Use raised-bed gardens to grow produce anywhere
In New York City, millions of dollars in crops are grown in urban areas, proof that a lot of food can be produced on small lots, even in the heart of a city.
Raised-bed gardening is a growing method used for home vegetable production. Raised beds can provide better drainage and plant fertility than tilled backyard plots and can provide more room for roots to grow.
There’s usually only one-and-a-half inches of topsoil in a (tilled) garden, but with a raised bed, there typically is at least 6 inches of topsoil.
Sometimes you can get as much as three or four times more vegetables from raised beds than from a regular, flat garden.
Raised-bed gardens also have looser soil, because heavy tractors and tillers aren’t running over the garden, compacting it.
To make the beds, frame up 2-by-6 pieces of lumber, and nail them together to form a rectangular shape. Fill the beds with a mixture of half compost and half topsoil.
Raised beds and other above-ground soil containers are best used for production of berries, vegetables, herbs and flowers.
Wait until spring to start planting, and you should have a bountiful harvest on a small amount of space to enjoy all summer long.
Egg recipes can be healthy—and delicious—choices
Eggs—and foods made with them—are good for you.
The proof is in a study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that found eggs are significantly lower in cholesterol than previously thought—a whopping 14 percent lower. Eggs are a good source of protein, and consuming an egg each day will not increase the risk for heart disease.
Eggs can be part of a healthful and balanced diet. There are a ton of nutrients packed inside that shell.
Eggs are one of the few foods that are a natural source of vitamin D. They are also a good source of vitamins A and E, B-6, B-12, folate and lutein, a carotenoid that may support eye health.
But what about breakfast foods made with eggs such as quiche and omelets?
The key to making those dishes healthier is mixing whole egg with egg whites. Two egg whites can be substituted for a whole egg. And when making egg-based breakfast dishes like quiche and omelets that call for heavy cream or half-and-half, simply substitute lower-fat options.
And if a recipe calls for cheese, use a reduced-fat variety. Generally, it won’t change the taste of the omelet or quiche. It may even taste better because you know it’s better for you.
Fast-start Breakfast Sandwich
For those who are rushed in the morning, try making a breakfast sandwich to go. An egg in the morning will give you some extra protein that will help keep away those hunger pangs. Try this simple egg and cheese sandwich for a quick and healthy start to your day.
Look for what could blow down, off or away
Spring starts this month. Now is the perfect time to get your home ready for spring storms.
Spring storms can cause a lot of high winds, which can result in a lot of property and building damage.
Most windstorms primarily damage roofs, windows and trees.
Before a storm rolls in, take these steps to secure and protect your property:
- Examine trees for trunks that lean or have cracks or decay, mushrooms growing from bark, “V”-shaped forks rather than “U”-shaped ones, or crossing branches that rub or interfere with one another. Prune problem areas, and remove diseased, damaged or dead trees.
- Trim overgrown shrubs, and cut weak branches
- Remove any overhanging tree branches near structures.
- Clean gutters, removing any debris that could cause damage during a storm.
- Secure roofing materials such as loose shingles.
- Move loose objects in yards and on decks, patios, porches and balconies to a garage or basement. That should include light lawn furniture, toys, flags or anything else that could blow away easily.
- Secure larger objects such as heavier grills and outdoor furniture
- Secure satellite dishes, whether they are on the roof or in the yard.
- Secure all shed and garage doors.
- Check the attic for leaks on the ceiling that could become worse during a strong storm; have them repaired as soon as possible.