11/1/10 0 comments
So, I recently discovered that the leafy branches on tomato plants will grow into new plants if you keep them in water (They're genetic clones of the original plant). I'd heard of that with other plants but never seen it in tomatoes so I tried it out with all the leafy bits (I pull off all the leafy bits and leave mostly just the fruit bearing parts. So I've got about 6 little things in a tiny jar and they are growing like crazy, some of them are even putting out flower pods!!! And I just keep them under a regular lamp, nothing special and not outside cuz it's too cold...

Anyway, besides this I'm growing some green onions from shoots I had cut the tops off and I got some broccoli sprouts from my room mat. Dunno if those will grow since they were refrigerated tho. I'm hoping to get a grow light this week and am planning what to plant. I'm gonna use one of those shoe racks you hang on the backs of doors, I'll hang it on my closet so it gets light from the lamp above and some from the window.

Read more »

Fuel a film by Josh Tickell

9/16/10 0 comments
I'm currently watching a documentary called Fuel. It's about the United States' dependence on foreign oil and what can be done about it. Basically it discusses the physical and human cost of oil production and the ecological damage done by oil. I just learned that European bio-diesel cars can go as far as 150 miles per gallon. Unbelievable. Apparently diesel cars do not need any modifications to run on old vegetable oil either (I have to verify this) which is just amazing to me. Honestly, this subjects is so fascinating to me but I need to research it a bit more to give you guys an accurate review but for now I'm very intrigued about the possibility of making a diesel engine run moped or truck. Fascinating....

I've added a link to the movie here in case you are interested in learning more. I've definitely added this to my favorite documentaries list.
Read more »

Potato potahtoooo part deux

9/12/10 2 comments
Sorry if I'm not my usual entertaining self, I've been writing all night.
Anyway, Valery brought me my plants a few days ago. Leon was super excited and mosied on off with a small tropical tree and a drying out fern. I thought I heard him say "this is so great, it's like a swamp" as he left, which I found hilarious. I basically ran out of room for everything so there is a small ficus living in a corner near the door on the living room floor and even plants in my room and the new vacant room.
But what  was most excited about was the worm bin. I had tossed a few potato plants into it for my friend to plant in her yard but she never did. She also never took them out of the worm bin. I am sad to report that I saw only 2 lonely worms in the bin (and a random slug) but if they are in good health 2 should be enough so fingers crossed. The potatoes on the other hand were amazing. The regular potatoes dropped their leaves ages ago though the stems are still green. But they have started growing little potatoes! squee The sweet potatoes on the other hand, are still growing like crazy. Strangely the leaf shapes are completely different from the potatoes Stella is growing out front,, which is kind of cool. I wonder if they will taste different? Anyway, it way obvious
Read more »

Introducing..... moi

I thought I'd take a moment to introduce you all to your host (moi) and what we are working with, just so you kind of know what I am talking about in later posts, so this will be a bit of an introduction, if you will.

 This is our awesome compost heap, with random bits  of other junk thrown in cuz I am laaaaaazy. The chicken wire is to keep out the dogs who for some reason LOVE eating dirt. We also have a vermicomposting bin but it is currently home to my potatoes, but I will cover that in another post.
Read more »

Potato, potahto

9/9/10 0 comments
My friend Valery has been taking care of my plants for a few months since I've been rambling. Next Friday we are going to participate in a forum together so she is coming in to ABQ and bringing my lovely plant friends and worm bin home to me (I wonder if the worms have survived? I have a new home for them:). I'm most excited because I had a bunch of sprouting potatoes, sweet potatoes and big baking potatoes. Anyway, if you haven't seen a growing potato, they are gorgeous. Sweet potatoes have sort of lovely purple shoots with flowery things at the tips. The regular potatoes look more like tentacles heheh.
Read more »

oops, that WASN'T a tomato... am I gonna die now?

Silverleaf nightshade poisoning in livestock (Progress report / Texas Agricultural Experiment Station)Troublesome silver-leaf nightshade susceptible to leaf-gall nematode (The scientists tell me)
There I was, water on full blast (and yet it was a pathetic little trickle) trying to save my roommates plant beds in the front yard. There are a couple that will probably make it but one of the tomato plants might be beyond the pale. Anyway, I turned around to turn off the water and had to walk through the other side of the yard. This side has a couple of nice shade trees but its full of the same strange weeds as the backyard.
As I'm walking back to the knob I see a couple of random plants along the walk that are being smothered by weeds so I give them all a drink and start looking more carefully. Thats when I saw them. They looked like weird tomato plants, kind of short and squat. The leaves were narrow, about an inch and a half long and a sort of silvery green. There seemed to be two types, one with bigger thorns, yellow fruit the size of cherry tomatoes and scalloped edges to the leaves, the other had fruit that was green. It looked sort of like small watermelons. That plant had strait leaves and smaller thorns. They smelled good.
Read more »

Dust Storms

My room mate & I have been working on getting supplies to fix up the back yard. Currently it looks like a stereotype of a desert, just with less cactus and more dust. We haven't drawn out any plans yet but we've decided to build a large green house, a storage shed for our various bikes and a firepit. Oh, and a pond, just for fun. And there will be chickens. I tried to get one through Freecycle (www.freecycle.org)but I haven't gotten a response yet. Stella, my roommate, is designing (she is a welder) a chicken house and run that can be moved from plant bed to plant bed during the winter so the birds can scratch up the earth and fertilize it with droppings. The thing I'm most excited about is our green house. We will make it by buying dozens of old windows from Habitat for Humanities ReStore (near San Mateo & Zuni Walmart: http://www.habitatabq.org/restore). Incidentally I plan to volunteer there. Please support your local ReStore by donating old household items and building supplies so poor people like me can afford to make their home look nice.
Read more »

Fruits and veggies nom nom nom

On Monday I got the project itchies and decided to go on an adventure. After rampaging about on my bike for a few hours, hitting the library and borrowing 10 DVDs and a similar number of books and stopping at Talin, a local "world food" market for coconut water, I somehow ended up at Walmart (oh no I just looked up and there's a giant spider crawling up my wall 0_o it has a yellow stripe down it's back). Now I knooooow that Walmart is a bastion of unethical corporate behavior but..... they do have cheap products.... So I wandered in through the gardening section.
Basically I went nuts.
Read more »

Sustainable living, recycling and the green revolution...

"Sustainability" "urban farming" and "green living" are quickly becoming meaningless buzzwords. I set out on a mission to discover for myself what it means for me to live "green." I may have cheated slightly by beginning this project well before I started this blog but I will try to keep my related experiences as factual as possible.
Many people have gone out of their way to tell me how silly I am for wasting time on this subject and learning about things like composting toilets and container housing but I am firmly of the opinion that every aspect of living is related and effects other aspects of your life. The food you eat effects your energy and health which effects the type and quality of work you can do which effects the amount of money you make which effects where you can live and on and on. In a way I could say that this is my mission statement, to discover whether I can maintain and improve my lifestyle by living "green." For now I will give myself one year to chronicle my experience.
Thanks for dropping by!
Read more »