STAY CALM AND GROW ON

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It has been a hell of a week!  Unless you’ve understandably decided to go right ahead and hide under a rock, you are most likely a bit more stressed than usual.  It’s not often we run into the threat of nuclear war and race war in the span of ten days.  Whew, once you catch your breath if you’re like us you’ll probably want to do something to make the world better or at the very least make yourself feel better, and you can do both at the same time.  We’re talking about the simplest and most direct coping mechanism, eating, more specifically; food security.

It’s not really the political threat that’ll get you, it’s the fallout from reckless decisions and behavior at the top that, when combined with Global Climate Change will lead to you not being able to access affordable, healthy food.  That my friend is food insecurity.  Now is the time to ensure food security for you, your family and your community.  While not everyone is green thumbed one change you can make is to get to know some farmers.  We are a decent bunch.

Organic cultivators come in many shapes and sizes, modern social media makes them easy to find.  Do some googling and you’ll soon see your local producers.  Many communities have food share programs that you can join up with.

If you are the gardening sort you’ll know the most important factor in any plant growth is the soil.  If you’re reading this post you’ll know exactly how to get your hands on that, wink, wink.

GROWING HEALTHY SOIL

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Healthy productive soil doesn’t just magically pop out of thin air it’s a valuable resource that’s sadly unappreciated by most in our modern world.  http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2011/11/08/stop-treating-our-soil-like-dirt/  In order to maintain and grow new soil you have to treat it well.  Of course the simplest method of soil production is using worms, indeed worms are the only creatures that produce balanced soil or as it known, vermicast.  The first step in the process is composting or to be more accurate, the action of decomposition. What is it that makes organic material break down into soil components?  Without getting too technical, microbial, in this case bacterial agents begin the process of decay.  If they are aerobic they off gas carbon dioxide, the anaerobic bacteria off gas methane and all organic decomposition produces a GHG.  The trick is to make it CO2, much less harmful in our atmosphere than methane.

Once decomposition by micro-organisms has begun to break down the material larger life forms can start to feed, it’s their waste products that are the base of soil.  The most obvious of these builders is the worm; composting vegetation goes in one end and a tiny cast (poo) of balanced soil comes out the other. How simple is that!

There are many ways to attract worms to your garden but front and centre is food, worms have to eat.  The worms we sell are composting worms and live most successfully in active compost; indigenous earthworm would not thrive in such a volatile environment with higher temperatures and unpredictable acid levels.  Your garden soil is a more stable less active habitat.  That said it can also be a food desert for soil growers like worms.

In nature a layer of decomposing organic material will form in areas that allow for it, on the prairie for example the dead growth of plants from the year’s past forms a mat at the soil surface.  What happens under that mat is the key to worm survival. Think of a pile a dead leaves, if you ignore it for a week when you flip it over you will find a thin layer of “rotting” mulch, it’s already started to compost.  This is what and where worms eat and a hint for attracting them to your garden.

The very best way to encourage worms to begin growing soil for you is to bribe them with food and the best food for them is mulch.  We suggest using leaves or for a “cleaner” look, straw.  Not only will you find this effective for encouraging soil growth the mulch itself has a myriad of benefits for plant growth and for you. http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2012/05/26/the-power-of-mulch/

RETHINK YOUR LAWN

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Grass lawns are on their way out of favour, they hurt biodiversity; require more water, weeding and fertilizer than alternatives.

Lawns of grass are needless and quite frankly a little selfish in this day and age.  The concepts of lawns (not to be confused with grazed pasture areas) are thought to have begun in Europe in the 1600’s as a sign of wealth, power and station.  Maintained around castles, their practical purpose of clearing growth for enemies to hide in has long passed.  The original lawns were often comprised of more useful plants like chamomile and thyme. The industrial revolution and the invention of the lawnmower made the lawn more popular and accessible to lower classes.

Now we find vast landscapes of grass lawns covering cities and towns all over North America and really, what good do they do?  Cities and municipalities have actually passed punitive laws governing the upkeep and quality of these useless expanses.  They are of no purpose, when was the last time you saw anything grazing on the lawn or an enemy sneaking up to your castle, geesh, it’s ridiculous.

Let’s discard this relic of the past; you can make your lawn both beautiful and useful.  One alternative to grass include the very popular clover.  It’s grows slower requiring less mowing, about a fifth of the watering and because clover is a nitrogen fixing plant you need not fertilize. Another advantage to a nice thick clover covering is the ability to choke out other plants sometimes referred to as weeds.

Best of all in this win, win scenario is….. Clover FEEDS BEES!

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO LET WORMS INTO YOUR LIFE

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Here we are in the heart of summer, lazy days and hot, hot nights bring on thoughts of lakeside picnics and fireside celebrations.  Maybe you’ve finished all the hard work of putting a garden in or perhaps your perennials are tidied up and blooming for the year, whatever your passion the middle of summer tends to be a slow time in the growing season.  In a month or so you could be up to your eyeballs in zucchini, who knows what harvest will bring.  But for now, the peaceful warm weather break at the top of our summer mountain is the perfect time to introduce vermiculture into home and garden.

You can add some Red Wigglers into your outdoor composter.  This is a great way to balance and enrich your compost along with faster production.  Composting worms simply thrive in warm temperatures so you’ll be building a healthy colony along the way, one that you may want to continue inside through the winter.  Incorporating worms into your composting scheme will pay dividends in the long run.

Anyone can try having a worm bin; they are perfect for apartment dwellers.  There’s no reason to miss out on the satisfaction of growing worms and soil just because you have no yard, worm bins fit anywhere.   http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2011/10/27/indoor-worm-bins-qa-2/

Give worms some thought then contact us, your worms are waiting.

WHERE ARE ALL THE WORMS?

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We use cattle manure to grow our worms and produce worm castings, thousands and thousands of Liters per day.  It’s hard to imagine what this looks like in the real world.  The first photo in this post shows our starting point, raw manure.  Once the worms have moved or been moved into the material the composting rows are covered with a thick layer of straw mulch, you can see this in the second photo.  Finally with careful management the straw can be removed to harvest castings from the outer layer of the original manure pile.  This process is repeated almost daily and the finished castings are screened before being packed for you to use.  Our third photo depicts the finished product.  By the time this has happened, (it only takes a few months), the worms have moved into fresher manure placed next to the completed compost, easy peasy right.

 

Now that we’ve walked you through the program where have the worms gone?  Keep in mind that the little wonders have been getting busy making baby worms the whole time and the colony will have tripled in size.  It’s an amazing bit of work from Mother Nature, but, the worms need to eat, we need more manure.  This is truly a self-propelled business you can’t have one without the other if you get the drift.  Worms need manure to eat and castings always come next.  So, what’s a worm farmer to do?  We chose to expand.

This is where our manure management program had its beginnings.  http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/about-us-2/manure-management/  In co-operation with many local (and by local we mean Southern Manitoba, it’s a big place) cattle and livestock farmers we have created satellite worm depots that act as alternate vermicast and worm producing sites.  It’s the best of both worlds; the farmers can incorporate composting worms into their manure management scheme to reduce their carbon footprint by composting aerobically and harvest some castings for their fertilizing potential.  We can harvest worms when needed or bump up our casting supplies at the height of the season, plus it ensures that we never run out of stock!

If you’re like us and want more transparency and honesty in our world, don’t look to the politicians or big companies, look to a worm farmer.  Better yet, talk to one, message us here on the web page or through our Face book page.  https://www.facebook.com/NATURESPERFECTPLANTFOOD/

 

 

WHY WE VERMICOMPOST

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Vermicomposting, composting with red worms, can be as complex or simple as you choose to make it, the point being that it’s a personal decision.  Whether you’re already an avid composter or just a part timer, red composting worms (Eisenia fetida) will enhance your composting experience greatly.  Not only do they allow apartment dwellers to be able to compost indoors they also improve any outdoor composting situation.

People compost for any number of reasons, some to do their part to fight Green House Gas others to improve their gardening experience.  People have different end goals in mind when starting a vermicomposting operation.  We always ask people who contact us to acquire worms what their ultimate outcome is, that way we can help them design a system that will work for them to achieve the end result they are looking for.

If your main goal is to keep food scraps out of the landfill and reduce GHG’s then you will need to manage your vermicompost differently than if your objective is to create the maximum amount of vermicast for your plants.  Obviously you can’t have one without the other of course, worms will create castings, but, if you’re in an apartment you may want to manage your bin to minimize casting growth and maximize organic waste conversion.  Likewise, if your plan is to create beautiful, fluffy castings for your home and garden, you can enhance that aspect of your operation.

We’re here to help!  If you’re composting now, you’re half way there, contact us to take the next step.  Visit our Face Book page or use the handy, dandy contact form at the bottom of each of our web page tabs, we look forward to hearing from you.

https://www.facebook.com/NATURESPERFECTPLANTFOOD/

 

CANADA 150…. YIKES!

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It’s a big day here on the Prairies, Canada 150!  That’s right folks, as a country we’ve been “on the map” for 150 years.  We know we’re babies in the whole world country thing but we’re celebrating none the less.  Or, we should say…. Some of us are celebrating, some, not so much.  You see, Canada has a reconciliation problem.  To be clear, how you feel about this day probably has a lot to do with the colour of your skin and where/how you were raised.

There are many Canadian First Nations people who do not see this day as a beacon of freedom and choice and they have very good reason not to.  Historical injustices have rained upon our nation and left tainted ground that needs to heal before the growth of understanding and tolerance will flourish.  It’s for those good and deserving souls we will forgo any celebratory moments today and instead quietly reflect on the damage done.

Starting with treaties signed in good faith by intelligent, caring First Nations communities only to be broken by government agents, followed by the Indian Act, a destructive evil document that still rules the lives of people living within this apartheid system.  To the blatant marginalization of First Nations children…. The list goes on and on.  It’s not hard to see that there are plenty of steps left on the road to reconciliation.

Try this one on for size, how can we reconcile the federal government spending upwards of 500 million dollars for 150 celebrations when most First Nations people live in abject poverty with no drinking water?  That’s just a taste of the struggle we face as a nation, we must continue our quest to balance this country and of course we will.  When you raise a glass today think of the original residents and support the road to reconciliation, carve out some time and space for a talk with a person of colour you know and listen, all we have to do is listen.

GONNA GROW IN 2018? GROW ORGANIC!

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As we know recreational marijuana will be legal in Canada in about a year.  Yeah Canada!  Seems like a reasonable decision to us, the savings in law enforcement costs alone will improve life for all the taxpayers.

If you like many other upstanding citizens want to try to cultivate your own “smokables” at home, (up to four plants)… just like the food you put into your body, go organic.  Here’s a hint, you don’t have to smoke weed; you can eat it in many delightful forms.  Still, no matter your choice it might be of interest to know that one of the most effective organic fertilizers is Vermicast.  We can certainly help you in that department.

What you may not know or haven’t thought of is that we as a Nation would never have reached this progressive stance without the understanding of the benefits of medical marijuana.  Many people have found relief and health improvement with the use of this versatile drug.  From a topical agent that sooths sore muscles and joints to life saving reductions in brain seizures, long used by people suffering from eye problems including glaucoma and diabetes…..  Some may call it a wonder drug.

Improvements have been achieved through careful scientific exploration of the components that create such wide medical effects.  Advances have been made in the nature of the marijuana plants and their chemical components.  These changes are pioneering movements in Canada, it’s no secret we grow the best.  To that end, NATURE’S PERFECT PLANT FOOD is happy to support our growers and users, let’s go organic together.

For more info check this out,  https://www.facebook.com/theunitycup204/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE 

USING CASTINGS IN YOUR GARDEN

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If you haven’t used castings as an organic fertilizer before, the first thing you need to know is that worm castings are a slow release feeding system.  http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2015/07/17/its-not-too-late-to-show-your-garden-some-vermi-love/

They will keep working in the soil structure for an entire season as fertilizer then continue for a lifetime of soil structure support and enhancement.  It’s the form of the castings themselves that allow for this long term usefulness.  When you break it down to the “nitty gritty” each individual cast or “poo” from a worm is a mini piece of complete soil.  Imagine a micro world of tiny soil components with nutrients and Humus neatly packed together awaiting deployment in your home and garden.  If we think of Humus as a little sponge in castings (which have about 40% more Humus than compost) it’s the glue that holds the nutrients together.  This sponge like material is what holds nutrients, beneficial bacteria and microbes in soil, more is better.

Worm castings are easy to use and will never cause “nitrogen” burn to plants.  You can use them anytime in a myriad of ways, why not start now and contact us today for a future of organic splendor in your gardening endeavors.

MOTHERS ARE THE WATER OF LIFE

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Mothers carry the waters of life literally, we are all aquatic in the womb.

Life is water and water is life.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the water carriers.