Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mosquitos - West Nile Virus

                      
                        Get Rid of Mosquitos 

West Nile virus has been in the news here in my county. Birds infected with the virus have been found in Palm Springs to Murrieta.  Mosquito control is a number one priority here in southern California. With homes foreclosed upon or folks not being able to afford to maintain their swimming pools, mosquitos are on the rise.

Mosquito aren’t as thick as what you would find in wooded areas in the Midwest or Atlantic Sea Board but, we do have our problems mostly due to standing water. There is still West Nile and much to worry about.

Even though we have drought and the lowest bug summers found anywhere in America, mosquitos are here and thriving. The best way to help your  fellow citizens is to stop mosquitos from breeding and living in your yard and killing them once they inhabit your yard.

                       

                          Stop Mosquito Breeding

Not all mosquitoes need stagnant water to breed. Most mosquitoes live around where they were born. The easiest way to keep them out of your yard is to make it as unattractive for them to breed there. After it rains, or after you use sprinklers or hose, be sure to empty any container containing water. You should be thorough. Look under tables, behind buildings, at the base of faucets, etc. Mosquitoes like water that sits for 4 or 5 days at a time. I just learned that  they can breed in as little as a tablespoon of water! That’s as little as a water bottle cap full.

Inside old tires, planters, crevices in children’s toys, and gutters are the most forgotten about places to dumb still water. Rain gutters full of debris are prime mosquito territory. Who ever thinks about cleaning rain gutters in southern California, right? So clean your gutters or use gutter guards.

Think about the places that you keep water on purpose. Are you breeding mosquitos or do you at least see any flying around? Keep your pool and hot tub chlorinated and they’ll be mosquito free.

Your bird bath needs to have water changed regularly, you can also place some sort of agitator in your bird bath to keep the mosquitoes at bay. Mosquitos don’t usually like movement to breed.

If you have ponds think about stocking it with fish. Koi fish will deal with the mosquitoes; otherwise, you will need to add something that will kill them as like chlorine or particular bacteria that kills mosquito larvae in water. If you have a rain barrels or manure tea barrels, make sure it is fitted with a secure mesh opening that prevents any mosquitos from wanting to breed in it.

The only responsible thing to do is to completely remove standing water that you don’t use and you’ll be ok. Remember to pass the word about West Nile Virus and mosquito abatement to your neighbors as well. Your county should have some really good information online.  




How to control mosquitoes in your yard

Animals are the best offense to getting rid of mosquitos. Besides standing or stagnant water and using chemicals and bacteria to rid mosquitoes, bats and birds are numero uno!


Bats eat mosquitoes. I know that bats are gross to look at but, bats will actually seek out mosquitoes to eat. Having more bats equals less mosquitoes.

If  bats aren’t your thing, then attract birds to your property. how about birds? Purple Martines, Swallows, Warblers eat mosquitoes, but not an overly large amount of them. There are however other birds such as chickadees that will eat flying insects as well. So make your yard bird friendly and be sure to toss your bread crumbs and bird feed out in your driveway or yard to attract the birds.  This works every time.

Snakes and lizards eat bugs too. Many people hate snakes and shudder to think of snakes being in their garden, but snakes and lizards aren’t destructive to your garden. Of course, you would want to get rid of any venomous snake like a rattler but common garden and gopher snakes won’t eat your plants, dig holes, comp on plant roots, tunnel, etc. Rodents do all those nasty things, and snakes eat rodents and lizards eat bugs.  So, like bats, snakes and lizards are creatures with a bad reputation that actually help your garden. I’ve never seen a frog here in southern California but, I’ve seen plenty of lizards. It seems the hotter the temps.. the higher the lizard population is… as well as the mosquito population if you don’t dump that stagnant water.

Moving on, there is actually a simple mechanical control you can use to rid mosquitos from yur property. The ‘mosquito magnet’ does work. Mosquitoes are attracted to CO2. There are devices that use propane and an attractant to generate CO2 which then pull the mosquitoes into a trap. It’s an amazing wonder and works! The ‘mosquito magnet is effective for small areas, it can be expensive  buy and to keep running but, if you’re having a mosquito infestation or have health problems... mosquito magnets are the way to go.

 



*Bug zappers don’t always work for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are not attracted to light no matter the color.  Those things will kill lots of other bugs though.  Most of the bugs killed by bug zappers aren’t even harmful to humans. They’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The best insecticide to use is a fogger. Foggers come in many different sizes but, they basically all work the same by omitting a thick cloud of insecticide into a radius. I’ve seen foggers used in an area half the size of a football field in about 5 minutes. The fog leaves dead insects everywhere. These will kill indiscriminately.  They’re great for when you’re planning a party, wedding, sporting event or public arena.

Overall.. . I’m all for saving and killing wild life by using organic products.  I don’t want anyone die from West Nile virus but, I don’t want to kill the eco system as well. When you absolutely have to kill every mother biting mosquito in the room, accept no substitutes.
 
Foggers kill so well and often use more eco-friendly chemicals than 20 years ago. You can actually use your outdoor space almost immediately after using a fogger and repels mosquitos for hours I not days.

*There are a variety of both wild and cultivated plants that repel mosquitoes as well as plant based mosquito repellents. If you live in an area prone to mosquitos be sure to wear a mosquito repellent.




Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

Bergamot, Catnip, Cedars, Citronella, Clove, Eucalyptus, Garlic, Lavender, Marigolds, Nodding Onion, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sagebrush, Snowbrush, Sweet Fern and Tea Tree.


Monday, November 19, 2012

2012 First & Last Freeze Dates

 Frost Calendar
 
 
This vegetable garden First & Last Freeze Date Calendar below will help you plan ahead. It will help you succeed at having a bountiful garden or extending your garden's life according to your planting zone.
 
I try and follow the First & Last Freeze Date Calendar to help me know when my seeds should be started indoors, when they should be started or transplant your seeds and seedlings outdoors.
 
*Following the chart will give you a rought  idea as to when to expect to harvest your seeds. Each vegetable has a variety of types, each one with a slightly different growing season, and length. In general, the information listed on your seed packets, at Burpee.com, Farmers Almanac or favorite gardening source can also be very helpful in as to when to start planting seeds indoors or outdoors.
 
 


                   
                                           
Remember.. seeds needs a particular degree of heat or coldness to either germinate and thrive after germination. The chart below is most helpful if you're needing to schedule a garden events, planting seeds outdoors, transplanting vegetables, harvesting determining if you should cover your last crop of tomatos or that sort of thing.
 
For example, once the onions are harvested in the late summer, a quick growing cool weather crop such as lettuce, spinach, or beets could easily be grown where the onions once were before the first frost comes in. Frost can completely wipe out a vegetable garden. This allows an additional set of vegetables to be grown from the same garden plot or helps you know when to cover your crops so they won't get burnt from frost.
 
So.. my advice is to pay attention to this First & Last Freeze Date Calendar then watch your local news for current weather updates.
 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Nuts vs. Legumes

 FOOD NEWS - Southweastgardenguide.blogspot.com

 

It’s A Nut Case
 

Everyone is nuts about nuts. Scientists, nutritionist, growers, consumers and kids absolutely love nuts.

Nuts come in an absolute variety of sizes, shapes, colors and flavors. But I have a secret to tell that I didn't know myself...  are you sitting down?

Some nuts aren't technically nuts at all! What we think of as the common nut can be fooling us! Well, it's time to "crack" the mystery.


Nuts vs. Legumes

The difference between nuts and legumes aren't always obvious by mere sight.Both legumes and nuts consist of a simple dry fruit carried inside a pod or shell, but upon examining the details, the two groups prove to have significant differences.

A nut will usually have only one seed and at most it will have two but, legumes often contain multiple seeds; it isn't uncommon for a pea pod to contain half a dozen peas, right?

Additionally, a true nut is always indehiscent, meaning it won't open on its own. The majority of legumes are dehiscent, opening naturally along a seam on two sides. Again, the pea pod is an obvious example of this.

The seed of a true nut is never attached
to the ovary wall, while legumes often contain seeds attached to their pods. legumes are known to replenish nitrogen in the soil, making legumes ideal for use in crop rotations.

Legumes contain starch, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.

Nuts contain protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.

Common types of legumes include black beans, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, navy beans and pinto beans. Soybeans are also considered to be a legume.

Peanuts (legume) are an all American favorite. They were indeed discovered by the native people and conquistador introduced them to the 'New World'. They grow underground and not on trees as like a walnut. Peanuts are also commonly called Goobers, which are actually legumes as like a pinto bean or navy bean. Peanuts are a favorite to Americans and used in numerous products. They pack a hearty serving of protein.

Serving: 32 peanuts
Nutrition: 159 cal; 14g fat; 7g protein
Fresh idea: use in stir-fry, brittle, peanut butter cookies or salads for extra crunch.

Walnuts (fruit) are my absolute favorite nut.. ahem.. legume. Baked goods just aren't the same without a fist full of walnuts. 

 Walnuts are one of the oldest tree fruits that man has ever discovered. That's right, walnuts are actually fruit! They've been traded along the Silk Road for centuries. The meaty kernels arrived in the America in the late 1700's and has been the tops of the tops for baking. Walnuts are really an American signature when it comes to baking.

Did you know that one handful of walnuts boasts more antioxidants than other shelled snacks. They're ultimate favorite amongst dieters, heat patients and diabetics.

Serving: 14 walnut halves
Nutrition: 183 cal; 18g fat; 4g protein
Fresh idea: Sprinkle over mushroom soup for added earthiness.


 Pistachios (seed). Legend has it that pistachio trees were planted in Nebuchadnezzar's famed gardens around 600 BC. Scientists have found the earliest pistachio trees in Syria, Persia (Iran) and Iraq.

Thomas Jefferson even tried growing pistachio trees at Monticello but, the cold weather was too harsh for the young trees. A gift from Jefferson to George Washington was made of pistachio trees.

These lovely tasting green seeds are loaded with vitamin B6 (20% of your daily value per ounce).

Serving: 49 pistachios
Nutrition: 158 cal; 13g fat; 6g protein
Fresh idea: Roll goat cheese in chopped pistachios for a salad topping


 Almonds (fruit) are botanically considered a fruit just like an apple or orange. This explains why they're so good in sweets and deserts. Besides their wonderful, one ounce of almonds supplies the same amount of polyphenols (health-promoting compounds) as a cup of green tea.


Serving: 22 almonds
Nutrition: 161 cal; 14g fat; 6g protein
Fresh idea: Slivered almonds are at home in a batch of granola, macaroons, dipped in dark chocolate, pesto.


Brazil nuts (actual nut) are unique with their high selenium content, whose antioxidant properties protect against heart disease, cancer, and aging. If you've never tried these, it's not too late. Brazil nuts are sold all year round and you can find them either in the shell (raw) or roasted out of the shell.

Serving: 25 Brazil nuts
Nutrition: 172 cal; 11g fat; 7g protein
Fresh idea: as is or topped with a bit of cream cheese to cut the bitter flavor.


 

Types of legumes
Many supermarkets and food stores stock a wide variety of legumes — both dried and canned. Below are several of the more common types and their typical uses.
Type of legumeCommon uses
Adzuki beans
Also known as field peas or red oriental beans
Soups, sweet bean paste, and Japanese and Chinese dishes
Anasazi beans
Also known as Jacob's cattle beans
Soups and Southwestern dishes; can be used in recipes that call for pinto beans
Black beansBlack beans
Also known as turtle beans
Soups, stews, rice dishes and Latin American cuisines
Black-eyed peas
Also known as cowpeas
Salads, casseroles, fritters and Southern dishes
Chickpeas
Also known as garbanzo or ceci beans
Casseroles, hummus, minestrone soup, and Spanish and Indian dishes
Edamame
Also known as green soybeans
Snacks, salads, casseroles and rice dishes
Fava beansFava beans
Also known as broad or horse beans
Stews and side dishes
LentilsSoups, stews, salads, side dishes and Indian dishes
Lima beans
Also known as butter or Madagascar beans
Succotash, casseroles, soups and salads
Red kidney beansStews, salads, chili and rice dishes
Soy nuts
Also known as roasted soybeans or soya beans
Snacks or garnish for salads


Types of nuts Calories Total fat
(saturated/unsaturated fat)*
Almonds, raw 163 14 g (1.1 g/12.2 g)
Almonds, dry roasted 169 15 g (1.1 g/12.9 g)
Brazil nuts, raw 186 19 g (4.3 g/12.8 g)
Cashews, dry roasted 163 13.1 g (2.6 g/10 g)
Chestnuts, roasted 69 0.6 g (0.1 g/0.5 g)
Hazelnuts (filberts), raw 178 17 g (1.3 g/15.2 g)
Hazelnuts (filberts), dry roasted 183 17.7 g (1.3 g/15.6 g)
Macadamia nuts, raw 204 21.5 g (3.4 g/17.1 g)
Macadamia nuts, dry roasted 204 21.6 g (3.4 g/17.2 g)
Peanuts, legume, dry roasted 166 14 g (2g/11.4 g)
Pecans, dry roasted 201 21 g (1.8 g/18.3 g)
Pistachios, dry roasted 161 12.7 g (1.6 g/10.5 g)
Walnuts, halved 185 18.5 g (1.7 g/15.9 g)



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Free Mock Starbucks Frappaccino Recipe Ever!

EXTRA EXTRA

Free Starbuck MOCKFRAPPUCCINO RECIPE EVER

 SECRET INGREDIENT REVEALED!




CORN SAVED MY FRAPPACCINO RECIPE

I've looked the world wide web over for the perfect frappuccino iced coffee recipe that's similar to what you would find at the major coffee houses as like Starbucks, The Moka, Dunkin Donuts, Markus Coffee, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf etc. I've never found a recipe that is even close to the flavour and texture of the corporate mockfrappaccino blended coffee drink.

There's nothing like a cold frothy iced blended coffee beverage on hot day after doing gardening. It's a true reward for me but, I hate having to hop in the hot car to waist good gas, time and effort for just a 'beverage' so,  I've spend nearly a year trying to find the best recipe for a mockfrappaccino blended ice coffee. I'd give up and eventually pick-up where I left off in searching and trying recipes found by other java users who need a blended iced coffee fix.



Most recipes on the internet for frappaccinos are simply repeats. The flavours are similar but, they're always missing that "it" factor.

While catching up on garden news on the web the other day, I came across an article regarding American grown corn and its bi-products used in daily life.

As I kept skipping from one website to another reading about corn, a light bulb went off in my head (I call it divine interception) on how to improve my mockfrappaccino recipe!

Big corporate coffee houses actually put additives or fillers in their blended coffees make their blended beverages a consistent texture and flavour. The fillers are binders. They bind all ingredients to achieve smooth texture which heightens flavor.

Each branded coffee house uses different additives from one another. It's like a trademark to differ their recipes which are basically the same recipe just a pinch of this or that is changed.



In seeking out a really good make-at-home mock frappuccino recipe, I figured out an additive that almost all of us (particularly backyard gardeners) have on hand. We use it for cooking, batter frying, seed germination, seed tapes, pesticide etc.

Yes, all coffee houses have add particular ingredients that help stabilize the froth, whip or blend of cold coffee drinks; otherwise, you'll blended drink separates quickly or turns back to a watering consistent quickly. There's nothing worse than a watered down Frappuccino, is there?

Drum role please... . Here's the "secret" ingredient that will keep your blended coffee drinks smooth, stayed blended longer and just great to look at. The additive or filler that you most likely have in your pantry that will bind all ingredients together is simple cornstarch! <applause!> <clap, clap, clap> <applause>... <I modestly curtsy> :O)

Corn stark will significantly make your at-home blended beverage smoother which creates a better flavour experience. Without a filler or binder the ice, water, milk and sugars want to separate due to the cold factor.


Here's my recipe that  I know you'll enjoy. Gratitude can be sent in the form of a donation to . I accept both PayPal and Google Checkout / Wallet. All proceeds will either go toward garden supplies, dirty martinis or my extreme coffee habit. wink.


emmadear.com emmadear.ecrater.com emmadeargifts.ecrater.com southwestgardenguide.blogspot.com

Thank you kindly for your contribution. I'm most appreciative.

How To Grow Corn


Corn Is Super Easy To Grow. 
It Will Even Grow In Sand or Containers.

Corn will and has grown in desert arid conditions, great American plains to northern wetlands. A bountiful harvest is all about choosing the right variety for your general area and planting when the ground temperature rises above 50F and air temperature is 60F once the plant rises out of the soil.

I'm a big fan of heirloom corn and I always do my best to find a good hardy variety of sweet corn as like Golden Bantam,  Hookers Sweet Indian heirloom sweet corn, Hopi, Honey Pearl, Luther Hill sweet corn, etc.


From experience, I've been  successful by planting corn in the northern most part of your garden. Be sure that your corn doesn't block the sun for other plants near by.

Plant after a complete danger of frost has past. You'll regret it otherwise. Always plant in well drained soil. Most corn will grow in any soil conditions but, salty soil. 

Be sure to water the ground well before planting. This gives corn a good head start.

Corn may need additional water to make quality ears during a dry summer. Very hot weather can also have a negative effect on pollination of corn. For a continuous crop, stagger plantings a few weeks apart or choose corn varieties with different maturities. For instance, choose one variety of corn that may mature in 60 days or another that my mature in 80 days or so.


It's always best to find which variety suits your hardiness zone and soil but, in general I've not had a sweet corn that wouldn't grow in the heat of southern California desert. Native American Indians have been cultivating corn in the desert for centuries before Europeans arrived.



DID YOU KOW THAT CORN IS A SHIM?

Yep, corn is monoecious (mon-ee-shuss). That means that there are both male and female flowers on each corn plant. American Native Americans called this two spirits. 

In some monoecious plants, male and female parts are in the same flower. In corn, male and female flowers are in different locations - the male flowers form a tassel which is at the top of the plant. At first it will stand straight and eventually it will lay over... uhem.

The female flower is located at the junction of leaves and stem. It consists of a collection silks enclosed in the husks of what will eventually become the ears. These silks or strands are the pollen-receiving tubes. Yep. Under a microscope the silks of a corn plant are actually tubes that wind-blown pollen from the male flowers (tassel) falls on the silks below and enter through the pours of the silks and follow the tube to it's final destination during pollination. Each silk leads to a kernel, and pollen must land on all silks for the ear to fill out completely with kernels. Missing kernels "skips" (ears only partly filled out with kernels) are often the result of poor pollination.

You can easily help pollination along on corn by either shaking stalks or gently running your hands up the tassels and sprinkle the pollen on the corn silks.


Basic Planting Guide For Corn

Plant corn about May 10 or when soils reach a temperature of at least 50F. Corn seed will not germinate in colder soils, decaying instead. The extra sweet varieties of corn require even warmer soil. The hotter the better. 

You'll have a better success rate at growing really sweet corn if the ground temperature is  at least 60F. You can warm soil by covering with black plastic and punching holes through it to plant seed. The rate at which corn grows is heavily influenced by warm soil and air temperatures. The month of May is usually a good month to begin corn all around America. We have longer growing seasons here in southern California and so, I'm lucky to begin corn March.

Because corn is wind-pollinated, plant it in blocks of rows, rather than in a long, single row, which would result in poor pollen distribution on the silks and many kernel "skips".


If your ground is mostly sandy, you'll have better success by simply pushing the seeds into the ground rather than making drills or mounds. 

Plant two or three seeds 12-15 inches apart, in rows 30-36 inches apart. Shorter, earlier varieties can be spaced somewhat closer.

Plant seeds 1 - 1 1/2 inches deep, except for extra sweet varieties, which should only be planted three-fourths an inch deep.

Some folk say that your corn should be knee high before July 4th to determine if your corn is growing properly.

If both or all three seeds in a spot germinate, thin out the poorer seedlings, saving the best plant from each spot. Be sure to isolate extra sweet varieties from all other types of sweet corn because, cross pollination with other types can result in tough, starchy kernels.

Water the block-rows well before and after planting. Good soil moisture is especially critical for the germination of  the extra sweet corn variety. Extra sweet corn must absorb more water than other types of sweet corn for germination to occur. As plants grow and weather becomes warmer, watering frequency must increase. Your ground doesn't have to be saturated all the time.

Water the seeds a bit every day to moisten the soil but, give your corn a really good soaking with a sprinkler or grab yourself a cold beer and plan to stand in place for a good 20 minutes. 

Your corn will be more successful if it gets more deep waterings less frequently than frequently shallow waterings. You'll actually use less water as well and benefit the plants.

Most corn varieties will produce shoots or "suckers" at the base of the plants. Researchers and backyard gardeners have determined that sucker removal does not increase yield or benefit the plants so, save yourself a backache and leave the suckers alone.

I used to pull the suckers because, the new garden informants were saying that it will send more energy to the plants. I've always found that it opens your plants up to disease, pests and the smell of a freshly cut corn stalk attracts animals.

In a nut shell, plant most corn in full sun about a thumb knuckle and a half deep when the ground temperature is warmer than 50. Plant in blocks of rows about 36 inches apart. Plant 2-3 seeds about 12-15 inches apart (some varieties can be planted closer),  pull the weaker plants which can be transplanted and water deeply.

I've often started corn early in coffee cans by tossing in a few kernels. When the corn is about 6 inches tall, I'll then transplant them.



   

COMPANION PLANTS FOR CORN

Old time favourite is the sisters: corn, squash and beans. Other good companion plants are beets, bush beans, cabbage, cucumber, cantaloupe, squash, pumpkin, herbs: basil, parsley, peas, early potatoes, watermelon, etc.


FERTILIZER & CARE 


My trusted favourite fertilizer is still ordinary cow manure. I'm also a huge fan of manure tea (seeped cow manure / compost tea).


You can also try bloodmeal, partially rotted manure or a liquid fertilizer. Corn needs plenty of moisture. Be sure to hill soil around the base of the plant when they are about 6” high. This will help the roots to anchor and cool.

It's a good idea to use a mulch to keep down weeds and conserve moisture particularly if you're not going to companion plant by planting either squash or beans in and around your corn.

HARVESTING OF CORN:

Corn is ready when the ears are completely filled and a pierced kernel shows a milky white liquid. A very good sign of corn cob readiness is when the silks turn brown and crisp.

   
WHERE TO PURCHASE CORN ON LINE

Victory Seed, Burpee, Stoke Seed Company, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Eden Brothers, Gurney's, Sustainable Seed Company, Seed Exchange, Seeds of Change etc.

American Corn Based Products - Eat Up!


God Bless America and all the products that are derived from corn! The United States is the world's largest producer and exporter of corn. America is also the leader when trying to feed the world. We're most generous when it comes to food trade.


Got Corn?

We all eat, use, wear and basically live corn every day. Corn is 'the' wonder crop of the world particularly the Americas. Instead of playing 'I Spy With My Little Eye' game... try playing 'I Spy Corn!. Whether you reside in an industrial city, artsy fartsy neighbourhood, suburbia, Manhatten or Alaska. 


Your day is absolutely made easier due to American corn bi-products as like paper products, paste/glue, spark plugs, U.S. Post Office uses corn based glue for postal stamps, popcorn, tires (corn starch used so tires don't adhere to molds), toothpaste, paint & varnish (corn & corn cobs are used), instant coffee and tea (processed with corn so granules don't stick together in package), pesticides, corn nuts, fertilizers, cosmetics, plastics, foods (soups, peanut butter, corn syrup, jam, potato chips, corn syrup, relish, lemonades, juices, sodas, cheese, margarine, flouer, meal, oil, etc. soaps, vitamins, animal litter, beer, aspirin, pharmaceuticals, gypsum, drywall, liquor, binders, cereals, grits, feed, sweeteners, antibiotics, amino acids, ethanol, fiber, protein, .....ugh! I'm out of breath!

  


You get the point. Not only is America an icon regarding corn production and agriculture around the world.. . but, we're also leaders in corn based products that basically keeps the world trucking along.


Did You Know?


Photo by Joe Munroe

The Garst family welcomes Nikita Khrushchev in 1959 (Roswell Garst, center; Khrushchev, third from right).

Coon Rapids, Iowa USA was crawling with Russian Spies?

It's true. On September 23rd, 1959 Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and his friends had made a visit to Iowa to learn more about the American corn industry and agriculture. 
Premier Khrushchev actually had a good ol' American friend from Iowa who was a corn salesman. Roswell Garst had invited his friend to learn more about cutting edge American agriculture technology. The event drew thousands of people, reporters, G-men dressed like farmers etc.
It seems that Russia was experiencing an agricultural hardship and welcomed American ingenuity. 
Corn is easy to grow and very delicious to eat. I don't know of any backyard gardener that doesn't have a block of corn growing in their garden. There are hundreds of corn variety from sweet to basic field corn. Indian corn (also called flint corn, Makki, Bhutta, makka etc.) is a wonderful decoration and even more importantly a great source of protein when ground up for flour.
  
If you've never eaten foods made from ground Indian corn as like tortillas, biscuits, Indian corn stew, pudding, flat bread etc.. . well then, you should. They're foods that are part of the American fabric which was once our identity in America. 

We went from being a corn culture to a processed food society. Folks would rather eat a ding don zinger before eating corn. 

Society was told during the 1990's that corn is bad for you. Hundreds of generations of cultures have survived off of corn. Now scientists are stating that their is an enzymes and hormones in corn that actually helps weight. 

Corn is a carbohydrate and it's loaded with energy and nutrients. Eaten in moderation without a lot of butter can be a nutritious food source. 

Don't confuse hole corn with corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup when eaten in bulk can lead to diabetes and obesity. Hole corn is full of fiber which will make you feel full as well as make you 'regular'. 

Corn is an American national symbol during holidays, Native Americans, States, iconic products made by General Mills or Kellogg, we decorate with corn stalks and cobs, we celebrate by making candy corn to eating corn on the cob and drinking fine corn distilled liquors. 

Native Americans taught the early settlers how to plant the three sisters which included corn. 

Corn is All-American and feeds the world and many animals. There's nothing more beautiful and delicious than a fresh ear of corn either BBQ'd, boiled, microwaved or baked. It's your American birthright to enjoy corn. So eat up! 


Jenny Jones' Home Made Microwave Popcorn
 3 Ingredients Corn, Paper Bag, Stapler

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup plain popping corn
  • 1 paper lunch bag
  • 1 stapler
Instructions:
  1. Pour popping corn into bag.
  2. Fold top of bag over and staple shut with 2-3 staples.
  3. Microwave on high for about 1 1/2 minutes or until popping has almost stopped.





Saturday, April 7, 2012

Water Wise Garden - Know When To Water


Know When & How Much To Water
Best Water Saving Tip You'll Ever Receive!


I do much of my vegetable gardening in a desert community located in Mira Loma, California - Riverside County just 40 miles easterly of Los Angeles.

Compared to most of America, we have year long growing seasons because, it often hot and arid. Our main stay is agriculture, farming, ranching, dairy farms, golfing, etc. It's a mecca for retirees and snowbirds, Brits and Japanese who love desert living.

Visitors to Mira Loma love seeing horses tied up at the post office or sitting at the same red light as you are, folks taking a daily walk with their llamas, sunflowers and sweet corn on displayed in the front corner of your yard, any sort of animal imaginable etc.

Nascar, golfers, outdoor athletes, tourist, horse and thoroughbred race horse breeders/trainers, Hollywood movie makers, animal sanctuaries and beloved gardeners love our slice of southern California because, weather is predictable, there's lots of space, everyone has a garden, and native plants are everywhere. There's even been walking tours for cactus enthusiast. Riverside county is a leader and an award winning county for solar energy, wind energy, recycling and victory gardens.

Even though we receive on average 11 inches of rain per year and our temperature is moderately 70-75F during winter, 95F+ during summer and pretty much arid all year long, we've all adapted to watering wisely.

Mira Loma actually has its own water company and home owners own stock in our water company. We're not under the thumb of the huge water conglomerate who tells us when and how much we can water. We vote on issues and take notice of wasteful usage. As a community, we've all taken it upon ourselves to use water wisely and not in excess. The more water saved on plants can be used for animals and swimming pools!



 Looking for a discount on your water bill? With a few easy watering tips, you can have a wonderful flower garden or vegetable patch without having a high water bill.

Plants really don't need much water to survive even if they're not drought tolerant plants. Just know which plants can be planted in full sun, particular shade or full shade. Almost all plants vegetables or flowers take in the same amount of water for survival. The trick is knowing when to water and how much to water and you'll do just fine by having a successful garden with a low water bill.



*Watering wisely means instead of watering every day and only achieving a shallow level of water, water less frequently by deep soaking which more beneficial to plants. You'll have a lower water bill, less fungi, plant and soil diseases, evaporation, water dependant plants, damaged leaves, attracting unwanted bugs, etc.

Water wisely means to water for the plants needs and not when you feel hot and sticky. We all make the mistake in thinking that our plants need the same attention as we do. Flowering shrubs, vines, succulents, bushes etc. need to be watered at most once every two weeks after established. At times the humidity level does plummet and more water is needed more often but, on the average most plants only need watering once every two weeks.

*Vegetable gardens and tender flowers do need watering (soak) once a week. Watering means setting a sprinkler out to water for 15 minutes or more or deep soaking a plant. 



TIP: Folks here generally build a mote or well around plants. When we water we fill that well up and let it soak into the ground. After it's fully absorbed into the ground, we then refill the well around the plant and walk away for two weeks. Grapes, citrus, tomato plants and peppers are grown everywhere here. Building a circular mote is a perfect way to water your plants and trees. The well should be as wide as the branches or leaves and about 2 inches deep for trees and one inch deep for flowers or peppers.


There's plenty of weather station gadgets and software available that measure humidity, barometer and temperature. Some will even give you a 10-day forecast.

Purchase a weather station or download software so that you're able to plan ahead by monitoring humidity levels. It will really helps to know when your plants really do need a good soaking. Weather station gadgets are often titled differently by numerous manufacturers or retail stores.




Recommended Garden Sights For Weather Station Meters:

northerntool.com, amazon.com/patio, ebay.com, radioshack.com, truevalue.com, walmart.com, harborfreight.com, HomeDepot.com, Lowes.com, farmandfleet.com, Google Shopping.

Recommended Software and Apps For Weather Station Meters:

weather.com, weatherBug, accuWeather.com, weatherblink.com


Google.com search using keywords:  Weather Stations / Humidity Software / Precipitation Software / Barometers / Weather Meters / Outdoor Temperature Thermometers / Weather Instruments / Anemometers / Humidity Meters / Wind Speed Altimeters / Humidity Gauges / Garden Meters / Garden Gauges etc.


Watering wisely saves money, water and maintenance. By choosing to water deeply and less often compared to sprinkling water on your grass and plants daily will actually make your plants thrive. Using mulch really does inhibit weed growth and greatly reduces soil erosion and water evaporation.


TIP: Always look ahead by knowing the near future weather forecast. If rain, fog, or any condensation is in the the near future.. . let mother nature water your plants instead.  




  • Always design for water conservation by grouping plants together with the same water needs. Always place the 'alike' plants together in areas of the garden that best suit their needs.

  • Don't plant a succulent near lettuce plant or petunia. lettuce and petunia's are 'alike' plants where they're a tender plant needing more water compared to a succulent plant that generally draws water from the air. Now a succulent plant will do extremely well with poppies or marigolds. Get it?


LIST OF WATER WISE PLANTS!

Water-wise: Give a plant a good soaking and water less frequently instead of sprinkling your plants every day. It's good on your water bill, conservation and good for the plant.


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