Start with Enthusiastic Plants and Develop Your Garden’s Organic Potential
Organic vegetable gardening helps us understand and be in harmony with nature, but it’s also the right thing to do for the environment. Chemical fertilizers, pesticides and other components of modern agriculture have far-reaching effects on the environment, whether in local streams or even being carried by natural processes to pollute the oceans and affect wildlife, birds and insects. As with so many other areas of modern life, industrial products are being replaced with new technologies which allow more responsible living in a way that is more compatible with the modern lifestyle.
In my organic vegetable garden, that still means that my already rich soil is enhanced by manure from a local farm. It is a little fragrant, and I’ve discovered a product from Canada that answers any objections, especially for the little plots that surround my doorstep and welcome visitors – “unscented” manure! Basically just dried cowchips, they are perfect for my purposes, carrying the nutrients I need but not the aroma my visitors don’t.
My organic vegetable gardening plot is a factory for zucchini lasagna which I freeze for the winter months, so those are the most important plants for me. Unlike some plants like cabbage, it’s not a problem to replant each year with tomatoes and zucchini squash, but I do plow in the manure and sometimes add some good rich earth (topsoil) because my garden is in a reclaimed yard and is a combination of a variety of soils. Over time, it is becoming an oasis, even a jungle! A little bit of catnip I planted even returns each year to tantalize my cats. Zucchini and tomato plants, just the varieties sold by the local farm stand in Massachusetts, are not particularly challenging to grow organically, but that’s the point – anyone can do it, so why not do it as a way to learn organic vegetable gardening? If you do it with an eye towards the future, you can diversify your crops as the soil becomes more uniformly rich and welcoming to whatever plants you wish to grow. If you aren’t sure about the organic status of the plants, you can start the plants yourself indoors ahead of planting time.