The Best Tomato Varieties For Your Container Gardening

The Best Tomato Varieties For Your Container Gardening

A great alternative for the tomato gardener with limited garden space is to use buckets, pots or containers to grow tomato plants.

Container gardening offers many advantages, such as growing a few plants in containers is a lot less intimidating to beginning gardeners than trying to plan and care for a large vegetable garden. Without a doubt, it is much easier to care for and maintain a small container garden than a large outdoor area.

Planting your tomatoes in a portable set up allows you to move your tomato plants around so they get the necessary sunlight each day. Though growing tomatoes in the sun is necessary, but the fruit themselves do not need sunlight to ripen, as the tomato actually ripens fastest in the absence of sunlight. Tomatoes ripen because of heat and ethylene gas, not because of sunlight (Gardening Know How).

A word to the wise, not all tomato varieties are perfect for container gardening. To ensure that you receive great tasting tomatoes, and the biggest possible yield, then take a look at these three tomato varieties.

Container Gardening With The Right Tomato Plants

Japanese Black Trifele

Japanese Black Trifele TomatoAlthough the Japanese Black Trifele is considered a great container tomato, be advised that it can be found in both indeterminate and determinate varieties.

Before buying a particular plant, you’ll want to make sure the ones you are considering are the more compact variety.

The pear-shaped fruits of the Japanese Black Trifele will develop a deep mahogany color as a sign that it is ripe. This beautiful fruit is as visually appealing as it is delicious. You can expect a sweet and smoky, multi-layered taste.

Rareseeds says the plants produce loads of fruit all summer long, and has been a favorite with many seed savers.

Sungold Cherry Tomato

 Sungold Cherry TomatoThe Sungold cherry tomato is a indeterminate hybrid. These tangerine-orange cherry tomatoes are super sweet and savory.

The plant boasts as a vigorous, disease resistant plant, and as such this cherry tomato plant is very strong and requires very little care.

Also, a single Sungold plant can give you cherry tomatoes all summer long.

Brandywine

Heirloom Organics says that the Brandywine tomato is among the oldest heirloom tomato varieties, and have been grown for well over 100 years. The fruit is a large, slightly sweet, pink, beefsteak tomato that can weigh 1 ½ pounds. It is an indeterminate growing vine plant that can reach 9 feet in height with plenty of light and heat.

This tomato variety consistently wins first place in tomato taste tests not only in the United States, but throughout the world.

Some other great tomatoes to grow in your container garden include the Wapsipinicon Peach, with its delicious and fuzzy fruit or the intriguing Black Krim heirloom variety which yields large purple and red fruits.

The tomatoes we have mentioned here is far from a comprehensive list. With thousands of tomato varieties to choose from, you are sure to find great options for your container gardening.

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Natural Cleaners For Healthy Household Cleaning

Natural Cleaners For Healthy Household CleaningPlant based products not only help keep us healthy, but they also can do the same for our environment. Using essential oils and other plant based products to clean your home, not only makes it healthier, but can keep you healthy as well.

Using oils derived from plants and flowers, mixed with some other food products we use weekly if not daily in our cooking and baking, like lemons, salt, vinegar, and baking soda only makes since.

Most modern day cleaners that are purchased might help clean the home, but they do have toxic chemicals as well. Chemicals we breath in, and absorb into the skin. These toxic chemicals are endocrine disruptors, meaning they can effected our health in a negative way.

Common Toxic ChemicalsIn the USA, the “Toxic Substances Reform Act” (TSCA) was passed into law in 1976 to limit the use of toxic chemicals.

When passed into law, TSCA approved more than 60,000 chemicals that existed prior to 1976, and only 200 of the original 60,000 chemicals have been tested for safety, with only 5 of them being restricted for any use (Safe Chemicals – Healthy Families).

But to date (2015) there are still over 80,000 chemicals in use, with some of them in household cleaners.

The most common is triclosan, which has been linked to liver and inhalation toxicity, and low levels of triclosan have shown to disrupt thyroid function. Treatment of waste water does not remove all of the chemical, and therefore ends up lakes, rivers and water sources. Triclosan is also very toxic to aquatic life (EWG’s Guide to Triclosan).

Natural Household Cleaner Recipes

It doesn’t make any since to bring toxic household cleaners into your home, when there are natural cleaners available.

Using vinegar, lemons, baking soda, salt with added essential oils, will get your home just as clean as any toxic chemical, but without the unhealthy side effects.

Be sure to purchase therapeutic grade and organic essential oils. Be sure the Latin name is included on the bottle.

wood floorCleaning Wood Floors

1/2 cup white vinagar

3 drops orange oil

3 drops lemon oil

3 drops grapefruit oil

2 drops tea tree oil

1 quart of water

Add all of the above to a hand sprayer and apply to the wooden floor and mop.

Mold and Mildew Cleaner 

bath room4 ounces of water

1/4 distilled white vinegar

3 drops lemon oil

1 drop clove oil

5 drops tea tree oil

Mix all of the above in a spray bottle, and spray on ares of the kitchen or bathroom that have mold or mildew. Let sit 20 minutes before rinsing away.

spray bottles General Purpose Cleaner

1/2 cup baking soda

1/4 cup vinegar

3 drops tea tree oil

2 drops eucalyptus oil

1 drop thyme oil

5 drops orange oil

5 drops lemon oil

Mix all of the above in a small spray bottle.

carpetCarpet Cleaner

8 ounces of baking soda

5 drops grapefruit oil

Mix in a small jar. Cover with lid. When needed, shake out onto carpet, let set about 5 minutes, and vacuum up. This solution can also be used in home carpet cleaning machines.

washing dishesDish Washing Soap

1/2 cup castile oil

1/2 cup vinegar

1 quart of water

6 drops lemon oil

2 drops geranium oil

3 drops tea tree oil

Mix all of the above in a container and use when ready to wash the dishes.

Article Inspiration By: Herbal Remedies Magazine (2016)

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How to Eat Organic on a Budget

A lot of people tell me they love the idea of organic food and would start eating it in a heartbeat but their budgets simply don’t eating organic on a budget allow it. It’s true that organic food can cost considerably more than conventionally grown food…absolutely. The one glimmer of hope is that there has been a downward pricing trend as organic foods became more popular. Still, the prices aren’t low enough for many people, so how can you eat organic when you’re on a budget?

Here are a few ideas you can start with.

Start with one thing at a time. Going organic doesn’t mean you have to go all or none. Take small steps to where you want to go. I also recommend downloading the EWG (Environmental Working Group) Dirty Dozen list that shows you the produce that is most likely to be grown with the most pesticides, so either avoid those or purchase them organically. The list includes items like apples, bell peppers, peaches, potatoes, blueberries, spinach, celery, strawberries and more. They also keep a list of produce that is least likely be grown with as much pesticide, so you may not have to rush into organic versions of those.

You can get the list or download a mobile app here.

Dirty Dozen App

Buy from farmers markets. There are many organic options at farmer’s markets and they are often more affordable than organic fare found at regular supermarkets. You can search Google for “[your town] farmer’s market” or use the Local Harvest website to find markets in your area.

Cut out expensive, processed foods. While processed foods may seem like a great deal because they save time and they appear to be inexpensive, they often don’t provide a lot in the way of portion size or nutritional value and can really eat up a food budget if you rely on them. Try reducing the amount of processed foods you buy and eat more nutrient dense whole foods. It’s good for the budget and good for your health.

Stock up when things go on sale and then can, dry or freeze it. It’s the same money-saving concept that people have been using for years and you can apply it to organic foods as well. Invest in a food dehydrator, canning equipment and freezer-ready containers, so you can store organic foods for later eating.

Make it a goal to eat a fully local and/or organic meal each week. It’s an idea borrowed from TheDailyGreen.com and it’s a good one. If you just try for one meal, you’ll be making a difference without a lot of cost. Plus, leftovers and extra ingredients can be stretched out to additional meals.

Eat more vegetarian meals. I know it’s scary for some meat lovers, me included, but eating more meatless meals gives you so much more money in the food budget. Or if you’re not ready to do vegetarian, consider using smaller portions of meat in your meals. Try things like stir fries and similar meals where meat is simply an accompaniment, rather than the main focus of the meal.

Pick Your OwnPick your own. Don’t be afraid of a little manual labor. Using “you pick” opportunities allows you save a lot of money and stock up for canning, drying and freezing. You can pick a variety of fruits and vegetables. You can look for you picks in your area by visiting PickYourOwn.org, but do confirm they are organic growers first.

Every little bit helps and the better you get at picking the right foods, the more affordable it can be. And remember, the long term health benefits of eating more naturally will likely save you plenty in health costs in the long run.

Just one thing before you head out and stock up on everything…we should talk about what organic really means and we’ll do that in my next post.

Next post click here: Is It Really Organic and What Does That Mean Anyway?

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Using Ceramic Cookware

cooking-with-ceramic

This is a posted article at our web-site Savor the Food and Your health .

Non stick ceramic cookware uses a non-stick technology that is a healthier choice over traditional petroleum-based non-stick surfaces. The Ceramic coating is applied at a lower temperature than conventional non-sticks and is free of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), commonly known as Teflon, and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is used in the manufacture of Teflon and other non-stick surfaces.

 Teflon Cookware is Safe, Experts Say
–Teflon has the petroleum-based polytetrafluoroethylene and perfluorooctanoic acid, but yet the manufacture stands by their product as safe to cook with.–
According to DuPont, the finished product of Teflon does not contain any of the production-process chemicals linked to health problems in factory workers. And the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that ingesting small particles of Teflon flaked off into food is not known to cause any health maladies.
Even so, would you want something in your food that you did not intend for or was not an ingredient in your recipe?
They go on to say: With proper use and care, such pots and pan—which constitute more than half of all cookware sales in the U.S.—should be safe to use for years to come.
I don’t know how you feel, but should be safe…has a different meaning than is safe to use. Should be safe leaves a question mark.
In 2004, DuPont agreed to pay up to $343 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that PFOA, used in the manufacture of Teflon at a certain plant, had contaminated drinking water nearby.
In 2006, pots and pans with this special coating (Teflon is the best-known version) constituted 90 percent of all aluminum cookware sold, according to industry numbers. Yet despite nonstick advantages (its surface makes cleanup easy and also allows cooks to use less oil and butter), it has come under fire in recent years over concerns about toxic chemical emissions
The EPA has reached an agreement with eight companies, including DuPont, to phase out the use of PFOA completely by 2015.
The Good Housekeeping Research Institute put three pieces of non stick cookware to the test: a cheap, lightweight pan (weighing just 1 lb., 3 oz.); a mid-weight pan (2 lbs., 1 oz.); and a high-end, heavier pan (2 lbs., 9 oz.). They cooked five dishes at different temperatures on a burner that’s typical in most homes. The results: Even they were surprised by how quickly some of the pans got way too hot.
This statement: different temperatures on a burner that’s typical in most homes. What is typical in most homes? When I was growing up a gas range was what my mother used. But when I got married and bought my first home, we had an electoral range oven. I found gas heats faster than electoral ranges. Is that your opinion?
At 680 degrees Fahrenheit, Teflon releases at least six toxic gases, including two carcinogens, according to a study by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit watchdog organization.
Maybe you won’t cook your stove top food that high. But did you know at the moment you pass your food from pan to plate, the pan is hotter than the food? If your frying chicken and you have done so to an internal temperature of 165 degrees (the chicken meat) the pan is from 100 to 250 degrees hotter. I don’t know if I would want a pan that as the ability to kill me with a toxic gas.
Most non stick manufacturers, including DuPont, now advise consumers not to go above medium. (DuPont maintains, however, that Teflon does not pose any health risks, and that its guideline is simply meant to maximize the life of the product.)
But how hot is medium? Since the range top gas or electric is not calibrated like your oven, every stove that you set at medium will be different degrees.
So for now it seems that non stick ceramic cookware is the better choice for healthy cooking. Keep in mind that non stick ceramic cookware was used years, many years ago for cooking before stainless steel or these petroleum based non-stick pans came along.

 

Read more: http://www.savorthefood.com/2013/10/07/non-stick-ceramic-cookware-versus-non-stick-teflon/#ixzz2r3vTwIwe

Read What Other’s are Saying About Ceramic Cookware or non-stick

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