Monday, October 31, 2011

Repotting House Plants

In the next few days, I need to re-pot some house plants.  When I lived in the City, I usually bought "potting soil" from some company that I thought knew far more than me.  They still probably do.  Or maybe not.  They were easy and I was short on time.  (I am still short on time, but this issue is rising to the top.)

Over time, I became less satisfied with commercial sources. These were some of the reasons why:
  • I had read earlier that vermiculite mined in Montana (which was one of the few sources) is found with asbestos. That's not the sort of companion I sought for beauty in my Garden. When I 1st read about this a decade ago I was incensed that Gardeners (who typically are trying to be friendly toward the Earth) would unknowingly purchase a product that brought some unwanted companions. It seemed a breach of confidence of a corporation who on the surface seemed to desire to "serve".
  • I was deeply concerned about mineral extraction and the damage to the Earth and all who might live in the area.  Around the world, our track record is not good.  Yet.
  • For years, we have used Peat Moss and still do.  When we lived up North, we also had the privilege of visiting Peat Bogs in northern Minnesota.  Now why on Earth would anyone even consider mining Peat Bogs?  They are living communities and they are increasingly rare.
  • I was concerned what companies might put into potting soil.  Need I explain?
  • Those bags of potting soil were expensive.  They included waste (plastic bags, likely made from petroleum) and they left a trail of Carbon Dioxide from the places where they had been shipped. Enough of that. 
  • I wanted to use local resources.  I wanted to use some of the same practices of the Grandmothers before me.  If it worked for them, surely it would work for me. 
  • I wanted to learn about this for myself.  I wanted to break my dependence on someone else (a corporation) formulating such products for me. I wanted to take my power back.
I kept nosing around for information.  Among other things, I contacted a friend who is an organic grower. I just recently found an article in Mother Earth News which looks quite helpful.  It will take a while to work out the kinks here, but this is a direction I want to take.  It's just one more step on the learning curve, among many we've found here in our lives on this little Farm.

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