Grow Your Best Basil

Basil is not only delicious, but easy to grow and manage with the correct approach. Over the weekend, I produced this short video of my Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) co-worker Meredith Epstein giving expert advice on proper plant care. She is the Sustainable Agriculture lecturer and advisor at the IAA, and also manages the University of Maryland’s Community Learning Garden. Meredith is also the one who chose basil as the topic for our first how-to video; I think she made a great decision!

Making a how-to video was a great way for me to get back into using iMovie. I had a lot of fun producing this using only my iPhone and the iMovie app. I found that the app doesn’t have all of the features from the desktop version, but still enough.

I have mentioned in previous posts that the Community Learning Garden is one of my favorite spots on campus. I hope that after watching this video, you will see why I love to spend time there.

Please do enjoy le film. Get ready to grow some expert-level basil!

Around the Block

Just cruisin’ with my friend Meg in her Toro Workwoman vehicle. I interviewed her to find out the best way to get into volunteering with the University of Maryland’s Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Meg graduated from the Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA), where I currently work. The experience that Meg gained through studying Ornamental Horticulture at the IAA led her to become the arboretum’s Volunteer Coordinator. We both work on North campus, so it is easy for us to pester each other. 🙂

Want to help beautify UMD? Email to sign up!

Randie and Bill Explore Vermiculture

In my quest to take the trash out less, I have tried a couple of methods. One was to eat everything in the kitchen. Another was to compost.

I went to a composting workshop at the University of Maryland, but I was interested in learning how to turn my trash into plant food, and the workshop was focused more on campus sustainability. I don’t live on campus because I am 27 years old (or 77 in undergrad years). So I pressed on.

I had a stroke of luck when my co-worker Meredith asked me to give a 10-gallon Rubbermaid tub packed full of worms and trash to a friend of hers. I thought that as a gift to be given in the spirit of friendship, this was an interesting choice.

As it turns out, the worms eat biodegradable matter and create poop. While this may not sound extraordinary, the worm doodies, or “castings,” can be used as superfood for plants. Ka-ching!

I further explored vermiculture yesterday by creating two worm bins with my dad. We ordered a 600-count bag of worms from Nature’s Good Guys and split them. Today is day one and I already woke up to a few escapees making their way out of the worm farm. I hope for Bill’s sake that mom doesn’t see any worms coming out of his bin at their home.

Cute little animal friends with their army hats, pickaxes and shovels. ❤