Pomergranates

When I was younger there we loads of pomegranate trees around us. Everytime we went to the supermarket we would pick some and eat. Sometimes we would bite into the bitter skin by mistake in our zeal to devour the juicy seeds!

In my teens, I replaced eating Pemergranates with all kinds of junk food. But in adulthood I returned to those childhood foods that we not only delicious but healthy.

Recently I went by my mother and enjoyed one of her delicious pomegranates. Yum!

Here is a shot of a pomegranate from my mother’s tree.

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Check back for more information about this super fruit called pomegranate!

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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November 2014 Health Challenge Check in #1

health challenge BUTTON

Tomorrow is the start of

Task 3

eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.

Look out for information on the importance of fruits and vegetables later tonight.


How has the 30 Day Health Challenge November 2014 Edition  been going for me so far?


 

Day 5 of the challenge I did not get in adequate water. 😞. I know, I know. But I knew this would be my hardest challenge of all so I am making sure to pay extra special attention to this task.

Now in preparation for the exercise segment, I searched for exercise videos for children, so I could have fun with the children, while exercising. They were full of energy for the most part, as children are. Me- I was so tired from those videos.

Here is the link to the playlist http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF4FF271D55B9AF72

Be sure to follow the instructions in the videos. They are a fun way to get some exercise done with the children.

And be sure to look out for a post on exercise tips.

Garlic Oil

I posted earlier about the benefits of garlic here and how it could be used to treat fungal infections.

Well, my husband got something in his hair we assume from going to the barber. He has been to the doctor and spent alot of money on anti-fungal creams to get rid of this thing.

Nothing worked.

All the while I was telling him “Use the garlic oil. It will work. It is going to work better that those other medications…..” But he did not listen..then.

Anyhow, after some time (a very long time at that) he finally decided to try the garlic oil. And now the problem has nearly resolved. He is not consistent and often forgets to put it on but from the second application we saw a BIG difference.

Here is the recipe I used for the garlic oil. Nothing special.

Garlic Oil

~3 cloves of garlic grated and stuffed in a 30 ml bottle (that’s the size bottle I had). Then fill with grape seed oil. Place in a sunny window for 10 days.

~Similarly you could grate a pod of garlic and add to 500 ml of grapeseed oil (that’s the size bottle I buy) and simmer for about 45 minutes. Let cool and pour in a glass container or bottle.

I shared this post on:

Simply Natural Saturdays Link Up

Selecting, Keeping, and Using Garlic

This information was sent to me but the references were unfortunately left out. When I recieve them I will update this post. But for now here it is

 

Roasting Garlic

To roast garlic, just remove the outermost layer of papery covering and place the bulb in a baking dish. Drizzle some olive oil on top of the bulb, cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, and bake in an oven heated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about one hour.

Serve the roasted garlic with whole-grain bread.

 

Preparing Garlic for Cooking

To prepare garlic for cooking, simply break the cloves you need off the bulb.

To make peeling the papery covering off the cloves easier, heat the cloves for about ten seconds or so. This loosens the covering. Then chop the peeled cloves with a knife or a garlic press, a device that squeezes the clove through several small holes.

 

Getting the most benefits from garlic

You get the most health benefits from fresh garlic cloves that you chop or crush just before you add them to your recipes. According to research published in 2008 in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the amount of allicin decreases rapidly. In fact, garlic preserved in oil lost half of its allicin content in just six hours. Garlic stored in water fared better, but half of the allicin disappeared within six days.

Pre-chopped garlic is not as powerful as fresh garlic; however, it retains much of its health benefit and many people like the convenience. If you choose pre-chopped garlic, buy it in small jars and store the garlic in the refrigerator after it has been opened.

 

Garlic supplements, such as Garlique, are available. Many people prefer taking supplements to avoid the after-effect of “garlic breath.” The garlic odor can be diminished by using an enteric coating on the capsules, which ensures the garlic is released in the small intestine instead of the stomach.

Garlic Lemonade to fight Colds and Flu

I found this recipe here and I am going to try it. I figure if it fights colds and flu, occasionally drinking it will help to prevent them.

Ingredients:

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 quart boiling water

1 tablespoon dried peppermint

1 lemon, juice of

raw honey to taste

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a glass quart canning jar and steep for 30 minutes.

Strain out the garlic and peppermint and add the lemon juice.

Sweeten with honey to taste and sip while warm.