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The Affordability of Organic

It has been reported that a single person will spend on average about $30 more a month buying organic. How much could one spend a month on one medication? How much more a month could one spend on one dietary supplement? Not all farmers agree that the USDA standards are strict enough. Some farmers argue that the standards have been eroding to compensate for corporate industrial farmers who want to use the organic label. But, we know, as informed consumers who read Shidonna Raven Garden & Cook regularly, that not all ingredients have to be organic just because the label says organic. Some of the ingredients can be non organic. The next time you go to the grocery store read the label of 3 items you buy carefully. What did you learn about the food you buy? Is the label transparent enough about the production of the food you buy?

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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The Truth about Desserts

cinnamon oat cookie shidonna raven garden and cook

The truth about desserts is that you may love them. We definitely love them. Any informed organic consumer will be the first to tell you that just because it is organic does not mean it is good and nutritious for you. In other words, an organic apple is probably better for you than a bowl of organic chessy mac. Nonetheless, they are both organic. So, let us break that down for you. The process of growing foods organically is healthier for you than growing food in non organic means. The organic growing process is true or truer to nature and the natural process of growing foods. Food that is not grown organically involves chemicals and several other food production process frowned upon by even the USDA, even with its recent criticisms from true organic growers. Once one has an organic array of foods, then from there it is best to choose those foods best for you.

When considering what to eat and diet, one should have a clear understanding of their over all and holistic health. What is beneficial to one will not be beneficial to another. A person with anemia and a person with diabetes will have totally different diet needs. There are many ways to gain an understanding of one’s overall health and one’s dietary needs. Here are a couple of ways:

  • holistic doctor
  • dietitian
  • nutritionist
  • medical professional / doctor
  • Once one has a clearer picture of their dietary needs, one can make informed and educated decisions on how to best feed their bodies what it needs to perform at its best. Diet is only part of the picture. We believe that overall health and well being involves 3 pillars:
  • Health (many health professionals also include spiritual and emotional well being in this)
  • Physical Fitness – Exercise
  • Diet

Some of you are probably saying to yourselves, “I thought this article was about desserts.” You are so right! It is. So, let us get back to the good part. Our desserts are made with organic ingredients whenever possible. If not organic then natural. We select ingredients that are good for you but not necessarily “healthy” similar to organic foods (like the apple and the chessy mac). If one has to have a dessert, our desserts are an excellent choice. Of course desserts like all other things should be eaten in moderation. If given a choice, an organic salad is probably healthier for you than an organic cookie. Love them as we do, we indulge in a dessert or two. Nonetheless, when we do we make sure that they are as good for us as they can be. Refined and processed foods such as granulated sugar and flour never make it at the top of health lists. Nonetheless, we choose organic sugars and flours. So, we invite you to indulge responsibly by shopping our desserts (cookies, bars and squares).

What foods, or more specifically vitamins and minerals, are an important part of your diet? Why? What are your health needs? Do you have a chronic illness? The bible speaks clearly to us about healing. Chronic illnesses can cause other illnesses because your body is in a state of constant disease. 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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Where to Buy Organic Seeds

seeds shidonna raven garden and cook

To truly grow organically one must first start with a seed that is organic. There are several other standards that the USDA require. True organic growers go even further than the USDA. These growers believe the USDA has relaxed its standards below what is truly organic in favor of corporate industrial farmers rather than true family farms. One will not always find organic seeds at their local garden center or nursery. When one does find organic seeds, the selection can be limited. Consequently here are a few sources for obtaining organic seeds:

  1. True Leaf Market
  2. Seed Savers Exchange
  3. Grow Green Space

Below is the book we read when we began our garden. Learn more about gardening and growing with Eliot Coleman’s book “The New Organic Grower”

Try these sources out and leave a comment for the community on what you thought. 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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USDA Organic & True Organic

USDA Organic Standard & Honey
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Many farmers, some apart of the real organic project, and organic growers such as Eliot Coleman have been sounding the alarm, that the USDA standards are not true to organic growing. They allow for some and certain pesticides and include hydroponic foods, which true organic farmers reject because they believe food must be grown in soil to be considered organic. So, while the USDA Organic label provides some standards and guidelines, true organic growers do not believe these standards go far enough and have been broaden to allow corporate industrial complexes to slide in under the label. Do you know what hydroponic growing involves? What do you think of the farmers and growers comments on the USDA standards? As a consumer, what do you think the standards should be? Share your comments with the community by posting your comments 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!

Scroll up and down…learn more about Eliot Coleman and what true organic means.

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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Organic Soil Fertilizers

By: Anne Baley

Organic materials in the garden are more environmentally friendly than traditional chemical fertilizers. What are organic fertilizers, and how you can use them to improve your garden? What are Organic Fertilizers? Unlike commercial chemical fertilizers, organic fertilizer for gardens is typically made up of single ingredients, and can be matched to your garden’s particular nutritional needs. The various types of organic fertilizer can come from plant, animal or mineral sources, depending on what chemicals your garden requires. In order to qualify as an organic fertilizer, the materials must naturally occur in nature. Fertilizer for organic gardening isn’t the quick and instant fix that chemical fertilizers can be. With organics, you have to let moisture and beneficial organisms break down the content of the fertilizer material in order for the plants to get to the nutrients inside. In general, half of the nutrients in an organic fertilizer ingredient can be used the first year it is applied, and the rest of it is slowly released in the years to come, feeding and conditioning the soil. Different Types of Organic Fertilizer for the Garden .

What is the best organic fertilizer to use?

There are a number of organic fertilizers from which to choose. There may be all-purpose chemical fertilizers, but this doesn’t exist in the organic side of gardening. Different organic fertilizers add different nutrients and ingredients to the soil. The materials you need depend completely on your soil and the plants you are growing in the garden.

Plant-based fertilizers

Plant-based fertilizers break down quicker than other organics, but they generally offer more in the way of soil conditioning than actual nutrients. These materials, such as alfalfa meal or compost, help to add drainage and moisture retention to poor soils. Other plant-based fertilizers include: Cottonseed meal Molasses Legume cover crops Green manure cover crops Kelp seaweed Compost tea.

Animal-based fertilizers

Animal-based fertilizers, such as manure, bone meal or blood meal, add lots of nitrogen to the soil. They’re great for leafy plants and strong growth in the early weeks of gardening. Additional animal-based fertilizers for the garden include: Fish emulsion Milk Urea (urine) Manure tea Mineral-based fertilizers.

Mineral-based fertilizers

Mineral-based fertilizers can add nutrients to the soil, as well as raising or lowering the pH level when needed for healthy plant growth. Some of these types of organic fertilizer are: Calcium Epsom salt (magnesium and sulfur).

Source: Gardening Know How  

What types of plants are you growing indoors and outdoors including house plants? What are there fertilizing needs? What fertilizer best meets this need? Did you know you feed the soil to feed the plant including water? Feeding the soil is essential to keeping your plant healthy and growing as soil nutrients are depleted as they feed this is particularly true for indoor plants that may not be exposed to things like natural rain.

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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Organic or Not?

Organic or Not?

Source: theconversation.com

Farmers are not entirely happy with the current USDA standards for Organic foods. However, they do have some standards and have begun to make packaging more transparent and informative. But, what is the big deal if the product is Organic and it is not food. Well, doctors will tell you, should tell you, that if you will not put it in your body do not put it on your body. The body absorbs what you put on your body thus it digests it in an another form. So, although in this case the products seem to be non food Organic products, improper labeling a product as Organic can have repercussions for the body and thus are important. Did you know you can contact the FTC with false label claims? Did you know they can sue and enforce regulations? How does this change your shopping habits? Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sending this article to 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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Real Organic: Project Organic

The Real Organic Project
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Do you think the USDA should allow corporate industrial farming to diminish the definition and standards of the USDA Organic label? Do you think there should be different labels for different types of food production? How do you make an educated decision about what is organic and what is not organic if they lower the standards are not transparent? Do you think corporate industrial farms should be able to hide behind true organic farmers? 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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Soil Run Off

Soil Run Off
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

The body is primarily made up of water. How do you feel about the protection of our water sources? How do you feel about pesticides and other farming by products running off into our water ways? How do you feel about what farmers use in the production of food that run off from soil into our water ways? What did you eat today? How did what you eat support your body as a living organism? Share your comments with the community by positing 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.

Those (farmers) interested in reducing run off on their land should contact their local NRCS (National Resources Conservation Service).

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Professor Plant

Benefits of House Plant

Learning something is perhaps one of the most humbling things you can do. Learning from a child can also be humbling. However, if you allow the learning experience to happen to you and you embrace it, you will learn something new. Depending on what you learn, learning can be profound. I learn something new every day in the garden. One of the things that struck me is how caring for and observing the plants has improved how I care for myself health wise. These little plants and seedling have taught me a lot. God is awesome in that his lessons, principles, parables and teachings are often transferable to other areas of our lives. Observing nature is no different. Having and caring for plants is observing nature.

I did expect to eat the plants and receive health benefits from that process. However, the other thing I noticed is that I have begun to recover from illness sooner than I had previously. I had a sneeze and mucus associated with the sneeze that just would not go away. In this current Corona client, as we know, being healthy is the new normal. One thing we have learned from Corona statistics is that those who already had underlining health concerned were hit the hardest. This showed up in nursing homes amongst the elderly and in African American communities.

I never took any medications to improve my sneeze. However, what I did do was take some natural (food) remedies know to boost the immune system, such as vitamin C, honey and ginger. I drank apple juice fortified with vitamin C and made a honey, ginger and turmeric tea. All of which I am sure contributed to my improved health. I also found that for some reason I was always cleaning my eyes. And suddenly the skin around my eyes was less agitated and moist. I stopped rubbing my eyes and the skin around my eyes became more soft and supple like the rest of my skin and the soreness in my throat begin to alleviate.

That I did not expect. What I did expect was to learn more about gardening and becoming a better gardener. What you can read in our May 31, 2020 article “Infectious Disease” is how we have been identifying plant disease and addressing it quickly. We do not have all the answers yet but we will keep close observation and let you know what we learn. What we do learn from WebMD is that house plants have the following benefits:

  • Allergy Relief
  • Lifts your Mood
  • Adds Moisture to the Air
  • Purifies the Air
  • Improves Digestion (Mint and other foods as well as herbs)
  • Relaxing (such as the Lavender & Chamomile MiMi and Mom have)
  • Good for First Aid (Aloe)
  • Produces Oxygen through photosynthesis
  • Relieves Stress
  • Faster Healing
  • Better Mental & Emotional Health

Click WebMD to read this article and learn more about the benefits of house plants. For those who choose to keep their gardens indoors or to have kitchen gardens, having your plants around maybe more beneficial than you knew. Do you have any house plants? Why do you have them? What do you like about having them around? What observations have you made? 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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Bugging

Good Garden Bugs

Being on an Organic Journey there are many organizations that you come to like such as the USDA Organic Certification Program. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is one of them. Our government does not do everything right but the EPA is definitely a move in the right direction. We have found them to be a great resource of information. They have compiled a book to help us identify garden bugs, so we know which ones are good and which ones are ‘not helpful’ and how we can address these pests in an Organic manner. Click EPA to get this booklet.

Our transplanted Cabbage and Brussels Sprouts (learn more about effective ways to transplant by reading our May 2, 2020 article “True to Transplanting”) from the garden center, that came to us as small plants, have faced one pest after the other. Just when we got rid of one here came another. They ate both plants before we even had a chance to say harvest. Now we have found that what we believed to have been spider webs was actually larva, big lesson, and they hatched and became what we believe to be slugs. We are pretty certain since we have snails on the garage door and found some on the plants. First, the best thing to do is to remove the larva before they hatch. Just when we reduced the number of ants then came the flies. They were munching on the plants and we did not know. Then came the snails who laid their eggs and now we have slugs.

Plant shock threw these plants into one predator issue to another. The good news is that the EPA has an Organic Remedy to these bugs. We will be employing some of these remedies and will let you know what we discover. The Mole Max (uses sound) has thus far proven to be very useful in resolving our Vole issue. We believe, we never saw it, that a Vole was eating our plants from underneath the ground. This also caused a lot of stress and probably root problems for our plants. Our plants have been through a lot. Nonetheless, the Organic Remedies are plentiful and we believe one is bound to work. FYI: Lady Bugs are Good Bugs.

What are some other tools you can use to help identify the issue(s) your plants are having when they get in trouble? What are some other organizations that provide helpful information for Organic Consuming? What is important to you as an Organic Consumer? 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.