Green Walls: A Multifunctional Urban Gardening Technique
Posted November 28, 2013 in Sustainability by Gifford Delle, Student
Vertical gardening has picked up a lot of speed in urban agricultural movements in recent years, and people are beginning to develop these structures more readily. The reason for this could be because of the obvious benefits that a green wall, or vertical garden brings to an urban area. The title Green Wall does an apt job of describing what a green wall actually is: a vertical surface (aka a wall) with vegetation growing up it. Think of your average city with plants not only growing out of windows but on the walls themselves.
Posted October 07, 2013 in Sustainability by Gifford Delle, Student
A rapidly growing trend in modern agriculture is a method of growing called hydroponics. The utilization and research of hydroponically grown food with has an extensive history, however recently it has been proposed as a solution to the downfalls of modern monoculture farming and as a way to improve our overall food systems. Hydroponic Vegetables are grown without soil in a water-based system that utilizes a mineral nutrient solution.
Posted August 29, 2013 in Sustainability by Gifford Delle, Student
Preservation of fruits and vegetables has its deep roots in human history. From the days of the Romans who dried their dates and figs through adding heat in a smoking process to the salt used to preserve meat and vegetables, crucial in making the several month long journey across the Atlantic during the founding of the New World. Pickling has been around for probably around 4,000 years with its origins in India and the Tigris Valley where cucumbers were first pickled. Food preservation has long been a favored way to store our food, but why?
Posted August 13, 2013 in Sustainability by Gifford Delle, Student
Dear UMass Amherst Students,The UMass Amherst Student Farmers Market is getting closer, and we’ve got huge haul of produce to bring to the student body, and we want you to take advantage! The Student Farmers Market will be held every Friday from September 13 to November 22nd 12:00(noon) – 4:00 P.M. on the lawn outside Goodell Hall.
Posted August 07, 2013 in Sustainability by Gifford Delle, Student
One of our favorite companion plants found right here at UMass Permaculture is Stinging Nettle, or Common Nettle. Though painful if brushed up against, Nettle is a useful multi functional plant. Its roots and leaves have many common uses, and if you know how to harvest it properly, you can turn what might be seen as a weed into a multi-purpose permaculture plant. Stinging Nettle's uses are not usually seen at face value, and visitors can easily pass it up as an undesirable.
Posted July 24, 2013 in Sustainability by Gifford Delle, Student
A form of companion planting known as the “Three Sisters” is taking off in the Franklin Permaculture Garden. Three Sisters is a type of polyculture farming originally practiced by many Native American societies in traditional organic farming. Polycultures involve creating a diverse natural ecosystem by combining different beneficial crops as companions for one another. This encourages an increase in biodiversity among species and offers unique benefits such as pest-control, improved soil quality, and a greater aggregate yield.
Posted July 16, 2013 in Sustainability by Val Stone, Student
Chicken ownership is a very interesting and rewarding hobby. Chickens offer many benefits to a homestead, and are relatively easy to care for. Besides the many benefits and being easy to care for, they are fun to watch and have interesting behaviors. One of the first things that comes to mind involving chickens is that they produce eggs. Owning your own chickens means that you have the freshest eggs available, right from your own backyard. Chickens on factory egg farms generally live their whole lives in cramped small cages. Living in tight quarters, they are
Posted July 01, 2013 in Sustainability by Caitlin Serpa , Student
Coined by Via Campesina – a social justice oriented, international movement supporting agricultural workers and small-scale, sustainable agriculture in general - food sovereignty is best understood as a people’s right to define their food system. This has been especially difficult in countries such as Mexico, which got the short end of the stick during the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA, for short). The United States currently dumps its leftover, subsidized corn into the Mexican market at prices so low that traditional Mexican corn farmers can’t compete.
Posted June 18, 2013 in Sustainability by Naomi Gossement , Student
If you're a student here at Umass Amherst or in the 5 college interchange interested in learning about permaculture this is a great introduction. The class goes over permaculture principals, the design process and practical methods. This class itself is run using permaculture principals, using techniques like pair shares (getting into groups of two to discuss a topic or question) to integrate through sharing ideas and exchanging thoughts as well as using valuable renewable resources by having inspiring guest speakers talk about projects like the beehive collective or co-ops.
Posted June 14, 2013 in Sustainability by Gifford Delle, Student
Incorporating Mushroom Logs into Your Garden: Mushroom Logs are a great way to add a sustainable touch to any garden. Whether you’re growing huge beds of wildflowers, or planting a personal harvest of veggies, adding Mushroom Logs inserts a unique and delicious tool in designing your garden. A Mushroom Log is exactly what you may think it is: __ A log __ with mushrooms growing out of it. Well, more specifically, it's a log inoculated with mushroom spores that overtime grow throughout the log and produce the oh-so edible fungus we enjoy in different types of cooking!