Urban Farmers are my Heroes

Luke Keegan started with eight raised beds (6′x4′) with reclaimed redwood from a barn. The Dervaes family started much the same way.

For over a decade, the Dervaes family have proved that growing your own food can be sustainable, practical, successful and beautiful even in an urban area. they harvest 3 tons of organic food annually from their 1/10 acre garden while incorporating many back-to-basics (permaculture) practices, solar energy, and biodiesel in order to reduce their footprint on the earth’s resources.

Read about them here: http://urbanhomestead.org/

Keegan started his very own garden of Eden on his small front lawn in the busy port city of Oakland, California. He has given me the inspiration I’ve been looking for. Keegan posted what he calls Operation “ the Lawn” to the photo sharing network Imgur, sharing the story of how he replaced his drab lawn with a flourishing edible garden!

Read his story here: http://imgur.com/a/JihrB?gallery

 

If they can do it, I can do it 🙂

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Beat Dandruff with Natural Rx

apothocary

The cause of your dandruff could be from one or several factors. Experts have not discovered the cause of dandruff, but a likely suspect is yeast fungus. Use these three natural remedies to fight the flakes.

 Tea Tree Oil is a tough astringent which is also antibacterial and antifungal. It has been shown (published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology) to effectively treat dandruff when added to your shampoo in a 5% ratio. You can easily make your own mixture by adding 15 drops of tea tree oil to 1/2 ounce of mild shampoo. After massaging into your scalp be sure to let it sit for 5 minutes, then rinse.

Apple Cider Vinegar is a naturally occurring acetic acid used in home remedies to fight dandruff for decades. ACV alters that pH of the scalp which may halt the growth of the (suspected) yeast that causes flaking. Combine equal parts ACV and water then apply to your scalp. Let sit for up to 10 minutes (at least 5 if your scalp is sensitive), rinse, and shampoo/condition as usual with mild products. Avoid drenching your hair strands with the ACV to avoid drying out your locks.

Sulfur is an antifungal and exfoliating agent. Studies (published in Cutis) have shown that shampoos with 2% sulfur and 2% salicylic acid relieved dandruff symptoms. You can wash your hair twice a week with such a shampoo, leaving it on for five minutes before rinsing. Jason Dandruff Relief Treatment Shampoo is reasonably priced ($11) and does the trick.

 

DIY Moisturizing Body Lotion: Only 3 Ingredients!

Easy DIY Emollient Lotion:lotionDIY

16 ounces baby lotion (I like burt’s bees version)
8 ounces coconut oil (solid form, not melted)
8 ounces vitamin E cream

Mix together with handheld mixer until it resembles icing. Use roughly half the jar of coconut oil, the whole bottle of baby lotion and 1/2 the jar of vitamin E Cream.

Approximate cost: $5.75 for roughly 32 ounces. Or $1.44 for each 8 ounce jar  filled.

Store in air tight containers…keep it for your own supply…or slap on a quick little label for gift-giving!

Via: One Good Thing By Jillee

Operation Urban Farming: Grow Veggies from Kitchen Leftovers

I’m in love with the tips in Don’t Throw It, Grow It!: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps

The premise? Grow your own veggies from your cutting board remains! 

Grow your own celery from your celery remains. Just chop off the base and plant. One week of growth shown in photo to the right. 

One week of celery growth from https://www.facebook.com/GrowingOrganicEatingOrganic

One week of celery growth. Source:Growing Organic Eating Organic

“Magic and wonder hide in unexpected places — a leftover piece of ginger, a wrinkled potato left too long in its bag, a humdrum kitchen spice rack. In Don’t Throw It, Grow It! Deborah Peterson reveals the hidden possibilities in everyday foods.

Peterson, former president of the American Pit Gardening Society, shows how common kitchen staples — pits, nuts, beans, seeds, and tubers — can be coaxed into lush, vibrant houseplants that are as attractive as they are fascinating. With Peterson’s help, a sweet potato turns into a blooming vine; chickpeas transform into cheery hanging baskets; the humble beet becomes a dramatic centerpiece; and gingerroot grows into a 3-foot, bamboo-like stalk. In some cases the transformation happens overnight!

Don’t Throw It, Grow It! offers growing instructions for 68 plants in four broad categories — vegetables; fruits and nuts; herbs and spices; and more exotic plants from ethnic markets. The book is enhanced with beautiful illustrations, and its at-a-glance format makes it a quick and easy reference. Best of all, every featured plant can be grown in a kitchen, making this handy guide a must-have for avid gardeners and apartment-dwellers alike.” – From Amazon [physical book]: http://amzn.to/TWz2tq [kindle version]: http://goo.gl/dn4P7

Thanks to these friends for the info: https://www.facebook.com/GrowingOrganicEatingOrganic,

All-Natural DIY Multi-Purpose Orange Cleaning Product

orange peel vineger better

Orange peels, vinegar, water, and salt (optional) make an excellent cleaner for the home. Using this simple, natural, DIY cleanser recipe you can eliminate toxin-filled retail cleansers from your pantry.You can clean your counters, stove, sinks, and floors with this! No more worrying about breathing in fumes (or your kids breathing in fumes and touching the toxic residue) when the label warns to “use in a well ventilated area”.

  1. Store your orange peels (in the freezer a little at a time if you like). When you have enough, put them in a glass jar.
  2. Optional step to increase potency: Sprinkle salt (any kind) on the orange peels. This will pull out the oils and make your cleanser stronger. Let sit for 30 minutes. 
  3. Fill the jar up with vinegar and let it sit for 10-14 days (or longer if you forget its waiting for you).
  4. During this time take a photo, bask in the Martha-like glory of DIY house cleanser. 
  5. After 14 days strain the liquid.
  6. Put peels in the garbage…um, composter. (Hey, I’m a work in progress!)
  7. Mix water with the vinegar to a ratio of 2:1 or to a ratio where you like the smell (sometimes it’s very vinegary smelling at 1:1, other times it’s too orange-y at 2:1, so depending on your personal preference and desired strength).
  8. Use and enjoy. Put in a spray bottle for counters, or another jar for multiple-use. *Feel free to add a drop or three of essential oil for a personalized fragrance 🙂

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