Coastal and Tropical South

May, 2012
Regional Report


Urban Farming
The Essential Urban Farmer (A Penguin Original, New York, 2011, $25.00; also available as an ebook) by Novella Carpenter and Willow Rosenthal is truly a fantastic encyclopedia of organic food growing. It belongs on the bookshelf of anyone who wants to farm or garden organically in an urban environment. The book is a great guide to using small spaces for big rewards and is a must-read for those embarking on community gardens as well as true urban farms. You will find every topic from beekeeping to making organic fertilizers, information about marketing your wares, and a host of vital information you never knew you cared about. Keep this one handy so you can gain the benefit of the authors' incredible experience as urban farming pioneers.

Favorite or New Plant

Yellow Gardenia
Also called golden gardenia, this tropical evergreen can be grown outdoors where it is hardy or happily dwell indoors for years as a container plant. Its flowers are perfect pinwheels with a spicy aroma that open over a period of weeks in spring and summer. After that, the occasional flower pops out as if to remind you how much you love its fragrance. Although a medium sized tree in the Tropics, yellow gardenia slowly reaches about 8 feet tall in containers and can be maintained as a smaller, rounded shrub. Pick a clay pot for this plant and water when the top of the soil feels just dry to the touch. Grow it in a sunny window, porch, or garden bed.

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