Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern & Central Midwest

November, 2011
Regional Report

Web Finds

Local Dirt
Over 40 percent of postharvest food is lost to spoilage because of an inefficient system of distribution to consumers. Local Dirt helps fix that problem. It provides a site to buy, sell, find, and feature local food. It serves buying clubs, grocery stores, individuals, farms and farmers' markets. Use it to search for farms, farmers' markets, CSA's or individual products. It lists products available, where you can purchase them, and even allows you to purchase directly from the site if you choose. If you want to find food within 100 miles of where you live, this is great place to do so. If you want to sell food locally, this is also a great place to do so.

Clever Gardening Technique

Let Lettuce Plant Itself
I had great success this year with an interesting succession system. I planted lettuce in early spring in one of my raised beds. As the season proceeded, I built a bamboo A-frame over the lettuce on which to grow my tomatoes (this could also be done with pole beans or cucumbers). The shade provided by the tomatoes gave me a long season of lettuce harvesting. Once the lettuce finally bolted, I left the plants in place to flower and produce seed. It wasn't particularly pretty, but the lettuce stalks were pretty much hidden by the tomato foliage. This fall, when I took down the tomatoes and the A-frame, I had beautiful maturing lettuce plants that had been seeded by the spring crop. I didn't have to do a thing except remove the old lettuce plants. Voila! I'm now enjoying sweet lettuce that basically started itself.


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