So important is understanding the role of sunlight in the garden that I chose to put it first in our study of food growing techniques.  Whether your property is hot and sunny, cool and heavily shadowed, dappled with light shade, or a combination thereof, this chapter will reveal how you can use all of these locations to create a prolific garden that thrives in any area of your yard.  (Read more in Chapter Two of City Farming: A How-to Guide to Growing Crops and Raising Livestock in Urban Spaces.)


Raising Dairy Goats at Wish We Had Acres Farm

How We Got Started Raising Dairy Goats & Tips for Cold Weather Farming

Raising dairy goats in the city may sound like a strange idea.  But nothing beats fresh, sweet milk and cheese that can only come from backyard goats.  If you want to get a goat, be sure to get plenty of advice from urban dairy farmers beforehand so that you understand how to keep goats and how to get the most out of them. We had the good fortune to meet our mentor goat farmers by happy accident.  Here is how we got started raising dairy goats and some tips for keeping goats warm in winter.

Posted in Farms, Goats, seasons, Temperature & Light, Water | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Learn to Farm at the Center for Urban Agriculture

Interview with Peter Condon of MCC Center for Urban Agriculture Where Students Learn to Farm Using Sustainable Agriculture Methods Kari:  I’m here with Peter Condon and Christee Rothbard at the Mesa Community College Center for Urban Agriculture, where students can learn to farm successfully and profitably.  We are here to […]

Posted in Farms, Propagation, seasons, SOIL, Temperature & Light, Water | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

School Gardens & Farm Education at Youth Farm

School Gardens Teach Teens and Young Adults to Farm Interview with Molly, co-manager of The Youth Farm school gardens and teaching farm (Brooklyn, NY) On a cool April day, one month prior to the peak growing season, Lewis and I visited one NYC’s most visionary urban farms, The Youth Farm […]

Posted in Community, Farms, Organic Gardening, Propagation, seasons, SOIL, Sustainability, Temperature & Light | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on School Gardens & Farm Education at Youth Farm

Start a Farm Business: Notes from Stone Hoe Gardens

Interview with Tina and Bruce Leadbetter of Stone Hoe Gardens on the history of the farm, how they manage their dairy goats, how to start a farm business, and how farm businesses evolve.   (Kari) I’m here with Tina and Bruce of Stone Hoe Gardens in Phoenix, AZ to talk […]

Posted in Chickens, Farms, Goats, Organic Gardening, seasons, SOIL, Start a Farm Business, Sustainability, Temperature & Light, Water | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Growing Native Plant Varieties

When selecting plants for your garden, explore varieties that are native or adapted to your area. These plants have many benefits, one of which is the ability to survive only on natural rainfall, requiring little or no irrigation. The Micro Farm Project is located in central Arizona, one of the […]

Posted in Temperature & Light, Water | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Growing Native Plant Varieties

Natural Shade Plants | The Best Kind of Garden Shade

Natural Shade Plants Provide the Best Kind of Shade for Gardens Natural shade is perhaps the best kind for the garden.   Consider a sweltering hot afternoon.  Which would give better relief from the sun? Standing under an awning or in a bank of shade trees?  I think that it’s […]

Posted in Temperature & Light | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Garden Shade & Frost Protection Using Garden Fabric

Garden shade or protection from frost are easy to accomplish using simple, inexpensive materials. Hoop houses covered with plastic sheeting or shade cloth are an economical way for farmers to protect crops from frost or excess sunlight. In a similar way, small gardens can be protected from cold by the […]

Posted in Temperature & Light | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keep Livestock Warm with Deep Litter Composting

What is deep litter composting and how does it keep livestock warm in winter? If you have any experience with composting, you may be familiar with how compost piles give off heat. As microbes break down the materials in the presence of oxygen, compost piles can warm up as high […]

Posted in SOIL, Temperature & Light | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Odor Free Composting with Effective Microbes

Reduce compost odors and keep it hot by using beneficial microbes that break down odor-causing ammonia and hydrogen sulfide.  Commercial applications of beneficial microbes, also known by the trademarked term Effective Microbes (EMs), can be purchased in liquid or granular form.  EMs are useful, but they can be pricey.  One of the […]

Posted in SOIL, Temperature & Light | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Odor Free Composting with Effective Microbes

Shade Plants & Edible Plants for Livestock Feed

Natural Shade Plants have Multiple Benefits for Livestock Sheep and goats benefit from natural shade plants, but they are prone to damaging tree bark and limbs that are within reach. Goats in particular love to browse woody shade plants and prefer to eat shrubs and trees over grasses and weeds.   […]

Posted in Temperature & Light | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment