Category Archives: Gardening

Toss the Resolutions and Begin Permanent New You Solutions!


The Living Healthy Movement

Welcome to the new HEPSA Living Healthy Online Blog!  We are starting this New Year off right with a new look, new blog and new mission!  HEPSA Living Healthy wants to help you change your life for the better by joining the HEPSA Living Healthy Movement!  So sign up for this new blog today by clicking –

I am Denine Rogers, a registered licensed dietitian nutritionist and holistic practitioner who have a passion to change people’s lives for the better.  I have decided to start the HEPSA Living Healthy Movement because of the constant problems and complaints that I have received from my clients about making New Year’s Resolutions not New Year Solutions.  Too often we do not keep our resolutions and by the time the end of the year comes we feel like we have failed through the whole year. A resolution is a temporary hopeful fix but a solution is a permanent change!  The HEPSA Living Healthy Movement is on a mission to get you to discover what is holding you back from losing weight, stopping smoking, continuing an exercise plan, changing your relationships with food, etc. Check out joining the HEPSA Living Healthy Movement by signing up at the HEPSA Living Healthy Newsletter – where we are making solutions for 2015, not resolutions!

This year 2015 the HEPSA Living Healthy Movement are providing ways to change your life for the better by learning about 12 different topics.  The monthly topics will be:

  1. Eating healthy with whole food nutrition
  2. Cooking healthy meals and snacks
  3. Herbal Medicine and Botanicals
  4. Exercising
  5. Meditation, Tia chi, Yoga and Qi Gong
  6. Aromatherapy
  7. Mind, Body and Spiritual Relationships
  8. Gardening
  9. Integrative Nutrition and Medicine
  10. Complementary Alternative Medicine
  11. Vitamins and Supplements
  12. Homeopathy

So for this whole year, the HEPSA Living Healthy Movement is focusing on making positive changes with your life.  I am asking you to join, the HEPSA Living Healthy Movement by clicking here today.

Thank you so much and start Living Healthy today!


HEPSA Living Healthy

HEPSA Living Healthy


Food Day 2014


October 24th, 2014 is a very special day.  You are probably asking why is this day so important?  It is Food Day which is a day to inspire Americans to change their diets and an push to improve our food policies.  This year’s Food Day will have a special focus on food access and justice for food and farm workers.

This annual event involves some of the country’s most prominent food activists, united by a vision of food that is healthy, affordable, and produced with care for the environment, farm animals, and the people who grow, harvest, and serve it.

The typical American diet is contributing to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems. Those problems cost Americans more than $150 billion per year. Plus, a meat-heavy diet takes a terrible toll on the environment.

Eating Real can save your own health and put our food system on a more humane, sustainable path. With America’s resources, there’s no excuse for hunger, low wages for food and farm workers, or inhumane conditions for farm animals.  – quote from

So how can you get involved?  Use this positive movement around Food Day by introducing healthier foods into your diet. Ask your employer to start announcing an office wellness policy or participate in a community supported agriculture program. Or, introduce cooking lessons in your school or start planting a vegetable garden.

I am going to join the Food Day social media pages to spread the word about the importance of start a new food movement!  Let me know what you would like to do in your community on this Food Day!  Check out the Food Day 2014 website for further information –

The 35th Year Appreciation Celebration of the Georgia Master Gardener – Part 2


After eating that delicious lunch,  I was ready to walk off the pounds during the afternoon tour.  It was getting hotter outside that our tour guide decided for our group to seek refuge in the USDA Seed Storage Building.  When we got there we were greeted by Dr. Melanie Harrison-Dunn a Geneticist of the Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit.  Dr. Harrison-Dunn explained about her current research priorities are focused on the acquisition of native warm season grass germplasm; germsplasm characterization including genotyping, nutritional analysis, and salt tolerance; and ornamental grass breeding.  Also, in the USDA Seed Storage Building there were more than 90,000 plant samples are part for the Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit (PGRCU).  These diverse collections represent over 250 genera and 1,500 species from almost every country.


The next part of the tour was meeting with Dr. Clint Waltz on the Turfgrass shade research.  Dr. Waltz  is actively researching on evaluating various turfgrass species to the environmental stresses of the Southeastern United States.  These evaluations allow sod producers, golf course superintendents, athletics field managers, other turf professionals and houseowners to make informed decisions about the adaptability of these cultivars.  The plots were developed for low maintenance, low water usage and pesticide input.


The last part of the tour hearing a quick discussion on ornamental plant breeding process by Dr. Carol Robacker.  Dr. Robacker is the Associate Professor and REI Coordinator of Horticulture.   Dr. Robacker is doing two research projects on breed landscape plants that are adapted to the heat and drought stress of the urban conditions and develop cultivars of native plants.  She also show us her projects include breeding for azalea lace bug resistance in native azalea, and developing improved cultivars of little bluestem, spigelia, abelia, vitex and pearl bush.


I truly had a great day at the University of Georgia – Griffin Campus and had learn so much  about the research agriculture.  I am so glad that this wonderful place only less than 2 hours away and I will make sure to visit it in the future.

Want to see pictures at the University of Georgia on Griffin Campus!  Click here!

The 35th Year Appreciation Celebration of the Georgia Master Gardener – Part 1


I was truly honored in being invited to come to the Griffin, Georgia for the 35th year appreciation celebration of the Georgia Master Gardener.  This wonderful event was taken place at the University of Georgia- Griffin Campus which is one of the leading premier agricultural research centers in the region!  Also on this day is the 100th anniversary of the Georgia Cooperative Extension Services which start the Georgia Master Gardener program – 35 years ago.  There was over 200 Master Gardeners all over Georgia that came for this celebration.


I had a chance to do the research tour of the Griffin Campus where they explained to Volunteer Master Gardeners about everything that is being done in order to improve the agricultural conditions in Georgia.  I start the tour by going on the University of Georgia tram with my fellow Douglasville Volunteer Master Gardener group .  We had a fabulous tour guide Parker Ivey who gave us alot of information about UGA Griffin Campus.  Our tour was divided into 3 tours in the morning and 3 tours in the afternoon,  On this blog posting I am going to discuss about the 3 morning tours.


First stop of  the tour was the UGA Griffin Research and Education Garden with Tony Johnson.  Tony Johnson, Horticulturist discuss about the research display gardens are trying to recover from the 4 degree temperatures of the severe winter weather months that Georgia and the whole US early part of this year.  The research display gardens sits on 65 areas of land and it is divided into sections.  1. Arbor area, 2. Butterfly garden, 3. Children’s garden, 4. Herb garden, 5. Grandma’s garden, 6. Native plants, 7. Water garden, 8. Perennial garden and 9. a soon to be Asian garden.  These gardens have been in existence since October 1995.  Mr. Johnson made a joke “Anything out of place or is wrong then it is Research fault”.


Next we traveled over to the raised gardens section where we met up with Bob Westerfield.  Mr.  Westerfield is the Department Horticulture and Program Coordinator of UGA of Griffin and is currently conducting research on raised bed gardening.  The research looks at growing in different types of soil medium as well as different depths.  Everything in the garden (fruits and vegetables) is being grown organically and a slow drip irrigation system is being use with a timer for watering.


The the last tour for that morning was at the conservation garden with Dr. Kris Braman, Professor of Entomology at UGA of Griffin.  Dr. Braman research is focused on insect plant interactions, especially with the fascinating world of beneficial insects.  It was interesting in learning about the top ten pollinators and butterflies that are needed in a garden.




During the lunchtime, there were alot of speakers at this celebration thanking the Georgia Master Gardeners for volunteering their time and hours  in this very special program. Dr. Beverly Spears, Associate Dean for Extension, said that there is over 3,200 active Master Gardener in Georgia which covers the time of the 100 Full-Time employees in Georgia.


Dr. Steve Brown, Assistant Dean for Extension explained about the history of the Master Gardener and he thank all of the help that the Georgia Master Gardeners for contribute to the County with the Cooperative Extension Services.


Sheri Dorn, State Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Coordinator, explained about the new badges for the Georgia Master Gardeners and that the  Master Gardeners is finally catching up with the technology age with electronic communication.


It was great to hear these speaker under the back drop of the beautiful Woodroof Pavilion.  This pavilion was used in the 1996 Olympics to showcase agriculture to the world and then after the Olympics it was dissembled and brought to the UGA Griffin Campus.  This pavilion was renamed in honor of Naomi Chapman Woodroof, one of the first woman in the agriculture field (she studied plant pathology) and was the first woman in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences to be hired in 1920’s.  She also worked with Food Sciences and was prominent in changing peanuts from a feed crop to a food crop.  What a incredible woman!!


Turn in next week when I discuss about the 3 afternoon tour that consist of ornamental plant breeding process, turfgrass shade research and USDA Seed Storage!!

Want to see pictures at the University of Georgia on Griffin Campus!  Click here!

Summer Salad Week

Finally, this summer I was able to produce some vegetables from my garden but my seedlings did not fair well this year.   My plants from the Douglasville Master Gardener Plant Sale did very well.  Here are the results of some of the produce from my garden:


Banana Pepper

Banana Pepper


Cherry Tomatoes

String (Pole) Beans and cherry tomato

String (Pole) Beans and Cherry Tomato



Baby Eggplant

Baby Eggplant

This last week of July is Salad Week, and summer is a great time to fill up — and not out — on fresh fruits and veggies from the garden with a lightly salad dressing.  Check out these tips on nutritious and delicious salads for a tasty summer :

Growing greens. Salad greens are easy to grow in the home garden and an important source of vitamins and minerals. Dark green leaves are good sources of vitamins A and C, iron, folic acid, and calcium. Iceberg is the most popular, but many other lettuces and salad greens such as spinach, arugula, and romaine can add interest and nutrients to meals.

Super salad toppers. There are lots of nutritious ways to top a salad. Enhance eye appeal and nutrition by adding colorful fruits and vegetables. Keep it
light by limiting the amount of salad dressing to about 1 tablespoon per 1½ to 2 cups of greens. Make the flavor pop by adding artichoke hearts, dried fruits, nuts, and/or seeds.

Fresh herbs. Toss small basil leaves or chopped larger ones in with your greens. Try chopped fresh dill. Add some minced chives or parsley. Start with about a teaspoon of herbs per person and adjust according to taste preference. Herbs boost flavor without increasing calories.

Remember to dress, don’t drown, your salad in dressing to keep the calories lower and experiment with different combinations and flavors this summer.

(This information on Salad Week is from the Healthy Bites Newsletter – By: Lisa Franzen-Castle, RD, PhD, Nutrition Specialist – UNL Panhandle Research & Extension Center -Author E-mail: )

Next month is the first Annual Kids Eat Right Month!  Check out this blog for further information.



2014 Hydrangea Festival in Douglasville, Gerogia – Part 3


So many things to do at this Hydrangea Festival!  I had also the chance to visit the Douglas County Master Gardeners Vegetable Garden where the theme of the Wizard of Oz continued with the Scarecrow Exhibit.

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At this exhibit, I had a chance to meet with Marilyn Parker who is a Douglas County Master Gardener and a beekeeper expert.  She was telling me that this was the first year that the Douglas County Master Gardeners Vegetable Garden ever had a bee hive.  She was able to help set this up with the Douglas County Master Gardeners and now this hives holds over 6,000 bees!!  These bee have help pollinate all of the vegetables and fruits in the garden and has increase production in the garden up to 50% !! More produce equals to more donations of food to the soup kitchens in Douglas County!  Click here to view what I had seen in the garden.


Also close by to the Vegetable Garden was the Master’s Gardeners Children’s Garden in front of the Douglas County Public Library.  It is such a cute and beautiful garden where little children would love to play and explore in.  Click here to view this adorable garden.


Again, I was truly amazed at the talent of all the volunteers at the Hydrangea Festival.  I am so glad of the huge representation of the Douglas County Master Gardeners at this festival.  I will make sure that I will participate in volunteering next year and I am looking forward to the 8th Annual Hydrangea Festival!  Hope to see you there!



I have a new press release –  Click Press Release for HEPSA Living Healthy – Denine Rogers RDN – Stone Soup Blogger to view!

2014 Hydrangea Festival in Douglasville, Gerogia – Part 2


WOW, I feel that I am in my environment when I come to the Hydrangea Festival.  As part of the festival, I stop at the Douglasville Cultural Arts Center to see the art exhibit, the design garden and the butterfly garden (by the Douglas County Master Gardeners).  On this hot sunny day, I decided to stop inside the Cultural Arts Center to view the Georgia Artists with Disabilities Exhibit.  The Douglasville Cultural Arts Center was one of nine sites statewide to showcase this incredible exhibit.  The exhibit featured winners of regional competitions and included 2-d art, fiber arts, photography and sculpture.   The Georgia Artists with Disabilities’ mission is to provide mediums through which Georgia artists with disabilities of the arts.  It also creates public awareness of the artistic skills that these artists have developed by overcoming the obstacles of the disability.   This exhibit was sponsored by the Pilot Clubs of Metro Atlanta which is an organization that promotes participation in civic-service projects which improve the health, education and welfare of all people.  Its goal mission is “full citizenship for people who are disabled”.  Click here to view some of the incredible artwork, sculptures and photography.


I also had a chance to see the the design garden and the butterfly garden on the grounds of the Cultural Arts Center in Douglasville, GA.  Click here to view what I seen at both of these gardens.


There is still more to see at this 2014 Hydrangea Festival.  Can not wait to show you this next week!!

2014 Hydrangea Festival in Douglasville, Gerogia – Part 1


The Hydrangea Festival is back and better than ever !!   This year is the 75th anniversary of  the Wizard of Oz movie and the Ruby Slippers Hydrangea was an appropriate flower to represent in this 7th year of the Hydrangea Festival.  Throughout this Hydrangea Festival there were Wizard of Oz themes sightings everywhere.  In the early summer the Ruby Slippers (Hydrangea quercifolia) is covered with clusters of flowers on stem that are held upright above the foliage.  The flowers open up in a white color but then quickly turn pale pink and then deepen to rose.


The first place I stop at the festival was the Miniature Gardens Displayed in Wheelbarrow at the Old Douglas County Courthouse’s Museum of History.  The Wizard of Oz theme was everywhere including the Mini Garden Wheelbarrows.  Click here to see the displays.


The second place I stop was the for the Flower Market and Artists Market.  When I went into the Douglas County Courthouse I was greeted by the Cowardly Loin that was created by Sherry Beggs.  Sherry is a local artist and Douglas County Master Gardener.  Sherry is such a creative person that she made the Cowardly Loin out of a plastic bottle jug, aluminum foil, masking tape, self-hardening clay and acrylics.  Small dried white flowers were used around the mouth and dried hydrangeas were hot glued for the mane.  Most of the plant material was from Sherry’s own garden and as you can see the loin is holding the famous “Ruby Slipper”.  I also had a chance to see the results of the 2013 Standard Flower Show and the other 500 horticultural entries.  I also had a chance to see the table design competition and the artistic crafts in the Court house.  Click here to see the displays.


So many things to see during this festival!  Next week, I will discuss about the other special gardens and art work that I saw at the Hydrangea Festival !


Taste of Douglasville 2014


It is that time again for the delicious Taste of Douglasville!  This is its 21st year and there have been alot of changes over the years.  The main thing that has not change is the fact of celebrating our Douglasville Community!


There was alot of great things that families can do at the  Taste of Douglasville.  There is a Kids Korner where the theme is a underwater theme called ” Under the Sea, Dive into the Arts”.  My wonderful Junior Master Gardeners from the University of Georgia Douglas County Extension Services had a booth again in this area this year.  This time we were having the kids make their own Seed Heads with soil and decorative planting cups.  The children were taught how raise their own vegetables and herbs and learn the differences from those seeds.  Also in this area was the S.C.R.A.P. bin where the volunteers ran a paper craft with an underwater theme by using recycled paper and other reused art material.  The Keep Douglasville Beautiful – Douglasville-Douglas County Water & Sewer Authority had booth which were hands on activities about water quality and quantity for the kids.  Such a fun time with the kids!!


Another theme they had at the Taste of Douglasville was the Better Living in Our Community Market area.  These were businesses offer ways to live a better life. There was the SAFE Kids/Cobb & Douglas Public Health which is the health education and information on how to implement child injury prevention programs, UGA Extension Douglas County – home food preservation exhibit and The Crazy Nutz Company – gourmet yums of roasted cinnamon almonds and pecans to name a few.


There were also different entertainment acts such as the Youth Village Americorp African Drummers which I loved to see and hear.  And then there was of course the main attraction which is the food.  Delicious food from the different restaurants such as ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery, Yogurt from Yogli Mogli, pizza from Fabiano’s Pizzeria and Johnny’s New York Style Pizza and so much more.


I really did kicked off the summer right with attending this great Taste of Douglaville program!  See you in 2015!!


My Garden for 2014


April showers bring May flowers.  How does your garden grow?  Well is growing great and thank you for asking.  My precious seedlings are now growing into little sprouts.  They are ready to leave the mini indoor greenhouse and to be transplanted into the pot plant container phase.  I am so excited in doing this and can not wait for what June has in store for my plants.

I have now moved my sprouts outdoors since the weather has finally gotten warmer and the frost alert has officially been uplifted!!  This past week I took the time in transplanting my sprouts to the pot plant containers with rich organic soil.  My sprouts love the outdoors particularly when it rains.  Here are some pictures below:


From seedlings to sprouts



Transplant into pot containers





I was able to purchase some plants from the Master Gardener sale and was able to fix my raised bed garden for these new plants.  Check out my new garden:


My raised bed garden

So since this is the month of gardening, what are you planting and growing in your garden?  Let me know and happy gardening!!

Ribbon Cutting Alert!! I am officially having the opening of my business through the Douglas County Chambers on Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 at 11:30 am.  If you are in the Douglasville, Georgia area then click here  for details.  Love to meet you!!