Do this now to be healthier instantly

I was inspired to write this post after seeing my Word Press Daily Prompt email today. The one word prompt was, “artificial”. The minute my brain sorted out those 10 letters it clicked! One of the reasons my family and I stay so healthy is because we have nearly eliminated artificial ingredients from our diets.

So how can this tidbit of information help you get healthier instantly?

Right now at this very minute you can make the decision to limit or eliminate artificial ingredients from your diets. While you are at it, keep the ingredient lists short for any meals or snacks you are planning.

How many ingredients can you see in the picture below?

 

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What did you guess? If you guessed one you are wrong. The answer is actually two. Two fresh, delisious and organic goldren raspberries grown right in our backyard.

It might not be raspberry season for much of the world, but most people can grow their own food for many months of the year. When you have a farmer’s market outside your door it is easy to eat natural and keep ingredient lists to a minimum. Check out some scenes from our DIY Backyard Farm.

Winter, spring summer and fall. In our garden we have something for all!

Even if you live in an apartment on the 44th floor you can still keep artificial ingredients to a minimum. Shop carefully, buy fresh, local produce whenever possible and order simply prepared foods when eating out. Are you going to start being healthier in this very instant? Are you inspired to plan a bountiful, edible garden of your own?

Nothing artificial, keep it real and get healthier today!

Must Read For Anyone Interested in Growing Their Own Food

Today I was prompted by a few things to revisit a previous post I created to help our followers grow their own garlic.

First, I read yet another article on the dangers in our food supply. Sadly, not all our trading partners feel it is important to give us clean, safe and healthy foods. The power of the almighty dollar often outweighs the importance of good, quality food. This particular article cited the use of chemicals on foods that you would not want on your foods. Garlic was one of the key foods mentioned in th article. Further Googling and reading on the topic led me to another article where crops were grown on human waste. Gross! Growing your own food helps you identify where your foods are from. Would you grow your foods on human waste or use unsafe chemicals to treat or condition your foods???

Next, the nice folks at WordPress who do the daily writing prompt tempted and challenged me with the word, “fragile“. That word made me think of our food supply. It sure sums up the conditions I see in and around the world of food. We have the unknown dangers of GMO’s (unlabeled in many cases too), chemicals with nasty side effects, tons of synthetic fertilizer use and a very fragile ecosystem. Many farmers do not even use the term soil anymore. It is now a, “growing medium”. At our home we grow our own food and encourage others to do the same. No GMO’s here. No pesticides or synthetic fertilizers either. We plant it, care for it and pick it when needed. It sure feels good to be so close to a large portion of our food supply.

Lastly, it is almost the time of year for planting garlic here in the Northeastern USA. Garlic is so easy to grow and happens to be mentioned in many of the aforementioned news articles on imported garlic. Here is my chance to hook you. What would be more fulfilling and rewarding than creating your very own backyard farm of organic garlic? Perhaps just one small row of vampire repelling goodness?

Go now and grow!

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garlic scape topped burger

Everything Old is New Again

I could not resist the chance to join into this fun topic. Our educational system here is always under fire for one thing or another. Not enough STEM, too much free time, too little physical activity (true)…

I believe you get out what you put in. Sure our school systems could be better, but so could our parenting. Parents should foster a love for learning and focus their children instead of scattering them across too many activities.

The one thing I would change and already see changing is to teach children the rewards and joys of growing their own healthy, delicious produce. For much of history most kids learned such skills at home. Now children find their produce stuck to a paper board and wrapped in cellophane. The connection between soil, sunlight and plants has been lost! Mother Nature has taken a backseat to facebook, twitter and video games.

School gardens are popping up everywhere. Some are funded by grants and others are added because it is the “in thing” to do. The benefits of a school garden can be amazing. Kids are curious and nature is the ultimate vehicle to fuel the inquisitive mind.

Simple skills that are learned in the garden can help shape healthy eating habits and teach kids to care for themselves by growing their own produce. I am constantly amazed and inspired by watching children who visit our edible gardens. They ask so many questions and want to try foods their parents never thought they would give a second look to.

So, who else is in favor of the school garden to cafeteria approach??? Does your local school have an edible garden where vegetables, fruits and maybe even some herbs grow?

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Kidding Around In Our Edible Gardens

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The New School.”

NASA’S Ark???

It would be tough to choose if NASA were to build a Voyager spacecraft and needed to bring on board the best of modern human culture. Modern human culture is all about choice!

This backyard farmer would have to vote for some modern approaches to growing food in space! Maybe indoor vertical gardens from companies like Grove Labs?

No matter what, people in space will need to grow their own foods. Some things never change!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Simply the Best.”

Lingering With My Lettuce

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Beautiful Lettuce Plants Almost Ready to Become Salad

Have you ever had a gardening day when you felt like you used up every last-minute tending to your plants without being tired or feeling like it was work? Today was one of those days for me. After work I pulled weeds with my son, started to set up a cat’s-cradle trellis system for our tomatoes and even harvest (with a headlamp) kale, radishes, swiss chard, beet greens and lettuce. Then I brought it all in to be washed while I talked over the day with my wife.

Nearly five hours of garden related activities after a full day at main job! I actually felt somewhat refreshed as I opened my laptop to write this post.

As the days grow longer we will all have more opportunities to linger with our lettuce. Do you find gardening to be as joyful as I do?

Planning My Plot

Weekends are for dreaming. What better time to think up big, magnificent ideas. The mind is most creative when the clutter of the weekdays are in the past. Today I was given a question that set my creative juices in motion.”What if I were given a plot of land and the financial resources to do anything I want with it?

Wait a minute! This is something many of us dream about. Some folks would build a mega mansion. More civic-minded people might build a playground or park. A dog lover would likely think up new ways to save all the stray dogs in the world.

I am an advocate of living of the land. As such, I have often dreamed of building a housing development in the style of New Urbanism. My development would be designed with sustainability in mind. My version of sustainability would go beyond the stuff of LEED certifications and extend into a true self-sustaining mini economy.

Housing would be a mixture of farmsteads and more densely populated clusters of single and attached homes. The main feature of the development would be a large community farm created to provide the majority of the foods needed to nourish the residents. Chickens, cows, pigs, lambs and other animals would be humanly raised alongside an impressive array of freshly grown produce. We would eat seasonally and hyper local while enjoying the security of knowing where our foods came from.

Jobs would be created within the development and also my leveraging technology (think telecommuting). Products we made from our farm or creations of local artisans would be sold within a 100 mile radius of our location. Our mini economy would be the envy of the world. So much so that copycats would spring up like yogurt franchises in suburban America. However, our “franchise” would be a whole lot better for the people and the planet!

Hidden Surprises

Sometimes a flower is just a flower. Other times a flower is so much more!

Some flowers are edible and offer a tasty treat. Beauty for the eyes and the palate!

This morning I went into the garden to pick some zucchini flowers. I like to pick them early because most of the flowers are open in the AM. Open flowers allow for easy removal of the stamen. You should always remove the stamen before cooking. Open flowers also make it easy to avoid accidentally bringing insects into our home. Many times ants, bees and other winged creatures hide in the flowers and get trapped when the flowers close.

The zucchini flower in the picture below contained a buzzy little pollinator that I had to release carefully into the garden. The flower sounded like a buzzing amplifier! I carefully unfolded the tips of the flower and let the bee escape. I am not allergic to bees, but was still careful to avoid being stung.

No bees were hurt in this post 🙂

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friendly, freeloading pollinator in my zucchini flower

 

Object Lesson

Folks who know me well would probably associate me with my trusty hand trowel (small garden shovel). When I am in the our yard I carry it everywhere. I use my hand trowel as a multi-purpose tool. Part shovel, part weed puller, and part soil chopper.

Sometimes this tool is not the right tool for the job, but I use it anyway. It is not because I am too lazy to get the correct tool. There is just something about not disturbing the rhythm of my gardening chores.

So, my personal song might be, “Me & My Trowel” instead of “Me & My Shadow”.

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via Object Lesson.

Farm 2 Table Party

If today were my birthday we would celebrate with a backyard farm to table dinner. Good food, great wines, and a few close friends to spend a long evening with. No clocks, no time limit. Come as you are and stay as long as you can.

Life goes by fast, why do so many of us rush the special times?

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via Farm 2 Table Party.