Gardeners can learn from farmers

Agriculture is all over the media these days – and in the most unlikely, urban places.

As a daily reader of the Toronto Star, I’ve noticed that over the last week alone they’ve practically run more agricultural stories than they did in the entire month of June last year.

And really, when was the last time the Toronto Star reported corn prices on a regular basis?

But this interest isn’t just related to the availability and cost of food.

It’s also a hot topic on the gardening front – thanks to a relationship AGCare and the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) program have built with Canadian gardening expert Mark Cullen.

A new brochure called “Mark Cullen – On the Farm and in the Garden” has been released that connects the on-farm environmental stewardship activities of the Environmental Farm Plan to the public and how they can apply the same principles for sustainability and productivity to their own gardens.

More than 2/3 of Ontario farm families have participated in the EFP program since its inception in 1993 and have invested over $100 million of their own money into on-farm environmental improvements through this program alone.

With results like that, there’s no doubt that recreational gardening enthusiasts can learn from farmers – the original gardeners.

The new brochure focuses on six things that gardeners can learn from farmers when it comes to tending their gardens: knowing your soil type, the importance of mulch, adding composted organic material, conserving water, controlling pests responsibly and encouraging beneficial wildlife.

Already, the resource has reached thousands of Ontarians by way of being inserted in Canadian Gardening and Gardening Life magazines, and now most recently, in Home Hardware’s Home at Home publication.

This article first appeared in The Grower, July 2008.

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