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Making Your Own Organic Garden Fertilizer

www.mypicshares.com

Gardening is one of my favorite labor-of-loves. When you produce your own food, you have control over the types of food you grow and knowing exactly how it has been produced.

And being outside on your own property, planting and nurturing growing things provides a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction too.

This year, I have not been able to plant as I had wanted because we are going to be moving soon, so my poor little garden box has gone fallow. We thought we’d have moved a month ago or, but we are still waiting for the bank to give us a long-awaited answer about approval on our short-sale.

Because I’m not gardening this year, I’m continuing to support local farmers, which I always do. And, I’m ever-so-grateful to have an informative guest post about making your own organic fertilizer for your garden from Marina Chernyak.  I’ve never made my own fertilizer, so this is something I definitely want to try next year. I hope you can use this easy, step-by-step guide to make the most out of what you’ve planted this season and next.

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If you’re one of the lucky ones with a garden of your own, you’ll want to derive as much produce as possible from every square foot of it. If you follow organic, sustainable gardening practices, not only can you feed your family entirely out of your garden, you can actually optimize you’re the nutritional quality of your produce. We’ve detailed methods using which you can create a properly balanced organic fertilizing mix that is quite potent and effective. This fertilizer works out far less expensive than its commercial alternatives, not to mention that it allows your soil to breathe. Use this fertilizer along with regular compost additions to experience incredible results.

Components of organic fertilizer

Five elements come together to form organic fertilizer, all of which play important roles when it comes to providing soil nutrition. In order to make your fertilizer, you need to add all the required components into a compost bin. This is where all the chemical and physical reactions will occur and form the organic fertilizer.

The five key elements are:

  1. The green layer that produces nitrogen
  2. The brown layer that produces carbon
  3. Good quality air
  4. Water free of chemicals
  5. Garden soil

Step 1: Get your compost bin ready

You need to invest in a good sized compost bin in which you can make enough fertilizer to suffice your entire garden. You can either buy a large enough plastic bin, or dig a pit that’s one cubic meter by one cubic yard and layer it with plastic. You can also consider constructing a cement tank for this purpose and cover it with a lid that has a few holes for air. Whatever you do, ensure that the compost bin is sturdy enough to contain the chemical reactions that will take place within it.

Step 2: Put together the green layer

You need to gather organic and biodegradable materials such as coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable scraps, plant and grass cuttings and tea leaves. This collection forms the green layer that will produce the nitrogen your fertilizer needs. The green layer works to trap heat. Heat is the catalyst in the fertilizer: it is the trigger factor that gets soil nutrients to develop.

Step 2: Put together the brown layer

You can add dead plants, weeds, sawdust, wilted flowers, bits of cardboard, straw, hay and other items to comprise the brown layer. This forms your fertilizer’s fiber source. They react when the green layer produces heat.

Step 3: Assemble the compost

Once you’ve collected substantial quantities of both layer elements, add one part of the green layer to every three parts of the brown layer to your compost bin. Ensure that you distribute both components properly. For each set

of green and brown layers, splash some water into the bin and then soil. Repeat the process: 3 parts brown, 1 part green, some water, and then soil, till the bin is full. Give the compost a stir every day and continue to add water. It takes a month or two for the compost to biodegrade. You’ll know this process has occurred when you get a strong odor.

Step 4: Apply the organic fertilizer to your garden

Spread a layer of your organic fertilizer to your garden evenly. The fertilizer interacts with the soil, passing on its nutrients to it. Your plants will grow strong and tall. Retain the remaining fertilizer in the compost bin and mix it with water and new compost materials to extend the fertilizer’s life.

Alternative organic homemade organic fertilizer components

The best organic fertilizers are made out of seed meals and different kinds of lime. You’ll need these two to grow a great garden. You can also add other phosphorous-based components to your fertilizer, as explained below:
1. Seed meals A vegetable oil byproduct, seed meals are made from flaxseed, soybeans, sunflowers, canola, cotton seeds and similar oil seeds. Depending on the part of the country you’re from, you might get a different kind of seed meal. You can store seed meals for a long time, as long as you store them in a dry, airtight metal container, away from pests.  As discussed on the Mother Earth News, to avoid issues from genetic modification in seed meals, choose certified organic meals.
2. Lime Lime is a kind of rock that contains a great deal of calcium. You’ll find three kinds of lime:

  • Agricultural lime, comprised purely out of calcium carbonate
  • Gypsum, which is another form of calcium sulfate (sulfur is a vital plant nutrient).
  • Dolomite, also called dolomitic lime which is composed of equal amounts of magnesium carbonates and calcium.

You can use a mixture of all three types of lime in your fertilizer, or choose just dolomite. Make sure you use natural lime, and not burnt lime, quicklime, hydrated lime or similar chemically-treated, active “hot” limes.

3. Phosphorous-rich components Give your fertilizer a phosphorus boost by adding phosphate rock, guano (bird or bat manure), and bone meal and so on. Guano and phosphate contain a rich trove of trace elements, which is extremely beneficial to your soil. Another component to consider is kelp meal, which is dried seaweed. However, this component is a bit costly, but if you can get hold of it, your garden will thank you for it. Kelp weed contains a composite range of trace minerals, apart from natural hormones whose action is similar to that of plant vitamins and growth regulators that resist stress.

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Marina is a SAHM, enjoys doing organic gardening at home and co-owner of cocktail table store  1001cocktailtables.com

 

Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food Toxin Alert!

17 Ways To Boost Your Immune System for The UpComing Flu/Cold Season

www.mypicshares.com

Cold and flu season is already here! Tired of missing work, school, and important events? Want to have more energy and vitality? Make the most of your diet and lifestyle this season and protect yourself in one of the best and easiest ways – with real food!

Real food supports our bodies with vital nutrients necessary to keep our immune systems strong and in optimal condition in ways that chemicals and medications cannot.

You really can keep yourself healthy and avoid sickness by paying attention to what you are eating, while avoiding processed and refined foods.

Here are 17 ways to keep your immune system strong this season:

  • Take cod liver oil. The best cod liver oil on the market is Green Pasture cod liver oil. Try it! It’s also astoundingly useful for dental and bone health too. Cod liver oil is a superfood containing Vitamins A, D, E, and K, and all the Omega essential fatty acids, plus many other vital nutrients.  Green Pasture cod liver oil is hand-crafted, not treated with heat, and slow-fermented to remove impurities and increase nutrients.
  • Make bone broth – use apple cider vinegar to draw out minerals in the bones you use, and also use garlic and onions which are anti-fungal and very healing
  • Drink raw milk from a clean source. Other raw dairy foods are extremely immune boosting too – butter, cheese, cream, yogurt, buttermilk, and sour cream.
  • Eat pastured meats, eggs, and dairy products. Meat, eggs, and dairy products from healthy animals and birds on pasture are higher in many nutrients essential for our immune system health -Vitamins A, D, E (a powerful antioxidant), and K, Omega 3s which are important to keep up cardiovascular, brain, and nervous system function, and conjugated linoleic acid which is associated with a reduced risk of heart and cardiovascular disease as well. Fat and cholesterol are absolutely vital to health and immunity.
  • Get out in the sun. – summer’s days may be waning, but there’s still the opportunity to get sunshine on your face and body to help store up those vital amounts of Vitamin D to help protect you against illness this winter.
  • Reduce stress, and laugh. Those who take time out to make relaxation a priority on a regular basis can recharge better and keep away illness more effectively. Taking time for yourself and being able to laugh are good ways to reduce stress and keep your outlook more positive, which is a deterrent to becoming sick.
  • Find an enjoyable activity or exercise you can get while enjoying fresh air – even when it’s cold. Get bundled up on chilly days and go outside for a walk or a hike. Your activity doesn’t have to be running a marathon – but should be something you find pleasure in and can find some time for yourself to get away.
  • Make sure you are getting enough rest, and more importantly, don’t go to bed late.
  • Eat safe-sourced seafood. Wild-caught Alaskan salmon, cod, sole, halibut, tilipia, mollusks like clams, oysters, mussels, shrimp, octopus, squid which are high in minerals like calcium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and fat-soluble vitamins A & D. Check the Monterey Bay Aquarium site for a current list of safe-sourced seafood.
  • Reduce your intake of refined foods and carbohydrates, and even properly prepare. Packaged bread products, cereals, crackers, pastas, cookies, and snack foods especially. Instead, opt for soaked, sprouted, and fermented grains eaten in moderation. Properly prepared grains are easier to digest because grains contain phytic acid, a substance that blocks the absorption of nutrients. When grains are soaked, sprouted, and fermented, the phytic acid becomes neutralized and digestion is improved. Eating grains that are not properly prepared can lead to all types of health issues – headaches, irritability, digestive problems, weight gain, auto-immune disorders, eczema, dry skin, asthma, and many other problems.
  • Eat plenty of healthy fats. Butter, lard, and tallow from healthy animals on pasture, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and palm oil from sustainable sources. Ditch the vegetable and fake oils like canola, cottonseed, and soybean oils (check labels in your house for things that contain these oils!), also fake butter, shortening, and other artificial fats.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables, but with healthy fats. Eating fruits with cream or vegetables with butter, coconut, or olive oil helps to increase the digestibility of those foods because they contain fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. Also, lacto-fermenting your vegetables improves digestibility as well. When possible, buy organic, sustainable, or pesticide-free varieties of your favorite fruits and vegetables.
  • Make sure you are getting plenty of minerals in your diet. A healthy diet is important to ensure proper mineral intake, but also using real sea salt on your food and also adding it to your water (especially if you are drinking filtered water with no minerals in it). Tap water has some minerals, but it also contains many dangerous chemicals like chlorine and fluoride, and also toxins like lead, arsenic, and traces of other substances like pharmaceutical drugs and medications.

Other good ways to get more minerals in your body is to make nettles infusions. Or, add unsweetened (preferably organic) cranberry juice not from concentrate and/or freshly squeezed lemon juice to filtered water. Cranberry juice is full of minerals and is an excellent lymphatic detoxificant. Lemon also contains minerals and is an antifungal and detoxifier as well.

  • Drink plenty of filtered water (see how to naturally enhance your water above). At least eight 8-ounce glasses daily. Water helps to flush out toxins from your tissues and if properly mineralized, can also keep you hydrated as well.
  • Avoid taking prescription drugs, antibiotics, and over-the-counter drug products. These substances contain many toxins and don’t get to the heart of what’s causing you to be sick and not feel well. They generally only mask symptoms. Antibiotics kill all the bacteria in your body – good and bad, and can cause resistant-strain bacteria to become stronger. If you do come down with a cold or flu, check out my Home Medicine Cabinet post. It has lots of great home-remedies and ideas for managing your cold, flu, or other ailments.
  • Consider a detoxification program. If you are already sick, it’s best to wait until you get well and eat healthy foods before embarking upon a detox. Although eating real food provides a certain amount of detoxification to your body already, participating in a focused detox protocol can dramatically affect your health in the future and can help prevent illness and disease. If you are new to detoxification, consulting a knowledgeable practitioner can help you choose a program that’s right for you and in some cases, help you save money on detoxification supplements. The health food store sells many products, and it can be overwhelming to go and try to pick out something when you have little to no experience doing so. You can also spend a lot of time and money on products that aren’t right for you or aren’t the correct potency.

For more information about treating your colds and flus naturally when they come, be sure to read all about My Home Medicine Cabinet, and arm yourself for days when you aren’t able to remain as healthy as you’d like.
This post is part of Kelly The Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesdays Carnival.