Fair Trade Coffee – Better Quality for All

Fair Trade Coffee - Better Quality for All

As most people that read this blog know I’m an organic gardener. I don’t grow a lot of veggies in my garden, but I do take pride in knowing that what I grow is organic and thus all the healthier for my family.

When I’m out shopping I try to either buy organic products or products that have been produced with “green” means or sustainability in mind.

As the information above states most people probably don’t think about where their coffee comes from, or at least they didn’t a decade or so ago .. but that’s slowly changing. I’m happy to say that Green Mountain Coffee is fair trade coffee which means that it’s a quality products and the people who produce it are making fair wages, and the coffee is harvested ethically and sustainably.

I haven’t actually had a chance to try Green Mountain Coffee, but the next time I go shopping I’m going to look for it and pick some up if I find it. I’d certainly be interested in tasting it.

Have you tried Green Mountain Coffee? What did you think?

Tweet

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Google
  • YahooBuzz
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Pet Alert – Cocoa bean mulch can be toxic to dogs

I use mulch in my garden beds, as I’m sure many of my fellow garden readers do as well.

I use shredded cedar and sometimes small cedar chips. It sure works well on the garden and looks nice too, but I suppose from a pet point of view that mulch isn’t the best bet. Plus the mulch I use is colored red and I have no idea if the dye is toxic or not, but I do know that coniferous woods like cedar are toxic to most animals.

My puppy is slowly learning to stay away from the garden, but when she was younger she was attracted to the cedar mulch and I found myself constantly pulling pieces of it out of her mouth (as soon as she grabbed it of course). She’s a Labrador Retriever – a breed that’s notorious for eating just about anything they can get in their mouth. They also have one of the highest rates of bowel obstructions (and surgeries due to said bowel obstructions) because of all the indigestible stuff they eat. That’s why I’ve been worried about my dog and my garden ever since I got her. Not to mention the toxic plants that I grow as well!

Cocoa bean mulch has become quite popular in recent years. It looks nice in garden beds, breaks down like other natural mulches and I believe it smells nice too.

If you happen to use Cocoa Bean Mulch in your garden and own a dog you might want to read the report that i just received in my ASPCA newsletter. Here’s an excerpt:

If your dog likes to spend his summer grazing in your garden, his treat-seeking nose may lead him to one danger in particular: the sweet-smelling, but potentially harmful cocoa bean mulch. Made of cocoa bean shells and considered desirable for its eventual degradation into organic fertilizer, this gardener’s choice can be toxic to canines if eaten in large quantities—and some dogs have been known to eat amazing amounts!

In 2007, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) handled 26 cases of cocoa bean mulch ingestion—a third originating in California. “Dogs are attracted to the fertilizer’s sweet smell,” says Dr. Steven Hansen, ASPCA Veterinary Toxicologist and APCC Director, “but like chocolate, cocoa bean mulch can be too much for our canine companions.”

Ingestion of large amounts of cocoa bean mulch, which contains residual amounts of theobromine—a methylxanthine found in chocolate and known to be toxic to dogs—may cause a variety of clinical signs. These typically start with vomiting, diarrhea and elevated heart rate, and if large amounts are consumed, they may progress to hyperactivity, muscle tremors and possibly other more serious neurological signs.

Treatment includes administering medical-grade activated charcoal, bringing tremors under control, cardiac monitoring and preventing further exposure.

“One key point to remember is that some dogs, particularly those with indiscriminate eating habits, can be attracted to any organic matter,” says Dana Farbman, APCC Senior Manager, Professional Communications. “Therefore, if you have a dog with such eating habits, it’s important that you don’t leave him unsupervised or allow him into areas where such materials are being used.”

By now most of you have probably already added mulch to your garden, that is, if you regularly do add mulch. If you used cocoa bean mulch be sure to keep your dog away from your garden beds!






Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Google
  • YahooBuzz
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

My replacement roses are doing great this year

Join Green Thumb Sunday
Join

Welcome to all the new Green Thumb Sunday members that I finally got around to adding yesterday! I hope you enjoy our little group.

Earlier this week I went out into the garden with my camera and I took a number of great photos of the plants that were blooming and new ones that were growing, but I’ve had such a busy week I didn’t get around to transferring them from my camera to my computer yet. That’s the trouble with photos, especially if you take a lot of them at once – it takes time to prepare them for posting.

Anyway … I do have some photos to share that I took two weeks ago. Just imagine the plants being bigger or having more leaves now. ;)

This is the Climbing Iceberg Rose that I bought last summer to replace Antique ’89. Antique ’89 must have had too much winter damage in 2007 and died in late spring. Well as you can see Climbing iceberg is doing great:

IMG_3621

This rose is over 4 feet high already and I’m sure it will only get bigger in the next month. I have a standard iceberg rose shrub at the front of the house and once it gets going it’s covered in blooms all season so I expect that the climbing version will do the same.

I had replaced a few roses last year and all of the replacements seem to be doing well. The majority of the established roses (2 to 5 years in the ground) all have long green stems and seem to be ahead of themselves in growth compared to other years.

The Astilbe is also growing well. I have several clumps of it in shady areas of my garden. I think I’m currently growing three different types.

IMG_3610

Basically everything in my garden seems to be doing well this year with the exception of one rose – Dr. J H Nicholas – it’s struggling. Hopefully it makes it, but if it doesn’t I guess I’ll just replace it with a hardier rose.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information. GTS participants remember to check in at As the Garden Grows each week so that we’ll know you made a new post!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Google
  • YahooBuzz
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS