Grow an abundance of fresh organic vegetables, without all the problems and at a low cost!
Wouldn't it be wonderful if growing tomatoes, potatoes, and all kind of veggies could be done with minimal work and cost, and no chemicals?
The good news is that, despite what you can read or hear everywhere, growing vegetables this way is absolutely possible. But for this to happen, you will have to forget about horticulture, and turn to ecology. You see, the problem with horticulture is that it is problem-focused. Have you noticed that gardening books are filled with ways to fix problems? People seem to love creating problems where problems don't need to exist. Well, it doesn't have to be that way!
The study of natural ecosystems reveals everything we need to know about growing vegetables and food. After all, Mother Nature has been doing it this way for millions of years.
From the results many people are getting using this philosophy, I can say, with absolute certainty, that this is the way we will be producing food in the future. It's just commonsense. Why wouldn't the world want to use a method that produces many times more food with a fraction of the effort? The biggest challenge is convincing traditional gardeners. Like many industries, the gardening industry gets stuck in doing things a certain way. And for many dedicated veterans, it can actually be quite threatening when an embarrassingly simple solution comes along.And that's exactly what this gardening philosophy is - EMBARRASSINGLY SIMPLE. This natural and simple method has been developed by Jonathan White, a respected environmental scientist and horticulturalist. Growing vegetables seems so easy when you see his own garden giving incredible yields. Check for yourself in the picture below:
You must be wondering: that must represent a ton of work! The fact is, all the people who have followed his method have been able to set up their garden with only 8 hours of work per year! And this is done without using the harmful chemicals which are so commonly used by traditional gardeners.
Let him explain in his own words:
Jonathan has decided to share his method and his deep knowledge of organic gardening in what is probably one of the best gardening books ever written! And if you prefer to watch videos and directly listen to his advice, the package also includes high quality videos showing in great details how to set up your garden.
And the best of all is that this incredibly valuable package is now really affordable, thanks to the current special offer. I can't say how long he will be willing to maintain this bargain price, but it may end very soon! With a one-time fee of only $39.97 for the complete package (book+DVD quality videos), do not miss this opportunity. Growing vegetables has never been easier!
vendredi 25 juin 2010
First, decide if you want to make your compost in a dedicated bin, or just make a compost pile in a corner of your garden. Bins have the advantage of keeping the materials in a confined space, in addition to being more esthetic for most people. Some bins have also built-in systems to turn the compost and allow for a better circulation of air. If you don't want to spend on a bin - which may be a bit expensive for some models - you can just make a pile. In this case, it should be at least one square meter large, and you should be careful putting large chunks of material - such as branches - at the base of the pile to allow for air circulation and evacuation of excess moisture. Air circulation is crucial for the success of your composting, as it is air which fuels the aerobic microorganisms responsible for the breakdown process in composting. Excess moisture is bad also for the same reason, and will promote undesirable anaerobic organisms.
The compost pile should then be made of food scraps (except all animal scraps such as meat, bone or fat), vegetable peels and waste, egg shells, rotten fruits and vegetables, grass clippings and leaves, coffee and tea grounds, shredded papers, and manure (from herbivorous animals) if you have access to it. The important thing is to not have large clumps of a single type of material, but rather a succession of layers with different materials. If a piece is too large, try to reduce it in smaller pieces, for instance by shredding your papers. Then, the best is to alternate "hot" and "cold" materials. Hot materials are basically fresh materials - kitchen scraps, fresh vegetable peels, fresh grass clippings... - while cold materials have already been transformed in some way - like papers, dry grass clippings, etc.
Your compost pile should start to warm up after 24 hours, as a result of microorganism activity. Remember that this is an "aerobic" process, fueled by oxygen. Your compost pile should therefore be aerated, and not look like a pile of compacted garbage and moisture like what you have in usual trash bins. The heating will increase activity, until temperature stabilizes. This is the gauge of the process, and if it starts cooling down, it means that something is wrong. Check previous recommendations to find the problem.
Once a week, rotate the pile in order to homogenize the content and ensure that all parts are being broken down. The compost is ready when all the content is nearly homogenous and no longer identifiable. It usually takes between 4 and 8 weeks, depending on the quality of the initial material and on the conditions. Then you can use it freely for growing vegetables in your garden, which should eliminate the need for any chemical fertilizer.
Photo by Watt Dabney
jeudi 24 juin 2010
As you can see it is really simple. For the ones who were afraid to transform their backyard into a trash bin, you see that a compost pile is completely different from a usual garbage pile, which is something we do not want. In the next post, I will explain in more details what to put in your compost and how. Stay tuned!
lundi 21 juin 2010
We should have a completely different way of looking at compost. Composting is a way of building valuable nutrients that will, one day, feed you and your family. Growing vegetables using compost is the best way to create a whole food production system. Creating compost allows to collect nutrients in one form (waste), and to turn them into another form (food).
In a sense, it is a way of keeping the nutrients within your property so that you can capitalize on them. By doing this, you are able to use the nutrients again, so that you don’t have to buy them for a second time. Surely, that’s going to save you money. It may seem strange to think of nutrients in this way when we can’t even physically see them. However, all organic materials contain nutrients. The goal is to get those nutrients out of the form they are in and into a form that is useful to you.
To achieve this, the size of your vegetable garden should be determined by how much compost you can create, and not merely by the amount of space you have in your backyard. Growing vegetables in a rich, high yielding garden requires some sort of soil conditioning plan, and the best thing for your soil is a generous layer of good compost on the surface a few times per year.
Most gardening books will praise compost, but often as an adjunct and not as part of a complete self-sustainable system. But the truth is that if you can create your own compost from the organic waste that you generate in your everyday life, then you can have a vegetable garden that is self-sustainable. Once it is set up, it will never need nutrients in the form of store-bought fertilizers. You will have established a flow of nutrients, and your nutrient-store will grow bigger and bigger, year after year. Applying compost to your garden will have a very positive effect on your soil structure and fertility. You will be able to grow vegetables which contain all the essential nutrients in the correct proportions, giving your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to function at its best.
Composting is very easy once you make it part of your everyday life. A small container on your kitchen bench to collect scraps and a daily trip to the compost bin is all it takes. It’s a small effort for huge rewards. The golden rule in making compost is never to have large clumps of a single type of material. Thin layers of hot and cold materials work best. Cold materials include leaves, shredded newspaper and dried grass clippings. Hot materials include fresh grass clippings, manures, weeds, discarded soft plants and kitchen scraps.
If you make composting part of you daily routine, along with an effective method of growing vegetables, you can literally save thousands of dollars per year. This is possible simply because you won’t have to keep buying nutrients over and over. You will buy them once, hold onto them and then convert them into useful forms again and again. It’s that simple!
Photo by Anne Norman
samedi 19 juin 2010
But hold on! Growing tomatoes can also be really simple and ecological, if you use the right method. In this exciting video, Jonathan White, author of the Food4Wealth method, tells you how easy and rewarding growing tomatoes can be:
Now, if growing tomatoes this way appeals to you (and it certainly appeals to me!), there is currently a special offer on his Food4Wealth method. In this method, you will find everything you need to know to grow tomatoes the way you see in the video, and also many other vegetables.
vendredi 18 juin 2010
I love sitting on my patio with a good drink - usually a good wine - and just enjoying the landscape in front of me. This is my cosy place, I have furnished it nicely (go to furniture patio to see some pictures), and I spend a lot of time here. Here is another of my favorites: metal patio furniture.
This is the good thing with ecological gardening: you also have more time to enjoy your garden!
jeudi 17 juin 2010
As years progress, they lead to life threatening diseases and even cancer a reason why they are "cumulative poisons". In fact studies over the last few years have proved that as polluting chemicals have built up in the environment they have even invaded the most natural and safest of all sources of nourishment-mother's milk. More than 350 man made pollutants have been identified in the breast milk of women in UK. Pesticide residues, poison mother's milk and have adverse effects on the baby's immune system.
The plight is that besides bans on harmful pesticides, they are still used extensively by farmers and agriculturists; consumed by us unnoticed. India is the largest manufacturer of chemical pesticides among South Asian and African nations. A number of research studies have found higher instances of brain cancer, leukemia and birth defects in children with early exposure to pesticides, according to National Resources Defence Council.
A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, discovered a 70% increase in the risk of developing Parkinson's disease for people exposed to even low levels of pesticides. WHO estimates over a million pesticide-poisoning cases and 20, 000 deaths every year globally. The indiscriminate use of fertilisers and plant protective chemicals to increase yields and save crops from pets and diseases, no doubt, has escalated food production, created food security but has also resulted in a number of health hazards. Further, it has deteriorated the agro-ecosystem badly. This situation has spelled the need to switch over to organic farming to cultivate valuable crops for healthy and safer foods.
Organic food is grown without pesticides and chemical inputs. Organic is not a "product" rather it is a "process". Organic farming significantly reduces external inputs by avoiding the use of chemo-synthetic fertilisers, pesticides and pharmaceuticals. Instead it works with nature and natural systems to increase both agricultural yields and disease resistance. It builds healthy soil and prevents chemicals from entering into earth and water. It helps in protecting top soil, water and air.
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Photo by Simon Howden
mercredi 16 juin 2010
Then we are told to plant green manure crops, add inorganic fertilizers and chemicals to adjust imbalanced soils. It takes a lot of time, dedication and a year-round commitment to grow your own food the traditional way. But does growing vegetables really need to be that difficult?
Let me ask you this question. Does a forest need to think how to grow? Does its soil need to be turned every season? Does someone come along every so often and plant seeds or take pH tests? Does it get weeded or sprayed with toxic chemicals? Of course not!
However this is the way most gardeners do. For instance, let’s take a look at a common traditional gardening practice and I will show you how a single problem can escalate into a whole host of problems.
Imagine a traditional vegetable garden, planted with rows of various vegetables. There are fairly large bare patches between the vegetables. To a traditional gardener, a bare patch is just a bare patch. But to an ecologist, a bare patch is an empty niche space. An empty niche space is simply an invitation for new life forms to take up residency. That’s what a weed is in ecological terms - a niche space filler. Weeds are very good colonizing plants. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be called weeds.
Now back to our story. Weeds will grow in the empty niche spaces. Quite often there are too many weeds to pick out individually, so the traditional gardener uses a hoe to turn them into the soil. I have read in many gardening books, even organic gardening books, that your hoe is your best friend. So the message we are getting is that using a hoe is the solution to a problem.
However, I would like to show you how using a hoe actually creates a new set of problems. Firstly, turning soil excites weed seeds, creating a new explosion of weeds. And secondly, turning soil upsets the soil ecology. The top layer of soil is generally dry and structureless. By turning it, you are placing deeper structured soil on the surface and putting the structureless soil underneath. Over time, the band of structureless soil widens. Structureless soil has far less moisture holding capacity, so the garden now needs more water to keep the plants alive.
Fortunately, there is a solution! We must use a technique that combines pest ecology, plant ecology, soil ecology and crop management into a method that addresses the causes of these problems.
Jonathan White, an environmental scientist has been testing an ecologically-based method of growing vegetables and food for several years. This method uses zero tillage, zero chemicals, has minimal weeds and requires a fraction of the physical attention (when compared to traditional vegetable gardening). It also produces several times more, per given area, and provides food every single day of the year.
I have no doubt that this is the way we will be growing vegetables and food in the future. It’s just commonsense. Why wouldn’t we use a method that produces many times more food with a fraction of the effort? I know it will take a little while to convince people that growing vegetables is actually very instinctual and straightforward, but with persistence and proper explanation, people will embrace this method.
Why? Because sanity always prevails…
Click Here to discover Jonathan's gardening method