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Lemon Detox Tea – The Perfect Home Remedy

January 26th, 2014

Detox-Tea_0026 There are so many things I love about winter- snow, bundling up in warm clothes, sitting by the fire and watching the snow fall – but getting sick isn’t one of them.  The cold weather means everyone is forced to stay inside with the windows and doors shut. All our time trapped indoors with everyone else makes it much easier for germs to make their way around.

When I was young and suffering from a scratchy throat, my mom would boil water and pour it into a mug of freshly squeezed lemon juice. She’d squeeze in some honey and pass the steaming cup to me across the counter. I’d lean over the citrusy vapor and inhale deeply, its aroma clearing my nasal passages as the hot contents cooled. I’d sip slowly and let the piping hot brew drip down my throat, working it’s magic by soothing my swollen glands. The instant relief was much appreciated by me and my aching throat.

Today, I’m a self-proclaimed tea fanatic. I drink a ton of tea; I think it cures all ails from an upset stomach to a headache to a sore throat (or, at the very least, makes them a lot more bearable). In the past few years when I came down with a cold, I decided my body needed some TLC in the form of an adult version of the soothing tea my mom made for me as a child. Made with the “healing” powers of organic white tea and apple cider vinegar, this lemon detox tea is a great recipe when you’re trying to cleanse, but is just as good when you simply want something extra refreshing on which to sip.

I used this tea to clean out my system when I was doing a detox to rid my body of heavy metals, but it’s also great for relieving cold and flu symptoms.  The lemon in the tea contains Vitamin C and antioxidants that combat the effects of free radicals. Apple cider vinegar is a great natural food that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments including diabetes and indigestion. Apple cider vinegar is also wonderful for a cold or allergies because it helps break up mucus and clear out your lymphatic system.  It can also help balance your body’s pH levels, which detoxes our body and leaves us feeling more energized.

Lemon detox tea is great for staying healthy and warm this winter, but also makes a delicious, refreshing summer drink. Make a big ol’ batch of this delicious tea and store it in a sealed glass pitcher in the fridge. You’ll be happy you did- it’s a little treat every time you open the refrigerator door!  Enjoy.

 

About the Author:

Humble Seed welcomes guest bloggers. This great content was submitted by Amie Valpone. Amie is a Manhattan-based Personal Chef, Culinary Nutritionist, Professional Recipe Developer, Food Photographer and Writer specializing in simple Gluten-free, ‘Clean’ recipes for the home cook. For this Detox Tea RECIPE, visit Amie’s website HERE: http://thehealthyapple.com/2013/08/05/lemon-detox-tea/

 

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5 Easy Tips For Seed Starting Indoors

January 22nd, 2014

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Starting seeds indoors can sound confusing to beginner gardeners – especially with the extra steps involved.  Yet the benefits make the extra steps worthwhile. For one, plants have a better chance of thriving in harsh weather, and secondly, seeds are more likely to stay organic from the start.

Here are five tips to get your seed underway.

Prep Your equipment Collect the necessary equipment and supplies for seed starting. You can start simple by using good old-fashioned yogurt cups, seed starting potting mix, and sunlight. As you get the hang of it, you may want to invest in seed flats (large containers that can hold many seedlings), peat pots, nutrient-rich potting mix, a grow-light system built for seed starting indoors, heating mats and cables, and organic compost.

Have A Plan Save yourself a lot of time (and heartache) and buy a Garden Planner before seed starting.  The planner will provide all the information your need for starting your seeds indoors – from when to start and frost dates, to planting seed depth and when to transfer outdoors.

Get Your Seed Cozy Prepare your seeds indoors by first gathering your containers and make a few drainage holes. Fill each container with a moistened seed starting mix (either store bought or make your own), and sow in seeds carefully. A good rule of thumb is seeds ought to be at a depth of about three times the thickness of the seed.

Give the seeds a light sprinkle of water and place plastic wrap or a sheet of glass over the containers for a cozy and moist environment. Ideally, you want each plant to be at a humid 70 degrees F. for optimal germination. Keep the soil moist by misting with water, or filling the trays with water below.

Maintain With Attentiveness When you first notice your seed sprouting, go ahead and move your plants to a bright location (after clicking your heels up in the air!). The bright location can be a sunny window, a greenhouse, under fluorescent grow lights, or an alternative steady high-powered light source. Keep in mind that if you live in an area with little sunlight or short days, you may want to consider an alternative lighting system.

Next, seedlings should be moved into a cooler location. Continue composting and lightly water your plants a few days a week. Also, many gardeners practice gently ruffling out seedlings so that roots and stems grow strong. Once the plant is too large for the container, transfer to a larger one without damaging the fragile root system.

Harden Them Off After consulting your planner (see tip 2), determine the date that you will transfer your plants outdoors. One week prior, begin toughening up your plants by exposing them to the outdoors a few hours a day. Start by placing them in a shady location, and gradually allow for more time exposed to the sunlight and weather patterns. When you’re ready, go ahead and transfer your plants outdoors unless you’re experiencing terrible weather.

***Friends, what are your tips for starting your seeds indoors? Let’s hear your successes! Also, what didn’t work?

 

About us:

Humble Seed specializes in premium garden seed kits that are packaged and themed for convenience and ease.  Enter seed15 at checkout to save 15% off your next order.

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Ways to Weather the Winter: Outdoor Edition

January 5th, 2014

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No matter where you are in the country, the chances are pretty good that you have experienced at least one cold day so far this winter. Even if your days have been relatively warm, it’s a different story as soon as the sun goes down.

It’s easy for us humans when the chilly night air creeps in because we simply retire to the warmth and shelter of our homes. But what about the lives that remain outside in the backyard – what options do our plants, trees and flowers have in terms of weathering the winter weather?

Fortunately, their source of survival is you! By addressing their most basic needs, you can ensure a safer winter for all of your green backyard residents. So here are a few tips to help you take stock of what you need to accomplish for the good of your backyard growth.

Mulch Ado about Nothing

Mulch is the mighty warrior of winter when it comes to keeping your plants and trees nice and toasty. Begin your winter work by removing all of the old mulch from around your trees and plants to remove insect eggs or disease spores which may have accumulated after the dead leaves fell off the trees.

After the first frost, apply a generous layer of new mulch around all of your trees and plants to help your greenery maintain a consistent under-the-surface temperature throughout the harsh winter season.

Flowery Advice

For the flowers and plants that are settling in for a long winter’s nap, simply snip away the dead leaves and diseased stems as soon as they become dormant. Avoid doing this before they drift off, otherwise you risk stimulating them into new growth.

From here, you’re free to select your next order of flower seeds and plan what you’re going to plant when the ground thaws!

Bushy Burlap and Tree Toppers

When you have invested time and money (not to mention the emotional energy you’ve expended in rooting on those little roots to establish themselves) in planting and growing tree roses and evergreen bushes, for example, the last thing you want to do is abandon them when they need you the most.

To protect your beauties, build a burlap snow fence and wind guard by driving four wooden stakes (the same height as the bush or tree) around the bushes and trees just outside the perimeter of mulch. Wrap burlap around the stakes to encircle the tree or bush and pull it taut. Secure it with string to keep the snow and wind out while letting the sunshine in for evergreens. For roses also fill in the enclosed area with mulch.

Leaf Patrol

Although you have put away your lawnmower, don’t stow your rake in the garage or garden shed just yet. Wait until you have complete yard coverage or until the trees have given all they have to give and then rake up the leaves rather than leaving them where they are until the spring.

When leaves are left on the ground, the sun has no way to penetrate through to the grass underneath. Plus, if you wait until the spring thaw, all of those leaves become a wet mess and are much harder to remove than if you get them while they are dry.

Other Backyard Winter Basics

In general, don’t forget about these items during the colder winter months.

  • Protect the ‘Over’ – Regularly replenish bird feeders so that they stay stocked and keep the birds from having to root around in your yard for leftover grass seed that may still be present.
  • Protect the ‘Under’ – To prevent rodents from digging up your garden and nesting in the soil, wait until the ground freezes and add a 6-inch layer of organic material to serve as your winter mulch around the base of your trees and plant beds.
  • Protect the ‘Around’ – Wrap strips of burlap diagonally around the base of young tree trunks (securing with twine) and encircle them with wire or a tree-guard product to protect their tender bark from cracking in the cold and from the teeth of critters looking to gnaw on something!

What are some of the ways you have cold-proofed your backyard to help your greens weather the winter months?

 

About the Author:

Humble Seed welcomes guest bloggers. This great content was created by Chris Long. Chris has been working as an associate in various departments at The Home Depot for over 10 years. He is a regular contributor to the company blogs and likes to give advice on a plethora of topics ranging from lawn care to Holiday decor.

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