Posts Tagged ‘home vegetable garden’

Planters that water themselves – for months!

When you imagine growing your own greens, you may think of a number of obstacles that keep you from starting. We’ve all heard the excuses. Things like “I live in a condo,” “I don’t have a backyard,” even “I forget to water my plants, so they just die.”

So when we discovered self-watering containers, we had to learn more. Turns out you can now grow in condos and other indoor spaces with nothing but a windowsill. Turns out you can water your plants once in a blue moon (as minimally as every twelve weeks)—and they don’t have to die. Turns out you can enjoy flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruits in beautiful planters that complement your space and enable you to #growyourown.

We understand the desire to add greenery to your indoor and outdoor spaces, and we understand the desire to eat some of said greens. (Perhaps your dog already does?) When we lived in a condo, we loved having flowers throughout our home and herbs in the kitchen. Small tomato plants thrived on the balcony, enhancing our salads and other homemade dishes from early summer to fall. We had a few lettuce plants as well, to help round out fresh homegrown salads.

Self-watering planters make all of this easier, and they are simple enough to operate. The first (or outside) layer is filled with water while the second (or inside) layer holds the soil (or small rocks called pon) as well as the plant itself, allowing the roots to grow down through the layer to the water. A small water-level metre indicates when the planter needs a refill. Depending on what you grow, watering can happen as infrequently as four times a year!

A wide selection of planters ranging from windowsill and tabletop designs to larger patio and deck designs are available in a variety of finishes and colours, for both indoor and outdoor use.

What you want to grow will dictate your planter size. Delta windowsill planters are small and sleek and ideal for indoor use, fitting two average basil or parsley plants, whereas the Trio Cottage planter works well outside and can fit multiple hearty tomato plants.

We are happy to consult with you on planter choices and can also offer you a variety of different flowers, herbs, vegetables, or fruits to fill your living space with beautiful plants that you (and your dog) can enjoy.

Happy Growing
At Home Organic Farms

@homeorganicfarm
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Protect Your Garden, The Natural Way: Compost Tea Recipe

 Compost Tea is a natural product, simple to make, easy to use helps control common garden ailments.

This is the first in a series of posts about Compost Tea. In this post we cover the basics: What it is. What it is used for. And how to make it.

What is it?
Compost tea is exactly what it sounds like; compost that has been steeped in water.
The water that is drained is known as the ‘tea.’

What is it used for?
Compost tea, when sprayed on your plants, serves as a mild fungicide and disease controller due to its high content for natural beneficial microbes and nutrients. It will also act as a mild insect repellent – which is very handy.

How to make it?

Ingredients:

  • Minimum 5L bucket with lid or cover
  • Pillowcase
  • Homemade compost or store bought organic compost
  • Sprayer

Directions:

  1. Place the pillowcase in the bucket
  2. Add compost to the pillowcase, filling the bucket approximately ½ – ¾ full. Remeber to tie the top fo the pillowcase.
  3. Add water to fill the bucket, enough to submerge the pillowcase
  4. Cover and let sit for at least 2 weeks. The tea needs time to ferment and brew.
  5. After 2 weeks, remove the pillow case with compost, allowing it to drain as completely as possible first (you can return this compost to your composter if desired)
  6. Dilute the remaining mixture 1 part compost tea to 3 parts water
  7. Use this mixture to spray on your plants, liberally

Notes:

  • If using to control bugs then be sure to spray the underside of the leaves as well.
  • For maximum effectiveness apply first thing in the morning before full sun.
  • Re-application is required after watering or rain.
  • If using as a root fertilizer, dilute the tea as above and pour directly on top of the soil instead of spraying. Use every few days.

Eat drink and be merry,
At Home Organic Farms
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What’s in Your Food? Understanding the Ingredients List

In an age where eating healthy is a growing concern, more and more of us take the time to read the ingredients list on the foods we buy.

When our family goes grocery shopping we follow a few simple rules

  • shop around the perimeter of the store where foods are perishable and therefore exclude preservatives
  • avoid canned foodsfor children and pregnant women (the BPA in the lining is a developmental inhibitor and should be avoided duringdevelopmental stages of life)
  • avoid anything with high-fructose corn syrup (warning: you’ll be shocked at how many foods include this! Cut back slowly if you need to)
  • avoid anything with artificial colour or flavour– if it’s not real, your body may not know how to digest it properly and it will add to your waist line
  • avoid products with ingredients you can’t spell, pronounce or understand

Did you know that packaged foods must list their ingredients in the order they are present in the foods?  So if you’re buying dried cranberries for examples and the package lists sugar ahead of cranberries on the ingredients list it means that there is more sugar in the recipe than cranberries!

Here are a list of a few common items you may find in your food ingredients list and their meaning:

  • Sodium bicarbonatebaking soda
  • Soy lecithin – often used as an emulsifier, lecithin is not bad for you either and has been linked, in some studies, to helping treat dementia
  • Calcium carbonate – often used as a food additive or firming agent; excessive consumption can be hazardous (which is why Tums lists a maximum daily dosage)
  • Glycerin/e – used as sweetener, especially for low-calorie foods – the jury is out on whether Glycerin is good or bad – so limit quantities for now

We’ll keep our eyes peeled for other bizarre, hard to spell, or hazardous sounding ingredients and follow up with another post soon.

Have an ingredient you’d like us to shed some light on?  Please let us know.

Want to try and shed your diet of processed foods all together?  Consider growing your own food!

Eat, drink and be merry,
The At Home Organic

6 Reasons to Grow your Own Food

I just read a fantastic post about why you should grow your own food.

Even with all the compelling reasons, many of us are victim to the wonderful world of convenience, and it’s sometimes hard to take the time (or find the time) to garden your own veggies (even if they are fresher, more local and more organic than anything you can buy).

We understand that sometimes you need a little push, or a helping hand and we’d like to be both the push and the hand for you.

At Home Organic Farms operates in Toronto and will build, install and maintain an organic vegetable garden for you, right in your backyard.  Now there is no excuse not to get growing yourself.  Contact us to learn more.

Want to help inspire someone else? Share your story with us.

Eat drink and be merry.

The At Home Organic

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www.athomeorganicfarms.com

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