Sparrow's Nest Organics supplies a variety of vendors in
Edmonton. Our favorite restaurants include: Culina (including
Culina Muttart), Corso 32, Elm Cafe, Noorish Restaurant, Prairie Bistro
at the new Enjoy Centre in St. Albert. And we are regular
suppliers to Earth's General Store.
CHECK OUT OUR LINKS TO ALL THESE GREAT, LOCALLY-OWNED AND OPERATED ESTABLISHMENTS
Sparrow's Nest Organics
Opal AB T0A 2R0
Green manures are any crop grown solely for the purpose of
increasing or maintaining soil fertility. Once a green manure crop
reaches an optimal size (usually before producing seed, which draws
nutrients out of soil and the plant itself), it is cultivated back into
the soil. Soil microbes feed on these residues, turning them into
valuable humus: food for future plants!
In fact, the valuable legumes are a unique green manure, in that they take Nitrogen from the atmosphere and leave it in the ground, where it feeds future crops. Legumes include clovers, vetches, peas and beans.
Other purposes of crops grown for their intrinsic value (i.e., rather than as food or fiber) are catch crops (to catch moisture, or to distract insect pests from market crops) and smother crops (to out-compete weeds by smothering them).
Two of our favorite green manures are Fall rye, and an oat-pea blend. Rye not only significantly increases organic matter; it produces chemicals from its roots which prevent growth of invasive grasses (e.g., quack grass). This is called an allopathic effect. It is a highly effective green manure. Peas are legumes, so they fix atmospheric nitrogen into soil. Since they are vines, peas tend to grow along the ground. The oats stand upright, thereby trellising the peas, which increases growth rate of peas. The oats themselves provide ample organic matter for the soil.