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Posted on 27 March 2013 by urbangardencasual.com

Take a Coffee Break with an Ethiopian Story

Photo Credit: Coffee beans by datenhamster.org used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Photo Credit: Coffee beans by datenhamster.org used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

The myth of coffee is interesting and whimsical.

It is a timeless story of a boy, his animals, nature and human curiosity.

Imagine first, the setting.

Ethiopia is the father land of the coffee plant (Coffea arabica).

In this culture, men and boys spend time herding their livestock, which in this story are goats. The hilly nature of the environment makes watching the animals difficult sometimes and when it comes to goats this can be a very dangerous situation.

As the young herder Kaldi watched his goats, he noticed that some of them had gathered around a certain plant. It was well known that some plants were poisonous to beast and Man.

So out of curiosity and concern, Kaldi went over to the plant. To his surprise Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 23 March 2013 by urbangardencasual.com

The Myth of the Avocado

Photo Credit: Giant Avacados by Bill Couch used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Photo Credit: Giant Avacados by Bill Couch used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Stories told around the campfire are not limited to horror stories but can also entail the legends that describe love and hate.

The story of the avocado is one of a timeless theme of scorned love and the consequences of this betrayal.

The simple avocado’s (Persea Americana) story is one between a man, his faithful avocado, his wife, and a tapir.

This story starts out with a man (Seriokai) out searching for his favorite vegetable, the avocado, in a Guiana forest.

While he is out on his search, a tapir is visiting his wife and encouraging her to fall in love with him.

When the husband returns home, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 27 February 2013 by urbangardencasual.com

Old-Time Garden Art

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Photo Credit: Scarecrow Fest 060 by Michael Kappel used under CC BY-NC 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Garden art is something I am passionate about.

It can simply be the color of a pot or the story of a stepping-stone that gets my gardener’s heart to beat out of tune.

But sometimes the simplest things in life are the best and this is where the lonely and often forgotten scarecrow comes into the picture.

The history of the scarecrow is somewhat limited. The just of this history is that people erected these life-like statues in their fields to ward off pesky animals and evil spirits. No field or garden was complete without at least one or two of these lovely monuments to past times.

Today, scarecrows can be found Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 19 February 2013 by urbangardencasual.com

10 Reasons to Grow Your Own


Photo Credit: Tomatoes by Ruthie Hansen used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

As prices go up, people are always looking for ways to save on their food budget.

Some will resort to extreme couponing while others will look toward bulk buying as a way of dealing with this challenging economic time.

But the best way to save money on your food budget is simple and that is to create nature’s grocery store.

It is always open, there is never a recall on your product and it is very convenient.

Below are my top 10 reasons why I garden.

Hopefully, if you are not gardening, these reasons will inspire you to start. If you are an avid gardener, let me know why you garden.

  1. I have control over when my produce is picked and how. No more bruised or underripe produce.
  2. I can design what I want to eat verses what a traditional store or farmers market has available.
  3. I can control what treatments are administered such as fertilizer and pesticide. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on 13 February 2013 by urbangardencasual.com

Got a Date? Try Weed-Dating!

Photo Credit: Bad Weeds by Firas Wehbe used under CC BY-SA 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

I have been in some unique situations in my life but one of the most unique ones recently appeared on my doorstep.

On this bright and sunny day, my doorbell rang and low and behold it was my neighbor down the street.

He was looking for something to do with his girlfriend.

I suggested a movie, dinner, swimming, hiking and many other things that I thought they both would enjoy.

Nothing I suggested seemed to be unique enough for this date and I wondered why this date was soooooo special. After a little prodding I got to the truth. He wanted a special date that would mark a special time in their life. As you can guess, he wanted to ask the big question.

I threw out some additional ideas but nothing seemed to hit the mark. Time was ticking away at this point and I said excuse me but I was going to have to leave. My friend’s puzzled look was priceless but I informed him that it was a Tuesday and that meant the community garden. As soon as I said that, his face lit up and he said that is it. I said what is it and the answer was simple, the community garden.

As I was going to the garden, I asked him why Read the rest of this entry »


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