Organic Vegetable Gardening Can Be Healthy and Rewarding Hobby

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Organic vegetable gardening is not only fun and interesting, it provides you with your own source of healthy food. You don’t need a lots of space to have a garden (though it’s great if you have a large piece of property!), as even a patio or even an indoor area will suffice. If you keep the following suggestions in mind, you’ll find that having your own organic vegetable garden isn’t very difficult at all.

Using the appropriate soil is one of the main considerations to address when you start a garden. The soil on your property may or may not be usable for your garden -you can find out by having its PH level tested.

You have to know whether your soil is too acidic or alkaline -if you’d rather test it yourself, you can purchase a kit that makes this possible. The recommended PH of soil for a vegetable garden is 5.5 to 7.5 -so if it falls outside this range, you will have to improve your soil or purchase higher quality soil.

It’s better to go out and purchase some soil rather than try to start your garden with soil that’s not very healthy. Starting with the best possible soil is one of the main factors that will determine the success of your garden.

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Compost will also add to the health of the soil, and you may want to start off by buying some, unless you have a good compost heap already. One mistake some new gardeners make is to try to grow too many types of vegetables when they’re first starting out. The idea of having a wide variety of plants in your garden is certainly appealing, but it can make things difficult for you as well.

First of all, not all plants have the same growing season, so you may want to stick to ones that can be planted at the same time at first. You may also run into the problem of overcrowding, as vegetables need a certain amount of space to thrive.

When you start with a modest garden, you can control everything and then make it larger as you gain experience. Being overly ambitious can create a situation where your garden becomes an overwhelming chore that’s hard to manage.

When you find that you’re comfortable with a small garden, then you can think about making it larger and more diverse.

An organic vegetable garden is not a project that you can start by planting some seeds and then just forget about. There are tasks that must be performed on a regular basis to ensure the health of your plants.

Moisture levels are very important for any kind of garden, so you have to constantly ensure that all vegetables are getting sufficient water. It’s also essential to make sure weeds don’t gain a foothold in your garden, so weeding must be done regularly. That’s why you have to make a certain commitment to your garden if you want it to be successful.

A garden can be extremely rewarding, as long as you’re willing to do what’s necessary to keep it in good shape. Starting an organic vegetable garden is a great idea, so make it one that you follow through on. Don’t try to do too much at first, but just be happy to grow a few select vegetables. It’s a great feeling to know that you pick your own organic produce from your own garden whenever you want.

Healthy Farming for a Better World

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Close to half a century after the Green Revolution won over people’s hearts, the general public is slowly but surely getting a better view of the hidden picture. The nasty side effects of genetically modified crops and overdose of synthetic fertilisers is eating away not only our health, but also our children’s future.

Thankfully, the government has taken note and is trying to take constructive baby steps towards correcting the issues. The Washington State University has been awarded a $750,000 grant so that they can explore the scope of organic farming and can investigate about how to get rid of pests without the use of harmful chemicals.

The projects aims to look into organic crop growing techniques like bio diversity and crop rotation, so that they can utilise the pests as a helpful source instead of killing them.

An attempt is being made to learn about the complexities and intricate functioning of the ‘predator bug.’ This will help them to understand about how the various insects affect soil health; and if there is perhaps a way for the bugs, the soil, and the crops to co-exist in harmony without having to compromise on any of them.

One way to achieve it could be crop diversification. Instead of focusing upon growing one particular variety of crop, farmers could think about growing several crops instead of letting their fields remain barren on the ‘off season.’ This will mean less harmful effects of bugs. The other big benefit with organic farming would be that it wouldn’t really do a blanket destruction like pesticides.

Pesticides do kill the harmful bugs, but they also end of up killing the useful ones like ladybirds, spiders, wasps etc. If there was some way to avoid this, then maybe we would require much less amounts of pesticides. For example, pesticides kills wasps. But these same wasps lay their eggs inside harmful pests like aphids thereby killing them from inside out.

There are also a segment of people who do not seem to mind these pests at all. The common sentiment seems to be that if one can spot a bug or a pest among their food in the supermarket, one can at least be assured that it came from a natural source. The key is to identify which insects are good for your crops and then use them to help you eliminate other pests.

Another important aspect that the project will be looking into is soil health. The research shall be studying organic farming methods to understand how it can help improve soil health and help the agricultural growth in general.

This agricultural growth is crucial because it can help plants and crops to develop a natural immunity to harmful bugs. And at the end of the day we do know that it is almost impossible to have healthy plants if the soil is not healthy.

We hope that the studies are conclusive and substantial, because a lot of things depend upon it. Most important among them is how we look at organic farming and develop an understanding about GMO crops and chemicals that are used to give us the ‘perfect yield’.

Is Organic Farming Sustainable & Profitable?

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One of the key ways in which industrial agriculture has survived for so long inspite of being the root cause of such problems is by fear. Backed by manufacturers and big names in the industry, it instils a sense of fear in the common man that what he produces naturally is never going to be enough for his land and his people.

This fear helps to create the illusion that perhaps commercial farming is the only answer that will give high yields and greater profits. But this image is far removed from the truth. In fact, organic farming is not only sustainable, it is also much superiors to industrial farming. Let us have a look how –

The first focus of any man in business is profit. One may be misled to believe that industrial farming is giving them higher profits and the figures may also tell you the same story. But here is what most of us do not consider – they also come with high inputs.

So organic farming with its above average output is more profitable in the long run because the input costs are so minimal. On the other hand, a lion’s share of the high profit margin of industrial farming is eaten away by inputs like fertilisers, pesticides, oil etc thereby leaving substantially less in the hands of the farmer.

Another lie that we have been made to believe is that industrial farming alone can give us high yields. However, researches show that over a 3 year time period of conversion, organic yields were the same as industrial yields. This means that the organic yields would only increase with the passage of time – a fact that becomes clearer when the statistics is noted that in 57 countries over the world, there has been a 79% increased agricultural productivity through organic farming.

Organic farming also seems to be blamed for not being able to create as many employment opportunities as commercial farming. Since a large number of people are involved in the process, it seems like commercial farming would have the potential to create several jobs. But we tend to forget that this also means less personalised care and attention leading to an inferior crop quality.

Organic farming is far better for soil health because unlike commercial farming, they do not take the help of synthetic fertilisers to maintain soil health. This means that their system is strong and does not kill the microbial life over a period of time, causing them to have better soil integrity.

Since nature can never be predictable, climatic changes affect the health of the crop. It has been found in general that organic crops survive climatic changes like droughts much better than the ones loaded with fertilizers, even after them being a drought resistant variety.

The point is that we must understand that the illusion that organic farming is incapable of feeding the whole world is just that – an illusion. It is an artificial picture that has been created to cater to the profit needs of big business. But how much do we – the common man, benefit from it?

The fact that today we spend just about 10% on food and close to a whopping 17% on healthcare should help us find and answer and make us realize how sustainable commercial farming is for our health and for our nature.

Organic Farming Replacing Chemical Based Farming in India

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The Green Revolution can easily be called as one of the milestones in the agricultural history of India. Spacing out from 1930s till the late 1960s, this technology used tools like artificial fertilisers, pesticides, and high yield crop varieties to increase the production of crops that helped feed a gigantic nation that was slowly moving towards starvation.

But merely half a century later, the country is backing off from the developmentally superior methods and tiptoeing back towards traditional farming.

Reeling from the effects of the Green Revolution, India has realised that while high agricultural yields through commercial farming methods might be a boon for a short span of time, it is definitely not a sustainable method of farming. Hence, each day more and more of our farmers are returning back to their basics of organic farming.

One should not mistake organic farming as simply one with the absence of synthetic fertilisers or pesticides. It is so much more than that. Organic farming replaces man-made chemicals with naturally found ones, but the onus of it is the focus on a wholesome, effective, and sustainable method of farming which is not overtly taxing on the people or the land.

The first shock of commercial farming hit India about 50 years after the Green Revolution. But the issues that came come made it amply clear that the problems had been simmering under the surface for quite some time now. Punjab, the state which flourished the most under the commercial farming methods; is also the state to report the highest number of cancer patients.

Apart from several health issues like premature aging, weakened bone structure, skeletal issues etc, there is also a severe threat to the health of the coming generations. And none of this happened overnight.

Commercial farming systematically ensured that it dug its claws deep into the throats of organic farming and the general health of the people. For starters, the high yield seeds consumed a lot of water – much more than was available through natural sources like rainfall. To supplement the need, borewells were dug and drilling continued within the farms to ensure constant water supply.

The other issue was the use of synthetic fertilisers like urea and phosphate. While these measures did make sure that farmers saw a 10% increase in the gross incomes within the first year itself making Punjab an economic powerhouse; it also made clear that the constant drilling and the contamination of the soil with the huge amount of chemicals threatened the water supply and adversely affected the health of thousands of people.

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With research beginning to link the two, thankfully more and more farmers are trying to come out of the vicious cycle of chemical based farming. The initial years may be difficult is what most experts say. Farmers do not receive government subsidies, and there is no definitive shift; but the winds of change have started blowing strong.

Farmers are realising that if they stick to organic farming, the results will be fruitful, and more importantly long lasting. The water balance is slowly being restored and with money being saved from what was earlier being spent of chemical fertilisers, Punjab now has claim to over 1500 hectares of organic land. The government is also encouraging natural farming and we can only hope that the sweet fruits of this labour will be reaped in time.

The Perils of Pesticides

Yannick Chenet is famous. He is one among the 40 farmers in France whose illness has been officially linked with his profession. Yannick, a winegrower who has been working closely in the fields since he was 15, has had continued and heavy exposure to the pesticides. This had affected his kidneys and his nervous system, finally killing him. What is alarming though, is that Yannick’s case is not the first and neither is it an isolated incident.

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As experts say, Yannick may be the first official report, but there are bound to have been people before him. With an average of 220,000 tonnes of pesticides being used on the French soil; a majority of which is directed towards the vineyards, it is hardly surprising that farmers have been reported to be suffering from Parkinson’s and several types of cancers.

The biggest worry here is that soil contamination effects take a long time to show up and the cases that are worst hit are usually always the ones which have had a long time exposure.

Research by the EU claims that pesticides have the same harmful effects on human foetus and small children as it does on fruits and vegetables. The toxic effects of the pesticides can also be present in breastmilk if the new mother has had prolonged exposure to the harmful chemicals. They hit badly on the delicate nervous system of young children, making them essentially sitting ducks in front of a giant so widespread and so manipulative that there is almost no force strong enough to fight it.

In the light of this information, it perhaps shall be no surprise to note that effect of pesticides on brain chemicals and ADHD have been closely linked.

One way to combat this could be to reduce the exposure by taking help from organic food. Researches have shown that reintroduction of conventional organic diet helped reduce pesticides like Malathion and chlorpyrifos – two which have been most closely linked with ADHD and have the most widespread use.

A 15 day study with a sample of 23 children showed that conventionally grown food was better because the organically grown substitute still contained a very high degree of pesticides.

It is important to note one thing here that we are not looking at shunning pesticides. Pesticides is something that most of us use in almost all walks of life and some exposure is definitely good. But it is up to us to set a limit for that exposure.

Because the moment it becomes unregulated, is the moment we are placing an open invitation for all things unwelcome. And when it is the future of our children that is at stake, it is pertinent that we tread with caution.

Magical Uses of Herbs to Help With Healing

HERBAL REMEDIES

Herbs have been widely used over the last few centuries when it comes to healing. Now, for many today, they think healing with herbs is strange and just not possible. However, certain herbs have always had an air of curiosity about them. While they appear insignificant cooking ingredients they actually open the door to potential. Thousands of people around the country and indeed the world have looked into herbs and their magical healing properties. Below are a few uses:

Easing Arthritis with Turmeric

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Turmeric is actually a wonderful little herb to use in everyday cooking. It contains a powerful little anti-inflammatory element (curcumin) and this is what helps to relieve pain caused by the condition arthritis. Turmeric can reduce swelling in the joints also caused by arthritis. Adding just a small dose to cooking can be wise and so very useful too.

Soothing Your Stomach with Ginger

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For those who suffer with stomach aches and pains, they are best soothing it was a pinch of ginger. You can also use ginger to prevent sore stomachs so it’s quite a versatile little herb. It is also said that ginger can help lower blood pressure and deal with some arthritis pain. Ginger is actually a powerful antioxidant so that is going to help deal with inflammation quite a bit. If you have suffered with stomach aches in the past or are frequently experiencing pain, you might find ginger helps soothe the problem.

Lowering Blood Sugar with Cinnamon

If you have high blood sugar levels and are in the danger zone then you may want to consider adding cinnamon to your diet. Of course, blood sugar levels need to be manageable so that they don’t cause a spike which could lead to diabetes. It isn’t impossible to lower blood sugar with a cinnamon extract.

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You can use a small amount cinnamon extract each day and find it reduces your blood sugar levels quite a bit. It’s also said to help lower cholesterol too which is always a bonus!

Recently I was also speaking to Dr Vidya, who is an Edmonton dentist and she was very vocal about the beneficial properties of cinnamon for the teeth and gums. Apparently the high aldehyde content  makes it a rather potent antimicrobial and antiseptic, especially in its oil form.

cinnamon bark is high in tannin and is an astringent, which helps. Astringents actually help in strengthening oral tissue and reduce any surface irritation or inflammation. It creates a protective barrier against infection. Cinnamon oil also is a natural antiseptic and can alleviate toothache.

Should You Utilize Herbs To Heal?

Herbs have been used for thousands of years when it comes to healing. Practitioners have been advising people to use herbs for many years and it has proven to be extremely popular amongst many, old and young. There are some who of course say herbs and healing is rubbish because only medicine can heal, however that isn’t always the case. There are some herbs which have been proven to heal or assist certain ailments and while they don’t cure illnesses they offer great assistance.

Healing Herbs

Using everyday herbs to help heal certain ailments isn’t such a bad idea. You can easily add cinnamon extract to teas or drinks and turmeric and ginger can be so easily added to most meals. There is no need to overload the body with herbs but small amounts can do so much good. You don’t know how effective herbs are going to be until you’ve personally tried them but it’s still worth considering. Herbs also offer a potential solution to certain pains.

Herbals That Alleviate Erectile Dysfunction

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Erectile dysfunction remains an ailment for millions of men worldwide and its a cause for concern. However, most men aren’t sure how to deal with this problem and most of them don’t want to discuss the problem with their doctor either.

It’s not the easiest of subjects for men but it’s not the worst and you don’t have to deal with it alone. One potential way to approach solving this problem would be to make lifestyle changes and also maybe look into adopting an organic diet and some natural herbs. They have been around for a while now and have proven to be very popular with most men too.

What Herbal Supplements Are Available?

There are several herbal supplements that are popularly thought to help those suffering from erectile dysfunction like  ginseng, saw palmetto and horny goat weed. They are also easy to acquire.

Will Supplements Work?

There are clinical studies conducted that proved the effectiveness of red ginseng in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Saw Palmetto has proven to help sexual alleviate sexual dysfunction in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia. There are other studies that explained the efficacy of herbs like Yohimbe, ginseng, Ginkgo biloba, maca, horny goat weed, and L-arginine.

However, please keep in mind, that there could be blockages or more physiological problems behind the sexual problems you experience and in all likelihood in such cases medical intervention will be necessary.

I think supplements are worth a shot for us Americans where Viagra is still very expensive and online pharmacy is mostly illegal unlike the UK where online doctor services are perfectly legal and there are online communities like pharmacyresearcher.com that even have sections for uk online pharmacy reviews.

Anyway, herbal supplements have been around for a number of years and have been heavily utilized too which should give an indication of the potential that lies with them. They are no miracle cure but they can certainly offer a lot of assistance and they may help deal with erectile dysfunction too.

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