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Thinking of Community Gardens on Earth Day 2015

April 21, 2015

Posted in: Uncategorized

April 22 is Earth Day, the day celebrated in almost 200 countries worldwide and known as the largest civic and environmental event in the world. Earth Day Canada, a national environmental charity, will be launching Earth Day Everyday, “a national framework helping Canadians to reduce their carbon footprint 20% by 2020”.

How can people who live in Parry Sound and Area reduce our carbon footprint? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Some ideas are:

-Walk or bike instead of driving

-Grow your own food

-Drive a fuel efficient vehicle

-Monitor tire pressure and maintain vehicles

 

The idea of growing your own food resonates strongly with most vegetable gardeners especially when the real cost of eating non-local vegetables are factored in.  According to the David Suzuki Foundation, “the average meal travels 1200 km from farm to plate” and one has to wonder about processing, refrigeration and seed breeding programs designed to create these “long distance travelling foods” and the effect this has on the quality of the food that we are eating.garden photo

Living in an area that has a limited growing season also limits the amount of vegetables that can be grown but with enough land it is possible to grow a years’ supply of carrots, potatoes and onions in Parry Sound and this would certainly reduce our carbon footprint.

Another idea might be to try reducing or totally eliminating fertilizer that has been chemically manufactured and transported for vegetable growing.

We have plenty of farms in the area that could provide well rotted manure and composting is an excellent soil amendment.  We can also try organic liquid fertilizer recipes.

This summer, try filling a 5 gallon pail 2/3 full of fresh grass clippings.  Add enough water to fill the pail and stir once a day for 3 days.  After 3 days strain the water, which will have a nice green tinge to it, and add an equal amount of fresh water to dilute it.  Use this “tea” to fertilize your plants once every 2 weeks.  If you want to experiment you can add molasses, compost or manure. I wonder what nutrients locally produced maple syrup might add?  Maple flavoured carrots?  Mmm, carbon footprint reducing is yummy too!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 Happy Earth Day and Happy Gardening!

Rick Harrington

 

 

 

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