Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Cultivating Green





Window Farm Photo by Josh Kalish
In a world of constant change, there are some things that remain with us over the course of our lives.  In my case, two of those enduring things, which aren’t really things at all, are a love for words and farming.  Since I was a young girl, I have had an abiding need for planting words and seeds.

Though I live in the country now, that wasn’t always the case.  For much of my life I lived in some of the largest urban centers in our country (Chicago, Houston, and San Antonio).  I never imagined living or thriving while surrounded by vast acres of concrete.  It seems one does adapt when necessary.

As Squidoo’s Green Living Contributor, I often receive comments on my articles from those who yearn to live as I do—off the grid, in the country, surrounded by wide, open spaces.  I often hear it said that it isn’t possible to live green at the moment.  Sometimes it is a matter of needing to be near family or work.  These green yearning souls have set their own longings aside, having deferred their dreams (perhaps indefinitely).

What I have learned, though, is that urban farming is not only entirely possible, it is a hugely popular phenomenon that could ultimately be one of the most important movements of our generation.  Without much more than eight square feet of light, these city dwellers, known as “window farmers,” have found a way to cultivate their green (both an inner and outer greening).

This week, as I read Paradise Lot, a book about two plant geeks who converted a desolate city space into an abundantly thriving garden of Eden, I thought of others who have created their own means of cultivating green wherever they happen to dwell.

My friend Dawn Rae shows you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.  She gardens in a big city apartment. LindaJM presents the possibilities of Window Farming 101.  Kari Spencer, of the Micro Farm Project, demonstrates how she turned her small urban yard into a true showcase.

As I sit here by the window tapping away on my laptop, nurturing little wordlings, still just tiny sprouts, I am cultivating the kind of green that makes my life a garden paradise.  How will you cultivate your green today? 

20 comments:

  1. I'll cultivate my green by checking out these links, particularly the urban-related ones. Despite being surrounded by many acres of green (mostly woods) I'm a small-time farmer at best who needs all the help I can get. Thanks for the motivation!

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    1. The greatness of our nation was built on small-time farmers. We all get by with a little help from the example, inspiration, and motivation of our Squidoo friends. Thanks for supporting them with your visits. You are appreciated!

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  2. Yes, I live in the country in wide open spaces with plenty of gardening room, but that wasn't always the case. I learned how to grow many of my own vegetables and herbs right in my windows! Even now, indoor growing is part of my life. So glad you are sharing these articles from others who are indoor gardening.

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    1. With the indoor garden you don't have to worry about deer nibbling on your tender plants or weather doing any damage. It's nice being able to have some control over your "crop."

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  3. I hope we are able to retire in the country at some point. Like so many others, employment has kept us close to the city, but I would definitely still like to be further out. We are blessed though to be able to have a little of both where we currently live. A little city and a little country, so I shall not complain.

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    1. I can understand your desire to be further out. I'm sure you will find a way to make this happen when the time is right.

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  4. Thanks for an interesting article and some great ideas from lensmasters. I'm ready to start my garden...just need the weather to cooperate.

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    1. Hoping you get the weather you need real soon. I've started things indoors since the ground is still too hard for me to work on my greenhouse construction. Spring is incredibly windy here (and the temps are still well below freezing at night).

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  5. We often had a small garden each year no matter the size of our yard. Once it was a big one, but usually it was just a small patch along a backyard fence with just room for a few tomato plants, maybe an eggplant or some peppers. Hubby liked to call it our 'Victory Garden', a term he got from his grandfather from World War II time.

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    1. I like that... Victory Garden. Such a fitting name for every garden, as each is a true victory. Sometimes the best gardens are the mini ones that are easily enjoyed because the amount of effort is kept within what is doable.

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  6. Thanks for linking to my lens about urban and window farming! This is very inspiring. Well, first you inspired me to update that lens, and now I'm feeling inspired to see if I can do a video-blogging project with my intended porch gardening this year. I've moved into a senior living community in Northern Idaho and have been saving containers all winter long to be able to use for plantings this spring. While I'm at it, I should video my progress. I have only about 10 square feet of patio to work with ... of course, there are some large raised beds out back for a community garden, if we can get some good dirt. This building is very new and the raised beds have never yet been used.

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    1. It was my pleasure to bring attention to your lens. Inspiration is always two-way. Thank _you_. Looking forward to your porch gardening series. Bring it on! Sounds like a composting project is next in order for your senior living community.

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  7. What an interesting way to garden. Liking this window garden very much.

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    1. I love the recycling aspect of the window farming, Sue. So many plastic water bottles go into landfills. This is the perfect use for them.

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  8. A little outside and a little inside, hoping to make both much bigger! I do adore your word cultivation each week, as well! Off to check out the articles!

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    1. There is something robust and very appealing about cultivation. Thanks for visiting the links. It's a wonderful encouragement to those who are promoting green living.

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  9. There is hope for that time when we move to a condo in the big city. I love to garden so these ideas are really helpful.

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    1. I can already see your condo window garden. Lovely to see you here. Thank you!

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  10. For some reason I've not had the desire to grow anything but tomatoes and sunflowers for many years. Oddly, this year I have the urge, an urgency, to grow all kinds of things! Maybe you and Coletta are rubbing off on me! Whatever the reason, it's a good feeling and I plan to embrace it for all its worth.

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    1. Well you certainly selected two awesome things to grow all those years. I'm having a deep urge to plant sunflowers. I think they are the happiest and friendliest of flowers. When I lived on an island in Texas, the sunflowers were always waving at me every time I passed by. You've got to love a flower like that. Enjoy your growing season.

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