Your Family Ebooks Catalog
Helping children discover the pleasures of gardening and connecting with the natural world ensures that future generations will become eco-friendly, too. Start small by sprouting seeds together or talking about the plants you see on a walk. Name the vegetables and fruits in the supermarket, and talk about where and how they grow. For more great ideas about gardening with children at home and in schools, visit the National Gardening Association's Kidsgardening Web site at www.kidsgardening.com.
Before undertaking an extensive home fruit planting, carefully consider the amount of time required. Discuss this commitment with other family members. If this is your first attempt at growing fruit, consider planting on a small scale to get a realistic idea of the demands.
Get your scissors, and cut off the leaf. Put it in a paper bag, seal it, and throw it in the garbage. Tomato worms don't usually harm the tomatoes themselves, but they take strength from the plant as they eat many of the leaves. If your children are interested in a science project, you might have them come and look at the tomato horn worm and get their ears as close as they can. They can actually hear them crunching the leaves. (Be careful, the worms could jump on your head no, I'm only kidding )
Plant a guaranteed butterfly-magnet plant like butterfly bush (Buddleia) or butterfly weed (Asclepias). Milkweed and lantana are other fine choices. Your kids can have much fun watching as the local butterflies, and possibly even hummingbirds, visit the bush. Look for a book about butterfly species so your kids can have fun learning about the butterflies that live in your area.
Insecticidal soaps, oil sprays, and botanical pesticides (made from plants) are examples of pesticides that have low toxicity to nontarget organisms, such as you and your family, birds, and other wildlife. They're handy for spot treatments of serious outbreaks where resident beneficials aren't up to the job.
People went kind of crazy after World War II. Huge cars with tailfins, Twinkies, and big front lawns consumed the affections of modern Americans. One of the casualties was homegrown food, a common part of life before then. Times have changed again, and it's time to get back to growing our own groceries. Feeding your family is the very best use of your land and not as difficult as you may think. When it comes to sustainability, you not only make good use of your land by growing food to feed your family, but you also reduce farm-to-plate transport from miles to feet and eliminate fossil-fuel use. Perhaps the best benefit is the fact that homegrown food is utterly fresh, delicious, free of pesticides, and fun to grow. You can enjoy varieties that are vastly more flavorful than anything you'll buy at the supermarket. If you have kids, introduce them to the art of food growing they may need this knowledge more than we do.
Landscape construction is heavy work involving tools and equipment that are often much bigger, harder, sharper, and more powerful than you. Because you'll be doing your landscaping sustainably, you won't be using toxic chemicals, so that problem's out of the way. But you have to deal with numerous other considerations to stay in one piece and to keep your family and others safe Keep a first-aid kit handy at all times. Know emergency contact numbers, and let family members know if you'll be doing something risky.
Spraying pesticides to get rid of pests may be satisfying in the moment, but the long-term effects can include poisoning soil and water creating an unhealthy environment for yourself, your family, and your pets eliminating beneficial organisms and wasting money on unnecessary products. Organic gardeners take a different approach They strive to maintain a healthy balance of organisms, and they treat problems only when treatment is clearly warranted. The goal is to manage pests, not annihilate them.
Even though sustainable landscapes rely primarily on plants and other elements of the biological world, you inevitably need some of the hard stuff concrete patios, stone retaining walls, fences, arbors, steps, and lighting systems. Here, you find out how to assemble sustainable hardscape elements into outdoor rooms to serve your family's needs as well as how to construct and maintain them. Just to show you that I'm not all business, this part also addresses fun stuff, such as art, water features, outdoor kitchens, and facilities for animals all done with minimal nasty impacts.
The reason that conventional gardens depend on chemicals is that they aren't set up to be durable and naturally resistant to pests and diseases. Gardeners often use chemicals because they don't know about natural alternatives or don't believe that natural solutions could possibly work as well. Actually, the opposite is true. Follow the tips on natural weed control and integrated pest management in Chapter 21, and stick with organic fertilizers (see Chapter 22). You'll be safer so will your family and the environment.
Every element in your landscape should fulfill some purpose. Nothing should be there just because some clever advertising made you buy it or because you're trying to impress the neighbors. For example, a ground cover planting may help control erosion on a slope, a patio can offer a place for you and your family to hang out, and landscape lighting makes your property safer at night.
Imagine that you are leaving your present job with its stresses, strains and long hours to start your own home-based gardening business. You've fully researched your business idea and are confident that you can make it work. Your family is enthusiastically behind your plans and agree that it is time for you to go it alone. Financially you're relatively sound and have at least three months of survival income sitting in a high interest rate account, which hopefully won't be touched unless you really need it. Business planning is something that you have enjoyed doing and you worked out a clear launching strategy from which to work from to catapult your business into the market.
But understanding the site isn't enough you also have to learn what you want and need. Rushing into the design phase without going through this process leaves you without the information you need to make good decisions. Think about your needs and desires. What do you want from the finished landscape Make a simple list. Do this outdoors so you can imagine the possibilities better. If you stand in your backyard and dream about what you need, for example, you might list privacy, a shady place with a hammock or a patio, a play space for the kids, a vegetable garden, a few fruit trees, secure fencing, and a water feature. Take the time to get everything down on paper. Include your family in the process, and make sure that everybody gets heard.
Use light-emitting-diode (LED) path lights, which use a fraction of the energy of high- or low-voltage lights. (For more on outdoor lighting, turn to Chapter 13.) Getting to your front door is an important daily act for your family and others. The experience should be comfortable, safe, and welcoming. Provide a pathway that leads unambiguously to the house one that's wide enough to accommodate two people walking side by side (at least 4 2 feet) and that's smooth, safe, and well lit.
In addition to crop protection, RNAi technology has been used successfully to modify agronomically relevant traits such as, e.g. nutritional or pharmaceutical value and crop toxicity (reviewed by Tang et al. 2007 Hebert et al. 2008). Many reports on the successful application of RNAi for crop improvement take advantage of the potential of RNAi to down-regulate multiple targets. For example, a nutritionally valuable high-lysine maize variant was produced by down-regulating the entire 22-kDa a-zein gene family (with the seven active members sharing 90 nucleotide sequence identity in the coding sequence Segal et al. 2003). Similarly, a constitutively expressed RNAi effector transgene led to decaffeination of coffee plants by down-regulating multiple members of a caffeine biosynthesis gene family (Ogita et al. 2003, 2004). In another study, Allen et al. (2004) were able to generate opium poppy plants with high levels of the pharmaceutically valuable non-narcotic alkaloid reticuline by...
Growing vegetables and harvesting them fresh from the garden is a great way to help keep your family healthy and happy. However, a lot depends on how you store and prepare these foods because under adverse conditions they can lose up to ten percent of their minerals and vitamins on their way to the table. Fresh vegetables lose one quarter of their vitamin C content when left in the refrigerator for just a day, and up to one half in five days.
As with any swing, make sure that your kids know to play safely around the tire swing, and supervise them when they're using it. Check the rope or chain often to make sure it's still secure. Check the tree limb, as well tire swing ropes have a habit of sawing through their tree limbs if used a lot.
From practical tips to the latest research, universities offer valuable info and give a regional perspective. National organizations also have regional and local branches, and their sites tell you of events to attend, groups to join, and gardens to visit. If you have a particular plant passion, you're likely to find a plant association of like-minded gardeners on the Web. Many offer expert advice, publications, and regional gatherings. You can also find many sites on organic gardening, which can help you create a garden that's healthy for your family, for wildlife, and for the environment. And of course, you can search through numerous online mail-order companies that can supply you with what you need to get your garden started. Pull up a seat to your computer and get ready to explore (In case the computer doesn't appeal to you today, I also give you the phone numbers and addresses of the mail-order companies so you can request a catalog.)
A closely related stress-responsive NAC transcription factor gene termed SNAC2 was subsequently isolated from upland rice (Hu et al. 2008). Transgenic rice overexpressing SNAC2 showed significantly improved tolerance to cold, as well as to salinity and dehydration stresses. SNAC2 differs from SNAC1, however, in a several aspects, which illustrates how transcription factor gene family members can have broadly different functional characteristics. Unlike SNAC1, overexpression of SNAC2 showed no significant effect on drought resistance in the field conditions even though the transgenic plant showed improved tolerance to osmotic stress by PEG treatment. In addition, SNAC2 overexpression can enhance cold
With a garden this size, you can plant as many as fifteen different types of vegetables, including corn, lettuce, beets, radishes, carrots, tomatoes and green beans. If your family is large and the space is available, a standard garden 25 x 50 feet, when properly tended, can provide all the fresh vegetables five people are likely to eat in an entire season so can smaller gardens when intensive techniques are used.
After you've surveyed your property and its surroundings, it's time to look inward to the needs and desires of yourself and your family. If your design takes the environment into account but ignores your personal needs, it's a failure. In this section, you get to be selfish (in an altruistic and sustainable way, of course). Don't forget to involve the other family members, including kids. Assuming they're willing, everyone will probably enjoy the process, you'll like the company, and the eventual outcome will be better suited to everyone because they've played a role in it. Besides, you won't have to take all the blame when something goes haywire.
But remember, protecting your garden is a lot like protecting your children if its cold, add a blanket (a sweater) if sleet and hail are predicted, add clear plastic (a raincoat) and if its windy, add an extra shield against the wind (a windbreaker). Since you wouldn't let your kids play out in the cold winter without a snowsuit for protection, do the same for your plants. Keeping this in mind, you 11 be able to come up with easy and practical solutions for protecting your garden from the worst of conditions. That makes it very rewarding because then you can enjoy your garden much longer every year.
These bulbs come from the collection of a pre-eminent breeder who accumulated more than 2,500 Daffodil varieties, creating a superb mixture, which we call A Golden Legacy. It offers an astonishing range of colors and forms of this favorite spring flower. Daffodils (properly Narcissus) are hardy, long-lived, immune to pests and disease, distasteful to deer. Given a sunny, well-drained spot, this glorious, long-blooming mixture will provide a legacy to your children as well.
You may also find a lot of friends and neighbors looking for freebies, and pretty soon you'll start feeling obligated to them. The same thing happens when you sell to them. It's very difficult to collect money for something that your friends, neighbors, or your family would expect to get free from a gardener. That's one reason why I invented square foot gardening. I realized that the old-fashioned
Besides cost, consider, too, the maintenance demands a pool will put on you (see pages 210211). Time spent maintaining water quality and equipment will seem minimal as long as you and your family enjoy the pool. If your leisure interests turn elsewhere, however, maintenance can become a major pain.
To deduct auto expenses you can keep an accurate record backed by receipts of every dollar you spend for business travel in your family car. Or you can do it the easy way and just keep track of the approximate miles you drive. The IRS allows you to deduct so many cents per mile. That figure keeps changing although it's fixed by law for each year. It does take into consideration all costs of owning and maintaining a car, including gas and oil, repairs, tires and battery, and depreciation for wear and tear.
Six plants of 'Sweet Genovese' (Ocimum basilicum Genovese Profumitissima) will yield enough leaves to make pesto all year without overdosing on it. And although your family and friends may balk at having green stuff on their macaroni (okay, okay, pasta), just tell them to close their eyes and try it. The mixture of basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil is a treat with a distinctive Italian flavor. Try making pesto bread instead of garlic bread, or use pesto as an imaginative sandwich spread.
You eat, right Well, why not eat from your own land Growing food is easy, especially if you develop a stable food forest that uses the laws of nature to support a permanent edible ecosystem made up primarily of fruit trees and perennial plants that are durable, easy to care for, and well adapted to your climate and soil. A food forest also includes compatible animals, pollinators, water-harvesting systems, and annual food plants, such as broccoli and tomatoes. It's a complex ecosystem that looks great, feeds your family, and is good for the environment. That homegrown food sure is tasty, too Check out the food-forest info at the Permaculture Institute's Web site (www. Refer to Figure A-5 to see what a food-oriented landscape looks like.
To get a realistic picture of costs, generally you're best off doubling any number you come up with initially. Figure you can save about half of the hired cost if you do a job yourself, if you can. Stinting on such things as erosion control, walls, utilities, and such could cost you more in the long run or jeopardize your family's safety.
Gardeners are tike painters, bul with a fresh canvas available to them only once a year Borders are planned. plant and seed catalogues avidly searched and gleaned for more vibrant and longer-lasting colours, and fellow gardeners consulted. But should you or your family have a liking for flowers of certain colours - perhaps those that contrast with established plants in your garden, blend happily against colour-washed walls, or create memories of a cherished display in a wedding bouquet-then you need further help at your elbow. You need a reliable guide which clearly portrays the range of plants within a particular part of the colour spectrum, and that is the purpose ol this lavishly illustrated all-colour book.
Although nobody gets a parenting manual or bible in the delivery room, it is our duty as parents to try to make our kids as well rounded, happy and confident as possible. It is a lot easier to bring up great kids than it is to try and fix problems caused by bad parenting, when our kids have become adults. Our children are all individuals - they are not our property but people in their own right.