Growing more and better food—links of interest

Inspiring story from CNN Turk of Nazmi Iilicali, who took advantage of his poverty (couldn’t afford chemical fertilizers) and his bone-chilling climate (pests and their eggs don’t survive a -50°C winter), to go organic. In a sense, traditional Turkish agriculture was already organic, but applying the modern scientific version greatly increased Nazmi’s yield. Once certified, he soon began to do so well that in 2003 he recruited 633 other farmers to found the Eastern Anatolian Farmers and Breeders Association. Today, the organization has 3,000 members in 12 cities, who grow organic wheat, barley, potatoes, cabbage, cereals and legumes on 200 million square meters of land. “This is achievable everywhere,” Nazmi says. “Everybody can do this as long as they do not forget they are responsible to the land where they were born and fed.”

At the end of the article, you’ll find links to more news about organic and no-till agriculture, including reports on the Rodale research demonstrating their capacity to sequester carbon and help turn back global warming.

Brief book reviews by Colleen Vanderlinken of 5 “must-have” books for urban gardeners or those working on small sites.

Vertical gardens: This article offers beautiful pictures with brief descriptions of “green walls,” one inside (an Anthropologie store) and others outside. These walls are commercial and automated, and their main purpose is aesthetic and air-purifying. If you scale down the concept, however, any food gardener could do it. Imagine an old-fashioned rock garden or rock wall built higher and steeper. Or you could create a wall of cinder blocks (open side facing out and toward the sun), rig the compartments to hold soil, and plant. Herbs and strawberries would love it.

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Bees and how to help them, in our yards

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