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Spring is getting more dialed in every day here at The Good Earth!

There’s so much happening that it’s hard to know where to start…

but let’s begin anyways.


We’ll start with a look at our upcoming Spring Kick Off, May 4th, 10am – 2pm


(regular store hours 8:30am-4:00pm).


We have all kinds of activities planned – including a Craft Station for children where they can plant their own plant(s) to take home, get coloring pages about plants and animals and work on other craft projects.


There will be specials on select bark mulch, potting soils and fertilizers.  Local vendors will be set up to answer questions about their products and show you what’s new.  The bare root fruit trees, the first of many nursery stock deliveries, a large selection of perennials and the start of the flowers and veggies will all be available for you to check out in the plant yard.


And since EVERYONE (!!) needs a dose of cute and cuddly animals now and then… we’re hosting baby goats – presented by Woody End Farm, adoptable rabbits - presented by the Rabbit Network and adoptable puppies – presented by the Big Wave Dog Rescue (all adoptions to be handled by the organizations in charge of the animals).  You’ll be able to ask about how to take care of the animals, pat them, fall in love with them and generally have a really good time!    


In short – there should be something for everyone to check out…


Let’s move on to a concept that my family has always worked with – the fine art of noodling… What on earth is noodling you ask?!? – well – it’s the result of looking at whole bunch of new information whether from a book, an on-line source you know and trust, a wander through a store with all kinds of new products and running all of that new information through your curiosity setting and seeing what comes out the other end – like a bowl of spaghetti!  Eventually you wind all of the information (or the spaghetti!) into a tasty and sustaining mental mouthful.  It’s been marvelous watching people poking through all of the aisles (inside and outside) and seeing what catches their attention – and there are a LOT of new products in every part of the store. Then the questions start…let the noodling begin!


And to help you get started with that noodling, I’m going to provide the first question about new products at the store – in two parts…


What is a seed/plant inoculant? Why should we all care?


Let’s start with the inoculant question…In some ways, plants are very similar to animals, except that they can’t vote with their feet and they produce their own sugars, proteins and fats (photosynthesis and its dark phase).  What they have in common with us is that they need to have specific microbes attached to their physical bodies in order to thrive.  Most of us know that our own microbiomes require care and attention (think yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut and gut health).  Funny thing, the plants need the same kind of care and attention in the form of seed/plant inoculants.  The major difference is that our digestive microbes are on the inside of our bodies and the plant’s microbes surround the roots in a zone called the rhizospere…a big word that describes a marvelous biological construct. Check here for great pictures and a whole lot more information -



 or you can just imagine dreadlocks around each root.


In a natural/native system – inoculation happens without human intervention through existing soil microbes, spores floating on air currents or spores that are placed in the seed by the parent plant (and that’s new information – cutting edge!).  NOTHING that we’re doing in our yards and gardens is truly natural/native.  Some gardeners do have a well-developed soil system in their gardens from years of knowledgeable work, but way too many of us have really challenging soil conditions and our plants need all the help they can get.  Enter the inoculants…  I’ve used a seed inoculant for years and I inoculate any plant that I buy before I plant it.  That way, there are known microbes in association with the root systems. Almost every plant you buy from whatever source you choose is going to be growing in a container of some kind and will most likely have been subjected to some kind of major stress during its time in that pot.  Every stress event (flood/drought, cold/hot etc.) can wipe out parts of the rhizosphere so it only makes sense to give your plants the best chance to succeed that you can provide.  This information also points out how you can step in with a re-inoculation in case of any of those challenges.  I do realize that this can seem overwhelming!!  But I also think it’s worth a bit of mental stress in order to provide the best outcome for your garden ☺ 


So, this explains why we should all care about our plant’s microbes!  If your plants have a healthy digestive system then they are much more capable of handling disturbed, compacted or unbalanced soil systems…and I can tell you that you would not be the first to come in to talk about any of these issues!!  And in case you think we don’t have similar problems at the store – hah!!!  The street side garden is built on about 4” of bark mulch worked into sand – delightful soil it is not!  But – it’s an excellent garden to demonstrate solutions for damaged soil and that’s what we’re doing.  You can check it out every time you visit – and ask us what we’re doing to maintain it.


Here’s the good news – we’re carrying several kinds of inoculants at the store.  You’ll find Advancing Eco-Agriculture’s Bio-coat Gold (my personal favorite for starting seeds), Espoma’s Biotone Starter (excellent for trees and shrubs), Vermont Compost’s Compost Plus (carries an excellent microbial food source with the microbes), Tainio’s Spectrum (excellent for dealing with stress events during the growing season, Earth Juice’s Rainbow Mx Pro (excellent for containers specifically) and Trifecta’s Myco Supreme (for starting Cannabis off right).   We can walk you through which ones are most appropriate for what your garden goals are.


We’re also backing up this kind of information with workshops - including the one this coming Saturday!  That makes it easier to come in and ask all kinds of questions.  Here’s the list of what’s coming up:


April 27: 10:00-11:30 Creating Ornamental or Vegetable Containers ($15 plus the cost of materials)

Hands-on.  All sorts of plants can be grown in containers – even corn and carrots, dahlias and roses!  Learn about soil mixes, inoculants and fertilizer support needed for successful – not to mention spectacular – container gardens.  You’ll be able to pick from several containers and plant combinations and will take a container home with you. Limit 12


April 27: 1:00-2:30pm Herbs: How to Grow and Harvest – Carrie Novak ($15)

You may have noticed the catnip mice at the store…   Carrie loves her herbs, especially her catnip!  She’s going to walk you through the basics of growing AND harvesting quality herbs for both food and fun!  Limit 12


May 5: Mineral Mixing Day ($15 plus cost of mix) 

New England soils are very old and damaged soils – but you can change that!!!  Learn how to mix a complex stone dust mix that gets added to all kinds of soil to bring your soil back to life.  You will actually mix the mix yourself and take it home for your garden(s).  Ask all kinds of questions too!!  Space limited so reserve early.  Cost of mix (weighed out individually at the end of the workshop) to be determined by current delivered prices. Limit 12 


June 22: 10:00-11:30 am Working with Foliar Sprays – ($30/person includes leaf inoculants) to take home.  And, here’s where the rubber really hits the road – or should I say leaf??  Foliar sprays can kill insects and diseases directly, but they can also be used to prevent problems from developing and can directly increase the base line health of your plants.  If you’re planning on eating anything from your plants then you’ll also see an improvement in flavor.  limit 12 – and includes enough foliar support for you to spray a gallon when you get home.


June 22: 1:00-2:30  Growing Quality Cannabis Part 2 

Pre-flower production – time to shift from veg to flower, how to expand and strengthen bud quality.


August 17: 1:00-2:30  Growing Quality Cannabis Part 3

Harvesting your crops – the KEY to enjoying your crop. Slow and steady wins the taste challenge. Using tools and resources for long term storage.

Classes at The Good earth this coming Saturday.
April 27th classes

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