Thursday, March 5, 2009
I love good food! I had the pleasure of dining at Cakes & Ale in Decatur, GA last night. The name is inspired from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. What an awesome (chalkboard) menu of seasonal, fresh, quality ingredients that support local growers and farms. Really excellent local, home-made cooking that is paired with an equally green & serene interior of salvaged tables and fixtures. Chef Billy can tell you which vegetables came from which farmer. For desert, the Phatty Cakes are amazing spiced woopies of mascarpone goodness. Support restaurants that support small or local farms and you'll be rewarded in many ways!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
A Few Resources for Seeds & Plants:
Burpee- Everything from A-Z, a standard source for seeds and gardening supplies.
Seed Savers Exchange- "Dedicated to sharing and saving heirloom seeds." Decorah, Iowa
Kitazawa Seed Co.- The oldest seed company in America specializing in Asian vegetable seeds since 1917, San Francisco CA.
Daisy Farms- Small Fruit Nursery: Strawberry, Raspberry, Blueberry, Asparagus, Rhubarb & Horseradish Plants. Dowagiac, MI.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Want to find out about your dirt? Send for a soil test. I requested a soil test kit from Rutgers University. For a home garden it's not necessary, but an efficient way to find out what your soil/ crops need or lack.
1. What is a soil test? (Info sheet, a questionnaire, and a mailing bag/envelope)
Measures the ph, nutrients and minerals in your soil.
2. Send for soil test.
Write to your local cooperative extension. In NJ, kits can be purchased from your local county office of Rutgers NJ Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension.
($16.75 covered the cost of my test and kit)
3. Follow SOIL SAMPLING INSTRUCTIONS. It's not difficult- but there's a certain way to sample your soil correctly.
4. Mail out soil sample. My kit came addressed to the soil testing laboratory.
5. Results: Turn around should be 5-10 days.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
One of my new favorite magazines is Garden & Gun out of SC.
One of my new favorite books is Garden Anywhere by Alys Fowler from the UK. Her book provides step-by-step instructions on composting, pruning, harvesting, etc. Getting back to basics is a good place to start and this book shows ways to do that anywhere (especially urban gardening) AND on a budget (+dumpster diving).
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Today we visited Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA and Terrain at Styers in Glen Mills, PA (The 4th brand from Urban Outfitters, built upon the former 100 year old nursery of J. Franklin Styer)
Both places are traditional, hip- and inspiring. Even in the dormant Winter, you can get many ideas and really observe the structure of the gardens. But not everything was bare, the conservatories at Longwood are a lush oasis for a Winter day (even though today was 65).
New Blog! Hey everyone- http://marisakeris.blogspot.com features my artwork, studios, travels and inspirations, but my other interest-passion-life goal is collecting, creating and cultivating something GREEN. New Jersey is the Garden State- and don't you forget it.
The lines are so very blurred in my interests: farming, food, nature, gardening, art, sustainable design, history, folk art. My ideas often touch on one or more of these subjects at a time, and whenever something comes full circle- it's darn good because that's how nature works. I mean- paint is pretty much made out of dirt.
I have so many ideas, especially for this Spring & Summer. I'm preparing for an overhaul on the garden and I'm going to be teaching at a local farm. This journal will help me organize my ideas so they may *germinate* and motivate me to complete personal projects. I hope you will be inspired to begin or continue your own projects.