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My “Punny’’ Valentine

By Larraine Roulston : February hosts the seasonal event when children’s Valentine books and boxes of cut-out cards line the store shelves. Most of these cards will include puns or clichés like these: tigers roaring, “You’re Grrrreat”; cuddly kittens meowing, “You’re Just Purrfect for Me”; and squirrelschattering, “I’m Nuts Over You.”  For children and adults who love to utilize paper, scissors, glue, crayons, lace or red wool, it’s …

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Planting a School Garden To Grow a Future

By Larraine Roulston: Gardeners, as well as most children, love digging their hands into soil, finding worms and picking nutritious foods grown in backyard gardens. Interest has been growing, particularly in urban areas, in creating nature and vegetable gardens at schools. Recent studies suggest that, in addition to the many …

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Is It Possible to Compost Everything?

By Larraine Roulston: Compost everything? It is indeed possible when referring to anything that was once alive! Organic materials should be composted, rather than landfilled where they are contributors to elevated levels of CO2. Homeowners can divert over 1/3 of what otherwise would be trashed by composting vegetable/fruit peelings, eggshells, nutshells, …

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Getting Ready for Winter Composting

By Larraine Roulston : Composting involves organisms called decomposers that include bacteria and fungi to break down organics into smaller pieces. The result becomes a rich humus containing moisture, nutrients and minerals for soil. By including “wet greens’’ from your kitchen to provide nitrogen along with a handful of “dry browns’’ from your yard …

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Bokashi Composting—From Scraps to Fertilizer

By Fredrica Syren: For years we have composted with a worm bin in our backyard, and the little wigglers would feast on our scraps and turn them into powerful nutrients for our garden. A few months ago, while interviewing Farbror Grön for an article about his roof top farm, he …

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Saving Water for the Garden

By Larraine Rouston: For the past several years, we all have become aware that climate change is causing droughts. Yet, just last week while walking in the woods, I picked up a disposable plastic bottle half filled with water. Water is a limited resource; less than 1% of it is usable …

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Saving the Bees

By Larraine Roulston : Frequently I receive petitions to save the bees. The latest from SumOfUs outlines France’s need to uphold the ban of a class of insecticides known as neonics. Scientists are warning us that bees could become extinct. Organizations worldwide endeavor to save these pollinators by blocking companies from spraying pesticides. When we …

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Growing Food with a View–Roof Top Farm

By Fredrica Syren: We have gone from growing food at farms in the countryside to bringing it into the city and growing it in our gardens. Nowadays urban gardening is a way of life and, with creativity, people find ways to grow their own food in the middle of cities …

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Soil Testing and Why It’s Important

By Kim Robson: Gardening is a never-ending learning curve. Every year I learn something new, mostly through trial and error. We’ve all heard of adding coffee grounds, crushed eggshells, Epsom salts, and more to supplement soil. But why? And are those supplements appropriate for your soil and your plantings? It …

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Compost Critter Songs & Games

By Larraine Roulston: Compost Song  (To the tune of the “Hokey Pokey”) You put your wet greens in, You spread your dry browns out, You add a little water and you stir it all about. You invite all your bug friends To have a two-month feast, Then shovel your compost out!  …

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