Teaching Green Values

Teaching children to be greener

The choices we make in our home and in our lives will forever affect our children and all of the following generations. Here are a few ideas for ways to help your child be more environmentally aware. 1. Toy Swaps: Children outgrow their toys quickly. In order to reduce waste and save a little money in the process, set up periodic toy swaps. Parents and their children can take old and unwanted toys to swap out for newer, more age-appropriate toys. If you can’t do a toy swap, find a consignment toy shop in your area. It is better for… read more

Natural Pesticides

Natural insect repellent

Instead of using chemically laden sprays and lotions try going the all natural route. Chemicals can be harmful to you and your children. Here are a few household items to put to the test. Recently mosquitoes have been found in larger numbers to have the West Nile Virus. Although it might smell, bad onions rubbed on the skin will deter mosquitoes.  An increase in garlic consumption during the spring and summer months also helps to keep mosquitoes away. For another quick and inexpensive option, mist your skin with an apple cider vinegar and water mixture. Eucalyptus oil will also help ward… read more

Saving Seeds

Sewing seeds

There are plenty of good reasons to save your own seeds. You’ll save money, help to preserve the genetic diversity of food plants, and develop plant varieties that thrive in the growing conditions you provide and are more resistant to pests and blights. In addition, while agribusiness favors varieties that store well for shipping, home gardeners can select for traits such as great taste and suitability to local climate. When planning your seed collection strategy, keep in mind that some plants only produce seeds in their second year and hybrid plants don’t breed true to parental type – in other… read more

Winter Vegetables

Lettuce

There’s no need to give up on the food garden during fall and winter. Nutritional powerhouses such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peas, and broad beans can be grown during the cool seasons in many climates and there are plenty of other plants that thrive in cool weather, providing a steady supply of fresh produce. Leafy salad greens, which prefer cooler temperatures, include arugula (salad rocket), cabbage, chard, chervil, chicories (French Endive/Belgian Endive, Radicchio, Sugarloaf), collard greens, coriander (cilantro), kohlrabi, lettuces, mustard greens, parsley, spinach, and winter purslane. Some of these greens will grow throughout the winter in many climates. Root… read more

Grow Your Own Salad

Growing salad at home

If you love salads, consider growing your own salad garden. With a few materials serving up a salad can be as easy as deciding what to snip onto a plate. First, choose if you want your garden indoors or out. If indoors, lighting will need to be adequate. Think about what you have to work with. Sunny windows are ideal, but also consider what you want to grow as well if you want seasonal produce or prefer full year salads at your fingertips. Do your research so that you know what plants prefer full or partial sun and consider which… read more

Log Garden

800px-Mushrooms_on_moss_covered_tree

Gardening can seem tricky in cities where space is limited. This results in people choosing to create windowsill gardens and grow in potted plants to preserve space. Even then, you may be faced with insufficient amounts of sunlight. There are remedies for this, found in nutritious plants that have the ability to grow in confined spaces, and sustain life with little light exposure.  This comes in handy in places where most is shrouded in shadows cast by multi-story tower blocks. Mushrooms are a good example of this. In the wild they grow on dead trees and, as added convenience for city dwellers, they can grow on logs as well. The method… read more

Oregano Health Benefits

Fresh oregano

Oregano has the highest antioxidant content of all the herbs, as well as being a source of vitamin K, manganese, iron, calcium, fiber, vitamin E, and other beneficial nutrients. Oregano also has anti-inflammatory properties, which means that it may be beneficial for those with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Although oregano is a nutritional powerhouse, consumers should be wary of inflated or false claims. For example, a company in Canada got into trouble recently for claiming that oregano supplements were a proven treatment for whooping cough and encouraging people to forgo the vaccine in favor of the company’s remedy. Oregano… read more

Handmade Wreaths

Handmade wreaths

Store bought wreaths can be expensive, and if they are living ones they may not last as long as their price tag dent does in your budget. Assembling your own is a way to have an original wreath that will be both fun to make and look at. Wreaths actually date back thousands of years and can be found in various cultures. They come in many sizes, from smaller loops that were once worn on top of the head as honorable adornments to larger sizes used for decoration and to represent unity or hold special significance. Though the wreath’s looks… read more

Reuse Food Scraps

By SleepyNeko

Say for instance you love to cook with fresh ingredients at home but with this extravagant meal you have plenty of food scraps left over. You do not have a garden because you live in the city and are unable to compost your food. What do you do? Simple! Below are a few examples on how you can reduce and reuse your food scraps without composting. Stocks and Broths: Stocks and broths can be made using left over vegetable scraps and meat bones. Boiling these for a few hours can reduce what goes into the trash and the stock can… read more

Edible Flowers

Edible flowers

It is becoming extremely popular again to adorn our dishes with flowers. Pretty in theory, potentially dangerous in practise. It is wise to know which of the flora we can consume and what we should avoid. Below is a list of edible flowers and their uses.  Many cut flowers have been sprayed with insecticides and fungicides so avoid using the store bought bunches in your cooking. You should buy them separately and wash thoroughly before use, just in case. Calendula (Marigold)– sometimes called ‘Poor Man’s Saffron’ has pretty petals and makes a wonderful addition to salads. Can be added, like… read more