Home Gardening

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As a substantial proportion of the world's population continues to migrate to urban areas, home gardens in the city are becoming increasingly important in providing good nutrition, food security and even income throughout the year. Whether urban home gardens are located on the ground, balconies or concrete roofs, their productivity depends on common factors such as the number of family members, time which can be devoted to the garden, and the regional climate. In Sri Lanka, like elsewhere, the percentage of families using a home garden is highest in the areas with most rain - about 45 per cent in wet zone cities, with 30 per cent in intermediate zone cities and 20 per cent in dry zone cities. The majority of urban home-gardening families in Sri Lanka, grows for domestic needs, but in semi-urban areas and villages some products (typically fruit like mangoes, avocadoes and rambutan), is deliberately grown for market, or is brought to market when in excess. Productivity is affected not only by time and climate, but also by access to space, to water in times of drought, and to materials to fertilize the soil, whether purchased or home-made. It is also strongly linked to how much gardeners can build on their knowledge in all aspects of gardening

Edible landscaping

Edible landscaping is the use of food-producing plants in the constructed landscape, principally the residential landscape. Edible landscapes combine fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, vegetables, herbs, edible flowers and ornamental plants into aesthetically pleasing designs. These designs can incorporate any garden style and can include anywhere from 1-100% edible species

Why landscape with edibles?

There are many reasons to incorporate edible plants into the residential landscape. These include:

  • To enjoy the freshness and flavor of home-grown, fully ripened fruits and vegetables
  • To control the quantity and kind of pesticides and herbicides used on the foods you consume
  • To increase the food security of your household
  • To save on grocery bills
  • To grow unusual varieties not available in stores
  • To get outside, interact with the natural world, and have fun

History of edible landscaping

Edible landscaping is as old as gardening itself and has undergone a recent revival. Ancient Persian gardens combined both edible and ornamental plants. Medieval monastic gardens included fruits, vegetables, flowers, and medicinal herbs. Plans for 19th century English suburban yards, which modeled themselves after country estates, often included edible fruits and berries. The edible components of residential landscapes were largely lost in this country to the now familiar shade trees, lawns, and foundation plantings. In the past two decades, however, there has been a revival of interest in edible landscaping, thanks to the work of early pioneers such as Rosalind Creasy.

How to landscape with edibles

Like all plants used in the landscape, edible plants grow best in certain conditions. Many (but not all!) fruits and vegetables do best where they receive at least 6 hours of full sunlight a day. Most also like well-drained soil. Parts of your yard that satisfy these conditions are good places to start an edible landscape. To perform a complete makeover on these areas, consult the books recommended below for a full design process. To start simply, consider a one-for-one substitution. Where you might have planted a shade tree, plant a fruit tree. Where you need a deciduous shrub, plant a currant or hazelnut. Where you have always had chrysanthemums, plant bachelor's buttons—you can eat them. Edible plants come in nearly all shapes and sizes and can perform the same landscape functions as ornamental plants. Figure 2 shows how a small area, about 25 by 25 feet, can be planted almost entirely with edibles that have ornamental value and appear to be a decorative garden. The list can be changed to suit individual taste or local garden conditions.

Family Business Garden Concept

The concept allows urban people to work on environmental and/or commercial agriculture with a viable mix of resource utilization and sustainable management at the homestead level. The main theme of the concept of FBG is to stress the need in converting simple form of home gardening or kitchen gardening into the entrepreneurship development venture on the long-term basis. It based on conservation of resources and aesthetic values in association with mental satisfaction. The prime goal of the concept is to apply balance and proper mix of Indigenous Technical Know-how (ITK) and latest scientific advances in the sustainable agricultural development process. It believes that such strategies help to optimize productivity of small and medium scale entrepreneurships in long run rather than exploitation of resources for profit maximization in short-run.

Bee Keeping

Beekeeping is the maintenance of honey bee colonies, commonly in hives, by humans. A beekeeper (or apiarist) keeps bees in order to collect honey and beeswax, to pollinate crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers. A location where bees are kept is called an apiary. There are more than 20,000 species of wild bees. Many species are solitary, and many others rear their young in burrows and small colonies, like mason bees and bumblebees. Beekeeping, or apiculture, is concerned with the practical management of the social species of honey bees, which live in large colonies of up to 100,000 individuals. In Europe and America the species universally managed by beekeepers is the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera). This species has several sub-species or regional varieties, such as the Italian bee (Apis mellifera ligustica ), European dark bee (Apis mellifera mellifera), and the Carniolan honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica). In the tropics, other species of social bee are managed for honey production, including Apis cerana.