Gardening, Home Page

What’s With All The Colors?

Color Your Landscapes

Did you ever think where all the many colors come from or how they come about?

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Especially in nature and the many things that surround us!

There are 7 Primary colors in a rainbow the 7 colors of the rainbow such as Red, Orange, Yellow, green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. In school we learn that there are Three Primary colors that combine to make secondary colors such as orange, green and purple plus some black and white. In the light we see colors as blue, red and green colors. The color theory is truly complicated so I won’t go into it any further, Plus some of it is beyond me!

So what about the colors we see in everyday life, all around us we are surrounded in color and we have become so accustomed to it we really don’t think about it, But when spring hits Mother Nature and all the trees, plants, flowers and bright colored birds appear it truly is a sight to behold!

Brightly Colored Flowers

You wake up on a bright summer morning and see all the colored flowers and nature surround you how do you feel? Think about it, How does it affect you mood, your thoughts, or your surrounding. Colors are important to identify and recognition also.

We have warm colors and cool colors and each of them can create different emotions or feeling. Colors make us feel happy or sad, relaxed or stressed and some colors can make us feel hungry such as a bright red strawberry!

Warm colors such as Red, Orange and Yellow are all next to each other on the color wheel and all of them are warm. Warm colors can give us feelings of happiness, and energy. Red is the warmest and it can trigger opposing emotions and is frequently associated with love and anger or danger. It can even increase your heart rate and gets you exctied ! If you want to draw attention to an object, use Red. Think about some of the fast food chains, You see a lot of red and yellow with them to draw your attention! Use it moderately, It is over whelming.

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Orange, It enhances happiness and also draws attention, Its eye appealing and friendly.

Yellow, Is the energetic one! think of the Sun, warm, sunny and gives hope.

Green, We think about new starts, health and wealth. It’s easy and relaxes us, Think of a new spring day and green grass finally with maybe some starts of plants or flowers, It relaxes us and balances all the other colors around us.

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Blue, makes us think of spirituality, calming and it causes the body to create chemicals that are calming also. It is one of the favored colors! Think of all the jeans, jackets and such denim shirts, uniforms, The darker blues gives a feeling of being professional. Lighter blues are more relaxing and friendly. Think about the blue sky, advertising, internet and such, What colors do they use?

Purple, Has always been associated with royalty and wealth. It is calming and inticing. Walk down a few store isles and see how they use some colors especially in the women’s and cosmetic departments, Think of cologne bottles.

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So these are a few color Tid-Bits to think about and myself I think more of them in my gardens and landscaping especially this time of year. With the green as my canvas and now its time to play with colors and evoke some good feeling for all to enjoy!

So get out plan your gardens, flower beds and think of what colors you will use and for what reasons. God gave us all these beautiful colors to create our own pallets ! Go forth and beautifi your Homesteads!

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Healthy Recipes, Home Page

Healthy Oatmeal Muffins

Homemade Healthy Muffins

WW Oatmeal Muffins

ONE POINT this makes 12 muffins….. Just plain Healthier!

4 packages of sugarfree oatmeal (got mine at Walmart)

4 eggs

Four 4 oz containers of Unsweetened applesauce

4 teaspoons of cinnamon

Mix all together and bake at 350° for 20 minutes….

Sometimes I add a 1/2 cup dried cranberries the one with 50% less sugar for an extra point if your counting.

Sugar Free Chocolate Muffins with a SF Chocolate Cake Mix

 


Homemade but easy way!

1 Sugar Free Chocolate Cake mix (I get at Walmart).

1-reg size can Pumpkin Puree

1-Egg

1/2 cup dried cranberries 50% SF

1/4 tsp baking powder

Add nuts if you like

Mix well

Makes 12 large

Bake at 350 degree for 17-19 min.

I have added dried fruits, slivered Almonds, Walnuts etc.

Just have fun and enjoy!

SF Chocolate Muffins

Gardening, Home Page

It’s a Full Moon Time to Transplant

Seedlings are ready to transplant and It’s also a full Moon perfect timing!

My Tomato and Pepper Seedlings are ready now to transplant to bigger containers and wouldn’t you know it the April Full Moon! Pink Full Moon they call it, And no the moon won’t be pink . It was given that name by the native tribes because of the spring pink flowers that spread on the ground. Pretty cool huh!

I will say it pays to buy Heirloom seeds and non-GMO for this is the first time my seedlings have ever survived! Happy Camper here I might add.

I used a starting potting mix and potting cups and they look good this evening.

Hopefully in a couple weeks I can harden them off and get them ready to plant in garden! Have you planted your gardens yet? These above are Jalapeño peppers and Tomato plants both Heirloom plants.

I’m hoping for a good harvest this year with the new plant boxes and more energy(losing weight helped me there)! Plus I love gardening and planting new Perennials on my trails and small flower beds.

I plant mainlyPerennials because one they last longer and two I don’t have to replant every year! One of my favorites are Lavender and Echinacea (cone flower). Both of these plant are hardy in my area and so beautiful when in bloom not to mention they both have medicinal qualities also! I like to dry my Lavender and use the wonderful smelling buds for soap, lotions and sachets, the lotion is very relaxing just before bed ,heck I have even sprinkled some on our sheets and pillows at night! The cone flower I dry for tea especially during cold and flu season it’s a great Immune booster!

Cone Flower

Lavender

I planted some seedings of Heirloom seeds only a third came up and holding their own still small so time will tell.

What grows in your garden?

Experiment and have fun with Mother Nature and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!

Happy Gardening🌱🌻

Get Ready to Garden Tips

Home Page

One Goal At A Time

Spring is finally here in Yellow Banks a long with nearby flooding, But that’s normal living on the Mississippi! While 6 blocks alway on my Urban Homestead the plans begin for cleanup, prepping for gardens and new chicken Coop along with all the flower beds! I love love beautifying the yard and being outside .

Well the three garden boxes are finished along with one that was salvaged from the river with all the flooding ( you can’t believe what you find floating down stream)! Finders keepers is the flood river rule😉. Anyway the salvaged boards are 2×8 and I cleaned them up a bit and hubby put them together for me. I used Linseed Oil on all my boxes to protect the wood and two are in the garden patch then the salvaged one comes out tommrow! Now the big plan is the Soil and it’s a must here with all the sand we have in our area.

I love the idea of raised garden boxes for myself and always wanted to so this was the year!

It sure will help on the back and have a lot more nutrients for my plants to thrive, for they haven’t done well in years!

The coop well that’s another new goal this year we revamped a little shed into a coop and he sure looks good with plenty of room. Still have to do some touch ups and fencing for the chickens safety and their run but looking forward to this new adventure with chickens 🐓

If your interested in learning more about garden boxes check out my link! Garden Boxes

Well Gota go more work and I will add more as the progress continues!

Home Page, Stories and Thoughts

The Putrid Smell Still Unforgotten

A Featured Short Story from Blogging Grandmothers.

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One flashlight flash meant danger, two flashes meant safe, but
then she saw three flashes that night from beyond the swamp.

They had never talked about what three flashes meant and now she was worried and not sure what to do.  

She remembered one flash, two flash but Not Three!  Her husband and father  had told her to stay there incase her little brother showed up which she was hoping for and  trying not to think  of the worst while they were in the swamp area searching for her lost brother.  Thoughts keep running through her mind, what if he’s hurt, or an alligator got him or whatever, She could only think negitive thoughts and an occasional happy memory of fun times with her little brother.

dock surrounded by body of water
Photo by Dariusz Grosa on Pexels.com

As she sat there on a damp stump she could hear all kinds of noises some familiar some not so!  Owls hooting, occasional cracks of wood, growls of alligators in the distance and splashes in the swamp and scratches on what she thought was bark on a tree and the weird sounds almost similar to a human voice but not quite.  Goosebumps rose on her arms and chills ran down her spine with the cold night wind and so many unfamiliar sounds!  She could feel tears weel up and kept fighting it off trying to stay strong, but she felt so helpless just sitting and waiting while wondering and praying.

As she sat there in the cold dark night with only a flash light she could feel the anxiety building up within her and feeling damp, cold, and helpless not knowing what was going on deep in the swamp area with her family much less what was lurking about her.  Her nerves got the best of her and she stood up quickly beginning to pace back and forth as fearful thoughts kept swimming in her head,  Then suddenly she heard a loud noise in the distance like the scattering of large birds screeching all at once and scouring out of the trees and just as fast, a loud growl and banging thuds on the trees.  Within seconds later she heard several gun shots and two flash lights not far apart of one another go on and off one time;  She remembered what her husband  had told her about the warning signs.

At this point Sally was so scared she turned to run and tripped over a broken stump, crying, wet with mud and moss all over her she gathered up all her courage and stood facing the swamp area when she noticed more flashes!  But this time it was each three times!  Sally panicked not knowing what they meant and terrified of what it could mean.

She held her head in her hands and began to weep uncontrollably then suddenly she heard a growling sound and crashing of trees in the distance,  She thought for a second; It couldn’t be an alligator, But what was it?  She began walking stepping backwards away from the frightening sounds then quickly out of the damp darkness she noticed large yellow eyes glowing from the swamp and a pungent, putrid smell and SUDDENLY with a large strange sound and thud in front of her was this unimaginable creature like nothing she had ever seen standing within two feet of her with long dark hair all over its body and huge hands and feet.  As she stood there unable to move from unfathomable fright she could smell that scent she noticed earlier but much stronger now burning her nostrils.  She glanced up toward the beast and noticed it was holding a limp ragged object in its arms and as the beast moved forward towards her a few steps she recognized a plaid material half covered in mud.  She thought quickly could this be? No it can’t be my BROTHER!  Sally had recognized the red and white flannel shirt her brother had on that morning.  Suddenly the creature dropped the body on the ground in front of her and she heard a faint noise from it;  She knew then it was her brother and knelt down to check and comfort him all the while her brother lay their unconscious .

australia black and white cold dark
Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

She was so involved with her brother for a few seconds she had almost forgotten about the hairy creature; Then suddenly the hairy unknown creature let out a loud growl or scream she wasn’t sure and turned and ran back into the swamp as loudly as it had appeared!  At this point Sally fell to her knees besides her brother and cried while gently wiping the mud and blood from his face when she noticed his cell phone in his T-shirt pocket under the flannel shirt.  She reached for it and luckily it still had power and she called 911 for help.  While waiting her thoughts returned to her husband and father while fear and anxiousness overcame her again as tears flowed down her face thinking out loud “what more or how much more could she take”. Were they alive?  Did that stinking creature kill them?  Sally began pacing back and forth on the swamp’s edge and checking now and then on her brother, While it seemed like hours when in the distance she could hear the sounds and sights of emergency vehicles in the distance and a sigh of relief eased her mind for a few minutes all the while still wondering and praying for her husband  and father.

Two months had past now and her brother recovered physically and the search team never found her husband and father.  To this day as Sally’s life goes on but no where the same as before that day, she hears whispers and pointed fingers every time she goes to town to remind her over and over again of the terror and untold truth that only she and her brother will carry with them the rest of their lives.  The day the Flash lights blinked three times.

 

 

 

 

Gardening, Home Page

Get Ready to Garden Tips

Spring is slowly approaching us here in the mid-west finally.

Are you ready? Let’s gather our supplies and get digging.

Let’s do this! Here’s a few things you will need.

You have your plan down and maybe have planted your seedlings by now and soon to be transplanted, Plus the other seeds or plants to put in,  so what else you might say is needed?

Tools are very important for a Gardner and I have learned throughout the years that it pays to spend a little extra for a strong working tool and not a soft bending cheap tool! Nothing more maddening than trying to dig a hole or plant a flower and your tool bends right in your hand!

There are many quality tools available on-line and in your local farmer supply stores and Hardware stores. Here is a nice set on line for an idea.

https://www.amazon.com/Gardening-Organizer-Included-Accessories-Gardeners/dp/B0735BW934

What kind of tools you ask Well ,here’s a few ideas to get you thinking.

Long Handle Shovel

Iron Rake

Hand Shovel

Hand Spade

Claw

Hammer

Hoe

Don’t forget buckets, hoses, spikes, fencing or rope. Now go out their and mark your garden territory and get to digging and planting!!

Take a tour at your local garden centers and see what you come up with!

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So you have your tools now and I assume your garden is cleared and waiting for the new plants or seeds to be planted or maybe you are going to do container planting, If so be sure your containers are clean and fresh soil in them because you don’t want bacteria and insects destroying your baby plants!  Also make sure they have drainage holes so you don’t drown the roots!

Make sure also that your new plants get at least 6-8 hours of sunlight to promote growth. Don’t do like I did a few years ago and forgot to Label my plants!  It’s hard to tell sometimes what they are until they grow a little.

You have your new hoses so don’t forget to water in the mornings,  It is best to prevent disease and will make the root system grow deeper.

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When it comes to weeding I like to do it in the mornings for one it’s not as hot and the soil is not a dry so they are easier to pull out.  Mulch will help to keep the weeds down also. Gardening

Did you raise your own seedlings?  If so don’t forget to harden them before you trans plant them, which is letting them sit our doors for short time periods each day at least 50 degrees outside is best to get them accustomed to the outdoors and also prevent shock!

I have new baby’s that shot up yesterday!  My seedlings

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Don’t forget to thin out your plants if they become to crowded plus you want to be strong and healthy.

How about some natural fertilizers!  I like epsom salt and vinegar.

Another important thing to watch for are those pesky pests! And how to get rid of them.

One good natural way to plant other plants that will deter the Pest such as Marigolds, garlic, chives, catmint,  lemongrass and thyme.  Also another good one is 1 Tsp of liquid Castile soap to a spray bottle of water, If you want to go Gangster Mad add 1 tsp of hot sauce to the bottled mixture!

Well happy Gardening and hope these few tips will get you started or thinking about a garden and rasing your own food this season!  Think Mean and Green! 

Don’t forget to check out the LInks!  for more Garden Ideas!

Garden Boxes

Home Made Essential Items on an urban homestead, Home Page

Natural Smell Good Dish Soap

All Natural Dish Detergent with Essential Oils.

How about some all natural dish soap that is chemical free, smells good and won’t dry your hands out!

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Ingredients :

  • 2 TB Borax
  • 2 TB Washing Soda (can find in laundry detergent area of stores and Amazon )
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 Cup of Sal Suds ( can order on Amazon)
  • 15-20 drops of Essential Oils( I like Tea Tree and Orange, Lavender or Rosemary with my Tea Tree.  It is a good antibacterial, anti fungal and anti-infectious and anti-viral oil.   I usually use 10-12 drops of the Tea Tree oil and the rest what I think will go well with it such as the above mentioned ones.
  • 1/2 TB Glycerin
  • 1/2 TB nourishing oil ( jojoba, almond etc.)

In a saucepan heat the water just until boiling stage.  Turn off heat and add the washing soda and borax, stirring to dissolve.  Let the mixture cool 3-5 min till just warm then add the Sal Suds and essential oils to the water mixture.  whisk the ingredients together and pour into the dish soap dispenser.   The soap may separate after sitting for 24 hours.  If so shake the bottle till all ingredients are combined.

This is a great soap and smells good with the oils plus the jojoba and Glycerin will soften your hands.

Happy Dish Washing!!

 

Home Made Essential Items on an urban homestead, Home Page

Natural Non-Chemical Laundry Detergent

Chemical or Non- Chemical Laundry Detergent?  Something to think about.

Have you ever washed your cloths with store-bought laundry detergent only to find residue on your so-called clean cloths?  Do you ever feel itchy or develop a rash and not sure why?  Well here are some facts/thoughts  about Commercial Laundry Soap.

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  1.  What are the dangers of boughton laundry detergent?   Here are a few for ya, Most of the chemicals don’t wash out but area absorbed in our skin and our cloths!

Detergents contain chemicals that can cause skin irritations and also many commercial detergents mimic hormones and distrust the endocrine system, And that will influence mood, reproductions , and metabolism.

Surfactants cause skin irritations.  Check the warning label!  It clearly states avoid direct skin contact!!  Now that’s kind of scary don’t you think?   Surfactants remove the oils from our cloths including natural oils produced by our skin.  It can irritate and aggravate  skin issues and that’s why sensitive skin people will break out or develop a rash.

2.  Many Endocrine Disrupters.  Researchers have found that detergents can disturb endocrine systems and interfere with hormone balance, Like many cleaners that have synthetic estrogens which incense our estrogen level like in the human body, which can have a negative effect on male-fertility.

3.  Bad for the Environment .   After your final rinse cycle in the wash the rinse water and all the stuff goes down the drain and out into the environment.,  It ‘s taken a toll on animal and plant life!  It’s not natural and they cannot process the chemicals !  

Sodium triphosphate and tri-sodium phosphate  can make their way int the water and interferes with Sea life, which increases the growth of toxin producing Algea, Which Kills our plants, fish and other sea creatures .

4. Laundry Pods.  Are a form of  Concentrated laundry detergent and have become very popular for its easiness.  Children are at higher risk because they ingest these at a higher rate because of the concentration.  They develop health complaints such as breathing difficulties, digestive issues and lesions resulting in ER visits.

5.  You only need a little.  But you say my cloths are so dirty a little more won’t hurt!   Don’t,  Too much in the wash will leave a residue in your cloths that lead to skin irritation, rashes, and endocrine disruption and possible respiratory distress.

6.  Laundry Detergent Allergies have become a rising complaint.   Stronger the detergent, the worse the ingredients tend to be.  Allergies are on the rise to products containing harsh chemicals!

 

More and more people are searching for a less harsh detergent and natural alternative, as more Eco-Friendly companies are rising to meet the demand offering more healthy awareness choices.

Face it we all want to be clean but do we want all those chemicals in our cloths and on our skin?   NOT!!   Let’s open our eyes and be more aware of our families, environment and Mother Earth .

Here is a great Laundry Detergent I use ALL the time!  It’s natural, non-chemical and smells ever so good!  Give it a try!   HAPPY LAUNDRY DAYS♥

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POWDER LAUNDRY DETERGENT

2 Cups Bar Soap Grated ( I use 2 Kirks Castel soap bars)

1 Cup Borax

1 Cup Washing Soda ( not baking soda)

1/2 C Epson Salt

I grate the soap then grate it again in a small food processor with the Epson Salt.

15-20 drops of Essential Oil of choice,  I like Lavender and Tea Tree,  Also Geranium.  Mix all togeather and put in container with lid.

Use 1/4 cup of Detergent per large load

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Gardening, Home Page

Seeds and Seedlings

Seeds Vs. Starts.   Hmmm.  What would you like to do?  Let’s look into this together and I think I would like to do both, Why not?   Let’s go over the information and see what all it involves and make a decision.

When doing seeds we buy at the market we should always remember we may not get what we expected with results!

Start your own Seedlings. OR

Buy your Starts and plant them

 

Open pollinated heirloom varieties are an exception;  they almost always live up to expectation, and  generally have better disease resistance as well.  Local farmers in your area are the best sources for heirlooms seeds of varieties that will do good in your area or a reputable suppliers.

If you have a short growing season , you need to start. your seeds indoors six to eight weeks early and then harden them up before planting outside in your garden.

Buying nursery starts can be expensive but are more reliable and can be  planted right in the garden, Also you might be able to buy in bulk.

Where does your  garden grow?

One of the best ways for a healthy garden is to first start with good soil and nutrients.  Double dig and turn over compost and other amendments,  remember no chemicals!  And for those just starting out on their compost (like Me). ask around the local farmers for horse manure, chicken,  and  goat manure are all great to amend with your soil.  By raising your garden bed a few inches with soil you can get better drainage and avoid root run.  You can always dig trenches between the beds and pile up extra soil on the beds to raise them especially if you get a lot of rain like us!

Remember the size and shape of your Garden will matter also.  Long beds more than four feet wide are unpractical and hard to maintain as far as chores like weeding and harvesting.  Round beds five feet wide provide good access all around. Don’t forget raised beds!  If you don’t have the time and patience or just old and not as flexible like me!  These are great and on my to do list within a couple of weeks!  I have a post I  like this too just on raised garden beds.  Garden Boxes

How about growing in containers?  It’s a great idea for small spaces and you can start the crop early in a protected area and move the pots to more exposed locations, also to make it easier add a wheeled platform!   You can use plastic, clay, ,metal or wooden containers for growing vegetables.  The only problem with container gardening is the soil dries out faster and the roots only have so much space to grow in, So you may have to transplant or just start with a bigger pot.   Remember to change your soil from last year, never use old soil from last season!  All the nutrients are gone and may be bacteria, mold, and insects growing in the old soil.

So Seeds or Starts;  I like the fun in trying to do it myself plus the satisfaction of it,  But if its’ not successful then well It’s a lesson learnt.  If you purchase you starts from a quality supplier then you have a good guarantee the plant will grow and survive and a chance to maybe buy in bulk.  So compare, the  seeds are cheaper to start and the out- come is the same as long as you’re starts live and produce.  So you tell me what you want to do, as for me and my little homestead I will be doing both and either way for the majority all Heirlooms!

Happy Gardening!!!

 

Gardening, Home Page

Compost

Growing Organically

It’s time to get your “ORGANIC” on!  Here are some things I love about organic gardening and tips to share with you.

A lot of the most common used chemicals used for non-organic gardening and farming have been linked to cancer, attention deficit disorder, autism, and a lot of other chronic diseases.  By avoiding synthetic chemical fertilizers, fungicides and pesticides means my garden is a safe haven for birds and bees to do their work!

Soil provides the nutrients that plants need to survive, and with a healthy nutrient soil you will get a healthy plant that will survive. Drainage is another important factor because many plants don’t like  their roots waterlogged plus it can cause root rot; Then the soil will be too acidic due to the accumulation of carbon dioxide and other byproducts of bacterial decomposition.

Good garden compost leaf mold, composted bark, and well-rotted manure are vital organic materials that should be incorporated into the soil.  By doing this they increase aeration and drainage in fine compacted  clay based soils.  Also it provides plenty of nutrients and are able to absorb moisture and retain it.

Compost is available purchase , but you can avoid the expense by making your own!

I had been thinking about compost for years especially with our hard sandy soil but wasn’t sure how , where or when so with studying and gathering material the compost pile has begun and I will no longer incorporate nasty chemicals into my garden or yard!

It’s a great way to recycle your house waste and regenerate it into the garden, not to mention reduces our land fills!   Some free organic material would be things like grass clippings, leaves, coffee grounds and wood chips and don’t forget the manure!

So you need a proper place for your compost pit and a corner of your garden would be great!  Or an open and closed bin would be easy also.  A good compost  pile would be building your pill with one part grass clippings and two parts dead leaves or other brown matter.  If you don’t want to hassle of transporting your compost to the garden beds or turning it  try  trench composting where you dump all the waste in trenches, and cover it with soil and then plant over it the next season.

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Organic Gardening is all about avoiding chemicals of all kinds and types.   However some plant diseases are deadly and spread quickly through an entire crop and destroy it.!  Diseases may be caused by bacteria, fungi or viruses!  Who knew!  It is tempting to use these chemical based solutions, but it’s important to avoid them as they can enter the plants directly through the plant tissue or by way of contaminated air and water.

Getting disease-resistant varieties is best for organic gardens.    Many plant breeders have developed many cultivars that are highly resistant to viral diseases, bacterial -rot and Fungal- infections and not all of them are GMO !  A good solution is to look for Heirloom varieties tat have developed high levels of disease resistance, They may cost a little more but worth it in the end.

Seeds and starts for your garden are best if bought in local nurseries so you know they are suitable for your climate and zone area.  Local varieties are acclimatized to the climate and seasonal variations.  Try to find high yielding and disease-resistant varieties popular in your specific area.

Don’t forget chickens and other farm animals are a benefit in organic gardening!  They not only develop organic eggs but act as a composers eating up anything eatable such as garbage, food, vegetable peels, garden waste, insects, and their constant scratching brings up larvae that live in the soil and mulch!  The best part they can provide you with high quality of organic manure!!  Raising turkeys, sheep goats and rabbits are great choices for organic gardens.  Turkey manure is nitrogen rich while sheep manure is high potash content.   Manure of herbivorous animals is safe added to the soil without any treatment, especially rabbit droppings as it breaks down quick without turning plant roots.

So get your compost going, and if possible some farm animals for some good manure and great organic eggs!

I don’t know about you but we are excited to be going Organic outside as well as we have been going green inside and will be all the better and healthier for making these great decisions plus make some new animal friends along the way!

 

Happy Organic Gardening!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

person holding a green plant

THIS IS WHAT WE WANT OUR SEEDLING TO GROW INTO