Friday, March 30, 2012

Today's Random Selection of Topics: GMO's Seaweed Mulch and a Monthly Garden Calendar for Hawaii

Dried seaweed 

Thanks to my husband, I was able to obtain seaweed for my garden plot. It was enough to cover the area.

How ocean plants help earth plants

Seaweed, which originates from the ocean's garden, is one of the best materials for an earth garden. For one thing, kelp helps stimulates soil bacteria. This, in turn increases fertility of the soil by humus formation (which feeds on the bacteria), aeration and moisture retention. Let's look at some other ways that kelp helps:

Seed germination is improved
Fruits and vegetable have a greater nutritional value
Plants develop more extensive root systems, which means healthier foliage, flowers and fruit
Plants have a greater resistance to nematodes, disease and pests.
Source: Help from kelp
How ocean plants help our garden plants

It was wonderful to learn how the simple ocean plant can benefit our gardens!  It was also very exciting having access to a nice size portion of seaweed without much effort.

I also found a gardening almanac specifically for Hawaii. It reminded me of the old Gardening by the Moon Calendar from the Farmers' Almanac.

This is so true:

My motivation for gardening is similar to what got me into cooking two decades ago. I like good, fresh food, and that's not often easy to find outside my home. I also enjoy following the seasons and tuning in to what's going on around me. And I still delight in popping a sunwarmed cherry tomato into my mouth and sharing a minutes-old salad with a supermarket lettuce-eater.

Organic gardening is a challenge in Hawaii. Decades of intensive monocrop chemical agriculture have nearly destroyed the soil and littered it with black plastic. The year-round growing season is great, but introduced diseases, weeds and insect pests also thrive 24/7. In the veggie garden, I've learned to plant plenty and continuously, harvest early and often and change crops quickly to keep ahead of the forces that prey on my plants. And I'm grateful for whatever I get, because I enjoy the process as much as the product.

Monthly Garden Calendar for Hawaii
Organic Gardening Month-to-Month Almanac

The more I learn about the dangers of GMO (Genetically modified organisms) in our foods without the consumer even being aware, (The United States currently has no laws that require such labeling), the more I am learning to go back to our basic roots, specifically organic gardening. It was a little disconcerting to see that the strawberries and the mushrooms I bought over a week ago are still looking fresh. This is a strong indication that these two different types of produce have been genetically modified.  I hope I am wrong.

 To learn more watch this older film entitled Deconstructing Supper. It is available on Netflix. Actually, there are a slew of documentaries dealing with the food industry on Netflix. Another, I would recommend is also an older film, King Corn.

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