Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Making your own mulch from recycled yard waste, etc.

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

By Catherine Haug, July 8, 2017

Today’s Daily Inter Lake featured an article, How do  you make your own mulch? by Paul Pogue for Angie’s list (1). He breaks it down to 5 steps:

  1. Choose your mulch source from: leaves, pine or fir needles, yard clippings, bark, and branches or other wood trimmings, straw, shredded newspaper, and compost. pay attention to the season: B yard trimmings and compost are excellent for summer mulch; bark is especially nutrient-rich, and along with pine needles and straw are best for winter. pCat’s note: I save the composted fir needles from my gutters to mulch my raspberry bed; raspberries like a slightly acidic soil and fir needles are acidic.]
  2. Collect your materials into piles; if using a compost pile, maintain it by keeping it relatively moist. He also advises turning it regularly, but that is a highly debated issue. When it’s ready, it should be humbly and dark brown with an earthy odor. [Cat’s note: See my 2009 posting: What makes your compost tick?]
  3. Convert the materials: use your lawnmower to cut up a pile of leaves; use a small wood chipper to turn bark, branches and other wood trimmings into tiny pieces.[Cat’s note: shred newspapers with your paper shredder, or tear them into shreds manually.]
  4. Prepare the ground: remove old mulch to your compost pile. Weed the area carefully (mulch will help existing weeds to grow – just what you don’t want).
  5. Spread the mulch: generally about 2″ thick works well. Even it out with a rake, leaving a small ‘well’ of shallower mulch around the base of plants.

Read on for more about mulching. (more…)

Summer Classes and more, with Kathie Lapcevic

Friday, July 7th, 2017

Veggie Landscape Garden

by Catherine Haug, July 6, 2017 (Photo, right, from Dr. Mercola’s website (3))

Kathie is offering a home-canning class at FVCC, and something new: an e-course on ‘Savoring Summer Fun. Read on for more details from Kathie’s newsletter.

Also included in this post are the following from Kathie:

  • Useful Plants in the Flathead in July: chickweed, red clover, white clover, and yarrow;
  • Local Preserving Information: Beets, cherries, berries and zucchini

and from Mercola, on growing broccoli, and growing cilantro.
(more…)

Seedling Sales and Summer Classes with Kathie Lapcevic

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Seedlings

By Catherine Haug, May 16, 2017 (Photo, right, by Don Bates)

The following is from Kathie. You many remember her from several of our gatherings:

Read on for information from Kathie about her Seedling Sales, and her Canning Classes at FVCC: (more…)

Regeneration: How to Feed the World and Cool the Planet

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Dryland Farming – Palouse Hills

By Catherine Haug, May 3, 2017 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

I’ve written several articles in the last year about Regeneration – an Organic method of healing our soils for better quality food production, and to reduce the damage caused by severe erosion. (see also list at bottom of this posting). But did you know that it can also help to resolve the climate crisis?

Regeneration International (RI) brought this important message to the People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C. on April 3, 2017:

The climate crisis won’t be solved through emissions reduction alone. If we want to reverse climate change, we must also regenerate the world’s soils and better manage local water cycles. … These experts explain how our ability to feed the world and cool the planet depends on how we care for the soil.

Read on to see the short videos from the January 11, 2017 summit, “How to Feed the World and Cool the Planet: Soil Is the Solution” I also include an hour-long video from Fair World Project, “Grow Ahead,” and a list of other articles on this site about regeneration of our soils. (more…)

A healthy – and healthful – garden/landscape

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

Veggie Landscape Garden

By Catherine Haug, Jan 21, 2017 (photo, right, from Mercola (2))

I am viewing the online docu-series: The Truth About Cancer, by Ty Bollinger, and I’m picking up on a few of garden/landscape tips that yield healthy plants and a healthier you when you eat them.

One of the things I’ve learned from this series is that cancer cells have more insulin receptors (that initiate take-up of sugar from the blood) than normal cells, and that cancer cells get their energy (life) from only two sources: sugar and glutamine (amino acid). So if you want to protect yourself from cancer or slow tumor growth, avoid sugar.

However, that doesn’t mean to avoid whole-food sources of sugar such as fruits and vegetables, because in whole-food form, the sugar is part of a larger matrix of fiber, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals that protect you. (Caveat #1: fruit juices don’t provide this protection because the matrix is broken, so eat your fruits whole; caveat #2: those fruits and veggies should be organically grown for maximum benefit).

But I digress. The purpose of this posting is to collect gardening and landscaping tips. I will update this posting as I learn more. (more…)

GMO news: It only gets worse

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016
Frankenfood

Frankenfood

By Catherine Haug, Oct 5, 2016 (image, right, from Organic Consumers Association, used with permission)

With GMOs, it only gets worse by the day.

  • First, Congress passes a sham GMO labeling law that becomes law; see my article from July 30: Pres. Obama signed the Dark Act (faulty GMO-labeling law). It allows QR codes or 800 numbers to substitute for words on the label that would indicate the product contains GMOs. See my December 2015 post, QR code’ to label GMO foods? for more.
  • Then there’s a new version of GMOs (1) that will likely not be covered by the new law (i.e., they won’t require labeling) because the don’t insert genes from another species but rather manipulate the native gene, such as by turning the gene off. Examples of this new GMO: GMO apples and potatoes that won’t turn brown when you cut them. Because the genetic modification suppresses the gene for a key immune-system enzyme, it increases the chance the apple can be infected with bacterial or fungal disease, which in turn can result in toxicity issues when the apple is consumed.See my post GMO Apples for more.
  • And now, new evidence that GMOs have spread around the world and can even cross-pollinate with non-GMO plants to produce 100% GMO seeds – even with Organic crops, so that we can no longer trust the Organic label. That is, Organic seeds are GMO-contaminated and will produce GMO plants even if they are grown Organically. Franken-Broccoli is a perfect example (2, 4).

Say what?

Yes, you read that right. It’s downright scary. What can you do? For starters, you can take action on the last issue by signing a petition telling the USDA to stop ignoring GM cross-contamination (3). And you can hope/pray that a test is developed to determine if a seed contains GMO genes. Read on for more about Franken-broccoli. (more…)