Sunday, April 29, 2018

How to Reduce the Risk of Digestive Disorders


Disorders of the gastrointestinal tract are very common. About 25% of the population suffer from upper abdominal pain, indigestion, and heartburn. This can lead to additional discomfort, stress, time off work, and a reduced quality of life.

Balancing Microorganisms in the Digestive Tract


Digestion really gets going in the stomach. Cells in the stomach produce protein-depleting enzymes and hydrochloric acid to break down food. The stomach secretes other necessary substances, such as hormones and mucus, to manage organ functions and safeguard the gastric lining.

The condition of the stomach’s inner lining, or mucosa, relies on a careful balance between aggressive and defensive factors. Aggressive factors, such as hydrochloric acid, damage the lining. Whereas defensive factors, such as mucus, protect the delicate surface. Too much acid weakens the defense and can lead to erosions or ulcers, and other symptoms such as upper abdominal pain, indigestion, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting. By the time you reach the point of acute suffering, the problem has been developing for months or even years. It may be very difficult to resolve.

Your intestinal system serves a bigger purpose than just processing food. It contains a multitude of bacteria - both good and bad - that contribute to about 85% of the immune system. The bacteria stimulate the creation of Secretory IgA (SigA) in the intestines, which nourishes your immune system and protects your body. Approximately 2 to 3 grams of SigA is created every day.

SigA is the primary immunoglobulin in mucus secretions. Mucus is your body’s main defense against gastrointestinal pathogens, such as bacteria, parasites, fungi, toxins and viruses. SigA antibodies attach to pathogens - trapping them in mucus - and neutralize harmful toxins, until the pathogen is expelled from the body with other waste by way of feces.

Probiotics Can Improve Immune and Digestive Health


Numerous health issues can arise when your digestive tract is not working efficiently, including allergies and autoimmune diseases. Properly managing the complex microorganisms that reside in your GI tract is essential to maintaining your immune health.

You can greatly decrease your risk of developing a digestive problem by integrating probiotics into your diet. Probiotics are living microorganisms or friendly bacteria that have significant health benefits in the body. Probiotics can be found in organic supplements, like our PRO-EM 1® products, as well as certain foods, like yogurt. Probiotics can help balance the levels of microorganisms in the stomach and intestines, and drive down the number of harmful bacterias.

Composting 101


Compost is organic matter that has been discarded and decomposed and used again as soil conditioner or fertilizer. It is commonly used in organic farming. Compost can consist of animal, vegetable or human waste. The raw materials then turn into a nutrient rich substance for organic sustainability. Composting does not have to be complicated. Formulas and techniques are not necessary when growing your garden. When making a quality compost, start simple and follow basic guidelines.

The Benefits of Composting


Compost adds nutrients and micronutrients to the soil and increases growth in plants and vegetables. The nutrients are released at a specific rate, which is different for every plant, depending on the temperature and available moisture.

The texture and structure is improved by the compost binding the soil. Healthy soil organically sustains your plants, providing better moisture, oxygen for root growth and improved drainage. Soil capacity can increase to up to 200 percent of its dry weight in water.

Earthworms and insects are naturally drawn to composting. These are nature’s soil builder and they help increase plant growth and revitalize soil. PH levels are also balanced and it makes plants more resilient to withstand other ph levels.

Composting Materials


One tip for achieving maximum composting results is to have your compost consist of one part animal matter, such as manure, and two parts vegetable matter. The materials you’ve chosen must be biodegradable and contain nutrients that are available and usable to microorganisms. Examples of acceptable organic vegetable matter include pond algae, wood ashes, coffee grinds, feathers, organic kitchen garbage, dry dog food -- which activates nitrogen --, eggshells, flowers, grass clippings, leaves, weeds, and kelp.

Activating the Compost


An activator in an organic compost, speeds up the process by providing a nitrogen-protein source to feed the microorganisms in your garden. Adding an activator is crucial to the success of your compost. Examples of organic activators are compost tea, and well-rotted, dried manure. For those who are vegetarians or those who cannot stand the smell of manure, protein meal can be substituted as an activator.

Another example of an activator for compost is EM 1. EM 1 is an organic soil amendment that provides a broad spectrum of beneficial microorganisms, enzymes, vitamins, and various organic acids. It is best used in combination with garden and lawn fertilizers. The organic matter will support the development of other components that are crucial to healthy soil, such as insects and earthworms.
Speeding up decomposition is necessary to achieve ideal composting benefits. The activators listed above with break down the raw materials into nutrient-rich organic matter. To speed up the process you can, add moisture as you build the pile, wet down the compost and aerate it frequently by turning and mixing up the materials.

For more information on soil conditioners, like EM 1, and their impact on your garden, visit Teraganix’s website. Teraganix provides industry leading solutions for your home and garden. They are an exclusive distributor in the US & Canada for Dr. Higas EM-1 Effective Microorganisms, EM Bokashi, Pro EM-1 Probiotics, & EM Ceramics.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

How to Make Your Own Bokashi Composting Kit


Currently, organic waste takes up about 20 to 40 percent of space in the average landfill. Landfill space is limited, and the organic waste is truly being wasted! Now there is a solution to convert the organic waste into a rich organic fertilizer: Bokashi. Bokashi is an anaerobic fermentation process that is commonly associated with composting. There are many benefits - for you and the environment - of integrating the bokashi system into your everyday food removal routine.

The Benefits of the Bokashi System


Bokashi uses a specific group of microorganisms that effectively break down all food waste, including meat and dairy. The fermentation occurs within a closed system so there is little to no risk of attracting insects or creating bad odors. It is also extremely fast; the compost is ready to be introduced into the soil in about 2 weeks. You can compost on a small or large scale to suit your exact needs, and the process is relatively simple and inexpensive.
The end result is a far superior product when compared to traditional composting. There are two notable differences between the bokashi method and traditional methods. Bokashi employs beneficial microbes, or living microscopic cellular organisms, whereas traditional composting often relies on heat and soil microbes. Bokashi breaks down all food scraps while traditional methods target plant-based food waste.
The result is a higher quality compost that offers more nutrients and beneficial microbes to your soil. The resulting compost can be used as slow-release fertilizer and is good for the environment.

Build your own Bokashi Compost Kit in 10 steps


While the bokashi system is still relatively unknown in North America, it is becoming more recognized and appreciated globally. You can buy a compost kit like the Bokashi Food Waste Recycling System, at specialized retailers. Or, if you prefer, you can follow these steps to create your own bokashi-based compost system:

  1. Purchase bokashi bran.
  2. Purchase buckets with lids from your local hardware store.
  3. Drill holes in the bottom of one bucket for the liquid to drain out.
  4. Place the first bucket inside the second bucket. The second bucket will collect the leachate, also known as bokashi tea.
  5. Sprinkle bokashi bran in the bottom of the first bucket.
  6. Add food scraps, breaking apart larger pieces and puncturing foods like grapes and tomatoes.
  7. Create about a two-inch layer of food waste before sprinkling more bokashi bran.
  8. Use a type of heavy plate to push down on the scraps, which eliminates air that will slow the decomposition process.
  9. Repeat this process until the bucket is completely full.
  10. Place the lid tightly on the bucket and leave in place for 2 weeks.
You can never add too much bokashi bran to your bucket, but you can add too little. If you do not add enough bran, you may start to notice unpleasant odors or see black fungus growing in the bucket. There should only be a light vinegar scent. If you notice smells or fungus, just add more bran. After two weeks, your compost should be ready to be buried in the garden!

Are You Using the Right Soap?

Choosing the Right Soap


Many of us have used the same soap for years, without giving much thought as to what goes into the soap that we use every day. Soap plays an integral part in how we keep everything from our hands, faces and bodies clean. Many people look for soaps with a great scent and ability to make them feel clean, but do you know what's in that soap? Many common bath soaps are made with harsh additives and can be quite wearing on the skin. These soaps often dry out the skin, or cause redness and irritation. Those who suffer skin conditions such as eczema, acne, psoriasis, or generally dry skin can attest to the fact that regular bar soap can often only dry out the skin even more. Some scented soaps can even irritate skin conditions or cause allergic reactions due to the heavy scents that have been added to the soap. Those who suffer with dry skin or skin conditions know that it's hard to find relief from their skin conditions, especially this time of the year. If you're using the wrong soap, it could be really affecting the way your skin looks and feels.

Shabondama Bath Soap & It's Benefits


Shabondama Bath Soap is a pure soap that does not contain any harsh additives or heavy scents. This soap is imported from Japan and contains EM Technology to help improve it's ability to clean while being soft on the skin. Shabondama Bath Soap is a 100% natural product, unscented and even helpful to the environment! This type of soap works great for those with sensitive skin or skin conditions, as it doesn't contain any additives or harsh scents that will harm the skin. This soap is something that you would definitely want to consider using if you suffer from any skin condition. The regular bar or bath soap that you are using at home could be exacerbating the skin condition that you may already have. Switching your soap may even help improve your skin condition. Why not switch to a more pure form of cleanliness?

When it's Time to Switch Soaps


If you notice that the bar or bath soap that you are using at home leaves your skin feeling dry and tight, you may want to consider switching soaps. You would want to discontinue the use of any bar or bath soap that causes your skin to feel uncomfortable or causes any irritation. You may want to check into the ingredients in your soap to find out what may be causing any irritation, or you could switch to a purse soap like Shabondama Bath Soap. Shabondama Bath Soap is great for those who are looking to make the switch to a more skin friendly soap. Consider trying Shabondama Bath Soap to try and help with any of the minor skin conditions that you have. Shabondama Bath Soap is available on our website for you to purchase, try it today!

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

How to Improve Your Landscape Soil for Better Grass

Lawns Should be Aerated


Your lawn is most likely the highest traffic area of all your landscaping, especially if you have animals and kids. Throughout the years the soil under your grass will become extremely compacted. Mowing your lawn will also compact the earth under the grass. Hard compacted soil creates problems with water drainage, nutrient absorption and especially the absorption of natural nutrients. Compacted soil does not allow for the earthworms to inhabit the soil under the grass. These conditions lead to various diseases, making it important to prevent early on.

If your lawn is already in poor condition, you may need to aerate your lawn. To aerate your lawn you can simply punch holes about 3 inches deep into your lawn. The holes will allow for your lawn to have better air circulation by loosening the soil. Homeowners with large lawns may want to rent a large aerating machine to do their lawns once a year. For smaller lawns, there is a handheld aerating tool that is simple to use and will take care of improving your lawns quality.

With aeration, your grass will make better use of the natural nutrients in the soil and use water better. Micro-organisms and worms will have a better chance of establishing themselves in loose soil if your lawn is aerated properly.


Water Less Often but Deeper


Watering for a few minutes two or three times a week with a sprinkler will not help to give you a deep, lush, green lawn. In order for your lawn to flourish it needs to be watered deeply, so the roots get nourished and will grow deeper into the soil. During periods of drought or areas with extremely hot weather, grass with deep roots in the soil will survive.

A deep watering is considered to be a one-inch watering over a period of a couple of hours or so once a week. The best way to find out if your lawn is getting a deep watering is to put out small containers that can measure the amount of water that your sprinkler is putting out. After an hour or so, check the dishes by measuring the amount of water in the dish. This will also tell you if you are watering your lawn evenly or if your sprinkler needs some adjustments. If some of your dishes have just a little water in them, it may be the reason your lawn has brown spots. By adjusting the sprinkler, you will see the brown areas nourish with the proper watering.

Do Not Overwater


Overwatering is not good for your grass. You will learn to know when to water again by feeling down about 3-4 inches in the soil. If it is dry, it is time to water. Lawn care experts use an electronic soil tester to test the moisture in your soil. You can use a screwdriver or a trowel to dig down about 3-4 inches and feel with your hand if the soil is dry and needs another watering. When you do water your lawn, the best time is early in the morning and on a day with no wind. Watering under these conditions will help to keep the evaporation down.

Grass Clippings


Grass clippings will help your lawn to flourish and grow greener. Clippings will give back to the soil the needed nutrients by decomposing quickly and acting like a natural mulch. The grass clippings will help to:

  1. Retain water on the grass
  2. Improve soil texture
  3. Reduce the need for fertilizers
  4. Save time when you mow
  5. Reduce landfill waste

Most mowers can be converted to a grass-cycling mower that will leave the clippings cut in short pieces on your lawn. If you do not like the grass clippings on your lawn you can use a compost bin. You can then use the compost material as a natural fertilizer for your lawn and gardens.


Proper Cutting Heights


To have healthy and strong grass you will need to know the important fact of how to cut your grass. Different grass types need to be cut at different heights. Some examples of proper grass cuttings are:
  1. Kentucky Bluegrass, Rye grass and Fescue: mow at 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches
  2. Tall Fescue: mow at 1 ½ to 3 inches
  3. Bermuda: mow at ½ to 1 inches
  4. St. Augustine: mow at 1 to 3 inches
  5. Bentgrass: mow at ¼ to ¾ inches
  6. Centipede grass: mow at 1 to 2 inches
  7. Zoysia: mow at ½ to 1 inch
  8. Buffalo grass: mow at 2 to 3 inches or you can leave it completely natural

In order to get an effective cutting, make sure the blades of your mower are sharp at all times. Reel mowers will cut your grass like scissors while regular rotary mowers tear the grass.

For Greener Grass, Compost Kitchen and Garden Wastes


Composting is a great way to cut down on waste and will help your lawn and garden grow healthier. Some of the composting benefits are:
  • In clay and sandy soils it will improve water drainage
  • Stimulates root growth and generates a slow release of plant nutrients
  • Garden pests and soil-borne plant disease problems are reduced
  • Helps to prevent erosion of valuable topsoil
  • Most soils pH levels are balanced
  • Kitchen wastes and yard clippings help the grass to go greener and not fill up our landfills

Composting can also attract insects, worms and other organisms that will beautify your lawn.

Microorganisms


Adding soil based microbes to your lawn will accelerate the breakdown of dead plant materials such as the grass clippings, turning it into organic matter that will help build soil structure and prevent the need for aerating soil. Microbes such as EM-1 Microbial Inoculant, will also stimulate the growth of roots, feed worms, feed beneficial fungi, and make nutrients more available for the grass. Apply 1 quart of Activated EM-1 per ¼ acre of plants once a week throughout the spring, summer, and fall. You can also add some EM-1 Rice Bran Bokashi as a fertilizer. It is a great slow-release organic fertilizer with a 2-4-4 NPK as well as many micronutrients. Apply about 1lb of EM-1 Bokashi  per 100 square feet in the spring and again in the fall.

Corn Gluten Meal


Used as a lawn fertilizer and natural herbicide, corn gluten meal is high in available nitrogen, which acts as a natural herbicide for organic and turf grass crops. It also fertilizes the soil and is a totally natural product. It will also help control weeds and keep your grass fertilized.


Author Bio: Sarah has loved gardening and nature since childhood. She loves to read about new plants and gardening tips. She works for “YourGreenPal” which helps you to quickly find, schedule and pay for Lawn Care Services.
 
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