Posts Tagged 'gardening'

Green Walls and Roofs

If you have ever wanted to do something truly unique with your landscaping, you should check out green walls and roofs. Green walls are basically vertical landscaping. They use a variety of plants that are well suited to this type of application and plug them into a framework that is fastened to the side of a building. The benefits include improved aesthetics as well as reduced utility bills as a result of sunlight being absorbed by the plants before it hits the building.
Green Wall
Green Wall
http://www.eltlivingwalls.com/

Green roofs are basically like having a lawn on your roof. Besides absorbing the suns’ rays, a green roof insulates and prevents heating and cooling from escaping from the inside and absorbs and uses rainwater. A building we profiled, The California Academy of Arts and Sciences, is being built with an undulating green roof.
Green Roof in Toronto Canada
Green Rooftops

Vermicomposting Followup

Just wanted to give a little press to one of the commentors on our last thread. Molly Day wrote:

Hi –
Thanks for the lead on Terracycle. I’m raising compost worms to give away on Earth Day in Muskogee Oklahoma.
My goal is to give away 200 kits to try to spread the word to more people, especially young gardeners who don’t think about food scraps and landfills.

She has posted an update on the program at her blog, All the Dirt on Gardening. Check it out and if you are in the area and have kids. This would be a great chance to teach them something green.

Worm…. Excreta

If you are a gardener, you probably already know that worm “castings” or vermicompost is a “nutrient-rich, natural fertilizer and soil conditioner”¹. What is it exactly? Well, as the title of this post hints at, it is basically worm poop. That’s right. It’s refuse from our wiggly little friends. The best thing about vermicompost is that it is completely natural and uses organic material such as kitchen waste (coffee grounds, moldy bread, leftovers, etc.) or even, in the case of commercial operations, brewery jetsam.

At the forefront of commercially available worm casting products is a company called Terracycle. It was started by a young guy by the name of Tom Szaky. While attending Princeton, he noticed his friend running a vermicomposting bin to create fertilizer for plants. He and his friends decided to recreate this on a large scale. After initial funding issues, they finally were able to get their company up and running. As a testament to their business savvy and great products, they are still around. And since they are committed to being a sustainable organization, they package all their fertilizers in used soda bottles.

If you want to learn more about vermicomposting or would like to build your own setup, visit this wikipedia article. You can learn more about terracycle and find places to purchase their goods by visiting their site, www.terracycle.net.