Chloramine kills bacteria, but it's not great for gardens.

Considering Water in the Garden

For years, municipalities have been adding chlorine to water supplies to make it safe for drinking. At a recent community event I learned that our municipal water provider has switched over to something called chloramine, and other municipalities are embracing chloramine as well. The difference is this: the chlorine in water will dissipate if you leave a container of water uncovered for a few hours. Chloramine cannot be removed from water by boiling, distilling, or by standing uncovered.

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Transforming a Community with Gardens

"Growing your own food is like printing your own money."

Purslane is a great plant to keep around for chicken fodder.

Perfectly Purslane

I have to admit I felt a little silly transplanting a purslane plant from my neighbors yard into my own. You see, until recently, I had no idea that this "weed" was edible. Here's how it looked: In early spring I'd prepare my garden beds, plant seeds of lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and bok choy, wait […] Read More


February in the (Hawaii) Garden

Experimenting with wintertime gardening, I planted Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, green onions, and beets a couple of months ago. You can see the brassicas (Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower) in the upper left corner of the photo near the pile of compost. They're pretty happy; I need to thin them out. In the foreground are […] Read More


Compost Tumbler for Invasive Weeds – Does it Work?

Depending upon your situation, a compost tumbler might be the answer for dealing with invasive weeds.

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NPR: Busting Myths About GMOs (Or Maybe Not)

My son posted a link on Facebook to an NPR article, with his own commentary: "How much did Monsanto slide you for this one, NPR?" In Top Five Myths of GMOS, Busted, NPR addresses some of the misconceptions we might have about genetic engineering. I'm not going to go so far as to accuse NPR of biased reporting and […] Read More


What Does Organic Really Mean?

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5 ways to naturally remove slugs from your garden

Slugging it Out – Get Those Slimy Pests Out of the Garden

Slugs are a problem for many gardeners, but here in Hawaii they're an exceptional problem. Not only do they damage crops, they transmit something called rat lung disease. It's a rare* disease and one that is still being studied, but the general consensus is that accidental ingestion of tiny slugs (ick!) is bad, as is […] Read More

New Potatoes: Harvested

Because "harvesting new potatoes" sounds so much better than "this is all we got thanks to that blasted disease that wiped out the plants," doesn't it?   […] Read More

July in the Garden

While you might think that "July" would be synonymous with "hot" or "sunshine" our summer has been sorely lacking in either of those. More than a month of near-daily rain has kept us damp and susceptible to powdery mildew, slugs, and failure to thrive. In spite of Mother Nature's lack of cooperation, we are having some […] Read More