Tag Archives: Organic Gardening


This blog goes back to December 2014, but I would like to reblog it, as I am not in Ireland at the moment – yet I like to think back of its beauty even in winter time, and reflect on it.


During the winter months here in West Cork the colours of the landscape change dramatically, at least I think they do. I took my photos on the Beara peninsula, near the Caha mountain range. In summer these mountains, they are not very high, look fabulously green, but come winter they turn all shades of brown, ranging from sienna, to rusts, to sepia, and even burnt umber. It’s the grasses and the bracken that deck the landscape in such an array of colours. It never seizes to impress me, around every corner on the road there is another palette, it’s fascinating.

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A method for observing the soil Nitrogen cycle in action | xperimentia

I had been developing a coir based organic plant growth medium for a couple of years and was getting fairly good results. However I wanted to know exactly what the actual nutrient levels in the mix were so I had a sample tested by a professional soil testing lab. The test was fairly expensive but it provided a comprehensive set of results. What surprised me was a high ammonium content and practically no nitrate.

Naturally occurring and ubiquitous nitrifying bacteria convert ammonium to nitrite and then to nitrate. I came across a research paper from the late 1940s which described a nutrient medium for growing nitrifying bacteria. Many of the ingre….

Source: A method for observing the soil Nitrogen cycle in action | xperimentia

The Learning Garden “Lasagna Garden” | Garden Snips

by OCMGA Master Gardeners Barb Dorzweiler and Janet Carlson

True to the name “The Learning Garden”, my team and I learned how to build a lasagna garden in the summer of 2014. We had never built a lasagna garden before, but we were definitely interested and we were up for the challenge. Far from being an expert, but knowing how to find information, I researched a little on the subject before we set out. I referenced the UW Extension publication, A4021 “Making and Using Compost in the Garden.” Yes, there is a science to this. I also referenced another helpful article, “How To Create a Lasagna Garden” by R. J. Ruppenthal originally published in the May/June issue of Urban Farm. First of all, a lasagna garden is a no-till method of building a garden by adding layers of organic materials that will cook down over time not unlike what happens in your compost bins. It can also be referred to as “sheet composting”. We had a designated plot in The Learning Garden and our first step was to dig up two inches of the topsoil on our plot to set it aside for the topmost

Source: The Learning Garden “Lasagna Garden” | Garden Snips

Breaking Ground – Maui Urban Farmer

It has certainly been a busy couple years, since moving from Oregon. In about 18 months, we sold our home, moved 1000 miles away to San Diego (two different rentals) and then moved 2600 miles away to the most isolated island chain on the planet. About 3 months ago we closed escrow on our new home, on the island of Maui, Hawaii. I won’t go into all the details as to why we uprooted our 4 children to go on this crazy adventure – but the sum of it is family, health, and sustainability. Maui with it’s abundance of natural resources, both in the ocean (Makai) and land (Mauka) alike, along with it’s 12 month growing season made the perfect backdrop for our new family project.

The goal of this Blog is to document our transition from what I would classify as a typical, middle-class, Americ…

Source: Breaking Ground – Maui Urban Farmer