Tag Archives: creating organic soil

Soil organic matter (SOM) is the organic matter component of soil, consisting of plant and animal residues at various stages of decomposition, cells and tissues of soil organisms, and substances synthesized by soil organisms. SOM exerts numerous positive effects on soil physical and chemical properties, as well as the soil’s capacity to provide regulatory ecosystem services. Particularly, the presence of SOM is regarded as being critical for soil function and soil quality.

Preparing a Spring Garden Bed

In the winter time when it is often too wet or too cold on Vancouver Island to do full days in landscaping, there is time to design new gardens or re-design existing gardens.  Quite often I have several garden projects on the go simultaneously.   This garden design is a new garden and is in my yard.  This is the beginning of my garden of eden.  I have based my design on what I have learned over the years I have landscaped and it has also been strongly influenced by dozens of videos online about organic gardening.  http://www.backtoedenfilm.com/paul-gautschi.html  I have found the videos full of useful information and knowledge.  Much of what is discussed reinforces what I have already learned and adds to my knowledge and information.  I am excited about my new gardens and will keep you posted as the seasons turn.  My greatest challenge is time, as many of my garden plans are new…I have a blank slate to work with throughout most of my outdoor space and look forward to learning and creating as I go.  My commitment is to grow as much of my own food as possible, and create a balanced ecosystem using organic matter and sustainable garden practices.  Here are the beginning photos of my new garden design and the steps I have taken to create it.

1.Photos of my garden before and during the process

2. Using a natural covering for the ground to prepare the garden beds.

3. Layering newspaper first on the area that is to be the garden.

4. Sifting organic matter from my compost bins to lay over the newspaper for the natural covering.

5.  Returning any large compost back to the compost bins to continue to break down.

6. I also have a large pile of organic matter saved from the yard clean up in the fall, including, sticks, twigs, pine needles and leaves.  I have layered it on top of the newspaper and then added an organic layer from my compost bins on top of it.


side yard after clean up 565x1000garden bed newpaper baselayering a garden bed 2

Garden Beds completeMy Garden Beds Complete

compost binsafter sifting compost 625x353

Garden Cover used from sifting my compost bins.

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The covering has been down one week.  Now it is a matter of waiting until the weeds and grass underneath have broken down enough to plant and then cover with wood chips.

Happy Gardening…see you in the garden or the garden centre! 🙂


Environmental Rights are Human Rights By David Suzuki

Recently an interview with David Suzuki was published in one of our local free magazines “Common Ground” on Environmental Issues.  This should be of concern for every Canadian.  I was shocked to learn that Canada has become the world leader in pristine deforestation.  And even more shocked to learn that ” The right to live in a healthy environment is recognized by more than 110 nations – but not Canada.”  as stated by David Suzuki.  I do agree with Suzuki that this should be of utmost importance to every Canadian.  We live in one of the largest countries in the world with the most fresh water yet cannot drink it without adding chemicals to kill the bacteria and parasites that industrialization has added.  In essence it has become a catch 22 situation.  Where we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.  I believe the earth provides everything we need for health and happiness…without the chemicals.  Please stand up for Canada and your quality of life.  Write your member of parliament, grow some of your own food organically, plant a tree, join your local garden club, volunteer at your local community garden, support organic farmers, buy local, compost your kitchen scraps and recycle everything possible and above all else educate yourself on what is going on in your community and your country before it is too late to turn back!  Please be part of the solution and do what you can to create positive change!


Portrait of David Suzuki