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Month: November 2016

Demonstration Garden Project

Demonstration Garden Project

Site One: 100 Square Feet

The IPBN Site One Demonstration Garden Project occupies 100 square feet of level ground, a five by twenty-foot plot formerly covered by weeds and junk. It faces southwest in a niche surrounded by stone walls on north and east and a chain link fence on the west.

Entry is through the open space on the south. The stone walls are the foundation of a row house in a low-income neighborhood, they were erected in 1888.

Thirty-two different vegetables are planted in four identical raised planting beds. In the one foot wide pathway between the beds is seventeen herb plants in seven-inch plastic pots.

The planting beds are each two feet by eight feet by one foot and were constructed of standard untreated softwood lumber coated with linseed
(flaxseed) oil. Screws and corner blocks hold the boxes – beds together and they may be easily disassembled or moved intact to other sites.

In each of the four beds, the planting soil consists of a four cubic foot bale of sphagnum peat moss, two forty pound bags of commercial topsoil, a forty pound bag of commercial compost made of citrus fruit rinds and other organic material, forty pound bag of cow manure, a forty pound bag of sand, a garbage bag of homemade compost, ground phosphate rock, lime mineral powder from western deserts, ground seaweed and 110 earthworms from the UTOPIA: Inside/Outside homesite in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.

Bio-intensive and interplanting horticulture has diverse plants in close proximity, with some primarily growing up and some down, in mineral and organic material rich soil. Scrap wire and woven fabric trellises are used along with fiberglass poles to support vertically growing plants. Iron rods support hanging pots on the four corners of the garden – and these support a polyester unwoven cloth cover which is placed over the plants on nights expected to go below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This cover will protect plants down to 29 degrees and thereby extends the annual growing season by as much as two months at a cost of $11.00.

Total cost of all materials including seeds and herbs was approximate $250.00

Harvesting began seven days after planting and will continue through fall, winter, and spring. In April of 1998, new seeds will be planted to produce spring, summer, fall and winter harvests.

This is a prolific kitchen garden which demonstrates how simply, easily and inexpensively people can grow their own foods on very small intensively cultivated sites.

Volunteers are sought to plant IPBN Demonstration Gardens

Please consider participating in Institute for Plant Based Nutrition by becoming a Charter Member and help support our Plant-Based Education Efforts Across America and Around the World.

Consider planting an Instate for Plant-Based Nutrition Demonstration Garden Farm or Orchard near your home to shorten producer to consumer supply lines. And support distant plant producers who provide special products you cannot grow locally every season.

Everything is connected and we all need is each other. Teach children to grow plants, eat properly and honor labor.

Cucumber Harvest in Texas

Cucumber Harvest in Texas

The senior chief of this cucumber picking crew confided, “we like this work, have our own farms and make good money.” “But,” he continued, “we liked it better when our children could help. They need to learn to work. It could keep them out of trouble. We are proud to be vegetable pickers.”

When we purchase a cucumber, “organic” or “non-organic,” in a retail market, we support a pyramid of entrepreneurs from seed growers to planters, irrigators, fertilizers, pickers, haulers sorters, shippers, sellers.

And imagine how many are involved with packaging and labeling the seeds, making and selling and servicing the equipment, assessing land and collecting wages, handling money at all stages of the process.

Veganomics can make the producer to consumer steps in the process safer, more efficient, possibly lower in cost and permanently sustainable.

An Urban Garden Plot 
Packs a Fertile Wallop

An Urban Garden Plot 
Packs a Fertile Wallop

By Marilynn Marter
Philadelphia Inquirer Food Writer

Sow in the spring, harvest in fall.  Or sometime in between. It’s axiomatic.  A basic most in the Northeast live by.

garden_projectBut not Jim and Dorothy Oswald.  They planted a kitchen garden in the yard of their son’s Conshohocken row house on Aug. 15.  By September, they were picking salad greens.  By October, they were harvesting vegetables.  And they expect to be eating from that garden at least through December, and quite likely  through the winter.

Since taking early retirement from teaching, Jim and Dorothy have dedicated themselves to a vegan lifestyle.  To that end, they founded and operate the nonprofit Institute for Plant Based Nutrition.

And they took on the challenge of a town garden as a way to encourage others to make more productive – and year round – use of the land. Or, for that matter, of any spot in the sun where a container garden might flourish.

Their Conshohocken plot is just 5 feet by 20 feet sandwiched between the wall and a fence, but it’s enough to supply a family of four.

And up until they tackled the mean weeds in August, the site was a patch of cinders, broken bottles and sadly lacking soil, with nary a sign of life but ants and slugs.

“Kitchen gardens are a Philadelphia and a Pennsylvania tradition,” said Jim Oswald, who sees the recent resurgence of community gardens as a good sign.