Tag Archives: urban

Worldwide Permaculture Network

The Permaculture Institute defines permaculture as: “…an ecological design system for sustainability in all aspects of human endeavor. It teaches us how build natural homes, grow our own food, restore diminished landscapes and ecosystems, catch rainwater, build communities and much more.”

Permaculture is a way of life that can be adopted by virtually anyone, anywhere. In developed cultures we certainly have access to the knowledge and the means to implement these strategies, however big or small, from the smallest apartment patio or backyard garden up to the largest corporation rooftop or agricultural production. In developing nations, permaculture design can mean new or improved sustainable ways of living that are mutually beneficial with their environment.

There are many challenges and threats to our relationship with our environment, but I believe permaculturists are optimists. And despite the dismal headline news, there is a lot of good in the world. The goal of the Worldwide Permaculture Network to map the growing network of permaculture projects so we can all visualize just how much change is occurring. And of course to teach us all how we can adopt permaculture into our own lives. This new Network was just officially launched and anybody can sign up for free – make your place on the map.

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First round

I’ve noticed on Facebook and in the blogs that some people in Illinois and Michigan have been starting their seeds indoors recently. I have to wait a bit longer and plant mine on April 2nd. I’ll be visiting Portland, OR for the week prior and not able to tend to the babies back home in Chicago.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying ordering supplies and planning. I used the site Growing Taste to help me pick my veggie crops this year. Along with the 10 EarthBoxes that are on their way, here are the seeds I’ve picked up so far:

Heirloom/Open-pollenated seeds from Seed Savers Exchange:

  • Pea, Dwarf Gray Sugar
  • Watermelon, Blacktail Mountain
  • Cucumber, Poona Kheera
  • Tomato, Kellogg’s Breakfast
  • Tomato, Opalka
  • Tomato, Stupice
  • Thai Basil

From Renee’s Garden:

  • Mesclun Salad Mix, Asian Baby Leaf

These 3 packets are from an Asian market that I picked up to experiment with. No expiration dates, so I’m not holding my breath:

  • Eggplant, Chinese long, purple
  • Pai-Tsai, Chinese cabbage or “choy”
  • Rau Den, Amaranth

Since I’m container gardening and have limited space I decided to grow crops that are either difficult to find or more expensive to buy in stores. Flavorful/colorful tomatoes, for instance, are impossible to find in stores and potentially pricey at farmers’ markets. On the other hand, organic juicing carrots can easily be purchased in bulk at stores and don’t seem very practical to grow in containers. Although, the nutrition level of any store bought produce is debatable. Next on my list are more herbs and native perennials.