Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Smarter Planet

I'm going to IBM's "Smarter Planet" event in November. It's about technology, of course, but I was glad to see that there is also a section called "Water - It's Not Just for Drinking". With the floods of the past few days -- who can forget those pictures or not think about the people who were killed in this disaster? -- it's hard to think of water scarcity, but that is truly what Planet Earth is facing, so kudos to IBM for paying attention to that.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

How NOT to Grow Stevia

I could not help it – this title. Jeanne Grunert, who blogs from her farm in Virginia, just posted “How to Grow Stevia” and I simply had to take advantage of it.

Nothing wrong with Stevia, mind you. I just planted mine all wrong.

A friend had given me a lovely Salvia last May (about a foot tall and very skinny) and it did not grow much at first. So, when I brought a tiny Stevia home a month later, I put it about 15 inches from the Salvia and expected the two would happily coexist. Well, not quite!

That Stevia took off and hasn’t stopped yet. Today, after a week of rain, it is flopping all over the place and I finally put a few stakes near it, hoping not so much that it will survive (it will!), but that the poor Salvia will still have a chance.

So, my advice, in addition to what Jeanne teaches you, is this: if you are going to plant Stevia, give it plenty of space!


I hate turf grasses!

Why do we need to have imitation miniature golf courses in front of our houses?

There are better uses for the space. A vegetable garden, for example. Or a meadow, or a grouping of trees and shrubs.

I used to be rather lonely in this opinion, but the idea is spreading and there is now a "Lawn Reform" group, started by gardeners, writers and activists in different parts of the country. Brilliant! Let's hope it catches on fast and reaches far.