Volume 7 Issue 26a_Sun Bay Paper

Secrets for How to Grow an Edible Garden Just About Anywhere The Sun Bay Paper Page 16 April 8, 2022 - April 14, 2022 Wish you could grow an edible garden but you just don't have any place to do that? I've got good news. Even if you rent and your landlord won't allow you to dig up part of the property, no problem. You don't need acreage, a big yard or "perfect" conditions. In fact, you really don't need any yard at all. There are myriad ways that you can get started today growing your own food. It's easy, too! On a Windowsill: So you don't have a deck, a patio or backyard -- or maybe you have all of them but no desire whatsoever to garden outdoors. Got a window with a sill? You can grow a windowsill garden! Get ready for a new adventure. This means that even if you are an apartment-dweller, you can find the space to grow food and beautify your space at the same time. All it takes is a well-lit windowsill, some pots, plants and a good attitude. The rest is going to take care of itself. On a Deck: Even in a small space like a deck or patio, you can grow many different vegetables and enjoy an amazing harvest for your efforts. There is nothing quite like making meals with herbs and vegetables that you have grown yourself -- that you can harvest fresh, right outside your back door. In a Pot: You really can grow an amazing amount of food in a pot or two. I'm talking peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and all kinds of herbs. The pot can be plastic, wood or terra cotta. And here's the nice thing: You can move pots according to how much sun they need -- or shade. To get the lowdown on the right kind of soil to use and exact how-tos, search for videos on Youtube. In a Plastic Trash Bag: Seriously, you can grow a garden in a trash bag. The easiest way to get started growing stuff in plastic bags is with potatoes. You'll need a heavy-duty black trash bag, a shovel, a knife, potting soil, "seed" potatoes and agricultural sulfur, available online or at any garden center. Find a complete step-by-step tutorial for how to get your bag planted and those potatoes growing at GardeningKnowHow.com. Fun Gardening Tips: Once you get going, here are a collection of random gardening tips to further your success and enjoyment for all size gardens from acreage to windowsills. Clean Nails: Keep dirt out from under your fingernails by scratching a bar of soap before beginning. When you're finished, wash your hands thoroughly. The soap will wash cleanly from under your fingernails. No Railroad Ties: Avoid using railroad ties in or around your vegetable garden. The chemicals used as preservatives to keep the wood from rotting are now thought to be toxic and harmful. Master's Touch: Gently brush your hands across your tiny seedlings several times a day. This stimulates them to grow slightly slower, resulting in stronger, sturdier stems. Free Weed "Cloth": Use newspapers as weed barriers when creating a new bed. They are printed with soy ink and decompose nicely and are simple to replace once decomposed. Use black and white pages only, not the slick colored advertisements or colored pages. Once in place, cover the newsprint with mulch. Free Mulch: Coffee and tea grounds make excellent mulch around acid-loving plants. Caffeine is a natural fertilizer, but don't overdo it as too much could promote excessive leaf growth and diminished fruit production. In the case of tea grounds, you can leave them in the tea bag provided it's made of paper, silk or muslin. Bury it in the soil to provide nourishment for plants and a tasty treat for worms. Just be sure to remove the tags first. They take a long time to break down and might be plastic-coated. Perfect Seed Starters: Cardboard egg cartons make excellent seed starters. Punch a hole in the bottom for drainage, fill with potting soil, plant your seeds and watch them flourish! Potting Soil, Please: Don't use garden soil as potting soil in containers. Its quality and texture are variable; it may drain poorly or be too loose and drain too quickly. It is also more likely to contain diseases, weed seeds and insects. Do it right the first time using a standard potting soil and you won't be disappointed. Project Head Start: Soak seeds to get a jump on the season. Before germinating, seeds need to drink up moisture, just as if drenched by spring rains. Once they become plump and swollen, the little embryo inside will begin to grow, signaling that it's ready to be planted. There's something soothing and satisfying about getting your hands dirty and watching stuff grow! Mary Hunt As of last week, 24 states have decided to let law-abiding adults carry handguns in public without a license. That policy, known as "constitutional carry," strikes critics as self-evidently reckless, while supporters think it improves public safety. Both sides in the long-running debate about the practical impact of reducing legal barriers to public handgun possession can cite studies to support their position. But beyond that empirical question is a moral and constitutional issue that may render it moot: If people have a fundamental right to armed self-defense, should they need the government's permission to exercise it? Because the proliferation of constitutional carry laws is a relatively recent development, research on its consequences is nascent. But there is a substantial, decidedly mixed body of research on an earlier shift: from "may issue" laws, which give government officials broad discretion to grant or deny applications for carry permits, and "shall issue" laws, which give licensing authorities little or no discretion as long as applicants meet a short list of objective requirements. Only nine states still have "may issue" laws, one of which (New York's) is the focus of a case that the Supreme Court will decide this term. The rest either do not require permits or make it relatively easy to obtain them. Proponents of the latter approach argue that it deters criminals by increasing the risk that they will encounter armed resistance. Opponents say that risk might make criminals more inclined to arm themselves, and they warn that reducing the legal requirements for carrying handguns could make potentially deadly violence more likely by introducing firearms into volatile situations. A 2005 report from the National Research Council concluded that "it is impossible to draw strong conclusions from the existing literature on the causal impact of these laws." One author of the NRC report, UCLA criminologist James Q. Wilson, dissented from that conclusion, saying the weight of the evidence indicated that "shall issue" laws "do in fact help drive down the murder rate, though their effect on other crimes is ambiguous." According to a 2020 RAND Corporation analysis, the situation had not changed much 15 years later. The RAND review found "limited" evidence that "shall issue" laws "may increase" overall violent crime and "inconclusive" evidence of their impact on "total homicides, firearm homicides, robberies, assaults, and rapes." There are many methodological issues with these studies, including how to control for myriad confounding variables and a general failure to measure how legal changes affect the number of people who actually carry handguns. But it is not at all clear that an individual's right to armed self-defense should hinge on resolution of this academic debate. Texas, where I live, stopped requiring carry permits last September. One compelling argument for eliminating the fees and training costs that the prior system entailed was that they posed formidable barriers for people of modest means in dangerous neighborhoods with good reason to fear violent criminals (who, by definition, do not bother to jump through legal hoops when they decide to carry guns). The Supreme Court has said the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep handguns in the home for self-defense. It will soon decide whether that right extends beyond the home. Since the Second Amendment protects the right "to keep and bear arms," and since the threat of criminal violence is heightened when people venture past their doorsteps, that question does not seem hard, especially in light of historical evidence indicating that the right was understood to include carrying weapons in public. It likewise seems clear that a licensing regime like New York's, which gives officials wide authority to decide who has "proper cause" to bear arms, is inconsistent with that right. Even after the Supreme Court settles those issues, there will remain the question of whether less onerous regulations impose inappropriate, potentially prohibitive conditions on the exercise of a basic right. Judging from recent trends, state legislators increasingly believe they do. Jacob Sullum Handgun Carry Permits Transform a Right Into a Privilege