Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Learn Cast Netting

One "cranky old bachelor" by the forum user name of "brute" has offered to demonstrate how to cast net. He is located on the Myakka River across from North Port.

If you are interested, you may contact him at

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Good Articles/Blogs

Here are a few good articles/blogs that I ran across:

Garden Amateur has an entertaining little article on growing green beans.

In My Kitchen Garden is just full of great information and pictures.

Safely Gathered In has lots of information regarding preparing for emergencies.

Scarecrow's Garden includes a section on "Food Gardening for Beginners".

The Gardener's Rake has some tips for how to use your Christmas tree after Christmas.

Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op has an interesting article reflecting on changes they've made in 2008 to be more frugal and self-sufficient.


If you haven't already created a compost bin, now would be a good time to start. It doesn't have to be difficult and a compost bin doesn't have to be expensive. It can be as simple as the bin that I created this last weekend out of hardware cloth and wooden stakes and a staple gun. You can check out my new bin on my other blog Weedy Garden.

Also check out The Compost Bin for some information about building a bin.

From what I've learned, it seems some of the biggest things to keep in mind are:
  • Don't use too much woody material, like branches, twigs or woody shrubs. Fibrous material takes much longer to break down into compost, so only use it if you intend on having slow-"growing" compost.
  • The same thing goes for things like corn cobs. Try to beat them with a rubber mallet before adding them to the compost bin. They take a long time to decompose.
  • Coffee grounds are good in moderate doses. Coffee grounds, pine needles and oak leaves are all acidic material, and can make the compost too acidic for earthworms, which are very good for the compost, so you don't want to run them off.
  • Keep the compost damp, but not overly wet.
  • Keep a nice balance of "browns" vs "greens". "Browns" are dry and dead plant material. "Greens" are fresh plant materials, kitchen scraps, tea bags and coffee grounds.
  • Layer the composting materials like leaves and debris and kitchen scraps. You don't want the material to be too dense (you want some aeration), but you also don't want it too airy. You want it to create some heat. Brown material is bulky and promotes aeration, while greens are high in moisture and help keep the compost moist and hot.
  • There are some really unusual things that you can compost that you might not think of, such as hair, vacuum debris, junk mail and paper napkins, dryer lint, old spices, bird cage cleanings, stale bread, Kleenex tissues, old flower arrangements, old leather gardening gloves, stale potato chips, crab and lobster shells, cooked rice, tofu, pickles, old beer, ivory soap scraps, and urine! See PlantTea for a list of 163 Things You Can Compost.
  • A pile typically should be at least 3 feet square with lots of mass to help it stay hot for a long period of time, thereby speeding up the composting process.
  • Yep, as noted above, urine is actually good for a compost heap. It is full of nitrogen, like the "greens" that you add to the compost heap.

Those are just a few things that I have learned that you may want to keep in mind when building your compost bin or heap. Good luck creating your own bundle of black gold!

Lecture "Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds"

miamimami of the FL GardenWeb alerted us to this lecture. The information as she received it is as follows:

Please join us on Wednesday, January 28 at 7pm for Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds presented by author Claire Hope Cummings.

Download the invitation at:

About the Lecture: An environmental journalist reports on the food system in a time of declining resources, growing populations, and economic and social unrest. Ms Cummings offers a critique of industrial agriculture and asks where we go from here: What do we need to feed ourselves? What do we need to know and what technologies will support sustainability?

About the Author: Claire Hope Cummings is an environmental lawyer, print and broadcast journalist and the author of Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds. She is a former U.S. Department of Agriculture attorney and food and farming editor for public radio and writes for national environmental magazines as well as newspapers, online publications and blogs.

There will be a book signing immediately following the lecture on Wednesday. The campus bookstore will have Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds available for sale. You may purchase this books in advance by calling the bookstore at 561-799-8538 and they will be available for you when you arrive at the lecture OR you may just purchase after the lecture.

Directions: Take Interstate 95 to Donald Ross Road (exit 83) and go east to the second light. Turn left onto Parkside Drive, then take the second right into the campus parking lot. The auditorium is in the first building you’ll encounter as you leave the lot walking towards campus.

Welcome to Survivalist Gardening

The term was coined on the FL GardenWeb forum by ibeleive, and it seemed to strike a cord with other forum users. The concept: Become self-sustaining through gardening in these tough economic times.

The world has become a global market over the last decade or two. This is even evidenced by the volatile stock market that we've seen over the last year. Never before has the world economy responded so quickly and dramatically to one country's economic fall from grace.

We are now pulling away from the globalization of everything, and moving back towards a more local economy. People are vacationing closer to home, shopping closer to home, and finding ways to sustain themselves amid the unease of our insecurities.

People are also shifting towards local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), farmer's markets, and growing food in their own backyards.

A movement has begun on the GardenWeb, and I offer this blog as a hub for that movement. I hope that it may be useful in sharing information for like-minded individuals who wish to learn to become self-sustaining, particularly with gardening.

Save this blog to your Favorites and check back often. If anyone has anything that they wish to share on the blog-- dates for meetings, articles about gardening, etc.-- please let me know. You can use the link in the Contact Us box at the top right.

Thanks for stopping by!