Earth friendly gardening in the Kootenays region of British Columbia, Canada

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Biodynamic Gardening     Organic Gardening     Permaculture

Many linked articles are written by gardeners and scientists from outside of our region but the information there is either universal or can be easily adapted to the climatic conditions in the Kootenays.

 

Kootenay Gardening

Biodynamic gardening

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    The system we know as Biodynamics was initiated by Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), the Austrian scientist, philosopher, and mystic who is also the founder of Waldorf schools.
    "Based on a series of lectures given by Rudolf Steiner in 1924, Biodynamics is a method of agriculture which seeks to actively work with the health-giving forces of nature. It is the oldest non-chemical agricultural movement, predating the organic agriculture movement by some twenty years and has now spread throughout the world. ...
Biodynamics is a science of life-forces, a recognition of the basic principles at work in nature, and an approach to agriculture that takes these principles into account to bring about a balance and healing." - from the article by Sherry Wildfeur previously posted at the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association website.
    Biodynamics (Greek for "life energy") is not a rigid set of techniques, but rather a "path of knowledge" that relies on the gardener's own observations of nature. ...
    Biodynamics holds that all health begins in the soil.

The Challenge of Biodynamics

    "Steiner understood the farm as a living entity and the farmer through his or her toil, intent and conscious feeling, as a motivating, even healing part of that being. Some of Steiner's teachings resonate with accepted scientific concepts, such as the "agroecosystem", while others, particularly those involving planetary alignment and cosmic beings are from a different way of understanding."
Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada website.
 

Community Supported Agriculture

    "The Earth is a living Being and the actions of every individual have an effect on the whole. The soil is the basis of all human life and the quality of its care and health affect not only the people who eat the food today, but also those who will depend on the soil in the future."
Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association website.
 

Biodynamic Farming & Compost Preparation

    "While biodynamics parallels organic farming in many ways especially with regard to cultural and biological farming practices it is set apart from other organic agriculture systems by its association with the spiritual science of anthroposophy founded by Steiner, and in its emphasis on farming practices intended to achieve balance between the physical and higher, non-physical realms; to acknowledge the influence of cosmic and terrestrial forces; and to enrich the farm, its products, and its inhabitants with life energy."
National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website.
 

Lofstedt Gardens

    Biodynamic Farm situated close to Kaslo and the Kootenay Lake in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia, Canada.
"Bio-Dynamic farming ... endeavors to create a closed, fully-renewable, truly ecological production system, in which all the resources needed to maintain soil fertility and plant health originate from the farm itself, keeping any outside inputs at the bare minimum" explain the owners, Bridget and George Baumann.
The farm is a training place for Biodynamic farming and gardening. They get quite a number of interns and wwoofers every season, and for many this is an important turning point in their lives.
WWOOF means World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms or Willing Workers on Organic Farms - Volunteer exchange for accommodation, meals and an interesting experience.
   

 

Kootenay Gardening

Organic gardening

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    Organic Agriculture promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony. (NOSB)
    "Organic agriculture is sustainable, keeping soils healthy and alive, and helping to minimize contamination of the earth's precious water supplies. ...
Organic growers use biological and cultural practices as their first line of defense against pests. Methods used include crop rotation, the selection of pest- and disease- resistant varieties, nutrient and water management, the provision of habitat for the natural enemies of pests, and release of beneficial organisms to protect crops from damage. ...
In addition, organic practices prohibit the use of genetic engineering, irradiation, sewage sludge, antibiotics, and hormones." - from the article previously posted at the Ecology.com website.

Sustainable Organic Gardening

    "Organic gardening is growing without chemical fertilizers, naturally building the soil to support healthy plant life. Chemical fertilizers and additives will, over time, damage the soil's ability to provide what plants need to resist disease, insect attacks, and stress. Soil depletion of organic nutrients is one of the main causes of unhealthy plants and disease."
Comprehensive article at the Avant-Gardening: Creative Organic Gardening website.
 

Finding Our Way Home

    "We need to discover that Earth does not belong to us, but we belong to her.
To find our way "home", we need to focus on goals in tune with Nature - nourishing biodiversity while reducing our ecological footprint, our fuel consumption, and the distance our products travel to market."
Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada website.
   

 

Kootenay Gardening

Permaculture

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    Permaculture is the art and science that applies patterns found in nature to the design and construction of human and natural environments. Only by applying such patterns and principles to the built environment can we truly achieve a sustainable living system. Permaculture principles are now being adapted to all systems and disciplines that human settlement requires. Architects, planners, farmers, economists, social scientists, as well as students, homeowners and gardeners can utilize the principles of Permaculture Design. - Larry Santoyo
    Permaculture is urging complete cooperation between each other and every other thing, animate and inanimate. - Bill Mollison
    "The ethical basis of permaculture rests upon care of the earth-maintaining a system in which all life can thrive. This includes human access to resources and provisions, but not the accumulation of wealth, power, or land beyond their needs.
The ethics of permaculture provide a sense of place in the larger scheme of things, and serve as a guidepost to right livelihood in concert with the global community and the environment, rather than individualism and indifference.
Permaculture also acknowledges a basic life ethic, which recognizes the intrinsic worth of every living thing." - from the article posted previously on the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website.

Creative Organic Gardening

    PERMACULTURE (permanent culture) is a diverse, complex eco-system, where all of the elements interact in mutually beneficial ways to produce a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts.
Avant-Gardening: Creative Organic Gardening website.
 

Permaculture - A Beginner's Guide

    "Permaculture offers a radical approach to food production and urban renewal, water, energy and pollution. It integrates ecology, landscape, organic gardening, architecture and agro-forestry in creating a rich and sustainable way of living. It uses appropriate technology giving high yields for low energy inputs, achieving a resource of great diversity and stability. The design principles are equally applicable to both urban and rural dwellers" - Bill Mollison
Permaculture - A Beginners Guide by Graham Burnett.
 

 
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