Get An Urban Agriculture Degree!

Dear Bill,

For people with CFS and FMS, here's a time/energy/money saver that I think people will really appreciate: Urban Agriculture. You can get a degree in Urban Agriculture online in just a few minutes from the General Delivery University:

http://www.bandersnatch.com/ag.htm

I haven't even got my degree yet and I am already "celebrating biodiversity" by turning my front yard into a "botanical garden" with all sorts of "exotic plants, medicinal herbs, and ornamental grasses." I'm thinking about starting to charge admission and giving seminars on such topics as "advanced grasscycling and mulching" and "medicinal uses for dandelion roots." I could sell the herbs at inflated prices because they're all "organically grown" because I do not use any herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers.

Well, actually, I cut the grass at most once a month and have 6 species of dandelion and wild mint growing in my yard, crab grass, chick weed, you name it. There were a few "happy accidents" like some beautiful staghorn ferns and moss that started growing in a damp spot in the yard and have continued to spread every year.

So far, I've gotten by with only one nasty letter from the home owner's association saying I better cut my grass or lose my pool privileges. Fortunately, we live in a townhouse with a very small yard, and the guy who cuts our neighbor's grass is really nice and usually cuts our tree lawn as well.

There are a few good "low maintenance" plants I can recommend that I actually planted on purpose: lavender, any kind of sage, and mint. The sage stays green all year round here in Maryland, so it's getting quite bushy. During the summer, the traditional sage and the lavender get pretty blue and purple flowers. With the warm temperatures, our pineapple sage hs grown to 3'x3' and still has lovely red and magenta flowers blooming all over it.

Pennyroyal is a lovely, low creeping mint which has been taking over another section of our yard like groundcover (caution: pennyroyal is somewhat toxic and large amounts can cause internal hemorrhaging! It should never be taken by pregnant women). It has a really nice smell when I do cut the grass. It sends up flower stalks with purple flowers in late spring to early summer.

Best of all, all of those plants are perennials, so you can just plant it and forget it.

Happy "gardening,"
--
"Jonathan F. Dill" (dill@umbi.umd.edu)
On the web: http://www2.cybercities.com/j/jfdill


GDU College of Urban Agriculture


The days of the family farm, with a red-painted barn, a few
cows (hopefully sane) and a hundred acres of corn are ancient
history. GDU has focused its agricultural program on the city
resident.


AG 101: WEEDS Weeds can be grown in aesthetic
arrangements. This is useful when city officials attempt to cite
you for violating local ordinances against growing noxious plants
on your property.


AG 102: AGRICULTURAL INVESTMENT Various investment
opportunities in agriculture, such as in Columbia, will be
studied. Further information on this course will only be provided
upon proof, to GDU's satisfaction, of no criminal or civil
liability to GDU, its officers, directors, employees or agents.


AG 103: HOME GARDENING FOR FUN AND PROFIT Unofficial
reports indicate that the cultivation of marijuana may be
America's largest cash crop. How to conceal your garden from
aerial surveillance and the use of marketing cooperatives will be
covered.


AG 104: HOW TO EVADE THE RECLAMATION LAW (Of special
interest to the sons and daughters of farmers in Arizona and
California). The United States insists that federally subsidized
water in the West should only be available to family farmers. How
to evade this law and get cheap federal water to irrigate 10,000
acres of cotton is the focus of these Course Materials.


AG 105: URBAN LIVESTOCK Raising animals for profit has
long been a important aspect of the agricultural experience.
However, it is seriously impractical to raise cattle or sheep in
urban apartments. But, due to the demand for small household
pets, vast new markets have emerged for the raising and selling
of hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, canaries, finches,
and boa constrictors. Learn how to turn your spare bedroom or
balcony into a mini-ranch.


AG 106: THE FAMILY FARM The modern family farm requires
at least one family member to hassle with the federal government,
one member to deal with the bank, one to keep the equipment
working, and one to actually go out in the fields to see if the
crops are growing. Learn how the break-up of the traditional
American family has threatened the existence of the family farm.


AG 107: PEST CONTROL Besides the risks of bugs, the
modern farmer must constantly try to avoid his or her farm from
being foreclosed. Learn ecologically friendly ways to control
pests and bankers.


Copyright 1997 by Hugh Holub

Web page design by Bill Jackson, 1999.

Any comments? Send them to Bill Jackson at cfsdays@yahoo.com

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