Should gardening be a subject taught in school?

kids gardening

TEACH KIDS LIFE SKILLS   Gardening is a great way for adults to grow organic fruits and vegetables plus save grocery money throughout the year. What about teaching the kids about gardening and where the food they eat comes from? I believe that budgeting should be taught at school because some parents just don’t understand the financial concept of spending less than they earn. If you are a financial nerd like I am you will agree that teaching kids about money from a young age is important. If the education system could include every day living financial knowledge then maybe we wouldn’t have so many people swimming in consumer debt. Maybe your school does this already but not many do. Basic math isn’t enough. Why stop there though?  Why not make school fun and educational at the same time by teaching other basic life skills such as gardening. I’m not talking about teaching kids to be master gardeners just the simple process of growing food from seed.   Gardening when I was a kid   When I went to school although it’s a different system in the UK I can remember between the ages of 6 and 8 planting and […]

How to grow your own fruit at home

fruit tree apple

HOME-GROWN FRUIT U-PICK   Many people enjoy going to the market to buy local produce but what’s even better is growing your own fruit trees and vegetables at home if you have the space to do so. Although you can easily buy fruit trees at your local garden centre, understanding how to properly plant and care for them takes a bit of research and sometimes trial and error. Growing up on the farm I was lucky enough to enjoy eating homegrown fruit from fruit trees such as crab apples, pears, bushes of elderberries, grapes, blackberries, currants and raspberries. They were all easily accessible and enjoyed by my family and our grandparents. My grandma made many elderberry pies over the years that we had the pleasure of eating. Having the opportunity to pick fruit from our own backyard is like nothing else and you certainly save money. The only drawback was the mess that some of them left behind, particularly the larger fruit trees. The beautiful flower blossoms add some vibrant colour to the spring landscape but once they begin to drop their fruit and leaves the mess and clean up begins. Cleaning up the fruit and leaves can not only […]

Why you should enjoy local produce or pay the price

tomatoes produce

KEEPING IT CLOSE TO HOME   If you open any refrigerator most people have some form of fresh produce readily available to prepare daily meals. Why? That’s easy because it’s part of a healthy diet. Have you been thinking about growing your own vegetable garden? If so, now may be a good time to start, here’s why…… If purchasing fresh produce is part of your weekly grocery budget be prepared to see the costs increase over the next few months. California is a major exporter of fresh produce including grapes, melons, peppers, tomatoes and avocados. They are currently experiencing the worst drought they have seen in a very long time. Canada currently imports approximately $5 billion worth of produce from California every year. The majority of the organic produce we see on the shelves of our grocery stores in Canada is imported and the bulk of it is shipped in from California. How could this impact us in Canada? While it is uncertain exactly how much of an impact it will have, paired with the declining value of the Canadian dollar the drought that has hit California hard this year. It is expected to increase the cost of purchasing fresh […]

How to create flower beds for your home

flower bed shape

SPRUCE UP YOUR YARD   Flower beds are often used as beautiful focal points on the front lawns of many homes. People associate gardening with a lot of work and while flower beds will always require some maintenance, planning ahead can help to limit just how much. Now that spring has finally sprung you may be thinking about how you are going to spruce up your property this year. Adding a flower bed to your front yard or even in the back is a great, quick way to add some colour and liven things up a bit. Don’t worry, if you don’t know how to make a flower bed I’m going to share almost all of my secrets with you today. Think about the amount of maintenance it will require after the garden is installed and are you willing to commit to the upkeep. Why waste the money if you can’t maintain your flower beds? How much time are you able or willing to devote to maintaining the landscape of your home?   The perfect shape for your flower bed   After deciding on the location of your new flower bed you are going to have to decide what shape […]

How to build a rock garden with weed prevention

Building a rock garden

SAVE WITH ROCKS AND MULCH   A few years ago I travelled to England and my first comment when we arrived at our destination was where is all of the grass? Not one single house on the street had a lawn, rather they had a rock garden. I was informed that being in walking distance from the Irish Sea the drifting salt water made it difficult to have vegetation growing on their properties. Instead everyone had rock gardens. It looked great! Rock gardens   Rocks gardens can look nice in the beginning but that can change quickly especially if not prepared or maintained properly. It’s not too often that we see entire properties transformed into rock gardens in North America though many people do enjoy the style and natural touch they can add to their properties. Unfortunately, there are too many rock gardens that have been neglected or not installed well that are now overgrown and full of weeds, in some cases you are barely able to see the rocks or stones. Why would you consider building a rock garden? If a rock garden is properly prepared and installed, it can be a relatively low-maintenance required addition to your landscape […]