Northern & Central Midwest

March, 2014
Regional Report

Books

Small Space Gardening
Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener's Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting by R.J.Ruppenthal (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008, $24.95) is an inspirational book for all those people living in apartments and condominiums or even for people who don't want to turn their yards over to vegetables. Ruppenthal gives great advice and instruction for growing herbs and vegetables, mushrooms and grains. He even gives tips on raising chickens and honeybees. His methods will actually allow gardeners with little room to grow most of their own food and to have a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle.

Tool or Gardening Product

Bio Mulch Film
This is the solution for gardeners who wish to use plastic mulch for warming the soil and speeding up the ripening of tomatoes and eggplants, but have a problem with using a petroleum-based product that is not bio-degradable. Bio mulch film works just like black plastic but is made of a corn starch based material. So, at the end of the season, the plastic can be left in place and it will decompose completely on its own, leaving no toxic residue. One mail-order source of bio mulch film in home garden quantities is Vesey's (http://www.veseys.com/us/en/store/tools/indoorseed/biomulch).

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