Are Organic Foods Healthier?

Tomatoes
Delicious tomatoes

Why do so many people talk so enthusiastically about organic foods? Are they really healthier than non-organic food?

Many adherents to organic foods answer that question with a resounding “Yes!” They say that the organic food has given them more energy, and they generally speaking feel more well than before they began to eat organically.

I just read an article – on http://www.givemeamotive.com – that gives some of the reasons why many gardeners have chosen to grow their fruits and vegetables organically.

According to the organic gardening enthusiasts the secret behind the organic foods is the way they’re grown and cultivated. Because the organic vegetables and fruits aren’t sprayed with chemicals you don’t get any traces of these chemicals later on when you eat the organic foods.

This also holds good when we talk about animal foods. If they animals haven’t eaten foods with chemicals, then you don’t get any traces of these chemicals if you eat their meat, eggs, milk etc.

Squash
Squash is a wonderful vegatable

Some people are still skeptical to the claims of the adherents of eating organically. These people often argue that the chemicals are necessary to reduce plant diseases and pests.

The organic gardeners, on the other hand, counter-argue that not only can they prevent and fight against plant diseases and pests without using chemicals, but in addition to that organic gardening protects the environment. Organic gardening, they argue, does a lot to make the world our children have to live in a safer and healthier place.

Best,
Anette

You Can Grow Your Garden During the Winter

Some people seem to have gotten the impression that all your gardening activities stop during the winter periods. But that’s not correct.

I just read a fine article by Faith Fernandez on how you can take care of your garden during the colder months of the year.

You Can Grow Your Garden During the Winter
You Can Grow Your Garden During the Winter

The first thing you can do is to protect your plants against cold and maybe even frost, if you live in a cold climate. But how can you do that?
One way is to heap mulch around the roots of your plants. If you have potted plants it’s a good idea to take them inside during the cold months.

But protecting your more fragile plants isn’t the only thing you can do in your garden during the winter. I know that this may come as a surprise to some people, but you can actually grow plants – vegetables and flowers – in your garden during the winter.

Of course you can’t grow just any kind of plant during the winter, but Faith Fernandez mentions such plants as broccoli, spinach, collards, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. These plants can actually be sown during the winter. And one of the advantages of doing this is that your plants are not as vulnerable against pests and plant diseases as they are if you sow them in the warmer months. Again, this may surprise many people, but to me this has given Organic Gardening a completely new perspective.

If you want to protect your plants during the winter you can also grow your plants in a greenhouse or a hothouse, if you have one. Another solution is to use raised containers that protect your vegetables and flowers against frost in the soil.

You can read Faith’s article here, if you like:
http://organicgardentip.blogspot.com/2010/09/organic-gardening-in-winter-fridays.html

Best,
Anette

A Family That Grows Their Food the Organic Way

A Family That Grows Their Food the Organic Way
A Family That Grows Their Food the Organic Way

I just read an interesting blog post about a family with six children that apparently try to live their lives the Amish way, though I’m not sure that they’re actually Amish themselves. I don’t know this family but I just found their blog – http://plainandjoyfulliving.blogspot.com – and got interested in how they grow their own vegetables and fruits by using organic gardening.

On their blog they show several nice pictures from their garden. One of them shows their beautiful and delicious looking tomatoes. They also grow raspberries, sunflowers and butternut squash. As I said above, I don’t know anything more about this family. But it’s inspiring to see how a family really make the best possible use of their organic garden and grow their own food.

Take a look on their blog if you want to see some of the pictures of the vegetables they grow in their garden – and get inspired yourself too.

Best,

Anette

Growing Beautiful Hostas in Shady Gardens

Do you have some shady areas in your garden? And have you been speculating what kind of plants to grow in these shady areas?

Steve Donnelly just wrote an article – http://www.lfpress.com/homes/2010/08/13/15014901.html – about hostas and how they can be used in gardens that don’t have a lot of sunlight. Hostas can grow with very little sunlight, they’re versatile and they look beautiful. And that’s of course just as important to a garden owner that wants his or her garden to look nice and inviting.

Besides from the shady surroundings, the hostas also thrive best in a good and nutritious and drained soil, if you want to grow really beautiful and strong plants. But in general, hostas are not demanding in any way and can grow in most places.

Even if you don’t like the hostas you’ve seen so far, you’ll almost always be able to find one that is to your liking. You see, you can choose from between 50 to 70 different hostas every year. So you’ll most likely find a sort that you like.

Little Treasure Hostas

Hostas
Beautiful hostas can grow in shady gardens

One example of a hosta is that you could maybe use in your garden are the ones called, Little Treasure. Little Treasure is a relative newcomer on the market. This hosta belongs to the dwarf hosta sort called, Little Jay. This miniature hosta has lance-shaped leaves that cream colored with green margins. Later on in the season they also become white, and the margins turn into dark green. This plant can grow about 4.7 inches (12 centimeters) in tallness.

One of the advantages Little Treasure has is that its thick leaves give it a very strong defense against slugs and snails. I think a lot of gardeners will appreciate that.

There are of course many other hostas, but Little Treasure may be interesting to many gardeners.

So, if you’d like to brighten up a shady garden, you may take a second look at hostas.

 

Best,
Anette

Hydroponics – A Method to Make Your Garden More Fruitful

Have you ever wondered if there is an alternative to organic gardening? Please don’t misunderstand me; I really like organic gardening, and I personally try to grow my garden as organically as possible. But anyhow you may have asked yourself if there are other alternatives, than organic gardening, to using chemicals and pesticides in your garden.

I just read an interesting article about exactly this question.

One of the reasons some gardeners hesitate a bit about going into organic gardening is that they find it too difficult, too expensive and time consuming. However, as more and more gardeners become interested in organic gardening it becomes easier and less expensive to grow your garden this way.

If you grow your garden hydroponically your plants get the nutrients that they require because they get them directly through water soluble mineral salts. And, as the article says, you can now get most of these nutrients in liquid form. Besides, many of them are certified organic.

These nutrients are mixed with water. And then they’re sent directly to the roots of your plants where they help them to grow healthy and big. When your plants get their nutrients this way it’s much easier for them to actually absorb them, because they’re brought directly to the roots several times daily. Thus it’s easier for your plants to get the needed nutrients. This means that they both grow faster and become more fruitful.

According to a study on tomatoes and sweet peppers that were grown hydroponically, the plants that were grown hydroponically contained up to 50 percent more vitamins than other plants.

Here is the website where I found the article:

http://www.mariettatimes.com/page/content.detail/id/528863/The-year-round-gardener–Hydroponics-offers-a-healthy-alternative-to-organics.html?nav=5149

I haven’t personally tried hydroponics, but I think it sounds interesting, and like a great way to supplement organic gardening.

Best,

Anette