Glossary

Annual | Biennial | Compost | Equinox | Monoculture | Mycorrhiza | Perennial | Permaculture | Ph | Solstice | Tilth | Vermiculture | Waning Moon | Waxing Moon

Annual   Plants that live only one growing season such as beans or corn.

Biennial   Plants completing their normal term of life in two years, flowering and fruiting the second year, as carrots, beets or winter wheat.

Compost   A mixture of various decaying organic substances, as dead leaves or manure, used for fertilizing soil.

Equinox   The point at which the Sun crosses the plane of the Earth’s equator, when day and night are of approximately equal length. Occurring twice annually, the Spring Equinox takes place on or near March 21st while the Autumn Equinox will fall on or near September 22nd.

Monoculture   Is the agricultural practice of producing or growing a single crop or plant species over a wide area, often for a large number of consecutive years.

Mycorrhiza   The symbiotic association of the mycelium of a fungus with the roots of plants. The majority of vascular plants have mycorrhizae. The fungus assists in the absorption of minerals and water from the soil and defends the roots from other fungi and nematodes, while the plant provides carbohydrates to the fungus. There are two kinds of mycorrhizae: endomycorrhizae, in which the fungal hyphae enter the cells of the root cortex, and ectomycorrhizae, in which they surround the cells.

Perennial   Plants having a life cycle of more than two years. A perennial vegetable will produce year after year from the same plant without having to be re-sewn annually.

Permaculture   The conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems, which have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems.

Ph   Refers to the acidity or alkalinity of a solution on a scale of 0 to 14, acidic solutions have a Ph of less than 7 and alkaline solutions have a Ph greater than 7. Pure water has a neutral Ph of 7. Certain plant species prefer specific Ph levels and may require soil treatments such as lime or nitrates to grow optimally.

Solstice   Either of the two times a year when the sun is at its greatest distance from the celestial equator: about June 21, when the sun reaches its northernmost point on the celestial sphere, or about December 22, when it reaches its southernmost point. During the Summer Solstice daylight hours will be at their peak while the Winter Solstice will mark the shortest day of the year.

Tilth   A physical condition of soil in which it is permeable, crumbles lightly and is rich with microbial life, making it ideal for plant growth.

Vermiculture   The raising and production of earthworms and their by-products.

Waning Moon   The period after the Full Moon and before the New Moon as the illuminated portion of the Moon is receding.

Waxing Moon   The period after the New Moon and before the Full Moon as the illuminated portion of the Moon grows from crescent to Full.