Tag Archives: Lifestyle

changing the worldOne of the best things—a healthy planet is THE best—is when a customer is happy with our services, which is what Heidelberg Farms is all about. What is even better is when a customer shares his/her experiences with us.

Recently, we had a chance to connect with Peter from Dover, NH—and he was happy to provide us with a snapshot of his experience.

In Peter’s words

“I have been particular about the look of my lawn for some time, always using a national company. The frustration came when I would watch them roll up and finish their $45 treatment in world class sprinter time often finishing my 1/2 acre lawn in a few minutes.  Then, when there were issues it was always more chemicals.  They never sampled my lawn to see what was going on under the ground.  It was just a quick look, nod and more chemicals.  

Enter my 5 grandchildren over the past 3 years and I wanted them to be able to sit safely on the back lawn without me worrying about the effects of all those chemicals.  Steve is passionate about the lawn, but even more so about the science behind how it all works together. The passion translates to a careful analysis of where the lawn is and a program that is actually designed to decrease in cost over time.  

Already, I have noticed that while there is not a ‘feel good’ almost immediate color change the next morning, there is a steady more long term health I can see coming to the lawn with his program. Besides passion, which is obvious once you meet Steve, he is a hard worker. No more quick laps around the lawn.  When he shows up, he is there for as long as it takes.  

He is very responsive to email questions with well thought out explanations. I can endorse him based on our short experience and my time speaking to Steve and those who work with him, something the green guys never were around long enough to do unless they were up-selling me on treating my shrubs or nuking my mosquito’s.”

Contact us

Have questions about our lawn care program? Click here to learn more! Or call us at (603) 501-9919.

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.

From Choice to Voice

organicWe talk a lot about the importance of making greener choices, particularly as it relates to organic, pesticide-free lawn care. It might cost a bit more up front, but it’s far healthier—and cheaper—in the long run.

But what happens when the demand for green shifts from the marketplace to the public sphere?

The people of South Portland, Maine are about to find out.

Beginning May 1 of 2018, residents will no longer be allowed to use synthetic pesticides on their properties. At a recent city-sponsored meeting at South Portland High School, dozens of residents came out in support of the measure. 

The Hidden Harm of Pesticides

One of the speakers at the event was Jay Feldman, the National Director of Beyond Pesticides, who brought up an important point: It’s not just the active ingredients in pesticides that are harmful. Natural metabolites, many of which companies are not required to disclose, can also become dangerous once they mix with water, air, or other living organisms.

South Portland is far from the first city to ban pesticides. Still, the ordinance speaks to a growing trend across the country, where going green and organic is as much about citizen action as it is consumer choice.

When it comes to lawn care practices that are harmful for both people and the environment, voting with your voice is just as important as voting with your wallet—if not more so.

Being Part of That Voice

We at Heidelberg Farms are proud of the products and services we offer. We are one of over 500 Organic Land Care Professionals accredited by the NOFA Organic Land Care Program—a wonderful citizen-action group in its own right.

For our industry, going organic means never using harsh chemicals. But it’s also about the things we do use, like 100% certified composts, compost teas, and extracts, using the life cycles of organisms within the soil as a way of keeping your lawn beautiful and healthy. 

By understanding the unique biodiversity within your soil, we’re able to build custom compost mixtures to help your yard to not merely survive, but thrive—sustainably.

Have questions about the benefits of organic lawn care? Call Heidelberg Farms at (603) 501-9919.

Heidelberg Farms serves southern NH, Maine and northern Massachusetts.