This post is for the garlic lovers – or those who aren't sure if they like garlic but do like to use natural and organic practices in their gardens. It turns out that this fragrant bulb is good for more than just cooking, and can be a real helpmate around the yard and garden. So – without further ado – 5 Ways to Use Garlic in the Garden and Yard. [Read more…]
It's very frustrating when you have tomato flowers but no fruit, or big, beautiful tomato plants but no tomato flowers at all. Thankfully, most of the time you can get your tomatoes producing with a little extra TLC. In this post, we'll look at two tomato flower problems – no flowers at all, and tomato flowers but no fruit. [Read more…]
My family doesn't celebrate Earth Day, but we do our best to be good stewards every day. Small changes add up over time. I want to empower you to improve your health, and concentrate on those things you can impact directly – your family, friends, neighbors and community. Here are simple simple steps you can use all year round. [Read more…]
Some folks don't bother growing carrots in the home garden because they're so readily available at the store, but once you've tried a homegrown carrot, you'll be hooked. Like many homegrown vegetables, garden fresh carrots tend to be sweeter and more flavorful than their store bought counterparts. You can also grow carrots in a variety of colors – purple carrots, white carrots, red carrots, yellow carrots and many shades of orange carrots. Growing carrots in containers can be challenging, but is possible with the right container and the right carrots. In this post we'll cover carrot growing tips and common questions. [Read more…]
The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower's Handbook: Organic Vegetable Production Using Protected Culture by Andrew Mefferd is a call to action for organic growers to extend the production season of their local produce. The best way for market gardeners to retain customers is to have produce for them to buy – preferably year round. Andrew looks at the eight most profitable crops for protected culture and gives you the knowledge you need to grow them well.
I've seen too many farmers and friends hurt by inadequate income. This is the type of book we need to let us do what we love (grow things) and still support our families. [Read more…]
Why do onions make you cry, and what can you do about it? My brother told me about the simple trick he uses to process large batches of eye-burning onions without shedding a tear. In case you don't have the “trick” item on hand, I have other options that work pretty well to help you avoid “onion eyes”. [Read more…]
If you build it, mice will come. Sooner or later, you'll probably need to get rid of mice or rats. Fall is prime time for an increase in mice in your house, as they look for winter protection, but mice and rats can move in at any time. While small, mice and rats can cause big problems. They chew on everything, causing property damage and potential fire risks when they gnaw on electrical wiring and build tinder dry nests in dark corners. Rodents can spread disease, on their own, through the parasites they carry (their fleas carried the Black Plague) or through their droppings (such as hantavirus). [Read more…]
This spring (maybe because of the crazy weather), I've had two robins take to flying into the windows (mainly the kitchen windows). Thankfully they haven't hurt themselves, but they are quite noisy and I didn't want them to keep at it until they did injure themselves. I've put together a list of quick fixes to stop birds hitting windows. The problem is usually the worse in spring and fall during migration, but when I was a little girl I had a robin who kept it up all summer long. Every morning, bright and early, he'd thump my bedroom window – no need for an alarm clock. [Read more…]
Under the new guidelines issued by the American Medical Association, roughly 1/3 of all adults should consider taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to control their cholesterol levels. Many healthcare practitioners feel that statin medications are overused in the United States. Statins may cause serious side effects, which I'll get to in a bit. Also, 50% of people who die suddenly from heart attacks do not have high cholesterol. In this post we'll discuss 15 home remedies to naturally reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of heart attack, the role of cholesterol in the body and side effects of statin medication.
Note: Please check with your doctor if you are on any prescription medications. Some foods and supplements may interfere with certain medications. This post is for general information only.
Welcome to the Weekly Weeder, where we learn how to use common weeds from our yards and gardens. Today's featured weed is common chickweed, Stellaria media. Stellaria (Latin) means little star; media (Latin) means “in the midst of”. It is also known as starweed, starwort, winter-weed, satin flower, tongue grass, chick wittles, passerina, clucken wort, skirt button, stitchwort, white bird's eye, adder's mouth, chickenyweed.
There are over 100 related species in the Stellaria genus, so odds are that common chickweed or a relative are somewhere near you. Stellaria media neglecta is also known as common chickweed, and is a subspecies of Stellaria media. Grass-Leaved Chickweed, Stellaria graminea, is much more common in my yard than Stellaria media. Stellaria longifolia (Long-leaf Starwort) is another chickweed cousin.