Welcome

So here you are peeking into my journal. Not to worry it’s not that kind of journal, it’s a garden journal.

I think quite a lot about gardening and urban agriculture. I needed a good way to keep a journal of my gardening adventures, and I’m not one for paper and pen. So of course there is an app for that. Tried many of them. Didn’t like any of them. So a few people had been telling me, “you should have a blog”. I of course thought, what Me? No, I thought, there are so many more knowledgeable folks out there, why should I bother people with my meanderings. Well, then came the day where again I was searching out apps for a better journal experience. So to make a short story long, I decided to give this blogging a try.

You will find that there are some boring journal entries like “sowed this” or “planted out that”. You will also find some interesting tid bits I find on the net. I spend a lot of time poking around this internet for food growing tips. You might even find some of my gardening experiments, interesting?… ridiculous?… or down right silly. They do make good stories some times. Anyhow, let’s get on with the show.

Welcome to Mister Frank’s Garden!

Categories: meanderings | 2 Comments

Mista’s Update

Well, I haven’t posted in a while so I have much to tell.

First and for most, the Damn Hipster Rats continue to eat my garden. They think I am running a salad bar over here. It is very disheartening to see months of work get eaten by unseen critters. They have completely destroyed all my salad greens. I have set traps, plugged in one of those sonic devices, installed a motion sensor light. I caught a couple of the little thieves in my traps, but now the seem to just avoid the traps and go straight for the lettuce. I will try a different bait in the traps, I was using peanut butter at first, and then switched to raisins as they are easier to use. I don’t think the raisins are tempting enough, so back to peanut butter. I would rather not have to kill the little critters, but I can not let them eat all my greens.

So on a better note, my nursery is doing great, tomatoes and peppers are thriving. The Roma’s are not very happy since being potted up, but they may bounce back. The Cherokee Purple and Brown Berry are doing well, I just potted them up yesterday. The peppers had a bout of unhappiness, but they are thriving now.

I will be starting the basil soon, maybe even today. I am excited to have basil back in my life. I am not sure if you know, but I really enjoy growing basil. It is a very rewarding plant, and so very tasty. I grew enough last year to be in constant supply of pesto over the summer, and I froze enough to last well into winter. I plan to grow more this year, I would like to have enough in the freezer to last until next years fresh basil is ready. We shall see.

All the herbs are doing well, and being left alone by those damn rats. So that is a bonus. I am going to grow more parsley this year as my mother wants to drink parsley tea for her health. I will also ramp up the oregano and rosemary I think. We have lots of thyme so I will just stick with the established plantings there. Cilantro is being slow to grow, the first quadrant of my milk crate bed has sprouted, but has not done much else. I planted the second quadrant last week. We love cilantro around here, so I am crossing my fingers that it does well. I didn’t have much luck with it last year, but I belive that had to do with not giving it enough depth. They have long tap roots, and need some space. So we wait and see.

The Allium Clan is doing well. Garlic is strong and thriving, both here on the porch, and at the 12th and clark plot. The leeks are doing well, and I will be planting a second round of leeks very soon. I should have done so already, but that’s ok. The rescued onions and the multiplier onions are doing great, and last but not least, the chives are thriving. The rats are staying away from the alliums so I am happy about that.

Oh and I built a strawberry tower, I am now just waiting for my plugs to arrive. There is 50 holes, I will grow 25 June bearing and 25 Everbearing. I am looking forward to those sweet nuggets. My two little blueberries are doing well I believe, they did not produce at all last year, but that was to be expected, maybe this year I will get a few. I was hoping to get some raspberries this year, but it didn’t happen, I was going to try them in buckets. Maybe next year.

Categories: in the garden | Leave a comment

You Dirty Rat!

organic ratThose Hipster Rats have eaten my vegi’s yet again!

Little rodents with rolled up jeans and a jaunty hat is what I picture when I find my garden has been invaded.

Or maybe something like this guy!

I prefer to deter pests as opposed to more going for a killing approach, but having tried peppermint oil, hardware cloth collars, and other deterrents in the past, to no avail. I now set traps for these little thieves, but they are getting wise. I really don’t want to use poison, it just seems to cowardly, and potentially dangerous to innocent bystanders. I will try more traps and get a movement controlled light on the patio.

These thieving rats won’t get the best of Me!

Categories: in the garden, meanderings | 1 Comment

Sharing Backyards – Vancouver, BC – City Farmer

Screen Shot 2013-03-24 at 10.39.58 AMSharing Backyards – Vancouver, BC – City Farmer.

Very cool little applet. It is a map where you can connect with people who have gardening space to share, or people who are looking for gardening space.

Awesome!

Categories: adventures in urban agriculture, meanderings | Leave a comment

Support Community Gardens

Drive GardenSupport a New Community Garden on the Drive

Right at Commercial and East 12th Ave, Vancouver, North East corner

Click on this link and support the Can You Dig It campaign: http://www.sokap.com/r/6cf40698

Buy your seeds or sponsor a garden bed. 20% of all the proceeds from Can You Dig It store front will be donated to The Drive Community Garden. Awesome! Remember to click on the link above before buying so the profits go to The Drive Garden.

We need your support to make The Drive Community Garden a reality! Please visit http://www.thedrivegarden.com for more information.

Thank you for supporting more inclusive communities through gardening.

Categories: adventures in urban agriculture, meanderings | 2 Comments

Green Onion Rescue

20130226-182143.jpg So I forgot to mention my onion rescue.

Wait… I have to fill you in on the background here. I am a big fan of regrowing any organic green onions I buy from grocery stores and markets. I use the greens in my cooking and plant the little bulbs, and those little guys just move right in and start growing me more green onion tops.

So, now back to the rescue mission. In my compost foraging last week, I was able to pick out some really nice green onions. Still bunched and ready for sale. So, I cut off the bulbs as you see here. Usually when I am doing this with onions I have purchased I cut them a little closer to the bulb. I still want a nice bit of that in my cooking you see. In this case tho the greens were just going into the compost.

20130226-182120.jpgThe next step is to put them in some water overnight. I throw a little rooting powder in with the water as well. This is completely unnecessary, but I have the powder, so why not give those little guys some booster juice. The next day those little guys are ready to stick into some dirt.

To tell you a little secret, you could leave out all the fussy stuff and just stick those guys straight into some dirt. Take them straight from the cutting board and stick them into your garden. They will have a great time I am sure.

I just like to go the extra mile.20130226-182131.jpg

Categories: in the garden | 4 Comments

Get Your City of Vancouver Worm Composting Bins $25!

City of Vancouver – City Farmer Wormshop

Get Your Bin

Take The Wormshop

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These folks at City Farmer have some good stuff going on. Check them out.

Categories: meanderings | 2 Comments

Worm Tea

Wormies.JPG

Wormies.JPG (Photo credit: Duncan Kinney)

It was brought to my attention, that while I have mentioned worm tea a bunch, I have not really explained what it is and how to make it. So since it is another rainy day here in Vancouver, now is a good time to talk worm tea.

Worm tea is compost tea made from worm castings. It is not, as many internet sources will tell you, the liquid that seeps out of the bottom of the worm bin. That stuff is called leachate. It is best to just put that stuff back into the bin. It is not good to use directly on your garden. If you must use it, dilute it heavily. And of course it’s not steeping your poor worms in hot water.

Now what is compost tea then you ask. Much has been written on this subject, so I am going to just give you a brief overview and the give some resources to learn more.

There is two basic methods for making compost tea. Steeped Tea and Aerated Tea. Steeped Tea is just the process of soaking your compost in water to draw out the nutrients. This is the method that gardeners have been employing for many a year.

More recently it was discovered that if you add aeration to the process, you will multiply the beneficial living organisms in the compost many fold. So in this method you use an aquarium air pump and stone to put oxygen into the water. You can also feed these organisms with some sugar to give them a head start, molasses is what is usually recommended.

I won’t give you a detailed how to as it has been done many times on the net, I will give you some links though.

http://www.compostjunkie.com/compost-tea-recipe.html

http://www.dirtdoctor.com/Compost-Tea_vq152.htm

http://www.captaincompostalabama.com/compostteastuff.htm

Categories: Compost | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Taking the Worms for a Walk

joe3-worm2

Illustration by Joseph Bergin III

So, yesterday I was taking a hand full of worms from my bin to my new compost pile ( you know the one for my tomatoes I’ve been talking so much about). I live right next to a park, and I heard the sound of playing children as I was heading to the compost. So I took a detour to show the kids the worms. There were three little girls at the park, and they were very interested in my handful of worms and partially composted vegi matter. I talked to them about worms for about five minutes, and left them with a few worms to play with. It really made me smile to see these little girls so interested in the worms. They were specifically amazed by the fact that the worms ate paper.

When I was telling M about this exchange we did a search for kids books about worms. Of course we found a few, check out my On The Shelf page for my favorite.

Categories: Compost, meanderings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Check This Out!

Greenhorn Gardener Interview With Mary Toney

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Categories: meanderings | Leave a comment

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