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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Plant a Garden for Better Health

Celebrate Earth Day by planning a garden.

Whether you have your own garden, a plot in your local community garden, or a pot in your windowsill, you will be rewarded with fresh, pesticide-free food, an essential element of good health.

Not only is gardening good for you, it's good for the environment too. Gardening saves fuel and carbon dioxide emissions required to ship produce from state to state and country to country. It also reduces the need for industrial agriculture which damages the land and pollutes air and waterways.

Join Just Food for a Garden Planning Workshop and Free Seed Giveaway this Saturday, April 24, from 10:00 am to 11:30 am at the Hattie Carthan Community Garden in Brooklyn. Learn about community gardens, how and when to plant, the importance of healthy soil, and vertical growing to maximize space. Take home free seeds and a free New York City planting calendar.

If you live in other areas, visit the website of the American Community Gardening Association to find a community garden anywhere in the United States.

Window Farms

Or, start your own Window Farm. Vertical hydroponic gardening uses inexpensive and recycled materials to grow vegetables and herbs year-round in apartments and office buildings. The Window Farm Project that began in Brooklyn by Britta Riley and Rebecca Bray, artists and experts in sustainable design, now attracts international attention. A worldwide network of participants collaborate on design, research and development.

Indoor Composting

To reduce household waste and help your garden grow, consider creating your own compost from food scraps. Indoor worm bin composting requires few materials, little maintenance and less than three cubic feet of space. Properly managed, worm bins are discrete and odorless, and they do not attract pests. Learn how to set up your own system and get expert advice at the Lower East Side Ecology Center's Worm Bin Composting Workshop on Sunday, May 2 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm at the Sara D. Roosevelt Park in Manhattan.

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