On the homefront: Soil

From the ground up Soil: a growing medium What is soil? Soil is made up of number of components such as decayed & organic matter, (which makes composting/humus), mineral & rock particles, is one of the most important elements for achieving success in the garden.  Of course, other elements such as location, water, sunlight and maintenance are also important for gardening success. Living organisms, although microscopic, work hard beneath the ground to enrich the soil producing a high quality medium for planting.  One such organism is the Earthworm, which as they burrow, they consume soil, extracting nutrients from decomposing organic matter like leaves and roots. Earthworms are vital to soil health because they transport nutrients and minerals from below to the surface via their waste, and their tunnels aerate the ground. An earthworm can eat up to one third its body weight in a day (1). Other contributing factors for quality soil is air and water. Earthworms are the most easily recognized soil organism and are viewed as a sign of soil health. New no-tillers eagerly document the increase in worm numbers as a sign of improving soil health — and they are right to make that assumption. In fact, worms are often studied as an “indicator species” for monitoring changes in soil quality(2). Types of soils: Sandy soil is made up of large particles, which allow water to drains quickly and can often take valuable nutrients with it. Clay soil is composed of very small particles,have the ability to hold water and nutrients but air cannot penetrate between these spaces, especially when they are filled with water. Poor...

Food Garden stories

When it comes to gardening, there is so much to learn from each other.  One example I learn over the years, the companion gardening technique of planting garlic around rose bushes.  I love garlic in my food and I use rose for tea, decoration and potpouri.  This technique reduced the aphids while increasing the blossoms of roses.  I also used wood chips and pots of chives. One aspect that is helpful is to tell us where you are growing and how you are using your harvests. When we share with each other we learn from a magniificent oasis of wisdom, while making connections to real people who have learnt through doing and care enough to let others use their experiences, that’s building community. Sharing gardening stories inspires and helps others who are also passionate about growing their own fruits and vegetables.   Topics such as: – planting techniques –  saving water – types of containers – support frames, – pollinators & bugs – equipment – materials – saving seeds – pruning – organic & natural growing techniques – traditional...