Growing tomatoes upside down – a diy project

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Now I really like this idea for the popular growing tomatos upside down – from Frecklewonder blog. She writes

her husband built an official upside-down-tomato-grower’s-structure of sorts.

I’ve seen the tutorials for ‘how to’ but I really like this diy idea; clean, clear and definite and I Want This in my yard!

Cut some holes in the bottom of the buckets to plant the tomatoes, and hang them in a sunny spot! The rain will water the tomatoes from the top of the bucket, and you can easily water them yourself if the weather is not cooperating.


The ‘Victory Garden’ still has meaning for today’s generation

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I have long believed the WWll concept of everyone having a ‘Victory Garden’ of their own has more meaning for us now in these times in a quite different way. In the time of WWll, individuals grew Victory Gardens as a response to war-time rationing and as a united gesture of patriotic support.

As ‘living off the grid’, becoming consumer-less, corporate farming, global warming, terminator seeds (food seeds), sustainable living and stewardship for Mother Earth’s resources become relevant issues, I have yearned for us, as a collective country of concerned citizens get back to the idea of Victory Garden brought into the 21st century. Looking back at earlier decades – fashionably called ‘retro’, and repurposed or refashioned to the 21st century, why not look back to the Victory Garden concept of WWll and give it a 21st century facelift?


Grandmothers still teaching; ‘The Three Sisters’ gardening

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I absolutely did Not know this – but I do now. I have often heard of The Three Sisters, without full recognition of the relationship. I will be planting my corn, beans and squash in a quite different pattern this year. In fact, I think I will plant it in that sunny space behind the house and actually name it My Three Sisters Garden. I came across this in my morning reads – attributed to a post at one of my listserv groups by Sweet Spring Farm.

The Three Sisters

The “three sisters” of New Mexican agriculture, corn, beans, and squash, were hundreds of years ahead of their time.  This system serves as the basis for inter-cropping systems currently being used around the world as tools to increase agricultural productivity in areas facing food shortages.  Why is this such a successful system?

Simply stated, each of the three sisters serves an important role. To understand the system one should first consider the three plants separately.  Growing corn in rows is a good idea but wastes valuable planting space.  Beans require some sort of support system and must be staked up to grow.  Finally, both squash and corn require additional nitrogen in the soil to produce adequately in New Mexico’s typically sandy soils which are also prone to losing valuable moisture due to evaporation.

As corn reaches for the sun, beans may grow up the strong stalks and the necessity of building a support system or frame is reduced.  One must plant corn some distance apart, leaving the ground bare;  however, planting squash between the rows of corn reduces soil mosture loss as the squash foliage acts as a natural mulch, reducing soil temperatures and helping to ‘hold’ moisture in the soil where it may be used by the plants and not lost to the atmosphere.  Finally, beans have the unique capability of being able to ‘fix’ atmospheric nitrogen, pulling it from the air and improving soil nitrogen status; essentially ‘fertilizing’ the other two sisters.

Contributed by Dr. Dann Brown, Professor of Botany, Eastern New Mexico University