Heroes of the resistance
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
When you plant a garden, you join a springtime revolution against the agricultural industrial complex. Snapdragons, foxglove and lavender support much-needed pollinators like honeybees. Heirloom vegetables defend the biodiversity of our food system. And when you impress your friends with the meal you grew yourself, you revitalize a sense of community around wholesome food.
But the heart and soul of any decent rebellion, peaceful or otherwise, resides underground. In this case, that means your soil. If your garden lacks verve, a selection of certified organic and locally produced amendments is the cure-all to revitalize depleted soil.
Let me introduce you to the heroes of the resistance.
With a revolutionary combination of modern technology and nature, Cedar Grove diverts 350,000 tons of food and yard waste from our local landfills, transforming it into nutrient-dense organic compost. (During the annual Compost Days sale taking place March 8-April 21 at the Community Food Co-op, nab a free bag of compost when you buy any two Cedar Grove products. Feel free to stock up.)
Black Owl Biochar, located in Ferndale, fuels the most abundant gardens in Whatcom County. Not only will it permanently improve the health of your soil but, unlike compost, it also sequesters greenhouse gases to reduce pollution. The eminent environmentalist Bill McKibben claims Biochar has the power to reverse global warming.
Hendrikus Organics provides us with an arsenal of soil amendments tailored to the specific needs of the seasons and the focus of your garden, be it leafy vegetables, flowers or fruit. With long blond hair and a leathery tan, Hendrikus, the man, resembles a golden messiah of Dutch extraction. He has spent his entire life revolting against the destructive agricultural techniques introduced after World War II. Fortified with a spiritual fervor for ecological balance, his lifelong work has produced the high-quality products sold at both Community Food Co-ops and beyond. According to Hendrikus, a healthy, stable world begins with healthy soil.
With your knees and fingernails properly dirty, you can begin to coax life out of the soil. Uprising Seeds, operating in Whatcom County, fills seed racks with heirloom seed varieties and common favorites—all organic and curated for our unique climate.
Or experience the instant gratification of planting starts, grown by our network of local farms. Sunseed Farm, the Growing Garden, and Dirty Knees always impress with the quality of their organic starts. The Co-op also carries all the old favorites from Joe’s Garden, Cascade Cuts, Windy Meadows, and Thompson’s Greenhouse.
Transmitting a message of hope from the front lines, Brian and Christine of Uprising Seeds want to remind everyone, “We believe anyone can have a garden, anyone can save seed, and the more we connect to producing food, the stronger our communities become.” So stay strong, have no fear, and remember: The revolution will be delicious.
Dave Straub works in the produce department at the Cordata Community Food Co-op.
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