Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Community Garden and My Plants

The above photos are of my ecological agriculture class building a community garden in Binghamton, NY. Half of my class went this past Tuesday (when I went) and put up a fence, laid leaves down between the beds, and built a couple compost bins. It was a lot of fun! I haven't done fun construction stuff like that since last summer when I worked on the farm in Montana.

The other photos are of the plants growing in my room at 5wks old.

After the seedlings 4th week of life we had a few too many to be able to fit in the number of pots that we had so I got to take some home! I put them on my windowsill which gets some direct light but not enough. I am a very beginner "gardener" (don't know if i can technically call myself that) and I live in a college dorm so I don't have any typical tools. I know that lights help plants so I have been keeping my lamp (in the photo above) on the plants so they only get about 7 hrs of darkness. The tomato plants started out about the same size but the one that has been receiving the most light has really taken off! I also try to talk to them and play music to encourage them! I have seen a couple aphids on them and a couple tiny black flies but i squished them as soon as I saw them and they haven't reappeared since.

I felt that the tomato plant that got a lot bigger probably needed a bigger container but i didn't have anything so I found one of my apartment-mate's liter soda bottles in the recycling, washed it and cut it so I could use it as a planter. I am a bit worried about toxins leaching from the plastic. Does anyone know anything about whether there is a significant amount of that? I looked up the concept of using soda bottles online and found that a lot of people use them, especially in urban agriculture. The plant looks a lot happier in the bigger container. I feel like it can breathe a lot better and this way the roots have more room to move and grow.


  1. Hi, lovely blog. It's lovely to see some urban gardening going on.It's great to get into gardening wherever you are. It's also amazing what you can grow in tiny spaces.

    I wouldn't worry about the soda bottles leaching toxins. Like you say LOTS of people use them. Putting the extra soil in will help the plant a lot.

    Don't forget that you can easily sprout seeds for eating sprouted indoors and have herbs on the windowsills - even in a dorm.

    Thanks for following my blog. Hope you enjoy it.

    Your course seems great fun (did an Environmental Stduies degree myself - but we never got to plant veg - maybe they're more enlightened now.)

  2. Sounds like a good day. Its all looking great.

  3. Hey there! thanks so much for the feedback- it's very encouraging! It's funny because i've been interested for a while in sprouting seeds for eating and i think that is definitely something that i could easily do so i'm going to do it! if either of you have any suggestions about where to get good seed for sprouts I would appreciate the input. =)