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Eat Plants And Prosper: For Longevity, Go Easy On The Meat, Study Says

Eat Plants And Prosper: For Longevity, Go Easy On The Meat, Study Says | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it
A new study cautions that eating a diet rich in animal proteins could be as harmful to health as smoking. Not quite, other researchers say, but it's still a good idea to go heavy on the greens.
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great and obvious- too bad too many people are sheeple

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Gardens and Gardening
Growing a good healthy fun organic garden. Deal with weeds and bugs and grow great vegetables and fruit. How to make and use compost? Extend the season? create an easy to water garden? other topics
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Compost : Compost Leaves & Grass

Add leaves and grass to compost heaps or compost bins, learn ways to pick up your grass and leaf clippings and start new flower beds in this free gardening v...


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Composting 101 - How to Make Compost

Composting 101 - How to Make Compost | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it

An informative guide to composting & compost bins!


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Why wood chips make the best organic mulch | Big Blog Of Gardening ~ organic gardening and organic lawn care

Why wood chips make the best organic mulch | Big Blog Of Gardening ~ organic gardening and organic lawn care | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it
Wood chips are a long lasting organic mulch for trees, shrubs, and perennials which in many cases can be had for free...

 

 

If you garden, you may often hear that arborist wood chips should not be used as mulch, which actually is not supported by studies. Wood chips are one of the best mulches for trees and shrubs, but may not be the best for annuals and vegetables, according to Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott from Washington State University.

 

 

 

 

In a 1990 study comparing 15 different organic mulches, wood chips were one of the best for holding moisture, moderating soil temperatures, controlling weeds, and overall sustainability. Wood chips absorb more water than many other mulches, water which both cools the soil and is slowly released to plants.

 

Economically wood chips work too, as in most areas they can be obtained free from arborists or local recycle centers. Obtaining them from local sources rather than in bags at chain stores, trucked in from distant locations, keeps the product out of landfills and supports less fuel wasted on trucking. They’re also economical in that being slow to break down, wood chips will last longer than most other choices, so don’t need replenishing as often.

Dr. Chalker-Scott points out that since wood chips contain materials of various sizes—bark, wood, and leaves—they are more resistant to compaction than sawdust and bark. This diverse selection of materials also supports a diverse selection of soil microorganisms. These, in turn, are more resistant to environmental stresses and create a healthier plant environment.

One of the main concerns, and reason often cited for not using wood chips, is that they will tie up nitrogen and cause plants to be hungry. When wood chips are used on trees and shrubs, many studies have shown just the opposite. While there is likely a shallow zone near the surface under a layer of wood chips in which nitrogen is often lacking (organisms use up nitrogen as they break down organic matter), the deeper roots of shrubs and trees should have sufficient nutrients in good soils. This shallow zone under wood chips, lacking in nitrogen, may help reduce weed seed germination. Fewer weeds means more nutrients available for your plants.

Since this surface zone, lacking nutrients, is the area of the shallow roots of annuals and many vegetables, wood chips are not best to use for these. Nor would they be good on first year perennials, or those with shallow roots such as yarrow. If concerned about a lack of nitrogen, with shrubs and trees, use a nutrient-rich compost layer on the soil before applying wood chips. This “mulch sandwich” is similar to what one finds in a forest ecosystem, and is what the wood chips will form on their own over time.

Some gardeners apply extra fertilizer to the soil surface, particularly nitrogen-rich ones, prior to applying wood chips. For organic nitrogen sources, you could use blood meal (12 percent nitrogen), fish meal (9 percent), cottonseed meal (6 percent) or soybean meal (also 6 percent) among others. A 5-3-4 analysis organic fertilizer supplies nitrogen as well other nutrients.

Another major concern is whether wood chips will bring in diseases. If this is a worry, let them age for a year or two before applying. The downside to this is that some of the nutritional value will be lost. Studies have shown that wood chips don’t transmit disease organisms to roots of healthy trees. In healthy soils, there are more good fungal diseases that out-compete the bad ones on roots. In healthy plants, weak plant diseases can’t get established. These are often called “opportunistic” diseases, as they take advantage of opportunities for infection, such as wounding of bark and damaged roots.

While the studies noted were done on roots, tree tops weren’t mentioned. Unfortunately, in my own experience, I unknowingly imported some leaf diseases (needlecast in particular) on bark spread under susceptible spruce species. Control required more spraying than was possible or desirable, so these trees are now mostly dead. Other species not susceptible to this disease are fine. So my lesson learned is not to use bark or other wood products like wood chips from unknown sources, which may have come from infected trees, around evergreens that may get leaf diseases.

Yet, in other areas and similar to some growers I know, I’ve used wood chips on trees and shrubs with no effect on their growth. This mulch has not acidified soils, as is often claimed, nor has it increased pests such as carpenter ants, nor has it killed the plants through leaching harmful (“allelopathic”) chemicals.

More on the use of wood chips, and other horticultural myths based on a review of scientific studies, can be found on Dr. Chalker-Scott’s website (www.informedgardener.com).

Dr Leonard Perry is an Extension Professor at the University Of Vermont and an advisor to the Vermont Association Of Professional Horticulturists

 


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Top Ten Garden Secrets – #2 Tomatoes, Everything You Need to Know

Top Ten Garden Secrets – #2 Tomatoes, Everything You Need to Know | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it
April 2, 2014
Loren Nancarrow sets the record straight on growing prize winning tomatoes in your own garden. You’ll learn how to ready the soil prior to planting, when and how to plant and you’ll learn Loren’s organic “homemade” fertilizer recipe.

Via Troy Mccomas (troy48)
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Should I Use Mulch In My Garden? - GreenSocks

Should I Use Mulch In My Garden? - GreenSocks | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it
“If your organic foodie friends have ever talked about mulch in their garden, here's a quick overview and an awesome infographic to help you understand...”
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Planting in Pots and Other Ways of Playing with Permaculture in the Big City

Planting in Pots and Other Ways of Playing with Permaculture in the Big City | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it
Growing your own food doesn’t require expanses of acreage. It doesn’t require a tractor. It doesn’t require complete self-sufficiency. As we all wel
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Best Vegetables for Weight Loss

Best Vegetables for Weight Loss | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it
 Cucumber - The cucumber is one of the best vegetables for weight loss. It´s extremely low in calories and contains lots of water. Broccoli - When trying to lose weight, include plenty of broccoli in your diet.
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7 DIY seed pots from common household items for starting seeds indoors

7 DIY seed pots from common household items for starting seeds indoors | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it
Your recycle bin can be a great source of materials for making your own seed starting pots.

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20 Awesome Uses For Herbs To Heal Body And Mind | Idea Digezt

20 Awesome Uses For Herbs To Heal Body And Mind | Idea Digezt | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it
For nearly every prescription treatment plan for what ails us is a plant, herb, or any other natural substance which has been used as a treatment for more than 100 years by naturalists and herbalists. But how effective are these folk remedies, really? Evidence on most of those treatments continues to be somewhat inconclusive, however you might be surprised to understand exactly how many beneficial herbs you may be keeping in your spice rack. Important note: Just like the majority of things of this nature, this isn't professional medical advice. Always search for your doctor’s advice on any type of treatment, natural or otherwise, before you take it.   1. Sage: Fight Alzheimer’s Basics: This grey-green herb has a faint and pleasant smell, and much like rosemary has been said to boost memory recall. While this claim hasn’t been tested, studies have found that sage is a somewhat useful treatment for people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. How to use it: Sage can be

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Sandi Cornez's curator insight, April 6, 9:16 PM

Herbs are Mother Nature's proprietary medicines which have been used for thousands of years by Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic practitioners and by Western herbalists. Some work alone and others work in combination with modern drugs. Some are taken internally and others are used on the body. It's important to know the differences. Always consult with a knowledgable health professional for health issues. For dietary considerations, a little is all that's needed. Herbal medicine has a timeless ability to improve conditions for individuals and can help you  achieve a better state of health for your body, mind, and soul.

 

Health Tips: Here's some herbs you may or may not be familiar with.  1.  Echinacea's common name is purple coneflower. They are native to the U.S. east of the Rocky mountains. Echinacea is used as an immune booster to treat colds,  flu,  fight infection, and reduce inflammation. 2.  Fenugreek is the hard brown, red, and yellow seed of the fenugreek plant, a member of the legume family. Native to the Mediterranean, fenugreek is cultivated for medicinal use in China, India, Morocco, and turkey.  It has been used as both a medicine and food spice. Fenugreek contains powerful antioxidants that have beneficial effects on the liver and pancreas and it is used to ease digestive tract issues. Fenugreek is used as ground seeds, capsules, or teas. 3.  Lemon Balm is a mediterranean member of the mint family. The dried leaf of the herb is used in herbal medicine. Lemon balm has been used for generations to relieve anxiety and sleeplessness. It has antibacterial and antiviral properties, and helps to relieve cramps and gas. Lemon balm is available in creams and teas. 4.  Thyme is an aromatic garden herb in the mint family. the leaf is used in herbal medicine. Thyme is a strong antiseptic, used externally for infected wounds and internally for respiratory and digestive infections. Thyme also helps reduce  headaches. Thyme is good for an herb garden along with lavender, mint, sage, rosemary, oregano, dill,  and parsley

 

Here's an excellent article on "20 Awesome Uses for Herbs to Heal Body and Mind" from ideadigezt.com 

 

This www.scoop.it/t/zestful-living site is being curated by Sandi Cornez. Follow Sandi for more healthy food/water tips @http://www.facebook.com/wisdomfromthewell ;

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Is a soda tax the solution to America’s obesity problem?

Is a soda tax the solution to America’s obesity problem? | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it
UNEARTHED | How it would affect consumption is unclear, but there might be a better way.

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"Obesity costs. A lot. The tab comes in obvious ways, like increased health care costs, and less obvious ways, like decreased fuel efficiency. And we’re all paying."

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An Easy Guide To Building Raised Gardening Beds

An Easy Guide To Building Raised Gardening Beds | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it
A Guide To Building Raised Gardening Beds http://t.co/JBaKwEpATg
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Expressions From the World of Bugs - Voice of America (blog)

Expressions From the World of Bugs - Voice of America (blog) | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it
Expressions From the World of Bugs









Expressions From the World of Bugsi ▶ ▶ || 0:00:00 ... ⇱ MP3 - 5.0MB none - 15.1MB MP3 - ...
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Companion planting: friends with benefits for your garden - Telegraph

Companion planting: friends with benefits for your garden - Telegraph | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it
Certain plants in certain places can affect their neighbours for better or worse. Sarah Raven spoke to three experts on companion planting.

Most of us love the idea of companion planting, the underlying principle being that by uniting one species with another we’ll free a plant from the scourge of some particular pest or have a miraculous effect on productivity.

Certain plants have a negative effect on the growth of others, a fact that we can use to our advantage – to control perennial weeds, for example. We need to be aware of this in the veg garden, where some things love each other, but others really don’t.

I’ve experimented in my veg patch and am pretty convinced that several combinations are worth repeating, but to glean a bit more expertise I consulted three vegetable growers with decades of organic gardening under their belts. I talked to Chris Smith of Pennard Plants, who uses lots of companion planting at his nursery; the no-dig expert Charles Dowding; and David Blake from Worton Organic Garden in Oxfordshire, who has been growing veg for more than 30 years.

Off the scent

First to the plants with strong smells – these can be used to camouflage the odour of precious crops that a pest is after. Under the impression that the smell of onions deters carrot fly, I have always interplanted spring onions with my carrots, but apparently this well-known companion planting is rubbish. Geoff Hamilton did controlled experiments and found no evidence that the onion gave any protection. This was backed up more recently by trials Charles carried out in his Somerset organic veg and salad garden. To deter carrot fly, it’s best to use Enviromesh or fleece around the edges of the carrot bed, stretched as a screen three-feet high. The pest is a ground flyer and won’t make it over the screen.

 

 

 

There are more positive reports of summer savory – a strong and delicious herb – used to protect broad beans from black bean aphid. The aromatic herb prevents the aphid from smelling the beans. This, combined with pinching out the tips of the broad bean plants when they’re just starting to form beans at the base, has kept us aphid-free at Perch Hill for the past five years. David also tells me that broad beans and potatoes planted near each other inhibit the pests that attack the other. He also finds that all beans grow well near carrots, cucumber, cabbage, lettuce, peas, parsley and cauliflowers, but less well near onions, garlic, leeks and fennel.

We’ve also had success here with Nicotiana tabacum, the true smokers’ tobacco, which protects brassicas from cabbage white butterflies. The tobacco grows huge to form a natural brassica cage, masking cabbages and kales with its strong, acrid smell. This looks much nicer than a netted cage, but you need a whopper garden to fit it all in. For a smaller space, Chris Smith recommends hyssop. He says you don’t need much of it to have the repellent effect – only three or four plants in a 4 x 15ft brassica bed. Artemisia plays the same role: “You’ll see the cabbage whites coming in to land,” he tells me, “but they then get a whiff, have second thoughts and go on somewhere else.” This works best on a sheltered site, so the wind doesn’t carry the strong smell away.

Chris also finds that tomatoes are brilliant with asparagus. The tomato exudes a chemical that repels the asparagus beetle, yet the plants are not big early enough in the year to overshadow the asparagus. The asparagus thrives, pest-free.

My greenhouse is already full of whitefly so I’ve just sown a packet of marigolds (tagetes). I remember visiting Simpson’s Seeds – the tomato and chilli company – at its nursery in the walled garden of Longleat and seeing all its tunnels of tomatoes packed with tagetes. Plants were growing at ground level and in baskets hanging from the roof, so that the tops and bottoms of the tomatoes were protected. Simpson’s likes the French marigolds 'Dainty Marietta’ and 'Red Safari’; I love the taller 'Linnaeus’. They all play the same role.

Then there’s mint, brilliantly effective if you have an ant infestation. Chris uses this successfully time and again on benches in the greenhouse. If the ants get bad, just tear up a bunch of mint and scatter it and replace every few days. The ants disappear.

Fatal attraction

The next category of companions are the sacrificial plants, so tempting to pests that they draw them away from more precious crops. At Chatsworth I’ve seen lettuce allowed to flower and go to seed around the veg beds, a sacrificial crop for slugs. They eat the lettuce rather than the choice crops in the middle.

And there’s the famous nasturtium, which secretes a mustard oil that insects love. They seek out nasturtiums in preference to any brassica, and nasturtiums in the greenhouse protect tomatoes and cucumbers against whitefly.

As David says: “Nasturtiums are irritatingly rampant growers, but before you succumb to the impulse to rip them out, consider the good they do.”

The same is true of basil. If you ever have basil in a greenhouse, it will be crawling with whitefly long before the tomatoes succumb. Plant basil in pots so you can move them outside every few days and so keep the whitefly at bay.

Some types of companion planting work by drawing in good insects, rather than repelling the bad. It’s an excellent idea to attract as many hoverflies to your veg garden as you can, as they’re the best natural predators of aphids. At Perch Hill, we intersow kale with Calendula officinalis 'Indian Prince’ for just this reason. The strong colour of calendulas attracts hoverflies, lacewings and ladybirds. The insect females feed on the calendulas’ protein-rich pollen before laying eggs on colonies of aphids, which provide a ready food source when the larvae hatch.

Sow marigolds in succession to keep flowers coming, or follow them with any of the umbellifers, the poached egg plant or tagetes. It’s the orange or yellow colour range that hoverflies love best; this also draws in other pollinators, thus increasing your harvest of many important and popular crops, such as runner beans, tomatoes, cucurbits and fruit.

For the same reason, David allows lots of dandelions to flower in his grass, particularly in the Worton orchards. Bees love the combination of pollen and nectar that dandelions provide and, as they flower in April and May when all the fruit blossom is out, they are invaluable for fruit pollination.

I’ve noticed that garlic chives are a fantastic attractant to pollinators, so much so that I’ve wondered whether the honey from our local bee hives is tainted with the taste of garlic. And chives, as Chris reports, have other uses. He makes a tea from their leaves, brilliantly powerful against downy mildew. The high sulphur content of their leaves makes a quick and effective treatment.

Lots of people have told me they had a poor crop of tomatoes last year in their greenhouses, almost certainly due to the lack of pollinators.

David has a tip for this and earlier greenhouse crops, such as courgettes. The early flowering salvias, such as S. algeriensis and S. fruticosa, are what you need to attract bumblebees to your glasshouse. Bumblebees, as David says, are the veg gardener’s best friend.

“They fly out at about 5-6C, while honeybees stay housebound until around 9C. Besides, bumbles are thorough; they pollinate every flower. Honeybees are fastidious and so do less good.”

Soul mates

There are certain plants that are simply good friends. Planted together, they give you a better crop than they would in isolation. I remember discovering this about aubergines and basil in Crete.

There, every veg patch is packed with basil, yet they hardly eat it; gardeners there are convinced that basil ups the productivity of aubergines and peppers, so they leave it where it is. In a similar vein, David swears by dwarf beans, beetroot and potatoes planted in alternate rows. They help each other to stay healthy and make a good yield; he also reports that cucumbers luxuriate in the shade of sunflowers or sweetcorn.

Chris recommends growing cucumbers with climbing beans – French or runners – and has noted an increase in cropping of both by planting them close by. Charles agrees that veg plants like company. He tells me he once planted Brussels sprouts at the standard spacing of 18in on two beds, and on one of the beds planted lettuce in between. After a month, he says: “The Brussels with lettuce were noticeably larger than the Brussels alone, suggesting that small plants at wide spacings do feel lonely!”

Lettuce crops quickly and can be pulled out when the cabbage, kale or Brussels need more space.

Finally, on to the plants with roots that exude chemicals repellent to other plants and insects. Chris tells me that tagetes roots work against soil pests, such as eelworm, so they’re brilliant near potatoes. And Tagetes minuta is effective against perennial weeds such as bindweed, couch grass and ground elder as it gives out a chemical from its roots that is toxic to them. It sounds far-fetched, but I can vouch for its efficacy: it cleared ground elder from my rose garden and yet had no effect on my roses. They’ve gone from strength to strength, yet the ground beneath them is now clean. With vegetable seed sowing now at full tilt, it could be time to take these symbiotic relationships seriously and introduce more companion plants to your own garden.


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Compost : Compost Fruits & Vegetables

Add fruits and vegetables to compost heaps or compost bins and learn to dig holes and bury them properly in this free gardening video. Expert: Yolanda Vanvee...


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Atlanta’s Bioponica Seeks to Close Loop on Hydroponic and Aquaponic Farming

Atlanta’s Bioponica Seeks to Close Loop on Hydroponic and Aquaponic Farming | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it
At the heart of Bioponica™, an alternative approach to soilless farming, are two patent pending modules: the Incubator™, an organic liquid fertilizer and fish food producing module; and the Biogarden™, a module developed to make ideal use of space...

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Organic Gardening with Manure Tea | Gardening Organically

Organic Gardening with Manure Tea | Gardening Organically | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it
Manure tea is the perfect soil conditioner and fertilizer for organic gardeners who want to switch from using synthetic chemical fertilizers in their gardens.

Via Haven Brand | Manure Tea
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Fresh Organic Gardening – 6 Easy Homemade Organic Fertilizers You Can Make Today

Fresh Organic Gardening – 6 Easy Homemade Organic Fertilizers You Can Make Today | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it

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Vegetables that can regrow themselves

Vegetables that can regrow themselves | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it
Have you ever tried growing back the vegetables from their
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A Guide To Building Raised Gardening Beds

A Guide To Building Raised Gardening Beds | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it
Learn how to build raised gardening beds to save your #vegetables!
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Chad R. Steenhoek's curator insight, April 16, 4:36 PM

It's easier than you might think,  Much easier than in the ground gardening.

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7 DIY seed pots from common household items for starting seeds indoors

7 DIY seed pots from common household items for starting seeds indoors | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it
Your recycle bin can be a great source of materials for making your own seed starting pots.

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10 Healing Herbs and Spices for Optimum Health » EcoWatch

10 Healing Herbs and Spices for Optimum Health » EcoWatch | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it
Anything spicy helps increase the body's metabolism and circulation, including

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Sandi Cornez's curator insight, April 8, 3:11 PM

Herbs and Spices are your body's best friend. They are both food and medicine and have been used for thousands of years by  Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic health practitioners. Many of them have been used traditionally to promote cleansing in the body.  In cooking spices and herbs offer great flavors and give in return good health. A little is all that's needed.

 

Health Tips:  Here's a few more spices that you might consider adding into your medicine cabinet. 1. Chili has over 3,000 varieties and is a widely consumed spice in the world. The heat and bite from a chili comes from the compound capsaicin, which can offer pain relief to those of you with osteoarthritis. It can also help increase metabolism and may reduce the risk of blood clots that can lead to strokes and/or heart attacks. 2. Cumin, an Indian study demonstrated that this spice has the potential to work as well as an anti diabetes drug to reduce levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in those with diabetes. Cumin is also a potent antioxidant. 3. Cilantro. This isn't technically a spice, but cilantro has huge health benefits. It is high in antioxidants, acts as a digestive aid, can help prevent urinary tract infections, and has been found to have antibacterial and antifungal effects. Choose organic if available to reduce pesticide load from harmful toxins.

 

Here's "10 healing Herbs and Spices for Optimum Health" from EcoWatch by Sandeep Godiyal from Natural News.

 

This www.scoop.it/t/zestful-living site is being curated by Sandi Cornez. Follow Sandi for more healthy food/water tips @http://www.facebook.com/wisdomfromthewell

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This Quinoa Fruit Salad Will Change Your Idea of Breakfast Forever! [Vegan ... - One Green Planet

This Quinoa Fruit Salad Will Change Your Idea of Breakfast Forever! [Vegan ... - One Green Planet | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it
This Quinoa Fruit Salad is packed with flavor and high in protein content – perfect to keep you going until lunchtime
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20 Insanely Clever Gardening Tips and Ideas (with pictures!)

20 Insanely Clever Gardening Tips and Ideas (with pictures!) | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it
Whether you have a vegetable garden, rose garden or weed garden, here is the best round up of gardening tips and ideas that you've probably never tried! All of these little tricks are resourceful ideas for a beginner or even the novice green thumb.
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Top 10 vegetables to grow in your garden

Top 10 vegetables to grow in your garden | Gardens and Gardening | Scoop.it
These nutritional powerhouses can flourish in your yard or in containers.
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