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Tomato growers are cringing....cause this novice has all the marks of an overwatered, under sunned tomato plant. note to self....as tree fills in above during May, tomato plant will lose tons o light. Either prune tree or relocate crop. (But this was the first time I had used the compost I had babied for a year...and I think it made a huge difference. Btw...lemons and onion clippings seem to have allowed me to keep from not having to spray...I want to keep this as organic as possible.)

Tomato growers are cringing….cause this novice has all the marks of an overwatered, under sunned tomato plant. note to self….as tree fills in above during May, tomato plant will lose tons o light. Either prune tree or relocate crop. (But this was the first time I had used the compost I had babied for a year…and I think it made a huge difference. Btw…lemons and onion clippings seem to have allowed me to keep from not having to spray…I want to keep this as organic as possible.)

AUSTIN, TEXAS — These are the mornings you pray for, not too hot, not too cold, not too humid so you ban BREATHE. The birds are singing to each other and fluttering from branch to branch….and then I hear a rumbling motorcycle and I am reminded that we live in the middle of the city, a city that is growing, according to one smart friend’s calculation, by 250 people a day.

For this reason, I believe the city is becoming spicier, more interesting.

(I will admit that we find some sick fun in inviting people to town in the blistering heat of August. I know, totally sick, but hey, we feel like its also being honest. Austin has perfect weather, I mean perfect 80 degree non humid weather a few days to a week, each year.)

I just watched a video last night featuring two entrepreneurs from Austin. They said our city didn’t have any authentic Ramen joints, so they just opened one, just like that. Austin is extremely friendly to entrepreneurs and the energy that goes with it.

I love this flavorful city. And I’m just feelin blessed to be a part of it. I look out over this backyard garden and I see kale, lettuce, three varieties of tomatoes. And I see basil and cabbage.

I can walk over to the spinach, pick some bunches, and use it right away. I like that freedom, but I also realize this depends on Mother Nature…and as we’ve witnessed, Mother Nature can be downright cruel.

This idea of building ways in which we can feed ourselves is so intriguing to me. And I guess that is one of the reasons I started posting here on yardandplate.

Planted only a row of spinach....and I'm sure they have reached top height....so they are goin in a salad soon.

Planted only a row of spinach….and I’m sure they have reached top height….so they are goin in a salad soon.

I believe part of the kick start was an interview I heard on NPR with Will Allen.

Through his work over the years he has gained serious recognition as a developer of one of the top model sustainable food production systems.

(His Growing Power farm in Milwaukee, and programs, are detailed in this Wikipedia page.)

My hat goes off to him. What a blessing for the world. He and his team teach classes on how to compost, how to farm and how we can build zero waste systems. And most of all, he’s into the food he grows. He wants it to be nutritious and life-giving.

Thanks Will Allen, and people like you everywhere, you create a wonderful example.