Project 2 – Making a Flow-Through Vermicompost Bin

This is just an update on the flow through composting bin that I’m putting together to replace the “stationary” bin that I’ve been using for several years.  If I get the concept right, I’ve been doing it wrong as far as efficiency goes, and this new setup should produce a steady flow of compost to mix in with potting soils and use as an amendment for current planters.

We’ll see how it works.

Be well, everyone.

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TEDxKelowna – Curtis Stone – Urban Farming

A good presentation where Curtis covers the many aspects of urban SPIN (Small Plot Intensive) farming and how they can be implemented into our value systems, our agricultural systems, the food supply chain, and our everyday lives to have a beneficial impact.  Worth a listen.

Be well, everyone.

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From John Rappoport’s Blog: “A Miracle in Chicago”

This was a good piece that painted a good, basic picture of the scope of community gardening and urban farming activity within the City of Chicago (where I reside.)

In the midst of all the bad things that occur here, this represents just one aspect that we as a collective of communities can build on.

[FWIW, this list is pretty impressive, plus it has links to website of many of the operations.  It’s definitely worth a gander.  And yes, for those that matter, the header image is not Chicago.  I know. =) ]

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It turns out that gang killings and drugs are not the only markers of life and death in Chicago. Far from it.

If you consult the Chicago Urban Agriculture Directory, you find a staggering list of city farms and gardens where clean nutritious food is grown:

Urban Farms and Gardens in Chicago and Nearby
• 62nd & Dorchester Community Garden
• Academy for Global Citizenship School Garden
• African Heritage Garden
• Altgeld Sawyer Corner Farm
• Angelic Organics Learning Center Urban Initiative (Eat to Live Englewood Learning Garden, Urban Incubator Farm, etc)
• Bay Bay’s Peace Garden (Loud Grade Produce Squad)
• The Bayless Production Garden (Shores Garden Consulting)
• Benton House Backyard Botany
• Big Delicious Planet Kitchen Garden
• Bronzeville Community Garden
• Chicago Honey Co-Op
• Chicago Lights Urban Farm
• Chicago Patchwork Farms
• City Farm
• DePaul Urban Garden
• Dunne Technology Academy Mini Farm
• East Garfield Block Club Garden
• Eden Place Nature Center
• The Edible Gardens (Lincoln Park Zoo)
• El Paseo Community Garden
• Farmed Here
• Frankie Machine Community Garden (Wicker Park)
• Gardeneers School Gardens
• Gingko Organic Gardens
• Global Garden Refugee Training Farm
• GreenTown Waukegan
• Growing Power Chicago Farms
• Growing Home Farms
• KAM Isaiah Israel’s Farm and Gardens
• Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse and Community Garden
• Loyola University
• Metropolitan Farms
• The Millenium Neighborhood Garden
• Moah’s Ark
• The Mycelia Project
• Natalie G. Heineman Smart Love Preschool Garden
• Peterson Garden Project
• The Plant
• Pleasant Farms
• preSERVE garden
• Purple Leaf Farms
• Rainbow Beach Victory Garden
• Roots & Rays
• Roseland Community Peace Garden
• Rosemarie Rochetta Wessies Rooftoop Garden (Loyola)
• The Ruby Garden
• South Chicago Art Center’s Artists’ Garden
• The Talking Farm
• Third Unitarian Church Community Garden
• Timuel D. Black Edible Arts Garden
• Uncommon Ground Organic Roof Top Farm
• Urban Canopy
• Weiss Rooftop Farm (Loud Grade Produce Squad)
• Windy City Harvest (Chicago Botanic Garden)
• Xochiquetzal Peace Garden

And this is only a partial list. The Chicago Urban Agriculture Mapping Project has a much larger count, which includes private/residential gardens. Their total, which is constantly updated? 888.



But to repeat, in Chicago (and other cities), people have taken matters into their own hands. They’ve launched farms and gardens, and they’ve endured and grown.

It’s absurd to consider how, with an infinitesimal fraction of the funds poured out in the War on Poverty, every city in America could, by now, be flourishing in so many ways—through urban farms. Greater vitality, greater health, greater participation, greater profits, a greater citizen-stake in safe neighborhoods…


A miracle in Chicago

Garden Tech – The Open Source Designed Garden Sphere

I found this to be an interesting take on vertical gardening.


Shared from the Huffington Post:

“Ikea Releases Open Source Designs For A Garden Sphere That Feeds A Whole Neighborhood”


If you’ve already constructed Ikea desks and chairs, then it’s time to take your skills to the next level.

This week the company released open source plans for The Growroom, a large, multi-tiered spherical garden designed to sustainably grow enough food for an entire neighborhood. Hoping to help spur local growing and sourcing, Ikea made the plans available for free on Thursday.

All it takes to complete the 17-step, architect-designed DIY garden of your dreams is plywood, a visit to your local community workshop, rubber hammers, metal screws and some patience:


The Growroom is a brainchild of Space10, Ikea’s lab for futuristic, solutions-oriented designs. Though it’s intended mainly for use as a neighborhood garden in cities, you could also build one for your own backyard, a spokesman told HuffPost.

The Growroom doesn’t come in a flat pack like most Ikea products. Rather, users download the files needed to create perfectly-sized plywood pieces, using a local fab lab workshop for professional cutting. Then, they can assemble them using the free instructions online.


There are already plans to build Growrooms in Helsinki, Taipei, Rio de Janeiro and San Francisco, according to a press release. And if you’re up to the challenge, it could bring more locally-sourced food right to your hometown, Space10 writes:

Local food represents a serious alternative to the global food model. It reduces food miles, our pressure on the environment, and educates our children of where food actually comes from. … The challenge is that traditional farming takes up a lot of space and space is a scarce resource in our urban environments.

The Growroom …is designed to support our everyday sense of well being in the cities by creating a small oasis or ‘pause’ architecture in our high paced societal scenery, and enables people to connect with nature as we smell and taste the abundance of herbs and plants. The pavilion, built as a sphere, can stand freely in any context and points in a direction of expanding contemporary and shared architecture.

More nature, more inspiring architecture, AND more healthy food? Sign us up.

Progress Report – Custom-Made Planters and a Logo

The construction progress on the planters is going a little slower than expected.  Seems all the other events of life is requiring attention.

Same goes for the logo.  I had an exact image of what I wanted, but the Fiverr designer could not deliver (partially due to software limitations.)  I decided to cut my losses (and retain my sanity) and accept the design as best he could manage.

I’ve since reached out to a closer network of people in my soccer supporter community for help cleaning up the design.  As for the planter, with the time it’s taking, I figure I’m going to settle with a version that’s less than what I envisioned, but should function just as well.