Archive for June, 2008

The War on Weeds

I am ashamed. So very ashamed. I visited my plot today after not having been there for about a week..mainly due to rain or personal commitments. My poor little garden patch has been CONSUMED by weeds! And grass! Tall weeds. Short weeds. Weeds with flowers. Weeds with thorns. I could swear one of them laughed at me. Despair!

So I dropped my little knee pad thingy and went to work..and worked, and worked, and worked till it got dark. I made some progress. I got some pokes and punctures from those horrible thorny mutant  weeds. I accidentally pulled out my little pepper plant because I thought it was a weed. Sorry, pepper.

I still have a ways to go. Ill be there tomorrow hunched over from about 7-8pm if ya’ll want to come by and say hi. Speaking of hunched over one of my tomato plants is growing at like a 90 degree angle. Whats up with that. Not cool.

 

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Fodor Farm in the news again

From todays Norwalk/Stamford Advocate: Living off the land: High food prices spur growth in community gardens -I dont necessarily agree that this is the main reason, but its a contributor.

 

NORWALK – During World Wars I and II, Americans were asked to plant their own fruits and vegetables so farmers could concentrate on producing crops for the military.

They were called victory gardens.

Now gas prices, not war, are behind an increasing interest in home-grown food.

Sharply rising fuel prices have hiked delivery costs, making food more expensive. Food prices are expected to continue to rise 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

An annual survey by the National Gardening Association showed that, last year, household spending on vegetable plants rose 21 percent and spending on herbs rose 45 percent.

George Ball, owner of the W. Atlee Burpee Co., said company sales of vegetable seeds and plants are up 40 percent compared with last year.

Part of the reason is that recent health scares, such as salmonella-tainted tomatoes, have more people out in the garden, Ball said. And Baby Boomers are entering their prime gardening years. But fuel prices are the biggest reason for the increase, Ball said.

“There’s health and quality of life and last but not least – it’s like a perfect storm – is the economic reason,” Ball said. “Any of these alone would cause a rise but, altogether, it’s a spike.”

Community gardens, too, are popular.

When a new one opened for Norwalk residents this spring, with plots for $5 each, all 225 were snapped up in minutes. The 1.8-acre garden at Fodor Farm on Flax Hill Road offers water, garden tools and compost for free.

More than 100 people are on a waiting list, so the city plans to expand the garden by 3 acres, replant the original orchards and restore the 1806 farmhouse, parks director Michael Mocciae said.

“We’re offering ideal conditions. We’re giving them everything but God’s work,” Mocciae said.

All 48 plots at Westport Community Garden, now in its third year, were taken this year, and there’s a waiting list, co-chairwoman Mary Ann West said. There are 80 such gardens statewide, said Cordalie Benoit, president of the Connecticut Community Garden Association. “Most community gardens have seen an increase in participation,” Benoit said. “It’s a combination of several things. One is people are spending less time idling in their cars. The cost of food has gone up and people are beginning to be aware of local food, beginning to be wary of the national food scene. And I think farmers’ markets make them aware of their capacity to grow things, because they see what people are able to grow nearby.”

Financed with a $98,000 state grant, Norwalk’s Fodor Farm Community Garden was established to promote healthy eating and exercise. Some gardeners have found it also has had a nice impact on their wallets.

“There’s no bad side of a community garden, and then the bonus is the savings on organic produce, too,” said Ralph Senna, the caretaker.

Certified horticulturist Shira Friedman consulted with the city on the community garden, where her family has a plot.

“When we opened registration, we were hearing from a lot of people that they wanted to buy organic produce for their family but felt the cost is so high compared to conventional grocery stores,” Friedman said.

The garden also is intended to help residents of nearby South Norwalk, home to five public and low-income housing complexes. Thirty percent of the plots were reserved for them.

The Antoine family, who moved from Haiti to the United States in 2000 and now live in the Washington Village public housing complex, share a plot with their former neighbor.

Pierre Antoine Jr., 15, said his family lived off the sugar cane, mangos and plantains they grow in Haiti. Here, growing their own food helps them live more self-sufficiently, he said.

“We don’t have to go shopping for salads because we have lettuce and carrots in the garden,” he said.

Saving money isn’t every gardener’s primary motivation. Louis Weinberg, co-chairman of Westport’s community garden and a science teacher at West Rocks Middle School in Norwalk, likes to control use of chemicals and pesticides, which grocery store shopping cannot guarantee.

“What you do get is knowing nobody’s touched that food except for you,” Weinberg said.

Shannan DiCesare, who weeded while her 4-year-old daughter, Abby, tended her strawberry patch, said that brings her peace of mind.

“Strawberries have some of the most pesticides unless you buy organic, which is super expensive,” DiCesare said.

Circumstances have changed, but community gardens replicate the feeling of camaraderie that victory gardens inspired decades ago, said Patrick Ward, whose family planted vegetables in their yard in Cleveland during World War II.

“I remember the carrots, how bad they were. But we had our little patch of victory garden,” the Norwalk man said. “You did it because your neighbors did it, because it was the right thing to do, and people are doing that in these community gardens now.”

 

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Anyone see the NY Times article?

I didnt see it, but apparently several people I know have. They told me because I guess there was a giant picture of me on the front page. I dont get the Times so I missed it.  Does anyone have the article? I’d love to see it.

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Just messing around with categories/Greek Horiatiki recipe

Dont mind me..Im trying to figure out how to post categories and sub-category for recipe organizing purposes. Gah.

And theres also a recipe here.

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~*Saturday Lecture Schedule*~

YAY! The Parks Dept kindly sent me the list of speakers for the Saturday lecture series. Theres some great stuff on here 🙂

All lectures are from 1:00-2:00pm under the tent.

June 14, 2008             Janice Ditchek – Clinical Herbalist – Sleepy Hollow Herbals

                                    Natures Pharmacy – Heal Naturally with Herbal Medicine

 

June 21, 2008             Christine Bove – Feng Shui Practitioner

                                    Feng Shui for the Kitchen

 

June 28, 2008             Shira Friedman – Horticulturalist

                                    Basic Organic Gardening, Composting, Fertilizers, Pest Control

 

July 5, 2008                Jean Shannon – Reike Practitioner

A demonstration of practices which can transform the way we handle food and honor what we take into the body.

 

July 12, 2008              Dr. Brian Yomtov – Holistic Chiropractor and Acupuncturist

                                    Applied Kinesiology

 

July 19, 2008              Carol Piro – Be a Better Breather

 

July 26, 2008              Isabel Torbet CBP – Body Talk Partners LLC

                                    Mind and Body Balancing

 

August 2, 2008           Sophie Barnes – Bachs Flower Essences for Total Health

 

August 9, 2008           Rosie Hass – Natural Neighborhood Green Home Products

                                    The Conspiracy Purist

 

August 16, 2008         Kristin Howard of Pymander Books – Heirloom Plants

 

August 23, 2008         Ariella Saria LCSW and Licensed Avator Master

                                    Understanding and Applying the “Law of Attraction”

 

August 30, 2008         Linda Leson – Sole Awakening – Reflexology

 

September 6, 2008     Dr. Zembroski – Holistic Neurologist

                                    Diagnosis, Causes, and Drug Free Treatment of ADD and ADHD

 

September 13, 2008   Rachael Begun – Stew Leonard’s

                                    Book Discussion “The Healthy Way” An eating plan for children

                                    But great for adults also

 

September 20, 2008   Carol Piro – Exploring Energy with Serasin Kotsogiawwis

                                    Utilizing our Energy Systems

 

September 27, 2008   Sue Stebbins of Success Waves – Holistic Life Coach

 

October 4, 2008          Stuart Clymer – Teaching a Daily Exercise Called Appreciations

 

October 11, 2008        Sara daSilva – From Norwalk River Watershed Association

                                    Having an Ecofriendly and Green Property

 

October 18, 2008        Mary Elizabeth Cook – Wholegrain Baking for the Holidays

 

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Fodor Farm Saturday lecture series to begin June 14

From The Hour, but you can read the article here: http://www.yourct.com/new/2008/06/09/fodor-farm-to-kick-off-lecture-series/

For some reason my link thingy isnt working.

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