composte bins in yard

Peat wetlands are delicate ecosystems that take thousands of years to form. Peat accumulates at a rate of about 1 millimeter per year. When the peat moss industry harvests 22 centimeters per year, it is easy to see why there is a concern for its sustainability. 

Many rare plants and animals can only survive in peat wetlands. These wetlands purify water and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. To harvest peat moss, ditches are constructed to drain water from the area. Large vacuums remove the peat.

yellow bird in wild flowers

By Carla Rich Montez, Extension Master Naturalist serving Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties

 

“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”  Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

humming bird feeding from zinnias

By Jeff and Nancy Staecker, Extension Master Naturalists serving Fulton, Mason, Peoria and Tazewell counties

women working in garden

There are many reasons to grow your vegetables, including health benefits, better flavor, and environmental protection. The health benefits are exponential with the combination of nutrients, sunshine, and exercise gained through vegetable gardening.

Studies show that those who garden are more likely to eat more vegetables. Vegetables are a good source of essential nutrients such as calcium, vitamin A, potassium, and fiber for example. As you work outside in the sunshine, you are aiding your body in the production of vitamin D.