"We sit in the mud...and reach for the stars." - Ivan Turgenev
The thrill of spring is upon us. Rivers roar, bursts of green in every shade emerge from the earth, and birdsong plays amongst the trees.
We don't want to miss this energy, and show, just because of a little mud, do we? Throw on some boots and head outside. Go ahead- get a little muddy, splash in a puddle. It can be fun and invigorating.
You don't have boots for the mud? Let's take a look at three of my favorite, which are popular amongst other nature lovers as well.
Merrell Hiking Boots
Sturdy, thick soled, and waterproof, these are my favorite boots to play outside in, especially if there is rocky terrain or hard surfaces. They absorb the shock well. If they get muddy, just let it dry and wipe it off.
Lowa Hiking Boots
Great ankle support and lightweight so they make walking on trails enjoyable. Go ahead, walk through that muddy section or across the wood bridge covered in water, your feet will stay nice and dry.
Created in the 1800's by the first Duke of Wellington, "wellies" have withstood the test of time. These rubber boots have gone far beyond the United Kingdom. They come in classic, solid colors, or fun patterns. Easy to slip on and hose off.
So don't just sit there in the mud, go ahead and walk in it, play in it, under the stars.
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The Coronavirus Pandemic has made one thing very clear, the healthier we are; the more likely we can fight disease. A study estimated that nearly two-thirds of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. could be attributed to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart failure. Each of these non-communicable diseases contributes to inflammation in the body, which added fuel to the Coronavirus fire. They can be prevented, or potentially reversed for most of us, with a healthy lifestyle.
Eating clean fruits, and vegetables, is an essential part of any healthy diet. The best way to ensure that we have access to pesticide-free, organic produce is to grow it ourselves.
I don't have room.
I don't know how.
I don't have time.
These are all legitimate concerns for many of us today. Let's take a look at how we can at least grow some of our own food.
1. Grow Microgreens
Micorgreens are nutrient-dense powerhouse plants. They grow quickly, in a small amount of space, indoors or outdoors. They are tasty, and easy to use on salads, sandwiches or in smoothies. Take a look at this system I trialed. What I like most about this option is that it was easy and didn't make a mess. Maybe it will work for you.
2. Aquaponic Growing
Growing plants in water is a quickly growing trend. These systems are being used on city rooftops, college campuses and homes. Take a look at what is entailed in aquaponic growing. Video
What I like most about this option, it offers healthy greens all the time.
You can even get an aquaponic garden that also serves as a fishtank!
3. Grow in Hanging Baskets, Containers, or a Small Raised Bed.
If you have access to sun and water, you can grow some food, even if it is just herbs. Check out all the resources on the Healthy Green Thumbs™ page. You'll find a year- long series of newsletters, videos, tips and resources to help you grow plants, including many produce options, so you can enhance your health and well-being. The shopping page on The Nature Nurse™, PLLC website includes some items that may help you as well. SHOP NOW
Change occurs one bite at a time. Spring is a time of renewal, so why not try something new and grow some of your own food? Your body will thank you.
Many of us in the United States are looking out the window and seeing ice and snow, but spring is around the corner. There is no better way to indulge in the fresh new energy spring provides than by creating a garden. Winter is the perfect time to plan a garden. Even if you grew up in the city and may have never even touched dirt, yes, I've coached some people in this category; you too can cultivate a green thumb.
Some of the biggest fears novice, want to be gardeners have expressed to me is that they don't have a clue where to begin, and they are afraid they are going to kill the plants. Taking on a new challenge often feels daunting, and anxiety provoking, for all of us. However, if we arm ourselves with the proper information and support, we can take one step at a time, to achieve our goals.
The Healthy Green Thumbs™ campaign, created by The Nature Nurse™, and The Nurse Farmer™, offers tutorials, guidance, and resources to help even the brownest thumbs grow plants successfully. Learn where to start with our first newsletter: Link. Keep growing, season-by-season, with the other newsletters. Link.
Millions of American's enjoy gardening. Each one of us gardeners, will admit, no matter how much experience we have, some plants die. Some seeds don't sprout. It's a lot like life. At the same time, some seeds grow into magnificent flowers or delicious vegetables and the joy of this is unexplainable, and worth the effort.
So don't miss out. Get started today planning and dreaming about what you might grow this year. Don't be surprised if you get whisked away by all the options. Nature has a way of seducing you into a wonderful relationship.
Garden centers are bringing in pallets of soil and compost, setting up seed racks with brightly colored veggies and colorful flower packets; all while our fruit trees lie dormant outside, restoring themselves so they will be ready to burst into spring once Mother Nature turns the thermometer up. The exciting, anticipatory energy reminds me of being a kid on Christmas Eve.
Note: This fig tree produced nearly 10,000 figs last year! Get inspired and hear more about this trees story in this youtube video.
It is during these grey-skied, cold, darker months, that we have the perfect opportunity to dream and plan for a bountiful garden later this year. Let's take a look at some ideas on how to do this, shall we?
1. First, we need to decide where we want this garden-a planter on an apartment terrace, a section of the backyard or maybe as part of a community garden we would like to join.
2. For those who are novices, it is important to identify the amount of light we have to grow a garden and what growing zone we are in. Knowing our growing zone will allow us to identify plants that best grow where we live. It also helps to identify a watering source. Keeping your garden near water, whether it is from a hose, watering can or water barrel, will make it easier to nurture your garden on hot days.
3. Start dreaming. What would you most enjoy growing this year? Would you love to grow flowers that you can cut and create floral arrangements with? Or, would you prefer to grow a variety of herbs to add to culinary delightful meals or to make teas with? Perhaps growing some of your own food is on your list; juicy, sweet tomatoes picked right from the vine, snap peas that crunch in your mouth, or maybe a variety of leafy greens to create healthy salads with? The possibilities are endless!
4. Identify the supplies you will need. Do you need something to plant in, or wood to make a raised bed? Gloves, shovels, and maybe a garden apron or old, comfy shirt you don't mind getting dirty. Soil, compost and mulch are on many gardeners’ lists.
5. Create a garden journal. This can be as simple as a notebook or maybe you want to purchase a pretty, flower-covered journal, to write down your ideas, wish list, and eventually jot down what you plant and where. I found this last tip helpful, as I tend to get exuberant with seed planting, but then forget what I planted, where, LOL.
No matter how seasoned a gardener you are, even those with brown thumbs, we all can grow something. In fact, we created a year-long series of plant growing tips, information and resources, in partnership with The Nurse Farmer™, LLC, to help everyone discover the joy of plant growing and help them do it successfully. It's free, check it out: Healthy Green Thumbs™.
What are you excited to grow this year? Do you have questions? We would love to try and help you. Let us know in the comments below.