6 Of The Top Organic Fertilizers 0by James Ellison Some of the most important organic fertilizers are fish emulsion, seaweed, earthworm castings, bone meal, kelp meal, and rock phosphates. These natural fertilizers will improve your plants, especially yield plants, and are great for the soil. Not only do they nourish your plants but the soil as well so that it is healthy enough to support whatever you decide to plant. It is quite easy to match the organic fertilizer to the plant you need it for thus improving the plants and making them healthier. They also tell you how often to use them so that you don't overdo. Some fertilizers are longer lasting and do not have to be applied as often. Fish Emulsion and Seaweed This combination of organic fertilizer is just about as good as one can get. It is high in trace minerals that plants need and help to establish root growth. The joining of the two makes the best complete fertilizer so there is no need to add anything else. Fish emulsions made from fish or fish by-products along with seaweed, a saltwater plant can give you a very healthy plants. Earthworm Castings Earthworms are burrowers. While burrowing in the soil they swallow the soil that contains organic matter. It is then ground up in the gizzard and expelled as castings. These castings aerate the soil and have over 60 trace minerals that are needed by plants. Do not use chemical fertilizers near earthworms as it is toxic to them. Bone Meal Due to the slow release of this organic fertilizer it is safer when transplanting new plants and lowers transplant shock. It promotes a healthy root system. Bonemeal contains calcium, nitrogen, and phosphorus and is one of the best plant foods. Kelp Meal This fertilizer is made from dried seaweed and is used as an additive with other organic fertilizers. It is high in plant food growth hormones which will help your plants to grow bigger and stronger. It is also thought that plants that this is used on develop a resistance to pests and disease. Rock Phosphates It is not only a natural source of calcium, phosphates, and trace minerals but it improves the soil and is one of the best fertilizers for transplanting young plants since it does not burn roots. It is also a slow dissolver in water which makes it last a lot longer than most others. Organic fertilizers are the best for your garden, flowers, and your lawn. They provide natural elements to the soil and plants which is very beneficial to the environment. Today when everything we eat and use is chemically altered in one way or another it is refreshing to know that we can get back to the basics and perhaps be healthier in the future. After all most of these elements have been around for centuries. About the Author: Jim's articles are from extensive research on each of his topics. You can learn more of organic and natural fertilizers by visiting: Organic Fertilizers Buy Urban Organics All Purpose Fertilizer Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/fugue/386563656/
Composting Food Scraps Makes the Earth Happy 0by Duong Vicki Not too many people realize it, but composting is one of the best ways to return your resources back into the earth. In a way, composting is our way of saying thank you to Mother Earth for providing us with the resources needed to feed ourselves and our families. Simply put, composting is a lot like recycling, except you don't take your reusable goods to a recycling center, but rather you put it in a compost bin or tumbler and back into your garden. Let's start with a common scenario for households of two or more. In the beginning, there was food, and it was good. Fruits and vegetables were abundant, but so were the leftovers and food scraps. Instead of tossing all the food scraps into the trash where it would take up unneeded space in landfills, why not recycle it all back into the earth? Food scraps are easy enough to compost because there's always such an abundance of it lying around, so what have you got to lose other than the scraps themselves? Always consider what you can and cannot compost. For instance, it's strongly advised to never, ever compost bones, meat and dairy products, fats and oils since they take too long to decompose or won't decompose properly at all, smell really foul after half a day, and they attract all sorts of critters and wildlife. Unfortunately, not everything can be composted; I would recommend that you toss the aforementioned items in your trash and properly dispose of them. Veggie stalks, fruit rinds, apple cores and even coffee grounds are the goodies you want to compost. You wouldn't think it, but coffee grounds are great for the composting process since they're rich in nitrogen and aid in adding heat to your compost pile. We know that composting is great for the earth, but why and how? Well, if you think about it, composting cuts out a lot of costs. You would be saving a lot of money on water and garbage bills just by making free natural and organic soil fertilizer for your garden and houseplants. And did I mention it would improve the vitality of your soil? By returning nutrients back into the soil that will be released over the course of a couple years, you would be maximizing the growth and health of your plants and veggies. The soil itself will also have improved aeration and drainage. And even if you're not an avid gardener, composting takes very little of your time and like I've mentioned before, what have you got to lose other than your food scraps? *Special thanks to C. Forrest McDowell, PhD and Tricia Clark-McDowell for their compost guide Home Composting Made Easy, available on Cortesia Press. About the Author: For an excellent selection in wood chippers and lawn sweepers, be sure to stop by Composters.com today. Buy the Kitchen Compost Crock [affliate link] Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/stepintomythimble/2050628548/
Eat Organic Without Going Broke 0"In December 2000, the National Organic Standards Board of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) established a national standard for the term "organic." Organic food, defined by how it cannot be made rather than how it can be made, must be produced without the use of sewer-sludge fertilizers, most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, genetic engineering (biotechnology), growth hormones, irradiation and antibiotics." -Howstuffworks.com By: Carrie Lauth How to Eat Organic Without Going Broke Are you convinced of the benefits of eating organic, but the price tag has got you down? The good news is that with a little creativity and perhaps a change in routine, it is possible to eat a mostly organic diet within the confines of your existing grocery budget. Try some of these ideas that have worked for my family. Farmer's Markets Search your newspaper or online for farmer's markets in your area. Many times these small farmers utilize organic practices, but you can always ask if in doubt. You can also find "you pick" farms locally if you search. These often have great prices since you have to do the work! Going berry picking is fun as well as educational. Bring the kids and make a day of it. Buy In Bulk Larger health grocery stores often have a nice variety of bulk items. Some have bulk bins that allow you to bring your own containers for your grains, soap, maple syrup, and many other products. These can offer huge savings, especially on certain items like spices and herbs. While it may seem odd to buy a 15 pound bag of organic brown rice, if you eat it frequently and have a little space in your freezer, bulk is a smart idea. Bring a calculator and see how much the cost is per serving. You might be pleasantly surprised. Large wholesale chains are also now offering some organic choices. Skip Boxed and Prepared Foods Grocery stores typically have a fairly large selection of boxed, convenience foods in the organic section. But you pay a premium for these products. The same goes for precut and washed veggies and fruit. Spend More Time in the Kitchen A homemade stew made from organic ingredients will still cost less than non-organic frozen lasagna. It will also be much healthier, without preservatives and other additives. If you have a bread machine gathering dust somewhere, put it to use and make a couple of loaves a week with organic flour. You'll likely still save money over premade bread from the store. This would be a great task to assign one of your kids.
"From Manhattan to Mexico, from China to Chile, farmers, consumers and independent businesses are resisting the invasion of Wal-Mart and the Corporate Chain stores and building grassroots power through local, green, and just commerce." --Breaking the Chains Call to Action (sign the petition here) Organic Consumers.orgKnow What's Important to Buy Organic There are certain foods that are more likely to contain pesticide residues. For instance, fatty items like dairy products, butter, and meats. If you're on a tight budget, it would be better to buy these items organic than organic produce. Why? Because hormones and pesticide residues will collect in the fatty tissues of animals. You can't really wash a stick of butter! Focus on Veggies If you eat more whole grains, vegetables and beans and use meat as a topping or seasoning agent, you'll naturally spend much less. Many families find that they can afford to eat mostly organic when they eat less animal protein. Try making vegetarian, bean based dinners at least 3 nights a week. CSAs and Co-Ops Do a Google search to find a local community sustained agriculture (CSA) that allows you to trade a little work (or a little money) for fresh organic homegrown goods. You can also join a co-op to buy just about anything from boxed organic food, vitamins and personal care items. Or just get together with a friend to pool your resources and buy from companies that offer a wholesale program. Search online for co-ops for everything from organic skin care to vitamins to raw milk. Grow Your Own If growing your own garden seems overwhelming, just start with one tomato plant or a small windowbox herb garden. Enlist the help of your kids and make it into an educational experience. Or find a neighbor who you can start a small garden with and share the work. Go Online for Organics Believe it or not, you can save money by buying organic food online. Some retailers offer free shipping with a small minimum purchase, others offer great prices on bulk items. You can also find coupon codes for some of the retailers. The time and gas savings can also make it very worthwhile. If you would like to find a local co-op/farm/csa or farmers market then check out localharvest.org Nothing near you? You can easily buy delicious, fresh organics online at diamondorganics.com but you will still be impacting the environment with shipping unfortunately but the quality is far superior to what you will usually find in your grocery store that your geographic location may leave you no choice. Learn more about organic foods by visiting Organic Consumers and The Environmental Working Group. About the author: Are you a busy Mom who is looking for natural solutions for your family's health? Visit http://www.NaturalMomsHealth.com and download your free report. For free healthy whole foods recipes, check out http://www.NaturalMomsRecipes.com Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/christiansvaneskolding/150333736/