Though Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog, predicted 6 more weeks of winter, it's not too early to plot out your garden and begin soil preparations. Make these last weeks of cold weather fly by with day-dreams of your lush, fruitful garden-to-be. (Don't lose heart if you don't have a yard, container gardening is a great option.)
Do you need good reasons to go to the trouble of growing your own organic food?
- You know what you are eating. You will know it is chemical free and full of vitamins and minerals. (A lot of non-organic produce is irradiated these days, which depletes nutrients.)
- Vine-ripened fruits and veggies have the most nutritive value. Food from across the country (or across several countries) is picked well before last of the vital nutrients are absorbed from the sun and soil. Vine-ripening may bring more essential carbohydrates that prevent and treat autoimmune disorders.
- Local foods are said to reduce seasonal allergies. It may be a wives' tale, but it makes sense. If you eat foods pollinated locally, your body may not react as strongly to airborne pollen.
- Pride. The joy of watching your garden grow from seeds is immeasurable. Everything tastes better when grown with your loving touch.
- Fresh. You can cook with produce you picked that day to have intense flavor and be nutrient-rich.
So now you need help knowing how to get started. Join these classes over the next two weekends:
- Jones Valley Urban Farm will host a Spring Garden Planting workshop this Saturday, February 13th, at 10am. They will cover information on starting seeds, preparing your soil, and protecting from frost. Call (205)439-7213 to let them know to expect you at their downtown site.
- Captain Compost is an invaluable resource for his knowledge and his product. He will be hosting a Sustainable Vegetable Gardening series at Aldridge Botanical Gardens in Hoover. The first class will be held February 21st from 2-4. The second class will be held March 7th.
- Tasteful Garden does not offer workshops, but has plenty of information on their website. They are a local source for fertilizer, seedlings, and endless advice on gardening.
There are countless tricks to make a healthy, organic garden. Look for future articles to keep up with step-by-step advice. You will learn tricks to keep the bugs out and the water in, what to plant next to each other, and how to avoid pulling weeds. Subscribe to receive these articles by email.