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Planting Garlic

 Garlic is a member of the allium family of onions and shallots. It is often referred to as a herb. Garlic is not difficult to grow and pretty easy to maintain. It can be grown directly into the ground or in a container which makes it a  versatile plant that can be accommodated in whatever space you have available. Garlic for planting is bought as a bulb, usually two or three to a pack. The bulbs need to be split into cloves first and planted with the flat bottom part of the clove downwards.

Garlic likes a fertile, well-drained soil. Apply plenty of well-rotted manure and organic matter in autumn for spring planting, and in early summer for autumn planting.

If your soil is acidic, add lime to increase the alkalinity of the soil (up to about 6.5 pH).
Cloves should be planted 2in deep, 3in-4in apart and 8in between rows. Alternatively, you can grow them in 16 in. pots.

Looking after your plants

Garlic requires very little maintenance other than watering if the weather turns dry and regular weeding. Even though cold is good where garlic is concerned, if the weather turns very cold, say below  23°F, a little mulch around the plants will help protect them.


Garlic is ready for harvest when the leaves begin to turn yellow and start to bend over. If you leave the bulbs in too long the cloves will start to split., If you harvest too early they will have had insufficient time in the ground to dry out and will not store so well.


Use a fork to loosen the soil around the roots before harvesting and then spread the bulbs out on trays to dry for a few days. Bring them indoors in a well-ventilated area to dry if the weather is wet. If you keep the stalks on you can plait or string them and then hang them up to dry in a cool, dry area.

Hardneck types produce large cloves that don’t store as well as softneck types which produce more cloves too. Hardneck varieties often produce scapes (flower stalks) which should be cut off – though they are edible and can be used to flavor savory dishes. Elephant garlic, which belongs to the leek family and is therefore not a true garlic, produces mild-flavored, very large, whole bulbs which don’t divide into cloves.

Hardneck variety – Elephant garlic This aptly named variety of the leek family produces whole bulbs that dwarf garlic bulbs. Suitable for both spring and autumn planting.

two white garlics

Photo by Isabella Mendes on

Softneck varieties – Long lasting, great for braiding

garlic braid long-term-storage-all-natural-good


Garlic tends to be relatively problem free but can experience the same problems that also affect other members of the onion family.

  • Allium Leaf Miner: This is a relative newcomer, first appearing in the early years of the 21st century in the southern half of the UK, but spreading fast. The fly lays eggs on the plant and
    the maggots burrow into all parts of the plant. The resulting pupae are brown. Covering with fleece or fine insect netting will keep the flies out.
  • Leek Moth: The caterpillars of this moth feed on the leaves, causing serious damage to the plant and consequent rotting. Covering with fleece or fine insect netting will keep the moths out. Clear the debris away from around the plant too as adult moths are likely to overwinter there.
  • Onion White Rot: This can devastate a crop and is more likely in hot, dry summers with the leaves turning yellow and the base of the bulbs showing fluffy white fungus. Nothing much to be done here other than avoiding growing any of the onion family on the same patch for five years or more as this is a soil-borne disease.
  • Rust: This is an unsightly fungal disease which shows itself as orange-red-brown pustules on leaves (below). Unless seriously affected, the bulbs themselves tend to be unaffected

Herbs & Aromatherapy as Anti-Inflammatories – Easing Aches and Pains

Hands-of-Faith Holistic Healing Centers® Blog

For soreness, aches and pains associated with exercise, some people use muscle rubs (often medicinal-smelling), aspirin or other over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, while others just tough it out. These remedies can be quite costly, as well as having unpleasant side effects. Fortunately, these are not the only options. Herbs and their volatile aromatic oils — essential oils — can be useful in relieving the aches and pains of inflammation. These remedies are simple to make, effective, without side effects when properly used, and in the long run are much less costly than OTC remedies.

As with most holistic therapies, the goals of using herbs or essential oils are well-being and prevention, rather than restoration after the damage is done. Of course, the best recommendation to avoid inflammation is proper stretching before exercise and warming up rather than diving right into strenuous training. AromaHerbal treatments (a combination of herbs and essential…

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Growing Onions Vertically On The Windowsill

Auntie Dogma's Garden Spot

postheadericon One for the enthusiast

How nice would it be to just be able to pluck fresh green onions from the soil whenever you need them? Nothing beats fresh onions for your salads, dips or soup. But how can you ensure a supply of fresh onions at hand all the time?

Sure, onions are available all year round from the supermarket, but they are hardly fresh and there’s almost always no way to know for sure where they came from.

Gardeners of course will simply grow them but some simply have problems with available space.

I came across an image of spring onions grown vertically on the windowsill, using a common 5 Liter PBS bottle, which I thought was a practical, space-saving and green way to grow onions. I posted the image on our Facebook Page and a few people asked how it was done…

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DIY: Hillbilly Washing Machine


This is a great method for off-the-grid low-tech clothes washing or, in my case, diaper washing as part of the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge.

The total cost to make this washer was around $6, and about 10 minutes. The amount of time it takes to operate depends entirely on the quantity of clothing and the type of material being washed. Denim, for example, will take more effort than t-shirts.

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The Cool Techie DIY Beehive: Another Tool for Colony Collapse Disorder

The Cool Techie DIY Beehive: Another Tool for Colony Collapse Disorder

“If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.”

― Maurice Maeterlinck, The Life of the Bee


ValerianValerian is a medicinal herb and root that has significant sedative and tranquilizing properties that can provide tremendous benefit to both the central nervous system and the muscular system. Valerian contains calcium, manganese, quercitin, and ascorbic acid as well as valepotriate and isovaleric acid which gives it its calming and relaxing qualities. It is especially beneficial for chronic insomnia, headaches, nervousness, menstrual problems, and anxiety. It is also helpful in soothing the digestive tract and cramps associated with irritable bowel syndrome. Valerian is also known to be very beneficial for the cardiovascular system and overall heart health. Valerian can also be used to help control hunger and reduce the urge to eat out of stress. It has been shown to be beneficial in reducing seizure activity and is often combined with other herbs such as lemon balm, hops, and passionflower for increased relaxation and healing benefits. Valerian is most often taken as a supplement in a capsule, tincture, or tea form and can be readily found online or at your local health food store.

Difference between Industrial Hemp and Cannabis


Distinguishing Hemp from Its Cousin.
Industrial hemp and marijuana may look somewhat alike to an untrained eye; an easily trained eye can distinguish the difference. Hemp (from Old English hænep) is a commonly used term for high growing varieties of the Cannabis plant and its products, which include fiber, oil, and seed. Hemp is refined into products such as hemp seed foods, hemp oil, wax, resin, rope, cloth, pulp, paper, and fuel.

The difference in appearance and growing methods is akin to the difference between growing corn and roses. Industrial hemp and feral ditchweed are grown closely together (rows are as close as 4 inches apart), it is grown in large multi-acre plots, it grows thin and tall, as tall as 20 feet high in many cases, has few branches or leaves below the tops, and is grown 108-120 days. 

Contrast that with medicinal cannabis: grown 6 feet apart, it is a shorter fatter bush with many branches, smaller plots with fewer plants, and is grown for 60-90 days. When ready to harvest, the corn vs. roses analogy is even more striking. I have pictures of medicinal cannabis grown legally in Europe, where it is next to an orchard and vineyard, and it is clearly very different from the industrial hemp pictures from Canada.

ImageThere are differences in leaf structure that are apparent even after harvest, as most medicinal cannabis plants are either broad leafed with a 5 or 7 leaf pattern (Cannabis Indica) or a tight bud or nugget with orange “hairs” (from an Afghani strain, preferable to growers because it is ready to harvest quickest, and their customers prefer it). The Cannabis Sativa that is typically industrial hemp matures the slowest, and Sativa is not preferred by most customers any more.

THC content in feral hemp is probably around 0-2 percent. Industrial hemp in Canada is 0.3 percent or less, and better commercial varieties of medicinal cannabis are up to 25 percent. Don’t buy the argument that 1 percent THC in hemp is enough to get high, because industrial hemp also has high CBD (cannabidiol, a cannabinoid in hemp) that is essentially a THC antagonist. More CBD means the THC is less effective, and hemp is highest in CBD and medicinal is lowest. So even if there is 1 percent THC in hemp, the CBD makes it useless to smoke. As for extracting the THC from hemp: why bother? If you can buy pot (even in your jail) for as low as $100/oz., why try and extract it at great cost and hassle? Just go down to the local park and buy real pot and save the inconvenience. It’s much like saying only people over 21 can buy potatoes, since kids might make vodka out of it!

And remember, industrial hemp pollens will make the sinsemilla (seedless, highest potency, requires an absence of cannabis pollen) downwind for many miles less potent

Taking on a New Project

hemp researchMy son and I have entered into a business partnership. As soon as it is legalized in South Carolina, we are Hemp and Medical Marijuana Farmers. Ganja Planters…lol

I simply adore sustainable agriculture! If we have the space, we will be adding bamboo to the farm as well. As an avid gardener/farmstress I see endless possibilities when it comes to planting.

In addition, we shall be adopting Will Allen’s method of aquaponic agriculture.

Our goals…Give People JOBS! That’s right…EMPLOYMENT!

“Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interest by the most lasting bands.” Thomas Jefferson

How to grow a lemon tree from seed

Try it!

Growing Wild

When life gives you lemons, grow trees!

If you’ve ever seen a flowering lemon tree, you’ll understand why. For those of you who haven’t, allow me explain. Their lush, dark green, oval leaves have a glossy texture that shimmers in sunlight. Their delicate white flowers bloom with a citrus fragrance and are soft to the touch. Their exotic nature provides an alluring quality. And, finally, they bear the exciting possibility of fruit!

Typically, lemon trees flourish outdoors year-round in hot, sunny regions, but they can also thrive indoors as edible houseplants in cold-season climates. At the organic food store where I work we have a healthy lemon cutting producing massive fruit in a garage setting all year. It makes for an impressive sight during the dead of a Canadian winter!

And while rooting cuttings is a sensible option for fast fruit, lemon tree cuttings are not readily available in many…

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Two Cows


Lantanagurl's Rambling Mind

You have two cows.... You have two cows….

TWO COWS ~{Matthias Varga}

You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbour

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and gives you some milk

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and sells you some milk

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and shoots you

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then
throws the milk away

You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy
You sell them and retire on the income

You have two cows.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by
your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that…

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