Heirloom is generally defined as seed which pre-dates the bio-tech industry and is not hybrid seed. Rather it is seed which has been grown and used and selected for existing traits which are considered desirable for generations. Heirloom seeds have historical significance for specific and identifiable traits, such as rich flavor, long harvest times, early yields or large yields. While the heirloom [...]
Hybrid seeds are seeds which have been specifically propagated, or 'bred' to achieve desirable traits in the next generation of plants. These seeds are the result of plant breeding which can be accomplished in various ways, including specific plant selection of seed and elimination of other seed in a single crop, or the cross pollinating of selected plants for improved flavor, yield, disease resistance, [...]
Organic is a strict classification of seed production which requires the seed to have been produced in a certified organic environment, according to organic certification protocols. The European designation for this production method is known as 'bio'.
Organic methods generally include such practices as composting, soil enrichment with organic matter, biodynamic and others. In these methods, amendments [...]
Conventional, in the context of garden seed really means 'unspecified' or, not disclosed as to what chemicals, processes or growing methods were used in the production of the seed. There are no requirements for labeling in this classification, and the seed is assumed to be the intellectual property by patent of name or of modification of the seed (also undisclosed) of the selling company.
Ever since we got our chickens and ducks, we've been interested in starting a black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) harvesting program. We've looked at DIY projects, the BioPod and done some reading on the subject.
Black Soldier Fly Larvae contain an astonishing 40 percent protein. The adult flies have a super short lifespan, which has only one function: mating and laying eggs. The flies do not even [...]
As a serious student of soil fertility and vitality and an all-things-organic gardener, I have had an ongoing love affair with everything 'ocean' in the garden.
The cold-pressed fish, seaweed and ocean mineral emulsions are simply top performers. Whether as foliar sprays, spot feeders or all around pick-me-ups, they provide a great service to the vegetable patch. However, there is a deeper, more [...]
One of the common differences between long time expert gardeners and those just taking up gardening is the use of mulching. The gardeners who have experience and success over the long term are invariably active 'mulchers' while new gardeners tend to fail to incorporate this important practice into their gardening.
Perhaps part of the reason for this lack of mulching by newer gardeners is confusion [...]
Transplanting seedlings into the garden can be a long and arduous task if you have a larger garden. Whether you're planting out peat pots or taking seedlings out of six packs or other reusable pots, it can take a lot of time.
This year we had the idea of using a bulb planter to help speed the job along, and keep it simple and straightforward.
This works particularly well in a raised bed; and [...]
There seems to be a new opinion about the efficacy of coffee in our diets every week - it's bad for you, it's good for you, yes no maybe so...
But one thing is certain, whether you drink coffee or not, if you can get your hands on the used coffee grounds of as many people as possible for your gardens, it's all good.
We accomplish this through a local fellow who collects grounds from all around [...]
Mint may be one of the most misunderstood and least well utilized allies in the home vegetable garden. Labeled "invasive', 'predatory' and other unbecoming names, the truth is, mint is the most common and well known member of the Mentha family.
Most well known in its peppermint and spearmint forms this prolific family of herbs contains the master pest destroyer pennyroyal, the culinary staple [...]