Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow? Organically, of course.

Marc and I put an offer on a house in the mountains this week. It's wonderful - high ceilings, light, bright and open with a two story fireplace, a barn, 3.2 acres of land and our very own (seasonal) stream. It's really a dream. Well, a dream set in 1974. But let's be honest - if the house wasn't a little outdated, we couldn't afford it. So, as we always seem to do, we've found the "neediest" house in the best part of town and we plan to fix it up. IF we get it, that is. But because we're sometimes dreamers optimists we've already planned out a little garden by the side of the house.

Spring is evidently in the air because I keep getting green gardening hints from my tip-a-day calendar as well as various websites that send me email. Or maybe they're all just being optimistic too that spring is around the corner. One can only hope because I am DONE with cold and snow (says the girl who just made an offer on a house in the mountains where she'll inevitably be snowed in for days at a time next winter).

ANYway... I thought I'd share some of the tips I've received this week. If it's not warm enough to start doing yard work and gardening yet, at least I can blog about it!

Did you know?
  • Since 1800, we've lost 75% of the genetic diversity of agricultural crops. (IdealBite)
  • Historically, humans have relied on 7000 species of plants for food. But today 90% of our diet is drawn from just 20 species. (yikes!)

Which is why you might want to consider planting Heirloom Seeds in your garden this year. Heirloom Seeds are those that have not been genetically modified or created from a hybrid of other seeds. You can find them (for cheap - only $2 or $3 a pack!) at Seeds of Change or Seeds Trust. Your veggies will have the true flavor they were intended to have.

If you prefer to pick your veggies from the produce aisle at Whole Foods, then at least consider greening up (in the philosophical sense, of course) your yard this year. All of those pest repellents and weed killers and grass greening chemicals you've been using soak into our groundwater. Our family is definitely guilty of this! :( I guess somehow the thought of contaminating my city water has never seemed as bad as contaminating the sweet virginal stream running through my (hopefully) new 3.2 acres in the mountains, so this will be the year that we go organic in this area. Let's do it together! This article on the New Dream website is a great place to start. From the basics of natural lawn care to pest control to composting, New Dream provides a ton of great information.

While you're out becoming one with Mother Nature, be sure to wear your home made insect repellent. You're trying to stop putting chemicals into the earth - why would you rub them into your skin!? Instead, try mixing alcohol (rubbing, not drinking!) with citronella or peppermint essential oil. Voila - a much cheaper and more natural bug spray.

1 comment: said...

You may want to check out this site.

It is a six step organic approach to treating your lawn safely. You get the expertise of a professional lawn care service, enjoy the satisfaction of doing the job yourself and enjoy the convenience of having the products delivered directly to your door.

It's pretty cool!