Some Interesting Sites(5), and $200 Gardens

More snooping around has lead me to a few interesting sites and post you might find interesting.

Designboom has really caught my interest starting with a story on a new opportunity in solar business.

solar. solar roof, mirrors Roofray is the name of the company and they’ve got some interesting ideas.

roofray’ is a solar array modelling service and is community designed to help consumers evaluate solar for their
homes or businesses.

Oak Barrels

Everybody is always looking for ideas when it comes to recycling, sustainability and being really clever. Well take a look at this use for old oak barrels. This is some really clever, and useful design and implementation in action.

oak barrels, wine, chileThis is just a taste of what you’re in for when you go through the images of this area at a winery in Chile. Another story from the Designboom site where a fairly decent story is written up. There was another link on the site sending you to the original site from Chile, it’s all in Spanish but there’s lots of interesting images and projects on the page.


Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today is one of those sites that you can spend a lot of time at, or very little. I would say it depends on your mood at the moment you arrive over there. I believe it is what some would call a aggregate site. Someone has spent some real time searching around.

Recession gardens?

This story about the big push in gardening-specifically vegeatable gardening caught my eye, and this string of sentences rang true . . .

That knowledge isn’t innate these days, especially for urban dwellers.

Bobby Wilson, president of the American Community Gardening Association, says all of that interest is great, but he worries that Americans aren’t equipped to grow their own food without some help.

"Many of the people that want to get into the gardening and greening movement right here have never gained the skills," he said. "Many of them came up in an era where there was no vocational education, so there was no need to learn anything about horticulture or agriculture."

I’ve read in some other places that there is a big push in vegetable plants and that seeds(in some places) are flying off the shelves.

On the face of these anecdotes, and others I think that’s great, but the cynical side of me thinks that most new gardeners will do a poor to extremely poor job of preparing soil for planting . . . and we know what that means . . . lots of frustration, anger, work, poor results that will lead to a big percentage of the newbies to throw their hands in the air and quit.

The challenge will be to keep those people involved, so how does the real challenge of what it takes to make a garden come true happen. It has to be more than the HGTV 22 minute ‘design-on-a-dime’, bottom of the barrel solution(s).

$200.00 Bucks

I have a problem with some of these numbers from the story, they seem out of whack. I do a lot of gardening in 8×4 raised beds with extremely good soil  and my return is good,, but my experience is vast, so what to make of these . . .

Last year, Burpee released a report saying a family will get an average 25-to-1 return on its investment in a garden.

So, by that count, a family that spends about $200 on a medium-to-large garden, as Michelle Obama reportedly did, will save $5,000 in grocery bills over the course of a year.

That statistic is inflated, said Mike Metallo, spokesman for the National Gardening Association.

Metallo’s group says a $70 investment in a garden will yield $600 in produce for the year.

Double damn!

That line that the White House is putting out about $200(as though this is the total price) really is sticking in my craw/gut/brain, whatever.

Unless, unless they really did just strip the soil and throw some seed down-remember the photo-op? I guess that would account for, oh say, $200 bucks.

Turning the soil, adding compost/topsoil/organics, material for raised beds, walkways, labor, (watering?), etc. All that for $200.

I just don’t think so.

Again where is the estimate for the labor, or the hours involved. it’s a dis-service to all those who don’t know about gardening who are now jumping into gardening . . . stuff like this just burns my ass. Rant over.


The White House

This house belongs to all of us, every American. I want to be proud of the White House and the Office, and all those associated with this beautiful building and grounds.

The last thing I want to see is some half-assed piece of ground chunked up and planted with a few vegetables and herbs on the lawn of the White House. I had seen another picture where one of the chefs was laying out the beds with some flags. Looking at the above image I’d say there is a little more to it than that.

I would hope so.

Oh, another thing . . . that’s more than $200 dollars.


Addendum: Garden plan image was found in an article from the New York Times with source credit to The White House.

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.

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