Monday, June 30, 2014

Meatless Monday JULY LINK UP!

Welcome to our first Meatless Monday PARTY!
Joining me today is Lydia from Lydia's Flexitarian Kitchen
and of course we're live at Mary's Kitchen and Back to the Basics!

This party is LIVE for an entire month!!!  Each week you'll have another chance to add your meatless creations to the party.

On to my Meatless meal for the week...

Veggie "Spaghetti"
Spaghetti Squash
organic pasta sauce
1/2 an eggplant, chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
garlic, optional

Cook spaghetti squash accordingly.  
Check out "How to Cook Spaghetti Squash"

Saute onion and eggplant in coconut oil until cooked (approx 10 mins).  Add pasta sauce on medium heat for another 3-5 minutes.

Place cooked squash in a pasta bowl and top with veggie sauce.

Simple, easy and meat free!

The only "rule" to this party is that your recipe is completely meat-free.  I do ask that you try to share only recipes using real food.  We're all about healthy recipes here and I'd like to keep it that way.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Detoxing with Diatomaceous Earth

Have you read my older article "Do You Eat Dirt? and Why You Should"?  It was a good one.  My husband calls Diatomaceous Earth "dirt."  We consume Food Grade DE on a regular basis for health reasons.

From Natural News, "Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a naturally occurring rock made from the skeletons of fossilized diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. When ground into a fine powder, diatomaceous earth works mechanically to destroy a wide range of pests, insects, parasites and pathogens by cutting through the exoskeleton, absorbing bodily fluids and causing them to die. Food grade diatomaceous earth is chemical-free and non toxic."

"Add diatomaceous earth to your diet to detox parasites that can contribute to food intolerance, nausea, bowel discomfort, pain, itching, asthma, sinus infections, Morgellon's disease, and a host of other allergic-type reactions.

DE detoxes mercury, cadmium, lead and other heavy metals; removes poisons from chemtrails, radiation and may alleviate the effects of GMOs. DE possesses antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties.

In addition to detoxing and destroying pathogens, diatomaceous earth helps to lower blood pressure and contributes to the production of collagen to improve skin tone, strengthening the tendons and joints."

Consume only FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous Earth.  Never consume industrial grade DE which is what people use in their swimming pools.

From Melissa at Integrative Nutritional Therapies, "What I love most about DE is that it acts just like a scrubbing tool inside your digestive tract and then breaks down and helps absorb all your toxins."

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is available at Mary's Heirloom Seeds.

Dosage for Humans
1/2 teaspoon for adults for the first week in the a.m. with a large glass of water. After week one slowly ramp up to 1 teaspoon, then after the second week, ramp up to 1 Tablespoon with a full 8 ounces of water per day, preferably on an empty stomach. Be sure to stir your mixture consistently as DE tends to settle to bottom of glass. Consistency is key for true results, plan to use for 30 days.

Diatomaceous Earth for Weight Loss
Our bodies produce natural toxins and we inhale or consume others on a day to day basis. Accumulation of these toxins in the body tends to slow down digestion and promotes the production of cholesterol in the body. The toxins are stored in our fat cells and make it very difficult for us to lose weight. Several studies have also linked the accumulation of toxins to weight gain.

These studies found that toxins decrease our body’s ability to burn fat which is why it is important to detoxify. Weight loss using Diatomaceous Earth is possible thanks to its detoxifying effects. 

DE has been the easiest way for me to detox.  I don't have to consume 20 pills a day or drink only liquids for a week.  All I have to do is drink my "dirt" every morning before I drink my coffee or eat breakfast.  That's it!  Would you like to Detox with Diatomaceous Earth?  Go get some!
FDA Disclaimer
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. But really, the FDA approved GMOs so do I really care about their approval? Nope!

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

What's Really Killing the Honeybees?

I signed up to receive updates from Food Revolution. 
A recent mailing included the following:

The honey bee is responsible for 80 percent of pollination worldwide.

Bee populations have been falling fast around the world, and dropped an alarming 23% in the U.S. last winter.

A strong and growing body of evidence points to exposure to a class of neurotoxic pesticides called neonicotinoids — the fastest-growing and most widely used class of synthetic pesticides — as a key contributing factor to bee declines.

Food Revolution Summit speaker Michele Simon has issued a new report in conjunction with Friends Of the Earth. She details how three of the leading pesticide corporations — Bayer, Syngenta, and Monsanto —  are engaged in a massive public relations disinformation campaign to distract the public and policymakers from thinking that pesticides might have something to do with bee death and destruction.

Get the alarming truth, and find out what you can do to help, here.

Yours for the bees,

Ocean Robbins

P.S. Bees are responsible for pollinating apples, almonds, berries, and many other things. It’s important to have the truth about the pesticide company’s misinformation campaigns so you can be informed and take action for the bees. Find out more here.

Do I have your attention???  The planet is being poisoned and (IMHO) the Honeybees are the "canary in the coal mine."
I have shared honeybee deaths and CCD info here MANY times.  There many ways YOU can help the honeybees.

-Add Milkweed to your garden.  GREAT for Monarch Butterflies as well
Tropical Milkweed
- Plant WILDFLOWERS from seeds!  Buying from home depot and lowes will KILL your bees since they use neonictinoids.
Mammoth Black Sunflower
-Watch Vanishing of the Bees and recommend to your friends and family.  Heck, share it with strangers!  It’s an amazing movie and you can find in on Netflix and a short chip on youtube.

-Stay away from using harsh chemicals in your garden and yard.  Most chemical pesticides also kill beneficial insects.
-Support your local beekeepers.  Buying local honey is a great way to show your support and is a delicious treat.  It has been suggested that eating local honey can help with seasonal allergies.  Local honey is also eco-friendly as it does not have to travel thousands of miles and possibly contain nasty chemical additives.
-Learn more about bees, beekeeping and CCD.  Have you ever considered backyard beekeeping?  Now would be a great time to learn more!
The Florida Raw Honey Giveaway is open through 6/30/14. 

The HUGE $1 and $2 Heirloom, Non-GMO Seed Sale is open through 7/1/14

Bees are vital the Human Survival.  Without bees, we have no food.
Don't let pesticide companies continue to profit while the world's 
honeybee population dies.  Get out there and help save the bees!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

$1 and $2 Heirloom Seed Pack SALE!!!

Do you have room for more seeds?
Ready to stock up for next season or next school year?
Don't forget to add Organic Wildflowers for the BEES!

Mary's Heirloom Seeds
Using Coconut Coir Pellets for Seed Starting
Quick Links
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Sprout Jar
Mary's Sprouting Kit with Seeds

Mung bean1
Organic Mung Beans
June 24, 2014

Lately I have been overwhelmed at all of the positive feedback!  Each and every day it is our goal to share organic growing and sustainable growing info.

Now more than ever, growing heirloom, un-treated,  Non-GMO seeds is vital to seed diversity, the health of the earth and so much more.

When we are able, we like to offer BIG savings on heirloom seeds and today is one of those days!  Please share!
BIG Savings NOW through July 1st

Ace 55 Tomato $1
Self-Blanching Cauliflower $1
Arugula $2
Ready for more???
Brussels Sprouts $1
Tom Thumb Lettuce $2
Black Beauty Eggplant $1
Roma Tomato seeds $1
Genovese Basil $1

Shipping on Heirloom Seeds is FREE!
$6 minimum order
All of the seeds listed are open-pollinated, non-gmo and non-hybrid, non-patented,  untreated, heirloom garden seeds.
Mary has signed the Safe Seed pledge.  
If you have additional questions please feel free to ask.  
We usually reply within a few hours (unless we're at the farmer's market). 
Thanks you and have a wonderful day!
Happy Planting,

Growing Squash from Seed to Harvest

Are you ready for another addition to our 2014 Plant Guide?

Summer squash is a vegetable gardening favorite, and it’s easy to grow.  Think of yellow crookneck squash, zucchini, or pattypan and scallop squash. These squash grows well in containers, too.
Preferred Growing Conditions
Vegetables tend to all like the same growing conditions: full sun, and well drained soil full of organic matter. Organic matter, organic matter, organic matter… Are you sick of hearing about it yet? Organic matter contributes to the health of the soil: gives soil nutrients, aerates soil for better root growth, helps soil retain moisture, while at the same times allows soil to drain better.

So, for the health of your plants, make sure your soil has organic matter. I wouldn’t keep saying it if it weren’t important.

The easiest way to add organic matter is to just work a little compost into your soil. Get a composter (or make your own) and make your own by recycling kitchen and yard waste. Or, buy compost or a soil amendment will do the same thing. But, it’s cheaper just to go ahead and make your own compost.

How to Plant Summer Squash
Rethink how many summer squash plants you need. It just takes a few plants to feed a family. Plant summer squash in a container, or a garden. Here’s how:
For planting summer squash in containers, make sure your pot is at least 12 inches wide, that’s about a 5 gallon pot. Pots will dry out fast. That will be your biggest container gardening obstacle. Consider using a fabric pot or a self watering planter, so help control the soil moisture level.

Soil temperature should be about 70 degrees Fahrenheit before you plant your summer squash. Plant seeds ½ inches deep and six inches apart. Thin out after seedlings after they emerge, but will need at least two leaves to keep growing. Mature bush summer squash plants should be 20 inches apart in rows that are spaced 2 feet apart. If growing a vine variety, planting in hills works well. Plant about 5 seeds per hill. After seedlings emerge and are established, thin to three plants. Stake or provide a trellis for vining varieties.

Transplanting is a good idea with summer squash, too. Start seeds indoors about four weeks prior to the last frost date. Don’t forget to harden off your seedlings, meaning slowly adjust them to the outdoor climate and sun.

Consider staggering you plantings of summer squash too. Planting two weeks apart can keep you harvesting summer squash a little longer. And, don’t forget you get a lot of summer squash from one plant. I think that is why sometimes squash gets a bad wrap. It’s a great tasting vegetable, and easy to grow.
Golden Crookneck Squash
Companion Plants for Summer Squash
Beans, corn, cucumbers, icicle radishes, melon, mint, onions and pumpkin. Helpers: Borage deters worms, improves growth and flavor. Marigolds deters beetle. Nasturtium deters squash bugs and beetles. Oregano provides general pest protection. Dill may repel the squash bug that will kill your squash vines. Generously scatter the dill leaves on your squash plants. Keep squash away from potatoes.

Maintaining Your Summer Squash Plants
Consistent watering is key with summer squash. Mulch helps a lot with maintaining soil moisture. So, put a good layer of mulch down around summer squash plants. Provide a trellis for support for vining summer squashes to grow.

You might need to assist with pollination. If you are growing just a few plants, you might have to help. Here’s how to do it, and no, you probably didn’t learn this in school. The first flowers that bloom are males. These appear about 40-50 days after planting. A week later the female flowers develop, which will produce the fruit after fertilized by the male flowers. So, to help: pick the first male blooms and brush them against the female bloom. This will help increase the output of summer squash.

When to Use Organic Fertilizer
Use an organic fertilizer on summer squash at the time of transplanting. Fertilize again, in about a month. Organic fertilizer is important. We need safe, healthy foods. But also, you don’t want to endanger any beneficial insect helping you with your pollination duties.

Harvesting Summer Squash
Harvest summer squash early. They will taste better when tender, and you’ll want to keep the fruit off the plant so it keeps producing. So, pick when the summer squash is about 2 inches in diameter, or 6-8 inches long. Pattypan squash is best when it reaches 3 inches in diameter, and is still a little pale. If your Pattypan squash gets a little larger, those are great to stuff.

Summer Squash Pests and Diseases
Don’t forget to check summer squash plants for pests often. Squash bugs will set in pretty quickly. They will be your biggest pest problems. Ok, cucumber beetles like summer squash plants, too. Neem oil is a great organic choice to get rid of these bugs.  Use DIATOMACEOUS EARTH from the very beginning to deter bugs!
Keep an eye out, too, for these pests and diseases: bacteria wilt, squash vine borers, mosaic virus, and mildew. 
All winter squash varieties are easy to grow, and butternuts, buttercups and other types with dense flesh can stand in for carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes in any recipe.

Butternut squash combine rich flavor and smooth texture with natural resistance to squash vine borers. These bottle-shaped fruits have buff-brown rinds and will store for six months or longer.
Butternut Squash
In spring, sow seeds in prepared beds or hills after your last frost has passed, or sow them indoors under bright fluorescent lights. Set out seedlings when they are about three weeks old. In Zone 6 and warmer, you can plant more winter squash in early summer, using space vacated by fall-planted garlic or early spring lettuce. Stop planting winter squash 14 weeks before your expected first fall frost.

How to Plant Winter Squash
Winter squash grows best in warm conditions, in fertile, well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. Choose a sunny site and prepare 3-foot-wide planting hills within wide rows, or position them along your garden’s edge. Leave 5 to 6 feet between hills. Loosen the soil in the planting sites to at least 12 inches deep. Thoroughly mix in a 2-inch layer of mature compost and a light application of balanced, organic fertilizer. Water well. Plant six seeds per hill, poking them into the soil 1 inch deep. After seeds germinate (about 10 days after sowing), thin seedlings to three per hill. Set up protective row covers as soon as you’re done planting.
Spaghetti Squash
Harvesting and Storage
Fruits are ripe if you cannot easily pierce the rind with your fingernail. Never rush to harvest winter squash, though, because immature fruits won’t store well. Unless pests or freezing weather threaten them, allow fruits to ripen until the vines begin to die back. Expect to harvest three to five squash per plant. Use pruning shears to cut fruits from the vine, leaving 1 inch of stem attached. Clean away dirt with a soft, damp cloth, and allow fruits to cure for two weeks in a spot that’s 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Store cured squash in a cool, dry place, such as your basement, a cool closet or even under your bed. Check every two weeks for signs of spoilage.

Winter squash face challenges from squash bugs, squash vine borers and cucumber beetles. To defend your plants from all three insects, shield them with row covers held aloft with stakes or hoops until the plants begin to bloom. Big, healthy plants will produce well despite pest pressure. Among diseases, powdery mildew is a common problem best prevented by growing resistant varieties, which often have “PMR” (for “powdery mildew resistance”) after their variety names. In addition, a spray made of 1 part milk and 6 parts water can suppress powdery mildew if applied every two weeks during the second half of summer.

Winter Squash Growing Tips and Ideas
Grow open-pollinated varieties so you can save your own seeds for eating and replanting. Only choose hybrids if you need a space-saving bush habit or a special form of disease resistance.

Try growing winter squash in an old compost pile located along the edge of your garden. Small-fruited varieties do well if allowed to scramble up a fence.

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Tuesdays with a Twist #64 and a Giveaway!

Good Morning and Welcome to another No Rules Party!
Have you ever considered going Meatless on Monday?  I have decided to go back to eating meatless on Monday...Check out my recipes at Mary's Kitchen Meatless Monday.

We have a Florida Raw Honey GIVEAWAY going on through 6/30/14
 Open to all US Residents!

Back to the Basics

We're your hosts 
Mary @ Back to the Basics and Mary's Kitchen
Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures
Angie @ God's Growing Garden
Debra @ MsMoozy's Open House
Deb @ Kneaded Creations
Please give a warm welcome to Carole @ GardenUp Green 

Southern Style Pepper Sauce from Living at My Farmhouse

Cooking with Fresh Herbs from Easy Life Meal and Party Planning

If you've been featured we'd love for you to grab a button.

Back to the Basics

The party starts every Tuesday at 7am EST and will continue until Friday at 11:59pm.  Feel free to stop back any time and "like" your favorites.  Please visit other blogs if you have a moment. 
Share older posts as well as new ones.  No limit on links!
*Pictures should be your own* 
By linking up you give us permission to use these photos
 (with proper link backs) in our features.   And now for the party!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Florida Honey GIVEAWAY - Raw & Unpasturized!

Good Morning!  Today I have a spontaneous giveaway opportunity for you from a fellow vendor at the farmer's market.
Bees enjoy Wildflowers!
Sheila runs Nature's Treasures Store at the Yellow Green Farmer's Market.  I was THRILLED when she asked me to help her raise awareness about BEES and the benefits of RAW, un-pasteurized, real honey.
Raw Florida Honey
Did you know that 70% of store-bought honey is fake?  Did you know that if you purchase honey from the store that it has been pasteurized?  Like most food items, boiling kills the beneficial nutrients.  The benfits of raw honey are amazing!

With increased usage of chemicals and pesticides, humans are killing bees at an alarming rate.  This is one of the many reasons I recommend you grow your veggies and fruits using organic methods.  Companion planting is the simplest form of pest control and requires NO CHEMICALS!
According to Florida Dept of Agriculture:
"Colony Collapse Disorder, also known as Fall-Dwindle Disease, is of great concern to beekeepers worldwide. Beekeepers are reporting the sudden loss of adult bees in their colonies – few, if any, adult bees are found in or near the dead colonies. Queen and baby (brood) bees remain in the colonies, but the adults are not returning to provide food, so the colonies collapse or die. Over 22 US states reported significant colony losses in the fall of 2006. Similar reports are coming from Europe as well. Researchers are considering viruses, bacteria, fungi, weather, food loss, and other stresses as possible causes."

Find out more about CCD.  So next time you decide to purchase honey, buy Local!  Next time you plant a veggie garden, consider planting a few flowers and herbs for the BEES.  And PLEASE, stop using chemicals and pesticides in your garden!

So today we bring you a GIVEAWAY!  
This opportunity is open to US Residents and ends 6/30/14.

This first prize is the Florida Honey 3-pack and the Second winner will receive the Homemade-Style Apple Butter.  That's 2 chances to WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway