Thursday, November 27, 2014


"Wishing Everyone A Peaceful Thanksgiving"

A day to give thanks
bring together family and friends to the table

O Gracious God,

     We give you thanks for your overflowing generosity to us.  Thank you for the blessings of the food we eat and especially for this feast today.  Thank you for our home and family and friends, especially for the presence of those gathered here.  Thank you for our health, our work, and our play.  Please send help to those who are hungry, alone, sick, and suffering war and violence.  Open our hearts to your love.  We ask for your blessing through Christ your son.  Amen.

                                                                                                           Prayer by Mary Cronk Farrell


Tuesday, October 28, 2014


"You Got To Love The Viewers"
Kale Power to the Max!
     The juicing/blending fever has spread!  Blog viewer, Tameka, just sent in her juice beverage for the day.
Blast that kale away!
Getting the nutrients
  • Kale
  • Fiber powder
  • Chia seeds
  • Green apple
  • Ginger
  • Almonds
  • Celery
  • Coconut water
  • Lime
                                                                                          Yummy Yum!
(I see someone has a member of the Cucurbita family at her table.) - Glad Tameka invited one of the members to her home.  "Pumpkin Love"


"It's Juicing/Blending Tuesday"
Kale Coconut Blast
Drink Up!

It's Tuesday!  What are we juicing today?
Here is a nice twist to get your vitamin K and blood flow going - A healthy juice that can be for a lite meal substitute.
Blend Away!
  • 1 cup 11oz of coconut water
  • 2 hands full size of fresh kale (prefer organic to avoid pesticides)
  • 1 apple (prefer organic skin too if not organic no skin)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon - (balances sugar levels)
Bottle up and drink away!
Getting freshness the best way you can!

Monday, October 27, 2014


"Final Plants To Was Brought Indoors"
Herb Plants
Yesterday was a nice sunny windy day to bring in the last of the plants from the backyard.  We are still trying to tidy up the backyard to prepare for winter.  There wasn't much stuff to harvest, 2 deformed cucumbers (the plants are practically dead), a few ripe and not ripe tomatoes that fell off the vines, 2 string beans, and a few broccoli and collard green leaves.  Oh yeah- one nice bright yellow sweet pepper!  Unfortunately - the sweet peppers weren't a huge production and took a long time to grow and turn its color.  I understand why it cost so much in the stores!
Broccoli Leaves, Collard Green Leaves, and Yellow Sweet Pepper
I decided to just freeze the leaves until I'm ready to eat it.
Washed and Chopped Broccoli leaves and Collard Green Leaves

Monday, October 20, 2014


Autumn in New York

We had a major reality check yesterday, Sunday, when the temperatures dropped significantly in lower 40F - mid 50F (day) and low 30F (night).  But, Saturday was the better day in sunny 70s.  It was warm enough to work in the backyard to tidy up furniture and bring inside plants that were in pots due to the frost weather approaching. 

Plants that cannot sustain frost weather

When bringing houseplants indoors that were left outside all summer long significant steps should be used:
  • Wipe down all pots with cleaning solution (Anti-bacteria wipes, clorox and water, vinegar and water, or soap and water).  Doing this will kill germs off the pots.
  • Inspect all pots for potential insects/bugs that may have set up shop on your soil or plant itself.  Spray them off with water or use an natural insect repellent solution mix with water, soap, and neem oil.
  • Remove some of the top soil just in case.
My meyer lemon plant had ants crawling all over the base of the trunk and branches.  It took me awhile to try to get them off by spraying vinegar and water around the pot.  Also, I created a liquid solution consist of a little liquid soap, water, and a few drops of neem oil (stuff stinks but kills bacteria and pests) in a spray bottle.  Sprayed the plant and soil.

I harvest some of the following that were ready or bruised up:

Collard Greens got eaten up by pests toward the end of season

Picking through all the leaves and being stung/bitten by an unknown insect (98% believed it was a black spider- very painful and I had on gloves!  Somehow it crawled in - sneaky suckers!) I was able to harvest this...

Organic Collard Greens

Harvest 3 kinds of tomatoes
Yellow Cherry tomato, San Marzano tomato, and Beefsteak tomato

I thoroughly washed and soaked the collard greens in equal parts of vinegar and water.  By doing this helps remove any dirt and tiny pests that may have hidden on the leaves.

Then I chopped up the greens and stored some in freezer bags to put in freezer.

Collard Greens ready for freezer for winter or holiday meals!
And some I cooked with organic green swiss chard, shiitake mushrooms, organic sweet red pepper, onions, a few of those yellow orange tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of organic coconut oil, and a little water for some steam action.  I lightly sauteed it in a pan.

Do not cook the greens long just until leaves are nicely wilted down and bright green

As for those tomatoes I harvest (which had bruises on them) I removed the bad parts and roasted them in a cast iron pan.  Those tomatoes had to be used right away and roasting them was a good way to eat them.

Organic Tomatoes, organic fresh bay leaf, organic purple basil, organic sweet marjoram,
smashed fresh garlic, organic tarragon, organic fresh thyme, dried oregano,
and drizzled organic extra virgin oil

Placed it into the oven for about 30-40 minutes until juice of tomatoes is practically gone.

tomatoes and herbs roasting away!
(be careful when removing the pan - Caution very hot and heavy)

HEALTH TIP:  Cooking tomatoes in a cast iron pan absorbs iron in the food and eating cooked tomatoes are more beneficial than eating them raw.  Cooking tomatoes boost disease fighting power for the body.  The cooking substantially raises the levels of beneficial compounds called phytochemicals.

Roasted tomatoes ready to eat!

Harvest two eggplants - sliced them, placed them in freezer storage bag, and into the freezer it went.

Organic Eggplants

Some lavender flowers were blooming in front of the house.  Grabbed my handy garden shears and took the last of the flowers.

Fresh cut lavender
As a reminder this is the time to make trips to your local Farmer's Market and see what hidden deals you may encounter.  Plus, a lot of nice orange vegetables are in season!

Purple Kale waiting to be taken home
Union Square Farmer's Market

Eucalyptus Plant
at Union Square Farmer's Market

You know I had to grab this plant!  $10 a pot and the last was left.

*Note:  Every Monday blogger Daphne welcomes other gardeners on sharing what they are harvesting

                                                                                             Welcome fall!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


"Raisins Lower Blood Pressure And Reduce Diabetes Risk"
     According to researchers, raisins can help reduce your blood pressure and your risk of type 2 diabetes.  So, what are you snacking?

Thursday, October 2, 2014


"Breakfast On The Go"
The most important meal of the day
Organic Plain Greek Yogurt topped with healthy toppings
A cup of super antioxidant green tea
Good Morning!  Rinse and shine to a healthy breakfast before you start your day.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  This is the first meal of your day that will give you the energy and allows you to focus plus sets the course of your metabolism.  Those that skip out on breakfast put their health at risk with an increase of overweight, obesity, and other aliments (heart disease and type 2 diabetes).  These aliments are the leading causes of death in Americans. 
People who eat breakfast regularly get more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in their diets.  But, it all comes down on the food choices you make.
What's in this bowl?
Jump start your day!
Plain organic Greek yogurt has no sugar added and no preservatives.  Greek yogurts has twice the protein than regular yogurt which is beneficial to keep you full.
Health tip:  Look for yogurts that does not have sugar or high intake of sugar.  Strive for yogurts with less than 8 grams.  Best to eat organic due to the hormones that are put in dairy.  Alternative to dairy yogurts are almond and coconut.  Plain yogurts are better because you can add your own toppings and you are controlling what you put in it.  Yogurts have an added bonus - probiotics.  READ LABELS
Walnuts excellent source of vitamin E, heart healthy monounsaturated fats (omega 3 fatty acids), copper, manganese, biotin (B7), potassium, melatonin, antioxidants, prevents diabetes, improves sperm quality, healthy skin, fends off dementia, prevents pancreatic cancer, lowers breast cancer risk, fights stress, and helps pregnant women reduce the baby's chance in developing food allergies.
Chia Seeds Ch-ch-chia combats diabetes, excellent amount of dietary fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, manganese, maintains a healthy cholesterol - heart friendly, and keeps you full faster.
Pure Maple Syrup nutrient rich in thiamine, manganese, and zinc.
Health tip:  Pure Maple syrup has only 1 ingredient - 100% Maple not artificial, no preservatives, no high fructose corn syrup, and no colorings. Add 1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon to your yogurt for sweetness.
Organic Orange Fruit Spread Vitamin C.

Health tip:  1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon to yogurt.  Look for fruit spread/preserves that has no added sugar, no artificial colorings,  and no preservatives.  READ LABELS

                                                                                 So what are you having for breakfast?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

GENESIS 1:29-30

"King James Version"
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed;  to you it shall be for meat. (29)
And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat;  and it was so.  (30)

Monday, September 22, 2014


"The First Tomato Plant That Bolted Just Before The Summer Was Over"
No longer a thriving tomato plant

This summer 2014 we've planted about 10 tomato plants (san marzano, beefsteak, supersonic, sun sugar tomato "yellow cherry", and yellow tomato.  The san marzano, beefsteak, supersonic, and yellow cherry were starter plants from the store. 

Garden Raised Bed
"Side Frontal View"
Beefsteak Tomatoes, Supersonic Tomatoes, Marigolds, Lavender
Collard Greens, Scallions, Parsley, Sweet Peppers, and Cucumbers

*The tomato plant (inside of the cage) that is behind the collard greens (front) was the first plant to meet its demised yesterday - harvested the last two tomatoes on the plant.  Unfortunately, this plant only put out less than seven tomatoes I think.

Yesterday morning I checked about every plant to see what was ready and what didn't look good.

These tomatoes were no good to eat even though it looks nice and juicy -  saw a hole of tiny worms and blossom end rot... 

Not edible due to pests, blossom end rot, and yellowing of leaves

As you can see some collard greens had met its demised by yellow leaves.

The yellow tomato I grew from seed- remember those seeds I've planted back in late March?  Well, some seedlings survived.  I have transferred the seedlings in the elevated raised bed. 

Garden Elevated Raised Bed
Marigolds, Sweet Red Pepper, Sweet Peppers, Eggplant, Yellow Tomato, Parsley,
Purple Basil, Collard Greens, Lemon Balm, Mustard Green, Rainbow Swiss Chard,
Yellow Cherry Tomato, Kale, Broccoli, and Beets

A nice big eggplant met its demised...

Eggplant demise of baby spider infestation

Two more big eggplants were removed to avoid further spider damage.  Unfortunately they are still hard and taking its time to ripe because the leaves were so big it covered the eggplants.  I have those in the windowsill.  The eggplants were heavy so I had to put up stakes to keep them off the dirt and hold the stem up.  I saw a huge spider hanging out on the leaves - Thank God I had on gloves! 

Eggplant Harvest
September 22, 2014

The insects and developmental stages of how the fruit or vegetable grows are some of the problems you will have when you are growing outside and in the ground.  Weird bugs love to feed on edible things and cause havoc on the plants.  It's always good to inspect every edible food or plant before you eat and bring it home.  Even though you've grown it and didn't spray pesticides, it still needs to be thoroughly wash.  You never know what lurks underneath or within.

Another plant that meant its demised was my friend Tarsha's zucchini plant.  All it did was put out nice big flowers but did not produce.  It started out thriving like this...

Friend Tarsha zucchini plant she planted in a planter box
Unfortunately, yesterday it met its demised.

What seedlings survived?

one string bean seed thrived into a string bean plant - not as big as I thought it would go and only produce one string bean so far

String Bean
September 23, 2014

three broccoli seeds are thriving strong - hasn't formed florets but the stalks are thick.  The sprouts struggled a bit with being eaten by bugs of the unknown.

June 27, 2014
July 20, 2014

September 23, 2014
September 23, 2014

one mustard green seed- started out nicely with baby leaves but not sure what's happening- forming small flowers and seed pods

Mustard Green
June 27, 2014

Mustard Green
(weird long stem with pods)
September 23, 2014

two or three yellow tomato seeds - developed into strong stems and leaves but don't think it will be mature enough before the cold winter kicks in to form flowers and tomatoes.  Too late in the game.

Yellow Tomato Plant
September 23, 2014
one kale seed - sprouting leaves

Kale Plant
September 23, 2014

a few rainbow swiss chard seeds - sprouting leaves

Rainbow Swiss Chard
September 23, 2014

one sweet red pepper seed - at first I couldn't tell what was growing on that mini plant.  The shape of the fruit was weird curled up and the color started out green and then purple and now red.  Unfortunately, only one pepper is growing.

Sweet Red Pepper
September 23, 2014

one beet seed - sprouted somewhere in the raised bed.  The garden elevated raised bed is jam packed.
We really didn't have a hot summer and everything was/is growing slowly.


Thursday, September 18, 2014


"Strengthen The Immune System"
     It's not fall or winter (the seasons when cold, flu, bacterias, and viruses runs rapidly).  But, some people are being sickened at this present time with new viruses that has no cure or treatments.  I complied a list of alternatives that can help those who has a weakened immune system.  If you have been sick at least twice in a year, then you need to strengthen that immune system.  Those who has not (lucky ones), can take heed as well.  As a reminder the digestive system is 70% of your immune system.
  1. PROBIOTICS - having a healthy gut is imperative for a good immune system.  The good bacteria can help fight infections.  A probiotic supplement can significantly boost the body's ability to fight.  Recommend 14 billion - 25 billion multi strain of probiotics that includes B. lactis.  Alternative from the pill supplement is the liquid.  Kefir liquid probiotics is good (see previous posting on kefir and probiotics).
  2. VITAMIN C - prevents colds in children and adults.  Reduces the length of infections.
  3. ZINC - shorten the lengthen of infections.  Alternative from taking pill supplement is zinc lozenges.
  4. ECHINACEA - herb helps prevent and reduce symptoms of infections by 58 percent.  Alternative from taking the pill supplement is the tea.
  5. GOLDENSEAL - known as a herbal antibiotic and immune system enhancer.  Anti-inflammatory and astringent properties.  Alternative to the pill supplement is the tea.
  6. RAW HONEY - anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.  Raw manuka honey is best.  (see previous posting on Manuka Honey).
  7. LEMON - considered as a blood purifier.  Excellent flavonoids and vitamin C. 
  8. VITAMIN D3 -  actively fight diseases and germs.  Prevention 5000 IU of vitamin D3 daily for adults and up to 1,200 IU daily for children.  Alternative to the pill supplement is the liquid.  Please read labels.  (see previous postings on Vitamin D3)
  9. ELDERBERRY - anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-viral, and antioxidant properties.
  10. TURMERIC - anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties.  (see previous posting on turmeric)
  11. GREEN TEA - high antioxidants.  Drink more than 1 cup a day.
  12. GARLIC - 1 raw crushed/smashed clove a day.  If you cannot eat it by itself mix it in tomatoes or avocado or with other herbs rosemary, thyme, and oregano in olive oil. (see previous posting on garlic)
  13. Avoid touching public areas.  Wash hands thoroughly, cover your mouth when coughing, and sneezing.
  14. *update OIL OF OREGANO - protect against bacteria, helps immune system fight off viruses, fungi, and parasites.  Can be uses as a natural insect repellent and antibacterial hand sanitizer.  Alternative to the pill supplement is the liquid.
                                                                                         Strive to be healthy!