Grow Your Garden With Only a Little Green

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Gardens can take many shapes — expansive beds of seasonal vegetables, decorative plants stuffed into an apartment, a shelf of herbs growing near a kitchen window.

Whatever the configuration, the fundamentals are the same: seeds, soil, care — and cash.

That last ingredient can be the hardest to come by. But no matter how ambitious your garden plans, you can control costs at each step.

Make a plan

Know what you want out of your garden and what you can afford before heading to a store.

“First step for a budget garden would be determining what your top priorities are,” says Ben Bowen, a Portland, Oregon, landscape designer. “Are you creating a space that needs to look good? Or is there some function like growing food or creating a gathering space?”

Once you determine the space’s purpose, then list each plant, pot and garden tool you would need.

Dream big, then come back to reality. Take a look at your budget to see what you can actually afford. A simple guide is the 50/30/20 budget, where half of your income goes to needs such as housing, 30% goes to wants and the final 20% goes into savings.

Your garden budget will likely come from the wants category, even though it might help you trim grocery spending.

You may be tempted to buy everything at once, but assembling your garden over time could help keep your spending in check. Building and planting a robust vegetable garden bed, for example, could cost upward of $500, depending on the size and complexity, Bowen says.

Shop smart

If you’re feeling sticker shock from that $500 figure, know that you can trim costs for your shopping list. You’ll have to put in a bit more effort, but the resulting savings can be significant.

Here’s a breakdown of shopping categories and how to cut costs for each:



Go for seeds over starts. While starts, or plants that have been partially grown already, are an easy way to kick-start your garden, they can be expensive.

For example, some vegetable starts cost close to $5 for one plant, but you can get a packet of seeds to produce many plants for less than $2. Start your seeds early enough so they’ll bear fruit during the peak growing season.

For starts, local nurseries may be the best value. They’ll often have plants grown on-site that are acclimated to your local climate. These can be hardier and easier to grow compared with starts shipped in and sold at chain stores, says gardener Kate Formichella, owner of Cape Cod, Massachusetts-based Flora Chella Design.


Think nearby here, too. Many local nonprofits have sales of native or easy-to-grow plants, often for just a few dollars. You can also get cuttings from friends for free; this is often easiest with succulents.


For something that’s everywhere, soil can get expensive fast. To cut costs, again check local resources. Farms and even landfills often have quality soil and compost they’re willing to give away, or sell and deliver for less than what you’d pay for bags at a chain store.

Gardening hardware

Garden hardware includes pots, shovels and hoses. Buying new gets expensive.

But there are sources of durable used supplies. Estate sales are one of the best spots to pick up cheap tools, Formichella says.

“Forget what’s inside the house at an estate sale and go right for the garage,” she says. “You’ll find shovels that are $1 or $2, and often they have durable ash wood handles. The tools you’ll find might be 40 or 50 years old and they’re hardy.”

Thrift stores are a good resource for pots, she says. If you’re doing most of your gardening inside an apartment and need a lot of containers, buying secondhand can mean big savings.

Be patient

A plant can take months to produce flowers or fruit. Likewise, ambitious plans for an outdoor garden lush with native plants or a chic indoor display will take some time to come together.

Assemble one piece of your garden at a time and consider holding off on some purchases until they’re more affordable. Some plants are cheaper once they’re out of peak season, and outdoor furniture to complement your new greenery will be less expensive in the fall. Focus on your priorities and play the long game. There’s always next summer.

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Watch Microsoft’s failed HoloLens 2 Apollo moon landing demo

Microsoft opened its Build developer conference in Seattle this morning with an awkward start. The software giant was supposed to show a recreation of the Apollo moon landing with its HoloLens 2 headsets. Instead, the demo failed, a nightmare scenario for anyone running a live show. “Well, it seems doing a live demo is actually harder than landing on the moon,” said A Man on the Moon author Andrew Chaikin. “Thank you for your time,” said Chaikin, before exiting the stage and leaving the audience confused at a failed demo.

A minute or so passed, and then Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella appeared on stage, with no acknowledgment of the failed demo or what the company was trying to achieve. If the demo had actually worked, the result was certainly impressive. Variety has a story on how Microsoft had partnered with Epic Games to recreate the moon landing on stage.

The video (above) shows a rehearsal of the HoloLens 2 in action, with the holograms streamed directly to the headsets from remote PCs. It’s all powered by a pixel streaming feature that’s part of Epic’s Unreal engine. It streams high-quality images to HoloLens headsets that are remotely rendered on powerful PCs with desktop GPUs. The HoloLens 2 is limited by its on-board mobile GPU, so the amount of rendering that’s possible is basic. So this pixel streaming is important for more complex imagery like Microsoft tried to show today.

It’s clear pixel streaming and AR in general is still complex, even though Microsoft is relatively ahead in its ambitions to make it widely used. That complexity hit a hurdle today, but you can guarantee Microsoft will make sure that any future HoloLens demonstrations go a lot more smoothly. ( )


THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT MOON LANDINGS (REAL NASA CONSPIRACY DOCUMENTARY) It’s now been nearly four decades since Neil Armstrong took his . NASA FAKED MOON LANDINGS – LUNAR HOAX – SCIENTIFIC PROOF (REAL CONSPIRACY DOCUMENTARY) Bill Kaysing worked for Rocketdyne, the . Moon landing conspiracy theories are conspiracy theories which claim that some or all elements of the Apollo program and the associated Moon landings were faked.

The cost of growing your own food

Initial investment in gardening is, however, worth the price in the long term
By Catherine Whitnall
Growing your own food - 2As part of a three-part series on food security, reporter Catherine Whitnall wrote last week about the cost of eating when using the new Canada Food Guide. This week, she looks at the cost of growing your own food.
Before the advent of grocery stores and markets, people really had no choice but to grow their own food.
In the past decade, though, a growing number of people have been turning back to the land to supplement their grocery shopping.
For some, it gives them peace of mind knowing where and how their produce is grown. For some, it’s a way of reducing their grocery bill. For many, it’s a combination of both.
In the grand scheme of things, it makes sense.
“The big difference is that we know what’s in that plant and where it comes from,” said ecosteward Robbie Preston.
For those looking to garden at home, it’s a good idea to do a bit of math and research before committing, say Preston and fellow ecosteward Judy Kennedy.
The first thing is to check what is “readily available.”
“You need to look where the sun is going to be for the best part of the day,” said Preston, citing logic. “Plants don’t grow very well in the shade.”
The next step is to “stick a shovel in the ground and see what’s there.”
Soil that has a high clay or sand component isn’t terribly conducive to growing.
“If you don’t have good soil, nothing will grow,” he said, logically.
The best idea, adds Kennedy, is to construct garden beds instead.
This is where the math comes into play.
“A four-by-eight (foot) area is totally serviceable,” said Kennedy, noting it’s not so wide that the plants can’t be reached by hand.
Many people make the mistake of constructing gardens that are too wide, resulting in having to physically walk into the growing area — which can be detrimental unless pathways are included — which is a waste of growing area.
Frame and raised bed gardens also offer the advantage of heating up faster than the ground, boosting grow time, added Kennedy.
Ideally, the frames should be constructed by rough cedar. Most lumber supply businesses sell the boards, but people can save a few dollars by purchasing from area sawmills. Not only does cedar last longer — up to 10 years versus three years with pine or spruce, according to Preston — but slugs won’t crawl up the wood.
Cedar is a little more expensive than pine or spruce, though. Constructing one very basic cedar garden bed — not including screws — would cost and average of roughly $60 versus $35. Never use pressure treated wood, as the chemicals will leach into the garden.
The big cost comes in filling the beds.
Buying a good triple-mix soil from a local retailer to fill one garden bed could cost as much as $170. A bag of coir (coconut fibre) or peat moss would add roughly $8. Some of this cost can be reduced if the natural soil is decent for growing, as it can be partly blended with the triple mix.
The upside is that once the bed is filled, it only needs to be topped up in subsequent years.
“Every two years you will have to add about 15 per cent more,” said Kennedy.
Both Preston and Kennedy agree that natural products are the way to go.
“They can be a little more costly, but they work so much better and are better for the environment,” said Kennedy, who uses coir, which is better than peat moss for its slow-release properties and is renewable.
While it is more convenient to visit a greenhouse or retailer to buy plants, Kennedy prefers to use seeds.
“They may take longer, but they’re cheaper and they’re not sprayed with neonics that are hazardous to bees,” said Preston, noting Ontario Seed Company products are best as they have already been climatized. “You also know what you’re getting.”
Kennedy adds a few dollars in seeds can potentially yield 100 plants. She generally starts her seeds in containers in her home, using recycled fruit containers since they have openings for oxygen and work like greenhouses when closed. The only thing she adds, other than water, is a little vermiculite for extra nutrient support.
Those looking to start gardens can also access area Seed Savers Collectives such as the seed library operated by the Nourish and Development Foundation in Cannington.
The seed library provides “free and easy access to viable seeds so that as many people as possible are growing their own organic food and to encourage and enable people to save seeds through awareness, education, and community celebrations aimed at reviving seed saving culture.” Seeds are available at all three Brock Township public libraries.
Anyone with a Brock library card can take seeds for free to plant in their garden and, in return, save some seeds to bring back to the library for other community members to use. Seed libraries focus on lending organic, native, heirloom and open-pollinated seeds. Seeds returned from successful plants help grow Nourish’s collection and help cultivate seed stocks best suited to the local climate and promote seed sovereignty.
When it comes to planting, Kennedy recommends creating one-foot square “patches” that can be plotted out using chalk line or heavy string, available at most dollar stores. People should keep a diagram of what they’ve planted so they can “rotate” their crops as not all plants use the same nutrients from the soil and actually give something back.
“So one essentially makes food for the other,” said Kennedy.
She is also a big fan of companion planting, which can help with pest control, pollination, provide a habitat for beneficial creatures, maximize use of space and increase crop productivity.
For example, onions grow well beside beets, carrots, Swiss chard and lettuce, but not beans or peas. Peas grow well with carrots, cucumbers and radishes, but not garlic or onions. Potatoes like beans, corn and peas, but not tomatoes.
While it’s nice to be able to “walk outside and five minutes later it’s in the pot,” Kennedy notes her four garden beds produce more fruits and vegetables than she actually needs, saving her hundreds of dollars each year. Her basement still holds a variety of canned and preserved items from last year’s harvest.
“I’d have to say it cuts our grocery bill by at least 50 per cent, if not more,” said Kennedy.
All she needs is a few chickens and a cow … but that’s a whole other story.

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The folly of conspiracy theories

By Andrew Hobbs

For many, many years, ever since their happenings in 1969, the space landings have been the source of outrageous conspiracy theories and accusations, made by outrageous people and theorists, going out of their way to prove the moon landings never happened and, in some cases, they are completely absurd and clearly have not been thought through like they should have been. On the other hand, some of the theories and conspiracies these unique individuals have come up with seem like the theorist has spent their whole lives devoted to arguing that the moon landings never happened by completing crazy, unneeded calculations and arguments that, while they are impressive and persuasive at first glance, have some pretty obscene weaknesses.

In November 2018, Stephen Z. Nemo from Communities Digital News wrote an article regarding a poll run in Russia, The United States, and Britain. The poll says that of the American population, 7% of people do not believe that men landed on the moon in July 1969. That percentage seems relatively small, however, the poll was also conducted in Britain and Russia. In Britain, the poll states that nearly 52% of citizens do not believe that the United States put men on the moon, and that percentage climbs to 57% in Russia, that percentage including Vladimir Putin himself, Russia’s current president. What theories and conspiracies have been created and presented that, when looked into by the average citizen, persuade them that the moon landings were faked?

An example of one of these outrageous buffoons is the late Bill Kaysing, a scientist and person in charge of calculations at RocketDyne Rocket Engines, as well has holding security clearances with the United States Air Force and the Atomic energy Commission. Kaysing held this position up until a few years before the first manned landing on the moon when he resigned in 1963. Mr. Kaysing is seen as the father of the moon landing hoax theory, and is worshipped as a god in the eyes of moon landing conspiracy theorists. Kaysing wrote and published his book, We Never Went to the Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle, in July 1976, less than 4 years after the last manned landing on the moon. In that book, Kaysing makes ridiculous claims attempting to back up his thesis, being that America wasted the money and never actually landed on the moon.

One of Kaysing’s biggest shortfalls in his claim, however, is that, despite having an entire 206 page book to fill with empty thought and evidence, he relies on one claim, and that is that America, nor the rest of humanity, possessed the technology needed to land men on the moon. Now, most people might look back and be like, “Yeah, that is a good point, we were not very technologically advanced in the 60s and 70s”, but let us look deeper into this empty claim. Humanity as a whole as advanced hundreds of thousands of miles in the last present decade in terms of technology and new ideas. Kaysing resigned in ‘63 and the first launch for a man to land on the moon was not until the middle of ‘69. Kaysing also relies on a calculation that he conducted in early 1962, where his math shows that there was a 0.02% chance of humans landing on the moon when they did, but how come that could not have changed? When Kaysing resigned in 1963, away went his security clearances, causing him to not ‘be in the loop’ any longer with what was going on, so how come a lot of different advancements could not have been made in that 6 year time frame? Or even the seven-year time frame from when he produced his original calculations of the probability of landing on the moon? While Kaysing was a brilliant man in his field, he did not quite think through his reasonings of why, “there is no way we landed on the moon,” when writing his books on the topic.

For an example of a theorist with too much time on their hands, presented to you is The author of’s, Various other Apollo Image Anomalies, where the unnamed author and an internet alias named NiteCaty TRY to say that the moon landing footage, along with the pictures, were faked and were actually filmed/taken in a studio in Hollywood. Now, there are a lot of theorists that believe this statement is true, however this unnamed author and NiteCaty are truly, with all sincerity, a new breed of buffoon. This pair of moon hoax theorists take the reported angle of the horizon on the moon, (recorded by the International Space Station), and the angle of the horizon from Earth, and compare it to the pictures take of the sunrise by Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong while they were on the moon, and attempt to say that the horizon of the moon is actually 0.1 degrees off, stating that the moon landings, and the corresponding pictures, were faked. 0.1 degrees. An opinionated statement on what NiteCaty did in their calculations, and what the unnamed author double-checked, is not even necessary to explain how absolutely bogus their statements are. In their joint article, there are some other calculations that give slightly more leniency, however they are all done with the same process. The same bogus process.

Let us just assume that these two are onto something in their research and highly extensive calculations. In order to be able to make these kinds of calculations, they needed some background information, and some of the needed information was included in their findings, but not one of the biggest: they never took into account the curvature of the lens, or, the time of year that the pictures were taken. Those are arguably the two most important pieces to the research, and they are completely overlooked. If one does not already know, the cameras sent to the moon with the astronauts were, obviously, not the cameras that are available to the public today, but instead had a very large curvature on the lens, providing a larger field of view, allowing the astronauts to acquire larger photos in order for scientists to more easily analyze in the labs. Also, depending on the time of year, the Earth and the moon are in different positions in relation to each other, this alone, rendering the research done by these two theorists practically useless, and just like their predecessors work, an empty thought.

Now, while these are only two examples of the many, many, conspiracies and conspiracy theorists surrounding the moon landings from 1969 to 1972, they are perhaps the strongest in terms of claim on one hand, and who created it on the other. The basis of all of the theorists work, and all of their findings, seem to always be the same; that being, the largest pieces of evidence and/or pieces of their overall research, being left out and merely overlooked. It always seems that every conspiracy theorist is not a theorist at all, but merely a producer of empty thoughts and research, just hoping to find a way to argue on part of their behalf.

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Lewis Hamilton asks NASA astronaut whether the moon landings were faked

Yahoo News UK•March 19, 2019

Well, did they fake it?
In America, 21 million people believe that the moon landings were faked – despite pictures from NASA space telescopes clearly showing flags left by the Apollo missions.

This week, Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton asked astronaut Doug Hubley directly if the landings were faked.

He said, ‘I guess it’s a touchy point, but the big question is … there’s the theories that you didn’t land on the moon. So… why would people have that theory?’, Jalopnik reported.

Hurley said that it would been harder to fake the landings than to actually do them.

He said, ‘I’ve always maintained that it would’ve been harder to fake it and hide it.

‘It just takes one person to go spill. … I had people in my own family that thought we faked it and then they came and watch me go fly in space.’

The idea that the moon landings were faked actually came from rocket expert, Bill Kaysing, a technical writer who self-published a book called ‘We Never Went to the Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle.’

Many of the supposed ‘giveaways’ still touted by moon truthers today come from Kaysing’s book, according to author C Stuart Hardwick.

Hardwick says, ‘The first person to give real voice to moon hoax conspira-nonesense was Bill Kaysing, a technical writer who had worked for Rocketdyne until 1963.

‘Why? It’s unclear. He was not obviously insane, but he was obviously unqualified to express the opinions he was expressing. My guess is, technical writing with objective criteria didn’t suit him, and pretending expertise to a bunch of ignorant sycophants fuelled his ego.

Kaysing misused his ‘expertise’ as a technical writer to create the impression the missions were faked, Hardwick says – but ignored any facts that got in the way.

Hardwick says, ‘He made a large number of idiotic claims that in fact only demonstrated his ignorance and paranoia. For example, he claimed (without evidence) that the mighty F1 engine was wholly unreliable and so NASA was forced to cover that up by welding clusters of proven B-1 engines inside the F1 engine bell in order to simulate a lunar mission by launching a (presumably mostly empty) Saturn V that could never leave orbit.

‘The F1 engines from some of the missions he was talking about (including Apollo 11) have been recovered from the sea floor, and are clearly unmodified F1 engines.’

How to find a good residential lot to build a home

Let’s admit we’ve all dreamt of building our dream homes from scratch and whilst it might seem like a far-off fantasy more and more people are choosing to build their own new homes. While it can be easy to build your own home, you can’t just point to any random bit of grass and decide that’s where you’ll build your foundations. To help you out we’ve gathered some nine great tips_ on finding that perfect residential lot to help you build the house of your dreams.

 – Look for plots in existing neighbourhoods.

Not all land is great for building on and there’s been many cases of hopeful new families splashing the cash on the “perfect” plot of land only to have to spend a great deal more trying to make the land work for them. If the land exists where houses are already built, then it’s more than likely that the land will be perfect for building on.

 – Visit the land you’re considering buying.

I feel like this goes without saying but better safe than sorry! If you visit the area the land you hope to buy is then you can get a real feel for what it’ll be like when your house is built there. You can get a glimpse into what the local life is like and whether the area is too busy or loud and what the traffic is like. If you can’t visit the land for some reason, then take advantage of online maps like Google Maps to check out the area.

 – Look at online land listings.

There’s plenty of land being sold online on websites like Rightmove, S1 Homes and Gumtree and it’s something you don’t want to miss out on. It can be quicker and easier than going through a real estate agent (who don’t always deal with land!) and you don’t even have to leave the house. The best part about most of these websites is that they’re totally free to use and have all sorts of land of all shapes and sizes for sale. If you’re stuck to a tight budget looking online might be the best option for you.
If you’re looking for a place in a woodland area then check out Waterview Estates in Little Rock, AR. For those with a family, this is a great place to live.

 – Talk to real estate agents.

I know what I said about estate agents not always selling plots of land but the ones that do, really know their stuff. A lot can go into buying land and building a home. For example, you need to know about what permits you might need and what the local building codes are like. Real estate agents can really be your best friend when you’re looking for information.

 – Watch out for coastal land.

Land close to the beach might seem appealing but houses along the coast are a major risk for damage from the weather, flooding or even cliffside erosion which can leave your bank account going dry. If being near bodies of water is part of your property dreams aim for land that’s near canals, lakes or streams as they’re much less likely to cause you grief.

 – Double check the property conditions.

While streams can be much less of a hazard than the ocean, a little stream could turn into a raging river when the slightest bit of rain hits. You might have dreams of the perfect patio in your back garden could will mean nothing the land is covered in swamps and marshlands. Keep an eye out for a bizarrely dead grass and vegetation as it could be a sign there’s some serious environmental issues going on. If you don’t double check these simple things it can lead to disasters that could cost, you a lot of money.

 – Keep an eye-out for undesirable land.

We previously mentioned some land can’t be built on but some land that’s on slopes or hills, that are weird shapes or are considered “fill-in” land might be what you’re looking for. These types of land tend to be a great deal cheaper than more tradition plots of land as they’re less likely to sell. Who knows these types of land might be exactly what you’re looking for. However, some slopes could cost you as they might need some landscaping to flatten them down a bit so consult with a professional if you’re unsure.

 – Similarly, consider land that already contains an existing property. 

Land that has property already has structures built onto it most likely is safe to build on as it’s been built on previously. Though we recommend we double check this as land conditions can change over time. However, if you this an option you will have to hire a demolition team but if the land has a very run down, derelict building on it then there’s a chance you could get it cheap if you can find the right experts.

 – Remember to think about planning permission. 

Some people who sell their land make their offers with planning permission ready to go but some don’t which can be a major inconvenience. In some areas waiting for planning permission can be lengthy, which can obviously lead to some major problems when planning and building your dream home, so we recommend you ensure the plot your buying includes planning permission.

So, there you have some tips_, tricks and things to consider when buying a plot of land for your dream home. We understand most of these are really just basic common sense but there can be so many things to think about that the simplest of things can get missed. Just stick to your gut, follow these tips_ and listen to the professionals and there’s no way you can go wrong.

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“Apollo 11”: New doc features never-before-seen footage of moon mission

The first manned trip to the moon was a milestone in human history. Now, a brand new documentary is taking people aboard the Apollo 11 mission like never before. “Apollo 11” features never-before-seen footage drawn from NASA’s archives. Director and editor Todd Douglas Miller joins “CBS This Morning: Saturday” to discuss the making of the film.

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Delivered by Norah O’Donnell, Gayle King, John Dickerson, and Bianna Golodryga, “CBS This Morning” offers a thoughtful, substantive and insightful source of news and information to a daily audience of 3 million viewers. The Emmy Award-winning broadcast presents a mix of daily news, coverage of developing stories of national and global significance, and interviews with leading figures in politics, business and entertainment. Check local listings for “CBS This Morning” broadcast times.


Apollo 11 Documentary Get ready to experience the cinematic event that is 50 years in the making…
The highly-anticipated documentary, Apollo 11, will be digitally re-mastered in IMAX and will release exclusively in IMAX theatres for one week only beginning March 1, 2019.
Crafted from a newly discovered trove of 65mm footage, and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings, Apollo 11 takes us straight to the heart of NASA’s most celebrated mission—the one that first put men on the moon, and forever made Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin into household names.
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Science Fiction and the Hidden Global Agenda

Science Fiction and the Hidden Global Agenda – 2016 Edition, by English author Carl James, depicts the esoteric side of Hollywood. In the first volume of the book, it is included an extract from The Fastest Pen of the West – biography of Bill Kaysing.

In “Science Fiction and the Hidden Global Agenda – Volume 1”, Carl James studies the science fiction genre and its myriad connections to the global power elite. The research exposes all manner of social engineering paradigms, predictive programming, embedded occult and arcane symbolism and themes, secret military and intelligence experiments, cover-ups and conspiracies of silence, and a larger global elite agenda mechanism.