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Best Flowers to plant with vegetables

Mother Earth News / Rosalind Creasy / February/March 2015

It turns out that flowers are an essential ingredient in establishing a healthy garden because they attract beneficial insects and birds, which control pests and pollinate crops. Most gardeners understand this on some level. They may even know that pollen and nectar are food for insects, and that seed heads provide food for birds. What some may not realize is just how many of our wild meadows and native plants have disappeared under acres of lawn, inedible shrubs and industrial agriculture’s fields of monocultures, leaving fewer food sources for beneficial critters. With bees and other pollinators under a chemical siege these days and their populations in drastic decline, offering chemical-free food sources and safe havens is crucial. Plus, giving beneficial insects supplemental food sources of pollen and nectar throughout the season means they’ll stick around for when pests show up.

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First-steps-toward-building-a-local-regeneration-movement/

Organic Consumers Association / 9 October 2017

The paradigm shift from degenerative food, farming and land-use practices toward regenerative practices—those that regenerate soil, biodiversity, health, local economies and climate stability—is arguably the most critical transformation occurring throughout the world today.

Regeneration practices, scaled up globally on billions of acres of farmland, pasture and forest, have the potential to not only mitigate, but also to reverse global warming. At the same time, these practices provide solutions to other burning issues such as poverty, deteriorating public health, environmental degradation and global conflict.

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Seed Viability – Waste not – Want not

The Edible Garden / Dale Odorizzi / January 2018

This is an exciting time in a gardener’s life. The hustle and bustle of Christmas has passed. I can finally sit down and leisurely leaf through the seed catalogues that have arrived in my mail box over the past month. It is the time when my garden looks its best, at least in my mind. I dream about the beautiful new flowers I can grow or how neat and weed free my vegetable garden will look. As I look through my seed catalogues, I am struck with the thought that last year I bought a pack of cucumber seeds and of the 100 seeds in the pack, I only used 12. I still have over half a pack of bean and pea seeds left.

Can I use them? Should I run the risk of using seeds that may not produce, or should I just order a bunch more. There are various simple tests for viability.

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 Master Gardener  Tip of the Month 

MGOC Trowel Talk / November 2017

My veggie garden hasn’t been tilled for four years and the soil is very rich and healthy. When I started gardening, I was taught that rototilling or double-digging a garden was the way to get organic matter mixed in and to ensure light, friable soil. Today’s science tells us that turning over the soil is actually bad for it. The mycorrhizal fungi and micro-organisms that make the nutrients and trace elements available to the plants are in that top layer of soil. If we constantly work the soil, we are disturbing those organisms – in effect, we are burying them and cutting off their air supply. New ones will colonize but instead of having a continuous, dynamic, healthy soil, you are constantly starting over.

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