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NJCher's Journal - Archives
Posted by NJCher in Gardening Group
Sat Jun 16th 2007, 09:23 AM
Here's the link:

http://www.asla.org/land/dirt/blog/index.c...

I'm going to be writing to Al about my 15-year's worth of research on the damage done to the environment by suburban lawns. This is my pet project. I was a founder of a grassroots group that got the use of leaf blowers banned in the suburban NJ community in which I lived for over 20 years.

If you have thoughts or info you'd like me to send to him, please post it here.

I would like to see leafblowers banned statewide. They are abused here--used for everything from cleaning driveways to gutters. There is never a time one can get away from their maddening blare. I wear earplugs at all times because we are routinely subjected to dangerous levels of noise from these machines.

The fact of the matter is, the current system of property maintenance has got to go. Around here, huge trucks pick up lawn waste and truck it to various composting centers. Vegetative waste should not be trucked around using fossil fuels. It should be composted right on the site it was produced.

It is true some vegetative waste is difficult to recycle. I could see some limited type of pickup for that.

My research shows that the towns in my counties each spend roughly a million a year for leaf pickup. The composting companies used to be delighted to get the free raw materials for their product. Now they are starting to charge. Some towns pay 30k or more to have the composting companies take the leaves.

Now, when you consider that a pile of leaves disintegrates into a few inches in a matter of months, you can see what a waste it is to allow leaves to be pushed to the curb for pickup.

I am sure Al will encourage these guys in environmentally sound practices. I hope I can offer him some research and knowledge to help him make his case.



Cher

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Posted by NJCher in Gardening Group
Mon Mar 26th 2007, 06:54 PM
Time to trim the grasses!





The three grasses in the pots are Japanese grass, miscanthis, and sea oats.


Ornamental Grass Photos from 2006


Here's a long shot and close ups of each from last year. As you can see, I used the grasses as a way to partially enclose a courtyard.




Japanese grass


Sea oats


Miscanthis

Last year I was a bit disappointed in the Japanese grass at the end of the summer. It was scraggly and had definitely lost its charm. In reading up on grasses, however, I found that I should have trimmed it in the middle of the summer. It's supposed to be cut six inches above the base. According to my source, it will grow back in 6 to 12 weeks.

Today I cut some seeds off when I trimmed back the grasses. I hope I can get them to come up, as I could definitely use more of these beautiful, graceful grasses as accents around my property.



Cher


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Posted by NJCher in Gardening Group
Fri Aug 04th 2006, 12:06 PM
I'm on a trip to the midwest from New Jersey and I am posting garden photos on my blog. The photos posted today are of a little house covered entirely with ivy and a street-front garden with Russian sage and roses.

My friend showed me the largest garden center I've ever seen in my life yesterday, Lahoma Nurseries in Omaha, NE. I posted a few photos of it and I also posted some photos of a lake house.

Link to Garden Photos




Cher
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Posted by NJCher in Gardening Group
Thu Jul 27th 2006, 09:13 AM


I've put up a page of photos and text about my hanging tomatoes experiment. Stop by and take a look

Comments, observations, and questions are welcome!




Cher
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Posted by NJCher in Gardening Group
Sat Jun 03rd 2006, 10:45 PM
The advantages are:

1) easy way to extend my growing space
2) no digging or staking
3) eliminates weeding
4) feeding and watering is easy
5) tomatoes ripen in the air, not on the ground. This eliminates rot and for the most part, insects like slugs feeding on them
6) I can use my tomato cages for other plants, like peas and pole beans
7) I hear the flowers and tomatoes make an attractive display as a hanging plant. The flowers turn up toward the sun.

The disadvantage is that feeding is intensive and has to be done with about every watering. I intend to use water-retaining crystals, but if they are not used, watering might have to be done twice a day with some types of planters.

I'm experimenting with a variety of hanging planters. One is a tube-shaped planter with holes on the side for the tomato to grow from. Itis specifically made for growing tomatoes as a hanging plant.

Here are pics of how I made burlap-lined hanging baskets.


I cut a large burlap bag in half. I was able to get two liners from one bag. After I cut the circle of burlap, I fit it in the planter and, using a heavy-duty needle and twine, attached the burlap to the upper rim of the planter.


Next I cut a circle of vinyl screen and fit it inside the brulap liner. This will add additional strength. In this pic, you can see the screening on top of the burlap. Instead of cutting holes in the burlap, I used a paintbrush handle to enlarge the area where I'll put the tomato plant through. By not cutting the burlap, I eliminate fraying. Of course, I cut the screening.


Here's how I put the plants through the bottom. I had many heirloom tomato plants started, which were anywhere from 6-12" in height. Leaving the plants in their containers, I wrapped a little piece of screening around them and tied each plant with a piece of string. Turning the plant upside down, I pulled on the screening and brought the plant through. Then I untied the screening and went on to the next plant. On the bottom of this planter, I've put in about 8 tomato plants. I could put more on top or I could put flowers on top for an even more attractive visual display.




Cher
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Posted by NJCher in Cooking & Baking Group
Sat May 27th 2006, 08:30 AM
First, The Cook says it has to be cut young, as in around 7-8" inches high. This is not the way kale is usually found at the grocery store, which is another reason to grow one's own.

I had some beautiful red Russian kale and it was time to harvest it.



Here's the way The Cook prepared it:

Sausage and Kale with Strozzapreti Pasta



4-5 links fresh sweet pork sausage
1/2 cup red pepper slivers
˝ cup onion, finely chopped
Garlic to taste
1 package strozzapreti (a cut of pasta)
3-4 cups washed kale, stems cut
Olive oil

Punch small holes all the way round in the sausage
with the point of a knife.

Saute the onion, peppers, and sausages in a small
amount of olive oil. Drain the fat from the pan which came from the
sausages. Lightly press the oil from the peppers and onions with
a paper towel. Return the onions, peppers, and
sausages.

In another saucepan, sauté garlic with a small amount
of olive oil. Add kale. Make sure the kale is tossed
so it is covered with the oil. Add water and cover
with a saucepan lid. Finish cooking in the steam.
Important: Watch the color of the kale. Don't let it turn brown.

Cook the pasta. Add it to the sausage and onion
mixture. Mix in the kale/garlic mixture and serve.

Red Russian Kale is also known as "Ragged Jack." It has a sweet, tender, mild flavor. It is very pretty, with its frilly edges, red veins, and blue-green color. Grows in 50-60 days and does very well in the cold. This is a leafy green that could easily be grown in the flower garden as both an accent and for harvest.
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Posted by NJCher in Gardening Group
Tue May 23rd 2006, 04:19 AM
This journal will be a day-to-day log about the culinary activities of an organic gardener and a very talented and experienced gourmand (my partner). It will feature what we are doing in the garden and the kitchen.

You might ask yourself how a Democratic gardener and chef are any different than an Independent or Republican gardener and chef.

The answer is that a Democratic gardener and chef are more likely to practice organic gardening and to prepare foods in ways that are friendly to the environment. I hope you will check this journal out for gardening and cooking ideas.




Cher

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The Democratic Cook and the Gardener
This journal will be a day-to-day log about the culinary activities of an organic gardener and a very talented and experienced gourmand.

You might ask yourself how a Democratic gardener and chef are any different than an Independent or Republican gardener and chef.

The answer is that a Democratic gardener and chef are more likely to practice organic gardening and to prepare foods in ways that are friendly to the environment.

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