Tag Archives: organic gardening

DON’T BUY Gilmour Soaker Hose


Update 1: THANKS again to Kate R for this recommendation for a soaker hose that is NOT TOXIC! It’s also made right here in the USA. Yes, it’s a bit more expensive but read the description – it’s non toxic: lead- phthalate and bpa-free and is made of FDA grade non-leaching polyurethane.

Update 2: Gilmour manufacturer, Fiskar’s, responded immediately to my email to let me know that, “For the few products of ours that still carry this label, the culprit is lead substrate.  This means there are trace amounts of lead embedded in your product.”

While it’s not BPA or phthalate, lead is still not something I want to stream into my garden.

Original Post: It is with my sincere apologies that I share this information:

Gilmour Soaker hoses contain “…one or more chemicals that are known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects.”

I have had my soaker hoses for years and simply had no idea that the products used to create these soaker hoses contain chemicals that are dangerous like lead, BPA and phthalates.

If you want to know what hoses to buy, which ones are safe and which ones are not, please go to Eartheasy, one of my favorite resources, and read their article on healthy hoses.

THANKS again to Kate R for this recommendation for a soaker hose that is NOT TOXIC! It’s also made right here in the USA. Yes, it’s a bit more expensive but read the description – it’s non toxic: lead- phthalate and bpa-free and is made of FDA grade non-leaching polyurethane.

If you are really concerned about your health and you garden, this is the soaker hose to use. I am replacing my Gilmour hoses now so I can be ready for spring.

Please accept my sincere apologies for endorsing a product that is anything but healthy.

SPECIAL THANKS to Kate R for letting me know about the dangers of Gilmour soaker hoses…and all other hoses.


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Oprah’s Maui Farm – One Organic Gardener’s Take

As a gardener, an organic gardener at that, I was interested in the news that Oprah was, “…growing her own food.”

It’s the feature article in the latest issue of her magazine.  And it is a true disappointment.

If she’s gardening, I’d like to know how she keeps her manicure perfect, her make up from streaming down her face and her bright yellow (and very expensive) togs clean.

I garden.  When I garden, I get dirty.  My face ends up streaked with dirt.  My fingernails look like I’ve spent the morning digging for coal instead of digging dirt.  And my clothes have to come off before I come into the house.

And unless one has an absolute army of people to help keep the rows and plants weed free, the organic gardeners I know, including me, use lots of organic mulch — grass clippings, straw, chopped leaves — to keep the veggies happy and health.

Is her concept laudable?  Yes.  Hawaiians import far too much food and eat far too many foods that are not good for them.

Could Oprah be an organic gardener and grow her own food?  Sure, but should she  advertise that she is when about all she does is show up and hold a big butt radish now and again?

I love it when celebrities finally jump into a cause — healthy eating, green living, eco-whatever.  But I really wish celebrities would realize that the rest of us — people around the world who are and have been, “…growing their own food” are not going to be fooled by pictures of them mincing along a row with a wheelbarrow of food that someone else planted, tended and quite probably, harvested.

My organic gardening book is about to be released.  My organic gardening blog of the same name – Grow So Easy; Organic Gardening for the Rest of Us – is, literally, all about down and dirty gardening.

The blog and book are funny.  They’re a” how to” with a whole lot of stories tossed in about how I learned about organic gardening — mostly the hard way.  And I go out of my way to demystify organic gardening, making it easy, making it enjoyable and making it something that anyone can do without a lot of money, without a lot of hands on deck.

Grow So Easy author's back yard.

Anyone can grow their own food and have fun doing it.

In other words, you don’t have to be Oprah to grow your own food.  In fact, you’ll probably enjoy organic gardening more if you’re not!  Maybe Oprah should visit my back yard and see what a real organic gardener can do with two hands, seeds and dirt.

Oprah’s Maui Farm – Oprah on Growing Her Own Food – Oprah.com.

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Filed under Gardening, Home Ec on Acid, Saving Money, World Changing Ideas

Project 365 – Margaret Roach & Fedco Founder Talk Seeds

Of all the people whose gardening wisdom I follow, here are two that I most admire and trust.

Margaret Roach is the author of two books I proudly own – A Way to Garden: A Hands-On Primer for Every Season which I have had for years and and And I Shall Have Some Peace There: Trading in the Fast Lane for My Own Dirt Road.

Both books are about gardening — the former of plants and trees, the latter of a human being.  Both remain on my coffee table, in view and in reach.  Both steady my nerves, wipe some of the stress off my soul and help me come back to ground.

C.R. Lawn’s name is new to me but his work in organic gardening and market growing is not.  C.R. Lawn is the man behind Fedco Seeds.  If you are an organic gardener, you know this company.

Fedco Seeds has been selling organic, non-GMO seeds for more than 30 years.  As a cooperative, “profit is not our primary goal,” according to their site.  Sure, they sell seeds, but what Fedco is really in the business of doing is cooperatively finding, growing, and sharing seeds, trees and knowledge with gardeners around the globe..

Margaret Roach was generous enough to share her interview with this legend of organic gardening; I wanted to share it with you as these two are among the 365 people and organizations who, I believe, are changing the world.  Enjoy!

giveaway: vegetable-garden tips from c.r. lawn — A Way to Garden.


Filed under Book Reviews, Gardening, Inspiring People, Project 365, World Changing Ideas

Calling All Gardeners – BEST Soaker Hose

Okay, I don’t do product endorsements.  Really.  But this time I have to.

I have been an organic gardener for close to 25 years and every year, without fail, I struggle with my soaker hoses.  They are tangled.  I have to pin them to the ground and wrestle the kinks out.  While trying to thread them through my garden, the ends whip around and invariably smack me in the face.  They are damaged but you can’t see the holes until you lay them out in the garden, pin them to the ground and turn on the water.

I have created the Fountain of Trevi in my own back yard…year after year after year.  But NOT this year because I went looking and I have found the world’s best soaker hose thanks to the Internet, Amazon.com and Al Gore.

Manufactured by a company I never heard of (Bosch) in a state I used to fly into almost weekly for business, the Gilmour Flat Weeper Hose is spectacular.  It is made of material, not recycled rubber that breaks down in the sun.  And, believe it or not, this hose is guaranteed for life.  Yep, for life.  Gilmour will replace the hose, free of charge, if it does not provide, “…complete satisfaction.”

Here’ are a couple more wonderful features for this hose:

  1. It comes in 25 foot, 50 foot and 75 foot lengths.
  2. The individual hoses can be coupled together to create longer hoses.  I currently have a 125 foot hose snaking around ALL of the plants in my garden and there are 65 plants spread out in my plot.
  3. You will NOT have to wrestle with these hoses like you do with those alligators made of recycled rubber.  When they are not filled with water and soaking your plants, they flatten and can be rolled up like a piece of yarn  on a skein.
  4. The price is definitely right.  Priced by length, the 25 footer is $10.99.  The 50 footer is $13.00 and the 75 foot long hose is just over $15.00.

For a one time investment of under $50, I have soaker hoses I will be able to pass on in my will.  If you garden, give them a try.

Oh, and check out the Nelson Faucet Adaptor-High Flow, 4 Outlet Manifold.  The cut off valves work great and are, for lack of a better word, ergonomic,  They fit your hand and are BIG, you can see if they are on or off and you can actually get a grip on them and turn them on or off easily.

Side note: If you’re an organic gardener,  join people across the country who belong to Grow Girls Grow Organic on Linked In.  Lots of sharing and learning going on and it’s all about gardening, all the time.


Filed under Home Ec on Acid, Saving Money