Thursday, December 26, 2013

EM-1 Product Review

Used around the world for more than 30 years, Effective Microorganisms (EM-1) is a liquid concentrate of beneficial microorganisms. It is a versatile, all natural, NON-GMO product created by Dr. Teruo Higa in Japan. Its uses can be categorized into three main categories of soils, septic treatment, and waste treatment.

Odor Control Applications of EM-1

Zoos and farmland with livestock can use EM-1 for odor control of ammonia or hydrogen sulfide associated with animal excrement. They can also use the inoculant for controlling the odor of lagoons and stagnant water sources, for cleaning equipment, preventing rust, and cleaning animal facilities as well.

Soil Applications of EM-1

When it comes to agriculture and gardens, EM-1 can be used as a natural fertilizer and soil amendment for crops and other plants. Use of the soil/fertilizer amendment has been going strong since the early 1980s, and is now being used in over 120 countries with farming infrastructure both large and small. In agriculture, EM-1 is able to produce the following to help stabilize the structure of soil:

  • Polysaccharides
  • Micronutrients
  • Organic acids
  • Enzymes

Such micronutrients and other components in the soil help prevent erosion, run-off, and the collapse of porous spaces during heavy rains.

From a personal gardening standpoint, using EM-1 to amend your soil will encourage populations of earthworms and beneficial insects to inhabit the space and naturally enrich the soil. EM-1 is also great for accelerating your compost piles.

Offered in sizes as small as 12 ounces and as large as 275 gallons, EM-1 microbial inoculant can serve its purpose in a variety of circumstances and practices. From keeping your livestock pens clean and odor free to fertilizing and amending your soils to creating strong and fertile compost, EM-1 will do the job at an affordable price point.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Secrets to a Good Night's Sleep

Everybody sleeps to recharge after a long day, but not everyone’s night of sleep is restorative to the body. Several factors like restlessness, insomnia, allergies, and many more can play into whether or not you wake in the morning feeling rested, refreshed, and ready to get on with your day. Let’s review some tips to help you improve your night’s sleep.
  1. Go to bed at a regular time, and wake up at a regular time. It’s good for your body to get into a routine when it comes to sleep. Altering your sleep patterns drastically can negatively affect your mood, focus, and overall health.
  2. Increase your sun exposure during the day. Take breaks outside, exercise outside, walk your dog during the day, or try to work near a window with no blinds.
  3. Limit your technology exposure at night. Turn off the television! Turn off that iPad! The light from electronic devices stimulates your brain instead of encouraging it to relax. Try reading a book, listening to music, or do some stretching instead.
  4. Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature. Your quality of sleep can go down if a room is too hot or too cool.
  5. Develop a pre-bed routine. Whether it’s taking a shower, stretching, reading, or packing your work bag for the next day, get yourself into a relaxing routine.
  6. Eat dinner earlier. Your body needs time to properly digest meals, and the closer to bed time you are eating, the more disruptive your meal can be to your sleep. This is especially true of foods that can cause heartburn or indigestion.
  7. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon. The effects of caffeine can alter your alertness levels long after you’ve finishing drinking it. Cut yourself off after that morning coffee.
  8. Limit alcoholic beverages in the evening. Alcohol is not conducive to a restorative night of sleep, and can wake you up sporadically through the night. Avoid those nightcaps!
  9. Eat healthier and exercise regularly. It’s no secret that a healthy diet and regular exercise are good for your body, and these routines play a hand in good, restorative sleep as well.
  10. De-stress before bed. Avoid doing anything other than focusing on relaxing. Take deep breaths, don’t tense your muscles, and clear your mind of worries and stressors.
No two people will have the same approach to getting a good night’s sleep, but common factors to a bad night’s sleep are shared between millions. If you have chronic sleep conditions, it is advised to see a doctor before taking any techniques into practice on your own.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

The Top Garden Superfoods

The 7 Best Superfoods for your Organic Garden

Although your own home garden can be the best source for organic produce, leaving you without concern for dishonest labeling or other misleading practices, space is often a premium. When you must economize your growing space, it is more important than ever to focus on the best nutritional bang for your buck. What you need are garden superfoods that are simple to grow in your limited space and which provide the best minerals and nutrients. We have compiled seven of our favorites, including a few familiar staples and a few exotics that you may have never considered before.

#1 – Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is as colorful as it is hardy. It does best with plenty of sunlight, but only needs about a foot of organic soil to reach its full growing potential. This leafy green is one of the best sources of magnesium that you will find, making it an ultimate brain food.

#2 – Aloe Vera

You probably already have experience growing these hard-to-kill cacti in pots or other small containers. They require very little space and nearly everyone is familiar with its use in treating burns and helping scratches to heal. However, when ingested, aloe vera is packed with vitamins A, C and E, and it is a strong anti-fungal and anti-bacterial food.

#3 – Garlic

Garlic is one of the easiest root vegetables to grow, and it is simply filled to the brim with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It’s positive effect on cholesterol makes it the perfect choice for the heart-conscious organic gardener. Plus, there are very few dishes that are not improved by a clove or two of garlic.

#4 – Sunchokes

You may have heard these tubers referred to as Jerusalem Artichokes or sun roots. This plant is a member of the sunflower family, but instead of producing oil-rich seeds it produces potato-like roots. These tubers are sweeter than potatoes and have a hint of leafy vegetable flavor, and each is rich in potassium, iron and B vitamins. Sunchokes are also a natural source of inulin, a powerful prebiotic.

#5 – Carrots

Carrots are one the most container-friendly, easy-to-grow root vegetable around. This excellent source of beta carotene and antioxidants is also one of the few vegetables that is actually more nutritious when cooked, so long as the skin is left intact.

#6 – Tree Collard

This unusual green grows upward, rather than outward, and forms small tree-like stalks. Like other collards, tree collard is rich with vitamin K, magnesium and calcium, and tree collard has more protein by weight than beef or chicken.

#7 – Blue Potatoes

Blue potatoes have a purplish skin, which becomes a vibrant blue when cooked. Like its whitish cousins, blue potatoes are easy to grow and packed with essential nutrients. Unlike its more common counterparts, however, blue potatoes also contain mood-improving iodine and anthocyanin antioxidants.