Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Growing with Heirlooms

  • In gardening and agriculture, an heirloom plant is an open-pollinated cultivar that was commonly grown long ago, but has been largely supplanted in modern times by hybrid seed.

    Vegetables and fruits that have been grown for decades and passed down from generation to generation have come to be known as Heirlooms or heirloom varieties.
    Some experts say that a seed needs to be a least 50 years old to be considered an heirloom. Others believe a seed can not be called an Heirloom unless it is 100 years old or more.
    Heirloom plants open-pollinate, which means they are able to reproduce themselves through their seeds, unlike hybrids, which will not yield the same plant from a seed grown from their fruit.
    Heirlooms are evolution at its best, as gardeners saved the seeds of their best-tasting and most healthy plants to plant in next year’s garden, allowing the plant to adapt to the region, micro-climate, and pests.
    Without the diversity of heirloom plants, with their unique evolutionary characteristics and resistances to diseases and pests, today’s crops—which rely on these varieties to breed resistance into modern crops—are at risk for infestations and epidemics.
      The movement to preserve heirloom cultivars has been with us since the 1970s, with non-profit organizations, university agricultural programs and seed manufacturers, as well as small-scale farmers and home gardeners, recognizing the value of keeping a little piece of our heritage alive through cultivating heirloom seeds.
      It may prove difficult to find Heirloom varieties in your local grocer or farmers' market. And if you do you will probably pay more as it is more difficult to grow and ship these products commercially. But to grow these precious commodities in our own gardens, while they might prove more challenging, is worth the effort. The hybrids, while widely available, have been bred for certain characteristics at the expense of many of the desirable attributes of the heirloom.
      I encourage you to try your hand at growing heirlooms, and start your own tradition of seed saving to pass on down to your own future generation of gardeners.
      To your 2007 garden,

      Sunday, January 28, 2007

      Getting a Head Start on the Garden

      Starting early when you live up North is sometimes the only answer to getting a good harvest.

      When you work so hard all season weeding, watering, feeding and staying on the look out for pests and disease, how disheartening is it for you to only get a handful of produce for your efforts?

      Put a little more effort into getting an early start and your efforts will be rewarded many times over.

      MML Brand

      The gardening season is just around the corner and the best way to get a
      jump on the season

      is to start indoors. Get those seeds started while Ol' Man Winter
      is still raging and you'll be

      way ahead of the pack.

      Gardener's Supply Company - Free Shipping on orders of $55 or more >>

      Rev your engines for a speedy start on the gardening season.

      You can get some of your best Organic supplies right here!

      For all the extras that you won't find on my site, I love to shop at Gardener's Supply. And with free shipping on orders of $55 or more, you just can't beat that.

      My newsletter, Market Monthly News is just about ready to start this years publication. I will be sharing with you, step by step what I do to get an early start and achieve success in my garden. Go here to subscribe.

      The catalogs are coming in. If they aren't coming for you please send me a message via my form here on this blog and I will share resources with you to help you get some of the best catalogs available for organic sources for seeds and supplies.

      May the sun shine bright on your gardens,


      Tuesday, January 16, 2007

      Update on Organic Pesticides

      Wow, I just got an email from one of my very favorite places to shop for gardening supplies. I have been shopping with this catalog garden supplier ever since I got serious with my gardening, and especially serious about organic gardening.

      Remember my post, just a couple posts ago about Pharm Pesticides. Well, my favorite place to shop just sent me an email about these products. It read like this:

      Easy Organics: No Mixing & No Mess!

      And guess what they were talking about? That's right!



      If Gardener's Supply
      is selling this in their catalog,
      it's been tried and tested.
      And it works!

      Now I haven't had the chance to give this stuff a try, because right now we're in the middle of winter, and there's no gardening going on right now. We're just trying to stay warm, me and the worms. But you can be sure, with the first bud swell outside, I'll be ordering some.

      Click the pic and let me know what you think.

      And Happy Organic

      Mother Earth's Farm / VermiCulture Northwest

      Thursday, January 04, 2007

      The Proof is in the Banana!

      In 1992, the Rainforest Alliance sent Chiquita a list of demands - Stop poisoning the environment and the banana farmers with the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.

      Dave McLaughlin, general manager of Chiquita's Costa Rican branch, decided to listen. He started by cultivating only two plantations using environmentally friendly methods. The experiment ended up being so successful, Chiquita implemented the changes company-wide. The company spent $20 million to introduce less-toxic pesticides, recycle all plastic bags, improve the working conditions for the farmers and build homes and schools for employees.

      The results speak for themselves. It is now more than 10 years later, and all 110 Chiquita plantations in South america have the Rainforest Alliance stamp of approval. What's more, Chiquita is saving a staggering $5 million a year on pesticides and production has increased 27 percent. Source: ODE Magazine (Dec. 2006)

      Organic methods do work. And if you understand the biology of organic, if you educate yourself about the health of your soil, you will understand the why and the how.

      Click on this book and buy it! It is your key to understanding the how and why of the health of your soil.

      Chemicals kill the health of your soil. Organic is about more than just not using chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. It's about replenishing and re-establishing a healthy soil food web.


      Organic bananas are one of the more affordable organic products available. I feel good about feeding them to my son.

      This healthy young man is my son, Keven.

      And I feel the same when I serve the nutritious, organic food I grow in my own garden. Not only because I am doing good for my family, but I'm also doing good for their environment.

      Respect your soil,

      MotherEarth'sFarm / VermiCultureNorthwest
      Where good things come from for the body and soil.