Tag Archives: vegetables

Tower Garden Update!!!

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So after 2 months, a little help and lots of love-our Tower Garden is flourishing! The tomato plants are getting so high, the cucumber plants are HUGE, the lettuce is catching up, the strawberries are coming along and the peppers are beautiful. We have about 8 teeny tiny cucumbers. I am so excited to see them all mature!
We ended up needing to purchase a couple grow lights. We are using a 1 foot square LED panel of red and blue lights. It works like a charm! There just wasn’t enough sunlight on the deck, but now things are looking great. There aren’t too many pests either. The best part is that I spend a total of 20 minutes a week tending to it and that is primarily to check the water level.
What a simple way to grow!
I also have learned some very interesting things about this Tower Garden. The plastic is food-safe and UV stabilized. This means that when sunlight hits it, it can’t pass through-so the plastic won’t break down and leach chemicals. It stays intact! It’s very strong-you could drop it onto concrete and it wouldn’t break. The tonic mineral solution is pure and perfect for all the plants in the Tower. Most hydroponics use multiple solutions for different stages of growth and different formulas for each type of plant. That’s a lot of bottles and gets expensive fast! The Tower Tonic is easy, safe, pure and inexpensive. The man behind all of this, Tim Blank, said he wanted to do it right from the start. I admire that.
In short, I absolutely LOVE this Tower and want to add more ūüôā if you want more information-this website has some very helpful videos, info, pictures, etc here

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Vertical Gardening Update!

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We love growing things!

My ¬†Tower Garden…I love it! I am learning a few things from it too….sunlight is extremely important. So, I bought 2 grow lights….I’ll be sure and take some before and after pics. We also bought a snap together greenhouse and put it up last night. (when I say we I mean my husband put it up)

The Tower Garden that I set up at my daughter’s school is doing amazing and I will be taking pictures to post today. ¬†(they have full sunlight)

So, why all this talk of vertical gardening?? Well…I have always wanted to grow my own food, but I don’t have any land, I want something sustainable that isn’t going to use gallons and gallons of water and I want it to be fairly easy-because growing things hasn’t really been my forte. Last weekend I was at a phenomenal conference and one of the speakers was Dr. Dickson Despommier. He is a professor at Columbia University. He has a book called The VerticalFarm, which I intend to read very soon. He went through his talk explaining that within 20 years the vast majority of us will live in urban areas and that the population will be very close to 9 billion-how do we feed all these people and renew the land? Can we solve both questions? Very provocative stuff. The answer is yes. And the how is through vertical farming. Through hydroponics, aeroponics, aquaponics and the right lights….we can grow the food we need indoors, on rooftops, and in some places entire buildings are being devoted to vertical farms. Because if you can grow up, rather than out, you save on land. And through these systems you recycle the water and nutrients, so it’s more sustainable and less of a drain on natural resources. It’s brilliant and it’s not something in the far off future, but is happening right now. Projects are in place, systems are being put into place to make this a reality and it’s cutting edge, and it’s brilliant.

How does my Tower Garden fit into this? It’s a smaller, home version. I can grow at least 20 plants and more with extensions, its recycles all the water and nutrients, it’s low energy ¬†and could even be powered by solar panels. It’s amazing. So, if you are interested go check out Dr. Despommier and his book¬†www.verticalfarm.com. Check out the tower garden site…Tower Garden.

I’m learning-I had to buy 2 new strawberry plants to replace the ones I started with, but they are doing great! And I bought a red beauty pepper plant to transplant into my tower.

*disclaimer-I sell these Towers because I 100% believe in the product and making good food more accessible to everyone.

Time to Talk About FOOD! Part 1

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I have been looking forward to this post. I love food! I love knowing what food can do for the body…that tenuous relationship between food and health. Let me preface this by saying there is no one-size-fits-all diet. BUT there are certainly things we can all do to make a positive impact on our well-being. Because really..who wants¬†heart disease, cancer, type-2 diabetes, autoimmune disorders, arthritis and alzheimer’s? No one. I have exciting news for you…are you ready?

You are in control of your health.

We each have the ability to decide every day if what we are doing invests in our wellness, our health….OR if it subsidizes our illness. Ask yourself, and be honest, do the little choices you make on a day-to-day basis support your goals to have a healthy life or are they adding up to really do damage to your body?

I’m going to start with a few basic tips that can be easily implemented and can quickly become a new habit for you.

1. Drink water

I know this may sound basic, too easy, but staying hydrated is HUGE for your body. Every cellular reaction that happens, everything your body needs to function at an optimal level requires water.¬†How much? Take the amount you weigh in pounds and divide by 2. That is the number of ounces you should drink per day at a bare minimum. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds divided by 2 = 75 ounces of water per day. Now, if you are overweight, have any kind of illness, or drink coffee, tea, soda or alcohol- you need to drink more. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel and look after staying well-hydrated.

2. Eat More Plants

The amount of evidence is overwhelming on the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. Really it’s a post all by itself. But to keep it simple-the USDA now recommends that half of your plate-whenever you eat-be fruits/veggies. That’s easier for all of us I think, than to sit around and count servings. Every time we eat-let half of what goes in our mouths be antioxidant-rich, immune boosting, disease-preventing, anti-aging fruits and vegetables.¬†And for a bigger challenge-try and eat the rainbow colors everyday. For recipes, tips and support you can check out The Color Code, The Engine 2 Diet, Forks Over Knives and Foods that Heal.

Keep in mind, it’s not about one superfood¬†over another, but a total sum of the variety you are getting in everyday. Different color fruits and veggies do different things in the body. You need them all. Start with the ones you like and try a new one each week. Buy organic as much as possible!

3. Whole is best

Eat foods that are in their whole state, rather than extracted and highly processed. For the greatest benefit, you’ll want to choose foods that are edible in their most natural state. Raw fruits, raw or steamed veggies, whole grains rather than refined, juices made from freshly juiced/blended fruits and veggies-not the bottled pasteurized kind on the shelf.

The last point I want to make is opt for foods that are as close to being vine-ripened as possible. The reason for this is that the majority of the nutrients found in fruits in vegetables do not appear until the last 2 weeks of ripening. Most of our store-bought produce is picked very green in order to maintain a longer shelf life. And so, is devoid of as many nutrients. One tip I like to offer is that frozen produce is a great option. It is picked when ripe and then immediately frozen. So, these items are great for smoothies, soups, sides, salads, etc. Avoid steaming your veggies in the microwave-it kills the nutrients. (more on that another time).

I hope you have found some helpful things you can do to add more of the best kinds of foods into your life to look and feel your best, all the while preventing life-altering diseases.