This has been a strange year. COVID-19 has slowed production down a little for us, especially when it came to having Worm Compost available for sale. You can read a bit more about why we were "sold out" of Worm Compost for much of this spring here.
But now we've finally got enough Worm Compost to ensure that our pre-paid customers (those who purchased shares of our Worm Compost CSA) will have the Compost they need when they need it, AND enough to sell it by the bag again. We're even able to sell some more shares of our Worm Compost CSA again, so if you're interested in pre-paying for 100, 200 or 300 pounds of our Worm Compost, click here.
We're limiting the amount of Worm Compost that we have "available" on our website's store for the time being, so we don't run out again. If you stop by our online store and the Worm Compost is listed as "out of stock" or there aren't enough bags in the inventory for what you need, just shoot us an email at office@GoodSweetEarth.com and we'll see if we have enough to get you the amount you are looking for. Thanks for you patience this year!
You ever notice grass growing in your garden? Or in a flower bed? It can be downright tenacious. It grows, it spreads, and left unchecked for a few weeks, it can just overwhelm the area. Grass is essentially an aggressive weed when it grows in the wrong place.
Do you know why grass aggressively infiltrates your garden and flower space? It's because most of us work really hard to give our tomatoes and peppers and marigolds and petunias and basil plants healthy soil. It's that healthy soil that draws the grass in.
So now let me ask you: Does it grow tenaciously in your lawn? Or is it thinner than you'd like? Are there bare spots? Are there spots in your lawn where other things have taken over and the grass is just non-existent? If so, you're not alone.
The problem is that we focus on creating healthy soil for our garden beds and flower beds (with mulch and compost and other soil amendments), but then just don't think about the soil under our grass. And then we wonder why grass grows tenaciously in our gardens, which has soil chock full of organic matter, but there are bald and weak spots all over our lawn.
Getting healthy soil under your lawn isn't something that you can fix by dumping on synthetic chemicals (like Scotts). To get that nice healthy tenacious grass, you need to put as much attention into getting organic matter into your lawn's soil as you do with your garden's soil.
How do you do that? With organic fertilizer and topdressing. Getting more organic matter into your soil is critically important for your turf.
Our fertilization service includes an Alfalfa Blend Fertilizer to do just that (a blend of alfalfa meal, spent distillers grains, kelp and Worm Compost). But you can also DIY by topdressing with compost, or fertilizing with something like Milorganite (32 pounds per 5,200 square feet of turf), alfalfa pellets (40 pounds per 1000 square feet of turf), or Purely Organic Lawn Food (25 pounds per 5000 square feet of turf). Topdressing and/or fertilizing should be done twice a year, in spring (April/May) and late summer (late August to mid September). You want to build up the soil and get those nutrients down just before the grass's growing season starts, which in Michigan is spring and fall.
If you've got questions about adding organic matter to your lawn, or are interested in learning more about our organic lawn fertilization, shoot me an email at Steve@GoodSweetEarth.com
So here it is, spring of 2020, people are putting their gardens in, and Good Sweet Earth is...out of Worm Compost? Uh, what?!
Yeah, for the past several weeks, if you've tried to purchase Living Worm Compost on our website, you've probably noticed that we're sold out. So just what the heck's going on here? Isn't Worm Compost what put us on the map?
Here's the scoop: Last summer, we began selling CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares of our Worm Compost. Basically, that means, people can pre-pay for either 100, 200 or 300 pounds of our Worm Compost, and then when they need some, we deliver the amount they need right to their doorstep.
So the CSA program was pretty popular with local gardeners. We sold a lot of shares of the CSA over the past year. And that means we need to have enough Worm Compost on-hand to deliver to our shareholders at all times. We also had a quick burst of Worm Compost sales in March.
Now normally, we would have no problem having enough Worm Compost to provide our shareholders with what they purchased AND enough to sell by the bagful to gardeners throughout the spring. But then COVID-19 hit, and our usual sources of worm food sorta dried up for a while, which means our worms are running a few weeks behind schedule. They weren't getting fed the normal amount of rotten produce, so we're not able to bag up the normal amount of castings.
But fear not! We're again collecting that unused produce from our local sources. And we're shoving those rotten fruits and veggies into our bins as fast as our hungry worms can eat them. We're expecting to have Worm Compost available for sale again by mid-June.
We know it's not ideal, and we really do apologize for the delay. But we also thank you for your continued interest in our Living Worm Compost! (And might we suggest buying into our Worm Compost CSA once it's available for purchase again, because when you pre-pay for the stuff, you've always got dibs; you're guaranteed Worm Compost even when it's not available for the general public to purchase!)
In the meantime, we've got plenty of our Worm Tea, Raw Biochar, Alfalfa Meal and Bold Tomato.
Like most Americans, our family has been hunkered down for the past couple of weeks, avoiding as much social contact as possible to help slow down the spread of COVID-19. It’s meant a lot more “home time” for us, which means more board games, reading, Disney+ and even a little yard work when the weather permits.
But even as the weather warms, we expect to spend a lot more time at home this summer than in years past. Events like Holland’s Tulip Time have already been cancelled, and it’s uncertain what other outdoor events and activities will look like in the months ahead. And so we’re already looking forward to some fun activities we can do in our yard.
As we get ready for spring to hit, it’s important to think about your turf, especially if there will be increased traffic on it this year. Chemical fertilizers, while giving an immediate burst of color and growth, don’t actually do much for the overall health of your grass. Plus, chemical fertilizers and weed killers can be harmful for people and pets.
Good Sweet Earth offers an alternative that can make your turf better suited for increased foot traffic and playtime, as well as keeping it healthy for kids and pets to roll around on. We use only things found in nature to feed your turf—vermicompost, kelp, alfalfa meal and grains. Sound simple? It is, but we’ve been doing this for more than a decade now, and it really, really works. If you’re interested in getting a quote for services, or learning more, give us a call at 616.594.0693 or email our lawn guy Steve at Steve@GoodSweetEarth.com.
More time spent on your lawn means it’s more important than ever to have turf that is both safe for your family AND looks great.
Our winter reading list covers everything from the fall of civilizations to identifying those weeds in your backyard
The off-season (November-March) at the Good Sweet Earth homestead is the time of year we like to recharge our batteries and expand our knowledge base. That means a little travel, a little rest, but also a lot of continuing education, research, workshops and reading.
Steve (our lawn guy), has decided to focus on two areas of study this year: Learning as much as he can about common lawn weeds found in Michigan, and the physiology of ornamental grasses. That means, in addition to the usual reading about faming, soils, microbes, turf and vermicompost, he’ll be entering the 2020 growing season (hopefully!) with a whole new level of understanding of ornamental grasses and weeds, and how those relate to a healthier, more beautiful yard.
So while some of our outside learning comes in the form of classes, much of it comes from good old-fashioned trips to the public library, and browsing the shelves for good books to fill the cold winter months.
We thought we’d share with you some of what we’re reading this January, and how it’s informing and inspiring us as we enter a new year.
Steve & Corey Veldheer are organic yard & garden specialists in west Michigan.