Category Archives: How To

The History Of Gardens In Times Of Turmoil

Spring weather and extra time at home may have you thinking about putting in or tending to a garden. It’s something past generations always did in times of turmoil. Home gardens provide extra fruits, veggies and herbs when store shelves may be bare.

During both World Wars, the U.S. government encouraged Americans to grow their own food to relieve shortages. Gardening was promoted as a family-friendly activity that provided exercise and stretched food budgets.

With wartime food rationing in 1942, the Oregon Victory Garden Advisory Committee formed to help people grow personal plots of fruits and vegetables. Community groups and government agencies partnered to offer free public classes, they produced and distributed how-to manuals, provided hands-on assistance through home visits, and broadcast gardening information on KOAC radio – later known as Oregon Public Broadcasting.

The coordinated effort worked. All over the state, residents dug up and cultivated their yards, public parks, empty lots and even a portion of the Oregon Zoo.

READ THE FULL STORY: https://www.opb.org/artsandlife/article/victory-gardens-america-coronavirus-history-oregon/

How to plant a well-being garden for your physical, mental and social health

There is an ever-growing body of scientific evidence that gardens and gardening are good for our physical, mental and social wellbeing. Having something to nurture brings a sense of unpressured purpose to our lives. And if you choose the right plants and design, you can enhance the wellbeing your garden provides.

A considered, layered approach to planting can block traffic noise; the right trees and shrubs can combat pollution; certain flowers can keep pollen counts low, while still encouraging bees and insects; and scented plants can reduce stress. Here’s how to do it.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) looks great in mixed borders or pots, can be used in many recipes, and is proven to enhance alertness, memory, reduce anxiety, improve mood and aid relaxation.

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) Be sure it doesn’t take over, so place in pots (in sunny spots). Peppermint will enhance attention, alertness and memory as well as reduce stress.

Lavender (Lavandula) A therapeutic garden classic, fantastic for improving concentration, reducing stress and anxiety, increasing relaxation and improving mood. Plant near a back door or seating areas for maximum exposure.

Thyme (Thymus) A great robust ground cover that, if planted along the edge of a path or gaps within paving, will release its beautiful scent when stepped on.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/mar/14/how-to-plant-a-wellbeing-garden

How to plant a well-being garden for your physical, mental and social health

There is an ever-growing body of scientific evidence that gardens and gardening are good for our physical, mental and social wellbeing. Having something to nurture brings a sense of unpressured purpose to our lives. And if you choose the right plants and design, you can enhance the wellbeing your garden provides.

A considered, layered approach to planting can block traffic noise; the right trees and shrubs can combat pollution; certain flowers can keep pollen counts low, while still encouraging bees and insects; and scented plants can reduce stress. Here’s how to do it.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) looks great in mixed borders or pots, can be used in many recipes, and is proven to enhance alertness, memory, reduce anxiety, improve mood and aid relaxation.

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) Be sure it doesn’t take over, so place in pots (in sunny spots). Peppermint will enhance attention, alertness and memory as well as reduce stress.

Lavender (Lavandula) A therapeutic garden classic, fantastic for improving concentration, reducing stress and anxiety, increasing relaxation and improving mood. Plant near a back door or seating areas for maximum exposure.

Thyme (Thymus) A great robust ground cover that, if planted along the edge of a path or gaps within paving, will release its beautiful scent when stepped on.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/mar/14/how-to-plant-a-wellbeing-garden

Gardening column: Big tips on fertilizing your garden

I don’t know if fertilizer is flying off the shelves yet, but I am guessing a few more people might be interested in gardening this year … you know … stocking up!

Growing your own produce is fun and eating it fresh from the garden is rewarding. Growing organically remains popular — so much so that each generation seems to think they invented it!

Regardless whether you garden flowers, veggies or manage turf — using the least amount of inputs is always best.

The two broad groups of garden products are synthetic (human-made), chemical types or organic/natural based chemicals. Both are chemicals.

For example, the chemical composition for bone meal, a natural product can range from 10-30% phosphorus, depending on the type of bones and methods used to process it. Products used as organic fertilizers are usually available separately, so you can mix up your own concoction.

READ THE FULL STORY: https://www.mankatofreepress.com/news/lifestyles/gardening-column-big-tips-on-fertilizing-your-garden/article_1f83e760-67f8-11ea-998f-9fc94aab9627.html

The nine-year-old American girl who builds houses for the homeless – using all the power tools herself!

A nine-year-old builds houses from scratch and they aren’t the kind for dolls. 

When Hailey Fort was just five-years-old, it broke her heart to see a homeless man on the street. After asking her parents how she could help him, she’s been assisting the homeless by providing food and housing ever since.

Hailey of King Fort, Washington is building a mobile shelter for her homeless friend Edward and others like him. She plans to build 12 this year.

Edward recently lost his job working at the local supermarket and Hailey made it her goal to make sure he could sleep someplace warm and dry.

READ THE FULL STORY: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3111720/Nine-year-old-girl-builds-makeshift-homes-homeless-grows-food-garden.html

How To Plant a Forest Garden That Grows 500 Kinds of Food and Requires Virtually No Maintenance

Historically, farms and forests have been at odds. Conventional wisdom says we have to cut down the forest to make way for agriculture.

But a growing movement called agro-forestry “capitalizes” on the free services forests provide farmers and gardeners.

Not only do trees protect more delicate edible plants from the elements and extreme weather, they provide nutrients, water, pest control and pollination services.

Although you might not find all your traditional annual veggies in a forest garden, you will discover hundreds of new varieties of edible plants you never knew existed, that are often more nutrient-dense and flavorful.

And if you choose your plants carefully, they will propagate themselves each year and live symbiotically among the hundreds of diverse species around them, requiring no tilling, planting, fertilizing, weeding or watering.

This is what Martin Crawford has done in his 2-acre forest garden in England for over 20 years — let it do the work for him for the most part, after a few years of research and legwork.

READ THE FULL STORY: https://returntonow.net/2019/10/28/forest-garden-with-500-kinds-of-food-requires-only-a-few-hours-of-work-per-month/?fbclid=IwAR1n5udnKnaFLBC9hI9pCnNv4R3ryKXXzQKfOlXeurHyYcURiXHMSPVTN6o