My monthly market update report focuses on the stats as of June 29th. For residential detached homes, sales there were 807 units sold during the month of June, down from 838 for the month of May. The average sale price for the category is $290,000.00 which is holding steady with last month. Average days to sell in the category of residential detached this month was 11 days, exactly the same as May.
For Residential attached homes, sales there were 29 units sold this month of June, down slightly from May at 39. The average sales price for this category was $225,000.00 which is exactly the same as the month prior. Average days to sell in the residential detached category were 29 days, up from May’s 22 days to sell.
In the condominium category there were 116 units sold as of June 29th, down from 131 for May. Average sales price for June was $ 225,000.00 which is exactly the same as the month prior. Average days to sell as of June 29th was 12, which is way down from May’s 29 days to sell.
What is Organic?
You hear the word often, but do you really know what it means? In the simplest terms, it means cultivation without synthetic chemicals.
We often see organically grown produce in our local grocery shops, and it’s easy enough to gather, but it can be a real challenge for those of us who want to grow our own organic produce. The best place to start is understanding what it means to grow organically. t’s a holistic method that starts with and revolves around the soil. Conventional farming regards soil as a substrate that’s there just to hold the plant in place while the farmer gives the plant what it needs from above. Organic gardening strengthens and builds up the soil to nourish the plant from below in a way that ultimately leaves the land – and the animals and people dependent on it – in better condition than before. The idea is that all life forms, from the bacteria on up, work together with as little interference from man as possible, so manufactured fertilizers, pesticides, growth accelerants and regulators such as hormones and antibiotics, genetic engineering, sewage sludge and irradiation are taboo.
So, where to start? Here are some tips if you’d like to try your hand at organic gardening;
- Prepare your soil. Start by having your soil tested. Home testing kits are available, or for a small fee you can have your soil professionally tested at your local agricultural extension office. It’s best to test in the fall and add any organic supplements then.
- Compost. All gardens LOVE a good compost and best of all, if you do it yourself, it’s free! Terie has a great article on how to start a compost Terie Langen – Composting.
- Choose the right plants. Select plants that will thrive in your hardiness zone. Check here for Canadian zones. If you’re buying seedlings, look for plants raised without chemical fertilizers and pesticides. A great place to look is at your local farmers’ market which may also have native plants and varieties well suited to your area. It’s better to buy stocky seedlings with few, if any blooms yet, and with roots that don’t look overcrowded.
- Ensure proper hydration. The best time to water your plants is in the morning. To avoid shocking your tender seedlings, try to use water near or at air temperature. A great way to achieve this is with a rain water collection system. With population growth and climate change putting increasing pressure on our precious freshwater supplies, it is becoming more important than ever to save water.
- Weeding. That dreaded task. Consider weeding an opportunity to get out in the fresh air and get dirty. It can be very therapeutic and relaxing. You can reduce the number of weeds you get by applying organic mulch. Be wary of using lawn clippings as mulch as they can be high in nitrogen. Lawn clippings should only be used on plants that need the nutrient, like as squash and lettuce. If you find it difficult to bend tend to your gardens try a raised bed system. Not only are the aesthetically pleasing, but they can be a pleasure to work in if you don’t have to stoop and bend.
- Protect your plants WITHOUT toxic chemicals and pesticides. Fostering natural predators in your garden is a great way to start. Frogs, toads, lizards, birds, and even bats are organic garden friendly. Beneficial insects can be your best friends, especially lady bugs (many nurseries even sell cans of them, though it’s true there’s a high probability they won’t stick around). Leave a small source of water out to attract friendly predators. You can also use horticultural oils, insecticidal soaps and garlic and/or hot pepper sprays along with physical barriers for the larger pests.
- Harvesting! Don’t forget to harvest and enjoy the fruits of your hard work. Give away what you can’t use and you might even foster another organic garden. If you find yourself in the enviable position of having too much, you can freeze, store and can your harvest.
- Clean-up. Unfortunately there are times that you have to dispose of a sick plant. Be sure to pull up the entire organism to prevent spreading disease. Most healthy expired plants can be left to over winter in your garden. They can provide food and habitat for birds and other wildlife. When dealing with annuals, it’s best to chop them off rather than pull them up, leaving the soil intact.
A poignant quote from Thomas Jefferson: ‘I am an old man but a young gardener.” This year’s garden will not be the same garden you had last year. That’s what is so amazing about and humbling about organic gardening. The limitless variation of the earth.
Terie enjoys gardening when she’s not busy working with clients fulfilling their real estate needs. Drop her a line at 204-987-9808 or check out her website for more information.