Sunday, August 31, 2014


"A Night Preview Of My Garden Summer 2014"

My organic garden
August 29, 2014

Here are some pictures I took on Friday night of my garden after I had just watered it.  It has been a slow growing journey due to New York did not have a heat wave summer season.  But, the past few days temperatures heated up to high 80s and another 90 plants sparked a growth spell jump.  Now, when you enter the backyard you feel like you are in a jungle.

August 29, 2014

August 29, 2014

Collard Greens
August 29, 2014

Freestyle Raised Bed
August 29, 2014
"Enter if you dare"

Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Lavender, Lemongrass, Marigolds,
Collard Greens, Eggplants, Parsley, Scallions, Asparagus, and Green Peppers
August 29, 2014

Elevated Raised Bed
August 29, 2014

Growing In Pots
August 29, 2014

Cucumbers and Eggplants
August 29, 2014

Potted Herbs
Turmeric, Bay Leaves, Sweet Marjoram, Cayenne Peppers,
Rosemary, Tarragon, Thyme, Mint, Sage, and Oregano
August 29, 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014


"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago."
                                                                     Quote Warren Buffett
The growing season continues... While attending the family reunion last month I've noticed cousin Darrel had an apple tree right in the middle of his front yard.  How about that a nice size apple tree (organic apples)!
"What are you growing?"
Living It Up Alternatively
Viewer Darrel 

Apple Tree
The Gift that keeps on giving


Friday, August 22, 2014


"I have been impressed with the urgency of doing.  Knowing is not enough;  we must apply.  Being willing is not enough;  we must do."
                                                                     Quote Leonardo Da Vinci
More blog viewers are still sending in what they are growing for summer 2014.  Summer season is not over yet. 
"What are you growing?"

Living It Up Alternatively
Viewer Kendall

"A few months ago I've planted three pineapple crowns.  I had saved the crowns off the pineapples we've bought and planted them in the ground.  Here is what it looks like now..."
3 pineapple crowns (center row)
and our other garden plants


Wednesday, August 20, 2014


"Someone was waiting in the shadows for IT!"
Feels like "each his own" these days

It's hard to get a nice sweet ripe fruit these days without someone snatching it before you can grab it.  This time I covered the fig tree plant over with bird netting to protect the figs.  Last year, my nephew and I missed out on a nice big juicy ripe fig.  He wanted to take it off the tree but I told him wait until later.  Sure enough someone waited for us to leave and bit a chunk off.  So this year I tried to get one step ahead of the snatchers but I guess the snatchers outsmarted my ass.

Repotted Fig Tree
Summer 2014

I had this fig tree plant for over two years.  I bought it at the Union Square Farmer's Market for $15 and it was half this size with figs already on it.  My friend and I repotted it in late May.

Figs have excellent health benefits:

  • Lowers high blood pressure
  • Weight management
  • Protects against breast cancer
  • Anti-diabetic properties (the leaves and fruit)
  • Potassium
  • Fiber
  • Protection against macular degeneration
  • Manganese
Fresh figs are in season from June - September.

Got to get it while you got it...

Organic fresh ripe Brown Turkey Fig

 Nothing beats a fresh fig - not even a fig newton cookie.

Fig on top of yogurt

 So, have you tried a fresh fig?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


"Alternative Health Power"


Peaches are known as "the fruit of calmness" in Hungary.  In China, it is the symbol of "longevity and good luck."
Now, it is known to the world as one of the number one breast cancer fighter of foods.  Recently, researchers at Texas A&M revealed that peaches contains two antioxidants (polyphenols) that can help kill breast cancer cells and keep the healthy cells intact.  This study finding was published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.  "They found it essentially caused the most aggressive cancer cells to commit suicide."
Peaches has the ability to inhibit the cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body.  The natural antioxidants (polyphenols) are found on the skin.  Peaches that are most red (see in picture) have the more cancer fighting compounds. 

*Update:  Peaches are good for the liver, blood circulation, intestinal tract, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, uterus, eliminating blood toxins, and menstrual pain.  For a more in depth on the research of peaches from the Alternative Chinese Medicine stand point click here
Fresh fruit is better.  Frozen is the second best.  But canned peaches do not pack the same fighting punch you get with fresh fruit.  Organic is best no pesticides.  If you are not lucky to have a peach tree in your backyard or cannot spend on organic produce, then thoroughly wash the fruit.
You can wash with equal parts of water and vinegar to limit bacteria and pesticides.  This procedure can be done to all fruits and vegetables.

Peaches in equal parts water and vinegar

Health tip:  Eat at least three peaches a day.  Plums and nectarines are good as well.

*Update Health tip:  "According to Chinese medicine, women should eat one fresh peach per day or half a cup of sun-dried unsulphured peaches every second day near the time of the menstrual cycle.  It is helpful for blood circulation within the intestinal tract and blood surrounding the uterus."

In conclusion, the research finding is astonishing- Peaches cut your risk of breast cancer by 40% (2-3 whole peaches).  We have hope in trying to beat this deadly disease.  It's imperative that we all keep up on medical research to find out what can we do to help prevent diseases from attacking our bodies.  Don't stay in the clouds of not knowing start seeking for answers and solutions.
By the way,  breast cancer is not only for women.  Men are accessible as well.   Highly recommend do self exams, keep up with your mammograms, and if something is not right seek help. 

Friday, August 15, 2014


"Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!"
                                                                                                     Quote Audrey Hepburn

Once again...Blog viewers and followers are sending in pictures of what they are growing for summer 2014.  This viewer is not letting her obstacle in not having the space by a window,  terrace, patio, front yard, or backyard stand in her way of growing.

"What are you growing?"

Living It Up Alternatively
Viewer Tarsha


"I started back using my Aerogarden.  It is a indoor aeroponic gardening appliance in which you can grow herbs, vegetables, and flowers.  I have it set up on my kitchen table."

Look how much my greens are growing

"I am growing musclin mix, the big greens in the back are arugula, salad greens, romaine lettuce, deers tongue, and baby greens."


Thursday, August 14, 2014


"Limitations live only in our minds.  But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless."
                                                                                    Quote Jamie Paolinetti

Continuing on... Blog followers and viewers are sending in their pictures of what they are growing for summer 2014.

"What are you growing?"

Living It Up Alternatively
Viewer Vanessa

"I finally planted my first tomato plant.  I'm placing it right outside of my apartment."

Tomato Plant

"Check out my ripe tomato."

1st ripe tomato

"I'm so excited!"



Wednesday, August 13, 2014


"Go to the people.  Learn from them.  Live with them.  Start with what they know.  Build with what they have.  The best of leaders when the job is done, when the task is accomplished, the people will say we have done it ourselves."
                                                                                        Quote Lao Tzu

It goes on.  Blogger viewers and followers are sending their pictures of what they are growing for summer 2014.

"What are you growing?"

Living It Up Alternatively
Viewers The Wallers

Canna Lilies

Peach tree

Pear tree

"Enjoying the fruits of our labor."

                                                                                             The Wallers

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


"Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful."
                                                                                     Quote Joshua J. Marine

Blog followers and viewers continues to send in pictures of what they have planted for the summer 2014.
"What are you growing?"

Living It Up Alternatively
Follower Tamika

"I always wanted to grow something but thought I didn't have the green thumb to succeed in doing it.  Finally, I decided to have the kids help me grow a spaghetti squash in a pot."

Beginning Stage of Spaghetti Squash

"Then on Sunday August 3, 2014..."

"My spaghetti squash seed is growing!"

 "I did it."


"Our spaghetti squash now..."

"It's flowering!"
Spaghetti Squash
August 20, 2014


Monday, August 11, 2014


"Aways do your best.  What you plant now, you will harvest later."
                                                                                 Quote Og Mandino
I'm kicking off the week for the dedicated blog followers and viewers who sent in pictures and messages what they planted.  If you are growing something in your backyard garden, patio, terrace, rooftop, in front your door, community garden, or in your apartment in the window please send in pictures and I will show it off.
"What are you growing?"
Living It Up Alternatively
Follower Shital

"I just picked these tomatoes and peppers from my dad's yard."

"Two peppers were only ready to be harvest.  They are so delicious with omelet or scrambled eggs.  I'm about to make homemade spaghetti sauce."
Shital's homemade Tomato Sauce

"It's just something I got from all, and mixed in with what came to my head":

5 of the tomatoes from the garden
2 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic
1 small to medium onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup red wine (of course it's optional)
1/2 cup tomato paste
salt and freshly ground black pepper, enough for your specific taste
I used the two chili peppers, but it's optional (not everyone likes spicy food)
pinch sugar

First I boiled the tomatoes to remove skin and seeds. If you don't get all the seeds out, it's ok. Then I pureed the tomatoes with food processor, hand held blender, etc. After the tomatoes were ready, then, sautéed onions, garlic, and bay leaves in oil. Add the salt and pepper and stir until onions and garlic start browning, low to medium heat. Once they brown to a nice color, add wine, if you are using it, then stir for a minute or two. Then add the tomatoes, sugar and tomato paste. Stir and let sauté for a good 10 to 15 minutes on low heat. Some say that it's best to cook the sauce as long as possible. However I didn't have the time, and since I pureed the tomatoes beforehand, I was happy to with the texture and thickness, without having to spend an entire day stirring it. Feel free to modify in any way.
Dinner is served!
It was delicious!
"Definitely try the sauce recipe.  Thanks!"