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Category Archives: Pesticides

Hydroponic Gardening

My mom gave me this great Long English Cucumber. I love cucumbers and I juice them often, but this one was different. It was “packaged” wrapped in a tight plastic and stated hydroponically grown.  I guess I’ve been living under a rock because I have never heard this term before. I ran to the computer to learn more and to my surprise, I knew exactly what it was, just didn’t know there was a name for it.

Here are some facts I learned:

What are the benefits of hydroponic growing?

Cultivating plants hydroponically is an easy and environmentally sound way to grow a wide variety of healthy plants. It offers numerous benefits over growing in soil, including:
• Plants grow up to 50% faster because they have easy access to food and water.
• Plants become “vacation-proof” and “neglect-resistant” as rockwool retains water so well, you only need to water every three to six weeks.
• Plants can “tell” you when to water, because they droop before wilting and damage occurs.
• The absence of a buffer in the growing medium means plants get all the nutrients available (they don’t remain “bound up” as occurs in buffered mediums like peat moss and coco fiber).
• Little or no pesticides are necessary. Plants start our in a disease-free medium.
• If disease occurs, it may only affect one plant, not a whole row.
• You use smaller containers, because the roots can grow throughout the media without being root bound.

Hydroponics Is Simple
Plants don’t use soil; they use the food and water that are in the soil. Hydroponics basically is growing plants without soil because it is simply a more efficient way to provide food and water to your plants. Soil’s function is to hold nutrients and anchor plants’ roots. In a hydroponic garden you provide your plants’ roots so they have easier access to the food and water.

In a soil garden, food and water are randomly scattered; plants have to expend a lot of energy growing roots to find them. In a hydroponic garden, the food is dissolved in the water so it goes directly to the roots. The plants will grow quicker and be ready for harvest sooner because their growth will be above the surface, not under it. Since the root systems will be compact and not competing for food and water, you may also have many more plants in a given space.

Hydroponics Is Not New
Hydroponics has existed in different forms for thousands of years. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon used hydroponic techniques. Today hydroponic installations can be found in all 50 states and many countries around the world. In fact, in colder climates, a majority of vegetable and flower crops are grown hydroponically.

I LOVE this idea and now that we’ve settled into our new house, I can consider starting the garden. The photo alone make me want to do this. It’s visually stunning to me and such a cool idea.

~Rawma

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Edible and Non- Edible Flowers

I’ve been wondering about which flowers I could add to my raw feasts. They look beautiful and taste delicious too. I was thrilled when I opened an e-mail this morning and a new raw friend had sent out a wonderful list of edible flowers.

Joz wrote:
Organic edible flowers are not just for salads and garnish. I love using them in smoothies, too! Did you know that organic edible flowers are rich in nectar and pollen (studies have shown pollen to be nutritious with minerals and vitamins). Roses, especially rose hips, are very high in vitamin C. Dandelion blossoms (and yellow flowers, in general) have plenty of vitamin A, while the leaves are loaded with iron, calcium, phosophorous and vitamins A and C. Marigolds and Nasturtium have vitamin C.

Other herb flowers-The tiny flowering blooms of the
following spices are edible: anise, basil, bee balm, chives, coriander
(cilantro), dill, fennel, garlic, oregano, rosemary, and thyme.

* Borage blossoms (Borago officinalis)-Tiny blue flowers have
slight cucumber flavor.
* Calendula flowers (Calendula officinalis)-Also known as “pot
marigolds”, multi-colored blooms with a peppery taste. Sometimes
called “poor man’s saffron”
* Carnation flowers (Dianthus caryophyllus)-Red, pink, and
white blossoms with clove taste.
* Chamomile flowers (Chamaemilum nobile)-Daisy-like flowers
with a slight hint of apple flavor. Especially good for parrots when
calming influence is needed.
* Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)-the lavander-pink pom pom
flower is actually composed of many small florets. Flowers have a mild
onion flavor.
* Daisies (Bellis perennis)-Yellow and white flowers with
light mint or clover flavor. Flowers
* Dandelion flowers – pictured (Taraxacum officinale)-Small
yellow blossoms have honey flavor when picked young. Older flowers are
bitter but my Eclectus parrots do not seem to notice. Also offer the
dandelion leaves which are an excellent source of nutrition.
* Day lilies (Hemerocallis)-Many colored blossoms with sweet
taste and crunchy lettuce texture. Flower buds and blossoms can be
consumed at all stages of growth. Note: Many lilies (Lillium species)
contain alkaloids and are NOT safe for parrots or people.
* Elderberry flowers (Sambucus canadensis)-Sweet tasting
flowers. For colds and chills, Gypsies mix elderberry flowers, yarrow
and peppermint and steep in boiling water for 13 minutes, and drink
tea frequently.
* Gladiolus (Gladiolus spp.)Flowers of many colors grow on a
spike with flowers above each other, all usually facing the same way.
Has lettuce texture and flavor.
* Hibiscus flowers (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)-Tropical blossoms
in a variety of colors have slightly acidic taste. One of the favorite
flowers of most parrot species.
* Honeysuckle flowers (Japanese Lonicera japonica)-Small white
to yellow trumpet-shaped blossoms are sweet and delicious. Parrots
relish these flowers and the Loridae family of birds especially loves
the honeysuckle nectar. Only the Japanese honeysuckle is edible and
only the blooms should be used as the berries are extremely poisonous.
Offer only the flowers so that no berries on the vines will
accidentally be eaten.
* Impatiens (Impatiens wallerana)-Multi-color small blooms
with mild taste.
* Johnny-Jump-Up flowers–(Viola tricolor) Yellow, violet, and
lavender flowers with wintergreen flavor. Leaves are also edible and
contain vitamin C.
* Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)–Lavender blossoms have heavy
floral fragrance and lemon flavor.
* Marigolds flowers (Tagetes signata pumila)-Bright yellow and
orange flowers with citrus flavor.
* Milk thistle (Silybum marianum)-Purple flowers are edible as
well as leaves and seeds which are known for benefits to liver.
* Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus)–Red, yellow, and orange
flowers have a tangy, peppery flavor and are the most popular of all
edible flowers. Leaves can be eaten too.
* Pansies (Viola X Wittrockiana)-Purple, white, yellow
bi-color blooms have a sweet, tart flavor. Flowers
* Passionflowers – pictured (Passifloraceae – passion flower
family)–Passiflora caerulea and Passiflora edulis are two of the
hundreds of varieties. Some vines produce large greenish white and
purple blossoms and then orange or purple edible fruit, depending upon
the variety of the plant. *See website below with information and
photos of 200 Passionflower varieties.
* Roses (Rosa spp)-Some of the tastiest rose varieties are
Rosa xdamascena, Rosa gallica, and Rosa rugosa, Flower carpet rose,
Double Delight, Mirandy, and Tiffany variety. Roses have a slight
fruity flavor.
* Sage (Salvia officinalis)-Lavender-blue flower spikes grow
only on the culinary variety. The variegated species of sage do not
flower. Flowers have distinctive sage flavor.
* Other herb flowers-The tiny flowering blooms of the
following spices are edible: anise, basil, bee balm, chives, coriander
(cilantro), dill, fennel, garlic, oregano, rosemary, and thyme.
* Sunflowers (Helianthus)–Many varieties but most have yellow
leaves around a “black eye” center. Mature flowers contain the seed
that all parrots find so irresistible!
* Tree flowers-Parrots can be offered the flowering blooms of
the following trees: Apple, bottlebrush, citrus (orange, lemon, lime,
grapefruit, kumquat), eucalyptus, melaleuca, and plum.
* Tulips (Tulipa spp.)-Multi-color flowers with crisp, cucumber taste.
* Vegetable flowers-Butterblossom squash flowers have slight
squash taste. Zucchini flowers,
podded pea flowers (ornamental peas
are poisonous),
okra, pumpkin, and runner bean flowers are edible.
* Violets (Viola odorata)-Deep violet and white color with
sweet wintergreen taste.

Some of the NON-EDIBLE’S and possibly poisonous are:
Azalea
Azaleas are flowering shrubs from the Rhododendron family whose stems grow just one flower. Azaleas can be particularly poisonous to animals. Symptoms of poisoning after ingesting azaleas include vomiting, diarrhea, hyper-salivation, weakness, coma and hypotension.
Black Locust
Black Locust is a large, deciduous tree with pea-like white flowers. It can be toxic in large quantities if ingested and may cause depression, weakness, dilated pupils, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, weak pulse, coldness of arms and legs, paleness and shock.
Buttercup
Buttercups are yellow perennials and can be found throughout the US. They can be toxic if eaten in large amounts or cause a minor skin irritation. Symptoms of poisoning by a Buttercup include skin redness, burning sensation and blisters around the area that had contact with the sap.
Calla Lily
Calla lilies are often found in floral settings in homes and at weddings. While beautiful, a calla lily can be fatal if ingested. Calla lilies are tall with white bulbs. Signs of poisoning include burning and swelling lips, tongue and throat. Sometimes, stomach pain and diarrhea will also present.
Daffodil
Daffodils are yellow, innocent-looking flowers. However, if ingested in large quantities, they can be poisonous and even fatal. Signs of poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, salivation, trembling and convulsions. Daffodils may also cause severe skin irritation.
Mistletoe
Mistletoe is an evergreen with white and pink berries. The berries can cause nausea in large amounts, but a few are generally not toxic. Eating other parts of the plant can cause problems however, such as difficulty with vision and convulsions.
Morning Glory
Morning Glories are commonly found in gardens and can be found in many colors, including white, blue and purple. Morning glories are not as poisonous as other flowers, but still shouldn’t be ingested. Their seeds can cause hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, numbness and muscle tightness.
Poinsettia
Many people are familiar with the popular Christmas plant, the Poinsettia. Its red petals are hard to confuse with any other plant. Poinsettias are mildly poisonous to humans but can be deadly to animals. Symptoms of poisoning include stomach pain with vomiting and diarrhea.
Wisteria
Wisteria is a beautiful climbing plant with white, blue or purple flowers. If a large amount is ingested it may cause nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhea. the poisonous species can cause health problems for animals, including dogs, cats and horses, as well as human beings.

**THIS IS NOT A COMPLETE LIST, SO PLEASE USE CAUTION AND DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE EATING ANY PLANTS YOU ARE NOT 100% SURE WILL BE SAFE FOR YOU**

Peace,
RawMa

 

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