Three Organic Resolutions for September23/09/2016
Here at VOYA, we’re loving Organic September so far and we hope you’re enjoying those little organic changes you’re making to your day-to-day routine. Following on from our introduction to Organic September last time, we’re encouraging you to take it to the next level and make a commitment to making your lifestyle even more organic with these three resolutions.
1. Grow an Organic Vegetable Patch
Do you have a space in your back garden that could be suitable for a vegetable patch? Well if you do, you could have your own organic vegetable plot up and running in no time. It’s the best way to keep your food organic from farm to fork.
First thing you need to do is find a sunny area that’s isolated from existing shrubbery or shady areas in the garden. You don’t want to make it easy for slugs or any other garden pests to reach your plot.
Dig down to a depth that covers the spade head and then remove any weeds or stones from the area.
Get a bag of compost from your local garden centre and apply it generously to the patch. You will want a moist clay foundation for your vegetables.
Give everything you plant 20cm space either side before planting again. Don’t forget that certain veg might need a bamboo stick or another type of support in order to stay upright as it grows.
What to Grow
Garlic, kale, courgettes and mangetouts are some popular choices to get you started and can be planted without too much fuss. Although you should start off growing whatever you find easiest to take care off, don’t grow something you don’t like the taste off. Whatever you decide to grow, you can see more helpful tips at http://www.howtogarden.ie/category/vegetables/.
Organic Weed Control and Care
As we’re keeping it organic, we don’t want to ruin our lovely vegetables with pesticides or chemicals. Thankfully, there are a number of organic steps you can try to help your plot in good health. When your plants begin to grow, add a layer of mulch over the top of the soil. This can help reduce weeds and prevent any fungal diseases attacking the plants.
You can also separate your crops with a row of bright coloured flowers such as daisies and marigolds so that gardener friendly insects are attracted to your patch. The presence of bees and ladybirds can help fight the bugs that typically attack plants — it’s like having a little army of natural pesticides.
Disease can strike plants overtime, especially if they are always grown in the same position. At the end of a successful planting season, sketch out new positions for the vegetables you want to grow next year and change up the positions of your favourites to give them the best chance for survival.
2. ‘Organic Only’ One Day a Week
If you’re enjoying incorporating more organic meals into your week, the next step is to have an ‘organic only’ day once a week. When you are doing your shop, make sure you have enough organic ingredients for a breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here are three ideas from the Soil Association to get you started.
Breakfast – Superfood Breakfast Bars
These breakfast bars make the most of seeds, fruits, coconut oil and almond butter to deliver a delicious organic breakfast option. You can see the full recipe here.
A warm selection of vegetables and potatoes all served on some organic rye bread, couldn’t be easier to put together. You can see the full recipe here.
This take on a Spanish classic dish is both organic and vegetarian, making it a handy recipe to know if you are accommodating any non-meat eaters. You can see the full recipe here.
3. Consider an Organic Holiday
Now that you’ve proven yourself as an organic chef and amateur vegetable grower of the year, you deserve a holiday for your efforts. Not just any holiday, a holiday with an organic twist. Don’t worry, an organic holiday doesn’t mean that you have to sleep under the soil or only eat what you can find. What it really means is enjoying an eco-friendly break. It’s all about sustainability and reducing your carbon footprint.
Staying in an eco-friendly house that is made with locally sourced wood and is insulated with natural materials is a great start. Maybe choose one that has a number of outdoor activities nearby that can be reached by walking or cycling. If you’re lucky you might be able to find a restaurant renowned for its organic-centric dishes that isn’t too far away. Alternatively, you can bring some organic ingredients with you and put some of your newly learned recipes into practice.
Wherever you choose to holiday, you can ask the accommodation management if they have any green or eco-friendly initiatives in place.
One of the biggest advocates for going organic is The Soil Association. The Soil Association is the UK’s a membership charity campaigning for healthy, humane and sustainable food, and farming and land and have certified all of VOYA’s products organic. You’ll find the Soil Association certification mark on all our products. This September the Soil association are encouraging all organic brands, producers and consumers to spread their organic message for the good of the planet.
When is Organic Not Organic?
According to the soil association, a product must have a minimum of 70% organic ingredients to be certified ‘organic’. Also, 10% of the ingredients (by weight) must come from organic farming. If these standards aren’t met, then you don’t have an organic product in your hand.
Look out for more organic-themed blog posts in the VOYA Blog this September.