Tag Archives: Environment

organicWhen people us the term, organic, there is no real telling what they may mean. Is it a physical characteristic? A process? A noun or adjective? Maybe it is all of these things or none?

Defining ‘organic’
For us at Heidelberg Farms, we see organic as a mindset. It is a way of life that entails looking both above our heads as well as below out feet. Everything is connected—the sky, the birds, the earthworm. What affects one thing will affect the other. It might not happen today or even tomorrow, but it will happen. 

When we say ‘organic,’ we are talking about something all natural—no chemicals, no forced intrusions, or the unnecessary hand of humanity required to “speed’ things along. For us and all organic landscapers, organic starts in the soil and works its way up. 

Did you know that a single teaspoonful of soil contains more than 4 billion micro-organisms? Put that into perspective. There are about 7 billion people on the planet—and in one teaspoon, our soil contains a nearly infinite amount of biological diversity.

The soil
Because it is so diverse and almost magical if you think about it, we at Heidelberg Farms cannot stop talking about the soil, which is full of life. From tiny microbes like bacteria and fungi to small insects like centipedes and larger animals like rabbits, the soil is home to an incredibly diverse array of life. Whether we can see it or not, we depend on what is in our soil.

Life
When we stray from treating the world around us as an interconnected ecosystem, we invite disaster. We need bacteria in our soil to aid in the decomposition of material in soils so plants can get their nutrients. Bacteria are in fact critical in the conversion process of inert forms of nitrogen into ones that can be more easily used by plants.

‘Organic’ is life—and humans are but one part of this vast web. As winter creeps in on us in New England, take a walk around your yard. Look for earthworms, fungi, and other signs of life—and remember, we need them!

Contact us
Have questions? Want to sign up for our organic lawncare program? Mention this blog and get ten percent off any plan. Let’s work together. Call us at (603) 501-9919.

fall leaves

Fall leaves are beautiful. Yellow, orange—and my favorite, red. But what’s happening? Here is a very brief and fun lesson on the chemistry behind fall leaves.

Pigments
Pigments are chemicals in leaves that produce colors in leaves. Chlorophyll, for instance, appears green. Chlorophyll is critical in the process of photosynthesis, which is energy from sunlight that helps to make sugars required for plant growth. This energy, of course, must be combined with water and carbon dioxide.

Autumn
Notice how much shorter days are now? The days are getting cooler, too. Well, this combination is less conducive for growth, which impacts the photosynthesis process.

Because of these factors, chlorophyll breaks down at a significantly faster rate, which begins to reveal other pigments like carotenoids (appear orange and yellow).

Anthocyanins
In our neck of the woods in the northeast where there red and sugar maples, we have the opportunity to see even more colors—red—and there are even some that are purple. These pigments are anthocyanins and they represent a response to external stress factors like a first frost. The more of these pigments that are produced, the more stunning “reds” we will see.

Of course, there are other factors that influence colors, such as the acidity and mineral content within the leaf cells. Like everything in nature, there is a balance.

Nature’s web
In nature, there is a vast web of life both above ground and beneath it. Fall leaves and their beautiful colors are just part of a natural cycle that hinges on numerous factors we see (and often do not see).

Have questions about leaves, the trees, this natural web, or organic lawn care? Want to talk with us and learn more? We are happy to talk to you about anything. We care and we want to get to know you.

Call Heidelberg Farms at (603) 501–9919. Together, we can make a difference today for our future tomorrow.