Alfalfa Sprouts – Grow in Your Kitchen

Alfalfa has been grown for many civilizations for over five thousand years. Alfalfa was planted in hot, dry regions of Mesopotamia before recorded history. Alfalfa is grown throughout the world under extremely diverse climatic conditions. Alfalfa seeds are in the legume family. The name "alfalfa" means "father of all foods." The saponins in alfalfa sprouts may help to reduce cholesterol. They contain significant dietary sources of phytoestrogens connected with prevention of menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease. Alfalfa sprouts are full of nutrition. Research shows that sprouts are loaded with antioxidants, and are full of protein, chlorophyll, vitamins and amino acids. Sprouts contain enzymes which digest themselves. They add enzymes that heal the body, aid in digestion and are affordable. Enzymes are considered the key to longevity and are abundant in sprouts. Sprouts have the largest relative content of nutrients per unit of intake of any food known. More nutrients reach the cells with less food. Research has shown sprouts to have high levels of disease preventing phytochemicals. They contribute to better health by prevention to treatment in life threatening diseases.

Sprouts are widely recognized by those who are nutrition conscious and health care professionals as a wonder food. Home sprouting can supply delicious fresh food without the environmental toxins. They require no soil, only water. Sprouts are usually added to other foods. They are completely natural and known for their powerful nutritional and healing properties. Sprouts continue to grow even after you have ate them. Alfalfa is the most famous sprout in the United States. It has a mild flavor, an abundant amount of nutrition, and easy to grow.

Alfalfa sprouts are low in calories, about 10 calories per cup. Other nutritional information include: vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. Alfalfa sprouts contain more vitamin C than oranges. They also have calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, carotene, chlorophyll, amino acids, and protein – 35%.

Sprouting Instructions: Yields approximately 2 cups of sprouts. Add 2 tablespoons of seeds to a mason jar with strainer lid. Rinse thoroughly with 60-70 degree water. First day, fill half way with water overnight to soak. Set out of direct sunlight and at room temperature, 70 degrees is optimal. The kitchen counter is fine. Rinse and drain twice a day. At the end of day 5 or the start of day 6 your sprouts will be ready to eat. Refrigerate your sprouts 8-12 hours after the final rinse and drain. Enjoy your sprouts in salads, sandwiches, soups, juices, omelets, slices, pizza, stir fry, casserole, scrambled eggs, wraps, dips, spreads, side dishes or as a topping to any dish.

Seed to sprout: 5 to 6 days, yield: 7 to 1, Sprout shelf life: 2 to 6 weeks,
Sprout seed shelf life at 70 degrees: 3 to 4 years. …

Raised Bed Gardening A Gardening Idea For This Weekend

Raised Bed Gardening What do you mean by raised beds ? A raised bed is a framed planting area which the soil exists above the surrounding ground level. The bed size is anything that enables you to work on without stepping directly onto the bed of soil itself. Why have raised bed gardens ? There are many reasons people decide to make use of raised bed gardens. For example: raised bed gardening gives you much better soil conditions. Pests are far easier to control. If the raised bed is at least 2 feet or 60cm high then you will have a better back with far less bending to dig or harvest crops. And finally you will conserve water as more water reaches the plant roots meaning you use less. Every time you walk up and down a non raised bed garden you typically compress the soil.

Occasionally the earth becomes hard and compacted creating various problems for plant roots, drainage problems and of course future digging difficulties. How do I make a raised bed garden? You can make frames out of old railway sleepers for that chunky look or old floorboard planks. However it is better to use pressure treated timber. As this will last longer and there will be less danger of damage to the crops from using preserving treatments like creosote. Mark out where you would like to place these raised beds by using flour, sand or even lay out a hosepipe. Then knock in some short stakes of 12 inches or 30cms at each corner. Tie string between the stakes to work out your levels.

Then fix the frame to the stakes. Remove any vegetation by digging it out or using sheets of old cardboard. The cardboard can be left in place for a few months and then removed or if it is thin enough it can be left there as it will eventually rot away. The frame can now be filled with soil up to the level edge of the frame.Try not to make the bed more than 4ft or just over a meter in width. Or if you do then you must have a plank of wood to stand on that is long enough to rest on the edges of the frame. You can have the length any with the only limitation being the length of the garden or plot. For low growing crops it is best to have the beds in a north south orientation as this way the plants will get maximum light exposure on both sides of the bed. Taller crops such as runner beans would be better in an east west configuration with ground level crops on the south side.Here is a project for you this weekend. The simple guide to creating a raised bed garden .

The History and Science of House Painting

The purpose of house painting and decorating is to make a house, home or building look better or to protect it from damage by severe or ongoing weather, wind, sunshine, water, rust, corrosion, termites and other insects and/or mold. It feels good to have a good looking house, and it increases its value.

History of House Painting

Not much is known about house painting in the United Kingdom before the late 1200’s, when guilds began coming into existence. Two prominent guilds in particular were the Painters Company and the Stainers Company, which eventually merged with the permission of the Lord Mayor of the City of London in the early 16th century, forming the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers.

Tools of the Trade

In our modern era in which we live, paint composition consists mostly of latex formulations used for both exterior and interior use, greatly minimizing painting cleanup, as well as the strong and unhealthy smells normally associated with petroleum and polyester based paints.

Another common, modern house painting invention is the computerized paint scanner that precisely calculates how to get new paint color to match faded paint color on old walls, or to match fabric colors, flowers and other patterns. Paint in our day and age can also be made to smell nice and resist fading, chipping and bacterial growth. Paint can also be made to lay very flat on a surface, resulting in a very smooth look.

When and why should primer be applied? Why not just put paint on and get it over with? Wooden surfaces generally don’t take paint too well, resulting in flaking, due to excessive thickness of the paint. Primer is thinner and so soaks into wood much better, and since it allows the paint to adhere better, it saves you money in allowing for fewer layers of paint and primer to have to be applied.

Many professional house painters offer free consulting services, and additionally save you money by adding 5 to 20-year guarantees of adhesion and water resistance. Professionals are also very good at their use of time when applying tape, sanding surfaces, etc., before the house painting is started.

Another modern house painting tool is the foam brush, which is commonly used for precision work and smoother coats of paint that use less paint and less time to dry. And foam used on a roller can create beautiful patterns in the painted surface. Finally, the spray gun allows for the painting of extremely large surface areas in short amounts of time.

How to Clean and Store Brushes

An older style bristle brush is best to store in a box hanging from a wire within, allowing it to soak in a cleaning solution without being disfigured by having its bristles spread apart.

Paint Surface Preparation

Modern paint-tape prevents damaging the taped surface, having less than half of the adhesive power of masking tape, and thus being able to remain on a surface for up to 30-days without creating damage.

Then versus Now

In …

Doll Furniture Plans for Easy Barbie Furniture Making

There are a lot of woodworkers who are interested in crafting miniature furniture pieces such as dolls. This is the reason why doll furniture plans are made available. Many kinds of furniture plans can be utilized with ease using the Internet. And one of them is the furniture plans for dolls. Most of these plans can be availed in various resources on the worldwide web. No wonder it is much easier and cheaper to purchase a plan and craft your own piece of furniture from scratch than spend thousands of dollars in buying ready-made doll furniture set.

Basically, doll house furniture is built using low-priced materials. This is the reason why most of them are fragile and very delicate. For that reason, you have to use furniture plan that is especially designed for building any furniture. You might notice that the majority of people prefer to use doll furniture plans for the reason that they are not only cost effective, but they also allow you to produce different doll furniture designs depending on their sizes and styles. The good thing about these plans is that you can modify each plan to fit in to your specific needs. Custom-made doll furniture is not only eye-catching but also strong and durable.

Creating your own doll furniture is easy to accomplish with the help of the various furniture plans online. Who says that you need to be a skilled woodworker to build your own kind of doll furniture sets? What you need is a complete and methodical plan to help you make furniture for your favorite doll or Barbie doll set.

When building your own Barbie furniture, you need to be creative enough in designing it. This is very important so as to achieve a successful outcome. But if you are not confident enough to come up with your own furniture for your dolls, then the furniture plans are the best way to go. You can easily find these plans on the Internet. They come in various designs and techniques. It depends on you, which plan you will optimize to carry out your doll furniture building project.…

Decluttering Christmas

It has been said that less is more. This holiday season in the spirit of generally simplifying my life I thought I’d see if that’s true. So what better way than to declutter what for most Americans is the jam-packed pinnacle of all holidays? Christmas.

Christmas in particular can use a lot of decluttering. Two thousand years after the blessed event we celebrate, we’ve managed to turn the season into the Olympics of gifting, baking, mailing, decorating and travel. We’ve made it a month-long sprint of parties, shopping and shipping deadlines. We even kill trees for it. I for one can live without fruitcake, egg nog, and a fresh evergreen in my living room once a year.

Decluttering the holidays means decluttering your life by eliminating excessive or unnecessary holiday activities you have been conditioned to do, and taking more time instead to celebrate the holidays as your heart desires.

But I admit, decluttering Christmas came for me this year out of necessity rather than reflection. Due to a cluster of December business trips – for both my husband and myself – further complicated by a mid-December weekend cruise we’re taking (I just won it and it’s a “use it now or lose it” deal), capped off by the fact that we’d be spending the entire week of Christmas and New Year’s with my husband’s family in a foreign country, I knew back in November there simply would not be time to accomplish all the Christmas and holiday rituals I usually undertake. All told, out of December’s thirty-one days, I would be home for fourteen. And did I mention we have a ten year old daughter (who still believes in Santa) and a dog?

So when contemplating how I would “get it all done”, I quickly realized the limited options available:

1)Don’t sleep and go crazy from sleep deprivation 2)Cut back on sleep, thereby resulting in greatly increased crankiness and diminished holiday enjoyment 3)Try to get it all done but don’t. Feel frustrated and guilty. 4)Do only the holiday things I enjoy and that are important to me, skip or short-cut all the rest, and damn the consequences.

Not liking options one through three, I sanely selected number four. No sooner had I made my choice for happiness over obligation than the universe conspired to help me at every turn. In fact, it conspired so well in my favor that this has been one of the most enjoyable holiday seasons I can remember. Even with limited time I have had enough space to do what I love and enjoy, and then some. And that, more than altruistic intentions or principles, is the main reason I’ll stick with this approach for years to come and am inspired to share it with you.

So here’s what got kicked to the curb, what didn’t, and some tips for how you can do the same:

1.Gift Shopping. I love playing Santa with my own kid and giving presents to the other children in my …

Supporting Loved Ones in Moments of Grief: Now or Later?

The older I get I find myself spending more time at funeral homes. It is inevitable, I suppose, to spend at least some of that time thinking about death and loss. Is there a better time to reflect on such subjects? It is never a comfortable situation albeit necessary. The real angst comes when interacting with other loved ones and especially with those closest to the deceased. There seem to be a few simple ground rules to funeral etiquette and how one should conduct themselves.

Always remember that the bereaved are not thinking about being a good host. Even though families do grieve differently it might be best to try to stay out of the way. A small sincere gesture now will be one among many. During the funeral visitation and service the family will be overwhelmed with support. Probably more than they can handle. If you truly want to support them then allow them to grieve in their own way without being in the way. This is the time when they will have the most amount of support from family and friends. Obviously, if there is a need then be sure to fill it the best you can but if you are not sure of what to say or do then probably it is best to do less.

The time to step up will be later when a majority of family and friends have returned to their usual routines and have faded away. This is not an effort to besmirch people but they have lives and families to return too. It is true that everyone has their own methods to deal with grief but most feel the worst later when the reality of the loss sets in. Little things such as coming home to a dark house or waking up alone could trigger fond memories and the feeling of loneliness. This would be the time to make that small gesture that could be the difference. Weeks later when others have drifted off could be the time to make a phone call and just offer to talk. Say hello and check in. This would be the time to ask if they need anything. This would be the time you could really help and support your family member.

There are many ways to show your support for your loved ones but some things are universal. Sincere and kind words and acts have to be universal. A small gesture at the time of the funeral service or memorial when they are overwhelmed and a small gesture later when they may need to be propped up could mean the world to the bereaved.…

Composites – What is the Potential of Any Relationship?

Recently I explored relationships from the standpoint of the individuals involved, which is astrologically termed synastry. Each of the two people in a relationship is viewed individually for their personal relating potential. Once each is individually described, a comparison between the two describes the more intimate details of their story. However, there is more than one way to look at relationships. At the moment any pairing occurs, a new dynamic is produced which is termed a relationship. Relationships occur on so many levels: parent and child, marriage, boss and worker, teacher and student, siblings, in-laws, law and criminal, doctor and patient, stalker and victim, clergy and parishioner, to name a few.

Regardless of how many people we meet and the circumstances under which we meet them, in a split second of time a unique relationship is formed, one that did not exist prior to that moment and will cease to exist if the two people involved choose not to pursue it. Some of these meetings are brief such as a waitress handing you a cup of coffee. Some last a lifetime such as family members or marriage partners.

The bond that occurs between a mother and a child at the moment of birth is unique. After many years of refusing to allow the father to be present at the birth, the medical establishment currently encourages the father’s participation. The split-second bonding that the mother has always experienced is now available to the father. Yes! Nothing can equal that incredible moment and nothing can capture it once it has passed without the father’s participation. The mother really does not have a choice at childbirth; her participation is mandatory. Many years ago I took a workshop by Joseph Chilton Pearce in which this birth moment bonding process was explored. I immediately went home and told my son and his pregnant wife to be sure they were both part of the birthing process if it was at all possible. Many grandkids later, my whole family encourages this experience because of the bonding that occurs at the instant of birth.

Suppose I have ten friends. Each pairing provides a unique friendship. This takes nothing away from my other nine friends and enlarges each of our lives because of those friendships. I am bettered and my friend is bettered by our friendship. If I am a better person because of that friendship, I will be a better person to all my other friends, family, co-workers, etc. Whatever adds to my personal dimension in a positive fashion affects everything I do and everyone I touch with my more positive self. Conversely, if I am in a relationship that is negative, that negativity also affects all other relationships in which I participate if I am in any way diminished or compromised in the experience of that one relationship. I have been lessened therefore I am less than what I could be with all whom I come in contact.

To me there seem to be parts or stages …

The Utilitarian Charm of English Garden Design for Cottages

The English cottage garden is a style that is in re-discovery today. As in every successful revival, the new version improves on tradition with new insights and ideas. The English garden designed after the cottage style has been around for as long as there have been cottages in England. Of course, up until relatively recently, they weren’t considered a style of English garden design at all. It’s just that their beauty caught on with the gardening writers of the country after a while. People began to notice that the traditional English garden design used in poor cottages across the country really possessed a lot of excellent gardening know-how and aesthetics to hand down.

To look at the traditional English garden design for cottages, one thing is clear. The humble gardener always fills every space available in his garden with every useful plant he can get his hands on. The most useful kitchen garden plants are the ones that come first – fruit, vegetables and herbs. If blooming plants are found clinging to all kinds of places in an oddly recognizable way in the traditional English cottage, it’s because these enter the garden in a supporting role – flowers and all of the herbs are always brought in as a way to fight pests with. And sometimes, to help supply the family medicine cabinet.Yarrow, for instance can help fight a fever.

The traditional English garden design in cottages was one of a recognizable kind of chaos. Rambling roses would be all over the house, cabbages, Larkspur, gooseberries and poppies would always line all the garden paths, and hollyhocks would go along the boundary walls. The cottage garden was always so full of color and so delightful that there was a charm there in the way everything seemed to be on top of everything else. It was the very image of domestic bliss, and it’s a style that’s in revival all over North America now. To do the same for your own home and garden, here’s what you need to do – leave out all decorative plants, and instead, decorate with useful plants.

Begin your English garden design with an apple tree instead of the flowering crab. And plant it in a flower bed surrounded by flowers rather than out on its own. Plant those flowerbeds densely with kitchen herbs alongside of the flowers. Cabbages, carrots and other vegetables can be quite beautiful and they shouldn’t be considered alien to the theme of the garden. In an English cottage garden design, they are the theme. Give them the most prominent placing, and raise sunflowers and runner beans up their stalks. You could have a tidy layout even if you do choose an English cottage garden. The basic theme is to fill every available space and to not judge plants for being what they are. You can plant marigolds to keep rodents away, and you can plant garlic right alongside a flower bed to keep insects off. It’s all about utilitarianism and how …

Selecting the Right Baby Nursery Decor

The baby is almost ready to arrive and you are quickly trying to pull together a nursery that is perfect for your new little angel. But what baby nursery decor should you go with? This is a question that many people find themselves facing and in most cases, they simply do not know what to do other then do what they think everyone else does.

The thing is though; you can really be creative with the nursery. The room should burst at its seams with the creativity and love that was over flowing from the parents. With all of the nursery decoration styles, themes and artistic visions out there, there is no reason to be stuck with the same old blue bears or pink bears. The idea is to create a room like none other. You can of course draw from different designs and styles of baby nursery decor that you have seen in the past. This does not mean however that you should copy anything.

Take something from one theme and maybe add in something from another theme. You can create your own vision and do something that has never been seen before. The options are really endless and it is up to you to make sure that the room is everything that you want it to be. Of course, there is still always room for the families that take pride in tradition.

Maybe you are someone who pictures animals every time you think of a nursery. If this is the case for you then all means, go for it. But still do not be afraid to add little touches such as special pictures of mommy and daddy at the zoo or things of that nature. By adding in those little touches you will be able to create a personalized nursery space using the traditional ideas that you have grown to love.

Need some ideas of some traditional nursery decoration styles, themes, and visions? Many people will first figure out if they are decorating for a boy or a girl. If you will be decorating for a boy then you can go with white, blue, or even green walls. You can splatter sports decorations and themed furniture and pictures all over the room. Whether it is soccer, football, or baseball, you will be able to create a space that is perfectly suited for the little boy of yours that is on the way. Another idea for a baby nursery decor is that of animals such as lizards, bears, and tigers. Although not everyone likes the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčanimals looking fierce, some people find it to be an attractive option for the nursery of a boy.

If you want to take a softer approach to the animal theme, you can decorate the room to look like a jungle with lots of green and little animals poking out here and there. Allow your imagination to run wild and you will be amazed at what you can come up with. For little …