Organic gardens for your home or business. Composting, pesticides, soil, plus sustainable design fruits and vegetables.
The folks over at ECO SALON have reminded us that Composting isn’t just for food. You’ll be surprised at all the strange, random junk you can toss in the compost bucket. Don’t draw the line at peach pits and coffee grounds – start chucking the following items into that bucket and watch your garbage bill go down while you create top-drawer dirt (and help the planet, of course).
- Bills – because somehow it’s a lot more satisfying shoving bills in with melon rinds and egg shells than the recycle bin. Trust me.
- Latex condoms – both latex and sheepskin condoms are biodegradable; note that sheepskin does not protect against STDs.
- Junk mail – if you’re like me not even the Do Not Mail list has managed to alleviate the jubilant deforestation companies are undertaking on your personal behalf.
- Catalogs and magazines – just shred them first.
- Old fish food and stale catnip
- Abandoned hide/bone dog chews
- Worn out rope and used masking tapeAny old leather – shoes, gloves, wallets, belts, “sexy” Halloween cat costume from college. Note: the leather should be fairly worn out, otherwise you’ll be dead before it degrades. Composting does not guarantee that your friends will stop calling you Cat Woman, however.
- White glue – yes, you can!
- ATM and gas station receipts
- Ticket stubs, post-its, stickers, labels, price tags
- Ratty wool or 100% cotton socks
- Old Halloween candy – when the chocolate tastes like Jelly Bellies, it’s time to part ways. Good times.
- Holey cotton underwear – come on!
- Dirt, crap and grime from your shoes or boots
- Cardboard cereal boxes – shred them up first.
- Vacuum cleaner bag/bin contents and dryer lint
- Skunked beer, ancient candy bars, expired protein bars
- Cotton tampons and cardboard applicators – really!
- Expired dairy and moldy cheese – but hold the meat.
- Used tissues and paper towels
- Aquarium plants and wilted flower bouquets
- Cat fur, dog hair, and nail clippings
- Your hair – you could even bring the clippings home from your hair dresser. If you want.
- Any old leather – shoes, gloves, wallets, belts, “sexy” Halloween cat costume from college. Note: the leather should be fairly worn out, otherwise you’ll be dead before it degrades. Composting does not guarantee that your friends will stop calling you Cat Woman, however.
- Wood chips from the BBQ
- Fireplace and campfire ashes
- That cute little brie cheese box
- Cardboard toilet paper and paper towel rolls
- Hamster/guinea pig/rat/bird cage cleanings
It may seem like weird science, but all of the above objects are fully compostable.
You can compost anything of organic origin: fruit peels and pits, sandwich crusts, gluey pasta, oatmeal that’s gone the way of cement, soggy cereal, stale pastries, nut shells, orange rinds, tea bags, coffee filters, onion skins, melon rinds, seeds, cores, old milk, stale potato chips…
Wait…you compost, right? Composting is free, easy, and one of the best things you can do for the environment, next to cutting down on fossil fuel consumption and minding your three R’s – reducing, reusing, recycling. Call me juvenile, but I also feel like I’m somehow getting away with something. Burying bills in the dirt? Great!
Even if you aren’t a gardener, your green thumb neighbors will be glad to reap the benefits of all your bizarre biodegrading – and you’ll cut down on your garbage pickup fees.
The Worlds Largest Rooftop garden has just kicked off it’s second growing season.
The second season is in full swing for the rooftop urban farmers at Brooklyn Grange Located atop a six-story 1919 warehouse. Krista Leahy at Inhabitat just did a great piece on this 40,000 square foot organic rooftop farm built by Bromley Caldari architects on a random rooftop in Brooklyn.
“After a successful first growing and selling season that began last spring, the farmers at Brooklyn Grange are continuing their production of organic produce that includes 40 varietals of juicy tomatoes, peppers, fennel, salad greens, kale, swiss chard, beans of all sorts and a variety of delicious root vegetables like beets, carrots, and radishes, as well as plenty of herbs.”
Brooklyn Grange’s organic produce is grown in 7.5″ deep beds with rooflite soil. This soil is produces by Pennsylvania soil company Skyland, Rooflite. This special soil is a lightweight soil composed of organic matter compost and small porous stones wich break down to add trace minerals that are needed for the produce to grow into a healthy mature state. The farm has a nine month growing season and everything that they grow is sustainable and good for you. In the winter time they used cover-crops like rye, buckwheat, vetch and clove to produce year around.
Brooklyn Grange is looking to expand to many more rooftops in an attempt to increase the education and training available to those interested in urban farming. Check out their website at brooklyngrangefarm.com
Source & Images Courtesy of Inhabitat
There is one active Dutch designer named Daniel Schipper who created the foldable greenhouse for city gardens and rooftop terrariums. These gardens are made from recycled plastics, the greenhouse roof folds up flat for easy storage and transience. The base is also made from recycled plastic composite and its lack of framework or support materials makes it a minimalist no-fuss appliance. Just unfold, snap, and water.
Schipper’s foldable greenhouse has been causing quite a stir in the Netherlands as he searches for a production partnership to bring it to the global market. It’s just one of many innovative creations from his Amsterdam studio which focuses on concept, research and design having completed. Many of Schipper’s projects emphasize sustainability, functionality and fold-ability.
SEEDBOMs are the friendly bombs that grow, tools for Eco-Warriors and Guerrilla Gardeners. Handmade from a mixture of eco-friendly, locally sourced, organic and recycled materials such as used egg boxes, shredded office paper, compost and a selection of easy to grow flower varieties and native wildflower seeds.
They contain everything you need to start growing flowers practically anywhere. Use SEEDBOMs to interact with your environment, join forces with nature and brighten up dull and lifeless places in your area by throwing them into derelict land, neglected spaces, fenced off eyesores or even your neighbourâ€™s messy garden and watch them grow!
Unfortunately, SEEDBOMs are currently only available in the UK. Etsy is a US site but people in the UK can still order from the site and their payment will be changed into UK pounds through Paypal. I would love to sell in the US but cannot at the moment due to the fact that there are regulations in place for the exportation of seeds and it would be irresponsible of me to send UK native seeds to the US. I only hope I can move things along fast enough to be able to sell a version of seedboms in the US soon as like you say it is a popular idea and I am getting a very good response from people in the US.
Information and Images courtesy of SEEDBOMs
FOOD, INC., directed by Robert Kenner, â€œlifts the veil on our nationâ€™s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly thatâ€™s been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our governmentâ€™s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA.â€
Released by Magnolia Pictures, the film opens in select theaters (NY/LA/SF) Friday, June 12, but will receive a wider release in additional cities throughout June and July. Find play dates @ magpictures.com/and more info on Food, Inc. @ foodincmovie.com/.
David LaFerney at The Door Garden found away to make a green house in his back yard by spending only $50 bucks. “Grated” he claims, “I already had some of the materials, but even if I had bought everything new just for this project It would still only come to about $120 – less than a dollar per square ft.” If you have the room in your yard then I would take a recommend taking a look at his simple design.
With gas prices and energy costs rising, produce and dairy costs will continue to increase as well. One of the things I remember my grandma saying about the depression was that she learned to plant her own garden. Having your own garden is rewarding and one day could be a necessity.
Photos Courtesy of The Door Garden
Do you want to know the quickest way to eliminate over 75% of your waist by turning into a substance that will make your garden thrive? How about building a compost pile in your yard. Composting is the decomposition of plant remains and other once-living materials to make an earthy, dark, crumbly substance that is excellent for adding to houseplants or enriching garden soil. It is the way to recycle your yard and kitchen wastes, and is a critical step in reducing the volume of garbage needlessly sent to landfills for disposal. It’s easy to learn how to compost.
There are a number of different options for containing your compost. Some people choose not to use a bin, simply building a compost pile in a convenient spot on the ground. Others build bins from materials such as recycled pallets, or two-by-fours and plywood. And, of course, there are many commercial bins on the market.
Composting is not a new idea. In the natural world, composting is what happens as leaves pile up on the forest floor and begin to decay. Eventually, the rotting leaves are returned to the soil, where living roots can finish the recycling process by reclaiming the nutrients from the decomposed leaves. Composting may be at the root of agriculture as well. Some scientists have speculated that as early peoples dumped food wastes in piles near their camps, the wastes rotted and were terrific habitat for the seeds of any food plants that sprouted there. Perhaps people began to recognize that dump heaps were good places for food crops to grow, and began to put seeds there intentionally.
Today, the use of composting to turn organic wastes into a valuable resource is expanding rapidly in the United States and in other countries, as landfill space becomes scarce and expensive, and as people become more aware of the impacts they have on the environment.
Some believe in ten years, composting will probably be as commonplace as recycling aluminum cans is today, both in the backyard and on an industrial scale. Many states in the USA have stated goals or legislative mandates to drastically reduce the volume of waste being sent to landfills. Utilizing yard and kitchen wastes (which make up about 30% of the waste stream in the USA ) is a big part of the plan to minimize waste overall.
You can contribute to the ‘composting revolution’ by composting your own yard and kitchen wastes at home. If you have a large yard, you might prefer the ease of composting in a three-bin system out by the back fence. Cities and towns can promote composting through home composting education efforts and the collection of yard wastes for large-scale composting. Whatever your style of composting, there’s plenty of room to get involved!
Learn How To Compost
Learn What To Compost
Learn What Not To Compost
Composting Bins & Systems To Use