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Gardeners & Farmers

Sharing the ways in which we garden and or farm with respect for the environment and other species. (grenv) (pliving)

Members: 125
Latest Activity: Apr 17

Discussion Forum

The Garden and/or Farm of My Dreams

Started by Georgina Anderson. Last reply by Bernadette Puleo Aug 28, 2014. 8 Replies

Anyone care to discuss the details of the garden or farm of your dreams?  I've been daydreaming about this at work a lot lately, and I thought it might be fun if anyone wanted to bounce ideas off one…Continue

Tags: imagine, dreams, farm, garden

Potato famine fungus

Started by Brenda Funk. Last reply by John Hodgson Nov 23, 2013. 4 Replies

Has anyone heard of this or had any experience? I've heard that the fungus that caused the Irish potato famine is running rampant in New York and Ohio. It's hitting tomatoes and potatoes. Has anyone…Continue

Allotments anyone?

Started by KathyM. Last reply by Simon Jul 5, 2013. 8 Replies

Hi everyone I don't know if other countries have similar schemes but here in the UK there are local council allocated gardens (allotments) for people who would like to "grow their own".  We have had…Continue


Started by Fay Campbell. Last reply by Simon Jun 26, 2013. 5 Replies

I began trying to garden in upstate SC four years ago.  Tons of compost and mulch later, I have been able to grow some things.  But I need berry help.I have blueberries that are four years old.  One…Continue

Winter gardening

Started by Kathleen Andersen Jan 27, 2013. 0 Replies

I am new on here but did read a message from long ago (2010) about growing indoorgardens during the winter.I have used the Aero Garden to grow herbs and also start other veggies such as tomatoes and…Continue

Tags: indoors, growing, Aeroplonics

Indoor Herb Gardens?

Started by Christine C.. Last reply by Ernesto Dovis Jan 13, 2011. 6 Replies

I would like to grow an indoor herb garden for the winter, but have never done it.  Just wondering if anyone had any pointers for me and also if there are any herbs for human consumption that are…Continue

Tags: gardens, herb, indoor

Biodynamic gardening

Started by Emma Smith. Last reply by Emma Smith May 22, 2010. 3 Replies

It would be interesting to know what people think about this and if they use (or have used) the method, and what the effects are/were?Continue

Tags: biodynamic

Comment Wall


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Comment by Tor Myrvang on November 27, 2013 at 4:29pm

Dear all,

Temperatures fell last night over Central Italy. I woke up to find the roof of our car frosted over and a thick layer of ice on the water we put out for the animals.

The basil leaves were covered with black blotches, so I guess we will have to wait until Spring to enjoy home-grown basil in Caprese salads again, (one of my favorite dishes, by the way)!

This was also a wake up call to protect our bougainvillia plants behind plexiglas for the winter. Palm trees are also vulnerable, as indeed are olive trees if there is a prolonged bout of sub-zero temperatures.

Fortunately, temperatures are expected to rise in the next few days, which will give us time to make preparations.

With best wishes, Tor

Comment by Tor Myrvang on November 25, 2013 at 4:13pm

Dear all,

I was wondering about a fitting central ornament for my herb garden, when I remembered the statue of a satyr which once stood in the Roman Forum. It was close to the famous trio of fruit trees, the fig tree (Ficus), the olive tree (Olea) and the vine (Vitis), which play a vital role in the agriculture of Latium.  The bronze statue, which was associated with Liberty, has long since disappeared, but  three new fruit trees have been planted in recent times, to recall those mentioned in ancient texts, and may be seen in the area of the Lacus Curtius. The statue, named after the famous satyr Marsyas, was frequently garlanded and crowned with flowers.

A reproduction of the statue excavated in Pompeii known as ‘The Dancing Faun’ would be easy to find, and would complement a statue of the infant Pan playing his pipes, found in our strawberry garden.

As for the fruit trees, the herb garden will be partly shaded by a magnificent olive-tree, which is the largest on our farm. It is estimated to be over three hundred years old, but still yields about fifty kilograms of fruit each year. I often think of how many varying epochs the tree has lived through and how many droughts, tempests and heavy snowfalls it has survived. Suitable companions may be easily found from among the fig trees and vines growing elsewhere on the farm, and replanted on either side of this venerable tree.

With best wishes, Tor

Comment by Susan Traynor on November 24, 2013 at 4:08pm

That herb garden that you are planning is going to be beautiful and inspiring.  Thanks for writing about it!

Comment by Tor Myrvang on November 24, 2013 at 3:24pm

Dear all,

The weather improved substantially today, and I was able to make some progress with my herb garden project.

My wife, Adelina, and I went to local market, which was held this Sunday in Tarano, on the way to Terni. I bought eight fairly large rosemary plants for EUR 20, which was quite a good price. I will plant these provisionally in two recycled rectangular terracotta vases which will help define the contours of the garden.

In the afternoon, I was able to stake out the perimeter of the herb garden using iron staves and cord. The dimensions were adjusted to 7.36 metres by 3.68 metres, to bring it more in harmony with a nearby raised flower bed.

I was also able to assess the work that will be necessary in levelling the ground. This is quite a big task, as our farm house is built on a 'poggio' or podium, a ridge levelled, no doubt, in ancient or medieval times, from which the land descends gradually on three sides.

Fortunately, there is a lot of topsoil nearby which can be used in the process.

Tonight, we toasted some bread and sampled the first oil to be pressed from the olives harvested on our farm this year. It was delicious!

With best wishes, Tor

Comment by Tor Myrvang on November 23, 2013 at 12:04pm

Dear all,

I am planning a new herb garden on the west side of our farm house in Montopoli, as illustrated above. Its dimensions will be some eight metres by four metres. It will be surrounded by a waist-high hedge of Rosemary and entered through a wrought iron gate. The paving will be of irregular limestone slabs between which Thyme will be planted to give out a pleasant odour when trodden upon. A decorative feature, such as a bird bath or sundial, will be placed in the very centre of the herb garden surrounded by a bed of Lavender.

The garden will include thirteen herbs, eleven of which, we habitually use in cooking, and two other perennial herbs: Chamomile which is infused in hot water to produce a sleeping draught, and Lavender which is used for scenting garments and linen, in producing a precious olive oil based unguent, and for mixing in pot-pourri.


Together with the dark-leaved Rosemary, the silver-green leaves of Lavender are an essential element in creating  a colour contrast. Hence, these two herbs will be allocated the lion’s share of the available space.

Apart from Rosemary, Chamomile and Lavender, six other perennial herbs will be grown, namely Mint, Sage, Thyme, Chives, Oregano and Tarragon . The biennial Parsley, and the annuals, Basil, Coriander and Cumin, will complete the picture.

With best wishes, Tor

Comment by Fay Campbell on July 25, 2013 at 2:01pm

Mmmmmm, your fruit sounds great, susan Traynor. I'm picking tomatoes, cukes and squash daily now. 

Comment by Susan Traynor on July 24, 2013 at 7:21pm

Am in zone 5 in SW MI.  Got a late start looking forward to sowing sugar snap peas along with snow peas, spinach and lettuce on or about Aug 15. Maybe by then the peppers, tomatoes, and beans will be producing.  The blueberries are still going strong while the cherry production is over for this year.  Speaking of cherries, I wish I knew what variety are growing here. They look and taste like Rainier but are much smaller.  Also have visions of pear butter, apple butter along with hard apple cider dancing in my head.  The fruit production was lost last year in this areas of MI due to the weird Spring weather with this year bringing abundance.  

Comment by Fay Campbell on July 24, 2013 at 12:19pm

I've had luck with Pampas grass in part sun

Comment by Louis Cannizzaro on July 24, 2013 at 7:02am

Hi are there any evergreen privacy type shrub or tree than can be planted in part shade areas?

Comment by Fay Campbell on July 7, 2013 at 8:50am

My peppers aren't producing.  I've had two little jalapenos and the rest are nuttin, Honey.  The plants had some blossoms, so I dunno what's going on.  In spite of 6 more inches of rain in the past day and a half - about 15" over normal for the year - I picked a few tomatoes, two cucumbers, a cup of berries, green beans, and little beets today.  Oh, and an acorn squash that should have stayed on the vine, but was breaking it down.  It's five inches across so will probably be ok.  It is from one of the many volunteer vines.



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