Passive Solar Greenhouse

Economically Green

I have not posted anything in a while, but I wanted to update everyone on a new project I am pursuing. My first year of growing food has been somewhat successful, despite a few major setbacks, such as the hydroponic tower. I also harvested the potatoes that were growing in the barrel. To my disappointment their were not as many potatoes as I expected. Besides these two major issues I was able to harvest some swiss chard, basil, and kale. I have some mini bell pepper plants that are finally starting to bloom. Unfortunately the end of the season is fast approaching, like it normally does in Canada. That is why I have been planning to construct a greenhouse for a while now. Technically I am constructing what is called a passive solar greenhouse or a bio shelter.  

A passive solar greenhouse is different than a greenhouse is the…

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Garden Project Update

Beekeeping afloat

Its been some time since I mentioned this rather overgrown suburban garden that is now a veg factory and insect feeder.


The furthest bed was planted with three types of Kale and boy no matter how fast I eat it it just keeps growing and will provide me with fresh greens right through the winter, its just an amazing vegetable and looks rather nice to.


The central bed again with Kale and Broccoli and finally the experimental way to over crowded third bed planted with two potatoes just to see how they would grow in the front garden (going by the foliage pretty good so far) Swiss chard around the edges (did not expect them to get so big) some beetroot and doing really well, a few Fennel just as I have never eaten or grown it and acquired some free seeds and finally completely swamped some radish, but I…

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Tending a garden – Late Summer 2014

The Salted Banana

I really enjoy tending and keeping a vegetable garden.

I’m fortunate to be given a few beds at the place where I farmed back in 2009.
The owners put in a cover crop of buckwheat
which is covered in blossoms ( & therefore honeybees) in the above photo
The hum of the bees & the now constant cricket song are a soothing sound to work by

It’s a lovely place
And while it’s often difficult for me to motivate myself to drive there
(“Jeez I’m using gas again, using the car again, I just got home from work, what if it’s too hot, etcetcetc…)
I never regret going, once I’m there
(Why do I forget this?!?)
It’s tricky for me to find a balance between effort and doing, and impact & nourishment…

Yesterday it was sunny & warm, but not too hot, thankfully
And so I set about weeding the…

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Underground Greenhouses

The Housing Lab

Earth Sheltered Greenhouses use the fact that the earth is a stable temperature all year round to greatly extend the growing season. These were known to native people as walipini or “place of warmth”

There are so many different types of greenhouses and clever adaptations that books upon books have been written on the subject. Has anyone seen really clever designs in action?


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Are we Organic?

Zoma Farm

I was kind of shocked the first time I was at a farmers market and someone asked me if our farm was organic. “I thought all farmers markets are organic farmers.” I said. Well, we’re here to tell you that yes, we are organic, not certified organic but we use all means necessary to control what goes into our soil. We do not use herbicides or pesticides. So then how do we do it? SOIL We buy “supercompost” that is made up of the City of Saanich’s compost recycling program. Hillside and Stone is the exclusive seller of this compost. I then mix this with peat moss. The mix depends… potted tomatoes are 2:1 (compost to peat) seedling mix is 4:1 general potting: 8:1 supercompost hillside stone   The peat holds moisture in as well as buffers all the nutrients from the pure compost. mixing potting soil Try not to do this bending over like me…

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Backyard Garden

Handmade Happy

I know that gardening is not exactly “handmade”, but the time and care that is put into them and when they do deliver, it’s sort of that handmade/homemade blurred line.  Anyway, I have a few pictures to share of our small (but oh so time consuming) garden.  We’ve had to get even more creative this year with pest control because the chickens are the worst sort of pest! 

Hubby usually starts off spring by making me some small trellis’.  I like big ones too, but he makes these that are about half the full size wooden garden trellis like they sell at home depot.  The cheapies.  Yeah those.  Hubby makes them for me now because (I’ve been told) I’m picky.  I like the small size trellis by my miniature roses, that are not really miniature at all anymore.  I get full beautiful long stem roses, that the flower shop would…

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Living in N Ireland the weather can be extremely temperamental.    I am not really a veggie growing girl, more flowery but I do love tomatoes.  My tomatoes are growing nicely considering I was so late planting the seeds. (They had to wait for my flowers to leave). Now I need just a bit of sunshine to ripen them.  Only problem is there isn’t much sun showing on the forecast for a while.  Temperature is only about sixteen degrees and it is wet and damp.  Not a problem as my little tomatoes are tucked up in the greenhouse.

Please, just a bit of sunshine would be very very nice.

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