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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
April 18, 2018     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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April 18, 2018

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EARTH DAY SPECIAL SECTION / ,'SPIRIT of JEFFERSON " :and EA RMER'S ADVOCATE PAGE A5 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 i 1. Gardening is deli- cious. Homegrown pro- duce, especially juicy to- matoes and fresh basil, are usually tastier than , when store-bought. Plant What your family likes to eat and enjoy the rave re- ,views. 2. Gardening is good exercise. Pulling weeds, , digging holes and haul- ing dirt burns calories comparable to brisk walking. It also challeng- es and tones both lower and upper body muscles. 3. Gardening is good for children. They can learn the science of seeds and plants. They can learn planning and researching skills by de- ciding what and where to plant, and what each plant's water, sun and After some nutrition needs are. They are also motivated to eat healthier foods. This whole process teaches patience in today's era of immediate gratification. 4. Gardening relieves stress. The emotional benefits of gardening are so well known that horticulture ther- apy has sprung up: horticulture ther- apists prescribe gardening to help initial investment in tools, seeds and soil amendments, the cost of home-grown produce is often cheaper than store bought. i!i! i iiii ili ii iiiii!ii!iiiiiii!i ili i i iii!i i people sleep better, reduce anxiety family's survival, eat organic. By avoiding pesticides and boost mood levels. 6. Gardening is easier than you and chemical fertilizers, it is simple 5. Gardening helps you prepare think. Just like learning to drive, to grow organic food. for potential food shortages. Dur- going to college or having children, 8. Gardening makes it easy to ing these days of extreme econom- gardening can be overwhelming at eat locally. Harvesting sweet bell ic uncertainty and worldwide crop first, but once you go up the learn- peppers from your backyard uses no shortages, planting your own food ing curve, it becomes much easier, fuel to transport the finished prod- supply could be crucial for your 7. Gardening makes it easy to uct to your kitchen. This is quite dif- ferent than store-bought peppers that traveled from Canada, Holland or Israel. 9. Gardening may be cheaper than store- bought. After some initial investment in tools, seeds and soil amendments, the cost of home-grown pro- duce is often cheaper than store bought. By com- posting scraps to make your own fertilizer, sub- sequent year costs can be limited to new seeds and seedlings. And by learn- ing the art of seed sav- ing, this cost can also be avoided. 10. Gardening has withstood the test of time. For its history mankind has depended on gardening to sustain itself; the de- cline of growing one's own food has paralleled the decline of our na- tion's health and overall welfare. - Natural News MARY BETH BENNETT Gardening a great way to celebrate E rth Day April is National Gardening Month, and the perfect time to start a garden. First, look at the area where you want to put your garden. Observe the area for a period of time before doing anything. Ob- serve the sun and shade and anything that ': . ,will obstruct sun from reaching plants in i '?the area. Shadow patterns change with the seasons - observe this and make notes of ":'ii the changes. Most vegetable plants require 6 to 8 j ,hours of full sunlight a day to produce fruit like tomatoes and com, but root and leafy crops like carrots, turnips, beets, leaf let- 's. race, spinach, etc can tolerate some shade ii 'If possible avoid planting under trees or i on the north side of a tall building. If you plant tall and short plants in the same gar- ? den close together, put the tall plants on ,the north side so they don't cast a shadow '. ':i on the shorter plants next to them Observe whether rain runs off or if it the mulch layer into the root zone of the plants. Soil should be worked when it is moist but not wet. Work soil about 6 to 10 inches deep, depending on your topsoil. You do not want to bring subsoil to the surface. The ideal soil is a loamy soil, the tex- ture is not to light (sand) or too heavy (clay). Most soils in our area tend to be on the clay side so adding organic matter is an important step in the garden process. Organic matter such as humus, compost, or well-rotted manure helps make heavy soils more crumbly, improving water infil- tration and root penetration. It also serves as a filler to increase the number of large pore spaces in the soil. Do a soil test to find out what your gar- den needs before adding fertilizers or lime. It doesn't take a lot of fancy tools and equipment to have a successful gar- den. All that is needed is a hand trowel for ,*, collects in that area. If water collects in the transplanting and roughing up the soil; a area you can set up a raised bed or add ma- hoe for digging weeds and making fur- terials like gravel, sand and organic matter rows to plant into; a rake for smoothing to help dry out the area. out soil after planting and preparing seed Water is the most important component beds; a spade or spading fork for turning dealing with a garden and you need ac- the soil; a yardstick, twine, and stakes for to water if it doesn't rain. Using a spacing plants, straight lines and marking of mulch around plants helps con- plants. ', erve soil moisture and reduces the need Keep these points in mind when choos- additional water while discouraging ing which vegetables to plant. g%'the growth of weeds. You need to make Choose Vegetables you and your fam- :.% ;sure that water is able to move through ily like to eat. Select varieties that do well ' ! / in your growing area. Some crops, like corn, have short har- vest periods, so you can make several suc- cessive plantings or choose several variet- ies to stagger harvests. Planting 2 weeks apart in spring results in about 1 week's difference in harvest time in summer. If some of your crops have short grow- ing seasons, you may want to plant anoth- er crop after harvesting the first. Consult a planting chart for appropriate planting dates (see, for example the West Virginia University Garden Calendar). To discour- age certain Soilborne pests, avoid plant- ing the same crop, or crops from the same plant family, in the same place two years in a row. When planting perennials, put them in one corner of the garden so that they won't be disturbed by the more frequent cultiva- tion required by annual vegetables. Most of all enjoy gardening and take time to smell the flowers. If you don't have an area of soil that you can garden you can always grow plants in containers. I grow plants in the ground and also in contain- ers. It's not too late to start a garden this year. You can buy transplants to plant di- rectly into your garden. You might find that you learn a lot by gardening and it's very rewarding having food that you grew yourself. - Mary Beth Bennett is a WVU Extension Agent based in Martinsburg see WASHINGTON (AP) -- Global warming is hurting peo- ple's health a bit more than previously thought, but there's hope that the Earth -- and populations -- can heal if the planet kicks its coal habit, a group of doctors and other ex- perts said. The poor and elderly are most threatened by worsening climate change, but there remains "glimmers of progress" especially after the 2015 Paris agreement to limit heat- trapping carbon dioxide emissions, according to a new big study published in the British medical journal Lancet. Comparing the report to a health checkup, four research- ers and several outside experts described Earth's prognosis as "guarded." "There are some very severe warning signs, but there are some hopeful indicators too," said co-author Dr. Howard Frumkin, a professor of environmental health at the Uni- versity of Washington. "Given the right treatment and ag- gressive efforts to prevent things from getting worse, I think there's hope." The report highlighted health problems stemming from more frequent heat waves, disease spread by insects, air pollution and other woes. While the disasters have been costly, deaths haven't been increasing because society is doing a better but more expensive job adjusting to the changing conditions, the researchers noted, A team of 63 doctors, public health officials and scien- tists from around the world wrote .what they considered the first of a regular monitoring of the health of the planet, similar to having a "finger on the pulse of the patient,' said Dr. Hugh Montgomery, an intensive care specialist and di- rector of the University College of London's Institute for Health and Performance. local artists and food, i~ ~:!iiiiiiiiiiilililiiiiiiii~iii~ililililiiiiiiiiii~! , I FREE to the pubhc a d will be held