Monday, December 3, 2012

Beat the heat of summer!

To beat the heat this summer try a south facing garden bed. Normally a north facing garden will produce the Best results however once December is here, it's hard to keep everything alive. Most gardeners will refrain from growing most things over the Xmas period and will wait for the cooler Feb and march to arrive.

To grow lettuce, rocket and other greens, create a garden bed that faces south. Backing on to a hedge will provide extra protection from the sun and provide a home for beneficial bugs and animals to hide in.

Keep pots in your garden and arrange them create a little retreat for frogs. Frogs, toads are great pest control and you are lucky if you have them in your garden. As they drink through their skin, a bird bath or similar container laying on the ground will help attack these snail eaters into your garden.

Rocket and other greens will come to seed very quickly. To extend the life of your greens simply remove the sprouting flower stem. This is easily identified by the sprouting shoot protruding from it's centre.

Good luck and water regularly.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Growing Kohl Rabi

Growing KohlRabi – Monster of all Vegetables

When I first saw Kohlrabi, I thought it looked like an alien vegetable that had invaded my vegetable plot. I found it hard to like its spiky sprouting leaves which stood sharply upright out of the spaceship bulb and it reminded me of an upside down tripod from War of the Worlds.

So to me it was a bit of an ugly vegetable and it didn’t help that last year when I grew kohlrabi mine turned out to be a bit malformed, probably down to me sowing it late in the season and the temperature wasn’t warm enough to keep it growing.

Last Years Kohlrabi
Now I’m not afraid to say I’m weird, but unusually for me, this appeared on first glance to be too weird for me. Although this year when I saw the shiny seed offer on for the KohlRabi Triple Collection my eyes were drawn to the purpleness of the variety ‘Purple Delicacy‘ and all its ‘hideousness’ was forgotten.

Through my own admission I have gone a bit mad with the colourful veg this year with purple mange tout, purple sprouting broccoli and purple & yellow french beans – yet to come. So in short yes I am growing ‘it’ again this year.

Weird Things You Need To Know about Growing Kohl Rabi
1.The bulb grows above the ground not below it,
2.Its as crisp as an apple but tastes like cabbage crossed with turnip,
3.The whole vegetable can be eaten (leaves, stems and bulb),
4.Regardless of colour on the outside, they all have white flesh,
5.They can be used as a mad design feature by growing them in long column pots,
6.Kohlrabi is a popular dish in Germany, but no so much in the UK,
7.It has a mild flavour and can be disguised in dishes as it takes on other flavours.

Sow: February to August
Harvest: April to October

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Do we have light inside us?

Do we really know what food is healthy?

Eat more good food and avoid bad food – this is one of the most important rules to return your health back to its original state.

But what does this mean – good food?

If you think that your diet has to consist of food rich in certain nutrients and particular number of calories you are totally wrong. Calculating calories may help you to lose weight, but it will not return your health (may be just partially). In order to understand what good food is let’s take a look at the very deep level of our body – the cell level.
Back in 1923 Russian biologist Alexander Gurwitsch, while working with onions, discovered that cell-proliferation of an onion was accelerated if stimulated by ultraviolet light. But this research was dropped for almost 50 years due to WWII.

Professor Fritz-Albert Popp (biophysicist at the University of Marburg in Germany) and his student Bernhard Ruth were able to pick up this theory and go further. In 1970 Popp, who was teaching radiology at that time - the interaction of electromagnetic (EM) radiation on biological systems - had been examining two almost identical molecules: benzo[a]pyrene, one of the most lethal carcinogens to humans, and its twin (save for a tiny alteration in its molecular structure), benzo[e]pyrene, which is harmeless to humans. He had illuminated both molecules with UV light. Benzo[a]pyrene absorbed the light and reemitted it in completely different frequency working like a frequency “scrambler”. Benzo[e]pyrene let the light go through unaltered. He then played with other different chemicals and guess what – all carcinogenic chemicals scramble the light while others didn’t. Each of the carcinogens reacted only to light at a specific frequency -- 380 nm.

Why cancer causing chemicals would be light scramblers? He stumbled upon phenomenon called ‘photorepair’. It is ability of the cell, which was destroyed by the powerful blast of UV radiation, to repair itself completely if illuminated by the same UV light with the same frequency but low intensity. ‘Photorepair’ works most efficiently on frequency 380nm – same frequency as carcinogenic substances scramble the light. Popp also knew that patients with xeroderma pigmentosum die of skin cancer because their ‘photorepair’ system can't repair sun exposure damage. He then realized that if carcinogens damage ‘photorepair’ system there must be a light in the body that is responsible for ‘photorepair’ and cancer scrambles it. To prove his theory Popp and his student Bernhard Ruth built big X-ray detector (1976) in order to measure extremely weak emissions. This machine was able to count light, photon by photon. They found that light was present in all living cells. Popp came to realize that light in the body might even hold the key to health and illness. In one experiment, he compared the light from free-range hens' eggs with that from penned-in, caged hens. The photons in the former were far more coherent than those in the latter.

Popp went on to use biophoton emissions as a tool for measuring the quality of food. The healthiest food had the lowest and most coherent intensity of light. Any disturbance in the system increased the production of photons. Health was a state of perfect subatomic communication, and illness was a state of communication breakdown. We are ill when our waves are out of synch, when instead of orchestrated dancing we see just the chaotic movements.
According to the biophoton theory developed on the base of these discoveries the biophoton light is stored in the DNA molecules of their nuclei - and a dynamic web of light constantly released and absorbed by the DNA of different cells, tissues, and organs within the body serve as the organism’s main communication network and as the principal regulator for all life processes. The processes of photosynthesis, growth, regeneration are result of network commands send in biophoton field throughout the system. It is scientifically proven that our body has channels of less electrical resistance through which photon light travels. Do you see the similarity to meridians described in traditional Chinese medicine where Qi energy flows regulating our body functions? In Indian philosophy it is ‘prana’ - vital energy which flows through a network of fine subtle channels called nadis. When we eat plant foods, our cells are able to absorb photon light, allowing them to oscillate at a higher coherency. A higher coherency leads to a higher state of order and an enhanced style of cellular functioning. Dead food full of toxins, additives and preservatives once in our body scrambles perfect harmony creating chaos and disease.

We, as humans are able to change these vibrations by our emotions, by our words, certain movements and our thoughts. The higher our concentration is and the more innocent our mind is the more powerful our influence on harmonizing biophotonic structure in any type of emission whether it is in the water or in the plant.

Knowing all these facts we come to the conclusion that our food has to consist mostly of plants that are fresh and grown with love, possibly on our own piece of land where they are able to tune into our vibes or in the wild where the harmony is not disturbed.
Introducing this type of food into our diet and following it will allow most of the illnesses to be self healed and the health will be self restored. Dr. Popp was happy to prove it with people that had serious illnesses like cancer fully restoring their healthy conditions by introducing homeopathic remedy that created light coherence in the cancer tissue. We just need to know what kind of plants are good for our health, what kind of thoughts will help us to get harmony back and what kind of movements help our bodies to remove all of the toxins.

Monday, May 30, 2011

How to Make Money Growing Rooted Cuttings

Does it really happen this way. Yes it does. I was recently talking to a friend who grows and sells all kinds of plants and he told me that he has been buying Dwarf Alberta Spruce cuttings and growing them on and selling them. He doesn’t even root any himself, he just buys 5,000 every year, pots them up and sells them wholesale. How many other nurseryman across the country do you suppose do that?

To get started you can either buy a stock plant or two, or buy several hundred cuttings of the variety that you would like to sell. Instead of planting them out in the field, I would plant them in beds. Make each bed 4’ wide so you can reach the center to weed and take cuttings, and place the plants in the bed 10” apart. As long as you keep taking cuttings the plants will remain fairly small, and compact. Then after a two or three years dig them up, put them in pots and sell them. By then you will have thousands more coming on that you can take cuttings from.

Start out slow until you know what there is a market for. Of course if you are subscriber to my Backyard Nursery Newsletter then as you know I let you know what is in short supply.

You’ll have to use some weed control measures if you are growing in beds, but that’s all covered in my report “How to Start Your Own Backyard Nursery on 1/20 Acre or Less”. In the report I also cover how to sell the rooted cuttings.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chilly Plants in Winter.

There was a lot of unnecessary information in this rather long winded article, so I will keep it short.

Cut your chilli bushes back to stumps in winter. Lol

Friday, May 13, 2011

Chinese peppered snake beans

Bright, crisp and spicy snake beans with crushed green peppercorns, fresh red chilli and garlic. This recipe works well for any green beans.


2 tablespoons green peppercorns

handful coarsely chopped fresh Herbs

1 tablespoon olive oil

450g snake beans

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 teaspoons dark brown soft sugar

1 small red chilli, seeded and finely chopped

2 tablespoons water

Preparation method:

1. Grind or crush the peppercorns coarsely. Stir in the coriander.

2. Heat oil in a large wok or frying pan over medium high heat. Stir in beans, garlic, brown sugar, chilli, peppercorns and coriander. Stir-fry for 45 seconds. Pour in the water and cover to steam for about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Preparing your Vegetable Garden Soil

Good Soil is the key to success!

Ensuring that you have the best soil possible; healthy, friable and free draining will almost guarantee a healthy and plentiful crop, yet this is one of the most common places people go wrong. It is important to get the soil right before you get all excited and start planting.

So lets look at the soil types you are most likely to encounter.

Sandy Loam

Sand - basically the least desirable soil type for fruit and vegetable gardening. It has little to no nutrient value, is usually very free draining, to the extent that it holds no water at all or can in the opposite extreme be highly water repellant.

Sandy Loam - this typically contains more minerals, is still free draining, but can readily become water repellant. With a little bit of work, this can become an ideal soil for growing in.

Clay - often considered one of the worst soil types you can have, but, in my opinion, very underrated. The main issue with clay/clay loams is that clay is comprised of lots of minerals and other fine soil particles, but there is little air space between them, so the soil is very dense, heavy and can be extremeley sticky when wet. Most plants struggle in clay soils because of these factors.

BUT - before you rush down to your local garden supplies to buy topsoil, stop and consider for a minute. In my experience, you are often likely to import more problems into your garden than you think and invariably, the soil you already have is better! (I know this is the case because I have done it twice!)
With a bit of effort, it's easily transformed.

This is how it's done
If you have a nice, friable, dark rich looking soil then you're ready to prepare the beds for planting and can move on.

If you have sand or clay, then we have work to do. Ideally this needs to be done at the beginning of winter, so, by the time we have finished, you'll have great soil ready for your first planting in spring. But there are ways around this if you can't wait.

Fixing Sandy Soils

The main concern with sandy soils is that they typically lack organic matter (composted material) and nutrients and that's what we need to add - Compost! I strongly recommend you run your own compost bin. It's an effective way to deal with your household and garden greenwaste and will help to reduce costs.

Alternately, there are a number of commercially available compost mixes available. The amount you will need will depend on the condition of the soil and the size of your bed and is hard to advise, so have a look at the soil pictures and then you know what to work towards.

Before you add the compost, lets make sure the soil isn't water repellent. Use a watering can and pour some water on the soil. Let it soak in. If it runs straight off or is very slow to soak in, it is likely water repellant. Scratch at the surface. If the soil underneath is dry, we need to add a step to break the repellance. Add the compost mix and using a garden fork (preferably) or a spade, dig the bed over to mix the two together.

The next step is determined by when you need to use the bed and the time of year. If possible, sowing a "green manure" bed in late autumn would be the best choice.

If your soil is water repellant, you need to add an agent to help water absorbency. There are a number of products available, some are sprinkled on and watered in, others are in liquid form. Add your choice following the manufacturers instructions. The soil pictured here has a high sand content. We have had a reasonable amount of rain in recent days and this soil mound was almost bone dry beneath the surface. In the background, you can see where the rain has washed the sand down the surface of the mound.

Fixing Clay Soils.
The aim here is to break up the clay so that it becomes more friable. It's already full of nutrients and mineral, but could also benefit from a green manure. First step here though, is to apply Gypsum.

Gypsum, also sold as a clay breaker, naturally breaks the clay down over time. So, following the instructions and application rates, apply the gypsum and get stuck into digging the bed over. yes it's hard work, but well worth the effort. You will most likely need to repeat the process again in a few weeks, but at this time, should already see an improvement as the clay begins to crumble.

Working with Sandy Loam Soils.
What action you take with sandy loam will depend on the first vegetables that you wish to plant. Different vegetables have different fertilising needs and tolerances so before you think of planting or fertilising your bed/s, have a look at the fertilising page AND plants page to determine what if anything needs to be done. In most cases, it is advisable to add compost to boost the amount of organic matter in the soil and get the beneficial bacteria working for you.