Posts tagged ‘Green’

Architecture of Urban Farming

The City of Vancouver, so much more than a “city that could be,” has developed Climate Change Action Plans and an EcoDensity Charter to do something to make things better. The city recently partnered with The Architectural Institute of British Columbia to present Form Shift: an architectural ideas design competition to support their goal of becoming “the greenest city in the world”.

Urban agriculture ideas were big in the competition. The Harvest Green Project By Romses Architect recieved an honorable mention in the competition, which saw urban farming as a way to help the city eat more sustainably:

To a certain extent, we have seen 20th century town planning disregard the importance of food and farming, and urban development has virtually eliminated agriculture in our cities….Incorporating urban farming prominently into the fabric of the city, and in a synergistic mixed-use development integrated with transit, is a way to re-assert the cultural and environmental importance of locally produced food to the health and sustainability of the city and its residents.

Harvest Green Project

The Community Catalyst submission by Garon Sebastien and Chris Foyd also received honorable mention. Their approach was simple:

Community gardens have proven hugely successful in fostering neighbourhood exchanges and building a sense of community.

Community Catalyst

That’s what we’re hoping for with the River Forks Community Garden, which has taken more than 3 years of fighting to push into existance. Now we’re just waiting for the city to do their thing, so we can do ours. The suspense is killing me!

via City Farmer.


May 11, 2009 at 1:31 pm Leave a comment

Raingutter gardens

I am stunned by the ingenuity of these re-purposed rain gutter gardens. They are an excellent way to increase your gardening space. They’re perfect the perfect size for growing herbs, leeks, and lettuce. Plus they’re beautiful to look at–they’d look amazing with trailing nasturtiums. raingutter gardens


April 28, 2009 at 6:33 pm Leave a comment

Inspiring Upcycling: Electricity-Free Lighting

It’s the simplicity of this project that makes it so beautiful. A man in Brazil is using soda bottles to light his workshop during the day (they’re rated at 50 watts!). This would never work in our climate, but I would love the opportunity to see pop bottles sticking out of people’s houses.

Via Make.

April 28, 2009 at 9:40 am Leave a comment

Spring Makeover: Our expanding Urban Homestead.

This weekend we removed the last of our grass, making way for more food. Grass represents things that I’m not into, not the least of which is mowing. Last year, an old Italian lady asked me, as I offered her herloom black cherry tomatos from my front yard, “Don’t you have a back yard?” Now I can answer that with, “You should see how much food I can grow back there!”
The Urban Homestead says that it’s best to avoid tilling, but sadly, we are too lazy busy to dig it up by hand. This means more maintenance work later, but at least I can get right in there. And it’s so satisfying to look at 🙂

That’s sawdust, not dead grass. Excellent soil additive! You can see the tiny patch of dirt around the perimeter that I used last year.


I was so happy to tromp around in the fresh dirt 🙂

April 27, 2009 at 4:47 pm Leave a comment

10 points for Genetic Purity (in food)

I’ve always been a little wary of GMO food. I’m not interested in eating tomatos spliced with fish genes. I’d rather not have my corn doused in roundup. And remember that big corn recall in the 90’s, when an innocuous bean gene caused fatal allergic reactions in corn?

My decision not to (knowingly) eat GMO food is a personal one, but it still makes me wary when GMO seed companies suggest that they are part of the solution to world hunger and “sustainable agriculture”. And when I learned from The Future Of Food about Monsanto suing a Saskatchewan farmer for patent violation after they contaminated his crops with their seeds.

and then I read this:

Herbicide-tolerant soybeans, herbicide-tolerant corn and Bt corn have failed to increase intrinsic yields, the report found. Herbicide-tolerant soybeans and herbicide-tolerant corn also have failed to increase operational yields, compared with conventional methods.

So, not only do my veggies taste better and fulfill my desire genetically pure food, but they also have the same yields as herbicide drenched ones. Take that, GMO advocates!

April 25, 2009 at 8:53 pm 1 comment

Sun Loving

Every once in a while, i pull out my New Complete Book of Self Sufficiency and dream a little dream of living off the grid, but it’s never been something I thought was possible.
If you have $50,000 to spend, there’s great information on the daily green on the basics of installing solar panels, but I don’t know anyone with that kind of cash in their shoe box.

Solar water heaters are a little less intense. Solar water heaters have been used since the 19th century, and work by harvesting the sun’s heat directly rather than converting solar power into electric into heat. They cost $1,500 to $3,500, and pay for themselves in four to eight years. And I just found out that here in Ontario, the government is offering up to $1000 in grants for installing a solar hot water system. Not a bad case when you realize that average electric water heater uses 6,400 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, and releases more CO2 than the average car. More on solar water heaters here.

April 23, 2009 at 10:23 pm Leave a comment

What is Living Lime?

There’s a lot of hype surrounding the concept of “living green” these days.  Living green is a great idea, but Living Lime is more than that.  Living Lime is living the best that you can.

The world is sometimes a depressing place.  Our leaders are slow to lead, big corporations seem to have all the power, and it’s easy to get discouraged into thinking that nothing that we do matters.  The answer?  Stop looking at what everyone else is doing wrong and just live the best that you can.  With passion. It’s all you can do, really.

For me, Living Lime means growing my own food and learning to preserve it.  It means buying local.  It means making clothing and items out of repurposed materials so I consume less.  It means contributing to my community, through arts and other activities.  It means standing up for what I believe is right. This blog is a place to find ideas and inspiration for Living Lime.    Gardening advice, seasonal recipes, craft ideas, and community initiatives and activism.  There are a lot of reasons to be inspired.

April 23, 2009 at 2:59 pm 1 comment

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