Ok I totally have been M.I.A. (the life of a busy Mom sigh…) but the show has not stopped here at home and abroad! 

The first two pics show what I planted this morning: a banana pepper plant my daughter gave to me for Mothers Day that I planted in a cut off juice carton, and some small carrots in a used strawberry cardboard carton. 

We also harvested some radishes at the community garden this past weekend, and were FINALLY able to plant the bulk of what we had planned for the summer: bush beans, peas, peppers, marigold, basil, and red onion. At home we started most of the above list along with zinnias, morning glory, and eggplant. I will post more pics tonight i promise! :) 

Flowers that I had fallen in love with at a local garden during Springfest! I have so much to catch you up on. Soon come!

Great day to you all! 
Ok so I’m a couple of days past my ‘Herb of the Week’ post, but better late than never!! Do I need to post my disclaimer? Yeah…in short, this is for information purposes only! Consult with your doctor or Holistic Health Practitioner regarding any herb you intend on taking to treat symptoms or diagnosis. There!
So this week I wanted to feature the Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) This important perennial herb is used for both food and medicinal purposes. It’s very nutritious, all parts of the plant are utilized and is a natural cleanser. Gout, Fibromyalgia, joint pain, alopecia, dandruff, enlarged prostates, nosebleeds, allergies, cancer, and UTI’s are just some of the many issues that this plant can help relieve. It also has an important role in women’s health, especially pertaining to the womb, pregnancy, and menstruation. Since it’s high in iron, it’s perfect for dealing with anemia and fatigue. It’s a tonic for the uterus, strengthens the fetus, promotes milk production in nursing mothers and combats heavy bleeding. 
If you grow this herb, or come across it in the wild, approach it carefully (use gloves!). This plant has stingy hairs called trichomes on its’ leaves and stems, and will inject your skin with histamines if you brush up against them, causing skin irritation and a stinging sensation (aka ‘Nettle Rash’). The formic acid found in those stingy hairs are the same found in fire ant and bee stings. For immediate relief, snap off some broadleaf dock which tend to grow near stinging nettles in the wild, crush and rub on your skin. 
Soaking Stinging Nettles in water, or cooking them, will remove the stinging chemicals from the plant. You can make tinctures, capsules, teas, soups or purees from this plant. For me personally, this is a ‘must have’ herb in your wholistic remedy kit. 

Great day to you all! 

Ok so I’m a couple of days past my ‘Herb of the Week’ post, but better late than never!! Do I need to post my disclaimer? Yeah…in short, this is for information purposes only! Consult with your doctor or Holistic Health Practitioner regarding any herb you intend on taking to treat symptoms or diagnosis. There!

So this week I wanted to feature the Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) This important perennial herb is used for both food and medicinal purposes. It’s very nutritious, all parts of the plant are utilized and is a natural cleanser. Gout, Fibromyalgia, joint pain, alopecia, dandruff, enlarged prostates, nosebleeds, allergies, cancer, and UTI’s are just some of the many issues that this plant can help relieve. It also has an important role in women’s health, especially pertaining to the womb, pregnancy, and menstruation. Since it’s high in iron, it’s perfect for dealing with anemia and fatigue. It’s a tonic for the uterus, strengthens the fetus, promotes milk production in nursing mothers and combats heavy bleeding. 

If you grow this herb, or come across it in the wild, approach it carefully (use gloves!). This plant has stingy hairs called trichomes on its’ leaves and stems, and will inject your skin with histamines if you brush up against them, causing skin irritation and a stinging sensation (aka ‘Nettle Rash’). The formic acid found in those stingy hairs are the same found in fire ant and bee stings. For immediate relief, snap off some broadleaf dock which tend to grow near stinging nettles in the wild, crush and rub on your skin. 

Soaking Stinging Nettles in water, or cooking them, will remove the stinging chemicals from the plant. You can make tinctures, capsules, teas, soups or purees from this plant. For me personally, this is a ‘must have’ herb in your wholistic remedy kit. 

Peace,

Here’s a picture of some of my indoor plants that are sprouting at Day 7. To the left, my Black Beauty eggplant, and to the right, my Golden Cali bell peppers. Woot!

Underneath to the left I have that chocolate mint plant that is doing well and smelling oh-so-divine, and to the right my tomato plants that I rec’d for free during the food drive at the local nursery. I’m SO glad that 1. I told my Gardening club about that food drive and quite a few had gone and got plants and 2. that my Horticulturist teacher was very knowledgeable with that Nursery and knew they treated the hell out of their plants with a high nitrogen fertilizer. In anticipation of receiving these plants, I purchased some fish emulsion fertilizer, which has a NPK of 5-1-1. They had been doing well up until this morning, when I noticed a leaf or two was starting to yellow. This was shock from not being ‘fed’. So I whipped up a batch of the diluted concoction (and holy vomit Batman, that stuff reeked!), and watered them. By 11:00, they recovered. I left the Mint plant as is. 

So I guess it’s a very good idea to familiarize yourself with local Nurseries if you plan on transplanting, or just purchasing plants in general. Ask how they maintain these plants so you can ensure they won’t start to die on you a few days later. I’m fairly new to this city, so I’m grateful for all the connections I’ve made so far. woot!

I’m not sure if i’m going to use the fertilizer for my other tomatoes I haven’t started yet. The soil i’m going to use for my containers at home will come from the massive mound outside my community garden that we’ve been given permission to use and take home. That soil is a mix of compost and such, so it may be nutritious enough. Time will tell. :)

-Malikaat Z.

"'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'"

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Saturday love to you all, 

I will you all had a great first half of your weekend. :) Today of course was gardening class; we learned about interplanting/companion planting. It’s been raining here off and on still so we didn’t go outside but the class as usual was great. I was able to write down some additional herbs I’d like to use in our square foot garden; for my Sun in his bell pepper and marigold mix i’m also going to add some basil. It will make for a great visual aesthetic and also assist with repelling some of the bad bugs that may try and visit. :) 

Even though yesterday (which I forgot to mention) I purchased some garlic bulbs to plant from a Mom & Pop nursery, we got one today from our teacher which has already begun to sprout. We will plant this one as well, and soon as it takes quite a while for it to come to harvest. Hubby and I didn’t get to plant our lettuce as planned due to the rain (we will in the next few days), but we did go check on the growth of our radishes before we left. Yay they’re all sprouting now! We sowed just shy of two rows. After class we ran to the OTHER side of the city (and this is a big city) to this nursery called Southwood, and they were giving away free tomato plants with a canned good donation to go to the local food bank. And my what an amazing (and HUGE) nursery! You could literaly be in there all day. Even the bathrooms were very home-like. We saw forsythias out front (which brings back nostalgic memories of my father’s gardening skills during my childhood), and bought a Venus Flytrap for the children. After our donation, we picked four out of the many beautiful tomato varieties they offered: Lemon Boy, Beefsteak, Burpee’s Big Boy, and SuperFantastic. I think I’ll be making lots of salsa and tomato sauce to give to friends and neighbors. :) Oh! And I bought a gorgeous chocolate mint plant. Imagine this infused in a tea…mmm Mmm mmm. 

About four days ago I sowed indoors some of my eggplant, emerald giant bell peppers and golden cali bell peppers in my Burpee indoor thingamabobbie. Today I saw a little tiny sprout striving to emerge with one of my eggplants. *smile*

I wish I had more indoor space to start my seeds, but in due time I will. So far, I’m very pleased with what is beginning to transpire. 

Smiling, 

-Malikaat Z.

Happy New Year!! Happy Spring!

I’m late yes, however I was right there with you celebrating the Equinox in spirit. :) 

Look at my beautiful green onions! On Sunday morning, I was the sous chef for my husband, cutting up this and chopping up that for our big Sunday morning meal (He makes the best quiches!) So anyway, I had all  these scraps left over and I thought, you know what? Let’s throw these in some water and re-grow them! Today it’s friday and my husband brought to my attention that not only were the roots growing, but the tops too! In the next few days they’ll be planted in some peat pots that I have. I will do the same the next time I chop up some celery too. :) 

Nice!! 

Tomorrow’s the Gardening Club-my children’s favorite day of the week. Their spring break is winding down and I’ve kept them as occupied as I could. We made spuddy buddies, hung up a suet bird feeder on a tree next to the lot next to our house, went to Home Depot and grabbed some odds and ends for our home garden and bought a raspberry plant. While our weather has dropped about 20 degrees over the past week, our raspberry plant is very cold hardy so i’m not too concerned with that too much. And we’ve been getting some much needed rain (we are seriously drought prone in our neck of the Nation). Tomorrow we’ll be planting some lettuce both at the community garden and in one of our containers for home.  

I sure do love when a plan comes together!

Until next time, 

-Malikaat Z.

Good Evening! 

This week I’m sharing some information with you about Goldenseal!! Remember, I am not a doctor or Holistic Health Practitioner (yet), this is for information purposes only. Further research will be needed along with a consultation with your doctor if you are contemplating using this herb. 

Alrighty then!

Say hello to Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis). This beautiful and now  over harvested perennial herb was used by Indigenous American tribes such as the Cherokee and Iroquois to treat heart, liver, lung and skin disorders for centuries, and was eventually introduced to Europeans when they arrived in America. With two five lobed leaves, small flowers, and a cute lil’ red berry in the middle, you’ll find it in the deep woods of Vermont to Arkansas or on farms due to its increased popularity. It gets its name ‘Goldenseal’ from the golden yellow scars on the base of the stem, and when broken, the scars resemble a golden wax letter seal.

Today, Goldenseal has a variety of uses. PMS, menstrual cramping, other vaginal complaints, ringworm, ringing ears, earache, rashes, ulcers, conjunctivitis, liver disorders, dandruff, acne, cold, laxative, and the list goes on. The rhizome, or root is used, and often combined with Echinacea (Echinacea Purpurea) as a cold remedy, due to it’s antibacterial properties. 

Because this is such a powerful plant, and does stimulate the uterus, women who are pregnant or think they may be pregnant should not take this herb (I sound like one of those pharmaceutical commercials huh?). Also if there is a chance you may have a perforated eardrum, do not apply this in your ears either. If you have or are prone to having high blood pressure, do not take this, as it is a hypertensive. 

Think you can use this plant to pass a drug test? Well….don’t get your hopes up. lol

You will find this in tincture, capsule, ointment, and tea form. I would definitely consider this a ‘must have’ in your holistic wellness stash!

Peace!!! 

I’ve missed you guys (and gals) the last few days. I must say Welcome to all my new followers and thanks for choosing this blog to follow! 

This blog is obviously a few days late….our Saturdays (which is gardening club day) are extremely busy and physically exhausting….as was our Sunday and Monday!! So let me catch you up on all the happenings going on at the Y: 

Hubby and I marked off our square foot garden spaces-we were given some string and nails to do so. This is only really temporary, weather will eventually break down the string and it’ll get dirty and mucky looking. We will for next week most likely get some wooden lathes to use in it’s place (and give it more of that ‘SFG’ look/feel to it). We were also given a brussel sprout plant so we decided to stick that in the ground in Babygirl’s area. As you can see the pic next to the brussel sprouts, there is some growth with the radishes we planted the week prior. Two little sprouts. yay! As far as our broccoli transplants go, I have no idea what to expect-the leaves dried up a lil’ bit and I’m wondering if it will die down and come back. Time will tell I guess. :) 

We watched our teacher, Sarah, take some bareroot blackberry plants and put them into the soil next to the fence line. She is a Horticulturist, and it’s great working with her. She brought in some canned jams she made the year prior and I’m eagerly searching for something (gluten free) to eat it with! 

Now, at home, it’s spring break, and the children and I will be starting some of our plants indoors. Our LSF isn’t until the middle of April so we have a lil’ bit of time to start our tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. 

Check back tonight for my herb of the week, Goldenseal!

Always, 

-Malikaat Z.