My Stomach is big

A few days ago, we were all sitting at the table eating breakfast. My 2 year old daughter said:

“My belly is big like yours mommy. It has in a baby!

I was like ” Hey now, my stomach is not all that big!”

But alas it is.

In my defense I would also like to mention that we recently read a Topsy and Tim story called “The New Baby” so that is what most likely sparked her statement and not the actual size of my belly (my husband might chime in here and say that is wishful thinking but I am sticking to that story)

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Unfortunately I am not able to do anything much about my big belly since I have a massive hernia that I plan on getting fixed. But not right now.

Until then, I’ll have to work on other areas of my body- my butt, legs, arms and chest. And of course I’ll be working on my skin.

Now the question in which one shall I work on first? Share your ideas with me.

And of course having a fun challenge to go along with it will make it even more doable.

Stay tuned for a new challenge.

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How to Grown an Organic Container Garden

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A while ago I started my organic container garden right in my patron since I have no place to grow them outside. The joys of apartment living.

It has been trial and error for some plants but mostly going great.

I quickly learned that all plants are not equal.

Some like a lot of sunlight.

Some like a lot of water.

Some will survive in shallow soil and some will not.

I lost a few plants along the way which included my precious echinacea plant. But I do believe those could have been avoided if I simply had followed this step:

Research the different plants you want to grow before you get them.

If I had done that I would have known that beets don’t like a lot of water in the beginning and neither do chives. Celery and cabbage love water.

I would have know the water loving, shade loving, drought loving, sun loving etc. plants and where to position them on the patio.

But, I figured it out as I went and was able to grow several things in my patio.

Here is what I did to grow these organic potted herbs and vegetable:

1) Prune plants

I never really understood the benefit of pruning a plant until someone came to my home and told me to cut (more like chop/butcher) a tree we have growing outside. She told me how wonderful her tree looked after she did it and she pretty much sold me on it.

I tried it and IT WORKED! So I pruned all of my plants and they thrived.

2) Do not discard the pruned leaves

When I prune my plants I put the leaves back into the pot to decompose. Kinda like my compost. Sincemy plants are potted they won’t get the nutrients they need from the soil like if I was planting directly into the ground.

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3) Add nutrients to your soil.

I found this article that outlines the symptoms of plant deficiencies. Using this article can help you to ward spot nutrient deficiencies in your potted plants.

My children and I have had to add Epsom salt to our garden. We also will add an organic compost to it as well to add some nitrogen to the soil.

One alternative to this is to get animal manure. We have easy access to goats and sheep and if we look around a bit I am sure we can get some chicken poop.

But I prefer the green compost for our container garden. Hopefully with time, adding the pruned leaves back to the soil will inpreve the nitrient value so that I will have a richer sool to plant in with the next set of crops.

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4) Use natural pesticides

I got a few pests in my patio garden. Some were caterpillars and the other one was a leaf miner.

To combat the leaf miner

When I realized that I had leaf miner on some of my plants (celery and cabbage) I used coconut oil, as opposed to the recommended neem oil since I had none. I got two pieces of cloth and coated them with oil. Then using the coated cloths, I squeezed the leaf at the mining site and pulled from the inside of the leaf towards the tip of the leaf. This coated the leaf with oil.

I repeated this with most of the infected leaves. The ones that were badly infected I discarded completely.

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 5) “Till” the soil

With container gardening, it is more than likely that you won’t have the good insects found in the soil that help aggregate the soil. For some plants you will need to do this manually. I used a butter knife to do this.

A look at some more of my plants 

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Sautéed pumpkin and cabbage

Today we ate sautéed pumpkin and cabbage as part of lunch. I was so happy because I picked the cabbage and chive from my own, organic container garden!

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Ingredients:
– 1 lb pumpkin cubed
– 1 small cabbage, shredded
– 1 stalk chive
– salt to taste
– oil to sauté

Method:
Coat a frying pan with oil and add cabbage, pumpkin, chive and salt. Cover and cook on very low heat until pumpkin is cooked.

Served with pasta and butter bean stew.

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Container Garden

Wow! This blog has taken an unexpected break!

But during that time I have been continuing with my container garden in my patio. I can wait for the time when we have our own land so that I can garden straight into the ground!

Here are some things in my patio garden

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