Bugging Out

Don’t bug out just because it’s buggy season… and definitely do not purchase over the counter bug spray that features a host of chemicals and potential health hazards. D.I.Y. bug spray is not only cost-effective, it’s a healthy and non-toxic option. In addition to that, it’s more sustainable and Mother Earth loves that!

In a dark glass spray bottle, mix the following ingredients:

  • 15 drops Organic Lavender Essential Oil
  • 15 drops Organic Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • 10 drops Organic Citronella Essential Oil
  • 4 tablespoons Organic Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup Organic Lemon Juice
  • 1 cup filtered water

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Shake, shake some more and shake contents again! You’re now ready to spray. Happy Summer!

*Using dark glass prevents essential oils from oxidation.

Scientists: Earth Endangered By Fact Resistant Humans (New Yorker Satire)

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MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report) – Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to sustain life, a sobering new study reports.

The research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat them.

“These humans appear to have all the faculties necessary to receive and process information,” Davis Logsdon, one of the scientists who contributed to the study, said. “And yet, somehow, they have developed defenses that, for all intents and purposes, have rendered those faculties totally inactive.”

More worryingly, Logsdon said, “As facts have multiplied, their defenses against those facts have only grown more powerful.”

While scientists have no clear understanding of the mechanisms that prevent the fact-resistant humans from absorbing data, they theorize that the strain may have developed the ability to intercept and discard information en route from the auditory nerve to the brain. “The normal functions of human consciousness have been completely nullified,” Logsdon said.

While reaffirming the gloomy assessments of the study, Logsdon held out hope that the threat of fact-resistant humans could be mitigated in the future. “Our research is very preliminary, but it’s possible that they will become more receptive to facts once they are in an environment without food, water, or oxygen,” he said.

Root Rage: Maca

Just in time for Valentine’s Day – Lepidium Meyenii, AKA Maca. Maca Root is said to be THE aphrodisiac of the Incas, and is traditionally employed in the Andean region for its supposed libido enhancing and fertility strengthening properties. Maca has also been shown to improve sperm production, sperm motility and semen volume. Incan warriors would often consume Maca before long journeys and battles and is still used today for its ability to help strength and endurance.

In addition to its sexy factor, Maca root contains significant amounts of amino acids, complex carbohydrates, vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E and minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium and iron. This tuber is also a an effective antioxidant with anti-cancerous properties. Maca continues to be sacred to its people and has been used as food and as medicine in South America for centuries.

So, skip the “not tonight honey I’m too tired” and get your Valentine’s Day started with some Maca Root.

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A) Maca (Lepidium meyenii) A1) racemose inflorescence; A2) fruit in a silicula; A3) dried root; B) arracacha (Arracacia xanthorrhiza); B1) leaves; B2) umbel inflorescence; B3) fruit; B4) cross-section of the fruit

Organic Gardening Education

Teaching people how to grow food has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Getting people back in touch with the flow of nature and all of it’s goodies is a deep honor. If you are not in the BK/NYC area and would like to learn how to grow your own food, veggies and annuals/perennials, I’m offering Skype sessions on the basics of Organic Gardening. If you’d like a more in depth education with a certificate, Greenthumber’s rejoice!!!

Registration is now live for Cornell’s Organic Gardening Online Course. Course starts February 24th!

“This online course was developed in response to a strong interest in organic gardening from people across the country and is intended to examine the basics of small-scale organic gardening. The topics and depth of information offered will help new gardeners learn the basics and feel comfortable getting started, while also offering more experienced gardeners the opportunity to expand their knowledge base. Students will walk away with a wealth of resources to look into for further study

The course has a strong foundation in soil health and its impact on plant health and a whole systems approach to gardening. The course also explores various techniques for growing different kinds of garden plants – annuals and perennials, food plants and ornamental plants.”

Raised bed vegetable garden

Herb Highlight : Stinging Nettle

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Nettle Leaf – Lady Greenthumbs

Pictured above is the stinging nettle, Urtica dioica, which has a vibrant and rich medicinal history. In medieval Europe, it was used to help people poop and to ease joint pain.  Stinging nettle has also been used for hundreds of years to treat painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia. I often suggest using nettle for skin problems as it helps with inflammation in addition to treating urinary problems during the early stages of an enlarged prostate, for urinary tract infections or for hay fever. I also like to use nettle in compresses and creams for treating joint pain, sprains and strains, tendonitis and insect bites.

Please use herbs with care and under the supervision of a health care provider. While the use of herbs is a time honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease they can trigger side effects and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications.

Tree Walk and Talk

This Saturday, September 21st, The Battery Conservancy is hosting a “Tree Walk and Talk” with William Bryant Logan at Battery Urban Farm. Bill is president and founder of Urban Arborists Inc., and award-winning author of “Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth”, “Air: The Restless Shaper of the World” and “Oak: The Frame of Civilization”. The Tree Walk and Talk  will explore urban orchards, trees and the soil they call home. This starts at 1pm, Volunteer hours are 10-1pm and Farmstand hours are noon – 4pm.

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Image © Marisa Gross Photography – Tree World | 2004

WORKSHOP – Attracting Butterflies To Your Garden

WHAT: Attracting Butterflies to Your Garden Workshop

WHERE: Leave It Better Kids Garden (1970 Grand Avenue Bronx, NY 10453)

WHEN: Saturday June 29th, 2013 12 PM – 2 PM.

WHY: The workshop will focus on the importance of butterflies and other pollinators and how to attract pollinators to your garden. *Bronx Green Up* will be the special guest! The first hour of the workshop will focus on learning about pollinators. The second hour will include planting vegetable seeds and perennial native plants.

WHO: All ages are welcome!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GiYfr0qIR4]

City Parks and Community Gardens Need Help More Than Ever

      Hurricane Sandy left not only an alarming amount of people with out homes,  New York City’s parks, community gardens, playgrounds and beaches were severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy as well. If you are interested in volunteering with NYC Parks to aid in clean-up and recovery, check out below’s list of parks, playgrounds and beaches below that are in need of assistance this Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday. Please visit NYC Parks Department @NYC.gov/parks to sign up in your borough and be sure to check back for updates on other parks in need of volunteers!
      Bronx
      Crotona Park (Wednesday)
      * Orchard Beach (Saturday only)
      Brooklyn (Saturday only)
      * Coney Island
      Manhattan
      * Fort Tryon Park (Saturday only)
      * Harlem River Park (Saturday only)
      * Inwood Hill Park (Sunday only)
      Queens (Saturday only)
      * Joe Michael’s Mile
      * Crocheron Park
      * Queensbridge Park
      * Astoria Park
      Staten Island (Sunday only)
      * Kaltenmeier Playground

World Food Day

Today is World Food Day in The Etas Unis! And while Lady Greenthumbs believes everyday should be met with a movement towards healthier, more affordable and sustainable food practices, the goal of this movement is to ‘strengthen and unify the food movement in order to improve our nation’s food policies. Join this push for a stronger, more united food movement by signing up to organize or attend Food Day events in your community

Meta Parsley Love

Parsley is a well-known staple herb for a variety of dishes. It can also be used for digestive disorders, bronchitis and urinary tract inbalance. But not only humans love parsley… the Black Swallowtail Caterpillar is a huge fan of parsley greens.

This is a pic of Meta. He lived with me this summer for 18 days chomping on my parsley most of the time. I had the opportunity to witness his journey from instar> to caterpillar> to chrysalis> Black Swallowtail Butterfly. Lookout Brooklyn!

image ©Marisa Gross Photography

The Subtle Communication of Trees

“Researchers at the University of British Columbia are concluding that trees are interacting with one another in a symbiotic relationship that helps the trees to survive.  Connected by fungi, the underground root systems of plants and trees are transferring carbon and nitrogen back and forth between each other in a network of subtle communication.  Similar to the network of neurons and axons in the human brain, the network of fungi, roots, soil and micro-organisms beneath the larger ‘mother trees’ gives the forest its own consciousness.”

Peep the video here

What do YOU think?