There is nothing like picking vegetables from your own garden. Not only do organic fruits and vegetables satisfy your taste buds, but they are also packed with essential vitamins good for your health.
Therefore, take a minute to ponder this question: what are the potential benefits of maintaining your own garden? Given the current state of our economy, vegetable gardening allows you to save money and, of course, benefit from the additional nutrients.
Locals and farmers had an opportunity to share their areas of expertise with the community on Saturday, February 23 at the Prairie Sun Seed Festival at Yorkdale Central School in Yorkton.
Growing your own produce wasn't the only topic of discussion. A hands on demonstrations with audience participation was given by Bilkies McKen. The demo helped to understand the differences in preserving hard leaf herbs as opposed to tender leaf herbs. By preserving thyme and sage in oil you end up with a rich taste of summer in winter.
On the other end of the school, exhibits about gardening and sustainable living were displayed by seed sellers and local producers.
An organization that guarantees an environment of learning and improving physical, intellectual and spiritual health is the Community Garden Alliance, which is known for providing delicious and nutritious food to the community. "We are interested in mentoring and encouraging people in gardening" said Fred Schneider, emphasizing the importance of providing efficient and healthy food to the public.
Another exhibit was the seed-swap. Here, participants were able to drop off or pick up a pack of vegetable seeds. Peppers, tomatoes, root vegetables and greens were some of the many available.
Lorne Muller and Brent Stumph with Back to Your Roots Soil Solutions Inc. educated participants on the importance of BRIX levels in produce.
The purpose of BRIX level testing is to give the customer a good idea of the quality of their produce. BRIX is the measure of plant energy (sugar) resulting from the photosynthesis process.
"Calcium and phosphate are the key minerals responsible for kick starting the photosynthesis process. You want a good clean source of both" says Lorne. Higher BRIX levels are important because it indicates higher nutritional contents (minerals). BRIX is measured through a tool called the refractometer. A drop of plant juice is placed on the glass prism. As you look up towards the light, the light is refracted through the plant sap. The more content the sap has, the higher the BRIX levels.