I See My Garden…

I don’t know what you think when you look at your garden, but wen I walk into mine, I see freedom. Freedom from the ever present influence of the corporate culture in which America has been dominated and crushed by. I see freedom to live as I wish, without worrying about what this company put into their food or what this other company does with the money I give them. I see freedom from the almost almighty dollar. I say almost almighty, as in our home, we work hard to takes its power away. In our home, though

Our Garden

Our Garden

we’re not wealthy by any standards, we work hard to keep it nothing more than an afterthought. I see our garden as much our home as the house, itself. Where Michelle and I spend a little time together every day caring for the plants, which in return will give us food. I see the garden as a perfect representation of myself. From a distance, perfect and orderly, but up close…

Our garden has become an example to our community that it can be done. We’re able to not only feed ourselves, but share what we have with our friends and family. We have raised beds and green walls. Fruit trees and berry bushes. The children in the neighborhood stop by to see and learn where their food comes from. Our garden shows that anyone, despite income or perceived class, can grow their own food. If not all, at least some.

How do you see your garden? What do you grow? What is its inspiration?

A Change In GMO Labeling Language

Over the past few years, there has been a battle over the safety of genetically modified organisms, or GMO. Though there has been progress in public education and labeling, it has been slow. As much as I would love to go into why GMO is morally and ethically wrong, I’m preaching to the choir. I’m focused on a different battle within the same war. The language.

The truth of the matter is that the companies who develop the GMO products have us by the proverbial balls. In labeling the productsrighttoknow37 GMO, that gives them the freedom to fire back with an argument that’s, quite frankly, hard to come back from. Their argument is that GMO happens in nature. Though I find it funny that a bunch of people who generally don’t believe in evolution would use this as an argument, it’s a solid one. Nature does indeed have the ability to modify anything in order to ensure its survival. Simple evolution.

I propose that we change our language. Instead of the term ‘GMO’ or ‘Genetically Modified’, we need to be using the term ‘Genetically Engineered’. This is a term that implies that the product was created by man rather by nature.

As always, I stand by my belief that we have the right to know what we are eating. I stand by my belief that knowing what we’re eating is a basic human right and that labeling is the moral and ethical solution, but we first need to change our language.

Going Vertical

I’m sure some of you have noticed the pictures of the GLTi green wall posted in the last post. I’m sure some of you wonder where I get it, how it works, and how it can benefit you.

wallartOkay, well, you’re looking at a Green Living Technologies living wall. It’s made of stainless steel with an aluminum frame. In other words, it’s built to last. Mine has been through hell and back and still works as well as it did the day it was first used. We have been able to grow many times the amount of tomatoes, peppers, greens, herbs, beets, and anything else you could ever imagine in just a fraction of the footprint, using just a fraction of the resources. Using soil, I have been very successful in growing without the use of any chemical except for organic fish emulsion in which I only used in the very beginning.

This is going to revolutionize urban agriculture as we know it. For many people who don’t have have the space to grow a full garden, all you need is a few feet or a space on your wall. Maximum production with minimal space.

Once you’ve seen it up close and personal, it will blow your mind.

Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have involving growing vertically or the panels at info@ourtinyearth.com

Right now, we’re growing tomatoes, peppers, thyme, squash, marigolds, and greens. Everything you need to make dinner.

 

1/8 Of An Acre Of Heaven

 

Of all the tasks and all the hobbies one might take up in a lifetime, few require the patience of a garden, but for those who have the patience, the rewards are seemingly endless.

Our Tiny Earth Raised Beds

Our Tiny Earth Raised Beds

This is our garden. Our Tiny Earth Urban Farm. I know, there are people out there who have bigger gardens, produce more food, and even have animals and bees, but for our needs, we’re doing just fine. With a production of roughly 60 pounds of food per week in the summer months, we’ve been able to cut our grocery bills to a mere fraction of what they were in the winter and spring months. For us, this is our 1/8 of an acre bit of heaven.

Bumble Bee Finding Its Purpose in Hyssop

Bumble Bee Finding Its Purpose in Hyssop

Michelle loves her raspberries

Michelle loves her raspberries

There's something you have to love about pears!

There’s something you have to love about pears!

We've been enjoying the summer squash!

We’ve been enjoying the summer squash!

There's something beautiful about simple bib lettuce

There’s something beautiful about simple bib lettuce

The Honeybees are in action!

The Honeybees are in action!

The acorn squash is coming in nicely!

The acorn squash is coming in nicely!

Cukes!

Cukes!

My favorite pepper, the Hungarian Wax!

My favorite pepper, the Hungarian Wax!

Tomatoes are well on their way!

Tomatoes are well on their way!

Everything you could ever need to make sauce is right here on the wall!

Everything you could ever need to make sauce is right here on the wall!

 

 

Our Tiny Earth: Muligan

For those of you who are new to Our Tiny Earth and for those of you who have been with us since the very beginning, I would like to say welcome, once again. My name is Scott Wischmeyer and this is Our Tiny Earth. I guess you could say that this is a new beginning of sorts. I made the decision to start all over again from scratch, as I feel that I’ve been losing focus on what it’s really about and what I would like to bring you. Nothing but the best for my readers!

I was screwed right from the start

I was screwed right from the start

Who am I? Well, my name is Scott Wischmeyer. I have a background in traditional, hydroponic, and vertical agriculture and have dabbled in rooftop as well as aquaponics. I’ve worked with the biggest names in the business and have shaken hands everyone else. My mission is to obtain some sort of sustainable presence within an urban environment as a way to prove that it could be done.

Michelle and I live in the sunny tropical paradise of Rochester, NY. We garden, we cook, we eat, and we travel all over the country learning about what they’re doing, what they’re eating, and how we can mimic what they’re doing on our own little 1/8 of an acre plot of land, which we call Our Tiny Earth Urban Farm.

Over the next couple years, I’m going to tell you about everything from growing vegetables vertically, to why I can’t call Our Tiny Earth what it really is because of a greedy greenwashing family in Los Angeles. I’m going to introduce you to the people who have made urban ag what it is today, and where it’s going to be tomorrow.

Thank you for finding Our Tiny Earth. Get comfortable, this is going to be a long ride.

Natural Gas Pros and Cons

From sea to shining sea, natural gas has made the news more than Britney Spears and Justin Beiber combined. Seriously, I did the Google Fight. With all this press and all the signs calling for its ban on every corner in my neighborhood, I had to do my research. Yes, I know I said I would keep away from writing about subjects that have the potential to put me in the hot seat, but I have to do what I have to do.

The natural gas industry has made a lot of claims about the substance. They say that it’s the answer to all of our energy needs and that it’s the new clean answer to coal and petroleum. Like Duffman, the Natural Gas industry says a lot of things, I think it;s a good time for us to sit back and look at the truth about natural gas from both sides.

Pros

  • Natural Gas produces 21% of the worlds power
  • Natural Gas is now the number one power source in America beating coal for the first time in July 2012
  • Natural Gas produces little soot, verifying the clean-burning claim
  • Emits 45% less CO2 than coal and 35% less CO2 than oil
  • There is an abundant supply. The DOE estimate roughly 1.2 trillion barrels in American soil
  • Can be used in manufacturing of plastics ,fertilizers ,and other chemicals
  • Can be used for transportation
  • No waste
  • Employs 1.2 million people around the world
  • Far better for cooking than electric

     

Cons

  • A non-renewable resource. Though there is a lot, it’s not sustainable in the long run
  • Though it emits less CO2 than coal or petroleum, still emits millions of tons per year
  • 85-95% methane, which is among the most potent of greenhouse gasses
  • Requires extensive pipelines to deliver
  • The biggest dangers are in the extraction process

    - Water pollution due to chemical runoff from fracking sites. In 2011, tests of water supplies, such as one in particular in Wyoming, show that drinking water has been tainted by fracturing chemicals, leaving the water unfit for consumption

    - Companies are not required to show which chemicals are used in fracking

    - Water can also be mixed with other ground toxins, such as arsenic do to the fracturing of shale

    - GHG footprint in shale is greater than that of coal

    - Fracking has been linked to earthquakes caused by the weakening of supporting shale

    - Gas ends up in drinking water leading to highly flammable water

    - Fracking uses huge amounts of water, which are already in short supply

    - Runoff destroys millions of acres of farmland rendering it useless, depleting our food supply and taking farmers out of business

 

Well, there are certainly are good arguments on both sides of the coin. For the most part, natural gas would be a very viable resource if it wasn’t for the extraction process. Unfortunately, there is far too much risk. Though there are some strong and valid arguments on the side for natural gas, I do not believe that there is enough value to anything to destroy the Earth to get it. I’ll just wait for the sun.