Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Environmental Importance of Water Conservation

Learning about the water cycle conditions us to think of water as a renewable resource. Even wasted water will eventually evaporate and come back in the form of precipitation. The realities of our environment are far different, however, and the conservation of fresh water is one of the most important issues facing our fragile planet. Climate instability and human intervention have changed the natural course of our water supply, making drinkable water a scarcity in many parts of our world and on the verge of becoming as scarcity in others. Beyond the danger this poses to humans, animal habitats are rapidly drying, creating a serious threat for native and migratory populations.

Irresponsible water usage compounds the issue even further. By overwatering plants, leaving the tap running and using wasteful appliances, consumers drive demand for more and more water to be transported from overseas. Wasted water is also wasted energy. A significant amount of each country’s electricity consumption is devoted to water management, and poor management results in inefficient energy expenditures.

The best way to combat this sort of waste in your own home is to use efficient appliances such as low-flush toilets, dual flush toilets, low-flow shower heads and Energy Star rated washing machines. When combined with careful use of your faucet, these appliances can greatly reduce the amount of water wasted on a daily basis.

Fresh Water Conservation in Agriculture

While the home is the source of many water conservation issues, and the site for many improvements, the single greatest obstacle to conserving fresh water is agriculture. Massive irrigation projects and permanently damaged soil not only leech away fresh water irresponsibly, but form an obstacle to the water cycle’s attempt to replenish itself through rainfall.

Farmers using sustainable practices are working hard to reverse this trend through the cultivation of local-friendly plant varieties, smaller-scale farming ventures and a dedication to the promotion of healthy soil. Healthy soil is living soil, and a combination of soil conditioners and probiotic amendments can help restore farming soil to its natural state. These sustainable practices help facilitate a healthy flow of water without shedding precipitation or unnecessarily hording freshwater. Companies like TeraGanix are committed to providing natural solutions, both at home and in the field. For more information on conservation-minded living decisions and agricultural practices, visit our website to learn more.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Organic Animal Feeding Options

Organic Farming with Natural Animal Feed

Organic farms face a two-pronged problem: ensuring that their livestock is raised without the influence of potentially harmful chemical exposure, and ensuring that the animal feed that they purchase has been through the same rigorous oversight.

On farms across the nation, chickens, pigs, cattle and other animals are fed a diet of antibiotic-laden and GMO grains. In many cases, these grains are not even part of the animal’s natural diet; for example, most U.S. cattle and chicken live on a corn or soy-rich diet, despite their inability to fully digest the popular grains.

Fortunately, the demand for organic food stock has led to a proportional demand for all-natural animal feed, and the supply has risen to meet that demand. Organic alfalfa, grass hay and other natural food sources are readily available; by choosing a provider that you trust, there is no need to depend on chemically “enriched” or pesticide treated livestock feed. Organic also means that the crops are Non GMO. But as with humans, there is more to an organic diet than going on the defensive and learning to avoid potential pitfalls. Organic dieting also means going on the offensive, and taking proactive steps to make better choices that result in better food sources. Among these proactive steps is the incorporation of probiotic options.

Probiotic Livestock Feed Supplements

Probiotics, in the form of a livestock feed supplement, are a wonderful addition to your animals’ diet. Keeping your animals free of harsh antibiotics and pest treatments requires looking to natural solutions for bolstering their immune system and general well-being. The most direct method of accomplishing this through proper nutrition and by encouraging the growth of helpful bacterial colonies that aid in digestion and directly compete with disease-causing microbes.

In addition to including microbial supplements to your livestock’s diet, microbial inoculants like EM-1 can be utilized to control animal odor, sanitize living spaces, and leverage beneficial microbes to keep animals healthy both inside and out.

Friday, January 24, 2014

How to Protect Your Plants from the Cold

We may be almost finished with the first month of 2014, but for many of us the cold temperatures of winter will linger well into March. With that in mind, it’s important to keep your gardens protected from frost and cold temperatures that would otherwise form ice crystals in plant cells and put a damper on your spring gardening plans. Below are a few examples of ways you can help your plants survive the cold, winter months.
  • Mulch will insulate your plants and protect them from experiencing the effects of frozen soil. Frozen soil inhibits a plant’s ability to properly absorb water. If you plan to use mulch, keep it around 2-4” deep.
  • Consider the location of your plants before they are even planted. Fences or rocks can protect nearby plants from heavy winds, and plants near sidewalks can absorb extra heat.
  • Cover your more delicate plants with a blanket or tarp if the weather forecast calls for a short spell of cold days. This should only be done at night so the plants can get as much Sun and air exposure as possible.
  • Think about using raised beds for your plants. Not only will this make covering your plants easier, but it also prevents them from collecting too much cold air as it usually congregates in areas with lower elevation.
  • Pot some of your plants and bring them in from the cold. Just make sure to get them as much sunlight from windows as possible since many may not be indoor plants by nature.
Planning ahead and protecting your plants from cold weather and potential frost will increase the likelihood of your plants’ survival and save you time and headaches.