Michael Aaronson MD
The Organic Urban-Rural Green House. Garden Like a Green Thumb.
"You're just like me. Oh, your life has not even begun!" -- MORRISSEY
Dr. Aaronson, gardens like the green thumbs in his do it yourself (DIY) Palram urban and/or rural greenhouse. This is the result of his blood, sweat, and blisters. Read on for the rest of the story...
Backgrounder: My parents were in town visiting on Holiday, and for fun we decided to go for a walk at the Farmer's Market. Since, my son is interested in all things planet Earth, he enjoys viewing the organic offerings available from the vendor stations. Sometimes we purchase vegetables, et. al., to support the local farmers.
My youngest son was interested in buying the "free range" eggs. Let's see how much they cost. The price: 8 dollars for one dozen! They crazy?!? That's insane! I joked: "Did the eggs come from a goose that lays golden eggs? No way. Let's move on."
The next vendor offering I turned down was "organic plants grown from a seed that you can plant in your garden." The pricing was again unacceptably egregious. They crazy?!? That's insane! I joked: "Organic as in no GMOs? For that price we can buy us some of those magic beans from Jack. You know, the guy with the Beanstalk. No way. Let's move on."
Jack and the Beanstalk: magic beans.
So you might say I wasn't the most popular Dad at that moment, but stewardship is a value that must be learned at an early age. And the pricing at the Farmer's market was out of control.
The incident provided an opportunity to discuss the proper balance between the willingness to pay a bit more for food or plants that don't have agent orange sprayed on them and the restraint to be able to walk away from buying "nothing for something." It is not our job to put these local vendors' kids through college. Purchasing overpriced merchandise in the name of supporting the local community is like the Emperor paying a lot of money for invisible clothes.
The Emperor's new clothes.
I explained that I have to put my own kids through college and medical school, and there is a point where you have to be willing to walk away. One of the boys asked what could be done if you don't like any of the options but still want some tasty fruit and vegetables. The answer I gave was to create an option (that is to say, to innovate). In other words, solve the problem. And they did. They decided we were going to upgrade our modest organic "family garden" to a bigger one to allow for the planting of a larger variety, and increased quantity, of organic, non-GMO crops.
Dr. Aaronson prefers produce that does not contain GMO: see the NON-GMO project.
We would, in effect, create our own Farmer's Market! Brilliant!
And what should we do with the leftovers, dear Liza, dear Liza?
And what should we do with the leftovers, dear Liza, dear Liza?
After thinking about it, we decided we could freeze the extra veggies, so they wouldn't spoil and be available for later use:
Soybeans can be frozen for later use.
In addition to facilitating a large garden space, I promised to share our story on the medical blog hoping that more people emulate our green house plans. The hoped results: increased product (and as a corollary, more local produce and supply), decreased demand, and decreased cost.
Recently inspired by my interview with Mr. Frank Rousseau regarding the differences among distributed, centralized, and federated models of distribution, I further developed the produce production possibilities with the older children so that they understood both the microeconomic and macroeconomic implications and impact of urban-rural green house gardening.
The distributed model of distribution. Imagine: a green house outside of every home! Edamame, grown free of 2,4-D (Agent Orange) and dicamba! Lots of breathable oxygen!
Baby Aaronson quotes MORRISSEY: "There's a place in the Sun for anyone who has the will to chase one."
And with that background, our charge was to upgrade, or should I say add to our current vegetable garden:
The Aaronson family's first garden apparatus, conveniently raised to prevent rabbit infestation.
My son was looking for something more spacious that would allow him to plant more crops. He also wanted to incorporate a rain water recycling system. He had his heart set on this elevated garden bed:
Elevated garden bed.
I requested we choose a greenhouse in order to protect our crops from the elements. I didn't want hail to destroy the plants, wind to blow them down, wasps to build nests under the structure, frost to kill the plants, or storms to flood the garden. I didn't want animals or pests destroying our hard work. I agreed to make up the $129 dollar difference (total cost for the greenhouse was $329 American, US) and spend an additional 6 hours constructing the greenhouse PlantInn by Palram (pdf brochure). Are you interested? Learn more by checking out the manufacturers main website for the PlantInn here. Also, consider perusing the assembly instructions for the PlantInn so you know what you are getting into before purchasing. (The howto DIY can be found here pdf).
Step 6 explaining how to build the Palram Plant Inn Garden Green House. It is really not that hard to put the structure together. The screwdriver tool they provide helps you get the task done.
Before purchasing the cost-effective greenhouse, I encourage you to take a look at the 53 page document before purchasing to know what you are getting into. Although I give the greenhouse 5 stars, I must disclose that the blisters are not included:
Dr. Aaronson's blisters are not included with the Palram Greenhouse. Hint: consider using gloves while constructing the greenhouse.
Just finished construction of the Palram greenhouse. It took us only 6 hours to construct.
Some cool features of the greenhouse and helpful hints for those of you who might be interested:
There are 4 bins that have drains in the center to prevent over-watering.
It is hard to flood Dr. Aaronson's green house with the 4 provided drains. We drain these into buckets to prevent flooding of the deck. The methodology allows for unrestricted use of the bottom portion of the greenhouse for storage of all things green thumb.
The Aaronson greenhouse has a sturdy latch and hook mechanism which allows for air ventilation. As you can see, the amount of air flow is variable.
Dr. Aaronson uses round furniture movers to allow for easy mobility of the green house.
Finally, we created a system to recover rain water so we could water the plants and utilize the concept of "recycling." My son felt his "patentable" design was one of his greatest triumphs -- so far!
Doctors Aaronson carefully watering plants in their vegetable garden.
Now it is time for Brother to give watering a try:
Organic farming: it is fun for the entire family!
Conclusion: I hope we have motivated you to consider constructing your own do it yourself (DIY) urban-rural greenhouse so that you can have fresh, organic vegetables to eat and enjoy. The greenhouse unit we recommend will serve you well. Yes, I did spend 6 hours constructing the greenhouse. However, the family was around. We had oodles of fun, and the process provided many opportunities for me to teach my children several valuable life lessons.
Actually, the fun has just begun! I look forward to the children becoming green thumbs. I can't wait to see the fruits, I mean vegetables, of our labor. Cheers! Enjoy!
About the Author: Dr. Aaronson blogs about relevant topics to keep you and your family happy and healthy using the wisdom of MORRISSEY.