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  • Green Idea 1 : ' Find your nearest Farmer's Market and go there this weekend with friends...
  • Green Idea 2 : ' Swap your old incandescent bulbs for CFLs when they burn out and start saving $$$
  • Green Idea 3 : ' Try using your bike this weekend instead of your car...
  • Green Idea 4 : ' This Spring why not plant a small kitchen garden of tomatoes and peppers on your balcony or patio?
  • Green Idea 5 : ' What are you waiting for? Make the change today!

    The basic objectives of sustainability are to reduce consumption of non-renewable resources, minimize waste, and create healthy, productive environments.


    You can grow your own food whether you live on a rural farm or in a tiny urban apartment. Urban gardening is all about using space wisely to regain a closer connection with your food and beautify your home or neighborhood.


    Explore energy resources, such as wind, solar, hydroelectric, biomass, geothermal, ocean thermal, and wave power, that replenish themselves within a short period.


    Locating the Farmers' Market nearest to you is now only a few clicks away. Localharvest.org is a useful and straight-forward site designed to faciliate your quest.


Urban Garden Project: September 16th Slideshow

Posted by vergelimbo On 9:57 PM 7 comments

Phew! Last Friday I finished my big design/build project for Dewey's Cafe and Bakery, and they will be opening to the hungry public Monday. The long hours and working on the weekends is over - for the moment. I have taken a small "breather" and am focused on planting the fall crops in my Urban Garden Project.

For the last four years, I have been fine-tuning the principles of organic SPIN gardening [Small Plot INtensive] in my expanding garden. Recently, I rotated some crops out, leaving the still-producing peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, beans, broccoli, melons, and okra in place, while inter-planting fall vegetables in the gaps. Spin gardening is specially conceived to maximize the production and variety of seasonal crops to ensure year round production of the gardener's favorite-or most valuable produce. My garden is roughly 1500 square feet divided into 10 raised beds, and produces more than sufficient vegetables and fruit for me and my friends. I sell any surplus at the local farmers' markets. Lately there has been a lot of surplus...

Yesterday I began planting my fall crop which includes: kholrabi, collards, broccoli, onions, beets, kale, squash, carrots, sugar snap peas, spinach, mesclun mix, radishes, chard and garlic. My huge and insatiable composter has devoured the plants I pulled up, as well as the regular "feedings" provided by a network of friends who contribute their compostable material on a regular basis.

Organic composting is an essential element of my spin gardening technique. Continually amending the soil with fresh compost and organic fertilizers such as Plant Tone, Black Kow and organic mushroon compost ensures a healthy, nutrient-rich medium for my plants to grow.

What are you planting? Let me know below:


It would be helpful to get some guidance on how best to start an urban garden and incorporate SPIN techniques - what beginner mistakes to avoid? What are the best "starter" vegetables/fruit/herbs? Is starting in the autumn more difficult and how best to deal with winter? Everyone should be doing what s/he can to eat local AND organic and to encourage a sustainable lifestyle - there is no better time to start than now. Thanks for the great posts.

Fringe-I'm going to do an article soon on beginning a garden using SPIN techniques. I always recommend that the gardener plant what they like to eat...tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and beans are good starter veggies and rather easy to grow.

Fall may be the best time to start a garden...cooler weather for digging beds, planning and starting to work the soil. A winter's worth of compost added in to your beds in Spring will give your plants the boost they need. Start prepping in the fall, compost through the winter, and your garden will be ready for planting come Spring.

I actively covet your garden. Someday...

In the meantime, Chicago is great :) Michael's coming in 4 days for a visit, we're going to check out Sultan's Market. Apparently it's the best falafel this side of the Atlantic.

No fajitas yet, but I'm sure that day is coming...

The Dewey's pics look GORGEOUS, by the way! When's your move?

I have heard about "spin gardening" before but still not sure what it involves. From your photoshow it would seem to be very effective indeed. Where we are in Maine zone 4-5 is almost impossible to grow anything in the winter thats not in a greenhouse. Any ideas on cold hardy vegetables that could work?

Thanks for the posts and beautiful pictures


MJ- "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's garden" Just start one of your own. I'll give you some tips on container gardening if you are landless. My fire escape works great, btw, and is so handy.
Glad to hear Chicago is good...hung out with Mike the other night.

Bill- Thanks for your kind comments. I'll blog some more about SPIN gardening shortly. I will also post an article on USDA hardiness zones. In the meantime, "hoop houses" are a cheap and effective way to stretch the growing season. I have a friend in Portland who uses them with great success

Check out these links for more info:

Hardiness Zone Link:

Hoop houses link:

those are some mighty luscious and voluptuous looking produces that you've got there. my little mint and basil plants are shying away at their own sad and pathetic being. maybe i should just compost them and start from scratch!

Hi Phil, your garden has inspired us; we have a 90m2 terrace on our roof here on the Costa Dorada and would like to get some pots up there and start a garden. What do ya reckon? Terry