Friday, November 30, 2018

Food and Diabetes: 1

The underlying motivation for following the food path is my own health. I have Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoarthritis in both knees. Nutrition and learning about the food I consume are essential. I know we are what we eat.

I use exercise, food, and knowledge to create a balance between my mind, body, and spirit. All three are vital to being healthy. This is why I am actively following the soil, food, health, path.
A secondary reason for seeking the truth about my chosen path is I know permaculture design can create a world where all beings live in harmony or at least in balance.

I, originally, received a permaculture design certificate (PDC) because I was looking for a means to address hunger and stumbled upon Bill Mollison. My interest grew from there.
 We all want and need to eat. Food is a fundamental human right.

I am refining my diet, or better, the foods I consume for health and enjoyment. I will make weekly progress reports here every Friday.




Monday, November 26, 2018

Repair The Soil

"New technologies and genetically modified crops are usually invoked as the key to feeding the world’s growing population. But a widely overlooked opportunity lies in reversing the soil degradation that has already taken something like a third of global farmland out of production. Simple changes in conventional farming practices offer opportunities to advance humanity’s most neglected natural infrastructure project—returning health to the soil that grows our food."

source

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Earthworms

 What do earthworms have to do with healthy food? They help create healthy soil.

Earthworms inhabit can live in a wide variety of soil types but like, all beings, the healthier the soil, the healthier and more numerous the earthworms. Air and moisture are two elements all earthworms demand. Unlike people the earthworm does not lungs. They breathe through their skin. Like people earthworms take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide.

Moisture provides help with breathing but, if there is too much water and they will drown.

Besides, the red wiggler. There are three other common earthworms. They are:

Nightcrawlers: 8 to 10 inches long and the fisherman's favourite. 
Garden Worms: 5 to 7 inches long and found commonly in damp soils. 
Manure Worms: 4 to 5 inches long and found in manure-rich soils. 

No earthworms in the garden? A garden without earthworms will not receive the wide number of benefits that the worms bring to the garden. Earthworms move through the soil by tunnelling. This tunneling action allows air and moisture to pass easily through the soil, creating a healthy environment for plants. Tunnels retain water that the plants are able to ingest. The air passing through these tunnels enables the soil bacteria to break down organic matter within the soil. 

Like humans. Sometime after consuming a meal, earthworms need to dispose of what they have consumed. The excrement the worm passes is small, say the size of a pinhead, for example. Soil scientists and natural gardeners refer to the discarded product as castings. Castings make an excellent soil additive. Castings improve the soil’s ability to retain moisture. To aid plant growth. It also assists in the battle against pests and diseases that can ultimately harm the plant.

Allow fallen leaves to accumulate on the garden bed.
Add mulch to the garden bed Directly bury kitchens craps into the soil. I remember watching my father to this. The hole should be between 10 centimeters (3.9 in)-20 centimeter (7.9 in) in depth. Do this all over the garden, a different spot every time.

Follow these simple steps and the worms will come. A healthy garden is a worm-filled garden.

Mulch can also be applied on top of the garden’s surface. Mulching Tips:
1- Mulch is spread on top of the soil around the plants and along pathways. You can use, leaves from deciduous trees and shrubs, lawn clippings and sawdust as mulch around perennial plants.
2- For your vegetable garden use nitrogen-rich green materials, for example, lawn clippings and other green garden trimmings.
·         Do not put mulch too close to tree trunks Spread the mulch out to the drip line, which is the outer perimeter of the tree’s branches
·         Remove mulch or turn it under in the Spring as slugs and snails will see it as an ideal place to lay eggs.
The natural gardener knows a thriving garden requires garden friends, until next week, happy gardening.

The red wiggler is an earthworm and was last week’s featured garden friend.

Today, our focus will fall on three other types of earthworms. The earthworm simplifies the work, anyone who does not use synthetic substances, must do to maintain a thriving, highly-productive garden.

Earthworms inhabit can live in a wide variety of soil types but like, all beings, the healthier the soil, the healthier and more numerous the earthworms. Air and moisture are two elements all earthworms demand. Unlike people the earthworm does not lungs. They breathe through their skin. Like people earthworms take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide.

Moisture provides help with breathing but, if there is too much water and they will drown.

Besides, the red wiggler. There are three other common earthworms. They are:

Nightcrawlers: 8 to 10 inches long and the fisherman's favourite. 
Garden Worms: 5 to 7 inches long and found commonly in damp soils. 
Manure Worms: 4 to 5 inches long and found in manure rich soils. 

No earthworms in the garden? A garden without earthworms will not receive the wide number of benefits that the worms bring to the garden. Earthworms move through the soil by tunnelling. This tunneling action allows air and moisture to pass easily through the soil, creating a healthy environment for plants. Tunnels retain water that the plants are able to ingest. The air passing through these tunnels enables the soil bacteria to break down organic matter within the soil. 

Like humans. Sometime after consuming a meal, earthworms need to dispose of what they have consumed. The excrement the worm passes is small, say the size of a pinhead, for example. Soil scientists and natural gardeners refer to the discarded product as castings. Castings make an excellent soil additive. Castings improve the soil’s ability to retain moisture. To aid plant growth. It also assists in the battle against pests and diseases that can ultimately harm the plant.
Allow fallen leaves to accumulate on the garden bed.
Add mulch to the garden bed Directly bury kitchens craps into the soil. I remember watching my father to this. The hole should be between 10 centimeters (3.9 in)-20 centimeter (7.9 in) in depth. Do this all over the garden, a different spot every time.

Follow these simple steps and the worms will come. A healthy garden is a worm-filled garden.

Mulch can also be applied on top of the garden’s surface. Mulching Tips:
1- Mulch is spread on top of the soil around the plants and along pathways. You can use, leaves from deciduous trees and shrubs, lawn clippings and sawdust as mulch around perennial plants.
2- For your vegetable garden use nitrogen-rich green materials, for example, lawn clippings and other green garden trimmings.
·         Do not put mulch too close to tree trunks Spread the mulch out to the drip line, which is the outer perimeter of the tree’s branches
·         Remove mulch or turn it under in the Spring as slugs and snails will see it as an ideal lace to lay eggs.

The natural gardener knows a thriving garden requires garden friends, until next week, happy gardening.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

NEWS: Plastics in Air we Breathe.

I read this today online and had to share. Microplastics in the ait, WTF? This may be from the UK, but still, check it out.

"Dr Natalie Welden, who led the research, said the findings had major implications for any uncovered food.
'Having food exposed to particles in the air for an extended period will result in a higher amount of plastic,' she added.
'Organisms that are exposed to air and are either not cleaned or rinsed as part of the packing process are exposed. The pool of plastics that's out there forming airborne particles is huge.
'It's a symptom of endemic plastic use throughout our culture as a whole.'"

source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5516159/Plastic-particles-air-supermarket-fish-sample.html

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Bumblebees

Bumblebees enjoy one another’s company. They are considered to be one of nature’s most sociable characters. Bumblebees live in colonies; each colony may be made up of fifty to four hundred individual bees. The population size varies by the bumblebee species and environmental conditions.
The queen, a dominant female, rules the colony. The other bees serve her or gather food or care for developing larvae. During the late fall, the entire colony dies, except for the queen. She hibernates during the winter months underground and starts a new colony in the spring. 
Like the honey bee and other pollinators, the bumble is at risk. The National Academy of Sciences in the United States has recently stated that the bumblebee is in danger. The Academy has not yet pinpointed the specific threat but does offer a range of possibilities, habitat loss, and pesticide use are two.
Flowers provide pollen and nectar to feed the bumblebee. As the bee feeds pollination takes place.  As the bee moves around within the plant and from plant to plant pollination occurs. When pollen is transferred in and between flowers of the same species fertilization occurs. This leads to successful seed and fruit production for plants.  Pollination ensures that a plant will produce full-bodied fruit and a full set of viable seeds.
Hummingbirds also pollinate the plants we consume either as food or as décor. Attracting hummingbirds to the yard is exactly the same process used to bring in the bees.
Hummingbirds will visit any garden that contains one or more of the following plants:
Bee balm: Bee balm or Monarda didyma will not only attract hummingbirds, but will also encourage butterflies, bees, and other nectar-seeking creatures to stop by. Bee balm is also known as horsemint, wild bergamot, and Oswego tea.
Bee balm does best in full sun but will accept light shade. It will do very well in moist soils that is rich in compost or other organic material.
Butterfly bush:
The butterfly bush or Buddleja davidii is well known for its ability to attract butterflies but it also pulls in hummingbirds. The butterfly bush is a deciduous to semi-evergreen shrub that has a weeping form reaching anywhere from 6-12 ft. (1.8-3.7 m) tall with a spread of 4-15 ft. (1.2-4.6 m)
Red Columbine:
Red columbine or Aquilegia Canadensis is a well-known perennial wildflower. Red columbine can be grown in sunny areas but does well in shade. This It will reach 24-36" tall with an 18" spread at maturity.
Daylilies:
Daylilies or Hemerocallis enjoy full sun and the bright yellow variety are hummingbird magnets. Daylilies can tolerate light shade, but flower best with a minimum of six hours of direct sun. Light shade during the hottest part of the day keeps the flowers fresh.
Do not plant daylilies near trees and shrubs.
Salvia:
Salvia is a relatively common plant and the red variety is very attractive to hummingbirds.

When you plant the garden with the goal of providing space for honeybees, bumblebees or hummingbirds you are planning for the pollinators our food supply system depends upon, until next week, happy gardening.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Malnutrion cases rise.

"Late in 2017, a United Nations agency announced that the number of chronically malnourished people in the world, after a decade of decline, had started to grow again—by thirty-eight million, to a total of eight hundred and fifteen million, “largely due to the proliferation of violent conflicts and climate-related shocks.” In June, 2018, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. found that child labor, after years of falling, was growing, “driven in part by an increase in conflicts and climate-induced disasters.” source

Please read this article!


Friday, November 16, 2018

Nutrient Density




We are what we eat. Food is our medicine. These two sayings are oft repeated by people who understand that food and health are intimately related. I do not plan to argue the truth of either, I leave that up to the individual.
What I am interested in is the quality of the real food we eat. By real food, I mean vegetables, fruit, meat, fish and chicken. Personally, when it comes to what I either buy or grow, my main concern is the item contains the minerals, vitamins, and micronutrients my body demands.
When it comes to growing my own, there are three reasons why I select the plants I do.  The first, I like to experiment. Grow something I have never grown, just to see what happens. Second, I enjoy certain foods. Third, I want to add foods that have a high nutrient density.
Nutrient density is a measure of the nutrients provided per calorie of food, or the ratio of nutrients to calories (energy). The salad or cut-and-come-again garden is ideal for some high nutrient plants.
Cut-and-come-again refers to the plants’ abilities to grow new leaves after they have been harvested. In hot weather, lettuces and other green leafy plants have a tendency to bolt, in other words, go to seed, rather quickly and the crop is lost.
Now what to grow in the cut-and-come-again garden or salad garden? There are many options. I like spinach, romaine lettuce, kale, and arugula, for example, but there are a number of others, that are ideal in a salad garden.
My five top crops for the home salad garden are and this is not in order of importance: leaf lettuces, radishes, snow peas, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
The snow peas, cucumbers and tomatoes can all be grown vertically in containers if your space is limited or if you simply do not want to bend over to tend them.
Leaf lettuce is a lettuce with an open growth habit, which forms loose clusters of leaves rather than a tight head of lettuce. There are a few leaf lettuces on the marker, a favourite is red leaf lettuce.
Leaf lettuces reach maturity before other lettuces and are ideal for the short season garden. I like growing several plants that are early producers because winter is long and the growing season quite short.
Growing something that provides a yield early provides fresh food early in the gardening season. This is why I also grow radishes. Some radishes can reach maturity in 28 days. We enjoy the mild heat and flavour in salads and sandwiches.
Cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce make a fine sandwich. Cucumbers are one of the foods that remind me of my youth and a garden just would not be complete without them.
Snow peas are great in a stir fry served with rice or noodles. They also make a great addition to a salad. In fact, all these vegetables can be combined in a number of ways to produce healthy and delicious salads. So, until next week, happy gardening.




Composting: Soil, Food, Health

Good day, composting, a great way to build healthy soil. Check out the link for a good overview. My next post coming Monday will begin our look at composting and healthy food, soil and you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Soil, Food, Health: Part 1.

Healthy Soil, Healthy Food, Healthy People, simple enough and true. But, how healthy is the food we eat today? This post is an introduction to a series focusing on the food we eat, in all its aspects.  The first two parts are on soil and the nutrient value of the food we consume. First is the soil that grows our food as chock full of nutrients as it was say 50 years ago.    Maybe not.





Wednesday, November 7, 2018

What The Human Body Needs

Nutrients. The seven major classes of nutrients are carbohydrates,fats, fiber, mineralsproteinsvitamins, and water. These nutrient classes are categorized as either macronutrients or micronutrients(needed in small quantities).source

Micronutrients

Called micronutrients because they are needed only in minuscule amounts, these substances are the “magic wands” that enable the body to produce enzymes, hormones and other substances essential for proper growth and development. As tiny as the amounts are, however, the consequences of their absence are severe. Iodine, vitamin A and iron are most important in global public health terms; their lack represents a major threat to the health and development of populations the world over, particularly children and pregnant women in low-income countries.

Micronutrient deficiencies

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Are You Malnourished?

Does your diet consist mainly of pizza, hamburgers, fries and other fast foods? If it does then you could be malnourished.

"Simplistically, malnutrition is defined as “bad nourishment.” It includes under-nourishment and over-nourishment. So are we putting poor rural families suffering food insecurities and North Americans who consider hamburgers and soda an important part of their diet in the same basket? In a sense, yes. Because there is so much more to malnutrition that we need to know."

". Hunger and malnutrition usually go hand-in-hand. However, there is no guarantee that an abundance of food will stamp out malnutrition. In other words, food security and nutritional security are two different things. Malnutrition relates to the qualityof the diet, and the inadequate intake of nutrients and proteins."

source

Monday, November 5, 2018

Hunger Facts,


Hunger FACTS

Children are especially vulnerable

Every 5 seconds a child under 5 dies because of hunger, or of directly related causes.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

  • Malnutrition, in all its forms, includes undernutrition (wasting, stunting, underweight), inadequate vitamins or minerals, overweight, obesity, and resulting diet-related noncommunicable diseases.  http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/malnutrition

Malnutrition is a problem that we can help solve. I will explore how individuals and organizations are addressing, this all too common social problem.

Garden Photos

 bee balm growing in the backyard  pumpkin flower, side garden glass gem corn side garden