by Susan
on 23 June 2017

When it comes to gardening, there are many different types of plants you can choose to grow. While many organic gardeners cultivate plants to eat, we have countless customers who also grow botanicals. We absolutely love both! In fact, we are also fascinated by the amazing botanical gardens located all over Canada and have decided to share a list of the ones we consider garden lover must-sees!


Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens

This luscious 17-acre horticultural paradise calls Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia home. This garden isn’t a new addition to the area though, as it boasts over four hundred years of local history. While the land that these historical gardens inhabits has been associated with gardens since the 17th century, the gardens as we know them came into existence in 1981 as a way to promote their rich local history. They have even implemented aspects that honor the Acadian settlers of the area and their bond with the native Mi’kmaq people who assisted them in adjusting to the new world. 


High Park

Located in Toronto, High Park is known as the city’s largest park and you may be shocked by what all it offers visitors! When if comes to visiting Toronto, High Park is listed as a destination you cannot miss with 399 acres right in the middle of downtown. As expected, they offer hiking trails, a diverse array of vegetation, playgrounds and a dog park. What you may be surprised to learn is that they also host a zoo, a few restaurants, and several garden areas. They are known for their beautiful cherry blossoms, especially during bloom. In fact, many locals and tourists visit the park just to see these fascinating trees. 


Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens

The amazing part of this particular park is that consists of 99 acres of beautifully maintained gardens. They feature over 2,400 roses in their world-famous rose garden, as well as perennials, rhododendrons, azaleas, a parterre garden, herbs and even vegetables. Not to mention that they even have a school of Horticulture for guests who are interested in learning more about plants. Another unique addition to the magnificent park is their butterfly conservatory, where visitors can get up close and personal with these wondrous creatures. 


Butchart Gardens

Found outside of Victoria, Butchart Gardens is one of our favorite show gardens in Canada. This garden, which was started over a hundred years ago, was once a limestone quarry. It has since become one of the most treasured parks in our country. They have a variety of gardens including a sunken garden, rose garden, Japanese garden, Italian garden, Mediterranean garden, and a concert lawn walk filled with beautiful dahlias. The lush history and the vast array of botanical beauty would make this park a wonderful stop on your next adventure in British Columbia! 


At Pefferlaw Peat, we believe in finding inspiration in the beauty around us. As a gardener, it is important to observe and soak in the beautiful smell and colors in the world around us. This allows us to transform our own passions into a breathtaking manifestation in our own gardens at home. For more must-see botanical gardens around Canada or to learn where you can purchase Delicious Dirt and Pefferlaw Peat Products, please feel free to contact us today.

by Susan
on 16 June 2017

The concept of organic goes beyond grocery labels, in fact, it honestly starts in the dirt. In order for a fruit, vegetable, or flower to be considered organic, it must meet a set criteria. It may seem elementary to some veteran gardeners, but you’d be surprised how little some Canadians know about being organic, as well as the regulating standards. Simply put, for the final product to be organic all components involved must also be organic throughout the entire process. From the ground up, literally!  


Organic Starts In The Soil

This means the soil it is grown in must be organic. To some people, this may not make sense. How is the organic dirt in the store any different than the dirt outside their own home? The truth is that our soil, especially in heavily populated areas, as well as near nonorganic farming lands, have quite a bit of soil contaminants. These often including industrial chemicals from construction, chemical based lawn care products, and a variety of other potentially harmful impurities. Even if you don’t use these harmful chemicals in your yard, over time they have the potential to seep in when a neighbor uses them, especially if your property experiences run-off. 


The Seeds Themselves Must Be Organic Too

Genetically modified seeds are not considered organic. In order to grow organic plants, the seed must meet organic regulations too. The key of organic is to eat crops similar to what our ancestors ate before we began modifying them. However, many of the seeds sold in stores today are modified in some way. So ensuring you purchase organic seeds is a vital part of the process that some may accidentally overlook. The next time you are at the grocery store, compare an organic fruit to its nonorganic counterpart. Do you see any differences? There are some. Most of these visual differences came from the variations between their seeds. 


The Whole Process Matters

The organic status of a plant doesn’t just rely on soil and seed alone. Only organic pesticides, fertilizer, herbicides and other products can be used throughout the process. These avoid the use of toxic chemicals that can affect human health, as well as the health of surrounding wildlife.   The first thing you need to understand is that pesticides, in comparison to most chemicals we come in contact with daily, are deliberately added to the environment for the purpose of killing or injuring some form of life. These chemicals cannot discriminate between their victims, such as the 9 incidences per year of fish being killed in large numbers due to pesticide runoff from nearby farms during heavy rain in Montague on Prince Edward Island.


Organic is more than just a label, it’s a dedication to unaltered food. It’s a belief in consuming natural products. It’s a commitment to a healthier lifestyle. It's hoping for a brighter future. “Organic” means so many different thins to a vast variety of people. To us it means leaving the earth better than we found it, starting from the ground up. For more information on organic standards or where you can purchase Pefferlaw Peat and Delicious Dirt products, please feel free to contact us today. 

by Susan
on 09 June 2017

The truth is, soil doesn't it just allow us to grow food, it actually plays a vital role in human health. Now soil does allow thousands of species of plants to grow, which does replenish the earth's oxygen of which we are dependent on. However, this is not quite what we are referring to. You may be surprised to learn just how many medical benefits getting your hands dirty in organic dirt may have. In fact, you’ll quickly understand why gardening, even if it starts with a few indoor plants, is such a popular hobby among Canadians. 


Microbes Have Antidepressant Qualities

Many people are intrigued to learn that gardening can actually increase your happiness. The truly amazing part is that it’s not the plants, but rather the soil, that makes the difference. The Mycobacterium vaccae, commonly found in soil, actually mirrors the effect on neurons that antidepressant drugs like Prozac offer patients. This bacterium that is plentiful in most soils may simulate serotonin production as well, which can make you relaxed. This makes gardening a great solution for those who suffer from depression, anxiety, or high amounts of stress. Interestingly, the same bacteria are also being studied based on scientific evidence that they improve cognitive function, Crohn’s disease, and even rheumatoid arthritis.


Due To Industrial Agriculture, Our Microbes Intakes Are Limited

It may surprise some readers to learn that our body’s microbes originate in the soil! In fact, the natural process of replenishing our body’s microbes was through our food. Food absorbed naturally occurring microbes from the soil and upon consumption, so did we. However, since World War II the popularized peak in industrial agriculture that we see today has altered that process. Through the use of fertilizers and biocides (pesticides, fungicides, herbicides), we have effectively killed the mycorrhizal symbionts that had previously regulated the uptake cycle. These microbial communities were how we received the flora in our gut that help maintain healthy digestion. The high use of pesticides has resulted in the plants instead containing high levels of the nutrients added through fertilizer (typically nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium), but little to none of the other 27 nutrients that previously occurred naturally in food from the unaltered soil. 


Can Organic Make A Difference?

When it comes to organic soil, man people don’t realize how vital of a role it can play in the nutrients of their food. One of the main differences between organic and nonorganic foods is the use of chemical pesticides. The first thing you need to understand is that pesticides, in comparison to most chemicals we come in contact with daily, are deliberately added to the environment for the purpose of killing or injuring some form of life. This is both directly and indirectly dangerous to human health. However, organic soil allows the microbes to flourish, allowing for the natural flow of microorganisms from food to humans through consumption. This is among the many reasons that Canadians choose to grow using organic soil when given the option. 


As humans, our health is one of the most valuable factors in the longevity of lives. What we choose to eat directly affects our health in a variety of ways. By choosing the organic lifestyle, you can ensure that you are ingesting the foods that are the most nutrient dense and as close to what our ancestors ate as possible. Interrupting the natural flow of microbes can lead to a variety of illnesses and disease. This is why we believe part of our job is to help inform Canadians about the benefits of choosing to live an organic lifestyle. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of microbes or where you can purchase Pefferlaw Peat and Delicious Dirt products, please feel free to contact us today.

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