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The City Peoples Book of Raising Food

The City Peoples Book of Raising Food



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Published by Mark Weaver

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Published by: Mark Weaver on Mar 16, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The City People's Book of Raising Foodby Helga & William OlkowskiContentsINTRODUCTIONChapter 1WE START OUR GARDENChapter 2URBAN EDEN? OR, WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THE CITY?Chapter 3DOING THE BEST WITH WHERE YOU AREClimate, Microclimate, and MiniclimateTemperatureWindLightChapter 4WHAT'S SO GREAT ABOUT JUST PLAIN DIRT?How Soil HappensSoil CharacterSoil TextureA Touch Test for Your SoilWhy Does Texture Matter?MulchingRules on WateringStructureHow to Improve the Structure of Your SoilChapter 5WHY COMPOST?Methods, Slow and FastThe Way We Do ItChoosing a Location and Making BinsCollecting the MaterialsHow Much Dry to How Much Green or Fresh Material?Building the PileTurning the PileUsing CompostChapter 6WHAT DO PLANTS NEED?See Hopk n's Cafe!The Mysteries of pH or Soil AcidityWhat Have You Got?NitrogenRecognizing DeficienciesChapter 7CARROTS OR BOK CHOY? -- DECIDING WHAT TO GROWNot Much Space?Time: A Big VillainPreserving Food While Preserving the Planet Quantity, or Counting CaloriesQuality
Chapter 8STARTING WITH SEEDSHow To Study Seed CatalogsSaving Your Own SeedsPlanting IndoorsMaterialsProcedureOutdoorsWhen and How to TransplantTransplanting Trees: An AsideGarlic Cloves, Tubers, and Other PossibilitiesChapter 9MAKING FRIENDS WITH THE NEIGHBORS, OR ADVENTURES WITH CHICKENS, RABBITS, BEES, ANDWORMSChickens or Manure, Eggs and ThoughtsHaving the Birds on WireHaving the Birds on the GroundFeeds and FoodsSelecting BreedsBaby ChicksOther DetailsHarvestingMeat RabbitsHutchesFeeders and WaterersBuying and SexingBreedingFeedingButcheringTanningOther Sources of InformationBeesAn Ant-Proof Hive StandBees and DiseasesSources of InformationRaising EarthwormsChapter 10MANAGING WILDLIFE IN THE URBAN GARDENWildlife in the CityEntomophobiaNatural ControlsCarnivorous Insects: Parasites and PredatorsAnother Look at InsecticidesThree R's and an SThe First R = ResidueThe Second R = ResurgenceS for "Secondary Pest Outbreak"The Third R = ResistanceWhat the City of Berkeley DidAn Integrated Control ProgramBiological Control in the Urban GardenResistant PlantsWhat Should You Do?Chapter 11
WE TAKE TO THE ROOFContainer GardeningDrainageThe Problems of Weight and WearA Meat and Greens SystemChapter 12HOW ABOUT A COMMUNITY GARDEN?Chapter 13CONFESSIONS OF TWO CRAZY ENVIRONMENTALISTSLong-Term Survival StrategiesUrban Agriculture: Reasons WhyLife Style ChangesLawns: "What for Art Thou?"The FutureWhy Crazy?INDEXIntroductionI have always wanted to live on a farm. But I have always lived in the city. Inthis country, most people live in cities. In fact, all over the world, with a fewexcep-tions, the trend is towards urbanization.City people are a funny lot. They don't spend much time thinking about what keepsthem alive-their life-support systems. There was a time when I didn't think aboutit much either. Oh, of course, I knew people need air to breathe, water to drink,and food to eat. But fresh air was obviously free and available and I didn't worryabout the water that came through the pipes to my house, or the food that I boughtat the store. If the vegetables and meats looked attractive, if they were areasonable price, if they didn't look too hard to prepare, I bought them, tookthem home, prepared and ate them.Well, we're all a bit more sophisticated now. We've heard about pesticide residueson foods, fertilizers contaminating water, lead in the air we breathe, the energycrisis, and other environmental disasters. If you are like me, you may havereached a point where the list is too long and upset-ting to confront. You don'twant to hear about another problem unless at the same time someone suggests whatyou can do about it. This is such a book-about the prob-lem of producing food forcity people and what you can do about it.Consider the tomato. It takes large amounts of energy to produce the syntheticfertilizers used by the tomato farm-er. Fossil fuels are heavily involved inmodern agricultural technology and in the production of pesticides that suchfarming methods may seem to demand. Fossil fuel energy is also necessary to bringthe tomato to the store where it is sold. How many of us walked home with ourgroceries this week? No doubt most used a car to bring the tomato to the kitchen,thus doing our bit directly toward energy consumption and air pollution, too.And at the end of all that environmentally disastrous activity, what have we got?A tomato that hasn't seen the farm in many a day, a variety with a skin toughenough to withstand lots of mechanical handling, hopefully with pesticide residuesbelow the FDA allowable tolerances. Nothing exactly to cheer about.So what's a city person to do? Grow some of your own. I think that one can grow agood deal of food in the city, and have fun doing it. It was done during World WarII-they were called Victory Gardens. The apartment dweller can grow tomatoes andcucumbers inside in a sunny win-dow, citrus and bell peppers too. A window boxsalad, of loose-leaf lettuce, radishes, green onions, cress, baby car-rots, andturnips, is a real possibility. There may be room for a planter box of food plantson the roof or in a court-yard, and even room to raise meat rabbits. You may be

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