Gardening

with The Helpful Gardener

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A Chemical Reaction

An interview with one of the participants in a new documenary film about dangerous lawn chemicals.

(SR) What has been the general public response to the film? How about the critics?

(PT) I think the quote from the director of the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival, where we had our official U.S. premiere and won the Independent Spirit Award, really said it best for us: "Fascinating. Enlightening. Frightening. A Chemical Reaction kept my audience rapt with attention! This film should be required viewing." Audiences are moved. The criticism has come mostly from people who haven't seen it yet. They hear that it's a film about lawn chemicals and immediately judge it to be a ho-hum bummer of a film, or this educational diatribe best viewed in a college class. It's really a human interest story about the spirit of a community. It's about the difference just one person can make. We actually invoke that great Margaret Mead quote in the film, the one about how the only real change comes from just a few people. read more

 

How to Choose and Grow Heirloom Carrots

Multicolored heirloom carrots have captured the imagination of diners. Now you too can grow these ancient carrots at home. Heirloom carrots come in a variety of colors, white, yellow, pink, purple and of course, orange.
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Growing Organic French Country Herbs

There is no reason to grow French country herbs in any other manner than organic. It’s easy and we’ll show you how to grow healthy and robust plants that are weather and pest resistant. The most common French country herbs are Winter Savory, thyme, rosemary, basil, tarragon and lavender, all simple, fragrant and delicious additions to your organic garden. And you won't have to visit Provence to enjoy them. read more

You too can Grow an Italian Herb Garden

Italy is said to have some of the best cuisine in the world and, at the heart of that cuisine are their famous herbs. Growing your own organic Italian herb garden is sure to be rewarding and delicious. Whether indoors or outdoors, as additions to your vegetable garden or on their own, Italian herbs are a delight to both grow and eat. read more

Herb Gardens

A small herb garden is an essential part of any country kitchen. But fresh, organic herbs are not just for amateur chefs and California housewives. Any city-dweller can have a fragrant window box kitchen herb garden with just a little maintenance and care. read more

Organic Heritage Vegetables

Those tomatoes, potatoes and carrots you see in the grocery all look relatively the same. The tomatoes are always red, round and shiny, and the carrots orange. These vegetables did not always look like this. There are hundreds of different varieties of these vegetables being grown around the world that you may have never even seen or heard of. read more

How to: Organic Vegetable Gardening

Creating a successful organic vegetable garden may take practice and your practice may span over several seasons. Do not become discouraged! Even one delicious homegrown tomato may make all of your work worthwhile. Organic gardening is the oldest method of cultivation, it's good for your family, and it's less expensive to do! You will find that organic vegetable gardening may become the most rewarding hobby, or lifestyle, you have ever undertaken. read more

Growing Organic Fruit Trees

The advantages to growing fruit organically are obvious in the first bite. Your own organic fruit is not covered in arsenic (as some commercial apples are to lengthen shelf-life) or wax. Growing your own fruit means picking varieties for flavor, not looks or ability to travel. Your organic fruit may not be as picture perfect as the stuff you find in the grocery store, but fruit is to eat, not to take pictures of! read more

Control insects with garden friendly techniques

Pests in your garden are just that: pests. Unwanted insects may eat and destroy your crops, a frustration for any farmer or gardener.
Organic gardening is a means of controlling pests naturally, without the use of dangerous chemical pesticides. There are many ways to control garden pests naturally that are also cheap, easy and good for the earth. read more

Organic Gardening Means Befriending Beneficial Insects

Not all insects are pests. In fact, the majority of bugs living in your garden are helping your plants to grow in numerous, unseen ways. If you are having a problem with pests in your garden, you probably have an imbalance of fauna or an imbalance of soil nutrients. The more insects and other fauna in your garden, the less likelihood the “pesky” ones have of surviving. You will find that most insects eat those moths and maggots that are eating your plants. read more

Organic Heirloom Tomatoes

It is possible that there is nothing tastier than a home grown tomato picked right off of the vine. There is a world of difference between your own organic tomatoes and the tasteless things you find in the grocery store. Tomatoes are probably the most popular and rewarding crop and the many heirloom varieties available make it the most fun and interesting too. read more

About Organic Gardening and Why it Should Matter to You

Organic gardening is a simple healthful way to convert living organisms into carbon compounds in a way that considers the whole of nature and its integral place in that scheme. There, all the definitions in one sentence. I’ll consider that my mission statement for organic gardening... read more

How to Create a Beautiful Organic Garden!

The leap from gardening with chemical fertilizers and pesticides to truly organic gardening can feel like a leap of faith. I came to this point of view gradually, as I work in the green industry, which is just starting to recognize the benefits of organic products (Here’s another place you can help save the planet; vote with your almighty consumer dollar by buying organic). read more

Organic Compost: The Easy Way!

Compost is a combination of organic matter and/or manure, which has decomposed until it resembles a rich soil. Compost is not gross, rotten, smelly or dirty. Compost is a beautiful, nutritious food for your plants and the key to a healthy organic garden. read more

Role of crop rotation in the organic garden

The devastation of the Dust Bowl or the Irish Potato Famine can both be linked to one crucial farming mistake: monoculture. Monoculture in farming is the growing of a single crop on the same piece of land season after season. Crop Rotation involves changing the type of plant grown on a particular piece of land from year to year or season to season. Crop Rotation has many benefits for the soil, the crops and the population as a whole. read more