May 18, 2011
I’ve spoken a lot about space saving vertical vegetable gardens already, but I’m coming across more and more ways of creating them that I’m eager to try. The beauty of these is just how many plants they can hold without encroaching on any of your limited floor space.
First, the recycled shoe storer by pippa5 on instructables. The pockets are deep enough to plant salads, spinach, flowers and herbs, but also tomatoes, strawberries, radishes and chard. The only way one of these ugly things should ever be used.
Next, the upright pallet garden by life on the balcony. The sides, back and base are lined with landscape fabric – a black porous materials made from natural synthetic fibers and available from garden centres – and the pallet is then filled with compost before being planted up. Leave the pallet lying flat for a couple of weeks to allow rooting to establish before positioning it upright.
I’m not sure about using this tin can garden for edibles as the metal may leach into the soil but these are perfect for planting flowers to attract beneficial insects. Punch a small holes in the bottom of each for drainage and staple-gun or nail them to a wooden fence.
And finally, not strictly vertical, or particularly productive for that matter, but oh so pretty, are Japanese artist Kochi Kawashi‘s “Manga Farms” – beautiful little sprout gardens inside recycled and water soaked comic books. You won’t get a massive crop out of them but such a novel way to grow a leaf or too. Kawashi has tried it with radish, buckweat, broccoli, rocket and basil.
January 25, 2011
Sustainable living meets great graphic design in Green Patriot Posters: Graphics for a Sustainable Community, a new tear-out collection of posters edited by Dmitri Siegel and Edward Morris, featuring work from 50 contemporary artists including Shepard Fairey and Geoff McFetridge, and plugged in today’s Guardian.
William Etling: Sustain
Each of the pieces promotes awareness of climate change and ethical, sustainable lifestyles, taking inspiration from World War Two posters among other mid-century imagery. As well as featuring bold design, the artists have steered clear of tried and tested environmental slogans of the past, and throw out some real pearls like There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew, and Unplug and spend time with your family.
Green Patriot Posters
Chester and Tracy Jenkins: Unplug
Published by Metropolis Books in the US and Thames & Hudson in the UK, the book’s green credentials are top-notch, using 100% recycled paper and vegetable-based inks, as well as having used 100% wind power both in the production of the base materials and in the printing process. It’s available for purchase from Art Book and Amazon.
January 19, 2011
I’ve just discovered Vivien Weise’s excellent Cooking Weeds, a cookbook dedicated to, as the name suggests, using the abundance of edible native weeds available to us for free in a variety of imaginative and often mouthwatering recipes. She only includes common weeds that can be found in any London park or tow path, and clearly describes which weeds (and which parts) are edible, as well as including nutritional information for each plant. Plus, they are all illustrated to facilitate your picking efforts.
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November 19, 2010
This summer, Capital Growth (the food-growing initiative for London fronted by Mayor of London Boris Johnson and London Food Link) launched Edible Estates, a competition open to residents of London’s housing estates, encouraging them to develop food-growing spaces on the land around their homes. 40 communities took part from Greenwich to Haringey and Lambeth to Tower Hamlets, and last month, the winners were announced at a special conference.
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