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It’s Gardening Time!

Every season we try to grow something and even many things. Last year we had a late start on our seeds and plants but we learned our lesson with that.  So far we have cabbage in the ground (Flathead Dutch and red) and several seed pods started…with more to do still. We also have garlic growing still from winter.

So, what are we planting this year?

Well, an abundance of things:

1. Golden Jubilees (orange tomatoes with less acidity due to my husband’s sensitivity to acidic foods. He can eat these delicious tomatoes without breaking out–win)!

2. Jack O’ Lantern pumpkins (this will be a first).

3. Cherry Hybrid 100’s.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE these tomatoes because they produce about 100 tomatoes per plant, sometimes more. And they are super scrumptious!  I pop these suckers in my mouth as though they were candy.

4. Black Beauty squash

5. Yellow Crooked Neck squash

6. Straight Eight cucumbers (my husband will not grow any other kind).

7. Lavender

8. Mint

9. Various flowers

10. Sunflowers (I love these as well. They are stunning and are my second favorite flower to Lilies).

11. Turnips (do not knock these delicious veggies off of your list of things to eat because they are, well, delicious)!

12. Beefsteak tomatoes (great for canning and making sauces because they are huge).

13. Various herbs

14. Butternut squash

15. Bell peppers (all colors). I love peppers and bell peppers are among my favorite and are incorporated into a variety of meals my family eats–they also freeze rather well, too.

16. Sweet Banana peppers (they are a fav. also).

17. Kale (I love this healthy green. They are great in salads, mixed in with certain dishes, and blended into fruit or veggie smoothies. The bonus: the health benefits of it).

18. Spinach (another tasty and healthy green).

19. Mustard greens ( a common meal my family odors. Add some diced and sauteed onions and Golden Jubilees and voila! a tasty side dish).

I also would like to grow onions this year as well. And we plan on putting a few Citronella plants out to ward off mosquitoes. Mint also wards off some unwanted pests.

We organic garden mainly because of my sensitivity to pesticides and herbicides.  However, organic gardening is much healthier, too.

After the harvesting periods are over, we enjoy eating the fruits (and veggies) of our labor, canning and freezing what was not consumed, and sharing crops with others, too.

Not only are we enjoying a tasty harvest, but we are also creating memories with and for our children while enjoying family time together and educating them in the process.  Gardening is an excellent way for families and siblings to bond as well. I have many fond memories of organic gardening with my mother and sisters. My husband has the same wonderful memories with his father and siblings, too.  He and I hope our children will carry on the tradition of gardening to their children someday.

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Benefits of Organic Parsley

I grew up in a family where homeopathic remedies were used.  Yes, my mother was and is a hippie. 🙂 I am not ashamed of this. In fact, I prefer herbal supplements and oils to OTC medications.  Why? I find them safer and healthier.

One main one my mother often uses is organic parsley.  She simply takes the leaves of the plant with some boiling water, and makes a tea of it. Albeit it is not the tastiest of teas, but it does help tremendously.

Benefits:

1. Fights off colds and other viruses.
2. Helps boost the immune system.
3. Can be used to draw out infections of insect and arachnid bites.

My mother had a massive bite on her leg one day. The bite had swelled as well. She took her organic parsley, and made a paste out of it with filtered water.  She laid the compound on the bite, wrapped it, and left it on overnight. The next morning, the swelling was gone and so was the infection.

I am far from being an expert in explaining plant and other natural derivatives, but I know this works.

One thing you can also do, if you dislike hot teas, is to place the parsley in a blender with other fruits and veggies such as blueberries, cranberries or the juice, oranges/orange juice, kale, strawberries, and kiwi and make a smoothie of it (wheat grass is another immune booster).  Plus, all of this is rich in antioxidants!