An app can help introduce newbies to the garden. But the real rewards are in the dirt.

Some children garden at the knee of their parents or grandparents, and by the time they are young adults and ready to start their own plant adventures, a lot of the horticulture comes naturally. But such lucky people are thinner on the ground than in previous generations, I suspect, even though there has never been a more urgent time to introduce younger folks to the power of the plant kingdom,…

What are soil contaminants—and how did soil get contaminated?

Newswise — Feb. 18, 2019 – Soil is all around us, in cities and rural areas. But some soil becomes contaminated. The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) Feb. 15 Soils Matter blog post summarizes common contaminants and the risks they carry. “The biggest risks for soil contamination are in urban areas, and former industrial sites,” writes Lauren Svejcar, a researcher at Murdoch University. “Common contaminants in urban soils include…

High School Garden Club Helps Students ‘Grow’ Their Skills

LOS ANGELES, CA – Pens and paper are the typical supplies for many high school students, but that is not the case at Arroyo High School in El Monte. Students growing their skills in garden club Found in part by Eco Urban Gardens Helping students learn about agriculture, nutrition The school is part of a growing program, founded in partnership with a local nonprofit Eco Urban Gardens, meant to help…

7 Innovative Architectural Ideas With World-Changing Potential

Our ancient relatives, Homo heidelbergensis, were constructing shelters at least 400,000 years ago, and architectural innovation has been a defining feature of societies since then, changing to suit the needs and desires of the builders and occupants as they evolved. From energy-efficient designs to community-based spaces, these seven designs could help shape the future. As the population ages, society is faced with a challenge: How to help people who require…

We Need to Prioritize Urban Farming in City Planning

Last November, I stood on the stage of the Meeting of the Minds Summit in Sacramento, sandwiched between a panel led by energetic Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs and his vision for economic prosperity, and a talk on the future of autonomous delivery vehicles. My talk? To encourage city planners, developers and urban architects to bring agriculture back to cities and urban spaces, and what this addition can do for the…

DIY Fungi – Interview: William Padilla-Brown

Not long into our conversation at his lab based in Lemoyne, I decide that William Padilla-Brown, of Elizabethtown, is one of the most fascinating people I’ve ever met. At 24, Padilla-Brown is the founder of his own mushroom cultivation company, MycoSymbiotics. He’s traveled the world, attending schools here in central Pennsylvania, in Taipei, London and elsewhere. He dropped out, got a GED and a permaculture certification. He designed his own…

7 Trends That Will Define Gardening in 2019

Americans are gardening in record numbers but what are they most interested in this year? Here are highlights of the seven top 2019 trends in gardening: • The Slow Garden Movement: The same trends that millennials are driving across consumer brands — transparency, sustainability, hand-crafted, experiential, and authenticity — are showing up in gardens and garden centers nationwide.• Architecture Rules: Garden designers will use plants with plenty of intriguing, often…

Urban Gardening 101: How to Deal with Contaminated Soil

Urban soils are particularly prone to contamination. 50 years ago, your yard could have belonged to a farmer, who, perhaps not knowing any better, disposed of old bottles of anti-freeze or contaminated diesel in a hole out behind the tractor garage. Or perhaps the remains of a fallen down outbuilding, long ago coated in lead-based paint, was buried on your property buy a lazy contractor when your subdivision was built.…

Buying Time: Extend your garden’s growing season with a cold frame

Part incubator, part greenhouse and part time machine, a cold frame is anything but cold. It’s an empty, bottomless box that protects plants from winter weather. With its hinged lid of glass or rigid plastic, a cold frame captures solar energy and converts it to radiant heat, creating a warm microclimate where plants thrive. Like the windshield of your car on a cloudless day, sunlight passing through the glass is…

Bottle Tower Gardens Provide Exceptionally Efficient Small Space Growing

Dr. Willem Van Cotthem experimented with this vertical gardening system using recycled plastic bottles stacked and attached to a fence.  He began with the 2011 growing season and continued through 2012 with great success.  This type of garden is cheap to start and is extremely effective for those who do not have a lot of growing space.  A system like this could be built along a fence, wall, or on…