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Share Your Content On The Sustainable Gardening Library Website

Bioswale at American University
What if there were one place people could go to find advice about sustainable gardening and farming best management practices? What if there were one go-to resource where students could find reliable information on sustainable gardening topics for their research papers? What if journalists and media mavens could quickly locate experts to interview about environmentally sound approaches to growing ornamental and food plants?

There is: The Sustainable Gardening Library. Join us in sharing your content on our platform. To learn more about us, arrange a demo, or sign up your college, public garden, or government agency, send me an email.

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Sustainable Gardening Library Welcomes UCSC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems

Touring UCSC CASFS farm with Trish Hildinger

The Sustainable Gardening Library’s newest collaborator is the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) at the University of California, Santa Cruz. More than 1,500 students have completed CASFS’s internationally-renowned immersion apprenticeship program, living and working on the Center’s 30 acre farm, attending 300 hours of classroom instruction, and putting in 700 hours of hands-on training in the greenhouses, gardens, orchards, and fields.

 In addition to the organically-certified farm, CASFS oversees the work of an on-campus CSA garden, and supports research, education, and community outreach. Their agroecosystem approach, based on ecological principles, is an ongoing quest to develop agricultural practices that can be maintained into the future without damaging surrounding natural landscapes.

Why We're Adding CASFS to The Sustainable Gardening Library
Over the years since its founding in 1971, the farm has influenced UCSC’s student food culture to the point that food harvested there is fully-integrated into the campus dining halls. It is believed to be the oldest organic farm on any University campus in the United States. “It’s really great work,” says noted NY Times food columnist Mark Bittman in this video of his visit to CASFS.

Look for the Sustainable Gardening Library’s CASFS content in the coming months.

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Sustainable Gardening Content Wanted

More than 350 Garden Journalists say the most trusted sources of information on gardening sustainably are public gardens and arboreta, colleges and universities, and government agencies.

If you work for a public garden, arboretum, horticulture education nonprofit, college, university, or government agency that wants to get the word out about your sustainable gardening and farming projects, demonstration gardens, and educational programs, we want your content.

Right now, there is no single resource for science-based, authoritative information on sustainable gardening and farming practices. We aim to change that by hosting your expert knowledge in the web-based Sustainable Gardening Library.

Look Who's Already on Board 
  • American University Arboretum
  • California Polytechnic State University
  • Phipps Conservatory and Botanic Gardens
  • U. S. National Arboretum
  • United States Botanic Garden
  • UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
For more information, email me: L.devries at
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The Sustainable Gardening Library

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After germinating for nearly three years, the Sustainable Gardening Library has sprouted as THE centralized resource for authoritative, reliable information on how to garden more sustainably. Help us grow. We're ready to accept additional content from expert sources -- public gardens, arboreta, horticulture education nonprofits, colleges, universities, and government agencies who want to spread the word about their sustainable gardening and farming projects, demonstration gardens, and educational programs.

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HERShovel Product Review

A hybrid shovel-spade, the HERS® is designed by women, for women and comes in three different shaft lengths to accommodate differences in height. I loved the big handle, which allows you to hold it every which way, its light weight, and the oversized gripping tread.

Check out the full review of the HERS® at and see why I gave it a 4.5 shovel rating.

Meet The Artist -- Dan Freed

From Wreckage To Wood Sculpture
Join woodworker and artist Dan Freed Saturday, September 27th at the Sussex-Wantage Library, 69 Rt. 639, in Wantage, NJ for a fun and educational peek behind the scenes of how he made his award-winning Hurricane Sandy Birdhouse Sculpture. Hear where the idea came from and what it symbolizes, touch samples of the wood, and find out what woodworking tools and techniques went into creating it. 

Like many of us Freed was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. But unlike most of us, he used that devastation as inspiration to create Hurricane Sandy Brought to Justice in Sussex County, crafted from broken trees left behind by the storm.

The event is suitable for all ages and Freed encourages parents to let their aspiring young artists tag along, since many of the materials he used are touchable by little hands.

Hurricane Sandy Brought to Justice in Sussex County will be on display through October 31st. Registration via the Library’s website is preferred, but walk-ins are welcome as space allows.

For more information or directions, call the Library at 973-875-394

Is Your Garden Incomplete?

Every dyed-in-the-wool gardener knows that no garden is ever finished. The word “complete,” however, has a more nuanced meaning, in the sense of having all of the parts (paths, focal points, ornaments, etc.) you intended. Since gardening involves a lot of continual tinkering and tweaking, your garden may be complete without ever being finished.

Gardens can also be made to be incomplete. The action of outside forces, such as storms that uproot trees, or a neighbor, town, or utility that cuts them down is one example. Suddenly there’s a sunny spot where once there was deep shade. Or, a wonderful view is revealed that gets your juices flowing about how to make it into a new garden centerpiece.

How do you know if your garden is incomplete? Here are three clues to get you started:

1.    Something irritates you every time you look out the window, walk out the door, or pull into the driveway.

2.    You feel “exposed” and seek indoor shelter, rather than enjoying your outdoor space.

3.    One part of the garden doesn’t seem quite right, but you can’t put your finger on the problem.

What is your experience? Can you add two more clues?

4.    _______________________

5.    _______________________

Get more information about how to create a garden that refreshes your spirit at: