This is an excerpt from a David Brooks column in the New York Times.
Only 17 percent of Americans trust the government to do the right thing most or all of the time, according to an October New York Times/CBS News poll.
This finding certainly applies regarding my professional feelings about the USDA and how poorly they support urban agriculture. My hope is that the new Obama administration does some housecleaning in the cooperative extension program. It is badly needed. The information they teach and publish is significantly out of date and behind the times.
This is but one small example. In doing some further research on the Dean Fosdick AP article, I read this article on the Kansas City Star website. The title is In the Grow: Container gardening makes the most of small spaces
There is no mention of self-watering (i.e. sub-irrigation) in the article; only the drench and drain mantra words embedded in the heads of master gardeners and extension agents. The author is either a master gardener or extension agent.
A windowsill, patio, balcony or doorstep is all you will need to grow vegetables in 2009.
Many vegetables can be raised in containers. If you can give them a few hours of sun, you can do it.
All containers must have drainage holes in the bottom. Otherwise, a good rain will fill the pot with water, and the plant will die from lack of oxygen to the roots.
Put some gravel or sand in the bottom of the pot to promote drainage.
A site search further reveals that they chose not to publish the Fosdick article or have they ever published an article about self-watering (i.s. sub-irrigation) or sub-irrigated grow box gardening.
If the extension program doesn't have current information, good journalism would suggest that the paper should find someone who does.