Why Growing Microgreens Should Be Your New Favorite Year-round Activity

Microgreens

Homegrown microgreens could very easily be the most nutrition-per-unit-cost we can get for our money.

A 2012 UDSA study assessing the nutrition content of 25 different microgreens concluded that microgreens possess significantly higher nutrient densities than mature leaves of the same plant. As an example, red cabbage microgreens have six times the vitamin C than mature red cabbage. Adding microgreens to your diet is an easy way to not only add freshness to winter meals, but also add a big punch of nutrients right when we typically eat less fresh foods, like in winter.

Buying microgreens from the market can be expensive. Instead, grow your own microgreens. It’s fairly easy to do, doesn’t require a lot of space, and produces tasty and highly nutritious food. Don’t have access to a garden? Good news, you don’t need one! Microgreens are easy to grow in a jar or a box. Here’s how to create your very own microgarden out of containers you might have laying around the house.

1. Choose the Seeds

Some common varieties of seeds to use are: amaranth, basil, beets, broccoli, cabbage, celery, chard, chervil, coriander/cilantro, endive, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, parsley, peas, radish, rocket/arugula, spinach, and sorrel. But of course, these are just a few to choose from- experiment with seeds to find one based on your own taste preferences. To ensure that you are avoiding food that may have been fumigated or treated with a fungicide, choose only organic seeds.

2. Choose the Container

You’ll need a container that is a few inches deep at minimum. Garden centers sell special containers for sprouting seeds, but you can make a planter out of almost anything- as long there is proper drainage. Old vegetable or berry containers are perfect for sprouting seeds, as are prepackaged salad boxes and mason jars. Do you have an old metal cooking pan or muffin tin you don’t use any more? Simply drill a few drainage holes and it becomes a microgarden that is both functional and free.

3. Choose the Soil

It’s important to use a quality growing medium for the seeds because they contain the proper ingredients that boost seed germination. The better nutrition going into the plant also means you’ll be eating the most nutrient-dense food possible. Seeds love loose, crumbly soil full of organic matter. Choose an organic potting mix, or make your own.

4. Pre-Soak Larger Seeds

Pre-soaking will help your seeds germinate more quickly. Pre-soak larger seeds such as mung beans or peas in warm water for a few hours or overnight. This step isn’t necessary for smaller seeds.

5. Plant

If your container has drainage holes, lay a moistened paper towel on the bottom to stop the potting soil to fall through. Fill the container roughly 3/4 full of growing medium, about one inch deep. Sprinkle the seeds over the dirt, then cover with an additional 1/8 inches of soil. Lightly spray the entire soil with a misting spray bottle to water without disturbing the seeds. Make sure the dirt is moist, but not soaked. You don’t want the soil so wet that the seed either rots or drowns. If you don’t have a misting spray bottle just be careful watering the seeds to prevent them from dislodging.

6. Grow

Place your newly planted seeds in the sun. The seeds will need a minimum of four hours of direct sunlight every day. Don’t have access to a sunny windowsill? Try grow microgreens under gardeners grow lamps. The seeds will start to sprout within a few days, but you’ll want to wait ten days to two weeks to harvest when you see the the first set of leaves.

7. Harvest

Begin harvesting microgreens once the seeds have produced its first set of true leaves. Depending on the variety, the seedlings should be 1-3 inches tall. Simply take scissors and cut the stems just above the soil. Once the microgreens have all been harvested, begin a new crop using the same mix. Because the previous plants had been grown so quickly, the mix will still be full of nutrients- you’ll be able to sow 3-4 crops with each batch of growing medium. To ensure a continuous supply of microgreens, sow seeds every week or two.


Gut Health

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Most Americans have a compromised Immune System. Most also have leaky gut. If you have allergies, get frequent colds, ear infections, are overweight, have arthritis..you have leaky gut.

Healing a leaky gut means following a nutritional protocol to enable it to heal.  Replenishing gut bacteria is crucial; to heal the lining of the stomach, to properly digest foods so that you can actually absorb the nutrients…in order to repair the immune system and enjoy optimal health.

One way to do this is to take probiotics, but they are very pricy and do not really survive the stomach acids to get into the colon where they will do you the most good.

So what should you do?

Eat fermented foods!  Sauerkraut, wine, pickles, coconut milk yogurt (you should avoid dairy in all forms for optimal health), and Kombucha tea are great ways to do this.

I began fermenting Kombucha tea about a year ago, it is easy and fun to make…and is very inexpensive.  I also now make my own organic Apple Cider Vinegar. 

Beginning next week I will begin selling Kombucha tea with my other Culinary Items.   I make a mild, very slightly sweet Raspberry Kombucha.  It will be on the menu each week.


A Path to Health

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1. Eat whole, natural foods. Nothing from cans or boxes.

2. Eat only foods that will spoil, but eat them before they do.

3. Eat naturally-raised meat including fish, seafood, poultry, beef, lamb, game and eggs.

4. Drink filtered water, NOT distilled. A reverse Osmosis water filter is the most cost effective way to get clean water. You can get one that filters your kitchen sink water, or a system for the whole house. If you do not have water filters on your shower heads, then bath with the window or door open, to minimize breathing chlorine.

5. Avoid dairy, grains, flours.

6. Utilize the glycemic index, work off the bottom half.

7. Use only traditional fats and oils including butter and other animal fats, Minimize the use of extra virgin olive oil, expeller expressed sesame and flax oil. Get these delicate, fragile oils in the foods they came in; olives, avocadoes, green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds.

8. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

9. Prepare homemade meat stocks from the bones of chicken, beef, lamb or fish and use liberally in soups and sauces.

10. Make demi-glace, use it for depth of flavor and nutrients.

11. Use filtered water for cooking and drinking.

12. Use unrefined Celtic sea salt and a variety of herbs and spices for food interest and appetite stimulation.

13. Make your own salad dressing using raw vinegar, whole foods like carrots, avocadoes, tomatoes, coconut oil.

14. Use natural sweeteners in moderation, such as raw honey, maple syrup, dehydrated cane sugar juice and stevia powder.

15. Use only unpasteurized wine or beer in strict moderation with meals.

16. Cook only in stainless steel, cast iron, glass or good quality enamel.

17. Store food in glass or stainless steel containers, NOT plastic.

18. Use only natural supplements from FOOD sources.

19. Get plenty of sleep, do what it takes to be able to awaken naturally at dawn. Open the windows, get your circadian rhythm going by letting the brain get the light it needs to become awake quickly and effortlessly, looking forward to your day. This becomes normal after the initial detox.

20. Get plenty of exercise, yoga, core body work, walking, dancing, hula hooping, swimming…the more in motion you stay, the better you feel.

21. Get plenty of natural sunlight, for happiness, for Vitamin D.

22. Normal bathing should not require soap. A loofah will do…maybe in strategic spots like under your arms, but use an all-natural soap. I use Dr. Bonners.

23. Sleep on chemical free beddings; a organic wool and cotton futon topped with a feather bed costs less than $500.00 and is heaven to sleep on!! The fire retardant chemicals in a normal mattress is 100 times more carcinogenic than nicotine and contributes to lowered sperm count, infertility and interferes with normal hormone production.

24. Use 100% natural fibers to wear and to sleep on.

25. Think positive thoughts and minimize stress.

26. Practice forgiveness.

27. Choose peace, and happiness in every moment.


Permaculture Garden Update!

As many of you know, it’s been a challenging year, 5 eye surgeries.  I’m finally able to get back to all my regular activates; yoga, gardening, driving at night!!   Yipeee!

I would not have been able to have a garden this year if it wasn’t for the incredible support of my Permaculture Group here in Jacksonville!  Easiest, low labor (after the install) way I have ever gardened.  I will also soon have a solar water distiller on the back patio!

10.21.14  Garden PlantedThis was the install, 10/14/14         Update 1- 4.17.15Today, 4/17/2015

The collards I have let bolt so I will have seeds next year, I am in the middle of picking and freezing them.  I have Romaine, pineapple, Swiss chard, tomatoes, scallions, turmeric, ginger, sweet potatoes, dill, basil, kale, broccoli.

Update 2- 4.17.15I’m still growing some things in sub-irrigated buckets that I build.  Here is a 4 1/2 year old kale and Swiss chard. Lettuces were just planted in the barrels, along with a lot of herbs.

Update 4- 4.17.15New install off of the back porch, foreground will be tomatoes, herbs. Larger space will be greens.  Right now the dandelions are growing in it and all over the yard in back of it.  I just planted a lot of greens; kale, Swiss chard, spinach, beets.

The amazingly beautiful ornamental ginger did not make it through the hard freeze this year.

Update 7- 4.17.15So I planted real ginger, and turmeric!  It’ll be just a beautiful AND I can eat it!

Update 9- 4.17.15Here is at the back of the kitchen garden, I am amending the soil here, adding compost from the juicer (it is dry enough to be able to go straight into the garden, along with coffee grounds and pot liquor.


Fresh Juice Delivery!

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I am SO excited about the response to the RAW JUICES we are now delivering!  They are made early on the morning, chilled quickly before they go out the door for delivery.

 

Here’s what we offer; 

Jamu Kunyit,a Balinese-style Turmeric Juice with Tamarind-

Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties combined with the depth of anti-0xidents in this drink make it an ideal medicinal drink.  But the TASTE is amazingly refreshing!  I simmer the organic turmeric root at 120 for several hours to maintain the enzymes, then add organic tamarind and continue steeping, as it cools slightly I add raw honey, lime zest and fresh lime juice. Kunyit Asam Jamu is recommended for enhancing detoxification and preventing disease. It is common in Indonesia to consume this with the addition of an egg yolk, which has been shown to further enhance the bioavailability of the active ingredient Curcumin.                                                                                                                                                   $18.00 a Quart

 

Beta-C- carrots, celery. green apple, ginger, turmeric, lime.

Happy Greens- cucumber, celery, baby kale, spinach, parsley, lime.

16 oz   13.00                       32 oz- 25.00

Our juices are made the from all organic ingredients, made the day they are delivered, refrigerated immediately and delivered in glass jars.  These are returned on the next delivery.

Benefits of Juicing- Juicing offers many  health benefits including a faster, more efficient way to absorb immune boosting nutrients naturally found in fruits and vegetables. It provides a way to access digestive enzymes typically locked in the fiber of whole fruits and vegetables.

It’s best to drink juice the same day they are made. As soon as any juice meets the air it begins to oxidize, compromising its nutritional value. However, storing our full juices in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed glass jar slows this process. The best time to drink juice is on an empty stomach or at least an hour before eating a meal. This maximizes the amount of nutrients absorbed into the body. Of course, fresh pressed juice is still loaded with health benefits even if you can’t drink it during the recommended window.

Juicing and Illness-  There is lots of research that shows the healing properties of juicing. Juicing aids weight loss, brings increased energy levels, strengthened immunity, and helps build strong bones.  It also helps prevent and heal heart disease, cancer and strokes, three of the leading causes of death. A growing body of research suggests that most vitamin supplements don’t help prevent chronic disease. A synthetic vitamin or mineral is a laboratory simulation of the real thing. Natural, plant-based vitamins and minerals are more easily and completely absorbed by the body.
 

Please fill out the form below and I will contact you;


12 Lifesaving Canning Rules

If you can your garden bounty and especially if you are new to canning this could be handy.
Canning rules to keep your food safe from Modern survival blog will give you tips you need to can safely.
One thing I didn’t know was that you can’t do raw pack for stewed tomatoes. Good thing I haven’t done it yet but I probably would have if I was worried about losing a whole lot of ripe tomatoes. Good info.

photo credit modernsurvivalblog.com

photo credit modernsurvivalblog.com

http://modernsurvivalblog.com/survival-kitchen/12-lifesaving-canning-rules/


All Natural Beauty Products

washing face

I find soap too drying for my face, cleansers are pricy and a lot of the time if they are gentle enough they don’t clean effectively.  Several years ago when my daughter, Rachel, became an esthetician we began looking at the products on the market that were all natural, supposedly.  We found many to have parabens, even the ones from the health food store.  So I used my knowledge as a Chef and my background in herbal medicine to study the traditional oils and ingredients in cleansers.  I learned to formulate and them started experimenting. I came up with this cleanser; it is inexpensive to make, works really well as an exfoliate, cleanser and has essential oils that nourish the skin.  After I began using it I found it so effective that I stopped using glycolics and other exfoliates.   I will also tell you how to do a great facial at home for almost no money.

WONDERFUL CLEANSER

3 cup water
2 cups baking soda
1/2 teaspoon almond oil
2 drops lavender essential oil
1 ½ cup honey
1 Tbsp. Dr. Bonners Almond liquid soap
2 teaspoon glycerin
1 teaspoon Vitamin C
1 teaspoon Salicylic acid – you can crush up aspirin for this or buy it through a formulation site.
3 Tablespoons Xanthan gum

On low heat, combine water, honey, almond, Dr. Bonners, oils. Remove from heat and let cool about a minute. Add honey. Whisk. While whisking, add ascorbic acid and salicylic acid. Whisk slowly, do not inhale powders. Now add baking soda, a little at a time, it will thicken this mix a tad. Add xanthan gum a tablespoon at a time to thicken. Let sit a few minutes, adjust thickness. I like it to be kind of thick, like a hair conditioner. Apply to the skin like a soap and rinse off with tepid water.

You will notice your skin feels incredibly clean, soft with no tightness or dryness. The honey is a humectant, a good moisturizer and an natural preservative.

FACAIL MASK

This mask with make your skin feel as great as any high percentage glycolic peel and it helps even out skin tone by fading the brown splotches some of us get.

Make a paste out of baking soda and lemon juice.  Apply to your face and leave on for about 3 or 4 minutes the first time.  This is a fairly strong fruit acid so use for short periods at first, you will feel it burn at first.  Use Rose Oil to sooth the skin after washing it off.  Ultimately use it about once a week and your skin will get used to it.  Hold a towel under your chin as you are doing this as it tends to dry out.  You can use half of the lemon to re-moisten it if needed.

Deodorant-  I don’t use it all the time, as eating clean means every low amount of body odor.  But I found that very few all natural deodorants actually worked.   Finally, two years ago I found Weleda’s Citrus Deodorant and it works!!  Loved it.   BUT at $16.00 for 3.4 ounces I was loath to re-buy it.  So, I looked at the ingredients and made it myself.

CITRUS DEODORANT

Buy one bottle of grain alcohol. Buy one small bottle of lemon oil, organic.

I used the Weleda bottle and mixed my own, using 3 1/4 ounces of alcohol and added 1/4 teaspoon of oil, shake well, spray on and enjoy.