to be stuck scrambling for Alpo among the zombie hordes at Albertsons. The best means to ensure a continuous supply of foodstuffs throughout the apocalypse is to plant a healthy end times garden full of the essentials. In this post I’ll cover the basics of apocalyptic gardening.

Location: Don’t go planting your new garden in your backyard. That’s the first place resentful neighbors will ransack, and as much as you might try, you probably won’t be able to kill them all. [Read more...]

Big Box Agriculture: Can Stores Become Farms?

forrest_fulton_reburbia_ext-670x270America’s farmland has long been under siege by suburban development. This is nothing new. What is new is that a cease-fire has been called in most parts of the nation. And a conversation is developing about how to move into this new window of opportunity in a manner that not only restores the balance between urban demand and farm supply, but also helps to reenergize our failing economy heavily dependent on the construction industry.

This summer, Reburbia, a suburban design competition, was held by Inhabitat and Dwell Magazine. The competition set out to gather creative and imaginative ideas on how to go about re-visioning the American suburban sprawl that will almost certainly become our suburban wasteland without intervention. Several of the ideas were great, but one in particular caught my eye. [Read more...]

Loco for Locals (cooperatives that is)

ricolocalsCoop has just come closer to home for those in the SLC downtown area.  And I, for one, feel it is a happy trend.  Urban and fringe agricultural areas all over the U.S. have been seeing an increase in small artisan farming operations teaming up with each other to provide convenient store fronts to locals.  Salt Lake City has now joined in the game.

Rico Locals has opened up on 800 S. and 500 E., SLC.  The founding vendors include empanadas, cheese, beef, a goat dairy, eggs, lamb, and Rico Brand mexican stuffs.  Not too shabby.  And I have to say that I really hope this sort of Urban farming and cooperative trend takes off.  I sometimes wake in a cold sweat thinking about small, artisan farms being gobbled up by large, industrialized tenant farming outfits.  I just don’t think that anyone can care better for the sustainability of farm lands than a small generational farm supported by local customers and a local market. [Read more...]

Gardening Gobbledygook with Farmer Green

american-gothicThere are urban farmers, guerilla gardeners and tree-strip ripping going on like crazy all over the U.S. (or at least mention of it on the blogosphere).  But is all of this edible green mayhem really helping us become more sustainable?

How many gardens out there end up being weed factories full of overripe and splitting produce, sipping on wasted water and allowing moisture to evaporate away into the ether?  In other words, are most of us into gardening more in spirit than in actuality?  And if so, do the spiritual benefits of readjusting our Chi with a spade in our hand really worth the waste of time, energy, soil nutrients and water?

Let’s look at some plus and minuses. [Read more...]

Cannabis Should be Eaten, not Smoked (Sheesh!)

hempnutcompositionAlthough bland at first glance, hemp’s most important role may very well end up  as a part of our diet.   Hemp is a monster when it comes to proteins and essential fatty acids (EFA’s).  These two things are the reason we should all be growing hemp in our backyard gardens.  (Note to DEA:  I don’t have hemp in my backyard garden.  I don’t even garden, or have a yard.  I promise.)

Many may disagree about whether the earth is in the midst of a food crisis or overall shortage.  If we all played nice, mabye everyone could have enough (fat chance).  We do know that in the U.S. we are losing farms, farmers and farm land.  But, there is much less disagreement that we suffer globally from a food distribution crisis.  Certainly portions of the earth surface lack sufficient food stuffs to feed the people that live there.  And seeing how lack of vital resources like food can cause mayhem and destruction of life that ultimately reaches even us lazy Americans on our couches, we should probably care that others lack food.  Enter hemp, stage right.

[Read more...]

The Guerillas Have Reached SLC (Go SLUGG!)

guerilla_gardenersEarth day is in the air and granolas are coming out from under their winter stupor here in Salt Lake.  This is the day to celebrate temporary amnesia for so many earth activists, so grim so much of the time.  But not today.  At the University of Utah earth lovers, granolas and tree huggers of all stripes were gleefully frolicking around the Student Union Plaza.  Even the local banter with deadbeat Republican politicians was upbeat and wistful.  A white, paper mache unicorn was proudly wheeled out representing the clean coal package some are trying to ramrod through our nations capitol.

By far my favorite comrades in green at this year’s festival where the newly formed Salt Lake Urban Guerilla Gardeners (SLUGG).  How can you complain with stickin’ it to the man with “seed bombs.”  It’s better than sticking cut flowers in gun barrels (first you are planting stuff instead of killing it, and secondly you don’t have to look into a gun barrel).  I can’t wait for my walk around the neighborhood tomorrow and my small contribution to bombing SLC with future flowers in bloom.  Give ‘em herb, guerillas.  Give em herb.