Archive for June, 2013

Flaming June!!!

Lovely post here with lots of pictures too.

Garden of Eve

Hi Guys

The month of June is often referred to as ‘FLAMING JUNE’….I am quite happy to give it the name ‘flaming’ but not because the sun is shining……..oh no……we had a week of sunshine at the beginning of June and I think that was our summer over :(……since then we have  had more rain than any gardener would know what to do with.  Since moving here to Co Kerry in Ireland I have found out where the expression ‘Bucketing Down’ came from……HERE.  Anyways thats enough complaining about the crazy weather that we seem to be suffering all around the world….I think its Mother Natures way of getting back at us for destroying her beautiful planet.  On a serious note….it is quite frightening what is going on with the weather patterns….Rant finished…Honest!!

Luckily for me I do most of my gardening under cover 🙂

Well its been another very busy…

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DIY – Build A Rabbit Hutch – Raising Rabbits For Table Meat

Very valid and instructive idea here. Rabbits can be reared in small garden spaces with little planning problems in UK if done small scale.

Town & Country Gardening

New Zealand
Warm weather is upon us. It’s time to build that Rabbit Hutch that you have been thinking about all winter.

I had no idea how many worthless websites advertise ‘Free’ rabbit hutch and cage plans I would find on a google search. A full 95% are totally useless or bait and switch sites in an attempt to sell you something you can easily build for 1/4 their list price not to mention the cost of shipping.

Below is a list of good sites that I hope you will find useful.

Woodworkers Workshop Rabbit cage and nest box plans

Bass Equipment Supplier of rabbit cages, feeders and waterer’s Bass Equipment

Rabbits your secret survival tool in these uncertain economic times. Low wages, fewer hours on the job, higher food cost, rent and utilities increasing almost every month. How will you survive? The answer is a simple one, add rabbits to your…

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One Poor Weather Event?

And following on from the last post about the risk of “one poor weather event” to the bees….we know it is happening across the globe right now…I will let you come to your own conclusions …

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The weather has been so unusual over the past few years that the Met Office is concerned that the repercussions of climate change may already be upon us.

The forecaster is concerned by a sequence of increasingly strange weather in the UK, which includes the coldest spring in 50 years this year, the wettest summer in a century last year, as well as droughts and the prolonged winter.

It has called an unprecedented meeting of experts to discuss Britain and Europe’s increasingly unpredictable weather patterns in a bid to determine if the they represent a fundamental shift as a result of climate change or simply come down to variable weather.

Climate scientists and meterologists will travel to the Met Office’s headquarters in Exeter on Tuesday for the summit, which will be chaired by Stephen Belcher, Head of the Met Office Hadley Centre.

Mr Belcher said: “We have seen a run of unusual seasons in the UK and Northern Europe, such as the cold winter of 2010, last year’s wet weather and the cold spring this year.

“This may be nothing more than a run of natural variability, but there may be other factors impacting our weather. For example, there is emerging research which suggests there is a link between declining Arctic sea ice and European climate – but exactly how this process might work, and how important it may be among a host of other factors, remains unclear.“The Met Office is running a workshop to bring together climate experts from across the UK to look at these unusual seasons, the possible causes behind them, and how we can learn more about those drivers of our weather.”

The meeting comes after the National Farmers’ Union reported that wheat harvests are likely to be around 30% lower than last year as a result of the extreme weather over winter, making it the second below-average harvest in as many years.

Beekeepers have also reported that a third of honeybee colonies failed to survive the winter following last year’s wash-out summer and continuing bad weather into 2013, exacerbated by the late arrival of spring.

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83% Of Our Plants Require Bees To Pollinate Them.

What can you say goodbye to in this bee-less new world? Here’s a short list: apples, onions, avocados, carrots, mangoes, lemons, limes, honeydew, cantaloupe, zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, cucumbers, green onions, cauliflower, leeks, bok choy, kale, broccoli, broccoli rabe, mustard greens. Turns out one of every three bites of food comes from plants pollinated by honeybees and other pollinators.

More than 83 per cent of the plant species on earth require bees and other pollinators to exist, and these plants include some of the most nutritious parts of our diet. Despite their importance, we continue to see alarming declines in bee numbers. The problem of bees dying out can be traced back to the mid-2000s. Since then these honey bees have been dying out by the tens of millions, according to scientists who are warning that time is running out.

‘Currently, the survivorship of honey bee colonies is too low for us to be confident in our ability to meet the pollination demands of U.S. agricultural crops,’ the reports says. So what’s killing off the bees? The report states a few different factors may be responsible, from pesticides used in farming to the lack of natural habitats for bees to feed off of. Whatever it is, colony collapse disorder has caused the death of 30 per cent of bee colonies every winter since 2007.

USDA scientist Jeff Pettis estimates, ‘We are one poor weather event or high winter bee loss away from a pollination disaster.’

Bees

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2342069/What-supermarket-look-like-bees-die-Empty-shelves-scant-produce-options.html#ixzz2WIv1NooE

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Cherry Cordial: Packed with Vitamins and Anti-Oxidants

I posted up how to make raspberry and blackcurrant cordial; but am going to experiment this year with a new one-cherry cordial. I have a lot of cherries I put in the freezer, as I read somewhere that if frozen whole with stems intact, they will defrost just like fresh cherries to eat. They do actually, although you need to eat them pretty quickly as they do go mushy after a day. Anyway I have lots left and so this year I think I am going to use them up by converting them to syrup giving them another 2 year life span, as well as using more fresh ones when they come into season. I have just ordered my muslin to strain through, very reasonably priced on Amazon so once that arrives I shall give it a whirl, following the raspberry syrup method.

Looking around though I did find that cherries are packed with goodies to keep us healthy [which is why I froze so many last year], and I am now considering and consulting/negotiating with Granddad about possibly planting some of our own wild cherry trees. Here is the low down on how good they are for us. I always bear in mind these nasty flu viruses and like to have something handy to boost the immune system that is natural and nice from about September onwards here in the UK. Does it work? Well 3 years ago I was staying with my son and his girlfriend; when my son went down with the so-called swine flu. He and his girlfriend were wiped out with it, very very poorly; and I did not get the slightest hint of it. They were prescribed Tamiflu. I was with them before their symptoms and during the flu itself. Luck? Or my boosted Vit C and especially Vit D? I think its worth doing anyway!

  • Cherries are pigment rich fruits. These pigments, in fact, are polyphenolic flavonoid compounds known as anthocyanin glycosides. Anthocyanins are red, purple or blue pigments found in many fruits and vegetables, especially concentrated in their skin, known to have powerful anti-oxidant properties.
  • Scientific studies have shown that anthocyanins in the cherries are found to act like anti-inflammatory agents by blocking the actions of cyclooxygenase-1, and 2 enzymes. Thus, consumption of cherries has potential health effects against chronic painful episodes such as gout arthritis, fibromyalgia (painful muscle condition) and sports injuries.
  • Research studies also suggest that anti-oxidant compounds in tart cherries help the human body to fight against cancers, aging and neurological diseases, and pre-diabetes condition.
  • Cherry fruits are very rich in stable anti-oxidant melatonin. Melatonin can cross the blood-brain barrier easily and produces soothing effects on the brain neurons, calming down nervous system irritability, which helps relieve neurosis, insomnia and headache conditions.
  • Further, they are also mild source of zinc, moderate sources of iron, potassium, and manganese and good source of copper. Potassium is a heart-healthy mineral; an important component of cell and body fluids that regulate heart rate and blood pressure.
  • The fruits, especially tart cherries are exceptionally rich in health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic anti-oxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin and beta carotene. These compounds act as protective scavengers against harmful free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging, cancers and various disease processes.
  • Anti-inflammatory property of cherries has been found effective in reducing heart-disease risk factors by scavenging action against free radicals.
  • Acerola or West Indian cherry has exceptionally very high levels of vitamin-C (1677.6 mg per 100 g or 2796 % of RDA) and vitamin-A (767 IU per 100 g).

Cherries

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Growing Food From Your Scraps

There is nothing like fresh veggies from your own personal garden!Obviously, we all know about the normal ways to grow plants – from seeds.  But, did you know that there are a ton of plants that you can grow from scraps?  Plants, that will in turn, produce more food. Let’s count them out – from 1 to 15…

1, 2, 3, & 4.  Spring Onions, Leeks, Scallions, & Fennel These are the ones I regrow the very most, I always have a mason jar of green onions regrowing above my kitchen sink. The technique is quite simple.  Once you are done with them (any of the above four), simply place the root end in a jar of water & it will begin to regrow within just a few days.  Just make sure to replace the water with fresh as need be.

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5. Lemongrass You can regrow lemongrass the same way you regrow the green onions.  Simply place the root ends in a glass of water, refreshing the water as needed. You will want to wait to harvest your lemongrass until it is about 12 inches tall.

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6.  Ginger Plant a small chunk off of your piece of ginger in potting soil with the newest buds facing up. Ginger enjoys non-direct sunlight in a warm moist environment. Before long, it will begin to regrow shoots and roots. Once the plant is established and you’re ready to harvest, pull up the whole plant, including the roots. Remove a piece of the ginger, and re-plant it to repeat the growing process.

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7. Potatoes  Pick a potato that has a lot of good formed eyes, and cut it into 2-3 inch pieces, taking care to be sure that each piece has at least 1-2 eyes on it. Leave the cut pieces to sit at room temperature for a day or two, which allows the cut areas to dry. Potato plants thrive on a high-nutrient environment, so it is best to flip compost into your soil before you plant. Plant your potato pieces about 8 inches deep with the eye facing up.  Cover it with 4 inches of soil, leaving the other 4 inches empty. As your plant begins to grow and more roots appear, add more soil.

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8. Sweet Potatoes You will need sweet potatoes with good formed eyes, just as you would want with a regular potato. You can bury the entire potato or use pieces under a thin layer of topsoil in a moist place with plenty of sun. When the shoots begin to reach a height of four inches you will need to replant the sweet potatoes, allowing them about 12 inches between each another. It takes about 4-6 months to grow sweet potatoes this way.

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9, 10, 11, & 12.  Romaine Lettuce, Celery, Bok Choy, & Cabbage These all are regrown by placing the roots in a dish of water. Cut the leaves or stalks off to about an inch above the roots.  Place the root end in a dish of water.  Make sure that the roots are inside of the water, but do not submerge the rest of the plant.  Place in a sunny window & spray with water 1-2 times a week to keep the top of the plant moist.

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13.  Onions Onions are one of the easiest vegetables to regrow from scraps. Just cut off the root end of your onion, leaving a 1’2  inch of onion on the roots. Place it in a sunny location in your garden and cover the top with soil. Make sure to keep the soil moist by watering when needed. As you use your home-grown regenerated onions, keep replanting the root ends you cut off, and you’ll never have to purchase onions at the store again.

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14.  Garlic You can re-grow a plant from a single clove.  Simply plant it with the root-end down. Sit the plant in a sunny window.  Once established, cut back the shoots and the plant will put all it’s forces into producing a nice garlic bulb – full of flavor & capable of repelling sparkly vampires.  You can repeat this process with a clove from the new bulb you have just grown.

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15. Pineapple To re-grow pineapples, you will need to remove the green leafy part at the top and take care that no fruit remains attached. Either hold the crown firmly by the leaves and twist the stalk out, or you can cut the top off the pineapple and remove the remaining fruit flesh with a knife. If you do not remove all the fruit parts, it will rot after planting and will likely kill your plant. Carefully slice small, horizontal sections from the bottom of the crown until you see root buds (the small circles on the flat base of the stalk). Remove the bottom few layers of leaves leaving about an inch worth of them at the bottom of the stalk.  Plant your pineapple crown in a warm and well drained environment. Water your plant regularly at first. Once the plant is established, you can cut down to about once a week. You will see growth in the first few months but it will take about 2-3 years before you are able to harvest.

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Source:

http://www.mrshappyhomemaker.com

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Trashed

Click on link below to see short documentary trailer.

We have a responsibility for our planet.

It is  the only we have.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/ZNyUQZA9lVM

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