Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

gardening



Gardening Provides a Bounty of Benefits to Prisons and Public Schools

Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful!’ and sitting in the shade. 
Rudyard Kipling 

The act of planting a garden – working the soil, tending to the plants and reaping the bounty is a time-honored tradition that has slowly morphed from necessity to hobby. Over the last 100 years, America’s industrialization and urban expansion have eliminated the need for gardens in most households. Unfortunately, some apartment dwellers are packed so close together that growing basil in a pot on the windowsill is the closest they’ll get to a harvest.

Today we’re highlighting two programs that teach gardening skills in the United States. Though the “participants” are very different, they all receive benefits that go far beyond the eventual food a garden yields.

 

Prison gardens

Prison Garden

Last week, the National Public Radio (npr) website ran a story about several minimum security prisons that have developed their own vegetable gardens thanks in part to the Insight Garden Program. Inmates who qualify for the program are allowed to work outside where they tend to a small area of raised beds that grow everything from tomatoes to lettuce. Beth Waitkus, Director of the Insight Garden Program said she created this endeavour after the tragedies of 9/11 to, “restore her faith in humanity.”


Read Full Post >



Pick a Peck of Homemade Sweet and Spicy English Cucumber Pickles

I will never buy pickles from the grocery store ever again.

I’ve seen the light.

I’ve tasted victory.

Why didn’t I figure this out sooner?

When I remember the summer of 2013, it will be the Summer of the Pickle!

homemade pickles

My grandfather planted a beautiful garden in his backyard this spring. We’ve been reaping the benefits of his hard work all season and I couldn’t be more thankful. My house doesn’t allow for a garden, so when he emailed and asked, “what would you like me to plant?”, I sent him a list that probably took him by surprise.

At the top of that list were English cucumbers. A thinner skin, sweeter taste, and fewer seeds, English cucumbers are a much better eating experience than the ‘ole standard cucumber. While not an issue when grown in the backyard, when bought at the store, English cucumbers typically come without the layer of wax found on regular cucumbers. And they’re prettier. For what that’s worth!

english cucumbers

Grandpa’s harvest has been good, which means we’ve had English cucumbers out the wazoo. A girl can only eat so many before she starts daydreaming about getting rid of cucumbers. So I asked my three-year-old sous chef, and pickle aficionado, if she’d like to spend a Saturday making pickles. She was delighted at the invitation and we set to slicing a heaping pile of cucs.
Read Full Post >



Use It, Don’t Lose It! 10 Deliciously Vegan Recipes for Your Summer Garden Surplus

The great thing about having your own backyard garden is access to fresh, organic fruit, vegetables, and herbs any time you want. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to supply your groceries. The downside is having way too much of a good thing. One “harvest” in my garden last weekend yielded six cantaloupes; there are only three people in my household. That’s a lot of melon!

It’s a shame to let all of that excess produce go to waste. And as the summer draws to a close and all of those plants reach their peak of production, you’re going to have a lot of fruits and vegetables on your hands.

tomatoes

My primary policy is to share the wealth! I keep what we can reasonably eat and then start sharing the rest with friends and neighbors. No one has ever passed! My secondary policy – get in the kitchen! When pinched for creativity or inspiration at meal time, use what you have available as your muse. We’ll give you a little help to get started.

Tabbouleh-Inspired Freekeh Salad – Any extra cucumbers and tomatoes will go to good use in this simple vegan salad. You can also use some of the basil and chives you’re growing.

freekeh taboulleh
Read Full Post >



Your Ultimate Guide to Greens: 15 Greens, What They Do, and How to Eat Them

Growing up, most of us were told at some point to “eat our greens.” We may not have listened at the time, but maybe we should have. As a group, leafy green vegetables, or “greens,” are known for their bounty of health benefits. As a whole, they are great sources of vitamins A and C, and each green has its own broad nutritional profile.

We share 15 greens, why you need to eat them, why they’re so good for you, and even recipes to best prepare and enjoy them!

View Your Ultimate Guide to Greens Slideshow
Read Full Post >



Keep Pain Out of Your Back While Keeping Weeds Out of Your Garden

Spending time in the garden is always a welcome activity, as the sunshine feels good and the fresh air brings hope for many enjoyable summer days to come. However, gardening can be exhausting, and if we are not careful, it might even be injurious.

The following are a few tips to keep your back in top shape as you spend long hours pulling weeds, hauling mulch, and performing other yard-centered activities.

gardener

Stand up often

Although it might seem like wasted time when you have a full day of yard work planned, standing up every five minutes will give your back a much needed break. When you spend too many hours slumped over your garden bed, it can be as bad for your spine as sitting slumped over in your recliner. So do yourself a favor and periodically stand up and stretch.
Read Full Post >