Organic gardening products and services
The borough of Beaconsfield has banned free use of pesticides for aesthetic reasons. Still, for homeowners who want to enrich the soil of their gardens or who need to battle common garden pests, there are ecologically-friendly products and services which can help.
We list here several organic fertilizers and products available in the Montréal area, as well as a few companies which provide non-toxic gardening and lawncare services. Please note that:
100% natural fertilizers are available in most nurseries. Here are a few brands.
*The above list was provided by Nature-Action Québec.
Low impact pesticides
A number of low impact or natural pesticides are available under various brand names. Here are three commonly used products considered safe for human health which are available in most West Island nurseries:
A listing of numerous natural alternatives to toxic pesticides has been developed by the government of Quebec (2007).
Note that just because a pesticide product is considered low impact for humans, it does not mean that other (non-targeted) species of animals do not suffer its effects. This comprehensive chart, "Relative toxicity of the main active ingredients contained in pesticides for domestic use used for green spaces"(2009) breaks down the potentially undesirable effect of products on mammals, birds, fish and insects.
Where to buy natural fertilizers and pesticides
Many nurseries around Montréal carry at least some organic pesticide products. If you don't see them, ask, demand will bring the supply eventually.
There are more and more on-line stores offering natural pest control products.
Where to get tools
Having the "right tool" can save a gardener from a considerable amount of unnecessary labour, saving not only our backs but also from the temptation of taking toxic shortcuts when gardening.
Lee Valley Tools: Excellent quality tools. Even if you don't buy from here, look for inspiration in the gardening section of their online catalogue, under "fertilizing", "pest control", and "weeding". Consider the fun factor of using a propane gas torch for burning weeds, a hydrolic dandelion-pulling tool, and other such gadgets.
When you buy organic food, you are not only giving your body a break from harmful chemicals, but also supporting farms which do not harm the environment with their chemical effluents. Health food stores like Heath Tree and Jessy Naturel in the West Island of Montréal offer a wide variety of products and some produce. Following increase in demand, supermarkets like Loblaws, Maxi, Mourelatos, and Metro are starting to provide organic products and some produce as well.
Here are a couple of local addresses which may provide you with some lower cost organic ingredients and produce. If you have any comments or suggestions on adding to this list, please e-mail us!
Winter baskets nearby
Searching for organic farms near you?
Contact Equiterre, and give them your name, address and telephone number and they will send you a list of farms that distribute in and around your area. The list of farms will be mailed to you in the spring (but you need to sign up earlier to have your place held) and provides specific information on each farm such as produce and pricing: Phone: (514) 522-2000. Web-site: www.equiterre.qc.ca.
Organic cleaning ideas
There are a number of handy books and pamphlets available in libraries and on the internet. Here are just some common ideas:
Re-use, re-cycle, and disposal ideas
When it comes to acting responsibly towards our environment, the first steps begin at home. Be a green shopper!
Household hazardous wastePaints, solvents, scouring solutions, lacquers, varnishes, medicines, pesticides, oil, automobile batteries ... these are all products which contaminate the environment. Do not toss them in the garbage can or empty them in the sink - more than 90% of the hazardous products collected can be recycled (as is the case for paints and batteries) or re-used (for example, motor oils which are re-used in industrial fuel-blending). Isn't all this worth a little effort? The West Island offers hazardous waste and old clothing collections in various depots including: Beaconsfield Shopping Centre, Pointe Claire Fire Station, Baie D'Urfe Municipal Garage and the Ballantyne Park in Dorval. The collection dates for each season are posted in borough offices and listed in local borough newsletters.
Otherwise here are other places to dispose:
Source: Réseau environnement