Breaking Urban Ground

is thrilled to announce our first issue of

Breaking Urban Ground magazine.

It is currently available on iPads everywhere in the Newsstand app. We have interviews from Paul Gautschi on his amazing Back to Eden garden. Larry Hall talks to us about the Rain Gutter Automatic Watering System he created. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds comes to you via the voice of Jere Gettle. A personality local to me, Gretchen Anderson answers some of our questions about starting backyard chickens. If chickens are not for you maybe our discussion with Vice President of Mann Lake Ltd may interest you. Jack Thomas gives us great advice on the topic of becoming a bee keeper. If you want to know anything about real world emergency preparedness then you will want to catch Steven Harris‘ interview. He tells us what every home can do to take a first (and easy) step toward counting on yourself in a power outage or if you lose a regular water supply. We even have a special article contributed to us from Pepper Miller. Her 3 part blog article “The Chicken Plan” is an example for you to see how one person put her wish to keep chickens into practice.

We are thrilled about the launch of the magazine but we are always looking forward to new issues. We are building June’s magazine right now and would love your participation. It can be as simple as a picture. You can send us pictures of your Breaking Urban Ground Projects. They can fall into these major categories.


Show us your chickens, bees, rabbits, worms(worm compost projects) goats and others.

Alternate power:

Battery storage, home wind generator, solar projects, rain storage. Any utility you provide for yourself.

Food Production:

Canning successes, canning failures, dehydrated foods, cheese making, syrup, yogurt. What food did you make?


Your urban garden, community gardens you participate in, Veggies you grew or are growing, unusual crops, your first plant. If it is growing for food we want to see pictures.

Household Stuff:

Planter projects, a trellis you made, detergent, candles, beeswax lip balm, a bat house. This is the “construction zone”.


This is more of an action than a “thing” so let’s see first aid kits, group pictures of your CPR certification class, your 72 hour kit. Send photos related to “being” ready for lives turbulent situations.


How do you maximize your space. Lets see creative ways to manage what you have. Shelves you built, basement root cellars, serious spice cabinets.

Don’t forget to tell us about the picture. A picture of canned carrots is nice but information on who made them and a little background is better.

With all of this be sure to include the kids. Breaking Urban Ground includes all people learning to provide for themselves as they have interest. The entire family can be included. My kids don’t like gardening but love to make cheese. If your kids like doing something send pictures of their projects too.

We are all about learning. Learning includes mess-ups and failures. Send pictures of these and some info on what you learned from the experience and what you will do differently next time.

Sending your photos to constitutes permission to use or not use the photos in future issue and articles and on the Breaking Urban Ground website and social media affiliations. Don’t send us pictures if they are not your own or you do not have authorization to distribute them.

Our first issue was so much fun to make. Lets make the next one better.

Joe Gore


Seattle Gets It!!! Do you?

It’s not a fairytale. Seattle to build nations first food forest.

7 Acres in Seattle to become    a "Food Forrest"

7 Acres in Seattle to become a “Food Forrest”

Are you planting food in your yard? Are you sharing it with your neighbors? If not, why? What ideas can we help you with so you can grow or make or raise something?

Growing a garden. Where do I start?

You start where you are with what you’ve got! Everyone is somewhere and even if you have nothing for starting a garden, everyone reading this can make the first thing they need: A PLAN.

Even if your desire it to grow  a single tomato plant or basil or a handful of strawberries you could benefit by learning about where you are and putting some sort of plan on paper. Do you need to know which tomato plant is “best” for your area? NOPE. Buy plants from local nurseries and garden shops. They usually have plants in stock that do well in your area. Do you need to know what amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) the plant likes? NOPE. Almost any dirt mixed with almost any soil from a bag will get you started with almost any edible plant. What really helps is knowing where in the world you are when it comes to climate and season length. Planting a pepper plant in the ground or a balcony pot too soon can result in sending the plant into a tizzy that takes weeks to recover from or worse, causes the death of the plant. Planting a melon in June that needs 120 days in the ground may result in getting no ripe fruit  because you planted it too late. I’m speaking from experience here.

Learning your last average frost date of spring and your first average frost date of fall and your “hardiness zone” can be informative for mapping out your plan and can greatly increase your plant options by helping you make an informed choice if ordering plants or seeds from another part of the country. Here are two links that help you find that information.

That helps us learn about where we are. Now we need a plan.

For the purpose of this discussion we will assume that you have a sunny place in mind for where the plant will reside. The particulars of how the garden is laid out can depend on what you plant. What you plant can depend on the space you have in mind. I like to put my wish list of plants together then worry about what goes where later. It is an important part of the plan but once I discover what my planting schedule is I might discover that I can put buckwheat in the garden after my letuce is done growing due to summer heat.

Most plants and seed packets tell us when to start seeds and when to transplant into the ground or when to begin “hardening off” our young plants to be placed outside. I personally like to write a list of the plants I hope to grow and then next to the plant name I like to write something easy to compare with as I scan my list, for example:

Tomatoes      Seed I 8-6 BLF  H 1-0 BLF T ALF

This means (to me) My tomato seeds get started Indoors 8-6 weeks Before Last (spring) Frost, Hardening off begins around 1 week Before Last Frost and Transplant to ground After Last Frost (for my area).

Some people like to make a chart or get a dedicated calendar where the steps for each plant are written on the projected dates. Whatever works best for you is fine but to be able to plan what goes in in which order will help with making a garden that has a strong start and ample time to reach maturity. If you save this plan until next year you can correct schedules and overall plans for a better subsequent garden. This should be getting better all the time.


For help making a plan here is a planting calendar to check out.

Seed starting calendar help.