A Gardener’s Diary: How to be part of the pollution solution

Jocelyne Sewell is a longtime gardener and gardening columnist with The Morning Star

Jocelyne Sewell

Special to the Morning Star

The weather has been fantastic for the last week but even the weeds are crying for rain. As I water one part of the garden, the other part is drying in the sun and wind. The digging in dry clay soil is like digging on a slab of concrete. The rain barrels are empty and the prediction of 40 per cent to 60 per cent of showers or rain usually amounts to a couple drops on the leaves without even touching the ground.

Thankfully, I have been getting grass clippings free of chemicals and I am using this as a mulch as I work along. Watering, weeding and mulching keeps me busy. I hope to have all my garden planted soon but I will require an irrigation system at some point in the future as watering with watering cans takes energy and lots of time.

I keep on reading that you should adjust your way of gardening and planting gardens that do not require much water. This is just fine for ornamental gardens but for production of food, water is essential. If you don’t grow your own food, you have to rely on others to do it for you. There are many farmer’s markets in the Okanagan, offering organically grown produce but they are all dependent on the weather for sunshine, rain and labour. If it is not produced locally, then you have the pollution from bringing it from other provinces and other countries.

The price of food coming from far away is often cheaper than the locally produced vegetables and fruits. Most of this is subsidized by very cheap farm labour being taken advantage of. The ever increasing use of chemicals is making people sick and the transportation of goods is adding to the carbon release.

From Dr. Mercola newsletter: “Rising pollution from factory farming methods is severely impacting local environments, polluting the water supply, air quality and increasing the risk for illness and disease for those living there. However, regenerative farming strategies have a negative impact on pollution.

“Regenerative farming reduces soil erosion and topsoil destruction while improving fertility and biodiversity. The process helps protect water sources and diminishes water demand, thus reducing the need for irrigation. However, water is not the only resource being decimated by pollution.

Regenerative farming also reduces air pollution, particulate pollution and animal waste and during times of drought or excessive rainfall their crop yield has not fluctuated significantly.

To be part of the pollution solution, seek out local farmers using regenerative strategies to build the health of their farm and reduce local pollution. Local cooperatives enable the purchase of eggs, meat and produce produced organically and regeneratively.”

“To be part of the pollution solution, seek out local farmers using regenerative strategies (local cooperatives enable the purchase of eggs, meat and produce produced organically and regeneratively.

“Cows were born to roam and graze. Chickens were born to scratch and peck. Hogs were born to root and wallow. Those are instinctive behaviours. If they’re deprived of that aptitude, that is poor animal welfare. If you have a cow on a feedlot, a hog in a gestation crate, a chicken in a battery cage, they’re safe, they’re reasonably comfortable, but they can’t express instinctive behaviour.”

Related: A Gardener’s Diary: Planting dos and don’ts

Related: Bees key to helping Vernon gardens

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