The Blog

The real heroes of plants – Roots

Roots are one of nature’s silent partners.  We walk all over them and never notice their large role in a plant or trees life.

After doing this time-lapse I realized by the moving of the root they might also be the brain.  Just watching it choose where it’s going almost leads you to believe there is thought or consciousness behind these white creatures!IMG_0591

Roots need everything! Water, air, nutrients, and most of all – space!

Seems kind of hard to find underground but they do enjoy space!

Ever brought home a plant that is root bound?

Ever wondered why even though you water your plant is dying?

It’s not so simple is it!

Looking to give plants air? Instead of just plopping the plant into any container consider putting stones or small rocks into the bottom.  This trick helps roots breathe at the bottom(tips) where they need it most.  Without that they tend to sit in stagnant water and how would you feel if you slept in the same water every day?

Water is just as important to roots as air is! Do you know what’s in your water? Most city watering systems apply chemicals to make water ‘safe’ for us from microbes – all microbes. Good or bad are being killed off by chemicals in our city water systems.  For us – it’s not ok but our bodies seem to handle it.  For roots that use microbes to convert nutrients and minerals this is not good – they’re buds are being killed off.  Ever had rotten tomatoes on the vine?  Blossom end rot can be caused by chlorinated water killing off beneficial microbes that assist in the calcium uptake to plants and calcium deficiencies cause blossom end rot.  You can also get plant burn! Yup! Chlorine can just plain burn the roots!  What to do….wait about 30 minutes before watering your plants if you live in the city – most of the chlorine should evaporate and you’ll be ok!

Nutrients – surprisingly I feel this is where most people get confused.  Plants are 95% water so above anything else – they need water! Plant nutrients has sky rocketed in sales no doubt with grow stores and many suppliers who come out with plant food?  Have we forgotten about compost?  We now have an industry that is all about feeding the plant and giving it what we apparently are not!  Maybe if we knew more about air & water we’d use less of these chemicals even the organic ones!

Space                      plants love                space.(see what I did there).  I use a soil blocking method with gives roots the ability to go outside the walls because there are none! But most plant buyers go out and buy a plant that is in a container or small plastic thing(waste) and you pop it out and it’s entirely wound up onto itself! That’s root binding! Unless broken apart you could plant that and expect it to die.  The generic trick is to break the roots a little bit, water, and plant!  Roots don’t like doing that – by the way.  And if you don’t transplant right – they will get what is called ‘root shock’.  Shock can definitely set a plant back and or kill it entirely.  If you didn’t grow from seed then you don’t know the feeling of having your small baby plants die in your arms! Ever want to try to start from seed?  I sell my soil blocks(case of 40) and it’s the best way to start plants…tons of nutrients, easy to water, and plenty of space and air for the roots to breathe! 

So now…if you see a plant try to consider what’s happening below! The roots – and although we don’t get to harvest and enjoy them we should know they are just as important as what’s above!

Overhaul

I thought it was about time to overhaul and re-organize this website.

So I did.

We’ve created new pages.

Plant Info | Not only does this showcase garden photography but each photo is filled with tidbits of info making it super easy if you’re reading or actually in the garden to find out more about the plants you are planting.  We’ll be working on a database for planting instructions for your everyday use!

The Shop | We’ve put our products under one roof for you to read through before we re-direct you to our storefront.  We’ll be continually adding more products as they come about!

Organic Garden Services | We’ve listed what we can do for your garden.  Go check out it out and contact me if you think your garden needs an overhaul!

What’s next for us! Stay tuned in and see! We’re drawing back on the fanciness of the time-lapse videos to give you more raw footage and more information! First up – everyone’s favorite – Basil! Tomorrow we’ll feature a video of how to grow, what to look for, and simple tricks of basil!

Why do I do this?

So maybe one day you’ll want a garden of your own!

 

Redefining community gardens.

I get asked a lot about what I do – as if bartending 40+ hours a week isn’t enough.  I garden, and some could say I am a professional gardener.  But I am not about to grow you shrubs and decor.  I want you to grow something good for you! I want you to be growing so much food you are giving it away to your family, friends, and neighbors.

What a thought right? A whole community of people, neighbors, growing food and sharing in the abundance! Can you imagine if Tom next door had the best sun so he is in charge of peppers and to know everything about peppers…and dill.  And then Susan and her husband Nick who live 3 doors down have the second best sun plus 3 kids so they get tomatoes and the kids get weeding duty! Get where I am going with this?  A community garden should not be a place we go to but where we live.  Our neighbors should be our community garden and each neighborhood designed with the ability to sufficiently grow plenty of food for all!

Don’t think it’s possible.  I put possible to the test this year.  I have 60 square feet of garden space in my rental home in Interlochen.  That is 6 raised beds each have 10 square feet.  Each bed is 7.5″ raised from the soil level up.

As of today, Friday September 18th I have harvested 55.9 pounds of produce from my garden.  That is nearly 1 pound of food per foot.  1lb = 1sq/ft.  To me that’s impressive because were not growing pumpkins or large heavy set squash.

The breakdown

27.1 lbs of TOMATOES

11.9 lbs of Zucchini

6.4 lbs of Cucumbers

2.5 lbs of Acorn Squash

8 lbs misc(documented but not detailed)

1 pound for every square foot.  I have tomatoes stuffed in drawers everywhere and I’ve even given plenty away.  We made 3 loafs of Zucchini bread and 2 dinners of Zucchini boats and still….Zucchini was around!

We never measured our herbs cause well – it takes forever and I don’t have the right scale.

You don’t need the space you think you need and you don’t need the light you think you need.  I don’t recommend growing the hard things or things that are technique very hard, surprisingly this is carrots and lettuces.

Imagine communities with 3 gardens focusing in on growing one or two things in 30 square feet.  5 houses with 3 gardens each would be 15 gardens, 150 square feet – that’s 150 pounds of produce in 5 houses.  That’s only 5 houses – not hard to do! Do it with a friend and coordinate a friend network of gardens and share in the wealth! Just give me some credit when ya do it!

I had extra space too…plenty of it! Next year we’ll shoot for 2 pounds per foot…seems crazy, but it can be done. You just have to know what you are planting.  And stop planting carrots please!

Why you’re really sick!

Lets face it – YOU’RE NOT HEALTHY.  But then again, neither am I.  In fact I’d bet very few are actually healthy – what sucks is that you didn’t really choose to be this way but you’re also not helping yourself out of this way.

Let me guess – you eat right and by eating right I mean you had some lettuce a few weeks ago.  You exercise and by exercise you walk to work or you walk around at work.  You probably take all your vitamins and by vitamins you mean plastic capsules filled with hopes and dreams.

Here’s the problem with being healthy – it’s too forward thinking.  Being healthy is like insurance – you pay for it but hope you never need it.  I have phone, car, forced healthcare, business and so on and I pay forward for each hoping I never have to call on them because we all know what that means!

Why is it so hard to explain to people good real food is your insurance plan for health?

Here’s why it’s not your fault.  Industry & Marketing.  The second you walk into a grocery store more than 3/4 of what you see is literal crap, fillers, and mainly corn.  The first 1/4 of the store, that department called the produce department – that’s where we find the good stuff.  But big ads and false advertisements across every package lure you in to buy this so called vitamin rich product – ok so they got me too at one point.

Here’s why it is your fault.  You don’t balance your diet with raw healthy foods.  The process of cooking anything removes and degrades vitamins, minerals, proteins, and so on from any food.  From broccoli to beef if you cook it – it craps out.  Yes there are still things left but not as strong as before.  When was the last time you had raw anything?  Broccoli, beans, cauliflower, onions, or cucumbers! And not as a snack but as a meal! When was the last time your meal didn’t come from a box or a can?  And do you really think that one time made a difference?  No, it didn’t.  You felt food for maybe a day but then again you can at least function.

Do you get sick a lot?  Your body has this thing – called an immune system.  The, say it with me, IM-MUNE SYSTEM is what keeps you from getting sick.  Life has good bugs and bad bugs and we need to keep at bay the bad ones.  But this system requires fuel in the form of good food not process, canned, boxed, or dehydrated shit!

Bear this thought – if you are about 75% water all together, your cells around probably around 95% and if you predominantly eat processed, boxed, or dehydrated foods(no water in each) then how can you expect your bodies cells to function?  You aren’t giving them anything! And that old adage of when we were young “our bodies find the good things in food and expel the rest” is a complete lie and furthermore you’re not giving your body anything in the first place.  Plants and vegetables are 95% water – hence their real value is not only vitamins, proteins, and minerals but at best water content for your cells!

Still not convinced.  Well I can’t force you but try eating a raw or more raw diet than you are now.  And document your progress or just keep in mind if you’re not sick – it’s working.  Just like any industry we like to complain more than we praise.  We expect to be healthy and be on autopilot – I can’t look after me while taking selfies! But when we get sick we immediately play the blame game and co-workers come first.  I’d point the finger at your diet and lifestyle first before you go blaming the world for your oreo wine dunking butt!

Updates, news, & the good stuff!

News and updates!
We’re excited we are coming out with two new products! Based all around recycling, growing, and supporting local markets and communities.

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More exciting is that we are bringing on retail vendors to spread the word about what we do and our products! Want to get ahold of me and talk business!

The fun is not done! Starting March 21st you can find Midnight Harvest LLC at the Traverse City Farmers’ market in the Commons at the state hospital. We will be featuring home gardens transplants, our photography, and two new products!

As always we are striving to educate with each product and each sale comes with seeds or growing information so you can become an informed home gardener!  If you’re into gardening already we encourage getting seeds now!

For now I am off to read about more soil blocking and perfecting soil recipes for the best transplants!

 
 

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