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Aphids on Fava Beans attract beneficial insects


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Maria uses her macro lens to close in on our Fava Beans, which are covered in black aphids. Instead of reporting a bad news story, she points out all the beneficial insects dining on the aphids and shows us a bucket of ripe beans that survived despite the pest attack. Later she turned the harvested beans into a delicious Fava Bean humous.

More on Fava Beans here.

July 13, 2009   Comments Off on Aphids on Fava Beans attract beneficial insects

Maria makes garlic scape pesto at our garden


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We grow lots of garlic at the Vancouver Compost Garden. But not many people know about scapes, the flowering stems that appear in June about three weeks before the bulbs are harvested.

Maria picked some of our scapes and prepared a quick and easy recipe for delicious pesto sauce.

June 29, 2009   Comments Off on Maria makes garlic scape pesto at our garden

The Earth and I are friends now – 1943 wartime ad – tribute to the new millions of amateur farmers

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1943 National Dairy Products Corporation and affiliated companies

“The Earth and I are friends now”

Last year I never thought of the earth except as something to walk on. But in the spring I turned up the sod and planted seed. Summer – grubbing for weeds and watching things grow – I got friendly with the land.

Well, it’s autumn now. The crop wasn’t big – but fair enough. And something good has happened to our family! We’ve weeded and watered and hoped together. And said our table blessing over our own harvest.

It seems to me that my family has come back to some important things. Come back to one another – and to our good soil. Come back to being neighbors with the family whose garden row begins where ours leaves off.

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June 11, 2009   Comments Off on The Earth and I are friends now – 1943 wartime ad – tribute to the new millions of amateur farmers

1889 – My Handkerchief Garden – A City Farmer in the 1800’s

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My Handkerchief Garden, 1889
By Barnard, Charles, 1838-1920
New York, Garden Publishing
62 pages

Excerpts below:

At last it was found ; a six-room house with a mere handkerchief of a garden, measuring about one-thirtieth of an acre, or about as big as a city back yard. The soil was a wet, heavy clay, full of stones, and shaded by a number of tall trees growing on the next lot. In March, 1887, we moved to the place, and on the twenty-first we paid twenty-five cents for one ounce of Tennis Ball Lettuce seed. So it was the scrap of a garden began, and thereon does hang the more or less learned remarks that make this book.

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May 13, 2009   Comments Off on 1889 – My Handkerchief Garden – A City Farmer in the 1800’s

World War 1 Food Garden Parade – video

World War One Food Garden Parade. circa 1914.

Produce from village war gardens on display. Opens with parade. Man leading horse pulling a wagon of produce and Union Jack stuck on front. Boy Scouts walk behind the wagon carrying gardening tools and flags. Then a local marching band. This procession comes marching into town square; as other people watch. Lots of lettuces; other vegetables piled high on truck; pan to men standing beside truck; and another truck loaded up with marrows and potatoes and things — less leafy than the other one;

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February 4, 2009   Comments Off on World War 1 Food Garden Parade – video

1700’s – The Food Gardens at the Fortress of Louisbourg

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From the Fortress of Louisbourg by SchoolNet

Founded in 1713 for its cod fishery, Louisbourg enjoyed three peaceful decades as a French colonial seaport. New Englanders captured the town in 1745, but watched its return to France three years later. The peace was shortlived and in 1758, the British captured the town a second time. In 1760, Louisbourg’s fortifications were destroyed and the small British garrison left the fortress eight years later.

Food Gardens

When the French first arrived in Louisbourg, they found the soil to be of below average quality for their gardening. The poor soil combined with the harsh climate inhibited the residents from growing the vegetables and herbs in the quantity or quality of which they were accustomed to in France. Consequently townspeople would often bring soil from other parts of the island and mix it with the original soil in their gardens. The resulting gardens, known as potagers, had an assortment of vegetables and herbs which were used as dyes as well as for cooking and medicinal purposes. Typical vegetables grown were: cabbages, turnip, carrots, beans, and peas. Common herbs were: mint, parsley, sage and thyme.

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January 9, 2009   Comments Off on 1700’s – The Food Gardens at the Fortress of Louisbourg

Our Gardens Yesterday and Today – 1917 cartoon

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Mr. Patriot’s front garden in Town, as it was.

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And as he hopes to have it this year. Potatoes, Parsnips, Turnips.

By W.K. Haselden
Daily Mirror, Great Britain
19 Jan. 1917

December 31, 2008   Comments Off on Our Gardens Yesterday and Today – 1917 cartoon