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Organic gardening grows

Everyone is aware of the benefits of eating organically grown food. Artificial pesticides and herbicides are formulated to kill and they don't target only pests and weeds.

Artificial fertilizers also add chemicals to the soil that leach into groundwater to pollute it as well as rivers and oceans.

Eating locally grown organic foods also benefits the community financially and cuts down on the pollution of long-distance transportation of produce.

Sequim Organic Gardeners takes all this one step further: Members grow as much of their own food as possible. They are taking control of their food on a personal level.

Some of them say they find the work they do in their gardens to be a form of aerobic exercise.



Three years in making

In order to be an organic garden, its grower can use no artificial chemicals. Gardeners instead use organic fertilizers, compost, wood chips and organic pesticides.

It takes up to three years for nonorganic products to leach from the soil. Then a garden can be considered organic. Many times it helps to use raised beds and amended soil to grow food in the plot.

Pam Larson, who started Sequim Organic Gardeners five years ago, also is involved in the Community Organic Gardens in Sequim. She and others offer help and encouragement to those who would like to grow their own food. They offer classes for the first year someone grows foods in the community gardens.

Sequim Organic Gardeners meets once a month to discuss new techniques and swap stories about what works in their gardens and what doesn't. At the next meeting, they will hear from Tessa Gowans of Seed Dreams in Port Townsend, who has heirloom seeds that are specific for this area.

Anyone interested in joining the group can contact Karen Westwood at kwestwood@seanet.com or 683-1882.



Reach Dana Casey at dcasey@sequimgazette.com

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