Published on January 6th, 2014 | by Guest Contributor
Grow your Own Organic Foods!
Most good grocers and supermarkets stock organic produce, but if you’re looking to integrate more organic foods into your diet – perhaps as part of a New Year health kick or an effort to go green – you should consider growing your own organic fruits and vegetables.
The first thing to determine is where you will plant. If you’re not exactly green-thumbed, it’s a good idea to start small: a modestly sized area in your back yard or a small garden plot is adequate. Those without access to outdoor space could apply for an allotment from their local authority (in the UK), or look into community garden spaces (in the US). You can also work with local private landowners to work out mutually beneficial partnerships.
One of the most important things is to ensure you have good soil to plant in. Getting a soil test comes highly recommended, as this will help you identify and combat issues such as lead contamination. Find an accredited laboratory on the Environment Agency website. You can also do home soil tests or check with your local university extension agents to learn more about local conditions. Once you have the results, you may need to make adjustments to your soil to improve the pH or provide the necessary nutrients. Compost Direct sells a variety of organic gardening amendments, from garden lime to high-quality compost, all from certified organic producers.
Making your own fertilizer in the form of nutrient rich compost is the most environmentally-friendly option, so get the process started. Learn some compost basics here and learn how to build a compost pile here. You can also build your own compost bin, but those not yet confident in their DIY skills can simply purchase one premade. You can then recycle garden and food waste to make your compost – Recycle Now has more information. Other options include using worm compost, and for the totally self-assured, learn to use composting toilets.
You can now choose what to plant in your organic garden. Choose your favorite vegetables and fruits, things that you know you will enjoy for the long term, and when you have lots of it! Some of the easiest things to grow include beetroot, lettuce and peas, but you should make your selection according to the season and environment. Choose organic seeds from reputable dealers or look into the university or local seed savers groups to find regionally specific varieties. you use organically grown seeds. To keep your organic vegetables happy, choose organic pest control methods. There are dozens to choose from: companion planting, beneficial insects, row covers, and even plain old soap and water will help keep the pests at bay while keeping your plants happy and your family healthy.
Wintertime is the perfect time to be browsing seed catalogs and dreaming of your springtime garden. Get ready for the best year of eating yet!
Green Living Ideas would like to thank Compost Direct for sponsoring this post.