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.

by Susan
on 02 June 2017

Despite what some people may believe, gardening has a number of benefits to our health. In fact, most Canadians would be surprised to learn exactly how beneficial exercising their green thumb could be. Yes, gardening can cultivate a healthier diet and ultimately a healthier lifestyle, however, its benefits even go beyond that! We’ve discussed some of the other ways that gardening can benefit your life by reducing depression, limiting anxiety, adding exercise, and even increasing vitamin D. Although, today we want to talk about a more specific way that gardening can benefit you and your loved ones. There is now evidence that gardening can decrease a person’s chance of developing Alzheimer’s. 


Alzheimer’s & The Movement of Gardening

As shocking as this may be for some readers, there is a correlation between Alzheimer’s and gardening. It comes down to the movement involved in building, cultivating and maintaining a garden. According to a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease risk of developing Alzheimer’s can be reduced by 50 percent by engaging in activities such as gardening. The same study also shows an improvement in overall cognitive functions as well. In fact, this particular study is one of the largest samples sizes studied so far in the search for methods of reducing the chances for developing Alzheimer’s. It has been incredibly enlightening for many facets of Alzheimer’s research.


Cultivating The Garden of Your Mind

Is it due to the physical activity involved in gardening that cuts the risk of developing Alzheimer’s in half? This is quite the question, as anyone who has ever gardened before, even if they’ve only planted a few seeds, knows that it takes some brain power too. It seems, the more you get into your gardening and the larger your garden grows, the more cognitive effort you must devote to the project. The truth is that studies also show that both social engagement and intellectual stimuli are also associated with lowering the risk of developing Alzheimer’s as well. 

In fact, many gardeners and doctors will tell you that the physical and mental aspects of gardening both play vital factors is its benefit of reducing this disease. There are so many factors involved in planning, growing and maintaining a garden. The ability to think through solutions regarding location, weather changes, as well as a variety of other situations truly does strengthen the overall cognitive ability of gardeners. These cognitive exercises taught by nature don’t just strengthen a gardener’s mind, they also freshen their adaptability as well. As we age, we must adapt to many things, often including health setbacks and loss. This too is a gift many gardeners receive with each harvest. 


When it comes to gardening, there is more to it than beauty and nutritional sustainability. There are countless reasons for why people choose to exercise their green thumb and preventing Alzheimer’s is one of them. The best approach to quality lifelong health is proactivity, as well as nourishing your body both physically and emotionally. In almost every way fathomable gardening accomplishes these things. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of gardening or where you can purchase Delicious Dirt and Pefferlaw Peat products, please feel free to contact us today.  

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