19 May 2013, by gj
Pesticides kill bugs, that’s what they are used for.
Even ‘natural’ pesticides kill bugs.
Most pesticides kill indiscriminately.
Here’s the thing, we all have problems with bad bugs on our plants; and we want to get the best harvest possible.
This is a double-edge sword.
By killing the bad bugs, we may also be killing the ones that will pollinate them, like bees.
There is already a problem with the bee populations due to Colony Collapse. Add to that the use of pesticides in home lawns and gardens and it gets worse.
Some of these pesticides may already be on plants you buy at your local Farm and Garden as well. Put them in the ground, and they will continue to kill for years.
Not just bugs either, also the birds that eat them.
If the use of these pesticides continues, our ability to grow our own food declines as well.
Please READ THIS short article. Share it, print it out and take it to your local Home Depot or Lowe’s.
You can also Take Action here.
What can you do to prevent the need for any pesticide?
1. Keep your garden clean. Remove spent foliage at the end of the season.
2. Keep your plants healthy and strong. If you have healthy soil, your plants will be stronger and better able to fight off any pests. Give them what they need.
3. Keep a close watch for pests. As soon as you see them, pick them off by hand. Most pests can easily be swiped off and into a bucket of soapy water.
4. Look into pest-resistant hybrids for veggies you have the most trouble with.
5. Start your own seed with an organic seed starting medium, or buy from a local organic grower.
6. Add in some plants that will attract the good bugs. Bees love sunflowers, Ladybugs favor dill and oregano. Not only will good bugs help pollinate, many feed on the bad bugs.
7. Learn more. We recommend the book Good Bugs, Bad Bugs by Jessica Walliser as a great source for the information you need to know to grow a healthier garden.
If you need to use a pesticide, please go organic and target the bug you are after. Use as little as possible.
Here’s a few natural solutions to try.
Categories: gardening, living green, pests, techniques, Uncategorized
11 May 2013, by gj
Gardeners know the benefits of compost, or ‘black gold’ as they call it.
But there are times when you may want to apply that gold in a liquid form.
Well, to not disturb young plants or their soil, for one.
To get that richness right to the leaves, for another. Did you know plants take in nutrients from their leaves as well as their roots?
Crafty little devils they are.
Yours or theirs.
The gardening sites I have seen make this much more involved than is necessary.
A lot of the internet is like that, unfortunately.
My friend and fellow Master Gardener Tami says it does not need to be all that complicated.
A gardener after my own heart.
So here’s the easy way:
1. Get 2 buckets.
2. Get some compost.
3. Get some water.
4. Get some molasses (optional).
Place the water in 1 bucket. Add the compost, broken down or not, homemade or purchased, but preferably in an old pillow case or similar fabric that will strain out the larger pieces. Add some molasses.
Any ol’ bucket will do.
After one day soaking, pour the water from one bucket to the next, then put the bag of compost back in to soak. This is a simple way to aerate the tea.
Repeat for 3 days, and you are ready to go.
Or grow, as the case is.
Add more water, brew.
Read more about how compost tea spray works, as well as other great info on Foliar Spraying, here.
Categories: gardening, living green, preparedness, techniques
4 September 2012, by gj
When we had the good fortune to visit Ireland years ago, we were impressed with their sense of reducing their collective impact on the environment.
Upon approaching a grocery store register we were informed that they do not provide packaging.
“You either bring your own bags, carry it out by hand, or go out back and find yourself a box.”
So when we returned we were determined to step up our lifestyle to be even more Eco-conscious.
so many things can be composted
More recently we were invited on Facebook to ‘attend’ the fifth annual event Zero Waste Week 2012, again originating in the UK, specifically Gloucestershire, but really happening in everyone’s own home.
This year’s theme is “One More Thing” as they ask you to ask yourself, “What’s one more thing I can do to reduce my household waste?”
raspberry mango jam
Reduce – the less that comes into your home, the less that goes out.
Growing and preserving much of our own food is probably the biggest contribution we make to a better environment at home.
The only animal products we consume are eggs and we have our own chickens.
We make our own soap, laundry soap, dish and dishwasher soap, and toothpaste; greatly reducing the amount of packaging we need to deal with.
Our entire grocery store purchase this past week consisted of coffee, tea, olive oil, oranges, pectin for jam, and shaving cream.
We do bring our own bags to the market, but not always. When we get a plastic bag, at least we recycle it.
We all have reusable water bottles.
old scratched vinyl album turned planter
Re-purpose. Before you get rid of it, get the most from it.
We consider anything composted as reused, since it adds to the nutrients of our soil and consequently our food. Look for compostable containers in the produce area. Find more things to compost than you may have known about.
There are tons of ways to reuse things you already have. Here’s a few on one of our Pinterest Boards.
Donating what you no longer need is a wonderful way to re-purpose an item.
support your larger vertically grown produce
Recycle. Consider this your last choice.
Do your darnedest to keep things from ending up in a landfill, no matter where you live.
Always try to buy a product that at the very least is in a recyclable container, and remember to recycle it.
compostable produce packaging
What ‘one more thing’ we all can do?
To be more diligent and set a goal of zero waste for ourselves.
Wouldn’t you just love to wave at the garbage truck as it drove past your house?
Fifth Annual National Zero Waste Week
Recipes for homemade cleansers can be found here.
14 Things You Can Compost
This post is part of the monthly You Can Grow That! day. Read more here.
Categories: living green, saving money & time, you can grow that