First fruits (okay, vegetables) of gardening this year!
I’m not sure why so many people think asparagus is hard to grow. It isn’t. Maybe it’s because it can be so dang expensive in the grocery store that people just assume it must be hard. Or maybe it’s the patience factor….. because planting it means you MUST wait for several years (at least 3) before getting good bounty if you want a sustainable crop.
Oh, you can plant it, and get a few stalks the first year you plant it…. but if you harvest all that grows, you deny the root system the energy it needs. That part we snap off and eat? That’s what supplies the roots (technically called rhizomes) with energy. Remember in elementary school all you learned about chlorophyll? The green upper part is what helps turn sunlight into energy for the plant. If you always harvested 100%, eventually the root system would die off and you’d have to start over again. For this reason, we let about 50% of our crop reach full maturity so that we feed the root system in anticipation of next year’s harvest.
In some areas of our garden it actually has the weed quality about it…. (ie: a plant growing in an undesirable location) now. And in some parts of the country, it actually grows wild in bar ditches. It is a great foraging food if it’s in your area (provided foraging doesn’t include raiding your neighbor’s garden at midnight ;)!
Asparagus is interesting and rather amazing. It literally grows inches every day during growing season. To make sure you are able to get to it before it gets woody, you really have to check your plants twice a day, or you might as well let them leaf out because it may be stringy and tougher than you like.
Asparagus is loaded with health benefits…
Store bought asparagus is no substitute for fresh picked in terms of flavor. Fresh picked is sweeter and more tender. Many stalks never make it beyond the garden as I eat it straight-away… picked as a snack! People who say they don’t like asparagus (kids in particular) typically find that they like the fresh stuff. I find this to be true with most foods when comparing farm fresh vs most store options. So, go find your local farmer’s market and hunt down some of this fresh goodness while the season is upon us.
Fresh asparagus…. it’s what’s for dinner! (and for breakfast…. omelette’s anyone?)
Have a blessed day,
Good morning friends! You know I’m about all things wellness oriented by now…. our farm is run as organically as possible, and that includes what we use on ALL of our animals. I am not teaching this online class tonight, but I have friends who are. This is an open class, so all you have to do is put in a request to be added to the class and there ya go… you’re in!
If you’d like to protect your pup in a healthier fashion, sign up, and then take notes on what’s best for your best friend. Cancer and AutoImmune disorders are on the rise within the dog population just as they are in humans…. no surprise. They tend to be exposed to even worse stuff than we expose ourselves to. Learn how to ditch toxins and switch to natural options. And remember, just like in us, all positive health changes begin in the gut…. not just in humans, but with dogs too. Ol’ Roy and Alpo are both junk food doggie style!
I’ll be sitting in on this class tonight too. Hope to see ya’ll there!
Please FB message Melissa Eaton @ https://www.facebook.com/msalgadoeaton and she will get you added to the class invite list.
(PS: please message me if for some reason this link doesn’t allow you access and I’ll talk to those in charge and get you in!)
Earlier this week I made a comment in a gardening post, and I wanted to expand on that a little more. The comment made was in regards to the purity of our gardening bounty and how important it is to know both your source and how your food (ie: the plants or animals) is cared for from seed (or birth) to the farm table.
As you might have guessed by now, I am an advocate of following this principle in all aspects of life.
Knowing your source……whether that be your:
All of these have great impact on YOU… emotionally, physically, mentally, and on your long term health and wellness plan….. what you allow yourself to be exposed to…. is it sustainable to good emotional and physical health?
Can you expose yourself regularly to toxic relationships (any relationship qualifies here) without health detriment?
Can you use toxic chemicals daily… both on your person (soaps, shampoo, makeup, skin care etc) AND in your home and expect to remain healthy as your body loads slowly with these chemicals?
Can you continue to eat prepackaged food with unpronounceable chemicals as part of the ingredient list and expect your body and immune system not to rebel?
The answer is NO to all of these. 100% NO. (hundreds of studies will back this)
And yet….. And yet….. And yet… we tell ourselves little white lies, because the truth would mean that we acknowledge the need for change.
Daily exposure to toxins of any kind IS having long term effects on all of us…. Why do I personally know 3 people under the age of 40 who are currently battling colon cancer? Why are nearly 1 in 5 Americans on mental health drugs compared to 30 years ago (when it was 1 in 184)?
Having an insider’s view of the prescription end of our healthcare system for over 25years has made me extraordinarily aware of this, as has my interest in the health ramifications (both physical and emotional) of toxic relationships versus healthy ones. It is this insider’s view that really began convicting me of making personal SUSTAINABLE changes in MY life and in my family’s life many years ago. Don’t forget, there was a time when I was a statistic just like you yourself might be now…. I’ve written about it on my blog in an earlier couple of posts.
It was the pharmacist in me that followed an initial curiosity with my own personal research before committing to the oil and supplement company you’ve seen me reference. In my humble opinion, buying from companies that cannot give a step by step accounting of the ‘life’ of each and every bottle of oil from seed to bottling…… well, that would be equivalent to buying a prescription drug from someone off of the internet (THAT is illegal… but you get my drift)……. You never know what you’ll get. The other thing I like about Young Living is that they have a batch/distilling # on each bottle, so that not only does the company commit to purity, it qualifies that by giving each bottle a number that can be tracked BACKWARDS. This is not a common practice in the essential oil industry.
I leave you now with these thoughts:
“There are, as of yet, no standards for therapeutic-grade essential oils set by any government agency in North America. Hence, labeling fraud is rampant. Therefore, to be sure you are getting TRUE therapeutic-grade essential oils, you need to know your grower, your distiller, your packager, and your distributor because anywhere along this chain of delivery, oils can be compromised.
There is nothing dishonest about producing food or perfume grade oils. The problem comes when such oils are bottled, labeled, and presented as if they were therapeutic when they are NOT!
A common practice in the Essential Oil community, is to take a decent grade of Essential Oil, dilute it by 90%-95% with an odorless, colorless solvent (usually an inexpensive petrochemical) so that what was a pound of good oil then becomes 10 or 20 pounds of diluted oil to be sold as if it were the original substance, thus multiplying the profit. Understand, that such diluted oils often carry labels stating they are “Genuine” or “100% Pure”, which is allowed by the U.S. FDA. However, when you see a bottle of Frankincense for $10-$20 for a full ounce, you can be sure it has been diluted because you can’t gather the resins from the Arabian and Somalian deserts, transport them to France or England to be distilled, and then import them to North America (or any other country) for that price and maintain quality and purity.
Mysteriously, for every pound of Frankincense distilled in the world, more than a dozen pounds are eventually sold (pretty scary). Pure, unadulterated Frankincense, should cost around $140 per ounce. In Biblical times, a pound of Frankincense oil was more precious than a pound of gold. In fact, in ancient times, it was called “liquid gold”. Today, a pound of gold is worth around $4,800 (referenced in 2010), while on the retail market a pound of pure Frankincense is worth about $2,400.
If you have smelled TRUE Frankincense, then you will know the difference immediately when given a sample of the diluted versions that are very common on the market.
Other signs on labels are when only the common name “Frankincense” is used, and the Latin name, “Boswellia carteri” is missing, that is another clear warning that it is not genuine and certainly not therapeutic.
(Info from The Chemistry of Essential Oils by David Stewart Ph.D., D.N.M.)
Moral of this, you GET what you pay for in essential oils. Period. I know essential oils are “popular” now, but be an informed consumer! Don’t be fooled!”
If you’d like some help getting started detoxing your life, I’d love to help you find your True North. Starting with kicking chemicals out of your home one by one (baby step style) is a great place to start! (Have you heard of The Thieves Product Line?)
In Health and Sustainable Preparedness,
I think gardeners must suffer a worse case of spring fever than the average Joe, and North Texas weather only plays with our emotions making the situation even worse. We have beautiful days followed by cold snaps frequently with little or no warning. It’s a dance of self control and roulette with the Farmer’s Almanac officiating.
We have no kids of our own, so the farm and garden are managed by us alone. If you live on a farm, you know that the chore list is never ending. Gardening season kicks that list up a notch or two. This season we are trying something new. Have you heard of WOOFing?Technically, the acronym is WWOOF, and stands for Willing Workers On Organic Farms. It is an international organization that connects people who want to learn about organic farming with organic farms who needs extra set(s) of hands…. people like us! You can actually plan a learning/working vacation by being a willing WOOFer. We live in a deep and friendship filled community. While many of our friends have their own farms, we also have friends who live in town in subdivisions where gardening is hampered by privacy fences, small yards, poor soil, and a low bee population. We have one friend in particular who homeschools their children, and was looking for a way to incorporate gardening and self sufficiency skills (a dying art in my opinion!) into the curriculum. WOOFing in the truest sense means that the student generally lives on the farm for a period of time while working… so food and lodging in exchange for work. We are modifying that format a bit in this case, and I’ve got two young WOOF pups who will be learning the finer points of organic gardening alongside me this season and will be taking harvest bounty home in exchange for their work. It’s definitely a win/win situation for all parties involved. My two young friends have proven themselves to be hard workers…. harder even than many adults I know. I am really looking forward to passing what I know and have learned thus far on to the next generation, and am loving the relationship I’m building with my WOOF Pups. Respect and love for what we grow to nourish our bodies (whether that be animal or plant) is something I hope to pass on to others. The “cleanest” food we can eat is that which we have the most control over from start to finish (much like the company I represent), and it’s the most very basic first sustainable step in living a life focused on complete wellness.
Gardening, you see, fills so many needs: Spiritually, it gives you time to pray and connect with nature. Physically, it provides you with exercise, sunshine, and direct contact with dirt (a very very good thing!). Emotionally, it has been scientifically proven to be a balm for the soul…..originally thought to be simply calming, but now there is evidence that exposure to microbes in the soil actually BOOST serotonin levels in the brain providing a sense of peace. And finally, Nourishment…..if grown organically, you will have regular access to some of the healthiest food you can get your paws on.
We’ve got our onions, lettuce and kale planted… that’s all I’m brave enough to plant for now. But in just a week or two we will begin planting the rest of our seeds. In the meantime….. lots of preparation is still in order for this busy busy time. Stay tuned for updates!
Why try to explain miracles to Kids when you could just have them plant a garden? ~ Robert Brault
In early winter I start itching to get my paws on the latest edition of The Whole Seed Catalog. It’s crack for the organic gardener. Truly. I’m not sure how many times I thumb thru the catalog highlighting, circling, and dogear-ing pages before I make my final selections. I feel like Imelda Marcos in a shoe store. Rareseeds.com is my ‘go to’ source for seeds simply because I trust them and I respect their ethical stance on heirloom seed preservation. Their seeds aren’t just heirloom, they are also organic.
We are organic gardeners, and that includes our seed choices. I am frequently asked why seed choice is so important. Oh ho ho. Seed choice is VERY important any time you are asking something of a plant ( it’s one of the things that really sealed the deal for me on my essential oil company of choice ).
Organic heirloom seeds are better for a multitude of reasons:
My seeds arrived last week and I’m itching to plant. It’s still a little early for most things. I prefer to plant directly into the soil, but will prestart a few that take longer to germinate in my greenhouse.
Cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, lettuce, kale, onions, zucchini, butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, beans, beans, and more beans…. and so much more! I’m even making an attempt at growing loofah sponges this year!
Come on spring! We’re ready!
Hey there....thanks for stopping by! This is me (Liz James)... an eclectic mixture of holistic (and organic) farmgirl meets pharmacist. It's a synergy that works well as I speak truths and dissect fact from fiction. If you're looking for healthier living options, you've come to the right place!