Thursday, March 24, 2011


LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 29:  Beekeeper and Chai...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeThey're small and fast. They make a buzzing sound that is furiously busy. When seen in close range, they instill in us, a knee-jerk reaction to run away and/or swat at them stupidly, making them mad, giving cause to sting you.

But did you know that bees are in integral part of any healthy garden?

If you answered "yes", then you can skip this post and get back to web surfing, Facebook, Twitter or whatever it is you were doing before you found this post.

If you answered "no", then here are a few things you need to know about bees for your garden.

1. Bees are pollinators, meaning, sure, they collect honey for the queen, but more importantly for your garden, they pollinate other fruits and vegetables.

2. Bees are your friends. They'll come around daily without asking. They won't bother you unless you try to take them away from their precious supply of pollen (see first paragraph above). Most importantly, bees are necessary and vital for the health of your garden.

3. So how do you attract bees? Bees love certain plants and herbs. Here's a partial list of plants to attract bees to your garden space, whether it's a small space in your yard or in a community garden.

Basil, cornflowers, dahlias, lavender, mint, poppies, rosemary and thyme.*

So remember, love those bees and swatting!

*This is a partial list taken from Avec Eric: A Culinary Journey with Eric Ripert

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Thursday, February 03, 2011

I’ve been itching to plant my spring greens and veggies. But first, I had to get my actical; the plastic wrist bracelet that tracks my metabolism, physical activity and qualifies me (and twenty-nine others) for the 4’x12’ raised garden beds at FPCG. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the actical shrinks as the week wears on and gets incredibly itchy, usually during the middle of the night. That’s right; we wear the actical 24/7, for one week. Tia Meer, the FPCG manager, has been instrumental in keeping the garden at FPCG running smoothly. Last night she arranged for us to meet and fulfill our obligations. Thanks Ethos Vegan Kitchen for giving us the time and space.
Every three months for the past nine months, FPCG gardeners fill out the required forms and endure a week of the scratchy bracelet that is now seen more as a badge of honor, than a nuisance. After one more actical week (May 2011) the garden officially becomes community property complete with monthly dues, by-laws and various committees to keep things running smoothly.
Since we broke ground in May 2010, we’ve seen three planting seasons and are now preparing for spring and summer vegetables. Tomatoes, radish, carrots, fresh herbs, lettuce, potatoes and beans thrive alongside chard, broccoli, kale, snapdragons, marigolds, and citrus trees.
My garden is planted. Now it’s just six days, one hour and ten minutes before I can stop scratching.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Gardening Basics Class offered by Transition Orlando

Transition Orlando, a community based, grass-roots organization dedicated to change at the local level, offers a Gardening Basics Class this Saturday, January 8th at Festival Park Community Garden in Orlando. Learn garden basics such as soil, compost, seeds, plant spacing, Florida seasons and more. Join The Simple Living Institutes's Tia Meer and Transition Orlando's Richard Powell for a fun and informative afternoon. Gardening Basics Class is scheduled from 1:30-3:00. Bring a chair and water. Class size is limited.

Festival Community Park Garden located at the corner of Robinson and Primrose in Orlando, 32803. Click here for registration and additional information. All proceeds from the gardening class go towards Transition Orlando, The Simple Living Institute and Festival Park Community Garden.

Get out there and GARDEN!