Back to the future

Back to the future: A service has been invented through which you can send messages to people in the future. To whom would you send something, and what would you write? (prompt from DailyPost)

I’ve been flipping through seed catalogs and a most excellent magazine I found at the grocery store, Urban Farm, planning out what we’ll grow this year. I want my letter to the future to ask what grew well. Will my future self write back?

TogetherFarm – Everything is Awesome!

The boys love to "help" in the garden

My kids are obsessed with LEGO (the plural of LEGO doesn’t have an ‘s’) and we have them all over our living room. All. Over. And LEGO games. LEGO Marvel is played for a couple of hours a week, as is LEGO DC. We already played LEGO Harry Potter, Star Wars and Indiana Jones. I love them all. As they say in the LEGO Movie, everything (LEGO) is awesome!

So, when I saw TogetherFarm on Kickstarter last year I jumped on board. TogetherFarm has made LEGO-like bricks, made from food-grade recycled plastic,  for enclosing raised bed gardens  – you can buy them now on Amazon. The sets are pretty small but our plan is to combine our set of blocks with our Nourishmat system, also something we funded on Kickstarter, or the “Salad-a-Day” seed pack that came with our 4’X4′ set of blocks.

The boys are already interested in gardening but I feel like they need their own garden space, not just mine. They can use these tools to help them learn and get started, with guidance from me. Not exactly permaculture for kids but I like how many fun tools there are to involve children in the garden.

Gazing and grazing on Williams St

On Thursday evenings, Saskia Esslinger of Williams St Farmhouse has been hosting tours of her yard, explaining the systems and the principles of permaculture.
It was a treat last night to go with my parents – the sun popped back out just for us! There was a big crowd, with lots if kids and lots of food questions.
For a suggested donation of $25 this is an educational and beautiful two hours. As always, Saskia’s home is inspirational and fun.

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Permaculture public garden tour

On Sunday the Anchorage Permaculture Guild held a tour of public gardens on the east side of town. Two of the gardens, the first and last, followed permaculture principles while the others, while not exactly permaculture gardens, definitely were interesting. Full disclosure: I didn’t take good notes, I missed one whole stop, and my pictures don’t really do anything justice.

 

First stop! College Alps Condo Association’s garden at Bryn Mawr Court as hosted (check out the spread!) by Seija and Sarah.20130806-191315.jpg

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Second stop! St Anthony’s Church Garden (825 Klevin St). Located adjacent to Catholic Social Services, this garden also serves refugees.20130806-191628.jpg

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Stop four! (see what happened there? we missed the Bragaw Community Garden in Mountain View) McPhee Community Garden in Mountain View. The rule is “no permanent structures” but it seems vandalism and theft are an issue so the makeshift fences and gates are fascinating. This is the oldest garden, at 30-40 years.

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And the newest garden, Methodist Church Garden at 1660 Patterson, was the next-to-last stop.

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Cormac’s favorite was the third grade garden at Anchorage Waldorf School. I love the fence and greenhouse and the way it is perched on top of the hill.20130806-191931.jpg

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Small worm bin

I have a large worm bin at my house, but I wanted to make a bin that I can keep safely at school, under my desk. This would also work underneath a kitchen sink or another small space.

My worms are mostly eating coffee grounds and shredded paper, but they also get some leftover vegetables from lunch and from home.

I used two smaller bins that fit under my desk.

After drilling holes for aeration, I covered the boxes with paper (to keep the worms in the dark), added food, soil and dampened paper for the worms to dig in, and put the boxes together.

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clear boxes need to be covered

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adding in organic matter after it is chopped up

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I use a Keurig at work. This kind is easier to add the grounds and filters to the worm bin.

 

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But with scissors and a little effort it is possible to use the regular K cups.

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Poke a hole, dump the grounds, and peel the filter out.

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I drilled aeration holes and then covered the bin with paper. I poked holes through the paper too.

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Here’s my worm bin, expertly covered in leftover scrapbooking paper.

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And here’s the bin, tucked away under my desk.

Foraged Salad: Traditional Foods, Contemporary Chef Southeast Alaska – YouTube

Foraged Salad: Traditional Foods, Contemporary Chef Southeast Alaska – YouTube.

I’m looking forward to the wild edibles poking up in the mud after the snow melts. I will dig out my gardening gloves to harvest nettles.

Here’s last year’s post: Wild Edibles

And Laurie Constantino’s wild edibles website.