Tag Archives: garden

Why Natural and Why Not Organic?

Chelsie Anderson, Garden Expert

By Chelsie Anderson

I have learned everything that I know about gardens from gardens. Nature, itself is the best teacher, but you have to pay attention in order to learn the lessons.

People throw around the word “organic” a lot these days. It is certainly trendy these days to grow organic food, and to eat organic produce. It gives us warm feelings knowing about “organic” practices, and paying more for specially grown organic foods. In this article, however, I am going to talk about why not to practice necessarily organic gardening, but instead why to practice “natural” gardening, and what the difference is.

Why Natural?
Natural gardening means we are adhering to and are inspired by the wisdom of mother nature. We hold a deep respect for natural systems. Mother nature has worked out a fool-proof system over millennia that does not require human intervention in order to grow amazing, natural and (by default) organic foods. If we know what our gardens truly need, then they will grow in a way that limits the attention we need to give them. It turns out that natural gardening is also lazy gardening, a natural benefit to this approach.

Leave leaves to create healthy microcosm for your plants. www.GrowFoodCalgary.com

How to garden naturally?
Feed your soil, not your plants. Leave the leaves as a food source for microbes and worms, add in home made compost, which is full of humus. Humus sequesters carbon and greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere and stores it in the soil where it is harmless. Humus also stores water for plant roots and creates an amazing soil structure that enables roots to forage for space, water and nutrients. Feed the soil with biodegradable materials, and let nature take care of the rest.

Why Not Organic?

Ladybugs need food, too! www.GrowFoodCalgary.com

Organic doesn’t necessarily benefit the health of a garden. There are organic pesticides, for example, that destroy natural systems so that our ladybugs still starve. Ladybugs need to eat, so if you kill off their food supply, even through “organic” means, the lovely ladybug will also die, or move in to your neighbour’s yard, meaning bug control will be an ongoing problem in your garden. The war will continue, where you try to eradicate aphids year after year.

Furthermore, organic fertilizers might not have been designed specifically for your soil. This means the minerals being added may not benefit your garden, and you may be feeding your garden ingredients that cannot be put to good use. This practice may cause a tight soil structure, for example, which can suffocate plant roots. Too much magnesium in Calgary soils will create just this situation. It might be organic, but this doesn’t mean it will be beneficial, and create a sustainable environment.

Pay attention to natural systems. Watch what happens when humans don’t intervene and be amazed by the wisdom of mother nature. Practice gardening naturally, and enjoy more time on your patio sipping lemonade instead of battling with invading species as a result.

Learn more about Natural Gardening by signing up for GrowFoodCalgary today!
Growfoodcalgary.com

Starved for Nature

Starved for Nature
www.GrowFoodCalgary.com

By Chelsie Anderson

In the 1950’s children were able to identify on average 25 native plant species. Today, kids can identify 0 plant species, but up to 50 different corporate logos.

I happen to believe that this is not only true about our children, but of adults as well. Calgarians are starved for nature. We spend more time indoors in front of screens than ever and it is time to return to our roots, both figuratively and metaphorically speaking.

Learn to grow your own food and start today; “You can grow a sprout in a day, a micro green in a week, or a radish in a month” says Donna Balzer of Grow Food Calgary “and we are excited to give you the tools and knowledge to do this”.

We are not only starved for nature in this digital era, but also for healthy foods. Our bodies are depleted after years of eating not only processed foods, but also fresh foods that are minerally deficient.

“You know that hollow stemmed Broccoli that you find at grocery stores? It has a hollow stem because it is short on boron”. With farmer’s fields being striped of all minerals, our food is more and more deficient.

In the 1950’s we got the same amount of nutrition from one peach as we do from 9 peaches today. We need to eat more, to gain the same amount of minerals; its no wonder obesity is becoming an epidemic.

Learn to grow your own food in the amazing soil that exists in Calgary backyards. When glaciers receded, Calgary was left with rich mineral deposits. When we grow food using this amazing soil, our food absorbs these minerals and passes them back to us.

Grow Food Calgary is a six session program that teaches new gardeners the skills and techniques needed to ensure Calgarians have success with their edible gardens this year. Grow Food Calgary will have the top local experts, including Donna Balzer, Mike Dorian and Lyndon Penner. The will teach the how to’s of edible gardening, and do live demonstrations for participants to soak in, growing their knowledge, and also this community of engaged, health conscious Calgarians.

Come alive and get your hands dirty with Donna Balzer and Chelsie Anderson, of Chelsie’s Garden Soil-utions this year, starting in April! Tickets are now available on growfoodcalgary.com

Homegrown Taste

Why does homegrown food taste better than commercial produce?

Broccoli from Donna’s Garden
www.GrowFoodCalgary.com

 

Answer: minerals, vitamins, antioxidants. They come from soil.

Much of our farmland is sick after years of synthetic fertilizers that kill the natural organisms that convert soil components into nutrition.

For decades all we’ve put back is N-P-K, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium only. Not selenium, or zinc, for example, nor do we add organic matter which help make these micronutrients available.

It’s like humans, eating protein, fat, and carbs, without any fibre, vitamins, minerals or other nutrients. We’d soon be dead!

Much of the food grown in these dead conditions tastes like nothing.

How do I learn how to grow my own food?

Gardening is not rocket science. But it IS science. At GrowFoodCalgary, we’re assembling gardening experts to teach you how to grow your own food. Now! We will guide you step by step so you can grow food in 2017. Join Us!

Beds and Composter
www.GrwoFoodCalgary.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids and Gardens

My kids don’t eat vegetables so why would I bother with a garden?

Kids that dig around in the soil, plant seeds, weed and water plants love to eat the food they have grown. The more veggies kids eat, the healthier they are and the healthier choices they make.

Our society has it backwards. We start children on processed food and we struggle to teach them to eat real food.

Give your kids a patch of garden of their own. They’ll eat vegetables.

Five-year-old Granddaughter with a salad from her garden.
www.GrowFoodCalgary.com

How do you teach a child to garden if you don’t know how?

Come to GrowFood Calgary where our expert gardeners will teach you how to grow your own food. You can share time in the garden with your children and be enjoying  your own produce all summer!