Progress Report on my Urban Gardening Projects

Fungus among us

Fungus among us

On Earth Day I listed a few things I had planned to become a greener citizen. Even though the weather hasn’t been very cooperative, I’ve made some progress:

  1. Composting – I sifted the contents of my compost bin and mixed it with the potting soil I had from last year. I’m a little concerned that the resulting soil will be too rich for container gardening, but I went ahead and filled all my pots with it anyway. The contents of my compost bin were reduced to twigs, wine corks and other bits that seem to take forever to break down. I’m considering removing the woodier pieces because they don’t seem suited to bin composting.
  2. Container Gardening – My seedlings seemed to get a little leggy, so I tried to transfer them to containers. The starter medium didn’t hold together very well, and mostly fell away when I tried to move them. It was frustrating. I planted the remaining seeds directly in the containers because I don’t want to fool with it. I’ll replace whatever doesn’t live with plants I get elsewhere. I have basil, spinach, and snow peas sprouted.
  3. Mushroom Farming – First of all, the crimini mushroom kit was heavier than hell. The kit is basically a log with a baggie of soil that you spread over the top, and then try to keep within the temperature range recommended in the instructions. The weather’s been working in my favor here and I have a nice crop of white, webbed fungus spreading through the compost. I can’t identify anything as a mushroom yet, but it looks promising.
  4. Buying local – I tried a couple of deliveries from a CSA, but I found it hard to eat that many greens by myself. I used up a lot of the lettuce and spinach over Easter and gave away parsley, which I don’t like. I just can’t do a weekly shipment. However, I really enjoyed the eggs. They were amazing. Now that the farmer’s markets have started up, I hope to do more a la cart shopping and find a farmer to supply me with cucumbers for pickling.
  5. Canning/Preserving – There’s nothing to preserve yet, but I did get a the family pickle recipe from my brother so I can start planning. Since I don’t have any equipment, I started shopping for pressure canner and other supplies. Most of what I need I can find online, but shipping is expensive –especially the jars. I found out that I can have shipments of jars, etc. sent to my local Ace Hardware store and pick them up there without the shipping cost. I may do that if my neighborhood store doesn’t stock up. I went ahead and got my pressure canner from Amazon for .

If you have any advice, I’m happy to hear it. Please share your gardening adventures, too. More to come!

Eggs

Real eggs aren't uniform.

  1. Lori Keller left a comment on May 19, 2011 at 8:07 am

    3oclockclub (kinda like groupon) has been regular deals for ace hardware – spend $25, good for $50. i’ve considered buying a deal just for canning materials.

    i’ve also had a hard time eating all of the csa delivery every week. ended up ordering from irv and shellys every other week or sometimes less during times that i’m superbusy and not home as much for cooking. but with summer approaching, farmer’s markets are definitely another option.

  2. Tammy left a comment on May 20, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    I’ll look into the 3oclockclub site, thanks for the advice.

    And as far as CSA’s are concerned, I need to split with someone or just go the a la carte option at farmer’s markets. Truth is, I eat out more often than I cook for myself which makes it difficult to justify a share.

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