Garden Magic: Welcome to my magical garden BY RACHEL PATTERSON

Rachel Patterson is amazing!!  Have a peek…

rachel patterson magical garden

Whether you only have a window sill with a pot plant on, a small city terrace, a playing field or several acres, you can always work with the magic of your garden.  I think the kitchen extends into the garden anyway, so a Kitchen Witch will often be found pottering around in amongst the plants.

Being in regular contact with your garden and what you grow, even with your house plants or a few pots of herbs, can help you to connect with the spirit of nature and recognise the subtleties of the changing of the seasons and your garden can also provide you with food and magical ingredients.

Magical gardening does take time, focus and attention.  You can’t just plant something and leave it in the hope that several months later it will have grown, flourished and be covered in fruit or flowers (OK on the odd occasion it does happen but not often!).

My gardening memories date back to my childhood.  My dad is and always was a keen gardener, organic before it was fashionable to be so.  He has always had an allotment and a greenhouse which provide a bounty of wonderful fruit and vegetables.  Apparently even as a toddler I would disappear down the garden with him and come back covered in mud.

In my early teens I experienced food production on a large scale as I lived on a farm for a few years. Then in my late teens I had the opportunity of working for a specialist glasshouse company.  Both of those life events added to my love of the garden, food and nature’s bounty.

Once I owned by own house, the garden became key.  It is my sanctuary, a peaceful place to escape to and a space in which to create magic.

For the past twenty or so years we have lived in the same house; it is on the edge of a large city and only has a small walled garden, but it is ours and we have packed it full of as many plants, flowers and herbs as we can cram into it.  We even have a very small (i.e. teeny tiny) grow house just big enough to over winter a few pots and grow some seeds.

Even on my busy days I try to step out into the garden, if only just for a few minutes to relax and connect with Mother Earth.

Your garden, whatever size it is, opens up a whole new world of magic for you to delve in to.  Warning: Gardening is addictive and will improve your health, spirit and mental wellbeing.

Not only is a garden your direct line to a natural source of energy, it can also provide you with a whole shopping trolley full of free magical and often edible ingredients. Whether it is in the form of fruit and vegetables or flowers, petals and seeds.

Let’s open the magical box

You may imagine you need to have a beautiful picture box garden laid out in front of a thatched cottage to have a witch’s garden but really that isn’t the case.  You can style the garden in any way that suits your taste, size of garden and your budget.

Many hours and much money can be spent in garden centres and whilst they are brilliant sources for plant and design inspiration you can spend more money than you need to.  Oh…and a lot of them have a café…with cake.Plant nurseries often tend to be cheaper than garden centres but ask around.  Lots of family and friends will probably be willing to share cuttings and seeds with you.  And once your garden has a few plants in you can propagate more from those you already have.

Gardening does take time and effort.  You will need to dig, plant, weed, dead

READ MORE HERE:  https://www.patheos.com/blogs/beneaththemoon/2018/05/garden-magic/

Watch “FREE THIS WEEKEND: Living the Change: Inspiring Stories for a Sustainable Future (Full Documentary)” on YouTube

For those of us who really care about Mother Earth, PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO!

vegan meatloaf by Iosune

This vegan meatloaf is a savory, healthy and gluten-free dish. Made with easy to find ingredients, it’s a delicious plant-based version of a classic recipe.

A picture of a sliced vegan meatloaf onto a white surface

Here’s another plant-based recipe, perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, special occasions or just to make on a daily basis. I’ve never been a meatloaf-lover myself, but I do love this vegan meatloaf.

The classic recipe is made with ground meat, bread, and some spices. I’ve used legumes instead of meat and nutritional yeast instead of bread to make a gluten-free recipe.

This meatloaf is adapted from our veggie burgers, which are the best plant-based burgers we’ve ever tried. You can find the recipe in our Simple Vegan Meals ebook. I don’t know which recipe I like the most (the burgers or the meatloaf) because both are AMAZING.

I preferred to use a lined 9×5 inch (23×13 cm) loaf pan to make this meatloaf, but any other rectangular pan will do. If you don’t have any, you can also use your hands and a lined baking sheet, it’s up to you!

This vegan meatloaf is simple, easy to make and so tasty! You can eat it with my vegan mashed potatoes and this delicious vegan gravy to enjoy a delicious plant-based meal

how to make vegan meatloaf – step by step
Step by step photos of how to make vegan meatloaf
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF or 180ºC.
  • Add the chickpeas and beans to a mixing bowl and mash them (photo 1).
  • Add all the remaining ingredients of the meatloaf and mix until well combined (photo 2).
  • Press the mixture firmly in a lined 9×5 inch (23×13 cm) loaf pan (photo 3).
  • To make the glazemix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl (photo 4).
  • Spread the glaze evenly over top and bake for 50 minutes (photo 5).
  • Remove from the oven and allow the vegan meatloaf to cool for at least 5 minutes before removing it from the loaf pan (photo 6).

pro tips

  • Tahini can be replaced by any

READ MORE HERE:  https://simpleveganblog.com/simple-vegan-meatloaf/

Get Started Growing Herbs in Pots Written by Kerry Michaels

Herbs grown in containers sitting on a deck.
 Simon Wheeler Ltd/Photolibrary/Getty Images
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    Benefits of Growing Herbs in Pots

    Herbs grown in three blue pots surrounded by other flowers and pots.
     © Kerry Michaels

    Herb container gardens are popular for many reasons. Even if you have miles of property and gardens galore, it’s so convenient to be able to step out your door and pick a handful of fresh herbs from a beautiful container garden, any time of the day or night. Maintenance is also more convenient with containers, and there are fewer problems with weeds and critters getting into your crop.

    You can grow almost any herb in a container, and most are very easy. However, herbs can have different water requirements, and some are more finicky than others, so be sure to put herbs with similar needs in the same pot.

  • 02of 05

    Planning Your Herb Container

    Potted container with three different types of herbs.
     © Kerry Michaels

    You can grow as many types of herbs in one container as you want, as long as you make sure that all the herbs in a single pot share the same sun, water, and soil preferences. For example, rosemary likes it hot and dry, while parsley needs steady moisture. Therefore, they don’t work well together in the same pot.

    Don’t forget that herbs can also serve as decorative elements in any container garden, adding texture and scent when mixed with annuals or perennials. Again, just be sure to pair them with plants that have the same requirements for light and water.

  • 03of 05

    Choosing a Container for Your Herbs

    Metal container filled with a variety of herbs.
     © Kerry Michaels

    You can use almost anything for an herb container as long as it provides for good drainage. Most herbs don’t have large root systems, so you can get away with smaller containers. This is especially true of the herbs that don’t mind drying out between waterings. However, the smaller the container, the less soil there is, which means you have a smaller margin of error when it comes to watering.

    Some herbs thrive in self-watering containers because they like a constant level of moisture. Plants such as chives, parsley, marjoram, and mint would be particularly good candidates for growing in self-watering pots. Other herbs, such as oreganothyme, rosemary, and basil, prefer to dry out between watering so wouldn’t be good candidates for self-watering containers.

  • 04of 05

    Planting and Caring for Your Herbs

    Garden pot filled with herbs and flowers.
     © Kerry Michaels

    Help your herbs thrive with the right soil, sun, and feeding. Use high-quality potting soil because most herbs need good drainage. Also, make sure that your container has drainage holes so you don’t drown your herbs.

    Most herbs need full sun for at least six hours a day. That said, containers can really bake on a hot day, so if you live somewhere where temperatures soar, your herb containers may need to be shaded during the hottest part of the day.

    Be careful not to over-fertilize your herbs. Most don’t like it and some herbs will simply die if they are fussed with and overfed. Some herbs such as thyme and oregano thrive on neglect and won’t be as tasty if they are given too much attention, water, or food.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05of 05

    Harvesting Your Herbs

    Herb bouquet in a blue vase.
     © Kerry Michaels

    The rule of thumb for harvesting herbs is that the more you pick, the more you’ll get. Also, you want to pinch back most herbs to make them bushier and well-formed. But

    READ MORE HERE: https://www.thespruce.com/growing-herbs-in-pots-getting-started-3876523

Why Go Veg? By Vegetarian Times Editors

Learn the reasons to change over to a vegetarian diet, and start eating less meat today—or none at all!
Why Go Vegetarian

Alexandra Anschiz / Shutterstock

Why are people drawn to vegetarianism? Some just want to live longer, healthier lives. Others have made the switch to preserve Earth’’s natural resources or from a love of animals and an ethical opposition to eating them.

Thanks to an abundance of scientific research that demonstrates the health and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet, even the federal government recommends that we consume most of our calories from grain products, vegetables and fruits.

And no wonder: An estimated 70 percent of all diseases, including one-third of all cancers, are related to diet. A vegetarian diet reduces the risk for chronic degenerative diseases such as obesity, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and certain types of cancer including colon, breast, prostate, stomach, lung and esophageal cancer.

Why go vegetarian? Chew on these reasons:

You’ll ward off disease.

Vegetarian diets are more healthful than the average American diet, particularly in preventing, treating or reversing heart disease and reducing the risk of cancer. A low-fat vegetarian diet is the single most effective way to stop the progression of coronary artery disease or prevent it entirely. Cardiovascular disease kills 1 million Americans annually and is the leading cause of death in the United States.

But the mortality rate for cardiovascular disease is lower in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians, says Joel Fuhrman, MD, author of Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. A vegetarian diet is inherently healthful because vegetarians consume less animal fat and cholesterol (vegans consume no animal fat or cholesterol) and instead consume more fiber and more antioxidant-rich produce——another great reason to listen to Mom and eat your veggies!

You’ll keep your weight down.

The standard American diet—high in saturated fats and processed foods and low in plant-based foods and complex carbohydrates——is making us fat and killing us slowly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a division of the CDC, the National Center for Health Statistics, 64 percent of adults and 15 percent of children aged 6 to 19 are overweight and are at risk of weight-related ailments including heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

A study conducted from 1986 to 1992 by Dean Ornish, MD, president and director of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California, found that overweight people who followed a low-fat, vegetarian diet lost an average of 24 pounds in the first year and kept off that weight 5 years later. They lost the weight without counting calories or carbs and without measuring portions or feeling hungry.

You’ll live longer.

If you switch from the standard American diet to a vegetarian diet, you can add about 13 healthy years to your life, says Michael F. Roizen, MD, author of The RealAge Diet: Make Yourself Younger with What You Eat. “People who consume saturated, four-legged fat have a shorter life span and more disability at the end of their lives. Animal products clog your arteries, zap your energy and slow down your immune system. Meat eaters also experience accelerated cognitive and sexual dysfunction at a younger age.”

Want more proof of longevity?

Residents of Okinawa, Japan, have the longest life expectancy of any Japanese and likely the longest life expectancy of anyone in the world, according to a 30-year study of more than 600 Okinawan centenarians. Their secret: a low-calorie diet of unrefined complex carbohydrates, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, and soy.

You’ll build strong bones.

When there isn’t enough calcium in the bloodstream, our bodies will leach it from existing bone. The metabolic result is that our skeletons will become porous and lose strength over time. Most health care practitioners recommend that we increase our intake of calcium the way nature intended——through foods. Foods also supply other nutrients such as phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin D that are necessary for the body to absorb and use calcium.

People who are mildly lactose-intolerant can often enjoy small amounts of dairy products such as yogurt, cheese and lactose-free milk. But if you avoid dairy altogether, you can still get a healthful dose of calcium from dry beans, tofu, soymilk and dark green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, collards and turnip greens.

You’ll reduce your risk of food-borne illnesses.

The CDC reports that food-borne illnesses of all kinds account for 76 million illnesses a year, resulting in 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths in the United States. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), foods rich in protein such as meat, poultry, fish and seafood are frequently involved in food-borne illness outbreaks.

You’ll ease the symptoms of menopause.

Many foods contain nutrients beneficial to perimenopausal and menopausal women. Certain foods are rich in phytoestrogens, the plant-based chemical compounds that mimic the behavior of estrogen. Since phytoestrogens can increase and decrease estrogen and progesterone levels, maintaining a balance of them in your diet helps ensure a more comfortable passage through menopause. Soy is by far the most abundant natural source of phytoestrogens, but these

READ MORE HERE:  https://www.vegetariantimes.com/health-and-nutrition/why-go-veg-learn-about-becoming-a-vegetarian

Meet your meat!

Please, please care about their feelings. 

Vegetable seeds to sow in March By BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine

There are lots of vegetable crops that can be sown in March, when the days are beginning to lengthen and become warmer.

Some crops, such as chillies and tomatoes, need to be sown early in the year in order to give them the long growing season that they need. Others, such as fast-growing beetroot and salads can be started off early so that you can enjoy them in late spring and early summer – keep sowing them to extend the harvest.

Tender crops like aubergines need to be sown under glass, either in a greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill. Hardier crops like beetroot and broad beans can be sown directly into the ground outdoors; do not sow if the ground is frosty or covered in snow.

Find out which crops you can sow in March, below.


Aubergines, chillies and tomatoes

In the unpredictable British climate, tomatoes, chillies and aubergines need a long growing season in order to produce a good crop – so start them off early. Sow under glass for the best results.

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Broad beans

Broad beans are a welcome crop in early summer, and can be sown outdoors in March. Watch out for blackfly as the plants grow – pinch out the growing tip, where they congregate.

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