Let An Urban Farm Grow In Your Part of the Planet

The Uncommon Ground rooftop urban farm in Chicago. Photo: Courtesy UncommonGround.com
It was great to see so many of you at the U.S. Green Building Conference on “The Value of Sustainability” held on September 22 at SDG&E’s Energy Innovation Center, where we have one of our favorite outdoor succulent walls. It looked fantastic if I do say so myself! If you missed it, the conference featured local and national experts including yours truly talking about sustainable strategies on the triple bottom line: People, Planet and Profit. They aren’t mutually exclusive. It was well attended and well organized. Due to the press of business at Good Earth Plant Company I wasn’t able to stay all day, but many people did.… Read More

Nine Ways to Make the Most of Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day arrives on the late and lazy side in 2015, on the last possible day of the calendar: Monday, September 7. Have you made your plans? Or are you still waiting until the tourists go home to reclaim your spot at the beach? Why not take advantage of the long weekend and the great weather to invest time in working in the garden that will pay off big later. Nine suggestions from Good Earth Plant Company: Plant some garlic or radicchio, both excellent cool-weather crops. Install a birdbath to see the birds through the dry Southern California vall. Start a compost pile to create some organic fertilize for next spring’s garden.… Read More

Get Your Food Closer to Home and Save the Planet

A drawing of the planned vertical farm in Jackson, Wyoming. Courtesy Vertical Harvest
Regular readers here know how much I love urban farming. Good Earth Plant Company employee Dawn Weatherford (thank you, Dawn!) tipped me off to one of the most exciting urban farming project I’ve ever seen and I wanted to share it with you. The startup company Vertical Harvest plans to turn an old industrial building in Jackson, Wyoming into a huge vertical farm. It will use a hydroponic system to grow vegetables like microgreens and tomatoes. The photos and description of what the company intends to do are eye-popping. The city of Jackson is partnering with Vertical Harvest to make this happen.… Read More

Gung Hay Fat Choi, Chinese New Year is here!

Typical "Lucky Bamboo" plants for sale in Hawaii. Photo: Ken Starr
Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese observe a lunar calendar, meaning each month begins when the night sky is darkest, on the new moon. The New Year starts with the first new moon and ends with the full moon 15 days later. This year, Chinese New Year falls on Thursday, February 19. We begin the year 4713. We love holidays at Good Earth Plants and Greenscaped Buildings. Who doesn’t? And being plantscaping professionals, we always associate holidays with the plants that represent the occasion. The plant associated with Chinese and Chinese New Year is something most people know as “Lucky Bamboo.”… Read More

Living Walls: More Romantic Than Cards and Candy

On February 13 and 14,  you can find me not in the aisle of a Hallmark store or candy shop, but at the Landscape Architects Expo in Long Beach. Good Earth Plant Company participated with a display in 2013, teaming with our living wall contract nursery, Green Meadow Growers. It was a great show! Many new leads and many new conversations about what we do best: designing, installing and maintaining living walls and green roofs. This year we upped the ante somewhat by agreeing to speak in a breakout session. My topic will be simple: “Designing Living Walls.” I’ll be speaking at 1:30 p.m.… Read More

Green Wall Business

We’ve seen a major shift in inquiries for green roofs projects to opportunities for living walls. Thankfully  we’ve been trialing and demonstrating living walls here at the office for the past four years. The lessons, tricks and idiosyncrasies we have learned are invaluable and have allowed us to not experiment at a client’s location. As such, I am not willing to install a new system that we have not sufficiently worked with to understand all of the possible challenges associated with that particular system.  I’m of the opinion that nearly anyone can install a beautiful green wall, only a select few of us can keep it looking that way for years.… Read More