Worried about pesticides in your food?

Are you worried about the pesticides that might be contaminating the fruits and vegetables that you eat? If you are, you’re in luck.

The Environmental Working Group has come out with a list of 45 fruits and vegetables ranked according to the level of pesticide contamination. The results were based on U.S. Food and Drug administration testing.

The most contaminated fruit and vegetables include strawberries, apples and celery. The top of the list of most contaminated food items is Peaches with a pesticide load of 100.

The cleanest fruit and vegetables include mangoes, pineapples, onions, and avocados. The least contaminated of the list has a pesticide load of 1.

I never realized that peaches had such a high contamination load. I always thought apples were the worst of the bunch.

What the report lacks is actual amounts of pesticides. The items rated on the list are organized on a scale that shows which produce has more pesticides, but without knowing the exact amount of contamination it’s hard to say if the pesticide contamination in peaches is harmful or if the low amount found in pineapple really is a safe level.

If you are worried about pesticide contaminants the best thing to do is limit your exposure.

Not everyone can grow all of their own food supply, nor necessarily do it organically, but you can limit your exposure to pesticide contaminated fruit and vegetables by trying to make some of your purchase organic produce. Know what’s on the list and try to make sure that when you want to buy some of the items that are listed as being most pesticide contaminated, like peaches and apples, that you make those purchases organic.

If you do happen to have a garden try to grow organically. My garden is organic and I find it quite easy to maintain and as you can see from all the photos on this site my plants are very healthy.






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Water gardening tips and ideas

lily-pond-water-garden2.jpg Perhaps you’ve been wanting to do something different with your backyard this year.

Rather than just doing the standard garden, you would like to do something more unique. After giving it some thought, you have decided that water gardening might be a unique concept.

What is Water Gardening Anyway?

You are met with confusion when you tell your family and friends about your plan to attempt water gardening. Your friends and relatives don’t understand that water gardening is using water and plants in such a way as to give a garden-like effect. One of the easiest forms of water gardening is creating a small pond in your backyard and adding plants to it.

The first step in creating a backyard pond is to decide how big a pond you would like to have. To begin with, it is best if you make a pond that is only slightly larger than a moderately-sized birdbath. The size of the pond can always be made larger later.

Once you’ve dug a hole in your backyard or within your garden you will need to find a liner for your pond. Simply filling up the new hole with water won’t work as the water will drain back into the ground. Visit your local garden center to find a liner. For small ponds you’ll probably be looking for a formed hard plastic pool. Purchase it and then take it out to the hole you already dug and make adjustments to the hole so that the liner will fit in snugly.

Once you have the liner ready, make sure that it easily fits into the hole that you have made in your lawn. Place it in the hole, and fill it with water. Your small pond is now ready for water gardening! The next step is adding plants to your new pond, let’s consider using water lilies.

Water lilies are very lovely and make for beautiful water gardening. Perhaps you have seen water lilies on display at your garden center during the summer months. They have a unique root system which supports itself on the surface of the water, and they are available in a variety of different colors. It is, however, important to note that water lilies are delicate and only thrive in warm weather.

Water Lilies are just one example of the type of plants that can be used in a water garden. There are all kinds of water loving plants that would be suitable for a water garden. It just depends upon what type of climate you live in and what type of water you are using.

One other thing that you should keep in mind in regards to water gardening is mosquitoes. Standing water attracts mosquitoes as they usually lay their eggs in still waters. You’ll probably want to look into some ideas for keeping mosquitoes away from your pond. Skimming the water daily to remove larvae could work. Ask at your garden center as I’m sure they’ll have some great ideas for you.

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Spring garden maintenance complete and front boulevard planted

I’d like to thank everyone who stopped by to express their condolences on the loss of Chris’ cousin who was a very good friend of ours. I was supposed to be in another city and attending the visitations today, but I got really sick yesterday and our car broke down. So I’m home tonight … Chris can’t even drive back to pick me up as our car hasn’t been repaired yet. You can read a more detailed explanation of what happened on my main blog if you’d like.

So on to garden related stuff …

Last week, in preparation for Green Thumb Sunday, I went out into my yard and took pictures of most of the plants that were either coming up or that were blooming.

The garden looks very nice this year. Chris and I spent two days last weekend cleaning up the garden – trimming plants, getting rid of dead foliage, pruning roses and putting some compost that we picked up at a local park on Saturday thanks to Toronto’s Earth days’. (That’s a green recycling program where the city gives back the compost from the green garbage and other yard related wastes it’s picked up the year prior).

Needless to say my back took a beating and ached for a few days after I over did it in the garden. The effort payed off though as we had cooler temperatures and some rain last week and that really perked up the garden. Since the beds were tidier I could really see how my plants were progressing.

IMG_3325 Now you might remember a post I made about a month ago. It was the one where I showed photos of our front yard still covered in snow and photos of our planted boulevard that I had spent the day cleaning up.

Well the front boulevard looks even nicer now! I planted some peonies that I’d purchased in early April as well as some Dahlias, Gay Feather and a few other plants to go along with the plants that have been growing there for a few years (iris, daylilies, malva, salvia, tulips) and we placed our short bamboo fence in front of it to finish off the look and protect the garden from the teens that like to stand outside my house talking before they go their separate ways after school.

This is what it looks like now:

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and from another angle:

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Just to give you a complete picture of how the front garden looks I’ll throw in a photo of the front flower beds too:

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Now most of my plants are in the backyard. In a day or two I’ll post some photos of how the backyard garden looks right now and maybe a few photos of what’s blooming.

I hope your gardens are doing well right now!

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