Actually, I have 3 weapons, but since I've told you about one of them previously, only 2 are secret. (Do the math!)
Yes, I told you about alpaca poop....aka Golden Beans, in this post here. I mentioned that I didn't know the scientific properties of alpaca manure offhand. However, I've put a call out to my paca-peeps and they came through to help me find the information. A Canadian publication called Camelid Quarterly has an article about the properties of alpaca poop in their June 2008 issue. You can also find information on this website.
A brief version of the benefits of alpaca manure:
- lower in organic matter than most other livestock manures - but it still has plenty to improve soil texture and water-holding capacity.
- This lower organic content allows alpaca manure to be put directly into the garden without fear of "burning" the plants.
- the nitrogen and potassium content of the droppings are comparatively high to other barnyard animals, giving the indicator of good fertilizer value.
- the alpaca's 3-stomach digestive system processes food so efficiently that seeds do not survive to become weeds in your garden.
Now that we've got that stuff out of the way...
Here is Secret Weapon #1...
Drum Roll, please.....
Heritage Seeds from Soggy Creek Co. in Nipissing, Ontario. No more genetically modified, perfect looking, bland-tasting veggies from the grocery store. I think I`m going to have the best tasting squash, lettuce and purple beans EVER, this year. Apparently, I will even be able to wear the bean as a mustache (a real plus for menopausal women...I guess...).
Soggy Creek Seeds are produced by Yan & Sherry, a funky, fun couple who run the Piebird Bed & Breakfast in Nipissing, Ontario. (Check it out...really neat website).
Secret Weapon #2
I am the proud card-holding member of three different public libraries. All these libraries have books to help the novice gardener like me teach myself the fine art of growing food.
I can taste it now.