Northern Plains Botanic Garden Society

You are currently browsing articles tagged Northern Plains Botanic Garden Society.


GREEN TIP: Eating organic produce, meat and dairy is healthier for your family and the environment (and it tastes better). Products with a USDA Organic label were grown and processed without toxic and persistent pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.  

Here are some money saving tips to help you eat healthier and stay within your budget:

Comparison Shop. You may be able to find less-expensive alternatives at different stores. Many major chains are coming out with their own organic brands but make sure it’s certified organic. According to Mark Kastel, the senior farm policy analyst at The Cornucopia Institute, ”Major food processors have recognized the meteoric rise of the organic industry, and profit potential, and want to create what is in essence ‘organic light,’ taking advantage of the market cachet but not being willing to do the heavy lifting required to earn the valuable USDA organic seal”.

Products with a USDA Organic label were grown and processed without toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Certified organic production also prohibits sewage sludge, antibiotics, ionizing radiation, synthetic growth hormones and genetically modified organisms.

Grow One Thing. Unless you have a lot of land, you’re probably not going to feed your family only from your home-grown harvest, but you will find that growing a tomato plant can be incredibly inspiring. And it’s not as intimidating as it seems. So pick one thing to grow – you can do it.

Cook More. The more convenient the food is, the more expensive it is. For example, buying an organic frozen dinner may save you time in the same way a conventional frozen dinner would, but it costs quite a bit more than its non-organic counterpart and much more than a homemade meal. Buy organic items that are lower in price (such as produce), and make your own dishes from scratch.

Stock Up. Stock up on your favorite items when they go on sale. Or try something new that is on sale or is priced well, and you may find a new favorite.

Buy in Bulk. Buying in bulk will keep costs down. Look for many pantry staples often available in bulk, such as beans, legumes, rice, flour, nuts, chocolate chips and so on.

Organic Coupons. Keep an eye out in the Sunday paper and grocery circulars for coupons and, again, stock up to take best advantage of the savings. Organic bargains are everywhere so click on’s Frugal Living page where you will find All Organic Links.

Shop in Season and Buy Local. Shop farm stands and farmers’ markets for the freshest produce and support local farmers at the same time. Purchasing in season produce from your grocer may also keep costs down. And you can also save money by becoming a member of a local farm by joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

In the Fargo/Moorhead and surrounding areas:

  • Red Goose Gardens is a CSA in Shelly, MN. They offer locally and sustainably grown produce to communities in the Red River Valley. By purchasing a share, you become a member and receive a weekly box of our fresh, hand harvested produce. Boxes are delivered to several drop sites in Fargo/ Moorhead, Grand Forks and surrounding communities. We encourage members to connect with farm and farmer. Members are welcome to visit and we host several farm events each season. Their goal is to nurture the soil, to grow flavorful and nutrient-rich vegetables, herbs and fruits that are healthy for our bodies and our environment. They believe that the best food is whole and fresh and they grow sustainably and organically – no chemical fertilizers, pesticides or GMOs .
  • Sydney’s Health Market boasts the areas only all organic farmer’s market. Available Fridays during the growing season. They have organic produce available in the store, delivered fresh every Tuesday and Friday for Fresh Market Friday. And, if you haven’t been there recently, they are expanding their store and their selections. Visit or call 218-233-3310 for more information.

Be Selective. Decide to only purchase organic milk and produce. See the Environmental Working Group’s “dirty dozen” for the most-contaminated produce and make your shopping list based on that information: EWG Shoppers Guide

Source: and Healthy Child Healthy World

Upcoming event in the Fargo/Moorhead area:

Northern Plains Botanic Garden Society is having their 9th Annual Botanic Garden Spring Luncheon and Silent Auction.

When: May 5, 2012 (11:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m.)

Where: Holiday Inn, 3803 13th Ave S, Fargo, ND 58103

Their guest speaker will be entomologist Maurice Degrugillier Ph.D who will be giving a presentation on Butterflies in the Garden. This is sure to be a crowd pleaser and will entice many into creating their own butterfly gardens for years of enjoyment. Along with this presentation, there will be numerous silent auction items that will include many container gardens and other botanic-themed items. Place a bid throughout the event while enjoying an amazing lunch of chicken salad, desserts, and champagne and listening to music from the Borderline Strings. If you place the winning bid on your auction item, you will also take home a wonderful gift for yourself or a special friend. This is an elegant event for all to enjoy, so plan ahead and contact us with any questions you may have.

For more information about the event and tickets, visit

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

eat the seasons
eat the seasons aims to promote an understanding of food seasons. Each week they list the seasonal foods that are at their peak, and share enlightening facts, useful tips and enticing recipe ideas picked from the web and their favorite books.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Editor’s Note: Each Tuesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel ProgramWe also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1220pm (central) every Tuesday at or, if you’re in North Dakota or western Minnesota, listen on your radio at AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: You don’t need to use commercial herbicides and pesticides to create a beautiful lawn.

We all want a beautiful lawn we can be proud of, but at what price? Is it really that important to have a perfect, weed-free lawn for a season or healthy children and pets for a lifetime?

According to a study from the University of Minnesota, children of pesticide applicators have “significantly higher rates of birth defects than the average population.” Another study, this one from the University of Southern California found that young infants and toddlers exposed to weedkillers within their first year of life are four-and-a-half times more likely to develop asthma by the time they are five and almost two-and-a-half times more likely when exposed to insecticides. The studies go on and on that link childhood exposure to chemicals to cancer, asthma and learning and developmental disorders.

Lawn Fact: During a typical year in neighborhoods across the country, over 102 million pounds of toxic pesticides are applied in pursuit of a perfect lawn and garden. This figure, up from 90 million pounds in the year 2000, continues to grow despite the growing body of scientific evidence that links pesticides to health and environmental risks. 

Source: Beyond Pesticides

Children and lawn chemicals don’t mix!

  • The National Academy of Sciences reports that children are more susceptible to chemicals than adults and estimates that 50% of lifetime pesticide exposure occurs during the first five years of life.
  • EPA concurs that children take in more pesticides relative to body weight than adults and have developing organ systems that are more vulnerable and less able to detoxify toxic chemicals.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) cites that over 30% of the global burden of disease in children can be attributed to environmental factors, including pesticides.
  • Studies show that children living in households where pesticides are used suffer elevated rates of leukemia, brain cancer and soft tissue sarcoma.
  • A 2005 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that students and school employees are being poisoned by pesticide use at schools and from drift off of neighboring farmlands.

So, do you have to have an ugly, weedy lawn? Absolutely not. The National Coalition for Pesticide-Free Lawns has some easy tips you can use to create a healthy lawn.

  • Make sure your mower blades are sharp and keep your grass height at 3 to 3 1/2 inches.
  • Some weeds are the result of using poor quality grass seed. Make sure you use the proper grass seed for your region.
  • Many “weeds” have beneficial qualities. For example, clover takes nitrogen from the atmosphere and distributes it to the grass, which helps it grow. Clover roots are also extensive and very drought-resistant, providing resources to soil organisms. It also stays green long after your lawn goes naturally dormant.

Is an occasional dandelion, knotweed or clover cause for alarm? No! Dandelions’ deep roots return nutrients to the surface, crabgrass provides erosion control and I’ve already extolled the virtues of clover. And by not using chemicals on your lawn you are helping your children, pets, neighbors and our planet live a healthier life.

Need some non-toxic gardening tips?

  • Visit Loving Natures Garden. Alison Kerr will give you the inspiration you need to keep your garden green.
  • Another wonderful site is Ecosystem Gardening – Carole Brown is ready to help you Create Wildlife Habitats and Protect the Environment.

Know the health and environmental impacts of the products you’re using to improve your lawn and garden.

Locally in the Fargo-Moorhead area:

Visit the Easter Set at the West Acres Center Court to purchase spring flowers and blooming plants to benefit the Northern Plains Botanic Garden Society. Purchases can be made from March 23rd thru April 8th, see you there!

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Beyond Pesticides
Beyond Pesticides (formerly National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides) works with allies in protecting public health and the environment to lead the transition to a world free of toxic pesticides. The founders, who established Beyond Pesticides as a nonprofit membership organization in 1981, felt that without the existence of such an organized, national network, local, state and national pesticide policy would become, under chemical industry pressure, increasingly unresponsive to public health and environmental concerns.

Tags: , , , , ,