7 Ways To Preserve Your Garden Harvest

September 9, 2021 by  
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7 Ways To Preserve Your Garden Harvest

The International Garden Festival presents new 2021 installations

August 23, 2021 by  
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Magic lies outside  is the theme of the annual International Garden Festival, which aims to “bring us hope, to exalt creativity and to add colour to this world that is struggling to overcome this global pandemic and to come out of several months of confinement.” Now in its 22nd year, the 2021 edition at Reford Gardens in Quebec , Canada features five new installations, submitted from Canada, the United States, France and Sweden. These additions extend the current gardens, creating an outdoor museum of art. Related: Casa CBC incorporates greenery at every level   Choose Your Own Adventure Balmori Associates from New York present this work, inspired by the effects of global warming . The fight against climate change, coupled with the impact of the pandemic, drove the team to rethink the human/nature connection.  This contemplation is represented in simple lines of  plants  crisscrossing with hard materials. The message simplifies our relationship with the soil, water, air, plants and animals. Choose Your Own Adventure sets out to encourage visitors to feel the hot ground underfoot, smell the moisture or dryness in the air and hear the crunch of gravel as they walk. Hässja Architect Emil Bäckström from Stockholm, Sweden presents Hässja, a traditional hay-drying technique that offers shelter and a connection to nature. Each of the three structures is made up of millions of pieces of straw, transforming a once-living grass into a cozy and protected space for contemplating the resurgent need to intermingle human needs with those of nature. A press release explains the installation by saying, “The covid-19 pandemic has taught us a lot. It has exposed a disconnection from nature, agriculture and the importance of biodiversity . All around the globe, a regained interest in traditional, sustainable ways of inhabiting the earth is emerging.” Miroirs Acoustiques Presented by landscape architects Emmanuelle Loslier and Camille Zaroubi from Montreal (Quebec) Canada , Miroirs Acoustiques gives visitors the chance to experience sound in a newly presented way. Inspired by sound mirrors used across the coast of Great Britain during WWI to detect approaching enemy aircraft, the installation allows sounds to bounce and focus, amplifying them via two parabolic reflectors ( recycled  aluminum antennas) planted in the ground. Open Space A team of architectural interns for Quebec, Canada (Gabriel Lemelin, Francis Gaignard, Sandrine Gaulin) delivers an open space in the outdoors . The premise is a completely unboxed house, loaded with endless possibilities. It not only provides an open space but a way for the mind to openly roam with new consideration for the doors, staircases, windows and walls around us every day. Porte-bonheur David Bonnard, DE-HMONP architect, Laura Giuliani, landscaper, and Amélie Viale, visual artist, represent Lyon, Villefranche-sur-Saône and Lissieu, France with Porte-bonheur, an installation about reopening the doors firmly shut during the pandemic lockdowns. “Porte Bonheur is a rite of passage between reality and potentiality. The installation invites visitors to dare to throw open the door, cross thresholds, go outside and explore their surroundings with all the wonder of a small child.” The Reford Gardens will be open daily from May 29 to October 3, 2021, in addition to being accessible to members in the low season. + Jardins de Métis Images via JC Lemay, Martin Bond, Nancy Guignard and Antoine Proulx

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The International Garden Festival presents new 2021 installations

Unprecedented rainfall hits snowy summit in Greenland

August 23, 2021 by  
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On Greenland’s highest summit, snow is the norm. But on the weekend of August 14-15, it rained. A lot. Seven billion tons of water hit the ice sheet for the heaviest  rainfall  since researchers started keeping records in 1950. This means that Greenland is  heating  way, way too fast, according to senior research scientist Ted Scambos of the University of Colorado’s National Snow and Ice Data Center “What is going on is not simply a warm decade or two in a wandering climate pattern,” Scambos told CNN. “This is unprecedented.” Related: Greenland’s ice melt enough to cover Florida in water Over the weekend, temperatures at the  Greenland  summit climbed above freezing for the third time in the last 10 years. This resulted in an ice mass loss seven times higher than the daily mid-August average. “Increasing  weather  events including melting, high winds, and now rain, over the last 10 years have occurred outside the range of what is considered normal,” said Jennifer Mercer, program officer for the Office of Polar Programs at the National Science Foundation, as reported by CNN. “And these seem to be occurring more and more.” And July wasn’t any better. Last month, in a single day, the Greenland  ice sheet  lost more than 8.5 billion tons of surface mass. That’s the third instance in the past decade deemed “extreme melting” by scientists. The culprit? You guessed it. Climate change. According to a recently published study in the journal  The Cryosphere , since the mid-1990s, our planet has lost 28 trillion tons of ice. Much of that came from the Greenland ice sheet and other parts of the  Arctic . The recent deluge will alter the properties of Greenland’s snow. The ice crust it will leave behind will eventually be buried in  snow , but will form a barrier preventing water from melting downward. Instead, there will be runoff at higher elevations. “We are crossing thresholds not seen in millennia, and frankly this is not going to change until we adjust what we’re doing to the  air ,” Scambos told CNN. Via CNN Lead image via Pixabay

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Summer Superfoods You Can Grow at Home

August 6, 2021 by  
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Looking for some healthy options to grow in your garden? Whether you’re a novice gardener… The post Summer Superfoods You Can Grow at Home appeared first on Earth911.

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Summer Superfoods You Can Grow at Home

Summer Superfoods You Can Grow at Home

August 6, 2021 by  
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Looking for some healthy options to grow in your garden? Whether you’re a novice gardener… The post Summer Superfoods You Can Grow at Home appeared first on Earth911.

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A beginner’s guide to gardening

July 22, 2021 by  
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Some form of gardening has been around since the first days of human existence. It’s an activity that not only helps sustain life but brings joy and satisfaction. However, as the saying goes, getting started is the hardest part. It can be intimidating to understand the verbiage around gardening and figure out what plants will grow well where you live. When you boil it down, gardening is a very basic act and, contrary to what you’ll see in gardening catalogs and online supply stores, it doesn’t require a lot of supplies or money to get started. It does, however, take some planning and knowledge. Luckily, even if you’re a beginner, you can get started on a successful garden with these tips. Garden terminology When shopping, you will notice that plants are labeled by their lifecycle. Annuals will grow for a single season, rarely to be seen again. Biennials will be around for two years. Perennials return for multiple growing seasons. Related: Companion plants to consider for your spring garden You’ll also want to decipher the phrasing around the types of plants you’re buying. While most people know what seeds are, you can also buy plants in bare root form, which have been removed from the ground while dormant and preserved for planting later on. You can also collect seedlings, which are plants that have just transformed out of their seed. Bulbs go into the ground during the off season and bloom a season or two later. Both the local garden center and online sources will list a description of plants that can take a bit of understanding too. A deciduous tree will lose its leaves each fall or winter, while evergreen shrubs will keep their leaves throughout the seasons. A groundcover is a low-growing, spreading plant that will never be taller than about a foot. Ornamental plants are grown primarily for visual appeal but are not for consumption or other use. Plants listed as a hybrid have been crossbred to encourage specific traits such as low water requirements or a sweeter taste. Know your soil Perhaps the single most important thing you can do for gardening success is to understand the composition of your soil (it’s more than dirt; it’s an ecosystem!). Don’t worry, you don’t need to take classes. Simply grab a soil sample kit from the gardening center or take a sample to your regional extension center. Once you know if you’re dealing with clay (thick and slow draining), loamy (rich and balanced with sand, silt and clay), sandy (lacking soil due to high sand content) or silty (somewhere between sand and clay), you’ll be able to plan ways to balance your soil. Different plants require different soil composition, which simply means how acidic or alkaline it is. Testing pH levels will give you a number, typically between 0-14. A pH of seven is neutral, above seven is alkaline and below seven is acidic. Most plants prefer soil that is slightly acidic with a pH of six to six-and-a-half. With this information, you can mix in materials that raise or lower that number. If your soil isn’t hospitable, you can buy or build raised beds that hold added soil aboveground for a healthy, plant-loving environment .  Native, non-native, heirloom and invasive plants Planning is a crucial step in gardening, although much of it will ultimately be learned through trial and error. When selecting plants, it’s important to know that native plants will naturally thrive in your yard because these are plants equipped for the climate and soil conditions and have grown in the area for hundreds of years. Non-native plants, on the other hand, have been introduced to the area. They may do well. They may not. The term heirloom means it has continuously been pollinated from the same host plants that have not changed in 50 years or more. This is often seen in food gardens, such as ‘heirloom tomatoes’. Finally, invasive plants are easy to stumble on both in your yard and through accidental planting. They can be pretty. They can thrive. But they will take over without precautions to restrain them. Invasive species can also cause ecosystem disruptions. Hardiness zones Another bit of critical information that will support your success in the garden is knowing your hardiness zone. USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map makes it easy to identify your planting zone. From there, you can select plants that are most likely to thrive in your area. A lot of the information you’ll find in books and online will mention your hardiness zone — and for good reason. Everything from carrots to grass grows differently throughout the geographic regions. This will help you plan when to plant cool-weather versus warm-weather crops within your zone. Plan the light Spend some time in your yard before figuring out where to place your garden. The majority of vegetable plants grown during the primary gardening season require full sun. This means at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. Some plants require partial sun and can tolerate more time in the shade. Watch the sun throughout a season to really understand where the light hits. In addition to the amount of sunlight a space receives, consider whether you can easily access a watering source and whether you’ll need fencing to ward off deer and other wildlife . Keep a journal An important tool for gardening success is a log of your activities. This can be as simple as a small notebook or as comprehensive as a computer spreadsheet. The goal is simply to keep track of what you’ve planted, when you planted it, where it’s planted, if it suffered from disease or pest issues and how long it took to reach maturity (when you can harvest).  Images via Adobe Stock

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New Potted Carbon planter captures CO2 with style

July 20, 2021 by  
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As worldwide anxiety about the  climate crisis  soars, conscious consumers are embracing the idea of carbon tech, or ways to turn excess CO2 into marketable products. Which is probably why the new Potted Carbon planters attained full Kickstarter funding in less than 36 hours. The new planters look like off-white stone speckled with black. But they’re really porcelain mixed with organic waste diverted from landfills. Since landfills accounted for about  15%  of the U.S.’s annual  methane  emissions in 2019, diverting waste into pottery — or just about anything else — could help make a dent in emissions. Related: Carbon to Value Initiative launches business accelerator for carbontech startups This organic waste basis for the planters is called OurCarbon™. Bioforcetech has developed a technology to sanitize carbon and lock it into place for thousands of years. The company developed the material as a soil amendment, material additive, filter and colorant, and is devising other uses. Since it’s already used in DEN Sustainable soil , an OurCarbon™ planter seems the perfect complement. A six-inch nursery pot fits snugly into the handmade Potted Carbon planter. Or, if you need to upsize the container for your four-inch nursery  plant , the Potted Carbon planter gives it space to grow. Each planter comes with DEN sustainable soil. How does the pot trap  carbon ? When fired together in a kiln, porcelain and OurCarbon™ become inseparable. The secret ingredient is grit, waste silica that’s seen as a nuisance in the waste industry. During firing, grit melts into a glass-like material, which solidifies as it cools, and works as the binder that sticks porcelain and OurCarbon™ together. The pot features a flat vertical face with indentations on opposite sides as a subtle homage to the handles on ancient vessels. In addition to aesthetics, the indentations let you suspend a  nursery  pot on the rim without fully potting it, leaving room for drainage underneath. OurCarbon™ partnered with  Sum Studio  and Oakland-based design studio  Break  to design the Potted Carbon planter. Bioforcetech, the company behind OurCarbon™, is looking at other ways to use this promising material, including as a black pigment for coloring plastic , rubber, paint and other materials, and as a black dye for textiles. + OurCarbon Photography by John Ross Thomas

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A botanic garden to save an endangered Colombian ecosystem

July 6, 2021 by  
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South America is often depicted as a lush landscape full of diverse ecosystems. And once, Colombia was like that. But today, mining, deforestation, extensive cattle ranching and draining of the wetlands in favor of urban development have threatened the country’s ecosystems and devastated the natural landscape. A project named El Tropicario seeks to raise awareness of these environmental problems and create a space where native plant lif e can be studied and preserved. The project seeks to conserve wax palms, Colombia’s national tree, among achieving other goals. The wax palms that are native to Colombia live for more than 100 years, and they are in danger of extinction. Related: This Colombian modular home is surrounded by Monkeypod trees El Tropicario is part of a huge botanical garden that serves as a center of education for environmental threats and as a space to preserve native plant life. The design includes floating wetland spaces, an environment that has all but disappeared on the Bogotá Savanna. There are six collections in the botanical garden: humid forest, dry forest, useful plants, special collections, biodiversity and superpáramos. The botanical garden is designed with passive temperature control systems that don’t need mechanical ventilation. The glass used in the design is made up of different thicknesses and filters. Automated systems are integrated to help control the temperature. Each structure is designed to capture rainwater and collect it in a large reservoir. This creates a closed cycle that provides irrigation for the plants. The gardens’ support system uses concrete pillars driven deep into the ground. These pillars surround the perimeter and support the metal structure of the gardens. This creates a self-supporting, “structural basket” design where no columns or supports are needed inside. Without columns inside, the interior spaces can include more soil for deep seeding. The design prioritizes plant life and creates a space for plants to thrive. + DARP Via ArchDaily Photography © Mauricio Carvajal

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A botanic garden to save an endangered Colombian ecosystem

Sloth’s House offers a large family an escape into nature with minimal impact

July 6, 2021 by  
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Great architectural design melds the needs of the inhabitants with the surrounding landscape. In the case of Casa da Preguiça (Sloth’s House), that means providing an escape for a large family while presenting the best opportunities to immerse the residents in nature and view the prevalent sloths in the area. Casa da Preguiça, located in the lush Atlantic Forest in Iporanga, São Paulo in Brazil, is designed by Nautilo Arquitetura & Gerenciamento. The building is camouflaged on just over 0.3 acres. Related: Luxurious eco-resort overlooks Sri Lankan’s most famous wildlife park In order to maintain minimal site impact on the steep lot and accommodate the space needed by the client, the team built the house up in three levels. From the street, a bridge connects to the garage. The main spaces of the home are contained in two rectangular-shaped volumes that overlap. The first and second floors are in one volume, while the swimming pool and third floor fill the other. Most of the bedroom suites are located on the first floor. On the second floor, the design includes the living area and two additional bedrooms. The main gathering space is surrounded by vertical circulation, enrobed in natural light and laid out for cross ventilation, all of which facilitate a tight, energy-efficient design. The third floor includes three bedrooms, a game room and a sauna, leaving no question about available amenities. The entire space offers views of the surrounding landscape and the best opportunity to see the home’s namesake mammal. The interior design promotes an industrial vibe with exposed electrical piping, concrete block walls and a polished concrete floor. Stairways are open, framed in steel and glass. In contrast to the gray materials, the space is accented with a blast of yellow in tilework, beams and soffits. The choice of natural materials, mostly wood , for the furniture and finishings further marries the comfortable indoor space with the natural surroundings. + Nautilo Arquitetura & Gerenciamento Photography by Alessandro Guimarães via Nautilo Arquitetura

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Sloth’s House offers a large family an escape into nature with minimal impact

Beginner’s Guide to Growing Your Own Vegetable Garden

October 23, 2017 by  
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Growing your own organic vegetable garden has had a resurgence … The post Beginner’s Guide to Growing Your Own Vegetable Garden appeared first on Earth911.com.

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