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Posts Tagged ‘Organic horticulture’


Monday, February 13, 2012

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Well .. Sunday was a kind of lazy day.  It was time to zip off to Dakota Cafe for early breakfast .. the day was overcast and when we arrived at the Cafe, we found out that we’d just missed a full house .. so it was very quiet and relaxing while we were there.

On our return journey home, we noticed some hawks sitting on some lamp posts …  which reminds me that I’d seen some Red Tails at the airport a few weeks ago!

Sunday was really a lazy day.  There were so many things that I could have done … if I had the desire to do so.  Ennui won out.  I know for certain that when the energy arrives, I can clean the house from top to bottom.  Organize the recycling in an amazing manner.

However, Sunday just wasn’t one of those days.

So I wandered outside … checking on the growth of the garlic.  Imagining where I’ll install the pallet composter.  Where I will move the 3 cylinder type composters .. the type that don’t heat up enough.  Oh, wow… the things that I learned in Saturday’s compost session.   My head is still reeling.

A good pal and I are heading out on Wednesday to gather some kelp and seaweed.   I’ve made enquiries for fresh wood chips (the thin branch type, not the woody types).

My gardening world is changing, evolving, growing .. with the new (to me) information that I am learning.

No longer can I depend on my previous knowledge bank of what I thought was good for the garden.  Now…. thanks to my Organic gardening course .. I am learning the basics of what is happening in the soil beneath my feet.   And learning about the practises of big agricultural practises ..I am having second thoughts on what produce I am spending my money on.

And when I wander the aisles of supermarkets .. I am curious as to what chemicals, growth hormones, genetically modified organisms and pesticides that have been used on the vegetables, the meats and other products that I normally purchase.  Breads.  biscuits.  Pet Food.  Fruit . .especially imported fruits.

I’d previously chosen to just ignore the threat of the harmful effects of GMO’s et al .. however, this gardening course is making me look closely at what is happening in our world.

It’s good to be a knowledgeable consumer and to support local organic farmers .. they are our way of the future and I intend to support them.

🙂

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Monday, January 30, 2011

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So .. Sunday started out as an overcast, slightly rainy, chilly day .. so we headed out to Dakota Cafe for breakfast.   We were lucky enough to arrive there between the waves of crowds .. so we were able to enjoy a quiet breakfast and check out the “spot the 10 differences”  … argh … the 10th one is always the hardest.

Jen, aka “the circler” is really quick at these and is swift at finding out the differences.  Darn!  However, happily for once I was able to point out a tiny detail to her.  Victory is mine .. hee hee hee!

Outside to check on the plane .. the wing covers have soaked up quite a bit of rain .. so DH removed them and I gathered one of those wonderful Canadian Tire tarps .. the type with the heavy corded rope in the hemmed sides ..so we placed the folded wing covers in one and tightened up the cords and neat as a pin, DH carried the unit to the car .. later home and the covers are now drying out.  They need to be sprayed with scotchguard or something like that, to retain the water repellant properties.

Then it was time to go to Mother Computers and look at some suggested computers.  Our old computer was not repairable, the mother board was gone and it would have been just too problematic to repair it.  Time to march on into the future.

So we looked at a few and then decided on a computer that was built by the store, using good solid components.  They installed the hard drive (that I’d purchased last fall for my old computer) and now I have 2 internal hard drives.   Once I’ve transferred the material from hd #2 to hd#1 .. then I can erase #1 and that will be my extra storage area.

We went home and carried on with our day .. .the computer wouldn’t be ready for a few hours.

I studied my organic gardening material for a period of time.   oh, my goodness .. will all this information actually sift through to my consciousness?  I feel a little overwhelmed.  Then I calm down and I know that I can remember a large part of it.  Try to not  be so hard on myself.   Baby steps.  Little bricks in the building stage.  I will succeed!

Anyway, time passes ..and finally, it’s time to pick up the computer … we are so happy.  Take it home ..set it up .. and time to play.

Except .. I can’t find the “send” button .. where is it?  Frustrated, I give up.  Then, this morning .. I search around .. still getting used to the newness, the different way of doing things.  And I discover that I need to configure my e-mail.

I try doing just that.  Not successful.  So I contact Shaw Cable and am swiftly (within 10 minutes .. that is indeed swift!  I called at the right time!) am connected with a service rep, who calmly walks through the steps, remotes in .. .and solves my problem.

So now I have my Send button and all is right with the world.  For now, anyway.

Dh and I are happy with this new system.   Light years ahead of the old system, which was built (using cheap components as I’ve recently found out!) by another store.  We’ll stick with Mother Computers.  Cause, as we all know:  “mother knows best”  … ha ha ha

sigh.

Seriously, though, it’s a pleasure to be able to pick photos & upload them to my WordPress blog in just a few minutes, compared to the painful time-consuming length of time that it took with the old computer.

Going forward is a good thing.!

Well, that’s it for tonight.  I wanted to share some information that I’ve been learning in my Organic Master Gardening Course, but … it’s late.  Perhaps tomorrow.

🙂

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Thursday, January 26, 2011

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 I actually saw sunshine this morning!   I was typing away in the kitchen, using my sloooooow Toshiba laptop (my desktop computer is still shutting off and on) .. and suddenly, clear as a bell .. (where did that phrase originate anyway?) .. I saw the dust on my keyboard!  Another good reason for cloudy days .. these things just aren’t seen!

I briefly toyed with the idea of running outside to enjoy the warmth of the sun’s rays, but decided to soldier on with inside duties.   I plan to spend a few hours again going over the material presented at my first OMG class on Tuesday.

Thoughts kept running through my mind as I thought about the widespread insidious use of pesticides in food.   Things like .. were the sunflowers and seeds that I feed to the backyard birds .. were they affected?   The lettuce that I buy at the supermarket .. the apples .. the bananas .. the almonds .. were pesticides used in these foods?

Rodale’s Organic Gardening magazine, many years ago, discussed the use of banned pesticides being shipped to foreign countries.  Is that still happening?

Now that I’ve started becoming more aware of this aspect of gardening .. I appreciate even more hearing good news about gardening.  The organic kind.  And I applaud all those people who work hard to produce foods that are grown in healthy soil, without the use of artificial products of any kind.

I laud allotment gardens, neighbourhood gardens, boulevard gardens.  All of these are steps towards educating people towards the good use of the earth.  Little pockets of green ….raising awareness.  Me included.

I’ve taken just one class in this course and already my horizons have expanded tremendously.  My awareness is heightened.   And I am so incredibly energized.

When we were kids, we were fortunate to visit relatives who farmed and raised beef cattle.   I remember the stack of farming articles that were piled on tables at our aunt & uncle’s dining table.  I used to leaf through them and try to read the articles.  At the time, the words seemed rather dry and stale.  And my uncle would smile when he noticed my interest in them.  I really made an effort to derive some understanding from the articles, but I just couldn’t.

And so this somehow became my understanding of the world of horticulture when I was young.   Dry, scholarly reports and talks on food.

It was only many years later, when DH & I purchased our first home and we had a yard, that I started to feel the draw of the earth and the joy of growing things.   Our first garden was hilarious, when I look back!  We’d encourage a long row of what turned out to be weeds!  I thought the plants looked rather pretty and kept watering them.   When I showed one to a neighbour, she promptly explained that it was a weed!  So … pulled them all up.

We’d tried growing potatoes … but I’d dug them up too soon and they were green!  Then there were the really long rows of carrots and other vegetables …. too many, growing in soil that wasn’t much more than clay.

Then came the years of adding kelp, seaweed, fish heads .. oh, that was a story.  I’d gone to a fishery place close to town and collected a large pail of fish heads, as I’d begun reading Organic Gardening magazines and was learning how to replenish the soil, and fish heads were one of the suggestions.

So I lugged the covered pail home .. it was raining .. so I placed the pail in the basement for “a few minutes”.  Well, weeks later, DH was sorting out the basement, saw the pail (guess I’d forgotten to tell him about that) .. he was curious, so took off the lid.  And promptly stepped back, gagging at the horrific stench.

Uh oh.

So I was prompted to quickly “get that stinky suff” out of the house!   Oopsie.   I grabbed the pail and a shovel and outside I went to the garden.

First I dug a trench and then, when I removed the lid and poured the decomposing fish heads into that .. I was suddenly surrounded by a number of screeching seagulls that had quickly appeared overhead.

Those birds were quickly attracted to the smell!   I hurriedly covered the fish with a thick layer of earth .. then filled the pail with soapy water, to try and remove the odoriferous scent.

Now and again, we’ll laugh about that .. but at the time I was highly embarrassed.

Anyway, flash forward to the present years .. and my gardening skills have improved tremendously.  And I’m so excited to be expanding my horizons with the colourful, informative, organic worlds of gardening that I’m entering.

Well .. .time to stop tapping these keys and get going with this most lovely of days.

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