28 December, 2009
24 December, 2009
kayak/canoe sales and rentals
athens on the hudson, ny
21 December, 2009
15 December, 2009
03 December, 2009
02 December, 2009
25 November, 2009
22 November, 2009
| || |
| || |
18 November, 2009
Many of the soil problems that the Pilgrims had to overcome are problems today because of over farming and soil depletion. Scientific studies show how the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables has diminished dramatically over the past 40 years. Other studies show organic fruits and vegetables are nutritionally superior to those produced using traditional farming methods. The answer, is the same now as it was in Squanto's day: using marine-based fertilization.
The second half of Heid's book explains how to grow an organic garden using Native American planting techniques and marine-based fertilizer to enrich and improve the soil. A variety of companion planting possibilities are suggested along with layouts for three traditional Native American gardens. It culminates with a selection of English and Native American recipes making use of garden produce based on what was eaten at the first Thanksgiving.
Heid hopes to revitalize interest in the forgotten gardening methods that gave birth to the very first Thanksgiving. "I really want to show all Americans why Squanto's Secrets worked for our Pilgrim Fathers and how his life-giving secrets are even more valuable today.
16 November, 2009
"When I was a technologist for an international company, I had to read a lot about laser technology and LEDs (light-emitting diodes)," Hayes recalled. "I read a lot about what NASA was doing to be able to provide fresh food to their astronauts."
Thirteen months ago Hayes gave the concept his full focus, working with a partner in Taiwan to finalize product design and basic financials for Sonnylight, LLC, which is aims to release the LED Kitchen Garden, a countertop unit, and the LED Grow Garden, a hanging unit, by the end of November.
As director of product engineering at Mitsubishi Motors, Hayes gained a solid technical background and made close contacts in the international industrial-design world, which proved useful as he was fine-tuning the Sonnylight product.
"Plant action is very specific in how much chlorophyll or keratins they produce and how they react to light," Hayes explained.
By working with a master gardener and reading a lot of research from university agriculture departments on the effect of light, Hayes formulated what he called "pulse-point modulation."
"We manage how much power we put into each one of these (colors)," he said.
Every Sonnylight product has a CPU in it, with "Grow Logic" software. "This helps drive the germination process, because it's more concentrated light," Hayes said. "In the right conditions, you can get up to three times the growth rate, but a lot of that depends on the person what nutrients you give it, what's the soil base, temperature. We provide the light."
Standard grow-light systems with compact fluorescents can use up to 40 watts, according to Hayes. "We're using 15 watts, and we use specific light wavelengths; LEDs have exact wavelengths based on the chemical composition of the diode. In our case we're using two blues, two reds, and for lettuce, cabbage and kale large-leaf plants we add a bit of green."
Plants do their best growth in four narrow light spectrums and only use about 8 percent of the white light, Hayes said. Sonnylight colors correspond with plants' three growth stages: germination, growth and budding.
"If you don't have sufficient blue light, the plant won't germinate properly, so we modulate the amount of light from each different colored diode," he said. "Then, once it starts to vegetate or grow, it switches over to the grow phase; it's all computer controlled."
The grower sets the lights according to five phases: daytime, sunrise and sunset, and 15-minute powering-up and dimming-down periods. "Plants are interesting because they have to have time to shut down and start up in the photosynthesis process," Hayes said. "People grow all the time without that, but this gives options for a more natural process with the plants."
Consumers stay involved in the process by monitoring the amount of nutrients in the water and the amount of water. "The whole product is self-contained you just turn it on, set it and take care of plants. Fifteen years is the lifetime of the lights the life of the product. This is not intended to be a service item."
Staying true to its tag line "Modern Technology Organic Sensibility," all packaging is biodegradable and the hood will be wrapped in a natural cotton shopping bag. Optional accessories for the product will include a heat pad, an off-grid cable for hooking up a Sonnylight to a car battery, two different soil types, and heirloom seeds that reproduce the same kind, so growers can save seeds.
"Consumers can save seeds, or replant them right away; time is not an issue here, as long as you keep them warm," said Hayes.
"If we can help people have a bit more personal control in their lives and control what they eat there're all these scares in the media about food that is what we want."
The business process
Getting Sonnylight products, which have design, technology and global patents pending, to market was a learning process for Hayes. "I can do the technical side, but the whole business structure is a little out of my comfort zone," he admitted. With help from the Next Level Leading Edge class, Hayes started building the business plan in the fall of 2008.
"The class really helped a lot it kept me disciplined," he said. "I found that (designing) the product was easy compared to everything else."
The discipline paid off as Hayes' business plan won first-place in the class. "The good thing that came out of this was that I started surrounding myself by people with business experience," said Hayes, who gave a presentation to the Southwest Colorado Small Business Development Center's Business Advisory Group and received counseling from Bart Mitchell, former director of the Archuleta County Economic Development Association, Fort Lewis College marketing professor Simon Walls and SBDC director Joe Keck.
"Launching a product is kind of anti-climactic you work so hard on each step," Hayes said. "It is kind of fun to think about (the response), but the focus has to be on the steps. It's going to go where it's going to go; all I can do is facilitate it."
Although reticent about it, Hayes has reason to be optimistic: Sonnylight's first magazine advertisement garnered more than 600 inquiries.
For more information: www.sonnylightled.com
kayak/canoe sales and rentals
athens on the Hudson, NY
02 July, 2009
The source: Bonnie Greenhouses with dozens of growing ranges in several states. The blight got into a 10 acre field and destroyed the entire crop.
One more reason to buy local....
04 June, 2009
A trip to the doc confirmed acute bronchitis. As a precaution due to something showing up on my X-ray I was given an antibiotic as well.
However before the antibiotic had a chance to kick in I went out to my herb garden and pulled some herbs for a tea in hopes of at least alleviating the cough and chest pressure. I then dried some Horehound, lemon catnip, lemon balm, gray sage and basil leaves.
In a hurry I used the microwave. The leaves were dried to crisp perfection in three minutes. I then boiled some water and poured it over the leafy mixture in the bottom of a tea pot. After four minutes of steeping the concoction was in a small coffee cup.
The results? At first, very bitter. However a little sugar and some honey sweetened the grog to I must say I felt almost immediate relief from the pressure in my chest and was breathing easier. Long term? I must say it helped. I feel the best part of the mixture was keeping it somewhat bitter to prevent consuming the tea like a soft drink, all at once.
In my opinion slowly drinking the hot herbal blend slowly has a lot to do with the success of my tea.
06 April, 2009
The weather in New York once again stinks.
A word of advice about something else that stinks. Poor service from CSA's.
With the popularity of community supported agriculture growing think twice before joining one.
Ask for membership lists to garner comments from former members.
Just like health clubs have they over sold memberships diluting your potential take home? IS the price so low as to make your weekly trip worthless. Low prices often mean low quantity.
While many excellent CSA's abound watch out for the scammers.
23 February, 2009
But March 1st is this coming Sunday and spring is somewhere. At least I can see it on my calendar. The next page of the calendar anyway.
March 1st means it is time to take cuttings on woody herbs you may have growing on your window sill. I managed to bring in and have survive a pot of rosemary. I almost forgot it was on my back deck! I did not bring it inside until the middle of November. I figured it was a goner since it had been below freezing for a few nights.
But that pot of rosemary has done very well. Just a few weeks ago new shoots began sprouting from the end of last years growth cycle. They have grown about three inches long and are ready to make new plants.
Any woody stemmed herb with newer growth can be cut now from the tips to make new plants. Early March is the perfect time since it is early enough in the season to allow the cuttings to set roots and be ready to go outside late April.
And with good luck you may get to take a second cutting in April just in case something happens to the March cuttings.
To take cuttings off of woody stemmed herbs choose soft new growth from the ends of the branches. Cutting should be about two to three inches and length although there is no set rule. The only rule is that the cuttings come from soft tissue. These root much easier.
After taking cuttings remove the leaves from the bottom inch or so of the stem. There should be no foliage below the soil surface. To expose more rooting tissue cut the bottom of the cut piece once more at a 45* angle. This exposes more surface area across the bottom of the cutting giving rooting success a much greater chance.
Insert the cuttings into well drained soil. Cover with a humidity dome used for seed flats or place into a small clear plastic bag. The idea here is to create a mini greenhouse environment. Light should be bright with little direct sun until rooting has taken place.
Your new cuttings are ready to transplant when you begin to feel a good deal of resistance when tugging on the cutting. Rosemary should take 3-5 weeks to set firm roots.
29 January, 2009
Like my other blogs check out the video feeds on gardening.
News articles can be had by clicking on a topic in the list on the side of the blog. You will then be taken directly to relevant articles on the topic of choice.
Feel free to leave comments as well!
25 January, 2009
I feel we need to make these so called volunteer do gooders remove themselves from office and let people who really want to create community gardens actually be able to.
Go to www.cdcg.org and look at all the claims of goody two shoe projects.
Then try and volunteer; Be prepared to be pushed aside, ignored along with the broken promises and fake apologies.
Then think hard about the new regime we elected in Washington and around your state, county and hometown. The pseudo Clintonites will ask for your time when all they want is your money.
Too many non profit organizations are there to self serve their board members. They are not community activists. People like the ilk at Capital District Community Gardens are elitists who want nothing of time just your sympathy.
Now get your community organized and start your own community garden.