Thursday, March 21, 2013


I’ve been neglecting my blog over the last few weeks for a lot of reasons, but mostly just  because I needed a break. So now I'm back...

Since my last post I have been working out 4-5 times a week and ran in a second 5K race on Sunday, March 17.  It was called The Shamrock Run and I had lot of fun! Dressed up in green and I was one of approximately 35,000 runners & walkers. It is quite the event with bagpipers and bands all along the route and free beer afterwards! 

Another thing I started was seeds for my container gardening. You see I live in an apartment and each year I plant a couple of containers of something. Every year I plant at least one tomato plant and then whatever else I’m in the mood for. Last year it was tomatoes & cucumbers. Well, I’ve decided I would like to start planting more containers and expand my container gardening each year. So this year I am planting collards, beets and tomatoes. I figure I will add an additional container each year and slowly build my urban garden. 

I am also experimenting with 3 different self-watering systems which will hopefully make my life easier. First, I bought a self-watering planter made by City Pickers in which I will plant my collards. I already had the other two containers which are round and I am trying a couple of different watering methods with each of them.   

In the second container I inserted an unglazed clay terra cotta wine cooler with a lid in the very middle. I got the wine cooler from Goodwill for a couple of dollars. It acts a water reservoir and wicks out moisture into the dirt and to the plants roots. This is a very old technique used in Mexico and other dry arrid countries. They bury terra cotta  containers, called OLLAs (pronounced oh-YAHs), in the dirt next to their plants. The roots of the plants eventually grow towards the olla seeking moisture.  So I sprouted the beet seeds overnight by soaking them in water and then planted them all around the perimeter of the container. I am excited to see how well this method works. As you can see from the picture nothing has sprouted yet. It's only been a few days. 

The third container is going to house a tomato plant and I will use wine bottles inserted into the dirt as water globes. By doing this I’m hoping I won’t have to water the tomatoes every single day. 

As I read more and more about GMOs and how important it is for us to buy organic fruits and vegetables, it becomes more important to me to know where my food comes from. This is why I want to expand my urban garden and enjoy the health benefits of food I grow myself. 

Check out this great video by Ron Finley about growing your own food. He says growing your own food is like printing your own money. It's an inspiring message.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Annette,
    This year I had to restart my garden as tree roots overtook the raised bed, and it also became too shaded. I tried out some fabric bags. So far they are working really well. I ordered mine from Peaceful Valley Organic gardening supply ( and have seen them elsewhere, including at my local hardware store's garden shop. Having my best success ever with cucumbers. The tomatoes are slow going (or growing!) except for the early varieties that I planted, and these don't have as much flavor.

    I tried some big bags (50 gallons) and a few small ones that just hold a couple of pepper plants or one tomato. They unfold and can be set up on any surface, and are supposed to last for about 5 years. They're made in Oklahoma. I put them right on top of the grass in my yard where I wanted to start new beds; very quick and easy. Got lots of exercise transporting the good soil from the old bed to the new ones.

    Hope you are doing OK and just happily busy. Look forward to your posts whenever you get the time or the inspiration.

    Thanks for all the good recipes and motivation to remain plant-strong that you share!