Monday, October 13, 2014

Recommended Reading for Small Space Gardeners

I am so excited that I can barely contain myself.   I have found something that I have to share with you.  I have found a nifty little magazine called Urban Farm: Sustainable City Living.  I am especially happy to have found this issue as the nights grow cold and the leaves begin to change in the mid-Atlantic.  Summer and gardening have begun to draw to a close.

All You Need wooden sign
Some of you are aware that I am a country girl, living in an urban (suburban) setting.  A few of you
are also aware that I try to grow a vegetable garden on my balcony and in my kitchen garden.  I'm not very good at it, but I've done great with tomatoes for two years in a row, and am currently having a great time finding uses for my sweet mint, rosemary, and jalepeno peppers.  

Over the decades, I have purchased many gardening magazines and how-to books.  Mother Earth News has been one of my favorite magazines.  But many times, with those magazines and books, I have had to read the articles and imagine the day that I own my own home again so that I can follow through with the things I've learned.  After all, no matter how much I plan and scheme, I cannot devise a way to raise chickens in my third floor apartment.

Imagine my happiness when I found this magazine that is dedicated to  folks who live in limited space but want a more self-reliant lifestyle.  

I purchased the September/October 2014 issue of the Urban Farm.  Some of the titles include:

  • Framing Out the Cold (small cold frames)
  • Storage Wards (storing your harvest without a root cellar)
  • Behind the Scenes Inside the Hive
  • A Dry Idea (how to dry and preserve tomatoes)
  • Wild Gardens (a foraging garden with wild edibles)
  • Shared Spaces (the urban farm movement)

Photograph by Ken Scicluna
All of the articles have been informative and interesting. I was especially drawn to the small cold frames article.  While I dream of own my own larger greenhouse, such as the one Diana Wenzel shows us how to Do-It-Yourself in her article, I have to deal with my reality.  And my reality is that I have a 9' x 5' balcony and one good but small space at my kitchen window for gardening.  I also live in Maryland.  I have a longer growing season than I had when I lived in northern Indiana, but it's still not as long as I would like.

The article in Urban Farmer shows "farmers" like myself how to use cold frames to make microclimates to extend the growing season.  While I've known about cold frames for years, I always imagine the large hoop style that commercial nurseries use.  There is one photograph in the Urban Farm article that shows a small cold frame insulated in snow with a single light bulb for additional heat and light. The remainder of the article and photographs already have me imagining and planning for my own cold frame on my balcony.  Extending my growing season has just become my new reality.  You can bet good money that I'll be out there before the end of the week, starting some sort of mini-cold frame.

If you are a gardener, no matter the space available to you - acres or inches - I highly recommend that you check  out this nifty little magazine.  Either at the bookstore or at Urban Farm Online.


Written by Dawn Rae

Disclosure: In affiliation with AllPosters.com, Dawn Rae is a blogger and content writer who may earn compensation from the sale of AllPosters products.   I am in no way affiliated with Urban Farm magazine nor do I profit from it's sales.  

7 comments:

  1. Wow! This really does sound like a wonderful issue of a great magazine! Even though we live in a house with a backyard, my gardening space is very limited because of our dogs. I am certain I could benefit from reading this magazine as well. I can see a real benefit to the small cold frames in any home, but I do have a nephew who has an apt. garden inside and on his balcony and I bet he would love a subscription of Urban Farm for Christmas. Thank you for the excellent review and recommendation.

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  2. What a cool magazine, Dawn Rae! We live in the city and we have a nice size yard. But, with just two of us, we like to keep our garden small. We just started a small plot, our first in our new home. I think I'll look up this magazine for my partner. He's a novice gardener and he wants to do it himself. Thank you for the magazine review!

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  3. Oh I will have to look for this. I love to read about gardening when the snow is flying outside and nothing can be done until spring. That's when I get out the drawing board, and plan, and replan and plan once more. By that time spring is almost around the corner and I'm ready to go!

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  4. Great article Dawn. I have a yard, but it is mostly shady so i try to grow a few tomatoes on a small area that gets sun. This looks like something I should check into. Thanks for the find.

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  5. Sounds perfect for the gardener with no yard or small yards or too shady yards. I can tell you are going to enjoy creating your own cold frame space and extending your mini-gardening past the normal season.

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  6. I have read Mother Earth News over the years but have not heard about Urban Farm magazine. No doubt you shall enjoy your "new reality" (I love that!) as you learn and apply knowledge for extending your food growing season.

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  7. thanks for the recommendation on this one; I need all the help I can get in that department - also makes a nice gift for the avid gardener too :)

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