Hello and welcome to MariLark!

This is a special place where my roots go deep.

I am the founder of the modern MariLark, but I am not the one who picked the lot, designed the home and finally built it here in what was known as Berkeley Woods. After a lot of sweat, back aches and more, the corner has been transformed to something close to its former glory. My love for gardening and eventually the thought of growing healthy food started after living here since 1996. I was seven or eight years old when I was up here for the first time in the late 1960’s. 25 Years later I moved in and for the past 20 years have got my hands into the dirt in a big way.

The MariLark of today continues to build community and enrich this corner of North Berkeley bringing the community together.

This website and associated BLOG is for those of you who care about traditions, about plant and animal biodiversity, urban gardening, seed saving, wholesome food and wholesome living. So, if you are one of us — the community builders and gardening fanatics, then this is for you to keep an eye on! Join us and become a fan of MariLark.

Chief Designer and Gardener
Charlie Costello

Common Garden Myths

Myth #1 - I need a greenhouse to start seeds!

This couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Not only do you NOT need a greenhouse to start seeds, many seeds can be directly sown in the ground. Yes, it helps to start seeds indoors when you live in a cold climate or when the winter light is short. This can be done by placing a few seeds in wet paper towel, folding the paper towel and placing it inside a baggie. If you can, reuse a baggie and hang it from a string near a window in your kitchen for seven to ten days. Once you see the roots begin to emerge from the seeds, place each one carefully in a fold it so that it  marking the baggie with the type of seed on a kitchen window seal

Myth #2: Organic Pesticide is Safe to Use

Chemical pesticides have a lot of harmful effects on our health, making organic pesticides seem like a much better choice. But in reality, even the organic pesticide can cause detrimental effects. For instance, Rotenone is a type of organic pesticide extracted from the roots of a tropical bean species. The fact that it is made from root plants gives the impression that it is harmless and safe to use. However, a study shows that Rotenone can actually be toxic to humans. It is considered moderately hazardous by the World Health Organization.

With this in mind, it is wrong to assume that organic pesticide is safe to use. It may cause fewer side effects as compared to chemical pesticide, but nevertheless, it still poses a threat to our health.

Myth #3: Gardening is Expensive!

Now, this is quite a debatable topic. But let me explain why I think this is nothing but a myth. You probably already know that gardening requires certain maintenance like fertilizers, soil care, pesticides, and the likes, making most people think that you need to fish out a huge amount of money when starting your garden. But it isn’t the case in all plants and vegetables. Some plants need high-maintenance while others don’t need a lot.

For starters, it is recommended that you start growing plants that don’t need intensive care like perennial bushes and perennial edibles. Once you’ve established the garden well enough, then you can start growing other plants and crops. Also, if you know how to innovate some tools and do your research to avoid purchasing those expensive garden tools, then gardening will never cause a hole in your savings.

On the other note, gardening actually helps you save money. We all know how insanely expensive vegetables and spices may get, especially during off-peak season. And living in a country where seasons can change quite fast, this usually happens a lot. Having your own garden at home is an excellent source of healthy foods and good exercise.

1 Comment

  1. Charlie

    I hope to hear from you soon.


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