Winter Pruning Tips
It’s that time of year again - time to prune the fruit trees! Although the ideal moment to prune your deciduous trees will vary depending on your climate, and your preferred pruning methods will be different from those of your neighbors, as with most gardening tasks, there are some basic principles that are good for all of us to keep in mind when we prune. I like to prune fruit trees just as their buds begin to swell. This time of year, I walk through the orchard looking for
Fall Seed Saving Tips
Saving your own seeds is the most important gardening job you never thought of doing!
Food For Thought
Here are a few of the questions that have surfaced through our work in creating and sustaining edible gardens in diverse communities over the last decade. We hope they inspire and challenge you, your family and community to create your own garden and your own process of inquiry into the rhetorical question “Where does my food come from?” FOOD and FARMING Where and how is the food I eat produced? How is the food I eat transported, processed and packaged? How are the workers wh
Adapting “Good Agricultural Practices” to Garden to Cafe and Cafeteria Programs
At Grow Your Lunch, we care about food systems change. We envision food systems in which people buy from local food producers, and on-site edible gardens supply supplemental produce to cafes, cafeterias, restaurants and home kitchens. In order for this to work, however, those of us charged with making sure these gardens are successful have to learn an awful lot, specifically regarding food safety and Good Agricultural Practices (“GAPs”). In order to provide food that is safe,
The Art of Watering
Without water, plants cannot absorb nutrients. To water the garden is to allow the roots of plants to access the nutrients surrounding them in the soil. By watering, we also stimulate the growth of beneficial soil-dwelling microorganisms. It may sound simple, but watering is actually one of the gardening tasks that demands the most precision and experience to get right – especially during a drought or in a desert climate. Simply watering your garden less deeply is not a usefu
Secrets to Summer Success in the School Garden
Summer presents numerous challenges in a school garden. Whenever we meet with school communities, the same question always arises, “What are we supposed to do in the summer time?” Fortunately, there are some simple solutions to common concerns about summer in the school garden. Common concerns about summer include: 1. There will be no staff, students or teachers on campus to take care of the garden. 2. Summer crops use more water than spring, fall and winter crops. Why use lo
The Art of Weeding
Believe it or not, weeding is an art. Timing is everything when it comes to weeding. Pulling weeds before they make seeds and reproduce is crucial to successfully weeding your garden. Spring is the ideal time for major weeding projects as the ground is still soft and the weeds have not yet reproduced. Many weeds are actually good for the garden and it is never bad to have a diversity of plants around – the more diverse the plant cover in your garden, the more diverse and resi
Edible Gardening handbook Release!
Edible Gardening Handbook Release! We are thrilled to announce the release of Edible Gardening: 10 Essential Practices for Growing Your Own Food, by Grow Your Lunch founder, Benjamin "Farmer Ben" Eichorn! If you'd like a copy you can purchase the book here or download the free PDF here. You can also see each essential gardening practice outlined in a short video on the Grow Your Lunch Vimeo channel. Thanks again to all of you who have made this project possible during our Spr
Simple Rules for Pruning Deciduous Fruit Trees and Vines
Effective approaches to pruning trees, vines and shrubs vary quite widely. There is by no means a “correct” way to prune. And yet, there are some principles of plant growth that help the person with the pruning shears, loppers or saw in hand decide which decisions to make based on acute observations of the tree or vine’s growth. Pruning is primarily an art of observation, secondarily, of cutting. To prune effectively is to observe what you see and imagine how the plant in que
Are School Gardens Built to Last?
It is promising to see the increasingly widespread public and private support of school gardens in the US. Acceptance of school gardens as relevant teaching tools for health and nutrition is on the rise – from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to the USDA Food and Nutrition Services program and an ever-growing network of corporate and private sponsors, for-profit and nonprofit organizations. However, is teaching about health and nutrition all that school gardens