Victory Gardens

What Exactly is a Biological Soil Crust?

Soil Crusts are Tiny Communities that Can Help You Build Healthy Soil Did you ever walk out in the desert following a rainstorm?  If so, you may have noticed a thin black or green layer  on the surface of the soil.   Of course. you may have noticed a sprinkling of dry, black powder on the soil surface on a sunny day too, ...

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Water Retention in a Wood Chip Garden

Few characters I dealt with in my years as as a researcher were as colorful as Chuck Redman.  Chuck was a retired solar energy technician who had dedicated many lab hours during his career to exploring the movement of adsorbed water.   After retirement, Chuck had become fascinated with the hypothesis that significant amounts of water in trees could move ...

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Best Ways to Enjoy the Nutrition of a Microbiome

Whole foods contain active enzymes and complex, living microbiomes Most health and wellness experts agree whole foods are the best source of nutrition.  Yet here in the US, we support an enormous dietary supplement industry.  Why?  Why do consumers buy supplements that provide one or a few nutrients at a time, instead of buying whole foods that provide everything they ...

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Chemical Dependency Starts in the Soil

Chemical dependence begins in the soil where our food is grown. Chemical Dependency Is About So Much More Than Recreational Drugs Growing up on the edge of Generation X, I learned early on about the most universally recognized forms of chemical dependency.  In our community, we were exposed to a number of people who drank too much, smoked too much, or ...

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Sharing the Spirit of Victory

Marjorie Jane and David Ivan Clowe managed a Victory Garden during WWII Paula Clowe, from Las Cruces, New Mexico, has contributed this photograph of her grandfather, David Ivan Clowe, and her aunt, Marjorie Jane Clowe Adams during WWII. At the time of the photo, Marjorie was the only child remaining close to home. Her husband served in the Philippines during the war, and ...

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Repurposing Victory Gardens

During World Wars I and II, families on the home fronts in many countries were encouraged to plant victory gardens. Home food production was recognized as fundamental to national security, and victory gardens became a source of national pride and patriotism. Food grown at home provided critical relief from the death, famine, and destruction created by the wars. You see, ...

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Why Strawberry Clover in a 21st Century Victory Garden?

     The victory garden of the 21th century must be ecologically balanced so that no chemicals are needed.  To maintain balance, one should choose a variety of plants from different families.  Because space is often limited, plants that serve multiple purposes are always good to have. As a legume, strawberry clover has an ability to associate with microbes of ...

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Water and Organic Matter Make Gardens Productive in Desert Soils

Gardening in the desert presents challenges that are rarely addressed by gardening experts who honed their skills in more humid climates.   Here in the Southwest, it is not uncommon to see precipitation values for the entire year that equal rainfall received in a single storm in more humid climates. When annual precipitation falls below 15 inches, soil, which can ...

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Sowing the Seeds of Victory

Home gardening is vital to the security of any nation During the first and second World Wars, victory gardens were popular in countries on both sides of the fighting.   The ability to produce food close to home was considered a vital component of national security, and was recognized as crucial to the war effort.  This first half of the ...

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Leaving the Clutter in Desert Gardens

Gardening is a skill that develops over a lifetime.   I envy those who were raised with a successful gardener, because like any art, you just can’t pick it up from a book.  In fact, books on gardening are really just the results of gardeners sorting out their own thoughts out on paper.  Well, nowadays we don’t even use paper. ...

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