by Susan
on 02 June 2017
with

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.  

by Susan
on 19 May 2017
with

When it comes to the organic world, things aren’t as cut and dry as some might believe. In fact, it brings up the very question of what actually is organic? “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. Seems pretty straight forward, but it’s a bit more complicated than you may think! That’s why we believe part of our job is to help inform the public about the organic movement. 

 

What Is Pro-Cert Certified Organic?

If you purchase organic products on a regular basis, you’ve probably seen Pro-Cert logos on products you’ve bought. Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd, also known simply as Pro-Cert, is one of the leading certifiers of organic products on North America. Their main clientele base is compromised of producers, processors, and traders of organic products from across the United States and Canada. 

The Pro-Cert certification program is recognized globally for providing international access to their certified organic brands. In fact, Pro-Cert is one of the most reliable ways that Canadians depend on to recognize authentic organic products due to their extensive certification program. The program is proudly accredited by the USDA National Organic Program (NOP), the CFIA’s Canada Organic Regime (COR), Quebec’s Committee on Accreditation for Evaluation of Quality (CAEQ) and more. They are also ISO 17065 compliant and accredited by globally recognized accreditor, IOAS (previously known as the International Organic Accreditation Service). This means if Pro-Cert says it’s organic, it is truly organic!

 

What is The Importance of Certifications, Such As Pro-Cert?

A majority of the public doesn’t realize how precise and planned organic agriculture is. In fact, in order to sell a certified organic apple at a store the seeds must be organic, the soil it is grown in must be organic, all processes (including the use of insecticides) must meet organic standards and the farmer has to be able to prove it. A little complicated, right? Well, that’s just an apple, it gets a lot more complicated when you start dealing with processed products, such as organic soil. Why? Because the more ingredients your product has, the more areas you have to monitor to maintain the organic status of your product. 

This is one of the reasons that Pro-Cert is such an important part of the organic movement! They are part of the regulation required to maintain a consistent certified organic standard from one market to another. The truth is unless the produce or product you are purchasing is “certified organic,” it may not be as organic as you think! According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, a product’s content only has to be at 95% organic to be labeled “organic” or bear the organic logo. This also includes claims of “organically grown”, “organically raised”, “organically produced,” or other similar renderings. If a product does not meet these standards, they may only declare that their product “contains x% organic ingredients” (with “x” corresponding to the exact percentage of organic content). So if it’s not certified organic, is it really organic? 

 

At Pefferlaw Peat, we believe in the importance of educating the public about organic products and why the label requirements are vital. This not only helps customers find the right products, it also holds the entire food industry to higher regulation standards. Pro-Cert plays a huge role in the organic industry by ensuring that their certified products meet the high levels of required standards. We encourage all Canadians to do a little of their own research into the manufacturing and labeling of products both in the organic and non-organic industries. For more information about Pefferlaw Peat and Delicious Dirt’s Pro-Cert certified organic products or where to purchase them, please feel free to contact us today!

by Susan
on 12 May 2017
with

For most new gardeners, they want to start small. Usually with a herb garden or a few indoor plants. Indoor plants are a great way to start working on your green thumb! In fact, they are what we recommend as a first step into gardening. It will help you gauge the responsibility of owning a plant, such as watering it and adding nutrients to the soil as needed. Of course, some plants require more vigilant care than others. This is why it is important to learn a little bit about the plants you are interested in before you purchase them. That way there are never any surprises! There are the (easy to care for) indoor plants that we recommend to first-time gardeners.

 

Jade Plant

The Jade plant (crassula ovata) is a common houseplant all over the world. It is a favorite among new and seasoned gardeners, as it is an incredibly easy plant to care for and maintain. It is native to South Africa and survives in almost all indoor conditions. In fact, it also needs very minimal watering. Jades are actually considered succulents and can be propagated quite easily. They are also a very common starting point for gardeners learning bonsai since they are durable and easy to work with. 

 

Spider Plant

The spider plant (chlorophytum comosum) goes by a couple names, including St. Bernard’s lily and ribbon plant. This plant is native to tropical and southern Africa but is a pretty popular houseplant globally.They have even gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Gold. They can tolerate temperatures as low as 2 degrees Celsius but thrive best between 18 and 32 degrees Celsius. One of the reasons we love this plant is because of its ability to reduce indoor air pollution in your home. Of course, also how easy it is to care for!

 

Common Ivy

Common Ivy (hedera helix) is only of the most well known of all the house plants! Ivy is native to most of Europe and western Asia. Ivy is incredibly easy to care for all it needs is access to sunlight and a little water. Ivy is one of our favorites because of the vast variety that they are available in! Most stores that carry ivy have several variations from you to choose from. All of which have similar maintenance needs! Typically, most ivy plants are not greatly affected by hot or cold temperature, however, temperature fluctuation can have negative effects on the plant’s condition. 

 

When it comes to gardening, it is important to start! Doesn’t matter where you start, you’re still going to have to start somewhere. The easiest (and most recommended) way to get your green thumb into action is with easy-to-grow plants that don’t take too much maintenance. That way you can get a little experience before you start a full-sized garden at home (if that is your goal). Of course, it is the time of year to start an outdoor garden too! We challenge you to plant one plant this year, indoor or outdoor and just give gardening a try. You’d be surprised by all the benefits it offers! For more information about easy-to-grow plants or to learn where you can purchase Delicious Dirt and Pefferlaw Peat products, please feel free to contact us today. 

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