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Home & Healthy Living

  • Mill your own organic flour

    We might be hearing more about our often taken for granted staple grains in the near future. Poor harvests in Europe brought on by severe drought conditions this summer are likely to have an impact on the price of this normally cheap commodity. Another thing making headlines recently are concerns around the exuberant use of chemical sprays in cereal production. Particularly, the use of glyphosate as a pre-harvest treatment. This is the tip of the iceberg. I noted at a talk from a tillage expert which I attended recently that there are 380 herbicides registered
  • How to Dry Herbs

    You can dry herbs to make your own herbal teas and to use in cooking throughout the year. It's a relatively simple process and a great way to use up any excess or underused herbs you have growing in the garden.. Harvesting Herbs for drying You can harvest herbs throughout the season, but the best taste is obtained from fresh growth. Herbs grown for their leaves should be harvested before they flower. After they flower, most herbs tend to lose their flavour or become bitter. You also want to pick the leaves when they are tender and contain the highest amount of oil,
  • How to Grow Christmas Potatoes

    It does seem a little early to be talking about Christmas, but if you want to have new potatoes for Christmas dinner this is what you do: What to plant You need cold treated seed – the cold breaks the dormancy cycle and spurs the potato into growth again. By using your own homegrown seed potatoes, or those from an organic grower, you can ensure they will not be treated with any chemical to prevent budding.   Early varieties are best as they have the shortest growing cycle. You can carry out your own cold treatment on the seed potatoes by putting them in a paper bag
  • Careful now! Minding yourself in the garden

    Stay safe out there, its a scary world! Put tools away, keep sharp objects safe. Keep fertilizers and any garden sprays or pallets away from children and pets. Careful when lifting heavy objects. Look after knees with either a kneeling cushion or knee-pads. Protect from the sun. Always wear gloves and cover wounds with waterproof dressing. Keep a small first aid kit handy.  Keep tetanus shots up to date. Wear a dust mask when strimmering to avoid bracken spores and fine dust particles. Do not put cooked food on the compost heap as this can attract rats. Compost
  • Helping Bees with Bee Friendly Practices & Plants

    Why are bees so important to us Bees are the world's most important pollinator of food crops, an estimated whopping 1/3 of food is dependent on pollination. Pollination is basically plant reproduction: by transferring pollen from the male part of the flower to the female part of the flower the plants seed or fruit can be formed. The transfer of pollen can be done by the wind, birds, bats, mammals and of course insect such as bees - bees are so important because they pollinate on such a massive scale - hence the phrase 'busy bees'. Threats to bees There are quite a
  • Is it cheaper to grow your own organic vegetables?

    We can all agree that growing your own vegetables has many advantages.  Nothing compares to home-grown for taste; growing your own means that your vegetables are very fresh, full of nutrients and taste delicious.  Then there’s the satisfaction – that sense of achievement that comes with picking your first tomato, or better still, when serve your first salad to a group of admiring friends!  Growing your own opens a whole new world to you and your family.  Children learn where vegetables come from and are generally more enthusiastic about trying them.  It creates
  • Caring for your Knees when gardening

    The knee is the largest joint in the human body. It is a hinge-like joint that is subject to constant pounding, bending, and twisting from everyday activities, as well as the impact of falls and the effects of arthritis. Since the knee supports nearly the entire weight of the body and has high joint mobility, it is one of the most susceptible to injuries. Knee Joint Housemaids/Gardeners Knee is the most common form of knee bursitis and is caused by the inflammation (swelling) of the Prepatellar Bursa which sits in front of the knee cap. Prolonged or repetitive
  • Visit to Livos (What I did for my Holidays)

    We have been stocking the Livos range of non toxic paints and wood treatments for some years now. As far as we know, Livos are the world’s first manufacturer of natural paints. The company was born in 1974 when a group of hippyish scientists and technicians began researching the use of plant compounds (phytochemicals) to create high quality paints and wood treatments which are as safe and clean as possible. Last week I visited the factory in Germany to learn more about some of the products, how they are produced and their ingredients. The word 'factory'
  • January Seasonable table - Parsnips

    Parsnips are a very reliable winter root vegetable.  They have a distinct nutty flavour and sweetness and are very versatile in the kitchen.  In Roman times they were believed to be an aphrodisiac and they were often used as a source of sugar before cane and beet sugars were available.  Parsnips are a member of the cow parsley family along with carrot, dill, fennel and parsley.  Treat as carrots in your rotation. How to Grow Parsnips Sow parsnips from February to May.  On light soils Tender and True are a very good variety whilst White Gem would be better for
  • Beginners guide to Sowing Seeds

    If you are thinking of starting a garden in January - seeds are a great place to start Getting Started with seeds Order seeds as companies will run out as the season goes on. If you are a beginner then exercise self control – grow what you like and what is relatively undemanding.  Lettuce, cabbage, peas and beans, beetroot, pumpkins and courgettes are all well within anyone’s reach.  Potatoes and onions are also great for a beginner.  Herbs are also a good choice and also decorative so could perhaps go on the patio or in the flower garden.  Keep records –

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