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For the Love of Lavender

Lavender Plant Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

We started most of our seedling early in the season inside our mini greenhouse, which is actually a garage with several windows. Lavender was one of the plants we started in our mini greenhouse. We started our seedlings in February just before the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic. Since the pandemic many people have begun their own gardens for a host of reasons. Since our growing season for the seeds we planted did not began until March we planted inside in February and then transplanted them into the outside garden when the season began. There are several benefits to growing in greenhouses. Many gardeners and farmers use greenhouses or some type of greenhouse system to lengthen the growing season. Indeed I have seen some gardeners and farmers growing in snow season. Our homes are a sort of greenhouse for the plants we keep indoors. The plants needs are not the same when they are inside or in some type of greenhouse structure. Richard Bray gives an excellent brake down of the greenhouse in their many forms in “Greenhouse Gardening” . What was most helpful about “Greenhouse Gardening” was understanding how to create an environment in which plants can grow indoors. Bray reminds us that plants have different needs than we do when indoors and that their needs change when they are indoors as oppose to outdoors. Read our review of “Greenhouse Gardening” to learn more. “Greenhouse Gardening” can be found here.

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greenhouse shidonna raven garden and cook
Mini Greenhouse
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Lavender was one of those plants we struggled with until we had a better understanding of how to care for our plants inside our mini greenhouse. She grew from a simple shoot into a shoot with several leaves. We re-potted her and brought her outdoors once the growing season began here in Norfolk, VA, USA. We were not certain if she would make it. But, these plants will surprise you. Just when you think they will not make it they come back in big and powerful ways. As you can see lavender has gown into a host of shoots with leaves and what we believe will grow into stems of lavender blossoms. We know a few people who like lavender so we kept sowing her until she grew into the large plant picture above. For gardeners and farmers alike the growing process can be one of trail and error even for the masters. Many have great difficulty growing lavender, so we were pleasantly surprise to see her flourishing. One thing to remember about lavender is to keep her well drained and sparsely watered. She does not like much water and her seeds must be properly prepared.

Did you know that besides smelling amazing lavender is an edible flower? Which edible flowers do you like? Many of us enjoy these flowers for their medicinal purposes (such as echinacea). Which edible flowers are your favorite? How do you eat them? We also know several tea drinkers. Share your comments with the community below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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COVID Wise App

covid 19 shidonna raven garden and cook

On Wednesday, August 5, 2020 Governor Ralph Northam announced the COVID Wise App, which can be found in Play Store and should also be found in Apple Store. Northam clearly stated that the app does not collect your data but you can voluntarily submit your data, we believe anonymously via the app. The purpose of the app is to inform you if you have been in proximity to someone who is COVID 19 positive. As governors across the US grapple with mixed messaging from our nations capital, they have been seeking solutions to combat what some have called a biological war. This is Virginia’s tool to combat the war on COVID 19. We encourage you to learn more about the app and to share your experience with the community.

Indeed the whole world is all in this together. Let us pull together. This app may not be available in your state however a comparable app maybe available. Contact your local authorities to discover what they are doing to prevent the spread of COVID 19. Authorities are also encouraging people to get tested for COVID 19. In Norfolk, VA, USA you can click this link to learn more about free COVID 19 testing. During these times we wish you and yours the best of health. There are other preventative measures one can take. Some doctors have reccomended taking vitamins and herbs (such as echniaeca as we learned here at Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook) that can build the immune system to increase one’s body ability to fight off disease.

Many healthy people have contracted this disease. There is still much to learn about this disease. We hope these resources are helpful to you and arm you, your friends, family and colleagues during these times. Remember to share your experience with COVID wise with the community here. How has this article helped you and yours? How has COVID 19 impacted your and yours? How have you and yours responded to COVID 19? Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Echinacea Flower Spotting

echinacea flower

As a reader one learns so much in such a short time. We were out and about shopping and spotted this patch of planted echinacea in a shopping center. What plants can you spot since you have begun reading? What do you know about echinacea having read these articles? Take a picture of a plant that you recognize and send it to us. We will post it and share it with the community. Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Take me home Echinacea

Echinacea shidonna raven garden and cook

We also got an update on Echinacea. She is also doing very well in her new home. We brought these plants out from the mini greenhouse to the outdoors (Sweet Basil & Echinacea). We re potted them into bigger take home pots. These pots will allow the plants to grow a little while before they need to go into bigger pots or outdoors. Both plants can get pretty big (several feet tall). Or they can remain in smaller pots with a smaller root system. Just because a plant stays indoors does not mean it needs to be small. These plants can be planted into larger pots and be allowed to grow big.

We are also looking forward to hearing some good stories about tea from Echinacea. It may be a while so stay tuned. It is said that it takes 2 years before Echinacea can be harvested for tea. Regardless both Echinacea and Sweet Basil have set us off on another worthy and good journey of good nutrition and good health. These simple plants can have transformative powers within and without of us. I have seen a canopy of plants transform a persons day from just another day to an adoring conversation over plants and water. What do plants do for you when you eat them? What do plants do for you when you grow them? How do plants affect your mood and health? As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep growing.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Too Grow Echinacea

Growing Echinacea
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Caring & Growing Tips for Echinacea

We will be keeping up with Echinacea and Sweet Basil at their new homes and hope these tips and instructions will give them a successful move into their new homes. We miss you dearly and wish you much growth. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. To your Health.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Growing Echinacea

Growing Echinacea
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Harvesting Echinacea and Growing it are two different things. Before we can Harvest Echinacea let us first discuss how to growing it into a beautiful and delicious Harvest. What did you learn new from the video? How will it help you with your in and outdoor plants? What questions do you have? Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep growing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Basil & Echinacea’s New Home

Medicinal Benefits of Echinacea

Basil & Echinaeca traveled to their new homes today. Read today’s article on “Harvesting Echinacea” to learn more about how to harvest Echinacea. What did you learn from the video. How do you transport your plants safely? How do you prevent plant shock when you bring new plants home? Stay tuned for more on Harvesting Basil. Want to know? Just ask. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep growing.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Harvesting Echinacea

Harvesting Echinacea
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

This video is pretty good at explaining how to harvest Echinacea, which is typically consumed as a tea. It also comes in pill form. If you do not have a dehydrator you can dry the Echinacea in a cool and dry place. Place the dry leaves and petals in a tea ball for lose leaf tea and steep. Echinacea has many medicinal purposes as the video(s) explains, including boosting the immune system. Many people are taking good care of their immune system in this Corona Climate. One of our small but strong Echinacea plants went to its new home today. One more is on order to go to a new home as well. What did you learn about Echinacea? What are your favorite edible flowers? What are their medicinal benefits? Be sure to write us and take lots of pictures. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep Sharing.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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MiMi’s Inspiration

African Marigold

MiMi and mom gifted us a Cynoglossum Amabile (Chines Forget Me Not) growing kit. Soon after I picked up another kit of Echinacea from the same location. They like a good deal just like we do so it was perfect and the Echinacea has begun to sprout from the kit I got. I did use a different pot then what was provided by the kit. On May 26, 2020 we posted the article “Crowded”  including a video showing how to use growing kits (specifically how to activate the growing medium). Click the article name “Crowded” to view the article. 

After which, MiMi and Mom got a kit for themselves and decided to grow Lavender & Chamomile. Two of our favorite flowers. Both can be used to make teas and both look very beautiful. Lavender is one of those amazing flowers that can be used for almost anything such as making oil scents, perfumes and you can cook with it. So, we though that was pretty cool and hope MiMi is having an awesome learning experience like us. So, we felt inspired to check out this store too since they (MiMi & Mom) are so good at finding deals. And we did. They had a variety of several kits there.

We did not pick up a kit. However, we did pick up some unexpected good advice. We were telling the staff all about the problem that we were having with ants and how we were really looking for an Organic Remedy to the issue. And it just so happen that a few of his family members were really into gardening also. He told me that ants hate Marigold and a few other plants and herbs. We were considering putting up a boarder around the garden. After doing a little research on the matter we discovered that he was 100% correct about the Marigold and ants. Needless to say we got several packs of Marigold Mission Giant Yellow (there are several varieties of marigold) to plant around the boarder of the garden. We also got one full fledge plant: an African Marigold. Some of its flowers are still blooming. Other flowers on the plant have already bloomed as you can see. Naturally the plants are more. So, we got a plant (it looks like four plants in one pot) to get us started and several seeds to keep us going. The seeds will take a week or two to sprout and over 2 months to bloom. We will soon separate the plants out into separate pots to spread the ‘remedy’ around.

As with all our ant Organic Remedies we are being persistent and trying to give them time to work. Because we have serval remedies at work if one does not work than we hope the other will. In the interest of time we are trying multiple avenues. So far the ants seems to be checking the Marigold out and she is standing firm. We will be making observations regarding all our remedies. We are learning too MiMi. Stay tuned to see how things go. 

Where are some interesting places you have found help or information? Have you ever considered using a plant as a pesticide? What other Organic Remedies do you know of that you can share with the community? Did you know ants also hate coffee grounds? Did you know that coffee grounds are good for compost and as a fertilizer? Read more about coffee grounds in our May 24, 2020 article “Compost & Coffee Grounds”. As always you are the best part of what we do. stay healthy.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Crowded

MiMi’s Flower started it all. MiMi & Mom brought us a Cynoglossum Amabile (Chiense Forget-Me-Not) Flower Growing Kit. We spotted the same brand in the gardening section of our local dollar store. When we saw the Growing Kit we were pretty excited. So we got the Echinacea Purpurea Flower Growing Kit also. Echinacea Purpurea is known for its ability to boost and build up the immune system, which is a perfect way to stay healthy in this Corona climate. You guessed it. It is an edible flower and can also be put on salads. When we bought Echinacea Purpurea home we decided to do an experiment on crowding. Just a note, the Echinacea Purpurea seeds from this Growing Kit are 100% Natural and come from Czech Republic. MiMi’s Flower (Cynoglossum Amabile) is also a 100% Natural Seed coming from the Netherlands.

We sowed all of MiMi’s Flowers in the one pot provided in the Growing Kit. While the Echinacea Purpurea we sowed in 2 pots (because we had already moisten our growing medium and had enough for 2 pots); we also sowed it in a Soil Block and directly in the ground. We sowed 3 – 4 seeds in each location and saved the remaining seeds. As all flowers grow we can observer how these plants handle crowding (since the packet did not provide spacing instructions) and how they react to the different sowing environments (pot, Soil Block and directly into the ground).

You will also find videos in this article showing how the growing medium in the kit absorbs water as well as how the Soil Blocks absorb water from the bottom up going from a dry medium disc into moistened growing medium. What did you learn from the videos? Would you like to see more videos? We have a You Tube channel now. Be sure to check it out and see what is new. Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

Soil Blocks
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook