My Little Garden

My Little Garden
Hello and happy July!

If you don't know, I love love LOVE to garden. Now - let's be clear, I am NOT an expert! lol I do research, and I read information and try to do things the best way. But - I also am totally that person that just thinks, "Well, let's just plant it and see what happens!"

I live in North Texas, and that means I actually have a super long growing season. Realistically, I can have something most all year long, assuming we don't get a super harsh winter - or a historic freeze like we did in February. Since I'm a Southerner, I love to grow okra, tomatoes, black eyed peas and lots of different peppers. I've also learned that Japanese Eggplant grows really well for me, so that last 2 years I've had that in my garden as well.

So I want to just encourage you - if you think you want to garden, just do it! There are tons of websites and resources you can find. Basically you want to know what growing region you are in, and you can look up the best varietals for your region - if you want to get that specific. You can find seeds everywhere - even the dollar stores - and you should be able to find transplants at most home stores like Lowe's or Home Depot. I prefer to start at my local nurseries to help support them, then on to the bigger stores to fill in the blanks.

For seeds, I do prefer to get heirloom or organic, and Sustainable Seed Company is my go-to. I love that they have packs like a "Fall Garden". I even bought one this past year that is a "survival" pack and comes in a resealable envelope that helps keeps the seed viable for quite a few years.

You can grow in containers - don't make it hard! But if you want to do something bigger, we've had great success with raised beds. We've evolved over the years. My husband has made simple wooden beds, but this year a friend told us about some really nice, taller metal beds that were on sale at Tractor Supply. So we got 2 - and they are great! He actually built platforms for them with a sheet of weed cover cloth, and they are the perfect height for me.








You can see this bed is nice and deep, and it actually has a bar that goes across the middle half for support. This bed has tomatoes, eggplant and okra in it.












One of my favorites to grow is beans and peas - they are so easy!!! Right now I have a half bed of black eyed peas, and as my radishes and beets get pulled, I will probably replace them with more peas. Seriously - they are probably the easiest thing to grow! I actually let some of my black eyed peas dry on the vine last year and saved them - and that's what I used to plant my crop this year! You just need to leave some room since they are small viny bushes, but once you plant they will probably sprout within a week when well-watered. 







They get picked once the pods begin to turn yellow. You don't want to wait too long or they will be dried - but like I mentioned above, you can just go ahead and totally dry those and save them to plant next year. And my favorite are actually purple hull peas, which in fact, do have purple pods when it's time to pick them. I just couldn't find them last year.










One last thing - a friend told me about this helpful app called Seed to Spoon. It allows you to add plants to your "garden" and it gives you dates they should sprout and then anticipated harvest dates. You can add pictures, different kinds of events. And of course it has resources like pests you can look up, there's a weather feature and you can even look up plants by "health benefit". When you pull up a plant it gives you literally everything you need to know from planting dates to how to cook to saving the seeds! 

I hope this has encouraged you to try growing a little something for yourself! Even if it's just 1 tomato plant in a container, it's really so rewarding to grow your own food!

Blessings from our house to yours!
Sarah Claburn, ND

Dandelions - Guest Blog post by Tricia Baxter

Dandelions Welcome!

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I saw some dandelions in my yard the other day, and I say that’s great!

My neighbors may not be so happy with me about that, but too bad.

While others call them weeds, I say not so fast, because they really have a lot of positive sides.

Be honest. Who, as a kid, used to love dandelions? I remember rubbing the flower on my chin or cheek. I know it sounds silly, and the “game” could have originated with buttercups, but if the pollen rubbed off and left a yellow spot, you liked butter. Even those who don’t know that one, however, probably remember blowing the seeds all over as they made a wish – the idea being you were blowing your wishes into the wind so they would come true.

It’s full of vitamins A, B, C, and D as well as iron, potassium and zinc. Although I didn’t find scientific studies, there are articles on organic and homeopathic websites, and even on the website for the University of Maryland Medical Center about some of the medicinal uses of the plant. They include as diuretic, liver problems, weight loss, stomach problems, appendicitis, diabetes, and a whole host of other things. Some sites even mention the cosmetic use, citing their benefits in skin and beauty care.

How about as a food source? You’ve probably heard of dandelion wine (in fact, I believe my grandfather used to make it). And I know some folks who pick the young leaves as one of the now popular “baby” greens for salads. They can also be served cooked, a lot like spinach. But every part of the plant can be used for one purpose or another. Even the root can be roasted like a root vegetable or to make a coffee substitute.

But far, far more important than as a game for kids, or a food source for the rest of us, is the role dandelions play in our ecosystem.

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These bright flowers are one of the earliest flowers to bloom in spring and, as such, are an important source of food for several pollinators, including honeybees and several butterflies. Goldfinches and other birds eat the seeds, too. Each flower is 40-100 florets, each containing nectar, so pollinators don’t have to search for several flowers to feed on. Plus, dandelions bloom just about the time many of the species that feed on them emerge from overwintering sites.

Okay. So some still think of them as an annoying weed and wonder why they should give a care about all this.

Easy – our pollinators are important to us. Without them, we wouldn’t have the flowers we enjoy, nor many of the crops we use for food.

I can hear some folks now thinking I’m being a bit over dramatic. But consider this – at the time of writing this post, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and WorldWildlife.org have 8 species of bees on the endangered species list. Yes, most of those bees are native to Hawaii, but common to many parts of the US is one species of bumblebee that is a key pollinator of blueberries, tomatoes and many wildflowers (which in turn feed other pollinators). Also common to many areas are the 25 species of butterflies already on the endangered species list. As of December 2020, the USFWS decided that adding monarchs, a butterfly dear to many folks, to the endangered species list is warranted because of its drastic decline in population size. It is currently officially listed as “considered” because of some higher priority listings, but their population is being closely monitored while higher priority listings are handled. Because the monarch is so easily identified and popular, there are even folks who believe that as the monarch population goes, so do the populations of ALL pollinators. 

Granted, the dandelion is only one small factor among many in the decline of some pollinator species, but it is a factor.

So in a society that prizes perfectly manicured, weed-free carpets of grass, I’m glad to see a few dandelions in my yard. I may not have enough of a crop for any of those medicinal purposes nor even a small glass of wine, but I am more than happy to let the few I have feed some bees, butterflies, and birds.

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"Chillin' Out" just got a whole new meaning...

"Chillin' Out" just got a whole new meaning...

BLOG REPOST: This is a repost of my first Cryotherapy session. I wanted to share again to encourage a new group of readers to go try it! Since this post, Cryon7 is under new management and has a new name: Naturally Rooted, and my friend Cassie McDowell and her husband Grant are co-owners. They are located at 920 US 287 Frontage Rd in Mansfield, in the Tom Thumb Shopping Center.

How has your Thursday been? Mine, oh, you know, I got frozen in a vat of nitrogen down to -250ºF.

Seriously! Well, sort of.

Yup, that's me there in that cryo chamber. So, what craziness is this you ask? It's called Cryotherapy, and my friend has been encouraging me to try it for awhile now. I admit I was nervous which is why I kept putting it off. However, the nerves were for nothing and I'm glad I tried it. And yes, I will go back.

I took this directly off of their website:

What is Whole Body Cryotherapy?

Whole Body Cryotherapy is the use of extremely cold temperatures that triggers the body’s natural healing process. This was originally developed in Japan in the 1970’s to treat inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
There are a wide range of benefits from better sleep, faster recovery to sore muscles, improved skin and many more. These results are very quick and long lasting. Many people have experienced chronic issues resolved with regular use.
So, when you go in there are the necessary forms to fill out. They need to make sure you are okay to take the treatment, you know the risks, and then you sign the waiver. From what I remember you want to make sure you don't go in with wet skin or clothes, and they explain why you should avoid inhaling a big breath of the nitrogen to prevent fainting. No big deal. They will check your blood pressure and you are off to the room!

So once we were in the room, I got a pair of knit gloves, was asked if I wanted tall or short socks, and was told I would also need to put on a pair of slippers. She made sure I knew exactly what to do - then told me my goal was to undress as quickly as possible, get in the chamber, shut the door and ring the bell for her to come back. So I went fast - put on the tall socks, undressed quickly, put on the gloves and fluffy slippers and got in and shut the door. WHEW! Done.

At this point I was already cold because I am usually cold and I was thinking I had made an error in judgement with this crazy idea. But, as she said, it was too late to turn back so I was kind of at her mercy, HA! I was standing on a platform and she raised me up where my head was above the chamber wall. I asked her about the nitrogen thing, and she explained all of that to me and assured me my head would be at the correct level and to just blow away any that I felt was too close. No big deal. So then it's time to go!! FREEZE TIME! And let me explain something about this - they are not really "freezing" you. It's hypercooled air that is circulated around you. It's dry, and no tissue ever actually freezes. You just feel cold. Really cold. Let's continue.

I'd like to say how awesome my friend was at her job! She explained every single thing as we went along. She told me what to expect, how long I had left, what all good things were happening to my body in response to the cold. She gave me clear instructions and lots and lots of encouragement, 'cuz it is a little concerning when you can feel your skin getting that cold. She asked if I wanted a picture and got my phone and took a few for me. (They do have some props so you can take funny picts, but I had neglected to grab any for this time.) She answered all of my questions and kept me assured that things were going great, and told me to just keep turning.

And then all of a sudden I was done! And yes, I was cold, and I was shivering a little, but I did it! Once I got dressed, I realized that the sharp pain in my neck was gone, which was awesome!

So - how do you get this awesomeness? Go see my friends at Naturally Rooted Wellness Club. Besides Cryotherapy, they offer other services, most will help minimize the pain in your life:
•  NovoThor Red Light Pod
•  Normatec Compression Massage
•  Kangen Water FREE REFILL PROGRAM
•  HU=GO
•  BEMER Therapy (PEMF)
•  Cryoskin Slimming or Toning
•  Hocatt Ozone Sauna
•  Oxygen Bar with Aromatherapy

They have a new, wonderful program where you get to set your prices in exchange for becoming a member and coming in on a regular schedule. Call them right now - or go see them! 817-225-2929
Again, the address is 920 US 287 Frontage Rd in Mansfield, TX.

Let me know when you go - I want to hear what therapies you try!
Health and blessings!
Sarah C., ND

DIY Essential Oil Infused Dry Shampoo

DIY Essential Oil Infused Dry Shampoo

Did you know that washing your hair too often can leave hair prone to dryness and breakage? It’s easy to keep your locks looking lustrous and lifted and extend time between washes by applying a dry shampoo! Using ingredients you already have in your cupboards such as corn starch and baking soda, this DIY Dry Shampoo is free of harsh parabens, dyes, and perfumes that can damage hair and cause breakage. Cornstarch absorbs excess oil, while baking soda and Cedarwood, Rosemary, and Tea Tree essential oils make hair smell fresh and support the qualities of a healthy scalp.

You can experiment with your own blend of essential oils to find a scent that works best for you! We love Lavender, Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, and Peppermint for their wonderful aromas and various skin-care benefits. If you decide to add cocoa for dark hair, try using oils that complement the scent of chocolate like Orange, Peppermint, or Cinnamon.

DIY Essential Oil-Infused Dry Shampoo

Ingredients

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients.
  • Put in a container of your choice, such as an empty salt shaker or baby powder bottle.
  • Sprinkle on roots of hair and massage into scalp.
  • Leave for 2–3 minutes to absorb hair’s natural oils.
  • Brush through hair.

Quick Tips for a Healthy Liver

Quick Tips for a Healthy Liver
Spring brings with it signs of renewal and hope. And for many - spring cleaning is top of their list!

And while many people regularly think about cleaning their cars and houses - what about your body? Like other things, your body collects sludge and grime and needs to be cleaned at least once a year.

I've read a lot over the years about detoxes and cleanses, and as with everything health related, there are a lot of theories and recommendations. Health is NEVER one size fits all, so you need to read up and see what is going to work best for you and your body and lifestyle. It has to be doable and sustainable or you won't get any benefits.

One particular book I've read talks about the need to clean your body along with certain seasons. It starts in the fall with a colon cleanse, which is actually a really important step. Before you do ANY sort of cleanse or detox, you have to make sure you are having regular bowel movements. You don't want to start pushing out toxins when they have nowhere to go! You'll just compound your problem. So whether you do a "full" colon cleanse first or not - at the very least make sure you are going to the bathroom regularly - several times daily.

So why is a healthy liver even important? The liver handles over 50,000 chemical functions. It's a workhorse and does everything from converting food to fuel, to filtering toxins and producing bile. It produces enzymes and helps regulate hormones and cholesterol and balances sugars and numerous other functions. Liver health is a good indicator of overall health.

Some hazards to liver health are eating a poor diet high in processed foods, excess alcohol consumption, high use of acetaminophen and other OTC medications, vaccinations, pesticides and use of other environmental toxins like chemical cleaners. 

The good news is the the liver can actually regenerate itself up to a point. So even a "sick" liver can recover when given the proper tools, but you must give it a fair chance and proper time. You didn't get sick in a day and you also won't heal in a day either.

So when healing your liver, you need to reduce as much of the toxic load as possible. Ditch the processed, box foods. Look at what you are putting on your body as well - do you use highly-fragranced lotions and soaps and shampoo? Look for clean versions of those products. What are you using to clean your house? My personal favorite is Thieves Household Cleaner which is totally clean, safe and works wonders for every surface of your house. Look at my other blog articles for DIY tips with this amazing product!

Clearly, reducing or stopping alcohol is a must. Give your liver a rest - fasting is a great way to let your liver heal. Some people love intermittent fasting daily, for others, doing a simple 24 hour fast occasionally works well. And then feed it with nutritious foods! Carrot juice has long been known as an excellent liver cleanser. Beet juice is also great, and has a high mineral content and is great for the gallbladder and kidneys as well. A good rule of thumb is "bitter is good for the liver". So increase your intake of bitter herbs like cilantro, watercress, mint, parsley and dandelion. Foods rich in B and C vitamins like celery, spinach, cucumbers and cruciferous veggies along with citrus fruits are great for your liver. When it comes to proteins, stick to organic, pasture-raised animals and eggs. And drink that water!! Your liver needs adequate water to function, and generally you need to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces each day. Adding in fresh lemons will provide vitamin C and will also help the liver produce bile.


This is not meant to be a complete guide to doing a liver detox, but merely a starting point. Do more research. Find a plan that works for YOU! Along with the lifestyle and food changes, you may want to add in specific herbs and supplements that support liver health. Personally, my favorite company for supplements is Young Living because I trust their sources and ingredients. The addition of essential oils to their supplements makes them more absorbable, more bio-available to your body. If you'd like more information on their product line, I'd love to help you!

Thanks for stopping by to learn a little bit about liver health. I hope it's been informative, and I hope to keep writing more consistently to share with you. Be blessed!

Sarah Claburn, ND
 
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