Choose Organic for Your Green Lifestyle

Choose Organic for Your Green Lifestyle

More and more people are electing to avoid the risk of chemical contamination of their bodies, families and homes. Fortunately, solutions for addressing change exist and are within easy access. Choosing eco-friendly alternatives allows us to live a natural, green lifestyle.

The benefits of organic bedding, eating organic foods and wearing organic clothing are numerous. Organic Foods The Organic Food Association tells us: “It’s common sense; organic food is good food. Good to eat, good for the environment, good for the small-scale farmers and farm workers who produce it.”

Organic farming is all about health and wellness. In order to assure optimum health and resistance against diseases, the natural balance in our own bodies and in the environment must be maintained. The use of artificial chemical pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, fertilizers, genetic engineering and drugs interfere with this delicate balance; with unknown and often harmful consequences! This is why organic farming impacts on much more than what can be tasted or seen.

Over the last fifty years, commercial farmers have, of necessity, continued to increase the amount of these hazardous applications. Cereal crops are sprayed as many as 8 times during the growing season. Many fruit and vegetable harvests have been sprayed 10 – 15 times. After harvesting the spraying process is repeated to inhibit grow of bacteria during storage and transport. Excessive spraying of fruit and vegetable crops destroys natural bacteria, leaving the plants increasingly vulnerable to attack from unwelcome pests or disease. More over insecticides and fungicides are then required to fight off infestation and decay. However, these pests rather quickly become immune to the chemicals applied and their population increases rapidly. More powerful and increasingly toxic chemicals are then required.

Organic certification is the consumer’s assurance that products have met stringent standards and have been grown and handled according to strict procedures without contamination from carcinogenic pesticides, fertilizers, human waste or sewage sludge and that they were processed without ionizing radiation or artificial food additives. Organic or non-organic, which would you rather put in your body? We are what we eat. When our diet is built upon natural organic choices we are providing our bodies optimum food, produced in optimum conditions. Organically raised vegetables and fruit provide more minerals and nutrients than commercially grown produce and are more intensely endowed with color, scent and flavor; they just taste better!

Organic meats are produced from animals that have been treated humanely and raised on certified organic pastures and feeds. Organic meat is the only meat product that guarantees that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have not been used at any stage of growth production.

Organics And The Environment

The USDA estimates that within the next ten years half of all America’s farm products will come from only 1% of the farms. The EPA also states that commercial agriculture is accountable for 70% of the pollution in our country’s rivers and streams. Small-scale organic farmers finance innovative and far reaching research designed to minimize agriculture’s impact on the environment. They preserve bio-diversity by planting heirloom varieties of plants and harvesting seeds for future crops. The loss of a large variety of species is one of the worlds most pressing environmental concerns. The good news is that many organic farmers and gardeners have been gathering, preserving seeds and growing unusual and unique varieties for decades.

Organic farming methods naturally enrich the soil with manure and compost. Well balanced soils product healthy, strong plants, nourishing for both people and animals. Organic agriculture can be a lifeline for small farms as it offers an alternative market where sellers can command fair and equatable prices for crops. Organic farming may be one of the last ways to assure the survival of both our ecosystems and our rural farming communities .

Conventional farming endangers farm workers and their families. Scientific research confirms pesticide-related health problems which include cancer, birth defects, memory loss, paralysis and death. Unsecured storage, improper application methods and unsafe handling and transportation procedures are not at all uncommon and often lead to tragic mishaps. As pests develop resistance, farmers desperate to maintain or increase crop yields often resort to more and more applications of expensive and stronger chemical products. Facing rising costs, depleted fields and contaminated ground water, many small farmers have been forced to abandon their livelihood.

Organic farming, on the other hand, is not only safer and healthier for farmers, but also promotes just compensation in the supply chain. Organic farming provides an economically viable and socially acceptable alternative to large-scale farming and the accompanying dependence on government crop subsidies. Support of the small farmer supports America’s economy.

Organic production dramatically reduces health risks. Many EPA-approved pesticides were registered and approved prior to extensive research linking these noxious chemicals to cancer and other significant health problems. Crop dusting has often resulted in drifts of toxic pesticides from fields to residential areas.

Organic agriculture is one way to prevent more of these chemicals from contaminating the earth that sustains us. An increasing body of research indicates that pesticides and other contaminants are considerably more prevalent in the foods we eat, in our bodies and in the environment than we previously believed.

By choosing organic products we lessen this toxic burden. Organic farmers regularly rotate crops and plant cover crops to control weeds, nutrient leaching and erosion. Soil is the foundation of the food chain. The focus of organic farming is to use methods that build and maintain healthy and sustainable soils.

Organic Skin Care And Personal Products

Skin care and cosmetics are the least regulated products under the US Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Whether it is soap, moisturizers or deodorants, skin care products are an essential part of daily life. But do we really understand what these products actually contain and what we are forcing our skin to absorb?

Have you ever suffered from stinging, burning or itchy skin? Chances are that your skin absorbed irritants and toxins from your skin care products. The skin absorbs ingredients in all the personal care products that come in contact with our skin. Consider nicotine or HRT patches. They rely solely on skin absorption.

As mothers we are always concerned for the well being of our children. We tenderly comfort and bathe them with a wide range of products. These include soaps, shampoos, creams and lotions, many of which are used on baby’s tender skin several times a day. The skin is the largest organ of the body and the delicate skin of an infant can be up to 100 times more sensitive and receptive to toxic chemicals and irritating ingredients that the skin of an adult.

Without even realizing, parents put their babies at risk daily. Did you know that applying baby powder to your baby’s skin may pose a cancer risk later in life? The principle ingredient in many baby powders is talc, which several medical studies have confirmed as a known carcinogenic.

Lanolin is a main ingredient in many personal care products and when processed from organically raised sheep, is a wonderful healing balm. The danger lies in non-organic lanolin that has been processed from sheep that were dipped or sprayed for lice with chemical pesticides that are contaminated with carcinogenic ingredients such as DDT, dieldrin or lindane. The residue of these toxin remains in the processed lanolin and can cause severe reactions and long term healt
h hazards.

Chemical free and natural, organic products offer earth friendly options that eliminate these dangers. You can avoid these and similar safely concerns by using only certified organic products formulated from natural sources such as plants, fruits, vegetables and flowers. These products to do not contain synthetic chemicals such as lauryl sulphate, phthales, parabens, artificial fragrances or dyes.

Organic Textiles

By the end of 2008, the sale of organic textiles worldwide is expected to exceed billion indicating that global demand for organic textiles is increasing in response to consumer demand. Organic production takes more time, requires more skills and knowledge, and at least for now, costs somewhat more. But it is worth it as organic materials do not contain any hidden costs to the environment.

Choose Earth Friendly Products! Choose Organic!

The consumption and use of green technologies is all about the challenges and choices we face if we are to enjoy a high quality of life within the limited resources of our world. If we become passionate about sustainability, together we can make the planet a cleaner and healthier place for all of us to live.

Do you wish to embrace a lifestyle that protects our children’s future? Do you want to to live in the greenest environment possible with a conscience and respect and appreciation for the earth? The quality of life for future generations is dependent on the choices we make today!

Surveys reflect that about a fourth of the US adult population has a profound sense of environmental enlightenment and social responsibility. Almost half of us will buy organic and make earth friendly choices in many aspects of our daily living. Consumer education and awareness is a powerful force for change.

The consumption of organically grown products has increase by 20 per cent in the last year alone. Organic alternatives are readily available and the trend is escalating. Sustainability should be within everyone’s reach. Our choices matter and have a long term global impact. Let’s Choose wisely!

Marlene Affeld writes for the Nandu Green Team. Plant a Tree! Celebrate Life! Nandu Green is your portal to Eco-Friendly Living!

Information On Buying Organic Food

Information On Buying Organic Food

If this is your first time looking to eat organic foods or if you are looking to make a full switch to eating organically, you may be unsure as to where you can purchase your foods from. After a close examination, you will see that you have a number of different options. In fact, many individuals are surprised when they see just how easy it is to find and buy all natural organic foods.

Before covering a few of the many places where organic foods can be found, it’s important that you know what to look for. For one hundred percent all natural, organic foods, you’ll want to search for the certified organic label or sticker.  These labels and stickers are often prominently displayed on organic foods.  When you see these certified organic stickers or labels, you know that what are buying is “truly,” organic. In fact, manufacturers can’t claim that their foods are organic unless they meet specific standards.

One of the most common places that organic foods are purchased from is locally.  When looking to shop locally for organic foods, you should have a number of different options. One of these options is supermarkets or grocery stores. Most have an organic food section, depending on the supermarket in question, this organic food section can be quite small, but a large number of products are often featured. You just may not have as many organic food product brands to choose from. 

Another way that you can go about finding organic foods for sale locally is by visiting an organic food store, also commonly referred to as a natural food store. These are stores that specialize solely in the selling of all natural, organic foods. Although many individuals find it easier to shop for organic foods at a grocery store or supermarket, as it can sometimes be more convenient to do so, specialty food stores are increasing in popularity. Now many large cities and towns have them. If you do have access to a specialty organic food store, consider shopping there, as you’re likely to find the largest selection of products with reasonable prices.

As nice as it is to shop locally, you may not have a specialty organic food store to shop at or you may be unimpressed with the selection of organic foods at your local grocery stores. If that is the case, you can also shop online.  There are a number of organic food stores that can be found online with a standard internet search. These food stores often sell organic foods from a number of different companies or brands. There are also a number of organic food manufacturers that sell their own brands online.

In keeping with shopping online for organic foods, you might be surprised with what you find available. In fact, many individuals mistakenly believe that shopping online for organic foods limits their selection of products, but it doesn’t have to. For example, Earth’s Best Organic specials in selling food designed for babies and small children. They sell organic baby formula, organic first foods, and organic meals and snacks for toddlers and preschoolers.  Diamond Organic, which is based out of California, sells a wide range of organic foods, including fresh vegetables. It’s also possible to find and buy frozen organic dinners online as well.

As highlighted above, there are a number of different ways that you can go about buying organic foods, both on and offline. To help provide you with the best product selection as well as the best prices, consider giving each method of shopping a try.

Visit the Fruits And Vegetables website to learn about cucumber nutrition and growing cucumbers.

Organic Food

Organic Food

NaturalNews) Three studies published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association have found that people with lower income do not consume enough fruits and vegetables, largely due to cost factors.

“Cost is one of the factors often cited as contributing to less fruit and vegetable consumption among low-income populations,” wrote Alanna Moshfegh in an introductory article. “Cost, as well as convenience, has been shown to be a leading influence on food choice for low-income individuals.”

The three articles appear in the November issue of the journal, which is devoted to issues of poverty and nutrition as part of the Council of Science Editors’ Global Theme Issue on Poverty and Human Development. More than 230 scientific journals have participated on the council.

In a study examining how fruit and vegetable intake are affected by food prices, researchers from the University of California at Davis discovered that in 2005, a low-income family would have to spend between 43 and 70 percent of its entire food budget to eat the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables.

Another study looked at how geography affects fruit and vegetable intake, and a third study compared the dietary health of food-insecure adults with low-income, food-secure adults.

“Fruit and vegetable consumption is becoming a prominent indicator of health because of its potential role in chronic disease prevention,” Moshfegh said. This makes it particularly worrisome that fruit and vegetable intake for most people still consistently falls short of U.S. dietary guidelines. Schools are now being encouraged to play their part in ensuring pupils consume more fruit and vegetables as part of a government drive for healthy school meals.

Fewer than 10 percent of U.S. residents are estimated to meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPyramid dietary recommendations.

“Further, those in low-income households were less likely to meet the recommendations,” Moshfegh said.

The researchers concluded that increasing fruit and vegetable consumption is an important way to improve public health.

“Public policies should examine ways to make fruits and vegetables more affordable to low-income families,” the authors of the first study wrote.


There are only two categories of foods: whole foods and processed foods. A healthy balanced diet should be primarily whole foods with restricted consumption of processed foods. There are numerous ways to differentiate between these two.

Processed Foods

Generally speaking, processed foods are produced using manufacturing methods involving specilaist food processing equipment to transform raw ingredients into neatly packaged goods, which have a longer shelf life. Some of the artificial ingredients used include monosodium glutamate (MSG), flavors, preservatives, hydrogenated oil, fillers, and artificial sweeteners. Usually, consumers can prepare them quickly allowing immediate intake. Disappointingly, they don’t offer much in nutritional value. Most likely, it’s processed food if it’s wrapped in several layers of plastic, cardboard, and/or foil, and it didn’t exist until after 1903 when the hydrogenation process was invented. In addition to being excessively advertised, this food category is well funded by government subsidies. These foodstuffs are located on the shelves of the inside middle aisles in grocery stores. Examples of processed foods include sodas, cereals, and crackers.

Whole Foods

On the other hand, whole foods are grown in orchards, gardens, or greenhouses, are unprocessed and unrefined, and have a shorter shelf life. These foods are authentically flavorful, have vibrant colors, and rich textures. Moreover, they are full of the micronutrient vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber. Typically, they require longer preparation times. In contrast, they receive very little media advertising, and are not well funded with government subsidies. When you are in grocery stores, these foods are mainly found on the store’s wall aisles to the sides and back of the store. Additionally, this food category can be found at farmers markets, and at fresh fruit and vegetable stands. Examples of whole foods include unpolished grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Four Basic Nutrients

The four essential basic nutrients are water, carbohydrates, fat, and protein. These four are the foundation of a healthy diet. In any case, all food is composed of various combinations of nutrients.

Carbohydrates supplying energy are found mostly in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, peas, and beans. They are converted into glucose providing energy for the body’s cells, the brain, and red blood cells, or stored for future use in the liver, or in body fat. Sixty percent of daily calories should come from mainly complex carbohydrates to provide the minimum recommended daily requirement of fiber.

Fats are the most concentrated source of body energy. Recently, too much negative attention has been focused upon fats. Fats are not an enemy and are needed throughout life to support growth and provide energy. Unfortunately, consuming excessive amounts of fat can contribute to many health problems.

Proteins are the building blocks making up body tissues, muscles, skin, and organs. When consumed, protein is broken down into amino acids providing the body with energy for various vital functions. Examples of good sources include meat, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds.

Regrettably, health problems arise when you consume too much or too little of any nutrients. Instead, endeavor to consume a variety of foods to ensure you get a mix of nutrients. In summary, for a healthy well balanced diet make it a habit to choose unrefined whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, peas, beans, and whole-grains, as opposed to refined processed foods such as soft drink sodas, candy, cookies, and cakes. hosts interview with Mark on organic food and growing practices, mineral deficiencies, attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, food poisons (pesticides and herbicides) and sugar in the diet.

The Cost Factor Of Eating Organic

The Cost Factor Of Eating Organic

What is your health worth to you? Could you afford a few extra dollars a week or a month in order to eat the best possible foods available? If so, then you will want to make sure that you put Organic foods on your list!

Many of the individuals who first examine organic foods are a little bit turned off by the cost. Typically, you’ll find that organic foods cost more than other traditional food products. Unfortunately, many find this a turn off and decide not to start eating a full organic diet. Of course, the decision to do so is yours to make, but you shouldn’t let the cost of organic foods turn you away.  There are a number of reasons why organic foods are more than worth their costs and a few of the reasons why are highlighted below.

Since organic foods are natural, you don’t have to worry about artificial additives, preservatives or colorings. As for fresh fruits and vegetables, organic foods aren’t treated with pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals. Unfortunately, we don’t truly know the full extent of what many pesticides and other similar chemicals can do to our bodies. That’s why organic foods are a popular option for many, as some just aren’t willing to take the chance. If you’re one of those individuals, the costs of organic foods are more than worth it.

As for why organic foods cost more money, there are a number of different reasons.  For starters, it’s important to know that a lot of time and hard work is required to make organic foods. Organic foods must undergo rigorous tests to be considered “certified organic”. This requires a lot of equipment upgrades and inspections.  Many of the farmers who now produce organic fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, usually didn’t start out doing so. Farmers who make the switch to organic foods, often find themselves spending a considerable amount of money on upgrades, which can have an impact on the cost of organic foods, especially those that are sold directly by the farmers.

Another one of the many reasons why you shouldn’t let the costs of organic foods turn you away from eating healthy is because there are a number of steps that you can take to save money. For starters, it’s a good idea to carefully choose the organic food stores that you shop at. Look for stores that sell organic foods at everyday low prices or stores that are known for having weekly or monthly sales.  Stocking up when you find a great deal is another one of the many ways to save money when looking to eat healthy, but while on a budget at the same time.  Organic food coupons can also be used, coupons can sometimes be found in many food stores, online, and in weekend newspaper inserts.

As you can see, there are a number of different reasons why you should give organic foods a close look, despite their high costs. Organic foods are ideal for individuals of all ages, which is great if you are looking to improve the health of your whole family, not just your own. Even with an increased cost, especially when compared to other foods, organic foods are still popular. This is largely due in part to their large number of benefits, which as previously stated, include 100% percent natural foods.

Information on pictures of vegetables can be found at the Fruits And Vegetables site.

Organic Foods- Pros and Cons

Organic Foods- Pros and Cons

What is organic food: How is it produced?

The process in most cases starts with organically grown crops so a quick explanation: Organic farming produces crops and rears cattle without the use of chemicals and artificial additives. It is farming the natural way and concentrates on producing a fertile soil.

Animals reared on organic farms are housed properly they have room to move about and behave like animals.They are fed healthy food sources and not those laden with drugs and other chemicals.

So in summary the answer to what is organic food is.…crops and animals produced and fed with natural food and without the use of chemical additives.

What is organic food: How can it benefit me?

To answer this question, I’ll highlight two items:

1. Milk: “When you choose a glass of conventional milk, you are buying into a whole chemical system of agriculture,” says Dr. Greene. People who switch to organic milk typically do so because they are concerned about the antibiotics, artificial hormones and pesticides used in the commercial dairy industry.

One recent United States Department of Agriculture survey found certain pesticides in about 30 percent of conventional milk samples and low levels in only one organic sample.

The level is relatively low compared to some other foods, but many kids consume milk in large quantities.

2. Potatoes: Potatoes are a staple of the American diet — one survey found they account for 30 percent of our overall vegetable consumption.

A simple switch to organic potatoes has the potential to have a big impact because commercially-farmed potatoes are some of the most pesticide- contaminated vegetables. A 2006 U.S.D.A. test found 81 percent of potatoes tested still contained pesticides after being washed and peeled, and the potato has one of the the highest pesticide contents of 43 fruits and vegetables tested, according to the Environmental Working Group.


The first place I go upon entering the grocery store is the produce section. Here is where I do most of my shopping, and inevitably where I tend to spend most of my money. Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t if you buy organic produce. Many people are turned off to the choice of purchasing organic products because they tend to be more expensive. Others, meanwhile, are seeing the benefits of buying organic as a necessity for good health.

The reason for the added expense in terms of organic products is that organic dairy, wheat/grains, meat, and produce farmers are not able to produce the mass quantities that other non-organic farmers can. They follow strict guidelines which require the use of no hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides in order to keep the food safe and healthy.

The increasing demand for organic products by the consumer has resulted in more and more corporate conglomerations capitalizing on this rising trend (and letting nutrition and quality fall by the wayside), but still doing just enough to slap the “organic” symbol on their packaging and charge a premium price.

This results in the consumer standing between two food options (maybe it’s the organic cereal vs. the non organic cereal or even the organic milk vs. the non -organic milk), and trying to decipher if the cost difference is worth the health benefits.


The biggest study ever of organic food was completed in 2007 and found that organic fruit and vegetables contain up to 40% more antioxidants than conventional equivalents, and that the figure was 60% for organic milk. The 4-year study was funded by the European Union and was the largest of its kind ever undertaken.

These results were simply announced to the popular press, and have not yet undergone the rigors of scientific peer review, so conclusiveness of this study is debatable.

Some studies have shown higher nutrient levels in organic fruit and vegetables compared with conventionally grown products. However, due to the difficulty with designing such experiments, the evidence was not considered conclusive.

A 2001 study by researchers at Washington State University concluded, under judgement by a panel of tasters, that organic apples were sweeter. Along with taste and sweetness, the texture as well as firmness of the apples were also rated higher than those grown conventionally. These differences are attributed to the greater soil quality resulting from organic farming techniques compared to those of conventional farming.

However, a 2002 meta-analysis (a review of all past studies on the subject) found no proof that organic food offers greater nutritional values, more consumer safety or any distinguishable difference in taste.

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Ecological Gardening – Is it really Value for Investment?

Ecological Gardening – Is it really Value for Investment?

When we think of organic vegetable gardening and permaculture we tend to conjure up images of bearded warriors dressed in overalls who dedicate their lives to working long days in their vegetable plots.  Whilst this may be a wonderful way to live your life, it doesn’t suit the average suburbanite with a full-time job and a hefty mortgage.


Growing food is typically seen as either an art form or damned hard work.  It’s no wonder that very few people produce enough food to feed their family.  But what if a technique came along that was so easy and so prolific that even the busiest corporate executive could grow a significant portion of their family’s food in less time than it takes to drive to the shops.  Ecological gardening just might be the answer.  In my experience, it’s the ultimate modern-day convenience vegetable plot. An ecological garden is an ecosystem made up of edible plants, and it behaves in exactly the same way as a natural habitat.  Over time, you become more of an observer than a gardener as you watch Mother Nature do most of the work.


The wonderful thing about nature is that she works tirelessly, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Nature follows very simple laws and works in the same way, on any system, anywhere in the world.  To understand ecological gardening, observing natural ecosystems can provide us with the answers we need.  A natural ecosystem is made up of thousands of living and non-living components all coexisting in a given area.  Each living component occupies its own niche space and the role of the niche space is very important to understand when creating an ecological garden.


Let’s look at an example.  Imagine a giant rainforest tree crashing to the ground after standing tall for hundreds of years.  Such a large tree would have filled an enormous niche space.  Lying in the soil, hundreds of dormant seeds spring to life, desperately fighting for their opportunity to occupy the best real estate in the forest – the empty niche space.  The niche space is quickly filled and harmony is restored.


When we look at a traditional vegetable garden with this type of insight, what we see is a very unnatural system.  There is very little diversity and a lot of empty niche spaces.  Nature enforces her will on vegetable gardens in exactly the same way she does a rainforest, and this means that empty niches spaces will be filled as quickly as possible.  However, in a traditional vegetable garden there are no desirable seeds waiting to fill the niches spaces, so weeds fill them instead.


The solution to this problem is to create a garden that has tightly filled niche spaces so that weeds don’t have any opportunities.  We can achieve this by using a planting arrangement that mimics a natural ecosystem.  This type of planting arrangement also creates a range of highly protected micro-climates.  This ideal growing environment causes your plants to last much longer.  Greens don’t bolt to seed as soon as a hot spell hits and cold sensitive plants are more protected as well.  The planting arrangement also creates a natural form of pest management.


Managing an ecological garden is different to managing a traditional vegetable garden.  With an ecological garden, there is far less to do.  As you become the observer and allow nature to take over as head gardener, you will notice that the garden is in a continual state of gentle change, just like a natural ecosystem.  It can be difficult for the traditional gardener to stand back and observe, as many of us instinctively like to control things.  This style of gardening calls for a great deal of faith in natural laws.


Growing food is not hard work, especially when you have nature helping you 24/7.  A small area can provide you with a bounty of food, saving your family thousands of dollars per year.  Most of us don’t have much time to spend in the garden, including me.  I only invest around eight hours per year to growing my food, and although I live on a small farm, I only use a space of around 6m x 6m.  That’s an area that could fit into many suburban backyards several times over.  The most wonderful thing about this method is that I know I can ignore my vegetable garden for months and it won’t miss a beat.  So, if you believe growing food is only for tough, bearded warriors with a lot of time – think again.  Ecological gardening could be just the thing for you.

Learn how to set up an organic vegetable garden that requires only 8 hours work per year! Discover how to plant an organic vegetable garden you can harvest ever day regardless of where you live HERE.

Start Allotment Gardening Today!

Start Allotment Gardening Today!

In some areas allotments are like gold dust and there are long waiting lists. You may well be able to get around this by choosing another site or simply offering to take on an overgrown plot. If not, the good news is that an authority believes there is a real demand, it has statutory duty to provide a sufficient quantity of plots to lease them to people living in the local area.

The government website helpfully points that out ‘If local people feel there is a need for allotments which is not being met, they can get together a group of any six residents who are registered of the electoral role and put their case to the local authority’. You may find that you get six people together just by spending a Sunday afternoon at your nearest allotment. Alternatively you can put posters up at existing sites, in your library, local pub or anyway that may be of interest.

The National Society of Allotment Gardeners can offer helpful advice on getting the local council to take notice, and imagine the sense of satisfaction you’ll get from knowing you were instrumental is creating a brand new site!

Alternatively, if you want to get planting right away you could approach a neighbour or an existing allotmenteer who looks like they are struggling with their plot, and tactfully offer to lend a hand. They may well be delighted with the help and you can share the fruits of your labours, as well as tasks like watering and weeding. And unless you have a large family, a half-plot may be better suited to your needs at first. It’s well worth remembering that allotment sites vary in the facilities they offer, the rules and regulations they enforce, the rent charged and their attitude towards children, women, organics and so on. If you have a choice of sites, check them all before making a decision. Talk to plot holders to get a ‘feel’ of the place.

Location- Close to home, ideally within walking distance, is the most practical, and the most likely to retain your enthusiasm.

Check the sites rules and regulations- If you want to plant fruit trees, keep hens, paint your shed, use plastic mulch or grow flowers you may not be able to on some sites!

Do you hate bonfires? Some sites don’t allow them; others restrict burning to certain days of the week

The cost- The average annual rent for an allotment plot is £25- though rents can be as little as 50p or as much as £100. This usually includes the cost of water, but may not. They may also be reductions for pensioners and people on benefits

Organic plots- If you want to grow organically ask if there is a specific ‘organic area’. Don’t be put off if the answer is no. You can still run a successful organic plot, and, as you may succeed, others may follow. Organic vegetable gardening is very important for a lot of people.

Good society- Some allotment sites have a very active community with a trading shed, a meeting place or mentors offering to help newcomers for example.

Vandalism- By their very nature, allotments are at risk from vandalism. Ask about this!

Learn more about allotments and the resouces offered by the National Society of Allotment Gardeners. Enrich your knowledge about organic vegetable gardening from a trusted source

The Secret To A Bountiful Garden

The Secret To A Bountiful Garden

Growing a garden for your own fresh or even organic fruits and vegetables can save you money and be fun. But there is one secret that many people overlook when starting an organic garden, it’s building the garden soil. There’s several ways to effectively build the soil in an organic garden, from compost to green manure to soil testing, things can get a little confusing for the novice gardener. This article is going to provide an explanation of the different ways to build your soil and when to use each one.

Almost any experienced gardener, especially one with an organic garden will praise compost as one of the most valuable materials in their garden, some even going so far as to call it black gold. Sometimes with the way people talk about compost it can seem like you need certain formulas to successfully make your own. In reality compost is simply decomposed plant material, things like grass clippings, fallen leaves, wood chips, twigs, potato peels and even newspaper can be composted.

One of the most important things needed for compost is time, it can take months for all that dead plant material to turn to black gold. Give it the time it needs and you will be well rewarded, compost can be turned into a planting bed where it will provide nutrients and help retain water in sandy soils or help increase the drainage in clay soils. Compost is the most effective way to improve your garden soil.

Green Manures are one thing that most gardeners have never heard of, even fewer take advantage of them. Green Manure is planted when a plot in your organic garden is going to be left bare for a time, such as over winter. There’s approximately a dozen different plants commonly used as green manure, comprising a wide range of growth habits and life spans, providing you with a perfect choice for your particular need.

Soil testing is another secret to a great organic garden. A quality soil test can provide a considerable amount of valuable information, such as pH, buffer, percentage of organic matter, nutrient availability, and recommendations for soil amendments. The best place to contact about a soil test is your local Cooperative Extension office which can tell you how to take a sample and where to send it. After sending your soil sample to a lab along with a nominal fee, wait one to several weeks for your analysis to be mailed to you. The soil test analysis will provide specific information to improve the soil quality in your organic garden.

As you might already know, these are only some of the ways to build the soil in your organic vegetable garden. The three points that this article covered are some of the most important, begin using them and you could have a garden that is the envy of your friends and neighbors.

If you would like to know more secrets to organic vegetable gardening…




Brandon Wilkinson

Information On The Benefits Of Organic Food

Information On The Benefits Of Organic Food

There is a good chance that you have seen an organic food aisle at one of your local grocery stores. In fact, you may have even driven past a farmers market where organic food was sold. Unfortunately, if you are like many other Americans, there is a good chance that you kept right on walking or driving by.  This is because many individuals don’t eat organic foods.

Despite the fact that organic foods are not consumed by nearly all Americans, they still come highly rated and recommended. In fact, many health conscious individuals swear by them. Many claim that eating organic foods helps to promote lifelong health and happiness. Organic food consumption has increased in popularity over the years and that increase continues to rise at a relatively steady pace. If you are interested in eating organic foods, but if you have never done so before, you may be wondering what the benefits are. If so, please continue reading on.

When it comes to organic foods and their benefits, you will find an unlimited number of benefits. For starters, did you know that organic foods can help the environment? They can and this is a point that many don’t take into consideration at first. Farmers who put pesticides in their fields and on their foods, are not only putting consumers at risk, but the environment at risk as well. Depending on which pesticides and other chemicals are used, the soil and other nearby areas can suffer damage. By eating organic foods, you are providing a small, yet still helping hand to help protect the environment.

Another unique benefit to eating organic that many individuals don’t think of right away is the assistance that is provided to organic farmers and organic food manufacturers. Right now, the number of organic food manufacturers is quite small and many are small to medium sized businesses. The same can be said for farmers. The decision for many farmers and companies to go organic can be difficult and risky as it takes a minimum of 7 years for their soil to be tested and free of any chemicals or pesticides. Therefore, by purchasing organic foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, you can take comfort in knowing that you are helping many small to medium sized farmers and organic food companies stay in business.

Organic foods can also help to improve your body and health. In fact, organic foods may be able to help cleanse or detoxify your body from harmful chemicals.  When you stop eating foods that are tainted with pesticides and other chemicals, your body will expel the current and remaining toxins from your body. This means that your body should be clean, chemical free, and pesticide free after a specific period of time. Of course, remember that you want to stay healthy. For that reason, if you decide to start eating organic foods, try to stay doing so.  If you are a parent, one of the best ways to help ensure that your child has a happy and healthy life is to get them started on eating organic foods as early as possible.

Another one of the many benefits to eating organic foods is the better quality.  In fact, many individuals claim that organic food tastes much better. One reason why farmers claim to use potentially harmful pesticides and chemicals is to kill bacteria. While this does sound like a good idea, the bacteria that can be present when fruits and vegetables grow isn’t necessarily bad. In fact, some say that it helps to foods grow in a certain way. This, apparently, in turn helps to produce better results, which should better tasting, more natural food.

As you can see, there a number of benefits to eating organic foods. In fact, the above mentioned benefits are just a few of the many reasons why organic food should be given a close examination. If you would like more information on organic foods, including the benefits of eating them, consider speaking with a professional healthcare provider, like your doctor. He or she can help you decide if switching to organic foods is the right decision.

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Have you Heard of the Term Organic Cooking?

Have you Heard of the Term Organic Cooking?

Well what is organic cooking? This term refers to cooking done with all organic ingredients using the best of the organic food to create tasty and very healthy dishes. This is possible today, because in many places all over the globe, people are waking to the requirement of consuming organic food. The market is now promoting diet foods, low fat foods, etc. However, these are not at all necessary if we eat good organic food and we eat in moderation everything that we get in our daily routine. There are many ways to promote good organic cooking and the next few lines will attempt to describe a few simple ways:

Use normal salt not the standard iodized salt that we have been using for ages. Use instead natural sea salt or fleur de sel and notice the difference in the food you are eating. The flavor of the food is far enhanced by this simple addition.

Have a kitchen garden behind the house or side where you can grow your own vegetables the whole year round. A small 8×10 patch can cultivate sufficient vegetables to last a family of 4-6 the whole year. In this way you not only save some cash, you get to eat your home-grown vegetables which are guaranteed to be fresh.

Use only organic ingredients like vegetables, fruit, and all other ingredients like butter, herbs, etc. It is splendid to know that you can consume only fresh ingredients which have been hand-picked for you lunch or dinner.

Do not use the microwave as the microwave can distort the taste of the vegetables or fruit to a great extent; in order to really check this fact, you could really use your microwave to cook something and then you cook the same thing on an open flame. Taste and mark the difference in taste; the taste on the open flame is far more flavor-full than the one cooked in the microwave.

Use organic butter, milk and other related ingredients as there is a marked difference between butter that is produced out the milk of cows that have only grazed on grass; and those cows which were treated with hormones and food fertilizers.

Use easy techniques to cook organically and improve on the taste of the food while still maintaining the nutritional value of the vegetables on the fire; you need to take care and reduce the water content slowly enhancing the flavor while ensuring that nothing is really wasted into the air or water in which the vegetables are cooked in.

Do not use any additional preservatives. Whenever you need a preservative you should only use natural preservatives. Also whenever you need something that requires preservation, use the natural way to do, so with ingredients like lemon juice, salt, sugar, honey, etc. In this way you can have your food preserved and it will last as long, or may be longer than the chemically preserved ones and you are now assured that you are consuming only the goodness of the earth.

Scott Byers is the owner of All Organic Diet, an organic food blog all about the benefits of organic foods.

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