After a hard week in the workplace, many people find gardening therapeutic. Itís good exercise and it gives a feeling of achievement when you see the fruits of your labor. Another consideration for a lot of people is the chance to eat organically. You know exactly whatís gone into your food. Youíre in control, whether youíre growing fruit, vegetables, herbs or flowers. Also, thereís no transportation involved in your food reaching the table, and therefore, no pollution. Itís an opportunity to re-connect with nature, and to teach children the value of working to create your own food, instead of pulling another plastic bag off the supermarket shelf. After all, itís the way it was for hundreds of years, before the human race began to manipulate Mother Nature.
Many parents are concerned about their childrenís diets, and are turning to growing their own food. Studies have shown children absorb four to five times more pesticides thought to be carcinogenic, from food than adults do. This can build up problems for their health, as they grow older.
So what are the benefits of organic gardening? Cost is always uppermost in peopleís minds, particularly if you have to provide food on a budget. Growing organically means not using expensive pesticides, herbicides, artificial supplements and chemical fertilizers. Garden pests and diseases can be controlled naturally. For example, aphids can be removed from vegetables with the aid of the humble marigold growing nearby. There is no need to add anything artificial to the soil. No family member or any pets will be harmed from pesticides. Chemicals can do their harm, simply by a little being absorbed through the skin. Nothing poisonous will seep into the waterways, resulting in polluting fish and their habitat Instead of using pesticides or fertilizers; you can make your own compost, just as in years gone by, from kitchen and garden waste. It just takes a bit of time, but it can be fun, and itís better than throwing everything away. Compost can even be made from coffee grounds, it doesnít smell bad either. Vegetable and potato peelings, (organic of course!), need to be well drained, as compost does not like being wet. To get a good texture for the compost heap, you need a varied mix of different materials. Rose prunings are a good idea.
There are many practical tips for the organic gardener to use, which helps him to grow healthy plants, save the environment and they are inexpensive. A recipe for mulch, to remove weeds and keep the soil moist, is to mix together grass clippings and pine needles. A cheap option in the battle against garden pests is to make a spray by combining dishwashing soap, water and cooking oil. All it takes is a bit of ingenuity.
Organic methods also help to reduce erosion through the loss of topsoil.
Most people whoíve tasted their own organically grown produce, never want to go back to conventional food. Taste buds come alive, and you start to think of the garden as a holistic place, where the cycle of life can be observed. Plants grow strong and are colorful, as long as you give care and attention to the needs of the soil, making sure the nutrients are there, and use natural methods to control those pesky bugs, diseases and weeds.
It doesnít matter if you have palatial grounds or a tiny back yard; the organic principle is the same. Youíll learn as you go, and have tasty food into the bargain.
About the Author: Scott Byers is the owner of All Organic Diet, an organic food blog all about the benefits of organic foods.