Urban Gardening: You- Yes, YOU- Can Grow Food ANYwhere!

The whos, whats, whens, wheres, whys and hows of urban gardening…  with picture proof that you can do it!

Who?

YOU!  Your family, neighbors and friends.

What?

  • Growing your own food, herbs, spices and medicine
  • Supporting bee populations by planting flowers they can collect pollen from, and trees they can build hives in (Bee populations are collapsing, and without them plants can’t cross-pollinate)
  • Mulching and Composting to create fertile soil to use in garden beds or potted plants

When?

Why not now?

Where?

Any place you can find or put dirt.

  • If you have a yard, you’re already good to go.
  • If you live in an apartment or condo, you should be able to ask the property owner for permission to use a plot for growing.
  • If all else fails, buy some pots or make them out of used buckets or bottles.  You could also buy a large bin from a local home supply store.
  • Make the garden in your house, or on your porch or patio!

Why?

  • To eat better food- the radishes we grew last year were so much more sweeter and tangier than the ones I bought yesterday.
  • To avoid pesticides and GMO:  If you don’t put them, no one else will. Growing your own food gives you knowledge and control over what you and your loved ones put in and on their bodies
  • To save money- You can’t believe how many tomatoes a tomato patch can yield.  When we harvested, we HAD to give some away, eat some, then freeze the rest for later.
  • A new, healthy hobby- Gardening is VERY fulfilling, and hard work = good exercise!  Remember how fun it was play in the mud as a kid?  It still is!
  • Learn about nature and connect with the earth
  • Have food supplies in times of crisis- You never know!
  • Extra income- Sell your surplus at a farmer’s market!
  • Interior decorating- Beautify your living/work space with flowers, and remember that indoor plants naturally purify the air and increase oxygen!

How?

  • Tools you’ll need:  shovel, hoe, rake
  • Pots:  Buy some, or use any used buckets or bottles (a great way to recycle by the way)
  • Study the local climate to learn when is the best time to plant what, and how to plant it.  Ask a neighbor, elderly family member or anyone with experience farming or gardening for advice (a great way to make friends).  Buy the appropriate seeds and plant them!
  • To create the right soil, you could mulch or compost.  This basically means letting organic waste decompose in dirt, and then using that dirt, which will be very rich in nutrients, to plant in.  You can start by collecting all your organic waste- eggshells, food that has gone bad, coffee grounds, tea leaves, plant rinds, etc.- and burying it at the end of the day.  This should be done AWAY from your house, because it will attract bugs.  Make sure you cover each deposit well, so it will actually decompose, and not smell.

Our Experience with Urban Gardening

I live in an apartment complex in Saudi Arabia- not exactly the place you’d expect to be able to plant crops.  But you’d be surprised what you can grow here:

Beautiful flower bush in full bloom
Beautiful flower bush in full bloom
Henna tree (Where the body paint comes from)
Henna tree (Where the body paint comes from)
Ladybug in a berry patch in Jeddah, on the Red Sea coast across the peninsula from where I live near the Persian Gulf
Ladybug in a berry patch in Jeddah, on the Red Sea coast across the peninsula from where I live near the Persian Gulf

We’ve successfully planted and grown orange trees, lemon trees, garlic, potatoes, eggplant, chili peppers, radish, onions, tomatoes, coriander, aloe vera, basil, and various flowers.

A year ago this month I had two major setbacks:  tearing my achilles (unable to do work for 5 months) and was moved by my university from a house on the compound that had a yard, to an apartment complex.  At the same time, my wife was also pregnant with our 4th child, and summer was coming.  It wasn’t looking good for our garden…

2 1/2 months in a cast...
2 1/2 months in a cast…

But we found a few solutions.

1) Potted plants

When we tried to move our lemon and orange trees from the ground to pots, they died.  But we bought new ones, and they’re coming along:

Citrus sapling
Citrus sapling

We also have flowers and aloe vera in pots inside our house and on our patios:

Stairwell
Stairwell- Basil
Front patio
Front patio- Basil, Aloe Vera, etc.
Front Patio
Front Patio
20150214_163803
Staircase

 

Aloe vera, by the way, is a very effective medicine.  We use its juice for cuts, sunburn, rashes, and aftershave (no more razor bumps!)  It’s a hardy plant that just needs water, so I recommend it to everyone.

2) Find potential garden beds and use them

There are a lot of empty plots in the concrete around our house that weren’t being used.  The one right below our apartment is now growing flowers, coriander (which we just harvested), and eggplant.

20150214_125828

 

Another one nearby has chili peppers, garlic, onion, coriander, peppermint, and tomatoes.

20150214_125853

In the highest terrace, we just put two trees of a local species that bees like to use for hives.  We hope that they’ll also provide shade in the extremely hot Arabian summers when they mature.

They don’t look like they’re doing too well, but that usually happens when you re-pot plants.  As long as they bounce back before summertime, they should be fine.  If they don’t, we’ll try again.  You win some, you lose some, especially starting off.  It takes patience…

3) DIY Compost Heap

I just dug a compost bed this morning.  It was a sand bed full of rocks, concrete, glass, and some scary-looking red beetles!  My girls and I dumped out all the rocks and glass.

Little Gardeners in Training
Little Gardeners in Training

I had to take a hammer to the concrete (dumped there by local workers) and before shoveling it all out.  Then I dug up half of it, dumping the sand on the other side.

To compost, I’ll just take our day’s- or meal’s- organic leftovers or garbage, dump it on the sand, then bury it, like so:

1. Dig
1. Dig
20150214_134034
2. Dump

 

3.  Cover
3. Cover

By this fall- which is planting season here due to the extreme heat of summer- the waste should be decomposed.  We may or may not have to add dirt to it before using.  We’ll see.

4) Hire a gardener

OK, I cheated.

With me in crutches and then a cane, my wife in late pregnancy and then postpartum, we really couldn’t do anything.  Luckily, for us, we met a very man with an honorable disposition named Muhi adDeen who works as a groundskeeper on campus.  His expertise and willingness to help have been essential, and we hope he will continue to share his expertise with us and our children.

Me & Muhi-adDeen
Me & Muhi-adDeen

5) Use House Plants

These are usually very low maintenance- just flowers or vines that you have to water a few times a week.  If you travel, make sure you have a reliable neighbor take over while you’re gone.

Hanging Gardens of Dhahran
Hanging Gardens of Dhahran

20150214_164029

6) Harvest!

Look at the peppers my wife picked this afternoon (an essential ingredient in her native Punjabi cuisine):20150214_134316 20150214_134310It’s already paying off!

We’re open to suggestions.  Send yours in the comments and I’ll put them into the article.  Let’s learn and grow together!

 

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Vaccines and HIV/AIDS’ British Origins

Here’s a summary of the common “theory” of the origin of AIDS:

A Haitian fled his native Haiti sometime in the 1960s to escape the dictatorship of Duvalier. His destination? “Africa”. Despite the fact that there has never been a direct flight linking Haiti and “Africa”). Then, somewhere in “Africa”, he catches HIV/AIDS and returns to Haiti, which is still under the Duvalier dictatorship he left to escape. Finally, he invades America to spread the virus.

Sounds about wrong.

The first person to die of AIDS was a pale West Asian (a/k/a “white European”). According to scientific records, the first person to die from AIDS was a 25-year-old sailor named David Carr, of Manchester, England.

Carr died on August 31, 1959, and because the disease that killed him was then unknown, his tissue samples were saved for future analysis.

The “unknown disease” that killed David Carr was reported in The Lancet on October 29, 1960. On July 7, 1990, The Lancet retested those old tissue samples taken from David Carr and reconfirmed that he had died of AIDS.

Plenty of evidence confirms;
1) that contaminated polio vaccines made from Chimp tissue and tested on millions of people have resulted in well documented deaths7

2) That the scientists involved have been caught lying and trying to cover up 8the facts

3) that it is clear that there was every opportunity for HIV to be one of the many contaminations of the Polio Vaccines which colonized Africans were forced to receive

4) that all this evidence of a man-made origin of AIDS have been available to the scientific community all along (including video evidence, which you the reader can now consult online in English.

 www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWd4KblpDsc

In Haitian culture we say that “Deceit gallops (ahead) for a hundred years, yet truth catches up to him in a single day”.

 

Source:  http://www.globalresearch.ca/who-says-africans-haitians-gave-aids-to-the-world/7268

Why You Should Never Throw Away Orange or Banana Peels

Did you know the peels of some fruits hold some of the most powerful nutrients in the world? There are many uses, both medicinal and practical, for orange and banana peels that aren’t known by many. So, next time you think about throwing away one of these peels, you may want to remember this information.  [READ MORE…]

Diversity Fatal to Afro- and Latino Americans, Says Government Health Study

Diversity may be killing older African-Americans and Hispanics, according to a new peer-reviewed study published in the America Journal of Public Health, which shows that people suffer less cancer and heart disease when they live among their racial or ethnic peers.

“Living in an ethnically dense neighborhood is beneficial when it comes to heart disease and cancer,” said Kimberly Alvarez, a co-author of the new study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Alvarez’s phrase, “ethnically dense,” describes a community in which at least 50 percent of people are from the same ethnic group.

Many progressive groups advocate the use of government to increase diversity in housing, education, health care and other sectors.

Alvarez’s study reviewed the health records of 2,367 Mexican-Americans and 2,790 African-Americans older than 65, and concluded they lived longer if they inhabited a community mostly populated by their group.

African-Americans “living in a county with an ethnic density of 50% or more … were 46% less likely to report doctor-diagnosed heart disease and 77% less likely to report cancer than those who lived in an ethnic density of less than 25%,” said a summary of the report, authored by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. (RELATED: Living in an Ethnically Homogenous Neighborhood Boosts Health of U.S. Minority Seniors)

The Mexican-Americans in the study “were 33% and 62% less likely to report heart disease and cancer, respectively,” when more than half of their neighbors were similar to them ethnically.

The reduced death rate in “ethnically dense” neighborhoods may occur because similar neighbors are “likely to share values like respect for elders and have close-knit family structures,” said Becca Levy, a study co-author and an associate professor of Epidemiology and Psychology at the Yale School of Public Health.

Earlier studies showed high levels of social support within communities of Hispanic immigrants, said Alvarez, and “these networks may facilitate better health behaviors and, in turn, better health outcomes.”

“That strikes me as likely, but probably not the whole explanation,” said Peter Wood, author of the 2003 book, “Diversity; The Invention of a Concept.”

“One aspect that the study does not examine — but which I think would bear further research — is the degree to which these positive health outcomes are effected by lower levels of stress and higher level levels of emotional support,” said Wood, who is now the president of the National Association of Scholars.

Progressives’ political demands for enforced and subsidized variety have precipitated numerous controversies. For example, the federal government has forced local governments to build neighborhood housing for groups of people — such as Hispanics or Africans-Americans — that Washington believes are “under-represented” in the community.

Diane Johnson, the New Jersey director of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, told an interviewer with NJToday that “different people are living in different communities and people have to understand and learn to live with the other people.” Her agency, she said in April 2012, “is the enforcer.”

The Columbia study provided political ammunition to the Wood and other critics of government-imposed variety.

They argue it undermines local flexibility and civil society, which is voluntary cooperation via neighborhoods, marriage, sports leagues, churches and nonprofits.

“People ought to be able to live where they want, but … policies that intend to fragment ethnic communities and disperse people through a wide population, might have unintended but deleterious effect on the people you are trying to help,” Wood said.

This criticism was bolstered by a large 2006 Harvard study that showed people enjoyed a lower quality of life in a “diverse” neighborhood.

“The effect of diversity is worse than had been imagined,” said author Robert Putnam, who had previously championed government-imposed variety. “It’s not just that we don’t trust people who are not like us … we don’t trust people who do look like us” within diverse communities.

People in diverse neighborhoods “don’t trust the local mayor, they don’t trust the local paper, they don’t trust other people and they don’t trust institutions. … The only thing there’s more of is protest marches and TV watching,” he said

The new health studies focused on African-Americans living in New Haven, Conn., and north-central North Carolina; and Mexican-Americans in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.

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Article printed from The Daily Caller: http://dailycaller.com

URL to article: http://dailycaller.com/2012/10/27/diversity-may-be-fatal-says-new-government-health-study/

 

Marijuana: The High and the Low

Fun Facts:

1.  The Queen of England smoked it!  (Another bowl, Your Majesty?)

2.  Our bodies make it!

 

Cannabis is one of the oldest psychotropic drugs in continuous use. Archaeologists have discovered it in digs in Asia that date to the Neolithic period, around 4000BCE. The most common species of the plant is Cannabis sativa, found in both tropical and temperate climates. Marijuana is a Mexican term that first referred to cheap tobacco and now denotes the dried leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. Hashish is Arabic for Indian hemp and refers to its viscous resin. An emperor of China, Shen Nung, also the discoverer of tea and ephedrine, is held to be among the first to report on therapeutic uses of cannabis in a medicinal compendium that dates to 2737 BCE. In 1839, William O’Shaughnessy, a British doctor working in India, published a paper on cannabis as an analgesic and appetite stimulant that also tempered nausea, relaxed muscles, and might ameliorate epileptic seizures. His observations led to widespread medical use of cannabis in the United Kingdom; it was prescribed to Queen Victoria for relief of menstrual discomfort.

Many who make public policy or are associated with interest groups respond to marijuana research according to the views of these groups: their interpretations say more about their own biases than about the actual data. For example, prohibitionists contend that THC often appears in the blood of people involved in auto accidents; yet they omit the fact that most of these people also had been drinking alcohol. Antiprohibitionists cite research that showed no sign of memory problems in chronic marijuana smokers; but they do not mention that the cognitive tests were so easy that even an impaired person could perform them.

READ MORE…

The relative health benefits (and risks) of different sexual activities

A wide range of better psychological and physiological health indices are associated specifically with penile-vaginal intercourse.

Other sexual activities have weaker, no, or (in the cases of masturbation and anal intercourse) inverse associations with health indices.

Condom use appears to impair some benefits of penile-vaginal intercourse. Only a few of the research designs allow for causal inferences.

READ MORE…

ESSENTIAL & EASY Natural Remedies and Natural Lifestyle Tips

Do you love natural living, a natural lifestyle and natural remedies? Share your story with us here and check out some of the tips we offer too!

Nature Hacks is dedicated to bringing you the very best natural remedies, natural lifestyle tips and all the ways that you can safely and effectively live in a more natural way – that’s better for you and your family.

Whether it’s a natural remedy or you’re tired of all of the added toxic ingredients that go into cosmetics these days, you’re surely going to love what we have to offer.

A website and page combined gives us the best chance of hearing from you, letting you get to know us and it also gives you the opportunity to hear all about you and what you love about natural ways!

Click HERE for invaluable information about:
Harvesting and Storing Herbs
Drying Herbs
Healing Herbs
Pest Repellent
Herbal Insecticides
Natural Cures
Natural Antibiotics
Natural FIrst Aid
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Change your life…  naturally…
___
I’m not getting paid by this site.  I just really think it’s good for you.

Circumcision & Keratin: A Matter of Life and Death

We found three associations, three things that are more frequent in HIV positive men than in HIV negative men.  That was past history of sexually transmitted diseases, particularly diseases that cause ulcers, frequent sex with prostitutes and being uncircumcised.  Men who were uncircumcised had about a four- to five-fold increase in likelihood of being HIV positive.

Even without ulcers, uncircumcised men were still 8 times more likely to get HIV. Having a foreskin alone seemed to radically increase their chance of getting the virus.

The virus gets in where the skin isn’t protected by keratin. This is a cross-section of human skin, the dermis and the epidermal layer of cells above and on the surface layer a protein called keratin forms a thick, protective coating. If this keratin layer is intact it is almost impossible for viruses to get into the body and there are very few places on the body that are not covered in keratin.

Keratin is a thick layer which is impervious to micro-organisms and this is one of the reasons why, despite what people think, skin does not get very commonly infected, unlike mucosa such as the nasal tract, the lungs, genito-urinary tract which gets much more common infection, infected. In fact most infections are upper respiratory or genitals.

The inside of the foreskin has got much less keratin on it and so it’s likely to be the site of viral entry into the body and in addition it’s got all these amazing cells called Langerhan cells which sort of gobble up and internalise the virus.

Their job is to defend the body against infection. They have arms that reach out to the surface of the skin and trap viruses and deliver them to the immune system so they can be destroyed, but the danger from HIV is different to other viruses. HIV hijacks the Langerhan cells and when it gets into the body the virus wreaks havoc and starts to destroy the immune system.

Oh it’s a Trojan horse basically. The Langerhan cells is in fact a line, allowing a virus to enter the body and carry it to the very system, namely the lymph glands, where those viruses can start proliferating.

Langerhan cells reach up to the inner mucosal surface of the foreskin. With little keratin covering the cells here it is much easier for them to reach out to the HIV virus and there are more of them.

We’ve found a larger number of Langerhan cells in the foreskin, therefore the chance of the foreskin being infected is so much greater, therefore it fits the bill.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2000/valley_hiv_transcript.shtml

In an age before mass communications and government health warnings, health practices were necessarily encoded into religious doctrine. The logic behind a taboo on eating the flesh of swine is the same logic behind removing the foreskin. It wasn’t for no reason that ancient religions mandated circumcision.

Further to this, how much money does the Big Pharma AIDS money-go-round make? Let’s float this as a hypothetical – If there were billions of dollars in AIDS for Big Pharma, and if circumcision offered a cheap non-patentable alternative with no market for Big Pharma big money drugs, would Big Pharma throw up its hands and thank God a cure had been found at last with nary a tear shed at the billions they were going to miss out on? Or might they be cynical enough to sling a day’s income (ie. a few million) at whomever they could find to tell us that circumcision is a really bad idea? I wonder…

http://churchofnobody.blogspot.com.au/2008/06/circumcision.html

langerhan

Woman Who Was Never Vaccinated: I’ve Had Measles, Mumps, Meningitis

While the internet is full of anti-vaxxers who speak about the harm vaccines have done to their children, the stories of the people who have been harmed by not being vaccinated are far fewer.

That’s because developed nations exist in a bubble where, until recently, the standard of behavior was to be vaccinated. Those who argue against it, as Parker explains, are taking advantage of their good fortune that the majority of people around them are vaccinated.

On Friday morning, the Australian website Mamamia republished an article originally written for the parent-led non-profit Voices for Vaccines by Amy Parker, an English woman who was raised in the 1970s by a mother who thought she was giving her daughter the most healthy lifestyle possible. She was wrong.

READ MORE…