Category Archives: Gardening

Spinach Facts/Recipe

Spinach Facts/Recipe

Spinach is one of the healthiest vegetables out there.  Cooked or raw, spinach has a mild flavor.  Extremely easy to grow in your garden.  Watch that is doesn’t bolt during the hot summer months.

Toss spinach in salads, smoothies, and soups or add to egg dishes, pasta dishes and the list goes on.

Six reasons to add this super veggie to your diet.

  1.  High levels of vitamin K and magnesium.  Promotes good bone health and helps regulate blood sugar levels.
  2. High levels of potassium.  Helps reduce blood pressure and cut the risk of stroke and death from heart disease.
  3. Tons of Vitamin A.  Hair and skin stay hydrated.
  4. Add spinach to your diet helps lower the risk of asthma.
  5. Zeaxanthin and lutein help prevent age related vision problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
  6. Spinach greens helps slow age related decline in brain function.  You can than nutrients like folate found in spinach.Keep Spinach fresh:  Store spinach loosely packed in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator.  Should keep for around 4 days.  Wash spinach just before using, other wise it will spoil if you wash it first and then store

Spinach and Mushroom Saute

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic minced
4 hand full of spinach or 6 ounce bag of spinach
salt and pepper to taste.  (optional)

In a large skillet heat oil.  Add the mushrooms and saute for 3 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another minute.

Add spinach by the hand full.  Cook and stir until wilted.

Season with salt and pepper and ENJOY!  Gnocchi with Peas Sautéed Fresh Green Beans





Eggshells How to Use


Eggshells How to Use

For most people when you have cracked your eggs and used them the shells go into the trash.  Well there are many different uses for your eggshells.  Follow along and from now on don’t be throwing out those eggshells so fast.

Eggshells and How to Use Them

  1.  Sidewalk Chalk.  Finely grind 10 eggshells.  1 teaspoon hot water, 1 teaspoon flour, food coloring.  Mix everything together.  Pack into a toilet roll and let dry.  Peel off toilet roll and you have sidewalk chalk.
  2. Garden.  Throw crushed eggshells or whole eggshells all year-long into your garden to increase calcium.  They will crush when tilled.
  3. Compost.  Add those eggshells to your compost.
  4. Seedlings.  Start seedling in eggshells by placing dirt in the bottom of the shell.  Add your seed.  I like to place the eggshell back into the egg carton.  Transplant when bigger, eggshell and all.  Be sure to crush the eggshell before transplanting.
  5. Stops slugs and cut worms.  Place crushed eggshells around your garden plants.  The slugs and cut worms won’t crawl over them.
  6. Plant Food.  Eggshells make wonderful plant food.  Crush eggshells and place in an old jar.  Fill the jar with water.  Store in a dark area.  Water once a week with the calcium water.
  7. Chickens.  Feed your crushed eggshells back to your chickens.  Better and cheaper than purchasing oyster shells.
  8. Pets.  Turn eggshells into powder and sprinkle some over your cat or dogs food.  Gives the a calcium boost.
  9. Toilet.  Make an eggshell pass with powdered eggshells.  Add water to form a paste.  Scrub the lime ring and clean the whole toilet.
  10. Bird Feeder.  Empty feeder.  Rinse with warm water.  Add 3 crushed eggshells.  Fill halfway with warm water.  Shake hard for a few minutes.  Rinse completely.
  11. Pots and Pans.  5 Tablespoons powdered eggshells.  Add water to make a paste.  Use like a soft scrub cleaner.  Farm Eggs to Wash or Not.

Garden Fertilizers DIY

Garden Fertilizer DIY

Garden season is fast approaching and there are many things that need to be done before it is time to plant all those wonderful seedlings and plants in the ground.  There are many simple fertilizers that can be used and they are free or cost very little money.  Stop purchasing the expensive fertilizer and start making your own.

First we need to talk about nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium and what they do for your garden.

Nitrogen promotes leaf and plant growth.
Phosphorous stimulates root growth.
Potassium promotes flower and fruit development.

Fertilizer #1.  Wood Ash.  Apply straight to the garden.  Till in around 5 pounds to every 100 square feet.  Wood ash adds calcium and potassium.  Great for root growth, seed and fruit formation.

Fertilizer #2.  Egg Shells.  Loaded with calcium.  Crumble the eggshells and drop in the bottom of your planting hole.  Dig them into the soil around the base of your tomato plants.  Stops slugs from getting to your plants.  Calcium deficiency will cause blossom rot in your tomatoes.

Garden Fertilizer DIY

Fertilizer #3.  Gelatin.  Gelatin is a great source of nitrogen.  Dissolve one package of gelatin in 1 cup of hot water.  Add 3 cups cold water and mix.  Pour directly on the soil around plants once a month.  Perfect for houseplants.

Fertilizer #4.  Fish Fertilizer.  Take the leftover fish heads and insides from the fish you have cleaned, or I go down to our local fish market and get a bucket full of fish parts.  Mix 1 part fish to 2 parts water.  I use an old 5 gallon bucket.  Place in an airtight container and set in a sunny spot.  Stir every 2 to 3 days.  Yes it will smell horrible.  Let steep for 2 weeks.  Spread 3 gallons to every 100 square feet.  Great source of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous and amino acids.

Fertilizer #5  Powdered Milk.  Powdered milk provides calcium to your soil.  Just sprinkle the powdered milk into sold before planting.

Fertilizer #6.  Epsom Salts.  Combine 1 Tablespoon epsom salt to 1 gallon of water.  Spray your plants.  Full of magnesium with helps with plant growth.  Roses, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and houseplants benefit from epsom salt.


How to Grow Phlox

How to Grow Phlox
How to Grow Phlox

Looking for a perfect ground cover choose creeping, woodland or moss phlox.  Low growing to the ground and comes in several colors.

Creeping Phlox is what is pictured and is filling the space perfectly.  So pretty!

Garden and meadow phlox, produce taller plants.  Most commonly used in gardens, borders and for edging.  Be sure to choose the variety that fits your garden space.  Enjoy their gorgeous star – shaped blossoms.

Phlox are hardy, low maintenance flowers that do well in most locations.  They do like full sun.  There are some varieties that are tolerant to partial or filtered shade.

Keep Phlox well watered.  Water from the base of the plant.

When looking for some beautiful flowers this year don’t overlook the Phlox.  ENJOY!


Aronia Berry






You see before you a Aronia Berry Bush.  Many of you may have never heard of such a bush.  In my grandfather and great grandfathers day the bush was called a Chokeberry Bush.

Over the years as land was cleared for houses and farming the Chokeberry Bush or Aronia Berry Bush disappeared.

It has taken us many years to realize what a mistake removing the Aronia Berry Bush was.

I have several recipes for Aronia Berries, first let me explain why eating these berries are so important.

Aronia Berry is the new superfood.  These berries have a high concentration of anthocyanin, which has powerful inflammatory properties, thought to slow cancer growth.    More research has shown that a regular diet that included Aronia Berries can low your risk of diabetes and heart disease.  The high antioxidant content doesn’t change whether the Aronia Berry is fresh, frozen or dried.

The Aronia Berry has a tart flavor when eaten fresh.  Many people mistake them for blueberries, because they look so much like blueberries.

Freshly picked ARONIA BERRIES (chokeberries)



Use these berries to make Smoothies, Juice, Syrup, Bread, Jam, add them to muffins and to granola.  Coming up will be some recipes for you to try making with this new superfood.  ENJOY!

Peppermint Tea





Really wish there was a way you could take a nice long deep whiff of this peppermint tea.

Smells so wonderful.  Smells so fresh and well it just makes me happy.

Plus it is so EASY, anyone could have fresh Peppermint Tea anytime they want.


First you have to grow some peppermint.  Start a herb garden and be sure to add this to your list of item to plant.

Start a container with some peppermint growing and move it in doors when the weather turns harsh.  This way you will always have fresh peppermint for all kinds of uses.

After you have grown your peppermint, you will want to dry it completely.  I like to cut my peppermint into bunches and let it dry outside for a couple of days in the hot sun.  You can tie your peppermint in a bundle and hang it up to dry.  Just lay your peppermint out on a clean surface and rotate.

After a couple days I like to dehydrate all my peppermint at once.  Leave it on the stem and place your peppermint in you food dehydrator.  Mine take a good 6 to 8 hours to finish drying completely.  Just continue to check it every few hours until your peppermint is dry.

Holding the stem with one hand, use your other hand to run it down the stem and your dried peppermint will fall into your bowl.  Store in a sealed container.

To make your fresh peppermint tea, using a tea ball place your dried peppermint into the tea ball.  Heat your water to boiling and place your tea ball into the hot water.  Letting it steep for 3 to 4 minutes or longer.  Depends on how strong you want your tea.

See how simple and easy it is to have fresh peppermint tea whenever you desire.  ENJOY!







Kitchen Herb Garden


Growing a kitchen herb garden is easier than a vegetable garden.  Start simple.  Only plant what you will be using in your kitchen the first time around.  Plant your herbs close to the house, or use pots.  You want to have your herbs easy to run out and pick as your cooking.

Using freshly picked herbs can’t be beat.  As the season goes on there will be more herbs then you could possibly use.  That is the time to dry them.  Fresh is the best, drying your own herbs runs a close second.  Have you checked out the price of herbs in the store?  How long have they been sitting in that jar on the shelf?  You control all of those questions when you grow and dry your own kitchen herbs.

Here are 10 herbs which are great to start out with.  They are your basic herbs you will be using to make your dry mixes and use in everyday cooking.

BASIL – When flowering tops appear cut them off to encourage new growth.  Toss into foods at end of cooking.

CHIVES – Trim often to prolong production.  Divide clumps to promote better growth after couple years.  Toss in at end of cooking.

CILANTRO – Easy herb to grow, doesn’t transplant well.  Let cilantro go to seed.  Harvest the seeds and you have CORIANDER. Two herbs in one.  You can eat cilantro leaves, stems and roots.

MINT – Perennial and is aggressive.  Best to grow in pot or area by its self.

PARSLEY – Use at end of cooking.  Great dried.

SAGE – Perennial. Use fresh, be sure to dry for stuffing and dressing in November.

OREGANO/MARJORAM – Easy to grow.  Great dried.

ROSEMARY – Can be kept indoors during winter.  Great dried. Use in vegetables and baked goodies.

THYME – Used in meats and vegetables.  Great dried.

This will get you started in your Kitchen Herb Garden.  Happy growing!

Planting Garden Seeds

Winter is finally coming to an end!  My mailbox is overflowing with seed catalogs, with all kinds of beautiful garden plants and flowers.  Buying garden or flowers that are already started is easier.  Cost wise is very, very expensive.  Here is a simple, cost effective way to grow some of those flowers or garden goodies from seeds.

Yes, the pictures is correct.  You see recycled toilet rolls.  Paper towels work, but you have to cut them down.

On one end of the roll, make four cuts so you can fold down the sides to make a bottom.  I used alittle tape to keep the bottom closed.  Fill the roll with some of that compost you have on hand.  Water, but don’t drown the rolls.  Put you seeds in.  Place in a sunshiny place.  Keep moist.

Watch those seedlings come to life.  When its time to plant, just undo the bottom and put the whole thing into your garden.  The roll will protect from cut worms.  It will biodegrade.
Get your kids, nieces, nephews involved in helping you garden.  They will love it.