Posts Tagged ‘organic vegetable garden’

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
www.twitter.com/homeorganicfarm
www.fb.com/athomeorganicfarms

Advertisements

The Almighty Push Mower

Almost every Saturday between May and October someone will update their Facebook or Twitter account about how they were woken up to the sound of a gas or electric lawn mower when they should have still been sleeping.

We’ve been there, so we know how frustrating it is to have your rest cut short by some inconsiderate neighbour or lawn services company as they power up their mower right beneath your window.  Inconsiderate because of how early in the morning it is, but equally inconsiderate to the environment, especially now that environmentally friendly, equally effective, and silent alternatives exist.

When push mowers first hit the market, they were heavy, hard to maneuver and didn’t provide the same results you could get with your gas or electric mower.  This was especially true if you had an uneven or bumpy lawn.

Well good news everyone, push mowers have come a long way.
So if you’re ready to fight back, send a not-so-subtle message to your neighbour that they should consider a NaturCut mower by sending them a copy of this link.  (If you prefer the non confrontational approach you can always print a copy and leave it anonymously on their doorstep).

These mowers are affordable, light-weight, work well on smooth and uneven lawns alike and best of all; make virtually no noise at all.  They also come with a 2 year warranty (and if you or your neighbour places an order before June 20th, you’ll get a free Grass Catcher – a $35 value).

So make nice with your neighbour, and make nice with your lawn.

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

www.twitter.com/homeorganicfarm
www.facebook.com/athomeorganicfarms
www.athomeorganicfarms.com

Organic Delivery Company Reviewed: Not local and overpriced

It is impossible not to notice the explosion in organic food options. 

The only organic option that existed when I was growing up was the food we grew in our backyard.

Now there are CSAs (community shared agriculture plans), organic home delivery companies, home vegetable gardening companies (like ours), farmers markets, organic sections in major supermarkets, even whole stores devoted to organic food.

My wife and I decided to check out one of the home delivery options in Toronto through a Groupon deal.  We were excited to see what organic food might be available in January in Toronto.  Too bad for us, as our first delivery came in March, almost two months and half a dozen emails later.  Well, the food seemed organic enough (no real way to check except for the stickers on some of the items) but we weren’t overly impressed with the lack of local representation.

Here’s what our Harvest box included and where it came from

Product

From Where?

3
Medium Apples

USA

1 Head
Of Broccoli

California USA

3
Carrots

Ontario – unconfirmed (no sticker)

4
Small Potatoes

Ontario – unconfirmed (no sticker)

1
Avocado

Mexico

1
Bunch Red Chard

California USA

1 Acorn
Squash

Mexico

3
Pears

USA

1 Bell
Pepper

Israel

1
Mango

Peru

1 Head
Lettuce

USA

4
Medium Oranges

USA

 

My favourite part? It’s not the inflated price tag – they’re a business after all and they need to make their money too.  I know I could pick this up at my local grocery store for about 20-40% less money, but hey, this came delivered right to my door.  No, my favourite part was their claim that 25% of this box was local.  Seriously?

When I asked if a 100% local option existed I was told there was (why wasn’t this offered to begin with??) but that it costs more.  Pardon me? Food grown locally that’s not transported 9,299 km (Israel to Toronto) is more expensive??  Something’s screwy here and I don’t like it. 

Honestly folks, if you think you’re supporting local sustainable agriculture buy supporting these organic delivery companies you’re wrong.  This is a scam.  You’re paying for people to buy wholesale organic food, pack it into a box and send it to you for a lot more than it would cost you to go to a store and buy it yourself.  Not to mention that you’ve successfully increased your foodprint (carbon footprint of your food) by purchasing a box of food brought in from tens of thousands of kilometres away.  100km diet eh? – forget it. 

Have you ever tried an organic delivery company? What was your experience like? Have you considered planting a garden instead and enjoying food that is not only organic but local too? We want to know.

Eat drink and be merry.

The At Home Organic

www.twitter.com/homeorganicfarm
www.facebook.com/athomeorganicfarms
www.athomeorganicfarms.com

How Big Should My Vegetable Garden Be?

The best answer is often the simplest one.  How ever much you want.  The aim of the vegetable garden is to produce food.  Once that goal is attained what is left over is up to you and you have 3 choices – consume it, preserve it or give it away.

But as a general rule of thumb, one 4’ x 8’ raised bed supplements 2 adults nicely. If you have a highly vegetarian diet or enjoy more food than the average Joe, go for one garden per person.

cedar summer garden

Summer Garden

If you find you have a shortage of fresh veggies to harvest, you can always plant more, but what happens if you have too many tomatoes for example.  We may be creatures of habit, but we often enjoy variety in our diet.  If you have already preserved as many tomatoes as you can (frozen tomato sauce is my favourite) then give some away.  Who would not want to be the recipient of free home grown tomatoes?!?!

For me, vegetable gardening is very much like tattoos.  Once you start it’s hard to stop.  But sometimes getting started is the hardest part. If you recently started a garden please share your inspiration.  If you’re thinking about it but haven’t gotten around to it yet, why not??

Eat drink and be merry.

The At Home Organic

www.twitter.com/homeorganicfarm
www.facebook.com/athomeorganicfarms
www.athomeorganicfarms.com

%d bloggers like this: