Friday, July 27, 2012

Yay Gardeners Rights Prevail

Ferguson resident wins fight for front yard vegetable garden : Stltoday

Ferguson resident wins fight for front yard vegetable garden 

2012-07-27T00:05:00Z2012-07-27T13:39:33ZFerguson resident wins fight for front yard vegetable gardenBY PAUL HAMPEL • > 314-727-6234 AND VALERIE SCHREMP HAHN • >
FERGUSON • A Ferguson resident has won a battle with city officials that could be considered a matter of taste.
The resident, Karl Tricamo, had been feuding with the city for months over the vegetable garden he had planted in front of his house in the 300 block of Louisa Avenue.
The city saw the garden as a blot on the landscape and issued Tricamo a citation demanding he uproot the corn, tomatoes, sorghum, peppers and other crops sprouting there and, instead, seed the yard for grass. The garden measures 35 feet by 25 feet.
With the help of an attorney from the Libertarian group Freedom Center of Missouri, Tricamo emerged victorious on Wednesday night when the city's Board of Adjustment voted to throw out the citation against him.
"We felt vindicated," said Tricamo, 29. "I had taken steps from day one that everything would be within ordinance. They just tried to throw everything at us and hoped something would stick."
Tricamo's attorney, Dave Roland, cast the issue as a blow against petty city tyranny.
"Gardening is part of the basis of human civilization," Roland said. "Is it unusual to have a garden in your front yard? Yes. But the city had no right to demand he remove it."
The board voted 4-1 in Tricamo's favor.
But board chairman Joe Schroeder, who cast the lone vote to uphold the citation, said the ruling should not be construed as support for Tricamo's endeavor.
"The board felt that, technically, he had the law in his favor," Schroeder said. "But I think that all of us on the board agreed that the garden is an eyesore. It goes against common sense, really, to put a garden in the front yard instead of the back."
Schroeder said he wondered what Tricamo's yard will look like when the growing season is over.
"Will it be a patch of mud?" he asked.
Tricamo and his fiancée, Nikki Brandt, 26, had their first child, Kae, five months ago. Tricamo, a stay-at-home dad, said he planted the garden as a way to sustain his family in a healthy, environmentally sound way. The garden requires less water than a typical lawn, the couple says, and the 55 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, peppers, beans, corn, grain, and herbs has nearly sustained the family for the last two months. They spend little at the grocery store.
They have been careful to plant taller, flowering grains and plants near the street to camouflage other plants behind them. Just because the garden is different, they point out, doesn't make it any less attractive than the grass that used to cover the yard. They rent the home and have the full support of their landlord, they said.
In a few weeks, Tricamo will pull out the current garden and plant fall and winter crops. When those are finished producing, he will mulch and plant winter wheat.
Though the citation has been thrown out, the couple has grown weary of repeated interactions with City Hall and visits and drive-bys by code enforcement officers. Tricamo logged his dealings with City Hall and the garden in a blog,
Through it all, the garden has continued to produce — Thursday's haul included a five gallon bucket nearly full of tomatoes, about a dozen peppers, and several squash.
So is this now a victory garden?
"It was a victory garden in the first place," said Brandt.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Time to start saving those 2liter bottles again

plastic bottle green house build guide !
Check out this tutorial on how to make a greenhouse out of plastic 2liter soda bottles over at

Instructions on how to build a plastic bottle greenhouse using 2ltr plastic lemonade bottles. This was produced as part of the Greenspaces project with primary schools in Moray.
How I built my Greenhouse, or how to ignore instructions and get away with it!

Plastic bottle greenhouse

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden

Last night I bought a new book on dehydrating. Drying With an Attitude By Mary T. Bell. At the start of this book she states "One of my mentors has been Buffalo Bird Woman."  She describes this book as "a rare and valuable window into the past by clearly documenting specific details of how Native Americans grew, harvested, dried, stored, and cooked their food." 

This reminded me that A while ago when I read The Resilient Gardener by Carol Deppe. Carol frequently referred to Buffalo Bird Woman’s garden.

Buffalo Bird Woman, a Hidatsa Indian born about 1839, was an expert gardener. Following centuries-old methods, she and the women of her family raised huge crops of corn, squash, beans, and sunflowers on the rich bottom lands of the Missouri River in what is now North Dakota. When she was young, her fields were near Like-a-Fishhook, the earth-lodge village that the Hidatsa shared with the Mandan and Arikara. When she grew older, the families of the three tribes moved to individual allotments on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.In Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden, first published in 1917, anthropologist Gilbert L. Wilson transcribed the words of this remarkable woman, whose advice today's gardeners can still follow. She describes a year of activities, from preparing and planting the fields through cultivating, harvesting, and storing foods. She gives recipes for cooking typical Hidatsa dishes. And she tells of the stories, songs, and ceremonies that were essential to a bountiful harvest.A new introduction by anthropologist and ethnobotanist Jeffery R. Hanson describes the Hidatsa people's ecologically sound methods of gardening and Wilson's work with this traditional gardener.

After reading reviews of this book that glowingly state testimonials such as "As a messenger of the old ways, she detailed how to build drying platforms, the best days to dry corn, beans, squash, buffalo, serviceberries, prairie turnips, and more. She cached food for two years in case the next growing season was a failure."  I knew this is a must read for me.

Each of the pictures of the books in this post are links to amazon where you can purchase them. But if your cheap frugal like me, I wanted to share a link I found where you can download a copy of Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden: Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians for free from the 
Hathi Trust Logo
Digital Library

  Click here to go to book

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