Tuesday, 25 June 2013



(Dirty Hands formerly known as PUTPMOUAYTP)

Ministry of Urban Agriculture

Update 1.2_2013

The practical component of the Dirty Hands program is in full swing. Many of the students are getting a feel for the hard manual work of digging dirt. All of the students have reported positive feedback, even when encountering squirmy worms.

Safety is high on the agenda with mandatory helmets and closed toed footwear.

There are many new plant varieties being attempted this year with mixed success.
One new vegetable for this season that appears to be thriving is a childhood favourite - the brussel sprout. Since transplanting the brussel sprout plant has expanded from a small three leaved plant to an ever expanding burst of greenery (see image 1A below). 
Another newcomer whom appears to be having success in our garden is the green zucchini. The Ministry opted to plant the compact 'patio' version, which is intended for pot growing on balconies or similar small spaces, to get the most effective use out of the limited area available. Three mounds with four seeds in each were hand planted by Dirty Hands students. As of date, all seeds have started sprouting (see image 1B below)
1A - Brussel Sprout
1B - Zucchini
One experimental project that has yet to bloom is the 'Melon Patch'. A small area of approx 4' square on the East side of the yard was dug out and boxed in. Four melon transplants were placed in the 'Melon Patch'. Three have since withered and died. The remaining one leaved sprout has remained unchanged in size, which we believe indicates it is not growing.
Melons were a new addition this year, as was the 'Melon Patch'. Therefore, soil or location may be the reason this project did not succeed. An investigation and full report will be initiated as soon as possible.

The failed 'Melon Patch'

 The remaining plants in the garden are all thriving. Repeat favourites such as the strawberry (see image 2A) and the 'Spring Mix' lettuce (see image 2B) are already producing. However, of the three strawberries so far, two have been eaten by the birds (unknown species, but, there is one suspicious looking blue jay whom authorities would like to question). The Dirty Hands students did get a taste of one almost ripe strawberry and reported it to be of good quality and 'sweet'.
2A - 'Sweet' Strawberry

2B - Lettuce "Spring Mix"
Official PUTPMOUA Update

Tuesday, 18 June 2013



May 2013 | Not Under The Pine Press

Here is the ideal situation : Children held tight to parents. Little ones strapped to a parent's body. Children appear to have a healthy/pragmatic fear of crowds.
It is possible to take your children to a very crowded and busy place like Disney World, but a few precautions must be taken. First off keep it simple; get in and get out. The crowds are too big for you to be ill prepared. 
  • You need to plan your day in detail. For eg. Go in, get picture by Cinderella's castle, then leave before the crowds get too dense. 
  • Always maintain contact with your children to prevent them from getting separated and lost. If possible hold them tight, not bruising tight, but, security level tight. Leashing them is also an option.
  • All children under the age of three should be strapped to a parents body in a carrier of some sort. If viable, those over the age of three that are under fifty pounds should also be strapped and carried by a parent.
  • Question all those in costume. You don't know who is under that mask, they could be a cast member or they could be a visitor dressed up. Ask for official verification when a costumed figure approaches your party.
  • Stay out in the open and avoid dark places. Keep to open places such as the centre of Main Street USA and avoid dark rides such as The Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain.
  • Talk to your children before hand about the dangers of strangers, contagious diseases, and the unethical behaviour of corporate media giants.
  • Familiarize your group with an emergency evacuation plan, again keep it simple. Something such as : Run like the dickens to parking lot Donald-15 to our car and gun it home, should suffice.
  • Last, but not least, ENJOY. Take a moment every ten minutes to look at the scenery and relax. That is after a sufficient scan of the crowd and a run through of the secret family codewords.

10:10 am | Florida| NUTPP

Monday, 17 June 2013

PUTPMOUAYTP aka "Dirty Hands"

Ministry of Urban Agriculture 

Update 1.1_2013

The practical component of the Place Under The Pines Ministry Of Urban Agriculture Youth Training Program (PUTPMOUAYTP for short), also known as "Dirty Hands", is scheduled to begin in May. The Dirty Hands program has a tentative date of when-we-get-back-from-Disney-World, but, is always dependent on the weather.
The curriculum may vary slightly, but, a general outline has been drafted.
1) Onion planting
2) Lettuce start up
3) Zucchini research
4) Raspberry fencing
5) Personal garden or container planting

This little guy is ready to get his hands dirty.

This little girl is learning about the benefits of watering

A theoretical component will also be incorporated during this time. Subjects inlcude,
1) Topiary primer / Flat Stanley story / Microclimate lecture
2) Eggshells / Calcium / Slugs-be-gone lecture

In addition, a recreational club - Flower Power - is recruiting.
Flower Power is a non-profit educational group whose mandate is to encourage planting and care of flowers. Community beautification is a secondary goal.
"Come on out to make friends and flowers!"
Official PUTPMOUA Update