Sunday, July 25, 2010

Organic Gardening and Lawncare Working Well Here

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(c) Carrie Boyko
Container-Grown Basil has Jumped Ship
 and Taken Root in the Ground Also
My tomato crop is just about spent for this summer. With every day in the upper 90s, no self-respecting tomato can survive. I have managed to help a few pull through by placing a large length of window screen over them. This helped with scavenging deer also; they enjoy nibbling at the fruit as they pass through our neighborhood during the night.

My Basil is a whole different story. As expensive as this stuff is to buy fresh in the grocery store, it's surprising that I can't give it all away. I've let neighbors know, told friends, and still I've got more than we can eat. I probably use basil three times a week, in large quantities. Suffice it to say, I have a ton of the stuff.

We've been enjoying caprese, bruschetta, roasted chicken, and much more, on a regular basis. I add it to pizzas, sauces, soups, and just about everything I can think of. And I still have a garden full, and it continues to pop up all over my nearby areas. It's like a weed!

A few days ago, while mentioning this 'problem' to a friend, she asked how I was growing it. I told her about my organic approach, and that I had started the seeds in organic compost. She looked at me quizzically and I quickly knew I had lost her.

Starting from square one, I explained about rooting vegetables from seeds, making compost, the benefits of compost, and why my Basil is so healthy. We also talked about pest control, or more accurately, the lack of it. She was shocked, baffled that it is so easy to grow premium Basil that sells in the store at $4 for a small package. 

I explained that one of the primary reasons I chose to grow Basil and Tomatoes is their excessive cost, especially when we eat so much of them. To bad I can't successfully grow Broccoli here. We eat it 5 times a week.

So, what's my message? It's compost. This stuff is the healthiest, best way you can grow vigorous flowers, vegetables and houseplants.  What's more it helps the soil hold moisture, so you won't have to irrigate as often. Want to try it? Here's some articles to get you started:

Friday, July 16, 2010

Organic Journey Online Named to Top 30 Organic Blogs

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Top Organic Blog
Online Nursing Degree

Partnering with Awarding the Web, a group of online nursing schools have researched and analyzed feedback to present the Top 30 Organic Blogs with the above award. Thanks to all of you who read my blog. This award really belongs to you for supporting my efforts.

Move to Bamboo for All-Natural, Sustainable Linens

photo courtesy Amazon
Gaia Offers a Wide Variety of 

Natural Home Linens

Given the serious concerns over toxins in conventional cotton, cotton producers are scrambling to get more organic cotton on the market. Their timing is bad, though. With the economy in the toilet, many buyers are not ready, just now, to spend the extra bucks for organic cotton. It's simply too expensive.

Cotton, being a difficult crop to grow organically, is a very costly way to go, when looking for all-natural sleeping digs. Yet, knowing that cotton retains the pesticides that are sprayed on it during growth, it makes me squeamish just to think about sleeping on it. What are the options?

Your best way to go is bamboo. It is generally less costly, more Eco-friendly, and because of it's naturally easy-to-grow, drought and pest resistant nature, it is cheaper to produce.

Even non-organic Bamboo is less toxic, because it requires little or no chemicals to produce. What's more, Bamboo has anti-microbial properties, an added benefit when you're spending so many hours hunkering down on it. Just one caveat: 

If you decide to go this route, keep in mind to consider the brands that are made with all-natural colors, rather than petroleum based dyes. As long as you're looking out for your long term health, you might as well go that extra mile. You can also read a bit more about pesticides in cotton over at New Kid on the Green Block. Enjoy the journey!
© copyright Carrie Boyko, all rights reserved

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rooftop Organic Gardening Takes off in the Big Apple

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While gardening on the rooftops of skyscrapers is no new concept, running a business in this venue certainly is. The Eagle Street Rooftop Farm is more than a farm that supplies local restaurants. They also operate a CSA (community supported agriculture) operation on top of their warehouse location, offering the opportunity for citizens wishing to exercise their green thumbs, a place to do it. The Eagle Street Farm Market is open 10-4 on Sundays during the NYC growing season.

 They frequently host movies such as the recent presentation of What's Organic About Organic, offering answers to questions about the process, policing and management of organic farming.The Unfancy Food Show offers a wide variety of organic produce, as well as an urban environment in which to learn about the art of gardening.

Wish I were closer--sounds like loads of fun. Anybody out there visited this place? I'd love to hear more.

© copyright Carrie Boyko, all rights reserved
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