Sunday, 18 June 2017

Daisy Chains and Innocence


The daisy family of plants includes many healing herbs such as chamomile and feverfew. The common daisy has been the subject of many myths and legends over the centuries and has been part of the landscape for as long as records can be traced.



In the 14th century, an ointment with daisies as the main ingredient was used to cure wounds, and the daisy was considered to be a cure for all aches and pains for many years.

In Medieval times it was thought that seeping daisies in wine and drinking for 21 days would cure liver problems - this seems a little counter-productive now, but you never know!

The leaves of a daisy can be eaten and have been grown as a pot herb, but the sap inside the leaf is very bitter and is not widely eaten these days.

A tisane made from daisy flowers, drunk regularly, is said to help cure:

-coughs
-arthritis
-headaches
-muscle pains
-mouth ulcers

The flower essence is also valuable in treating symptoms of shock and calming the nervous system. A few daisies infused with your favourite herbal tea will calm the system and encourage a good night's sleep.

Daisies symbolize innocence, gentleness and purity and have been adored by children for just about ever.

Leave them to grow in the lawn and make daisy chains this summer :-)

NB: Please take necessary precautions if self-medicating

Linda x

P.S. There could be a ton of healthy nourishment from your outside space. This new edition of Healthy Living from your own Back Yard will help you grow a delicious vitamin supply. Download from your favourite Book Store..



Healthy Living from your own Back Yard

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Happy Gardening!

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Zucchini - Shapes and Colours

Zucchini, or courgettes, are part of the large squash family.Once upon a time they were simply young marrows. Now you can buy all sorts of colours, shapes and sizes.

When you grow your own organic zucchini you can afford to eat them even younger and healthy plants tend to produce lots of fruits!

Healthy Reasons
Eat zucchini young and unpeeled for maximum effect. They are full of good vitamins. The seeds are also beneficial.


Growing
Choose a couple of varieties if you have the space to grow them. Check on the seed packets for regional sowing and growing tips. Longer growing varieties may not be suited to your particular region. Most tend to grow pretty much anywhere, given the right start and a little TLC :-)


Recipe Idea:
An everyday ratatouille dish can get you out of trouble from time to time...
1. Slice zucchini, tomatoes (or use a tin), onion and aubergine if you have any. (Prepare aubergine by slicing in half and sprinkling with salt. Leave for an hour or two so that the salt absorbs the bitter taste. Rinse well and slice)
2. Gently heat all ingredients thoroughly in a large pan. Stir and add seasoning and/or fresh herbs to taste.

Optional extras: sliced sweet peppers, chili peppers, mushrooms, cooked/tin kidney beans, chopped fresh herbs such as basil or coriander.


When zucchini get going you won’t be able to eat them fast enough. There are some more recipe ideas in this handy growing guide which will also help you get the most from your zucchini crop.

Download How to Grow Zucchini from your favourite Book Store:

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Happy Gardening!
Linda x

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Tomato Tastes


Tomatoes are low in sodium and high in minerals.

They are also rich in vitamin A and low in calories.



Delicious tomato ideas:

-Cut tomatoes into chunks, stir into cooked pasta. Place in an ovenproof dish and top with grated cheese. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or so.

-Add finely chopped tomatoes to the salad bowl.

-Slice and add to a stir-fry

-Fresh basil is perfect with tomatoes. Slice a few fairly firm tomatoes, sprinkle with basil and chill for 5 minutes before serving.

Most vegetables will lose some of their vitamin content during the cooking process, but tomatoes retain ALL their vitamin C, so even though there’s nothing like the taste of a freshly grown and picked tomato, there’s also no guilt attached if you cook them!

Try growing a few tomato plants this year and savour that real tomato taste. This growing guide has lots of tomato tips and a few recipe ideas too :-)


Download How to Grow Tomatoes from your favourite reader

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Happy Gardening!

Linda x

Friday, 9 June 2017

Potato Perfection

Potatoes are so versatile.... try these perfectly delicious roasties!

Peel (if needed) and cut potatoes into chunks. Par-boil for 5-10 minutes depending on the texture and size of potatoes.

When you can see that the outer part of the potatoes are obviously softer than the centre, remove from heat and drain well.

Heat goose fat (for best taste!) or other cooking oil in a baking dish in a pre-heated oven for a few minutes. Remove dish from the oven and sprinkle dried oregano or herbs de provence in the oil. Add potatoes to dish and carefully spoon melted oil over them.

Cook in a pre-heated oven (around 200F, Gas mark 5-6) for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and turn them over. Return to oven for another 20 minutes.

Depending on the size of potatoes you may need to add an extra 5-10 minutes each side. Eat them while they're hot and crunchy :-)

Bon Appetit!

Linda x

P.S. Optional extra - Sprinkle some freshly ground sea salt half-way through cooking time.

For the absolutely best results try growing a few yourself. This handy growing guide will get you going...choose your favourite retailer.


How to Grow Potatoes

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Happy Gardening!

Linda x

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Growing Peppers

Hot, Sweet or Both?

There is archaeological evidence of wild peppers being cultivated for human consumption as far back as 5000 BC. Chili peppers were thought, for centuries, to have originated in India, but they actually come from South America.


By the late 16th century, peppers were used in all regions of the world, especially in Europe and India.

There are many different varieties of peppers. They come in all shapes, colours and sizes. However, there are two main types:

-Sweet peppers
-Chili peppers

Generally, you will need fewer chili pepper plants as they produce many peppers, as oppose to sweet pepper plants which will produce fewer fruits. Decide on what you and your family will eat. If you don’t use hot spices in your food very often, just grow one or two chilli pepper plants for when you do need them.

This growing guide will help you get the most from your crops and includes a couple of fun and delicious recipes. Choose your favourite reader.


How to Grow Peppers

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Happy Gardening!

Linda x

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Healthy Onions

As well as being a valuable food crop, onions have been used in herbal medicines for many centuries. A common preparation, still used today to soothe cough and cold symptoms; Slice an onion and place in a small bowl with a little sugar. Cover and leave overnight. The resulting liquid should be sipped first thing in the morning.


Onions have been proved to balance insulin levels, therefore reducing blood pressure. They are one of the few vegetables that can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease through lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Onions are also a good source of B vitamins, vitamin C and dietary fibre.


Print out this simple infographic to keep in the medicine cupboard. Next time a tickly cough attacks, check the onion cure before you head off to the pharmacy!



Grow some at home if you can. This handy little downloadable guide will take you step by step from planting sets to storing everyday onions. And there are a couple of delicious recipes to try as well. Choose your favourite reader..


How to Grow Onions

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Happy Gardening!

Linda x

Thursday, 1 June 2017

5000 Years of Garlic


Garlic has been cultivated as a food and healing herb for 5000 years.

It was thought at one time to have aphrodisiac properties and was therefore not eaten by monks, young women or anyone who shouldn’t have their passions aroused!




There are many myths and legends attached to garlic. Modern science has proved that it has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties so maybe it really did ward off nasty bugs.

Growing garlic bulbs with your vegetables will certainly help deter the bad bugs away from your crops. Strong smelling herbs are always a good addition to a vegetable plot.

Find out more healthy benefits, growing tips and a few delicious recipe ideas in this handy downloadable growing guide. Choose your favourite reader..



How to Grow Garlic

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Payhip (pdf version)
Apple iTunes




Happy Gardening!

Linda x