Sometimes when I'm talking to folks about Loving Garland Green and our mission to increase the number of urban gardens in Garland because it will raise up our local economy by creating new markets and stimulating existing markets, I get the "deer in the headlights" blank stare. Their eyes glaze over and I may as well be telling them that I believe that a Martian invasion is imminent.
Here are two perfect examples of what I mean when I say urban gardens will raise up the local economy:
1.) Recently I wanted to purchase a wire cage to hold leaves for a compost pile to add to one of our "another urban garden" installations for a resident here in Garland. I looked at Lowes, Home Depot, Roach Feed and Seed, Rhodes, and even Walmart. No wire compost cages were sold at any of these stores. So. . . I went online and ordered one for $40.00. Because of urban gardens, there was/is a market for these wire compost cages which are affordable.
Speaking of compost containers. . . you can find other types of compost containers at these garden stores but most of them cost between $100 and $150. My friend Gene Rodgers (the other half of Margie) who lives across the street from me built a tumbing composter himself from a 55 gallon barrel he purchased for $15.00. With the wood for the stand and related hardware, it cost about $25.00. You cannot touch a tumbling composter for less than $100.00. Now if Gene wanted to, he could add on another $25.00 for his labor and sell his models for $50 and make a $25 profit, and that is just one small example of what I mean by "creating new markets."
2) Today, just this morning, I called Roaches Feed and Seed and Rhodes (two of our local garden suppliers/nurseries) to ask if they had any rabbit manure. Roaches had none--missed opportunity for them since I'm lazy and Roaches is closer to me than Rhodes. Turns out Rhodes carries rabbit manure so I'll be heading over there today. Note: I didn't even bother to call Home Depot or Lowes because if I could even get hold of someone to talk with the answer would be no. They carry brand names. As far as I know, there is no branded version of rabbit manure.
The point is that the more people who learn the value of urban gardening--particularly organic urban gardening--the more demand you will see for items such as compost containers and rabbit manure. The smarter retailers will get ahead of the curve and start supplying these items.
WHY RABBIT MANURE?
There's just no manure that works as well for the garden as rabbit manure. It's considered a "cold" manure, you don't have to let it age or compost before you use it. Other manures that come from chickens, sheep, horse, cows, and pigs are "hot" manures. They need to be composted for months before you can safely use them or you'll burn your plants.
Some gardeners are cautious about pathogens and prefer to toss the rabbit manure into their compost piles. Then there are others who apply the rabbit manure directly to the garden.
You can also use the rabbit manure to make rabbit manure tea. Put a handful in a bucket and stir ever once in a while for a few days. Then pour the "tea" at the stem of the plants and toss the remaining pellets into your compost pile.
Rabbit manure is a great source of nitrogen for your compost pile and your garden if you are not adverse to applying it directly to the soil there.
March 14, 2014 Views from my Urban Garden
Two Photos Titled "Hope and Promise of Good Things to Come"
On the left is a photo I took this morning of my Georgia peach tree. It is one of several fruit trees that I've planted on the side of my front yard where I'm in the second year of establishing a woodland garden. This area contains perennials that will come back year after year. In addition to the fruit trees (two peach trees, two pomegranites so far) there are also 20 blueberry bushes, four blackberry vines, and countless strawberries. On the right is an experiment.
This bed is located on the other side of my front yard. The box is made from a knotty-pine bed I found that was being tossed. To the left is a potato tower. To the right by the trellis are three zuchinni plants. In the foreground, which you can see perhaps if you squint, are three tiny tomato plants that I started from seed. The one in the center is a Flamenco tomato. I ordered the seeds for it from Native Seeds out of Tucson Arizona, The other two tomato plants are from seeds I save from last year. They are for a pear-shaped tomato that grew like a week last year. I planted it in July and it bore tomatoes from August through October.