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Restaurant Kitchen Gardeners

Ask any restaurant owner about rising food costs, and you’ll wish you brought up politics instead. Higher energy prices have made the business of delivering food more expensive, and these costs are often passed from food vendors to restaurants like the bread basket at dinner time. This economic factor, plus a growing awareness and appreciation for locally produced organic food, can take much of the credit for the handful of new specialty farms that are thriving like just outside the city of Charlotte. Then there are those restaurant owners and chefs that make the trip from Farm to Fork really short, and grow their own organic produce.

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Teaching Tomorrow's Organic Gardeners

Experienced gardeners know that successful gardens  don’t just happen by accident. They’re the result of much hard work, skill and dedication. Many many hours spend weeding, watering, tilling and toiling that ultimately lead to an amazing, bountiful harvest. The incredible reward of all this effort is sometimes hard to put into words, so we encouraged all fifty kids enrolled in Avondale Presbyterian Church’s ReNew summer program to roll up their sleeves, dig in the soil, and experience organic gardening first hand.

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2011 Cool Weather Heirloom Seedling Guide


Gardening for Victory

Charlotte Heirloom SeedlingsIf you ever questioned the production capability of an organic home vegetable garden, consider that in the later years of WWII, Victory Gardens produced about 40% of the nation’s vegetables. Encouraged by the federal government to supplement scarce fruit and vegetables during the war, Americans planted more than 20 million ‘Victory Gardens’. It was emphasized to home front urbanites and suburbanites that the produce from their gardens would help to lower the price of vegetables needed by the US War Department to feed the troops, thus saving money that could be spent elsewhere on the military: "Our food is fighting," one US poster read, and in Britain, the slogan "Dig for Victory" was ubiquitous. These gardens were considered   a civil morale booster, in that in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown.  

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Heirloom vs. 'Frankenfood'

open pollinated seedsYou hear a lot of talk about heirloom seeds these days, which is a good thing. Heirloom, or open pollinated seed varieties that have been grown for over 100 years in some cases have delivered consistent, healthy produce for generations. But what exactly is the difference between an heirloom variety and a hybrid, or GMO   (Genetically Modified Organism)? GMO varieties result from Genetic Engineering which involves taking genes from one species and inserting them into another. For example, genes from an arctic flounder which has "antifreeze" properties may be spliced into a tomato to prevent frost damage. It is impossible to guide the insertion of the new gene, which can lead to unpredictable effects.

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