Tag Archives: organic

“Like the human body, lawns must be cared for as a whole”

 

A Trip to the Doctor
Chances are you’ve never thought of organic lawn care and the human body in the
same breath, but the similarities are more striking than one might think.
Say you’ve come down with some mysterious bacterial bug—sick enough to warrant
a trip to the doctor. When he or she prescribes you medication, it’s likely not
designed to target some area or organ of the body in particular. Instead, the
medicine addresses the systemic issue underlying the symptoms.
That is, it treats and strengthens the whole body, rather than any one specific area.
In some ways, treating your lawn or yard is no different. While the temptation might
be to mask the blights or problem areas (call it “the cough syrup solution”), a
healthy “body” begins with the treating the system—the soil, in this case.

Supporting the System
At Heidelberg Farms—one of over 500 Organic Land Care Professionals accredited
by the NOFA Organic Land Care Program—we start by taking stock of what makes
your lawn tick.
The ground contains millions of microorganisms, all of which play a role in making
sure the soil is healthy enough to support the botanicals above. Once we know how
your yard works, we use a combination of plants, composts, and other organic
methods to encourage the soil’s inner (and often hidden) potential.
Just as bad eating habits lead to health issues in humans, using harsh chemicals and
fertilizers can take your lawn years to recover from. The good news is it’s never too
late for a health kick—for you or your yard!

New Yard’s Resolution
We New Englanders are lucky to have some of the most diverse plants and
botanicals anywhere in the country. Rather than making your yard look like
everyone else’s in the neighborhood, try something different, and let the lawn be
what it’s always wanted to be: healthy, happy, and teeming with life!

Heidelberg Farms serves Southern Maine, New Hampshire, and Northern
Massachusetts. Have questions about the organic lawncare?                                                              Call Heidelberg Farms at (603) 501-9919

When it comes to lawn care, let’s remember our (bacterial) roots

 

Life Partners
Whatever your beliefs regarding the age of our planet, it’s abundantly clear that
bacteria have been rooting around our lawns and gardens for a long, long
time—since the very beginning, in fact.
While these one-celled organisms have garnered a somewhat negative connotation,
truth is that bacteria and animals (including humans) have always coexisted. Simply
put, we wouldn’t be alive today—individually or as a species—if it weren’t for these
basic building blocks of life.
Even today, we depend on bacteria for survival. And so do our lawns and gardens.

Learning to Love Bacteria
For every nasty infection, bacteria give us countless benefits—including helping
grow much of the food we eat. Sadly, our tendency has been to eliminate them
entirely, to the detriment of not only our food supply, but our overall health as well.
Instead, we should be seeking ways to work with bacteria, to unlock their hidden
gifts in a way that sustains and nurtures our gardens and lawns.
As one of over 500 Organic Land Care Professionals accredited by the NOFA Organic
Land Care Program, we here at Heidelberg Farms takes great pride in working with
your soil to help it achieve highest, healthiest potential.
After a long day in the yard, we wash our hands like everyone else. But that doesn’t
mean bacteria should be a dirty word.

All bacteria are not created equal
Just because a lawn care product contains “good” bacteria (or is labeled organic)
doesn’t mean it’s good for your lawn or garden. True, blighted plants and grass can
be helped by introducing bacteria that “takes over” harmful ones. But you might
actually be doing more harm than good.
Oftentimes, issues of blight can be attributed to a lack of microorganism variety.
That’s where we come in: By deploying a plethora of plants, beneficial organisms,
and 100% organic products, Heidelberg Farms helps encourage your lawn’s inner
diversity.

The more robust the soil, the more beautiful your plants will be.
Let’s face it: Bacteria will be here long after we’re gone (though chances are they’re
waiting for us on Mars, too). By better understanding how and why they work,
perhaps we can come to see bacteria less as a threat, and more as man’s tiny—and
very talented—best friends.

Have questions about the organic lawncare?

Call Heidelberg Farms at (603) 501-9919.

Heidelberg Farms serves southern NH, Maine and northern Massachusetts.

The Carbon Conundrum

carbon footprintAs the devastation wrought by hurricanes Harvey and Irma puts climate change back in the national conversation, the sheer magnitude of how to lower our collective carbon footprint makes it easy to feel overwhelmed.

“Sure, I can buy more green and organic products, maybe drive a little less” the thinking goes. “But how much of a difference can I really make?”

As it turns out, one big change you can make—one not a lot of people think of—is sitting right outside your window.

While reducing our dependence on fossil fuels can go a long way in lessening the amount of carbon in the air, we can also work towards putting it back where it belongs: in the ground.

Whether you know it or not, your yard has the potential to be its own mini carbon trap. All that’s needed is a little up-front investment and some expert advice.

How Heidelberg Can Help You Be More Carbon-Neutral

At Heidelberg Farms, organic lawn care is about so much more than a single approach or program. It’s a way of looking at the world—even a way of life. We believe the Earth is connected in deep and intricate ways, and that humans have enormous potential to be stewards of that dynamic.

What better place to start than your own yard?

By deploying a biodiversity of plants, beneficial organisms, and 100% organic products, Heidelberg Farms can help turn your property into a healthy, carbon-capturing machine. The result is a beautiful, natural yard that helps the planet—around the clock, and throughout the calendar.

Once we’ve instituted our comprehensive, holistic program, there is no shortage of things you can do to help maintain your yard’s environmental integrity. Thankfully, the Northeast Organic Farming Association has a number of helpful tips for the novice green-thumb. These include:

  • Plant your lawn with diverse species.
  • Mow, cut back, and/or heavily mulch over weeds instead of pulling.
  • Incorporate multi-layer, perennial, diverse plantings into your yard.
  • Compost, rather than burn, your yard waste.
  • Plant nitrogen fixing cover crops and living row paths.

Heidelberg Farms is committed to helping your yard achieve optimal health and wellness, giving you a beautiful piece of property and—more importantly—a peace of mind in having helped bring balance back to our shared planet.

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.

Your Lawn Isn’t Dead; It’s Just Sleeping!

It won’t be long before the first sheaths of frost appear on the grass, but just because winter is coming (shoutout to all your GoT fans) doesn’t mean your lawn is going into hibernation.

winterEven after the frost sets in, your grass isn’t dead; it’s merely dormant, lying in wait to spring once more. Which makes it all the more important that you have a lawn care program that prepares your yard for the long haul—not in months, but years—and why it’s never too early to plan ahead.

You can read some of our fall lawn-care tips here. Once you’ve tackled all the DIY you can handle, give Heidelberg Farms a call. We’ll help you get a jumpstart on next year by testing your soil and finding out what makes it tick.

The Heidelberg Method

How, you ask? We fully examine your soil’s one-of-a-kind biodiversity, from which we’re able to build unique compost mixtures to help your lawn grow and thrive.

Once the ground is thawed, we’ll work with your lawn to help it achieve its full potential. Our aim is to repopulate, feed and stimulate diverse soil organisms. These organisms help regulate every aspect of plant health, including soil structure and fertility, residue decomposition, nutrient cycling, and even disease suppression.

New England winters might be long and harsh, but we also enjoy some of the most uniquely beautiful plant life anywhere. Encouraging that biodiversity not only makes your lawn look great; it strengthens it. That means fewer visits from us, and more green in your pocket.

Reading the Fine Print

Using an organic lawn care approach is about more than just eliminating harsh chemicals (although those are definitely very, very bad). What the conventional companies don’t want you to know is that even the more “benign” ingredients in pesticides, like metabolites, can become harmful once they interact with water, air, or soil.

Next to your home, your yard is one of your most important investments. The healthier it is, the more it’s allowed to thrive, the easier you’ll sleep—and so will your lawn!

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.

Even if you have no clue what constitutes green lawn care, if you’re reading this, chances are you have a pretty good idea what “organic” means.

organicNo pesticides or harsh chemicals; hormone-free; USDA-certified: You know the basics. But while buying organic has never been easier (or more cost-effective), adopting a truly green lifestyle can feel daunting—especially when it comes to bigger investments like, say, turning your yard into a haven of organic goodness.

Never fear! Heidelberg Farms is here to help, with the five biggest reasons why you, wonderful blog-reader, should switch to a better, greener lawn care approach:

1. It’s a great way to lower your carbon footprint—Heidelberg Farms uses a plethora of plants, microorganisms, and organic products to strengthen your yard’s biodiversity and trap more carbon. Even when you’re asleep, your yard is doing its part to heal the planet. If that doesn’t help you rest easier, what will?

2. No more harmful chemicals and pesticides—They say you are what you eat, but you’re also the land you live on. So what would you rather be exposed to: nasty chemicals that are known to cause wide-ranging health problems, or organic materials taken straight from Mother Nature herself? Exactly!

3. Sharing the gift of green—Once you see just how lovely your yard can be, you can take pride in sharing your experience with friends and family. It doesn’t get more “Think Globally, Act Locally” than that! Heck, you can even send them this link! 

4. Your wallet will thank you—While cheaper up front, traditional lawn care techniques require regular maintenance, not to mention more watering. We set your yard up for long-term success, which actually reduces overall costs.

5. It looks beautiful—Plastic green lawns are soooo 1980s! At Heidelberg Farms, we work with your yard’s unique biochemical profile to strengthen and detoxify the soil. Stronger roots and better water-holding capacity mean healthier, more robust grass and plants. You live in New England; let your lawn live there, too!

Heidelberg Farms is committed to helping your lawn be healthier, happier, and greener—in more ways than one. 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.

Labels Matter

We’ve all been there before, standing in the grocery store, trying to decide between the $4 bottle of certified organic juice and the $3 “natural” brand.

“Is there really that big of a difference between natural and organic?” you wonder.

Whether we’re talking about lunch-meats, lemons, or lawn care, there can be a big difference between what’s on the label and what’s behind it.

While products designated “natural” are in most cases free of artificial ingredients, hormones, and antibiotics, the term isn’t defined by any federally mandated standards. In other words, the actual quality of the contents can vary dramatically, making a detailed reading of the ingredients all the more important.

To be certified “organic”, on the other hand, means adhering to a specific set of standards adopted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) way back in 2002. In a nutshell, products labeled organic must meet the following criteria:

  • No toxic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or genetically engineered seeds
  • Strict adherence to animal health and welfare standards
  • Animals must have access to the outdoors

The Heidelberg Difference

As one of over 500 Organic Land Care Professionals accredited by the NOFA Organic Land Care Program, we at Heidelberg Farms take our commitment to organic seriously.

That means no harsh chemicals—ever. But being organic is about much more than what you don’t use. For instance, we specialize in 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.

As consumers continue trending greener, lawn care companies have been quick to follow suit. But while there’s no shortage of “natural” alternatives, ones that might seem cheaper in the short term, we offer a more comprehensive, holistic approach.

At Heidelberg Farms, we leave no soil left unturned in helping your lawn reach its potential. So remember: When you’re comparing lawn-care companies, words and labels matter!

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

Heidelberg Farms serves southern NH, Maine and northern Massachusetts.

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.

organic lawn careGet started today with an organic lawn care program from Heidelberg Farms. Why? Well, it all starts from the roots up, which is the concept behind our organic lawn care program, From the Roots Up!

We believe in the power of the soil and the science that supports the responsible management of its use.

Soil is not just inert matter. It is alive with all kinds of biological organisms and systems that depend on one another.

These systems do not operate in a silo either. They connect with our food, the ecosystem itself. Birds, butterflies, humans, wildlife—we all depend on the soil!

When companies or people use chemicals to treat their lawns, the damage that is done to the soil will take years to repair. Yes, you have a green lawn, but you also have chemicals that get onto your clothes, your hands and in the mouths of your children. Yes, kids sticks their fingers in their mouths all the time, so when they are rolling around that beautiful green lawn, they are picking up those chemicals, too.

Organic lawn care does not mean that you cannot have a wonderful yard. It just means it will take a little time. Think about your return on your investment, though. You will get a green, lush yard and garden—and you will have worked with nature to achieve that sustainable result.

You will not need to water your yard and garden all the time either, as a well-functioning lawn and garden is self-sustaining. It is using biology to feed itself. Water is of course important, but you won’t need to run around with your sprinkler like you would for a chemically treated lawn.

Have questions? Call Heidelberg Farms at (603) 501-9919.

Heidelberg Farms serves southern NH, Maine and northern Massachusetts. We are among over 500 Organic Land Care Professionals throughout the Northeast and beyond that are accredited by the NOFA Organic Land Care Program.

organic lawn careFeel the chill in the air yet? Okay, we don’t feel it either, but it is August and definitely time to think about your game plan for this fall.

Test your soil
There is still plenty of time for plants and flowers to grow, so testing your soil makes sense. Heidelberg Farms tests soil and we can collect samples from your property.

Plant some grass seed
Late summer and fall is a fantastic time to plant grass seed. A soil test will help you and us determine what kind of seed is best for your lawn.

Mixing seed with compost is a great strategy as is adding topdressing, which is an application of manure or fertilizer to the surface layer your soil/lawn. Try clover seed, which adds nitrogen to your soil.

Plant some perennials
Fall is a wonderful time to get some trees and shrubs into the ground, as cooler temperatures encourage root growth. Mulching new plants is important, too, as is adequate water in those first couple of weeks.

Compost it
Choose a site that is convenient for you and start a compost pile. Choose a site that is shady with good drainage. You can build a compost bin or purchase one.

Compost piles should be well-ventilated, turned regularly and possess a diverse mix of “brown” and “green” materials. Brown materials should include leaves, straw, pine needles, cardboard while green materials include grass clippings, manure, and food waste

Call us
Heidelberg Farms serves southern NH, Maine and northern Massachusetts. We are among over 500 Organic Land Care Professionals throughout the Northeast and beyond that are accredited by the NOFA Organic Land Care Program.

We take our role as land stewards very seriously and appreciate your consideration. We care not just about your lawn, but you! Call us at (603) 501 9919!

The term ‘organic’ is used all the time, but what is it? Here is a way to think about it when used with lawn care. It means not using chemicals at all. Simple, right? Well, there is more, so take a moment and follow along with us as we provide some key concepts regarding ‘organic’ when applied to lawn care management.

Biodiversity of Grasses
Biodiversity is a huge concept for organic lawn care management. It starts with the actual grass we plant. Did you know there are numerous species of grass? Yes, it is true and combining several varieties of grass together is important to promote biodiversity. It can also promote a stronger, healthier-looking lawn.

Beneficial Organisms and Plants
Most homeowners want to eliminate insects throughout their property, but pesticides can cause serious damage to grass and plants. Pesticides also kill beneficial organisms that can naturally aid in your goals. You then use more chemicals and perpetuate an unsustainable cycle.

There are things, however, a homeowner can do to support the colonization of beneficial organisms. Heidelberg Farms can help and we can even advise you over the phone.

The term ‘organic’ also applies to the types of plants we put into a homeowner’s landscape. Native plants are crucial to the environment. They evolved here and contribute to the overall health of the local ecosystem.

Are you selecting plants that are best suited to the climate of this region? Those tags you see in plants that indicate as such can often be misleading. A plant is not just a plant. Rather, it is a cog in a larger wheel of which humans, animals, insects and other organisms are part.

The Takeaway
While the term ‘organic‘ most definitely means no chemicals, it also refers to keeping everything as local as possible with an eye toward promoting biodiversity. Biodiversity is the natural state of the environment, which is not something the bog box stores exactly what you to follow with their chemical programs.

There are no easy fixes for the environment–but with patience and science-based strategies, we can create landscapes around our homes that are beautiful, lush and sustainable. Call us at (603) 501-9919 to learn more.

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