1) I simply LOVE this garden idea: multiple tiers for growing with a ‘compost’ tower to feed the lot. This really allows for full use of a very small piece of land, wise choice of crops with a quick yield, crops being ready in two months or less and can be picked at any stage of growth for fresh salad additions.
By lining the cages with straw the compost remains invisible to the neighbors or garden harvesters and since you already know that every addition gets an immediate cover of leaves the pile stays odorless and invisible.
2) USING BALES OF STRAW, available seasonally for free, and an old glass window (or door)you can try your hand at GREENHOUSE GROWING. Be creative, ask your neighbors and friends, visit thrift stores and second-hand benefit shops (like Habitate for Humanity)
3) CONTAINER GARDENING
An excellent springboard of suggestions. The key to success is VARIETY, VARIETY, VARIETY! Choose the best varieties for your season and container size and off you go.
Best seed catalogues? I lean towards the non-glossy ones and here is why: “As I learned more about the modern seed industry I began to see past the airbrushed transplants and photo-shopped stills in the seed catalogs. I found that the true face of the industry was not so pretty. Many catalogs cover-up where their seeds come from, how they are grown, and who owns the brand name. Most seed companies get their seeds from large scale monocrop seed farms using pesticides, herbicides, and soil-wasting farming practices. Looking deeper I found that a few multinational corporations, mostly biotech, own the bulk of seed sources. I realized that my seed dollar spent at a familiar seed catalog, even one offering heirlooms, could very well be supporting the likes of Monsanto. ” *
Well said! Most of us are so concerned about clean food but if we only knew about the seeds, the kernel from which food starts, are in high peril and the outlook bleak we might be fighting a different battle.
Seeds from Italy THIS is my #1 choice. The smallest of the companies and by far the best with an exquisitely non-slick catalogue that lacks glossy photos. What it lacks in glitter it makes up for in the quality and choices they offer you. As a commercial Organic farmer THIS was always my go-to-number-one-choice.
Seed Savers Exchange Is my next go-to choice. “Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds. Since 1975, members have been passing on our garden heritage by collecting and distributing thousands of samples of rare garden seeds to other gardeners.”
Baker Creek Rare Heirloom Seeds Has an interesting assortment of hard to find seeds.
Hudson Valley Seed Library “Many of these seeds we produce on our own small farm; the rest we source from other local farmers, farmers in other regions, and from trustworthy wholesale seed houses that are not owned by or affiliated with multi-national biotech companies. We have signed the Safe Seed Pledge, and we adhere to Vandana Shiva’s Declaration of Seed Freedom.
Renee’s Garden Seeds “A family owned company sharing the pleasure & satisfaction of growing the finest heirloom, certified organic and specialty vegetable, flower and herb seeds.”
Turtle Tree Seeds One of the specialized catalogues that focuses on Rudolph Steiner’s BIODYNAMIC principles.
Territorial Seed Company “Is an interesting catalogue carrying a nice variety of Organic and Open-Pollinated seeds. I use these guys to fill in what I cannot get from my top choice.”
Stella Natura “Biodynamic planting calendar has two aspects. One aspect is expressed on the first seven pages and in the charts. They show how the forces active in lunar and planetary rhythms are intrinsically connected with the growth and development of the familiar plants that we tend in our gardens and on our farms. And they explain how we can work with these rhythms to enhance their productivity.”
Josephine Porter Institute “Biodynamic takes you beyond organics and offers you a roadmap to enhance the vitality of your farm or garden. Biodynamic preparations and indications for planting, cultivating and harvesting allow you to work with the life forces that increase the physical health of your soil, plants and animals.”