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:
String (Pole) Beans and Cherry Tomato
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: firstname.lastname@example.org )
Next month is the first Annual Kids Eat Right Month! Check out this blog for further information.
Posted in Food, Gardening, Green Living, Nutrition
Tagged calories, Douglasville Master Gardeners, gardening, herbs, lettuce, plant sale, plants, Produce, salad, salad week, summer, vegetables
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!!
Posted in Food, Gardening, Green Living, Holistic Health, Nutrition
Tagged containers, Douglas County Master Gardeners, flowers, garden, gardening, greenhouse, growing, May, planting, pots, raised beds, seedlings, sprouts, transplant
What a beautiful day to spend time at the Cobb Galleria Centre for the 36th Annual Spring Atlanta Home Show. This is the largest home show that showcases over 350 exhibitors with the very latest home and gardening improvement products, and services. This is the place where you can drop in on a cooking demonstration, walk through an indoor landscaped garden or talk to a kitchen designer about your particular needs.
I had a chance to meet Ahmed Hassan who is a celebrity landscaper and original host of DIY Network’s Yard Crashers. I was so excited to meet with him (including my husband) and to learn what was going on with him since he had left Yard Crashers. Alot of people do not know his story of how he has got to where he is now . Ahmed was a trouble teen and had to make a dramatic change in his life to get himself out of the streets. He did this by becoming a landscaper and love it so much that he has been doing this for over 15 years. During that time, he was pick up but the HGTV and DIY Networks for his high energy personality, motivational spirit and his love of people and beautiful outdoor spaces.
Since becoming a Landscape Professional Celebrity he has been working with the California Federal of Corrections to help teens to find what opportunities that are out there for them in the areas of Landscaping and Gardening.
Since leaving the show he has his own business and no longer doing the landscaping but he is doing a variety of projects in the Environmental Green Living and Landscaping Consulting. For more information check out his website – http://www.ahmedhassan.tv/ and become apart of his facebook page: www.facebook.com/pages/Ahmed-Hassan-Celebrity-Landscaper
I truly enjoyed hearing Ahmed Hassan speak and please check out his calendar of events to meet him on his website. There were so many more things that I did at the Atlanta Home Show. Check out and see what I saw by clicking here:
Posted in Gardening, Green Living, Nutrition
Tagged Ahmed Hassan, Atlanta Home Show, consulting, environmental, gardening, green living, homes, landscape, Spring, television, Yard Crashers
Since this is Gardening Month, I want to let everyone know that I am one of the dynamic speaker at the 7 days Spiritual Body Building Tele-summit where my discussion topic is on Changing Your Temple: Gardening with Planting: The Right Foods! I would love for you, your friends, coworkers and family to be a part of this very special tele-summit . For more information to sign up for the 7-Day Tele-summit – Spiritual Body Building click here: http://resultsbyrenee.com/spiritual-body-building-telesummit/
April is Gardening Month and this year I have decided to plant an indoor seedling gardening. This is my very first time doing this and I decided to use a seedling gardening kit with organic gardening soil. I always wanted to be a part of the seed to sprout process of growing vegetables and flowers garden. What I have done in the past, like many people, was purchase my plants from fellow gardeners and plant it in my little garden. I never did thought how they were able to start off with a tiny seed and produce a little sprout which would later become a healthy plant. This year, I wanted to experience this by planting cucumbers, lettuce, squash, spinach, marigolds (for keeping the pest away from the tomatoes), zinna flowers, cosmos flowers, tomatoes, onions, sweet peppers and carrots. Check out the pictures below on how I started my gardening adventure:
To see pictures of the different seeds that I use for my garden click here!
Next week, I will discuss about my day at the Atlanta Home and Gardening Show!
Posted in Food, Gardening, Green Living, Holistic Health, Nutrition
Tagged April, flowers, garden, gardeners, gardening, indoor, kit, plants, seedlings, seeds, soil, spiritual, sprout, telesummit, vegetables
Spring is here and summer is around the corner. This is the time to to catch up with all of your cleaning and to get rid of the things that you once hold onto but really do not need. I had a chance to visit the Atlanta Home Show to see what are the new products and home organizers that are coming out for the 2013.
I had a chance to hear a speaker name Tonya M. Williams who is a HGTV Real Estate & Lifestyle expert discuss about the upward movement of real estate for both the seller and the buyer. She gave us ideas on how to refreshes our home for the coming season and what are the best low cost ways to remodel our homes. Indeed it was excellent information!
After hearing Ms. Williams, I then decided to walk around the Atlanta Home Show to see what are the new gardening items and home products. I stop and saw a beautiful model industrialized kitchen that can be place any kitchen and not look too overpowering. Easy to install closets organizers are being used in wet rooms, walk-in closets and office rooms. There were some unique water features such as vases, brick waterfalls, ponds and fire lighting rocks. Outdoor lighting is very key particularly using it as a focal point for a water feature. Outdoor living is still very popular with different displays of outdoor fireplaces, kitchens and stainless steel grills.
Outdoor living would not be complete unless you have a garden with flowers, trees, ornamental, plants and herbs. For your garden specifically use, companion herbs which can help you to get rid of any unwanted pests without using any pesticides. Herbs such as lavender , thyme, chives or any member of the allium family can even deter larger pests, such as hungry deer. It seems that to be that the strong aroma of certain herbs confuses pests and keeps them away from neighboring vegetables plants. Having herbs in your garden can help reduce weeds. Such as parsley which spreads and take over any empty spots before the weeds do.
So this summer enjoy your home both the inside and outside. Start on your home repairs and gardening right now!
Posted in Gardening, Green Living, Holistic Health
Tagged Atlanta Home Show, cleaning, closets, flowers, gardening, gardens, herbs, HGTV, home, kitchen, lighting, living, organizer, Outdoor, real estate, remodel, Spring, summer, Tonya M. Williams, water features
Farm tours are the best way to learn about farming so I had a chance to do a second farm tour at the Georgia Organics Farm Rx 2013 Conference. The first tour stop was the Umurima, The Burundi Women’s Farm which was truly enlightening and inspirational experience. Then second stop is Decatur’s Kitchen Garden at the United Methodist Children’s Home. This facility is a Global Growers Project which offers market garden plots to more than 30 community producers, primarily from the nearby international refugee community. Community producers come from cultures that include Nepali Bhutanese, Burmese Chin, Burmese Karen, and Burmese Zomi, and share their unique growing traditions and specialty crops in this 1.5 -acre garden and reclaimed fruit orchard. Many of the refugees did not know how to do anything but farm when they arrived to America. They had faced genocide or lived for years in refugee camps in their native countries. When they arrive in the United States, they are often bewildered by the interstates and fast food lifestyle of metro Atlanta. The Global Growers Network gave the refugees a comfort zone and provides a chance for them to make money and learn new skills and the American way of farming.
“This market garden is designed to foster community, offer education about healthy food traditions and growing practices and enhance biodiversity through cutting-edge sustainable resource management.” Quote from Global Growers Project
The Decatur’s Kitchen Garden has a demonstration garden and a small orchard on the United Methodist Children’s Home grounds. We had a chance during the tour to see the each gardeners garden plots and the types of foods that were being grown there. This garden is located in the back of the sprawling grounds of the United Methodist Children’s Home next to a lake where the farmers use their specialized green friendly irrigation system. As we traveled through the muddy dirt path we had noticed that each farmer has their own plot which is tagged with the farmer’s name, their community location and language background. The Farmers are allowed to plant their native countries fruits and vegetables on these plots and then have the chance to sell their produce to the local farmers markets and at the United Methodist Children’s Home. The Decatur’s Kitchen Garden successful cost effective format is based on having a self-sustaining green living garden. The Farmers everything from the garden and there is no such thing waste here. They use the different bins labeled as Compost, Landfill and Recycle and everything if possible is being reused for the land, for profit from the landfills or made as a gift for sale.
One of the items that were for sale was the baskets that were made from the wide spread grown problem weed called Kudzu. Some of the Bhutaneses people basket weavers would take Kudzu, bamboo, local vine and made a distinctive beautiful basket.
Another thing that the Farmers will do is to offset the cost by volunteering time with the Global Growers Network as part of the farmer’s teaching training program. The Global Growers Network (GGN) does not charge any refugee farmer for their plots but a portion of the monies of the produce sold does go back to GGN programs.
Immediately following the second tour, The Spotted Trotter held a open house tasting of their cheese and cured, salted, and smoked meats. It is a boutique charcuterie owned and operated by Kevin and Megan Outzs. They work with local producers, like the Global Growers Network to ensure humane-treatment and sustainable practices are used in the production of all of their ingredients. All of the food from the The Spotted Trotter was very delicious and tasty.
I truly had a great time at all of the the Georgia Organics Cultural Farm Tours. I embrace all of these farmers styles of gardening and their love for the Decatur, Georgia Communities. Since being on these Farm Tours I have now open my mind up to the green way of living and trying culturally diverse organic foods. So the next time you decided to come to a Georgia Organics Farm Rx Conference make sure you do a Farm Tour and be open to a new way of farming! Click here for more photos of the Cultural Farm Tours.
Posted in Cultural Diversity, Gardening, Green Living, Nutrition
Tagged baskets, Bhutanese, Burmese, charcuterie, community producers, cultural farm tours, cutures, Decatur's Kitchen garden, farm tours, farming, farms, gardeners, gardening, Georgia Organics, Georgia Organics Farm Rx Conference, Global Growers Network, global growers project, green living, Kudz, The Spotted Trotter, traditions, United Methodist Children's Home
Since the weather is getting colder this week blog posting will give you a warm vision of Florida. I had the chance to visit the Pinellas County – Florida Botanical Gardens which is a free educating environmental friendly gardens. These wonderful gardens are run by Pinellas County Extension – Master Gardener which has over 30 acres of cultivated gardens and 90 acres of natural areas. I truly loved this place and learned so much about Florida’s gardens, wildlife and habitats. The Florida Botanical Gardens ideas birth began in 1991. Starting in 1999, the Florida Botanical Gardens build the gardens and it was completed in early 2001.
The first place I visited was the Wetland Habitat where I had a chance to observed how the plants, trees and animals become at home in a man made retention pond. The Wetland Habitat has over 150 types of bird, mammals, and reptiles that have been documented on site. Several endangered or threatened species including Bald Eagles, Gopher tortoises and Sherman Fox squirrels make their home there. I had a chance to see a pelican looking for their first meal and alligator sunbathing in the hot sun.
There are beautiful flowers that are indigenous to the Wetlands Habitats that were planted and bloomed around the pound. Some of the flowers and plants were the gorgeous bird of paradise, lilies, wild coffee and the blanket flower.
The Florida Botanical Gardens office has volunteer Master Gardeners to assist with the staff to keep the grounds looking beautiful. There is indoor waterfall, water loving plants in hanging pots, drought resistant and weird looking plants coming out from the building.
Another place on the grounds was the Wedding Garden where there is a rose garden that showed a varied kind of roses. There were different types and shapes of topiary, beautiful Hibiscus flowers and unusually shape pines. The site is perfect for a wedding with the brick pathway and open spaces.
Next week blog post is the Herb and Vegetable Garden and check out my Florida Botanical Gardens pictures in the gardening section on Pinterest. Click here!
Posted in Gardening, Travel
Tagged animals, County Extension Services, Florida, Florida Botanical Gardens, flowers, gardening, gardens, habitats, HEPSA Living Healthy, Herb and Vegetable Garden, Living Healthy, Living Healthy Online, Master Gardeners, pelican, Pinellas County, plants, retention pond, roses, species, tree, volunteer, waterfall, Wedding garden, wetlands, wildlife
Every big city has a chance to showcase their communities businesses, volunteer and governmental organizations but what the about small towns? Can they do the same? Of course they can! I had the pleasure to attend the Taste of Douglasville where you can get the chance to taste the local flavor!! This year was bigger and better than ever with the Theme of “Better Living”. This is the 19th year with the assistance of the Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville, Cobb and Paulding Public Health Department . The wonderful local paper called the Douglas County Sentinel highlighted this event.
There was 20 restaurants that were featured with a variety of dishes such as Italian, Chinese, Irish, Seafood, Mexican, BBQ and Soul Food. There was food sampling and full course lunch with certain prices of course. There were awards that were given to the restaurants for Best New Restaurant, Best Presentation for their booth, Most Sold and one new award, the Better Choice Award for healthy menu items.
The festival had around 40 creative vendors that were selling handmade jewelry, custom-made crochet items, recycled wind chimes, hurricane lanterns, cut and tied fleece blankets, crocheted baby blankets, centerpieces, paper art, 100 percent recycled t-shirts, marionettes, homemade dog treats, hand-embroidered children’s clothes, local cookbooks and many more creative works. There was demonstrations participation such as pottery making, clay art tribal Henna body art, hands-on bowl-making workshops, face painting, balloons and bubbles designing and mixed media sculpture making.
The theme of this year “Better Living” was focused on having several national and local health- and fitness-focused booths. The organizations that participated were the American Heart Association, Douglas County Cooperative Extension Service, CORE and Live Healthy Douglas Coalition. A very interesting thing had happened this year where there was no smoking allowed near the festival and smokers were allowed to walk about five blocks away from the festival to smoke. This new rule was inducted due to the “Better Living” theme which is a great thing that Douglasville decided to do! I had a chance to volunteer with the Master Gardeners/4H Group booth. I had a chance to sell organic tomato plants, give out water to the hot crowd and answered questions about gardening.
I was truly proud to see that over 12,000 people show up to the Taste of Douglasville and that the local community made a effort to promote local businesses and healthy living theme. Way to go Douglasville!!
Posted in Gardening, Nutrition
Tagged art work, BBQ, better living, booth, business, chinese, community, demonstration, Douglasville, exercise, festivals, fitness, food, gardening, health, healthy living, Irish, Italian, Mexican, organizations, participation, restaurants, samplings, seafood, Soul Food, Taste of Douglasville, theme, vendors
Have you ever seen a roof top garden? This was my first time and now I truly believe that you can grow anything anywhere. The Douglas County Master Gardeners program is responsible for this interesting Roof Top Garden. This Roof Top Garden is located at Sweetwater Creek State Park in Douglas County Georgia. The Roof Top Garden is on top of the Sweetwater Creek State Park Visitors’ Center and Museum at the park which also has a solar power roof. It was completed in the spring of 2006, this 8,700-square-foot Visitor’s Center and Museum achieved and received the LEED Platinum certification. In the LEED-NC® (New Construction) category, the Sweetwater Creek Visitor Center is only the 20th building in the world, and the first in the southeastern United States, to be awarded the Council’s highest distinction. This is truly an honor to received this! The Center and Museum quoted: “carefully integrated into the hillside of the project site to allow access to the green roof and roof top garden.” The site includes numerous visitor education elements including a demonstration garden, descriptions of underground rainwater cisterns, electric car charging stations and accessible green roof,” (Greenroofs.com)
The owner of the Sweetwater Creek State Park – Visitors’ Center and Museum, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, “wanted the building to help achieve their mission of protecting and preserving natural resources. Indeed, the visitor center, which opened to the public in 2006, serves as a full-scale demonstration model for designing, constructing, and operating a green building. Thirty-eight percent of the building’s total roof area, or 4000 square feet (370 square meters), is used for rainwater collection,” (ArchitectureWeek, 2007).
The outdoor plaza of the Visitors’ Center and Museum overlooks the beautiful living roof, planted with a combination of native and non-native flowering perennials, grasses and ground covers. The Visitors’ Center and Museum also involved in converting waste to food. The nitrogen rich liquid from the compost bins is being used with diluted greywater before being fed to a demonstration roof top garden by using drip irrigation lines at the root level of the plants.
This building is environmentally safe and a great educational garden tool on how we all go green. Check out our Green Living Classes below:
How to Adopt Green Practices in Business and Gain a Competitive Advantage
Home Energy Fundamentals
Choosing a Renewable Energy Installer
Achieving Solar – An Introductory Guide
The EcoBroker Certificate Program
Green Driving Techniques
Also check out for more pictures of the Roof Top Garden.
Posted in Gardening, Holistic Health
Tagged Douglas County, gardening, Gerogia, LEED, Living Healthy, Master Gardeners, plants, Roof Top Garden, solar power roof, Sweetwater Creek State Park, Visitors' Center and Museum