Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What does organic gardening mean to you? A Vancouver perspective.

What does organic gardening mean to you? A Vancouver perspective.

Webster's Dictionary defines organic gardening as "a system of gardening that uses fertilizers and mulches consisting only of animal or vegetable matter". Wikipedia defines organic gardening as “Organic gardening is a form of gardening that uses substantial diversity in pest control to reduce the use of pesticides and tries to provide as much fertility with local sources of nutrients rather than purchased fertilizers”.

I agree with both but would have to add: the exclusion of any genetically modified organism and commercial pesticides and tending toward the use of heirloom plants and seeds.

I asked residents of Vancouver for their definition of “organic gardening” in 20 words or less and got an interesting variety of answers. “FOOD”, “ Manna”, “Sustainable, healthy, processed-chemical-free, local, fresh & delicious!”, “ good healthy food”, “Aside from the 20 words or less thing - more needs to be done to educate people about organic gardening - I've heard negative comments about it not being any healthier but, organic is not just good for us, it's good for the environment... “, “Work?”, “fresh wholesome food on demand (his garden is less than 10 ft from the door)”.

The idea of an “Organic Manifesto” has circulated for years. The first I read was written by Sandra Steingraber, Ph.d. In 2003.

The latest is by Maria Rodale, chairman and CEO of Rodale Inc. Maria is the granddaughter of J.I. Rodale.

Living in a fast paced world in which our food supply is vulnerable to disruption we, who are willing, should learn to grow, preserve, cook and share our food as close to home as possible. Using natural soil care, beneficial insects, companion planting, intensive gardening and seed saving is economical, good exercise and community building. Even one planter of herbs and tomatoes will enrich your life and prevent one or more gas guzzling trips to a store.

For the sake of your health and good eating now is the time to begin to “Grow” organic.

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