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Grow Organic Vegetables
There are more reasons than ever why anybody with access to a few square feet of the outdoors should grow their own organic vegetables.
You may be shocked at how much of the produce at your local supermarket has been genetically modified. Some estimates now put this at over 50%. While there is no strong evidence that genetically modified foods are immediately harmful to your health, there are no long term studies either. Do you want to take that risk?
Let's take a look at pesticides and fertilizers. Farmers no longer use crop rotation or natural manures to improve soil fertility, so they are forced to use ever increasing amounts of chemicals to improve yields and multiple pesticides to protect the weakened plants. Pesticides penetrate deeply into the leaves of plants and pestiside residues remain even after you have scrubbed them.
To quote from The Environmental Protection Agency ? "Pesticides are designed to kill pests. Many pesticides can also pose risks to people. The health effects of pesticides depend on the type of pesticide. Some, such as the organophosphates and carbamates, affect the nervous system. Others may irritate the skin or eyes. Some pesticides may be carcinogens. Others may affect the hormone or endocrine system in the body."
Sure you can, and should, buy organic fruit and vegetables but have you seen the prices? Anybody with even a modest vegetable garden can grow healthy organic vegetables at much lower cost than those at the local supermarket. Not only can you grow them at much lower cost, but you can grow them one hundred percent better.
Even the long-keeping vegetables such as potatoes, onions and squash are noticeably tastier picked straight from the home vegetable garden; but when it comes to peas and corn and salad vegetables- well , there is absolutely nothing to compare with the home garden ones, gathered fresh, in the early slanting sunlight, still gemmed with dew, still crisp and tender and juicy, ready to carry every atom of savory quality and taste, without loss, to the dining table.
It is not in price or health alone that home gardening pays. There is another point. Agribusiness has to grow the things that give the biggest yield. They have to sacrifice quality and taste for quantity and long shelf life. You do not. The strawberries on the supermarket shelves may look bright and red and uniform but you will soon find they taste more like the cardboard of their containers when compared to a home grown variety picked straight from the vine.
And this brings us to what may be the most important reason you should garden. It is the cheapest, healthiest pleasure there is. Give me a sunny garden patch in the springtime, give me seeds to watch as they find the light, plants to tend as they take hold in the fine, loose, rich soil, give me succulent and tasty springtime salads. And when you have grown tired of the springtime, come back in summer to even the smallest garden, and you will find in it, every day, a new vista, new pleasures and, yes, new challenges.
Better food, better health, better living -- all these the home vegetable garden offers you in abundance. So, turn off that computer, pull out some old clothes and find a spot to dig.
One of the best ways to create a warm and inviting outdoor space is to incorporate the use of park benches into your outdoor decor. Whether they are simple or grand, park benches send a subtle message to your neighbors and guests that you want your outdoor space to be appreciated and enjoyed by all.
Winterizing Your Pond
For many parts of the country, it's getting to be that time of year again. Time to start thinking about getting your fish and plants ready for old man winter...
Tarragon: A Favourite of French Chefs
Long a favourite of French chefs, the herb Artemisia dracunculus, known as French tarragon or dragon herb is an essential ingredient in Béarnaise sauce, tarragon vinegar, and certain Dijon mustards. A perennial herb, tarragon grows 2 ? 4 feet (60 ? 120 cm) and has dark, shiny, narrow grey-green leaves about 3 inches (8 cm) long with smooth edges. Tarragon produces tiny yellow flowers and has stems that are ridged, round, branching, and light green. Tarragon is rich in Vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, and potassium, and has a mild anise flavour in its leaves.
Marjoram: The Herb of Happiness
Called the "herb of happiness," Origanum majorana, commonly known as sweet marjoram or knotted marjoram, is an herbal symbol of peace and well-being. Marjoram is grown as an annual in the colder parts of the world but is perennial in warmer regions. To keep it growing as a perennial, bring it indoors for the winter. Marjoram may be grown as a houseplant and as it has a tendency to trail when grown indoors, it makes a nice hanging basket. Marjoram has small, grey-green, oval-shaped leaves that are velvety to the touch. Tiny white or pink flowers, reddish stems, and the grey-green colour of the leaves make marjoram an attractive border plant.
Gift Ideas for Bird Lovers
Some of the best gifts you can give to a bird lover are those that have to do with birds! :)
Fall Pond Cleaning
Doing a full pond cleaning during the colder winter months can be very stressful on your fish. However, if the pond is really dirty and full of 'muck' - then you may want to consider it because all of the decaying organic matter in the pond can cause problems if the pond ices over, and this begins to de-gas and rot.
Feeding the Hummingbirds
Early in May here in west central Wisconsin, I can count on seeing a Ruby Throated Hummingbird hovering in front of my kitchen window, flitting back and forth, as if to say, "there was a hummingbird feeder RIGHT HERE last year. Where is it?"
A Teak Chair - Create a Livable Outdoor Space with One
When creating a comfortable, usable outdoor space, nothing could me more inviting and warm than furnishing that space with natural products such as wood. Often, though, there are problems associated with wood furnishings. Wood is susceptible to the elements and can splinter and degrade if not cared for properly. That's why many people choose teak chairs and teak furniture for their outdoor spaces.
Fuchsia (named after Leonhard Fuchs, a 16th century German botanist) is a genus of over 100 species of shrubs and small trees. Although there are four New Zealand native species (colensoi, excorticata, perscandens and procumbens) and one from Tahiti, the vast bulk of the genus occurs in Central and South America.
Best Perennial Plants for Summer Color
Summer is here and it's time to plant and enjoy the beautiful flowers that blossom during the heat of the season. A perennial plant is one that remains in the ground for two or more years and ultimately gives a garden its character. Most perennials spread readily, filling out gardens and providing a show of color year after year.
All About Hybrid Tea Roses
Hybrid tea roses and the original tea rose are the worldâ??s favourite roses and are available in many gorgeous colors.
How To Check If Cut Flowers Are Fresh
Fresh flowers should feel crisp or firm. Before you buy, run your hand under the flower heads from stem to petal tip. Proceed gently under the petals so as not to bruise them.
Toxic Pollutants & Their Effect on Fish Health
Once water temperatures increase in the summer months, fish become more active and produce increasing amounts of waste, leading to potential water pollution. Fish produce waste in the form of ammonia, which is broken down into nitrites then nitrates by beneficial bacteria. Both ammonia and nitrite are very harmful to fish, even in very small quantities. Ammonia, in particular, is more toxic at high temperatures and can cause severe problems. In fact, water can hold five times as much dangerous ammonia at 77°F as opposed to 41°F. The effect on water quality is exaggerated by a high pH, resulting in the formation of more toxic ammonia.
The Benefits of Landscaping
How much have you thought about landscaping? Do you know that a beautiful and well put together lawn has many benefits? Landscaping is lawn art and, like any other art form, it takes time, patience, and research to get your methods just right. So, what other benefits does landscaping provide besides just being "pretty"?
How to Decorate your Outdoor Space without Breaking the Bank
Noted English clergyman Sydney Smith (1771-1845) is quoted as saying, "Economy in the estimation of common minds means the absence of all taste and comfort." But finding thrifty ways to decorate your outdoor living space doesn't mean you have to sacrifice either of those things. Here are some ideas to help you:
Pine Furniture Care Guide
First, some background on PINE WOOD. Pine is a naturally soft wood which continues to "breathe", based upon changes in the local (home, office, store, etc.) humidity and temperature. On the individual furniture piece there may be slight defects, such as knots,and shakes(small cracks in the surface of the wood). Some minor shrinkage may sometimes occur. These natural irregularities in pine enhance its overall uniqueness.
Orange Perennials For Your Garden
Perennials are wonderful because, they bloom year after year. Sometimes, I forget that I even have them planted and then they spring up to my surprise and delight! I like to add some zip to my garden with flowers that are orange in color. They add a vibrant touch and the brilliant colors attract birds and insects.
Indoor Gardening Tips for Jerry Seinfeld
"I have no plants in my house. They won't live for me. Some of them don't even wait to die, they commit suicide" ~Jerry Seinfeld Come on, admit it....is your thumb not as green as you want it to be? Are you having trouble keeping your house plants alive and healthy? Can you relate to Jerry on this one? Relax?.you're not alone! Many of us (myself included at times) have felt that fake plants were our only option because we seemed to have the "touch of death" when caring for plants. Read on to find out how 10 simple changes will make you feel like a "natural born gardener"!
Hydroponics Gardening - An Introduction To Hydroponics Gardening For Beginners (Part 5) Plant Growth
PLANT GROWTH & PHYSIOLOGY. (Part 5)
Overwintering Pond Fish
The metabolism of koi and goldfish is controlled primarily by water temperature. As the water cools, pond fish require less protein in their diet. When koi and goldfish are fed high-protein food in cool water, the excess protein is excreted as ammonia from the gills. The microscopic organisms that make up the biological filter (and consume ammonia) also slow down in cooler water.
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