Posted on 34 Comments

Home Grown — A Wall of Soil

Yesterday my mom and I went to Lowe’s Hardware Store to stock up on our plant food and I was amazed and pleased to see this wall of soil. It seems a lot of folks are planting and the demand for plants and planting items have drastically increased.

I have been seeking some onion plants so I keep checking, none so far.

As avid planters, we have never seen this much soil being stocked or sold. The gardening section is currently one of the busiest at the stores.

Apparently many of us are returning our roots and in the process finding joy in the work of our hands, watching them grow and eating healthier in the process.

Plus our kids get to help while learning how to doing new things, which will serve them well in the future.

A 7 year old boy watering plants with an adult female looking on.
My 7 year old watering plants with his grandmother.

Planting is also great for our mental health.

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Yellow Squash flowering.

Isn’t this just lovely to watching things grow?

A peach - tree-ripened
This one is actually a Bounty Peach – first bearing from young tree planted about 2 months ago in our backyard — but the color is purple like a plum, it ripened on the tree
A tree-ripened plum
This one is the plum, first bearing planted from young trees planted 2 months ago.

So WP folks, please show us some pictures of your gardens…

 

 

 

Posted on 61 Comments

Okra — Benefits

Photo by Elianna Friedman on Unsplash

Okra – originated in Ethiopia and scientifically known as Abelmoschus esculentus.  From Ethiopia, okra had journeyed to North Africa, the Mediterranean, Arabia and India all by the 12th century.

A hardy plant, okra can be cultivated almost anywhere. This vegetable is known as gumbo in America, lady’s finger in England, guino-gombo in Spanish, guibeiro in Portuguese and bhindi in India, to name a few.

In its original home of Ethiopia it is also called Kenkase, Andeha, and Bamia.

According to MedicalNewsToday, one cup of okra weighing approximately 100 grams contains a whopping 20 vitamins and minerals. Sounds like a superfood to me. I have been eating this vegetable all my life. I did not always appreciate its gifts.

Now at this time in my life I truly appreciate its versatile culinary preparations, this was not always the case.

What I did not know back then was that okra was chock full of most of what our bodies requires in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting compounds.

We are all well aware that our bodies work at its optimum when we consume a diet rich in the recommended amounts of the various food groups.

Some of the benefits of okra:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes by lowering blood sugar, it regulates the rate at which sugar is absorbed in the intestinal tract.
  • Reduces kidney damage.
  • Toxin removal – utilizing the mucilage found in okra
  • Cancer – contains a compound lectin that can kill cancer cells.
  • Cardiovascular – its high fiber content aids cholesterol expulsion from the body.
  • Osteoporosis – its vitamin K content helps keep bones healthy and strong.
  • Gastrointestinal – prevents constipation and more.
  • Seeds contain oil and proteins.

Be aware:

  • Kidney stones – okra is high in oxalates
  • Gastrointestinal upset – contains fructans a type of carbohydrate that can cause gas, bloating etc.
  • Joint pain – contains solanine a compound that may trigger joint pain.
  • Blood-thinning properties – due to the presence of vitamin K.

Okra seemingly has numerous health benefits. It is great for helping to keep your liver and kidneys healthy. It reduces oxidative stress, promotes healthy skin and blood and from personal is great for hair as well.

Check with your healthcare provider if you are taking blood thinners due to the presence of vitamin K a known blood thinner. 

References:

Below are some pictures of okra in cultivation from my mother’s kitchen garden.

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Dated 04/11/2020

My mother is the primary gardener, these are the fruits of her hands.

The rest of us are “the helpers”. My mother is blessed to grow things, anything grows that she plants. She planted these okra from seeds and they have been doing what they do. For myself I derive so much pleasure from helping and just observing things growing under the heavens.

I talk to the plants and I am always the first one to see their fruits … a gift of mine my mother says, lol.

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Dated 05/02/2020

The babies are thriving and flourishing. It is a thing of beauty.

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Dated 05/27/2020

Growing and looking so nice and healthy.

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Dated 05/31/2020

Flower bud in progress above.

Same day these images taken from different angle (below).

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The view from another angle. They are so healthy. I love it!

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Dated 06/04/2020

This morning this flower decided to open up to see the sun. The first fruits of the labor of love. My favorite time of the growing cycle. Soon we will be consuming these babies.

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Dated 06/04/2020 – for some reason, I could not get this image any clearer, the day is over and the flower has done its work, by tomorrow it will wither and reveal the new okra. 

In picture above, the okra tree is doing what nature has designed it to do, grow and produce.

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This is my mother proudly displaying the fruits from the works of her hands (July 2020). The long one is a variety from South America.

The smaller ones below are the regular variety found here.

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Stay safe, stay well, lets learn to live in peace and respect …….. IF we cannot live in love. 

Posted on 31 Comments

Mom’s Dahlia Flower

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Dahlia flower, planted by my mom.
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The smaller plant, cannot recall the name, but it smells like lemon. Just beautiful. It has those small yellow flowers that smells divine.

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Just starting to open.

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It is underway.

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Still more opening to go.

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Today is has opened even more. And it is beautiful.

Be blessed and have a good day.