While I’m running the contest to win your own mushroom garden from Back to the Root Ventures, I am going to be growing the mushroom garden to see how it works. Growing my own mushrooms is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Most of the kits that I’ve seen use logs and require a damp, dark location, which I don’t have. That’s why I’m curious to see how this kit will do. Plus mushrooms are crazy expensive in the store, and I’m all about growing my own food when I can. The set-up...

When I came back from my New Year break, I said that I was going to post twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Now that we are a few weeks into the new year, I can’t do it. There are too many things that I’d like to discuss and share with you. On Monday, I’m starting to post four days a week. I already mentioned sharing seasonal recipes on a monthly basis, but can easily do that on a weekly basis. So here is what the weekly schedule will look like: Monday: Contests, book and movie reviews and other various topics. Tuesday:...

A few weeks back when I posted a question on Facebook asking what posts people would like me to write, I was asked by Tim of Ecycler about a “hit list” for starting an urban garden. I thought that it could be done in a short series, so here is the first part that includes what you will need to get started. The list is short and pretty simple. It consists of: Containers Since I make my own self-watering containers, I need two containers to make one container. Got that? There are many places that you can get the containers for...

There was a post on Rodale.com on rodent control and how it was effecting barn owls. Even though this post wasn’t specifically about gardening, it can certainly be related to why organic gardening makes sense. Here’s an excerpt from the post: Other studies have found these dangerous chemicals building up in the bodies of herbivorous animals like squirrels and deer. Scientists aren’t sure why they’re building up in herbivores, but the evidence suggests that the chemicals are extremely persistent in the environment...

When I posted a question on Facebook asking what posts people would like me to write, recipes were mentioned. I used to keep a raw recipe blog, but stopped that long ago. Since people are interested, I’ll give em what they want. To start, once a month, I will post a simple recipe for something that is in season that you can get from your garden or the farmers market. If there are any fruits or veggies that you are looking for new ideas as how to prepare or have no idea how to prepare, let me know. I’ll try to hook up the...

One of the food blogs that I regularly read, Fooducate, had a post 2011 Food and Nutrition Trends. It was a recap from some of the top food industry experts Marion Nestle, The Food Channel, Food & Wine and Mintel. I’d like to contribute my predicted 2011 food trend as well. I am going to predict that people will continue to take their food back from the hands of corporations. More people will start to grow their own food and reestablish that connection with their food source. It’s already begun, and I believe will continue...

A common excuse that people often give to not grow their own food is that they don’t know when or how much to water their plant. I was away from my balcony garden for nearly two weeks during the holidays. While on vacation, I did not once travel back home to water my garden. This wasn’t the first time that I was away for an extended period of time without having someone water the containers. That doubt and thought started to creep into my mind as well. Some of the plants I started from seed and weren’t doing too well....

So here it is my first post of 2011. It’s been about a month since I lasted posted. It looks like the world continued to exist and get by, which is good. Towards the end of last year I was starting to feel like I wasn’t bringing much value to the blog and internet world. I felt as if my posts and the information that I was providing was stagnant and blah. So I decided to unplug and take a break. During the break I received a bunch of messages and comments from people, which was much appreciated. People were letting me know...

Posted on Dec 6 2010 - 3:38am by Mike Lieberman
#22

This is going to be my last post of 2010. I need to take a break from posting and promoting. I’ve been feeling a bit stagnant lately. I think the posts and blog have suffered because of it. It feels like I’m forcing content and just putting stuff out there. It feels like I’m saying the same things over and over again to the same people. I appreciate those people, but I think I need to take some time off to hopefully rest, refocus and re-energize. Hope everyone has a good holiday and happy new year. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38ZmkCIZ-VM ...

It’s getting close to winter time here in the States. Last year during this time I was wrapping up my growing season on my fire escape garden. This now that I’m on the left coast I can grow on my balcony garden year round. Not everyone is that fortunate when it comes to their growing season. For most of you the season has pretty much ended unless you’ve built a cold frame or hoop house to extend your season. Just because the weather has dropped doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to grow or start to grow...

One of the biggest stories and bills that’s out there right now is the S510 Food Safety Modernization Act that recently passed Senate. There is lots of speculation and to do about this bill because it can have a huge impact on growers both large and small. It’s written in legalese and has a bunch of amendments and additions to it that it’s confusing to follow and understand what’s going on. Grist.org has been covering the bill in more detail. With all of that being said, there is one thing that I definitely don’t...

There have been mysterious sprouts growing in the containers on my balcony garden for months now. At first I thought they were old seeds that I had planted and never sprouted, but then I planted in new containers using new soil and the sprouts appeared again. Some of the sprouts have finally started to mature to the point where they have full leaves. They are dark green in color and hearty like malabar spinach. I cannot identify what they could possibly be. Are they a weed? Edible? Ornamental? I’ve pretty much thinned them out in...

One of the questions that I frequently get asked is what vegetables can be grown in a shady garden. Most of us that grow in an urban environment are faced with this situation. I’ve been growing for about 1.5 years between my fire escape garden and now my balcony garden. Both gardens received at max 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. That didn’t stop me from attempting to grow veggies that required more sun. Those attempts were unsuccessful. I now know that tomatoes and cucumbers won’t do well given my current environment. Besides...

Most people only give thanks for their food during their Thanksgiving (or other holiday) meals. It’s usually done as an afterthought. My question is why is being thankful for the food on our plate part of our daily routines? Why is it something reserved for Thanksgiving? To me this is another example of how disconnected we’ve become from our food source. Thanksgiving is usually a time when friends and families congregate together to be thankful for each other. Giving thanks for the food is done as a, “Oh yea thanks for...

On the surface this question is gonna seem stupid, but I think it has just caused to be asked – Do you need to add seeds to potting soil in order for something to grow? A few weeks back I wrote about mysterious sprouts growing my containers. I thought I had solved the mystery and that they were old seeds that never sprouted. Since that time I’ve planted four new containers. They were started using brand new bags of potting soil and the same sprouts are emerging. When I planted the seeds in the containers, I definitely did...

I have about 10 self-watering containers on my balcony garden. In taking care of them, I’ve started to notice that the reservoir containers have been starting to stank and form algae. The reason for this might be because there is no room for the air to circulate. The air can get in through the overflow hole, but no other way to get out. What I’d recommend is to add 2-3 additional drainage holes around the reservoir container to allow the air to freely circulate. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3Bkaytx2zE ...

It’s been over a month since I started the shipping palette herb garden. It didn’t take long for the containers to sprout, but there is a slight problem. Initially I thought there would be a problem with the second and third rows because of the way that the water was draining down. That has not been an issue. I’ve been applying a small amount of compost every other week and reusing the water to help keep the plants nourished. The problem that I am encountering is that the containers in the top row aren’t doing well....

Posted on Nov 8 2010 - 3:55am by Mike Lieberman
#0

There were a total of 13 comments left to enter the hydroculture contest. To select a winner, I used Random.org to randomly select a number between 1-13. The number generated was…7. Counting from the top, the seventh comment was from Risa whose comment was, “Hey (PCOStherealdeal here)Been following your channel on YT since before you made the big move and I love watching your channel grow and change. Iv got a small jerry riged system half way put together with optional fish and tank it actually really could be cool. I plan...

Since I’ve shown you what it’s like feeding my worms, they have gone a mating spree. They have been reproducing like crazy. I assume that this means that they are really comfortable with their environment. Not sure that my words could do much justice for how many there are, so hopefully this video can: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UU9X8RGSL6U ...

I want to brag a little bit in this post. It’s been about 7-months since I left NYC for LA. In terms of growing food and gardening, it’s starting to settle in now. It hit me when Colleen Vanderlinden wrote 10 Things to Do Now for a Better Garden Next Spring on Planet Green. Last year during this time, I was fussing around and attempting to build small plastic greenhouses on my fire escape garden and in my Grandmother’s backyard. I eventually scrapped those ideas. I actually just planted two containers with kale and collard...