Good Soil

Doug Gabelman, from Thomasburg was the guest speaker at the April meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society. Doug, a biological farmer or non-conventional farmer or more commonly known as organic farmer, grows vegetables and fruit for a market garden in Ottawa. This year, he is planning to expand into flowers to add to his market garden.

Good soil or dirt (one and the same according to Doug), is 45% mineral content, 25% water, 25% air and 5% organic. The perfect soil/dirt is like “black cottage cheese”….dark in colour and crumbly like cottage cheese.

According to research that Doug has studied, people are turning back to growing their own fruits and vegetables for the nutritional value. Today, there is a much lower nutritional value in store bought fruits and vegetables.

Doug suggested the members refer to the following videos for detailed information about improving soil quality.
Keys to Building a Healthier Soil
Soil and Soil Dynamics

His advice to the members…

  • minimum tilling of the soil…let the earthworms do the work! Good soil needs to be porous to let the plant roots spread
  • use a diversity of plant material
  • limit use of chemicals
  • use raised beds as this helps avoid saturation
  • limit amount of compost…can actually have too much compost


 May 2… Marjorie Mason, from Mason House Gardens in Uxbridge will use a slide show to share her travels to inspirational gardens around the world.  Plant material from Mason House Gardens will be available for sale…CASH ONLY. Please note that this meeting will be help at the White Building. Free for members, $3 entry fee for non-members.

 April 22…Tweed and District Horticultural is hosting this year’s AGM.

April 29…Meet at Moira Garden at 9:00 am for first garden clean-up of the season. Everyone is welcome!

July 13…Bus Trip to Mosaicanada 150 at Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau.  Price is $45.

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