by Susan
on 17 February 2017
with

We have all seen the stickers and labels that adorn fruits and veggies at the store, but what does the word “organic” mean? We understand that organic isn’t just a label, for most customers, it’s a lifestyle. Part of our job as an organic company is to play a role in informing the public about the organic lifestyle and the positive effects it can have our their lives. Step one is knowing what organic means and why it is important.

As customers, we often see the word “organic” plastered all over food in the store, as well as bags of seeds and soils. Some of them don’t understand the difference and what the label “organic” entails. Part of this is due to the fact that organic foods and products are still fighting to get an equal representation in stores. While we understand this is a process that will gradually accelerate over time, we believe we’re meant to play a role in this health movement.


Come On, What Is “Organic”?

We believe part of our job is to inform people that the word “organic” means related to or derived from living matter and produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents. This is the basis of what “organic” means, as well as the standards used to regulate certified organic products. Believe it or not, organic food regulations can be quite strict. In fact, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan and even the European Union require producers to obtain special certifications to market their food as organic within their borders. For example, all of our Pefferlaw Peat and Delicious dirt organic soils are Pro-Cert Certified Organic products. 

The organic farming movement arose around the 1940’s in response to the industrialization of agriculture. The honest truth is, all food was organic before the 1920’s. That's right, non-organic foods have been around for less than a century! Which proves organic food is not a just trend, it has been around long before humanity very planted our very first seed.


Is Organic Food Different?

The method used to grow organic foods and non-organic foods is similar, except organic foods have to follow stricter regulations. In fact, organic foods are only organic if they are grown in organic soil and only used organic pesticides and fertilizers during farming. Organic foods also do not use industrial solvents or synthetic food actives in their products. Organic meat is very similar; the animals should not receive any antibiotics or growth hormone and must be raised on organic feed.

There are contradicting studies on whether or not organic foods are more nutritional than non-organic foods. However, it has been proven that organic foods contain less chemical residue than their non-organic counterparts. This residue often found on non-organic foods is due to the widespread use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, fungicides, preservatives, and additives. According to a study by the University of Maryland, long-term exposure to these chemicals residues can pose a threat to human health. Thus, eating organic food will help you avoid ingesting toxic chemical residue, making it a healthier choice that its non-organic cousin.

 


The argument of whether or not organic food is nutritionally better for human consumption is still out for debate. However, we believe that organic food does have health benefits for consumers due to the avoidance of harmful chemicals, such as pesticides and additives, that are commonly used in non-organic food production. As we said at the beginning, organic is more of a lifestyle than a label. This is because you can buy organic seeds, but if you plant them in organic soil or use non-organic pesticides and fertilizers… the fruit (vegetable) of your labour won’t be considered organic. To learn more about the benefits of organic foods or to find out more about Pefferlaw Peat and Delicious Dirt’s organic soils, please feel free to contact us today!

by Susan
on 10 February 2017
with

At Pefferlaw Peat, we believe that anyone can grow a garden! All sorts of people around the world grow their own botanicals and foods. Whether you have a few house plants or a whole backyard full of vegetables, gardening is a hobby that anyone can enjoy. Even celebrities enjoy gardening! in fact, there are quite a number of famous people who enjoy gardening in their free time. Here are a few of our favorite celebrity gardeners.

 

Oprah Winfrey

A love of gardening runs in Oprah’s family. She was raised on her grandmother’s farm in Kosciusko, Mississippi, where they grew everything they ate. In recent years, Oprah has returned to the lifestyle of eating the food she grows. She has a 16-acre organic farm in Maui, Hawaii where she grows over a 100 species of fruits and vegetables. Some of this food she even donates to locals. She hopes her farm as an example for other residents of Hawaii, which currently has 90% of its food flown into the island. 

 

Mindy Kaling

The director and star of “The Mindy Project” is an avid gardener when she’s not writing for the show or working on set. You can even check out her beautiful organic, botanical garden on her Instagram page. She often talks about gardening and how it is a relaxing hobby that she thoroughly enjoys. She recently tweeted, “Gardening is so fun, it is fashion for your dirt patches.” Gardening doesn’t have to be growing your own food. Many people choose to grow botanical gardens to bask in their beauty and scents. 

 

Prince Charles

Even royalty can discover their green thumb! Prince Charles has dedicated over 25 years to developing and cultivating his sustainable, organic garden at the royal Highgrove estate. He has even transformed part of the garden into a mystical playground for the youngest royals, including a unique treehouse. In fact, every week Prince Charles whips out a red ink pen, writes his all of his garden ideas out, and has it passed along to the head gardener at Highgrove. The estate even hosts and an annual festival for people to tour the elaborate gardens.

 

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres is another famous person who loves to garden. She talks about her organic garden all the time on her show, as well as during appearances on other shows. Her garden and her home have been featured in a number of magazines and their associated online outlets. She has even taken her love of gardening to the next level with her rusting garden decor line. For her gardening isn’t just a hobby, it’s creating a calm, relaxing environment as well. This is one of our favorite benefits of gardening too!

 

Gardening really can be done by anyone! These four celebrities are only a few of a long list of celebrities with organic gardens. You can choose to have a botanical garden or to grow your own food. Either way, your garden is a limitless medium for you to passionately express yourself. For garden ideas, more facts about gardening, or to find out where you can purchase Pefferlaw Peat and Delicious Dirt, feel free to contact us today. 

by Susan
on 03 February 2017
with

One of the reasons that some individuals interested in gardening decide not to pursue it is because they believe gardening is hard. While gardening does take some commitment, there are many gardening hacks that make it a lot easier for first-time gardeners to try it out. Not everyone has a green thumb. However, we believe that most people have what it takes to cultivate a breath-taking, fruitful garden. This is why we've collected our favorite organic gardening hacks to share with our customers.

 

Coffee Grounds Can Save Your Garden

There's a motley mixture of critters that love to munch on gardens. Every gardener knows that dealing with these creatures can be annoying. However, we have the perfect simple trick to handle this problem.  It may sound crazy, but used coffee grounds are the terrific organic solution to your garden’s critter infestation. In fact, the coffee grounds actually repel slugs and snails, who love to eat a majority of garden plants. These are just the repellent qualities of coffee grounds, though! 

They also have a variety of other important garden benefits as well. These coffee grounds actually provide extra nitrogen to the soil, which ultimately improves its structure and tilth. The key is to mix the grounds into the soil while it's still wet. This additional nitrogen encourages the growth of microorganisms in the ground, which greatly benefit your garden’s success. It also attracts earthworms, which are a vital component of healthy soil. 

 

Don’t Throw Away Your Egg Shells!

Egg shells can improve your garden’s success and will also aid in repelling unwanted visitors. As we discussed before, slugs and snails can take a toll on a garden. Another organic solution for repelling these hungry, slimy creatures is to place crushed egg shells around your plants. Unlike used coffee grinds, there is no scientific reason that egg shells work to repel slugs and snails. In fact, the reason is simple. They don’t like sharp, jagged edges. This is easy to understand being that they can puncture the soft bodies of slugs and snails, which can kill them.  Sounds like a genius idea to us!

 

Garlic Can Keep More Than Just Vampires Away

Garlic is a powerful repellant to more than just Dracula! In fact, you can make your own organic garlic-based insect repellant at home. It’s simple! Place an organic garlic clove in your blender along with 2 cups of water, blending until smooth. Then put your repellant in a closed container to sit for 24 hours. Then filter your solution through a cheese cloth to remove any garlic chunks. Next, dilute your solution with 12 cups of water. The dilution is necessary because garlic is known to kills some bugs on contact. If you start to see dead bugs in your garden, it could mean you didn’t dilute the solution enough. This step is vital unless you want to kill the “good” bugs too. 

These are some very simple garden hacks straight out of your kitchen that even allows you to reuse your food scraps! While there are a variety of ways to repurpose your leftover meals, this is one of our favorites. For more hacks that you can use in your garden or find out where you can purchase Pefferlaw Peat products, including our new Delicious Dirt brand, feel free to contact us today! 

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