I have been so ecstatic this year with my garden. It’s my very first attempt at gardening on my own. I got a plot with my community garden and found out I had fantastic soil for growing–good rich, dark soil and topped it off with some fresh compost. Up until this weekend, everything was going great! All my plants have vegetables growing on them and from what I could tell, looked full and healthy. This weekend, when I went to clean things up (weed, water, etc.) I noticed that my Roma tomato plant was looking a little “under the weather”. I was kind of in a hurry, so I didn’t pay much attention to it and figured maybe I’d gone too long in between watering with the warmer temperatures, that maybe those yellow leaves were just from it being too dry. WRONG!
I went back yesterday to check on it, and now my plant was looking very limp and I noticed that several of my tomatoes had WORMS in them!! Lots of yellow leaves, rotten stems and well, worm-filled-tomatoes. Needless to say I was livid. Here I am working my tail off—watering, feeding, nurturing—my precious seedlings in hopes of a wonderful harvest and BAM! A little, bitty inch worm comes along and nearly devours an entire plant in a DAY! All I could think of when I saw them was my childhood. LOL…I Remember watching “Winnie the Pooh” as a kid and how upset Rabbit got one morning when he found his plants devoured by the same pesky insect? Yeah…that was me in my garden yesterday. And now I understood his frustrations.
(I love me some “Winnie the Pooh” and hope you do too🙂 !)
Needless to say, I plucked off the rotten stuff and made sure my other plants didn’t have any visible signs of worms and then I went and did some research. What I found was that these little boogers are nasty! They can literally kill an entire plant in a day! They eat and eat and eat until it’s all gone and then they move on to the next plant. The Old Farmer’s Almanac Online provides some great detail about the insect and how to watch out for it:
“Tomato hornworms can be up to 5 inches long—which can be quite a shock when you first come across one! They do the most damage in the caterpillar, or larvae, stage. They are pale green with white and black markings, plus a horn-like protrusion. (They are not capable of stinging.) The life cycle is as follows:
- In late spring, large adult moths lay eggs on the undersides of foliage, which will hatch within a week.
- Caterpillar larvae will feed from 4–6 weeks before creating a cocoon for overwintering in the soil. If the weather is warm enough, larvae may only burrow for as little as 2–3 weeks.
- Moths will emerge in the spring, and can be identified by their orange markings. They will then lay eggs once again. More than one generation a year may be possible in warmer climates.”
Now, my community garden, as I’ve mentioned before, is all organic, so I can’t go out and get some lethal sprays to get rid of the pests (nor do I want to ingest that stuff), so I have to find a healthy alternative. Again, I took to the web and found that regular old dish soap mixed with warm water will work. Because we’re all natural, I used some Dr. Bronners Castile Soap in place of dish soap. I also got kreative and mixed in some lemon juice and crushed garlic, because I’ve read that things with strong scents keep the bugs away. I’m gonna spray the plant every couple of days or so and see what happens and I’ll let y’all know if anything helps.
If you have any input or have found anything that works well for you, PLEASE let me know. I really wanna eat some fantastic tomatoes this year and hope the pests don’t enjoy them before I do! Happy gardening!
I think this is great article. Because soy is portrayed as a healthy alternative to those who are lactose intolerant or who may have other food allergies, I have never thought about how bad it could be for you. Glad to be more informed about the topic! Dangers of Soy.
What the heck is oil pulling!? Well, it’s an ancient Ayurvedic technique in which one simply rinses their mouth will oil by methodically swishing it around, like you would with mouthwash. Supposedly, it can relieve your body of numerous ailments including: gingivitis, periodontal diseases, dry mouth and throat, bad breath, sinusitis, migraines and numerous other diseases listed here. I want to preface this post by saying I’m somewhat skeptical and can’t really see how swishing some oil around my mouth could heal any of these issues, but I want to give it a try personally.
That being said, I figured that such a simple technique thousands of years old can’t hurt, can it? I decided I’d give it a try as part of my Kreative Koncoctions experimentation and see what happens. I’ve been reading a lot about it and hope it helps keep my mouth a little cleaner. Now, according to Sharath Asokan, who wrote “Oil Pulling Therapy”, oil pulling should be done as follows:
…A tablespoon (teaspoon for young children) of sesame oil is taken in the mouth, sipped, sucked, and pulled between the teeth for 10-15 min. The viscous oil turns thin and milky white. It is claimed that the swishing activates enzymes and draws toxins out of the blood. The oil should not be swallowed as it contains bacteria and toxins. Oil pulling therapy should be followed by tooth brushing and rinsing of the mouth. It is preferably done on an empty stomach in the morning.1
Asokan says to use sesame oil, but I’ve also heard you can use olive, coconut or various other kinds of oil (just not frying oil). Do your own research and see what different oils do for different ailments and find what may work best for you.
I’ve been doing the oil pulling for about two weeks now, although I did miss a day or two during the first week. I have been using coconut oil, just because I’ve heard so many great things about the stuff and had it around the house. I do as the directions above say: first thing in the morning, before I eat or drink anything. I usually do it while I’m washing my face and getting ready and then once I discard the oil, I follow it with flossing and a good old-fashioned toothbrush. I do feel like my mouth is cleaner than when I just floss and brush and maybe my teeth are getting a little whiter?
I have also noticed that my breath isn’t a dragonly as it normally is upon waking in the morning and it seems like right after I spit the oil out, I have a surge of mucous that needs to be spit out as well. (I know it’s kinda gross but, hey you want the nitty-gritty details, don’t you?) I’m not sure if this coincides with the oil pulling but my sinuses have been draining like crazy lately. I did read that sometimes your symptoms can get worse before they get better, so I’m going to keep persevering and hope that some of my allergy/sinus issues get cured or at least calm down a bit. The only other thing that has really ever helped with my seasonal issues is acupuncture and using the neti pot (and I hate the neti pot, even though it’s like a miraculous tool for me).
So, that’s been my experience so far. The oil pulling is like a detox for your mouth/body and I don’t want to give up too early on it. So far, no negative side effects, other than what I mentioned above. I really like the idea of going natural and finding healing remedies that are older than ‘modern medicine’ which has only been around a couple hundred years. (At some point, I’ll do a post on my opinions on Western Medicine and how it’s primarily driven by corporate America. That will be another rant:).)
One last thing I must confess…I’m finding it’s much easier to give up my old products for my hair, skin, beauty, etc., but I’m having a hard time going natural with what my body takes in. I’ve gotten better at eating healthier–trying to bring in more fruits, veggies and whole grains, but I have a long way to go. I know I’m at least on the right track and that’s what matters. Baby steps.
Watch out for my next post on my no ‘poo progress!
1 Cited: Asokan S. Oil pulling therapy. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2008 [cited 2012 Apr 20];19:169. Available from: http://www.ijdr.in/text.asp?2008/19/2/169/40476
For more information on an Oil Pulling study, see also: http://www.oilpullingsecrets.com/OilPullingStudy1.pdf
After living in my apartment for a few years and getting ‘acquainted’ with the neighborhood, I became envious of those who were part of a community garden just a block from my house. I decided to contact the coordinator of the garden and much to my surprise, there was a plot available. Life was pretty crazy for a while until I graduated in December, so my plot lay dormant for a few months, but last month, I was finally able to get out there and get my hands dirty.
The garden is organic and we try to be as natural as possible. We compost our own soil and don’t use pesticides or anything like that. Even my fertilizer is organic. I chose to use some fallen leaves as mulch to keep my plants cool for when things start to really heat up here in Southeastern Louisiana. So far, I haven’t seen a lot of bugs or pests, so I’m hoping that it stays that way.
I planted all kinds of things that I look forward to munching on very soon and have already started using some of my herbs. Nothing tastes better than fresh herbs! Anywho, below are some pictures from my very first garden adventure, from seedlings to (hopefully) edible fruits and veggies.
It’s kind of hard to tell which plot is mine but it’s along the path and I have mine separated from my neighbor’s with bricks. This is when I first planted my seedlings in early March:
This is just a little over a month later and you can see my plants have EXPLODED!! I have some peppers (cayenne, jalapeno and bell), tomatoes, zucchini, cilantro, basil, onions…
This is just another view on the same day as the picture above. I can’t wait till everything is harvested so I can learn how to CAN things and come up with some kreative recipes!
It’s been a few days since my last post and I promised a follow up to my no ‘poo experience. (You can view my previous post here, which discusses the what, why and how of no ‘poo.) After a brief setback due to a hot oil hair treatment gone wrong, I am back on track and looking forward to the expected results of no longer using harsh chemicals on my locks.
It’s been five days for me now on the no ‘poo treatment. I last washed my hair Thursday morning (4/12/12) with regular shampoo. On Saturday, I “washed” with my baking soda and water/ACV conditioner. My hair was, of course, a little oily after nearly two days of no shampoo, but that’s to be expected. I can’t wait for my head to get out of this routine of over-producing oil!!
Last night, I did my baking soda and ACV wash again after three days of no washing. (In between my days off, I usually just wet my hair in the shower and call it a day.) My hair is still feeling a little filmy but I know on the road to recovery and it’s not that bad. I wish I had taken a before picture so that I could compare my hair then and now but I don’t think pictures would even do it justice. It’s more about the texture that I’m experiencing. My hair feels so thick!–and it’s crazy for me to say that considering my hair doesn’t normally even hold a curl or any kind of volume whatsoever!
I tried something new last night as well. I decided I needed a little extra wave, so I tried to braid my hair and sleep on it in hopes of creating something fantabulous, but, that was a no go. When I took the braids out this morning, my hair took me back to 4th grade, when crimping your hair was cool. Yeah, I have no desire to return to my pre-adolescent style, so I had to bring out my straightening iron to the rescue. I didn’t want to use any heating products on my hair, just because I know that stuff dries my hair out and since I’m “detoxing” from shampoo, I figured I’d just go for the gold and opt out of all styling/warming products. Either way, I straightened it and it looks fuller than my hair ever looked when I straightened it in my “shampooing” days. It’s amazing! Now, I think because I just cleaned my hair last night and then used the straightening iron on it, it looks a little frizzy but I’m also in desperate need of a trim, so that could be part of it as well.
Hang in there through the rough days when it feels like you can’t stand it anymore. After getting used to the idea of not having to wash my hair the “traditional” way, I’m enjoying the extra time I have in the shower to just relax and let my day wash away! And, there have been a lot of days when I just said, “To heck with it” and just tossed my hair in a bun or ponytail because the oil is overwhelming. I’m getting past that stage now and today is the first day I’ve worn my hair down since I started no ‘poo. I know it will all be worth it, when I can save boat loads of cash on hair products and just visit my local grocery for all my hair care needs. Until then, I have no doubt this no ‘poo thing is doing something great for my head, hair, scalp, etc. I’ll let you know how it all turns out!
Over the last few weeks, I’ve discovered Pinterest and I feel that it has awakened within me a desire I’ve had for years–to be naturally healthy–and sometimes lose sight of. It is sometimes so much easier to stop at a fast food joint or buy detergent from the grocery store instead of making my own. I hope that starting this blog will hold me accountable to how I really want to live my life. I also hope that at some point I can go further than this blog with my quest for naturally made products and make and sell enough to be self-supporting. Alas, I have big dreams!
But, that’s all in the distant future. For now, I want to take baby steps in the right direction and find my own recipes. It’s easy to Google a recipe for “homemade body butter” but it’s another to create one on your own. I may find stuff online (and will give credit where credit is due) but I also want to create my own recipes and concoctions using different scents and oils and oy…just thinking about it makes me want to go home and start experimenting! Regrettably, I must earn a living, so I blog at work when things are slow. (I’m very grateful for a wonderful work environment!)
These hours I’ve spent on Pinterest over the last few weeks have led me to discover some really cool natural remedies and creations. The first thing I have really started experimenting with was this “no ‘poo” concept—where you sustain from using harsh chemical laden shampoos and conditioners on your hair and realize that those chemicals are creating a vicious cycle of your sebaceous glands over-producing oil that the shampoos strip it of. After only one day, I would have to wash my hair because these glands would try to overcompensate for my daily washes, thus overproducing oil. The result leaves the ends of my hair so dry and the roots, well, clean for about 24 hours and then gross all over again. I’m tired of it! So, I felt like this was the answer I was looking for. I would just have to suffer through a few weeks of leaving my hair in a pony tail while I get my head back to “normal”.
I went a week with no ‘poo and instead “washed” with a baking soda and water concoction and “conditioned” with an apple cider vinegar (ACV) and water mixture. I mix 2 tbsp of baking soda to 2 cups of hot water for the wash. I generally like to massage my scalp with it a little and kinda work it around. It doesn’t get soapy or anything–just helps me feel like my head’s getting cleaned. Then I rinse with about 2-4 tbsp of ACV in about 2 cups of water. This I usally just keep on the ends of my hair because I’ve heard that ACV can cause the scalp to generate more oil, thus defeating the purpose of my no ‘poo experiment.
This has been a PHENOMENAL experience!! I have always had very straight, fine hair with very little body or movement. But, after just a few days of no ‘pooing, my locks looked healthier than ever!! I got incredible compliments about how great my hair looked. I’m NOW a believer in the no ‘poo method.
However, yesterday, I found another recipe for a homemade hot oil treatment that I just had to try because it sounded so divine and luxurious! Unfortunately, it left my hair too oily for my baking soda and ACV tonics, so I have to start my no ‘poo routine over again. My next post will talk about my first few days of my no ‘poo detox. I look forward to sharing this journey with whoever stumbles across this blog and finds it somewhat interesting! Here’s to a natural health and beauty endeavor that will make us much happier and less chemically inclined!