Saturday, March 7, 2015

Extreme Composting

Any one who knows me or has heard me give talks on gardening, knows I'm passionate about compost (wrote 2 blogs on the subject in 2011).

What has got me on to this post is the mention  of the build up of compost in bags on the back deck of homes, because no one can get to their compost bins or piles or the use of snowshoes to get to the compost pile on the NSAGC Facebook page.  This is the first year, I have ever had to resort to snowshoes to dump the compost.

And thank goodness for snowshoes, I did not feel like hip wading through 4-5' of snow. We just purchased 2 pair this year, I did not know how much fun they are.  I had an old type made of wood, but found them too big and clunky.  These are perfect.

Of course the compost piles up under the counter, mostly coffee and vegetable peelings, but it has to go.  I don't use my Municipality's green cart. What I can put in my own compost I can; scraps (bones, bits of meat) - the dog gets, old bread - the crows. I don't waste food, I try to find a use for it before it goes bad (freeze it for later) or just don't buy what you don't need.

It's a long trek to the compost down below the vegetable garden, beside the wood shed. Doesn't seem that far when there is no snow.

But I'm ready.

And the snow is relatively firm after all this cold weather, but I know if it wasn't for the snow shoes, I would have a much more difficult time.

The bin on the left is finished compost for this coming year.

All the bins are 5' in height.  There is plenty of snow around.

Well that job's done. There have been several treks to the piles but it is all worth it. This compost goes in my vegetable garden because I know what I put in it.

As I write, it is snowing again.  Will it ever stop??

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Family Gardening

Hi, it has been awhile. 

I obsess way too much about what to write and finding the perfect pictures.

I know, write what you know.

This weekend, myself and fellow gardener Lana Blos  (under the direction of Susan Corning) is giving a talk at Seedy Saturday at the Truro Farmer's Market on Family Gardening.  How to encourage families to garden together.

There has been a great serge in interest in urban/suburban vegetable gardening.  It is actually quite easy to tuck a few veg plants here and there among the planters on the deck or the flowers in the garden even if space is limited. Many vegetables are easily suited for container such as tomatoes, peppers, greens and herbs and may companies are producing seed specifically for containers and planters. I know two people whom grew squash in a large container with a trellis and had very good results.

When gardening with your children, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages

They learn how to design, planning, planting, maintaining, harvesting and sharing skills.
They learn about science, become environmentally aware, understanding the interactions of nature and how it works, how insects pollinate, how a seed grows, understanding that sun and rain makes things grow and there needs to be balance.

The idea that you put a tiny seed in the ground and in a few months you have carrots, tomatoes, flowers.

They have exposure to healthy food, actually knowing what a vegetable looks like and how it grows and just doesn't everything taste better when you grow it yourself.  Children are more likely to eat them it they grow it themselves.

We are learning more all the time about how important fruits and vegetables really are to our diet.  There have been many studies indicating this.  There are also studies suggesting that gardening when young increases the exposure to pathogens that help build up our immune systems to help us fight off chronic diseases and mental problems when we are older.

There can not possibly be any disadvantages.  Can there?

Maybe one.

They are going to get dirty.