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Compost Critter Songs & Games

By Larraine Roulston: Compost Song  (To the tune of the “Hokey Pokey”) You put your wet greens in, You spread your dry browns out, You add a little water and you stir it all about. You invite all your bug friends To have a two-month feast, Then shovel your compost out!  …

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Grow Your Own Garlic

By Kim Robson: Garlic is a natural immune system powerhouse that fights against bacteria, viruses and fungi. A vegetable from the Allium family, garlic is an excellent source of Vitamin B6, as well as other vitamins and minerals including Manganese, Selenium, Vitamin C and Allicin (an anti-oxidant). Consuming raw fresh …

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Matrix Gardening–Self-Sustaining Gardens that Encourage Biodiversity and Attract Beneficial Insects

By Robin Horton: With an increasing interest in biodiversity and sustainable gardening practices that rely on natural pest-control methods, naturalistic approaches to gardening are growing in popularity. Simulating Nature’s Model of Vegetation In contrast to the perfectly clipped hedges and neatly planted rows of precious plants often found in traditional gardens, the naturalistic …

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Composting Is Important to the Soil

By Larraine Roulston: International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW), celebrated annually the first week of May, is a perfect time to reflect on our respect for the soil. As we work in our gardens this spring, we are nurturing life itself. Healthy soil is chock-full of worms as well as other …

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Gardening with Containers

By Larraine Roulston: Having a designated area to grow your own organic vegetables is ideal; however, one can be a successful gardener by using many container pots attractively placed on patios, porches, decks and balconies, in flower boxes under windowsills, and even in large sunlit kitchens or living rooms. The …

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Grow Your Own Medicinal Herbs

By Kim Robson: Spring is coming. This is the time of year when many of us are planning our gardens and placing orders with seed catalogs. This is also the perfect time to consider some of the many plants to grow for their medicinal properties. After the dreary, cold winter …

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Using Sound Instead of Pesticides

   By Amanda Wilkes: Once again, technology saves the day! Scientists have developed a way to eliminate harmful pesticides for at least one species of bugs. With this new technology, we may be able to one day eliminate toxic pesticides altogether. For now, scientists are focused on the Asian citrus psyllid …

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Getting Ready for Winter Composting

By Larraine Roulston: If you live in an area where cold nights have already nipped the night air, you may be thinking that you won’t be composting much longer. It is just as easy, however, to compost during the cold months as it is in the warmer weather. One of my neighbors …

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Entering the Secret Life of the Honey Bee 

By Larraine Roulston: This summer I had a great opportunity to shadow my brother-in-law Bob while he tended his backyard bee hives. As a seasoned beekeeper and member of the Capital Region Beekeepers’ Association in Victoria, BC, Bob has 11 hives, each containing rows of hanging combs, all buzzing with activity. Donning …

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Troubleshooting a Compost Heap

By Larraine Roulston:  Composting is as easy as 1-2-3. It is simply the breakdown of organic matter by bacteria and other organisms into a dark soil-like material. By layering approximately equal amounts of nitrogen (wet greens), kitchen food scraps, and carbon (dry browns) such as leaves, with a little moisture and …

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