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Organic Gardening: 7 Things You Can Repurpose to Use in Your Garden

It makes both good sense, and good cents, to grow your own vegetables at home in an organic garden. No matter how much or how little space and/or time you have, you can still plant a container garden and harvest some home grown tomatoes and peppers. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or trying out your green thumb for the first time in organic gardening, try these ideas for 7 things you can recycle to use in your garden.

Food Scraps

Any food items other than meat scraps or grease can be recycled into compost and used to enrich your soil, which in turn feeds plants and enables them to yield a bigger harvest. Used coffee grounds and crumbled egg shells are two of the best soil amendments and can be placed directly on top of the soil (in-ground or container gardens) to nourish plants. Create a small compost pile to toss other food scraps until they decompose into ‘black gold’ then work into garden soil for free and chemical-free compost.

Tin Cans

Large tin cans, like those that spaghetti sauce or juice come in, can be recycled and used as feeding and watering tubes for garden plants. Wash the tin cans and cut both ends. Dig a hole the size of the tin can in the garden soil and place the can in the soil, then plant a few vegetables around the can. Use the open-ended tin can to deliver water directly to plant roots throughout the growing season. Make compost tea to pour in the cans to provide organic food to plants.

Recycled Mulch

Grass clippings and tree leaves (raked during the fall) provide free, organic mulch for vegetable plants. Mulch helps keep the soil cool, retain moisture and discourage weed growth.

Plastic Milk Jugs

Get a head start on the growing season by using clean plastic milk jugs as mini greenhouses. Cut the bottom fourth off a gallon milk jug and place over tiny vegetable seedlings to provide them with protection from the elements and create a greenhouse environment. Remove lid on warm days and replace during cold nights.

Plastic Buckets

Food grade plastic buckets that are used in the deli and restaurant industry are perfect for recycling into harvesting buckets. The size, handles and lids make these buckets perfect for carrying to the garden to harvest fresh produce and for transporting vegetables.

Pantyhose

Many vegetable plants, like tomatoes and cucumbers, need to be staked and tied to keep them off the ground during the growing season. Nothing beats strips of used pantyhose for tying vegetable plants to their support system. Pantyhose stretch and will not cut into tender vines like rope or twine will and the nylon fabric is strong enough to last all summer.

Recycled Support

Tree limbs that have been pruned can be fashioned into a tee-pee for supporting climbing veggies, like cucumbers and sugar snap peas. Old iron headboards, fence posts or shovel handles or other tall, portable items can be given new life in an organic garden as vegetable stakes and trellises to keep produce off the ground.

Jeremy Aarons writes about home improvement, parenting and all things related to being a stay at home dad. Recently, he’s explored his journey earning a sociology degree online while spearheading a communal garden for his neighborhood.

 

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Simple Outdoor Home Security Projects

Protecting your home is easier than you think. More often than not, people choose not to protect their home because they think the cost is astronomical or that nothing will ever happen to them. However, there are a lot of security projects that you can implement around your home for little to no cost, but that can actually boost your security portfolio as much as larger projects would.

This post is designed to share these outdoor security tips in the hope that someone will jump on these projects to protect themselves before anything happens. While these tips will not stop all burglars, it can help deter most criminals to keep you and your family safe.

Security Sign

Here are some simple home security tips and projects:

–          Mind your landscaping. Your landscaping can say a lot about you, but one thing you don’t want it to say is, “rob me!” However, it is very common to find an overgrown lawn or an unattended row of bushes. To a burglar, this means that you might be away on vacation. Regularly trim your lawn and the rest of your landscaping. When it comes to bushes around your home, keep them three feet or shorter in height. Taller bushes provide a hiding place for burglars so they can work without being noticed.

–          Trim the trees that come within 7-9 feet of your home. Burglars can climb these trees and make a jump for a second story window. You may think it sounds impossible, but it does happen. Trimming these trees is also beneficial for neighborhood support. More often than not, your neighbors are the ones spotting something out of place so having trimmed trees where passersby can see your lawn will ward off burglars.

–          Put gravel around the immediate perimeter of your home. This acts like a security alarm for any burglars prowling around your windows. Burglars will try to avoid making any possible noise. Stepping on a large trail of pebbles will easily give them away so a potential burglar might move on.

–          Put home security signs around your home. Four out of 5 burglars said that they are deterred by a home security sign outside. Burglars don’t want to risk any chance of being caught so if it comes down to your home with a sign and your neighbor’s without, they would be more likely to go next door.

–          An additional security measure you could take is adding a surveillance system to your home. If you think it is overly expensive, there are other options such as a fake security camera. These look like the real thing and even have a battery operated “recording light.” This can help ward off many burglars who avoid wearing masks or disguises to better blend in like a person who should be there. They don’t want to be caught on camera and a surveillance system, real or fake, can help protect your home.

These are just some of the simple steps that you can take to protect your home. These projects are designed to increase the security of your home without breaking the bank.

About the Author: Dan Miller is a writer and home security expert for http://www.homesecuritydeals.com. He seeks to provide low cost security solutions for those looking to protect themselves. When he is not working on a DIY project, he is watching football with his lovely wife.

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World Renowned Hikes in Utah

Have you ever seen stunning pictures in National Geographic and wished you could visit those far away fairy tale lands? Well if you are anywhere in North America you need not to wish for some vacation that would cost you all of your life savings. Utah has some of the most stunning locations in the world and the hikes take you right into the heart of these incredible landscapes. Here are some of the most well known and worth while hikes.

Angels Landing

This incredible hike has stunning views, terrifying cliffs, and some of the most incredible hiking known to man. It is located in Zion National Park and is a short 5 miles. That isn’t to say that it isn’t rather difficult, as the vertical climb is about 1500 feet, but the overall distance keeps it from being overly strenuous. The Angels Landing hike starts at the Groto Picnic area. Hikers cross the Virgin River and follow the West Rim Trail towards and them up a rather large cliff face.

Once the switchbacks have been climbed there is a nice one mile stretch through Refrigerator Canyon. This tall and thin canyon stays in the shade all day except at noon, so temperatures are refreshing. To climb out of the canyon another set a switchbacks needs to be climbed, that then lead to Scout Lookout. The views are incredible and at this point hikers split away from the West Rim trail and traverse the narrow Angels Landing trail to the final point. This portion of the trail can be dangerous if one does not hold to the chains and follow safety precautions. Everyone who hikes it confirms that it looks far more dangerous and scary than it really is, and that the views at the end are totally worth the fear factor. These views and this portion of the trail are what makes it world renowned, and so highly recommended.

Delicate Arch

This hike leads to one of the most world famous arches in existence. Located in Arches National Park you can view the arch just 100 yards from the asphalt. Some people enjoy this view, as they have many other things planned and little time to complete their vacation to do list, but with the hike being just over 1 mile each way this is a hike that is a no brainer.

Photographers and artists love to visit this location as their perceptions and abilities to portray the arch can lead one to see many different angles and visions of its beauty. Keep in mind that spring and fall are the best times to make the trek due to the heat of summer and the chance of uncomfortably cold weather in the winter. Don’t forget to see the Native American rock art that is just to the side of the trail head.

Calf Creek Falls

Calf Creek Falls is the major feature of the BLM’s Calf Creek Recreation Area. The trail meanders through cliff faces streaked with color from run off rich with minerals. Beaver damns litter the creek and fill its winding bends with small ponds. Additional beauty is found throughout the canyon with many Native American rock art features.

The trial has a round-trip distance of 5 1/2 miles. This is an easy stroll as there is little elevation gain, but most of the trail is covered in sand. This makes it a little more difficult than your average walk in the park. Do keep in mind that the summer months can get especially hot, and if you decide to brave the weather keep lots of drinking water on hand. There is a pool at the base of the falls that many hikers take a dip in before their return hike, making it well worth the summer trip.

Visiting any of these three hikes is well worth the time and the trip. There are many more hikes and places to visit within Utah that hold a status of world fame, just take some time to research a few more activities to create the vacation of a life time.

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How To Make Jerky For A Reliable, No-Fuss Food Source

Learning how to dehydrate meats (or create ‘jerky’) is a good skill to have for people who spend a lot of time outdoors. Jerky can last for up to a month at room temperature, requires no preparation to eat, and is lighter than regular foods since the moisture has been removed. It’s great for hiking and fishing trips, or spending a lot of time outdoors without the equipment to prepare food.

This advice applies to most meats, including chicken, beef (roast is best), and turkey.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

1)      A working kitchen, with a fridge and a stove, and various utensils.

2)      2 lb of the meat you would like to dehydrate. Go with the leanest cut you can find, as fat will go rancid and reduce the shelf life of your jerky.

3)      A marinating sauce. Olive oil and salt is popular, as is the Soy/Worchester/garlic/salt and pepper mix, but feel free to experiment and find one that works for you.

4)      Ziploc bags for storage

HOW TO DO IT:

1)      Slice your meat into as thin strips as possible. A great idea is to go to a deli, and have it sliced into 1/16th of an inch strips. The thinner they are, the better your jerky will be.

2)      Trim off any excess fat with a knife. This will make your jerky last longer.

3)      Put your strips into a bowl with your marinating sauce. Mix it up.

4)      Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let marinate in the fridge for 2 hours.

5)      Put the contents of your bowl into a pot or sauce pan. Put a stove burner on high, and boil for five minutes to kill all bacteria.

6)      Lay your meat slices onto a paper towel, and let them drain.

7)      Place your meat slices onto the racks of your oven. Set the oven to 160 F, and keep the door open an inch or two to help with air flow.

8)      Cook the meat for 6 to 12 hours. You want all moisture to be removed. You’ll know when it is when the meat cracks, but bends and doesn’t snap.

9)      Remove your slices from the oven and let them cool completely.

10)   Put your slices into an air-tight Ziploc bag, to keep it fresh for as long as possible. Your jerky will be good for a month at room temperature, and can be frozen and last up to 6 months.

Good luck and stay prepared!

Read more from RamboMoe at preparedforthat.com

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Health Risks Of Adventure Sports

The popularity and appeal of adventure sports or extreme sports is on the rise, worldwide. Kayaking, skiing, rock climbing, cliff diving, trebuchet, mountaineering, snowboarding, ski boarding (snowblading),water rafting, base jumping, downhill mountain biking, bungee jumping are alluring the teenagers and  the young adults. They crave for the ‘adrenaline rush’ and excitement derived from such sports and do not hesitate to jeopardize their lives by indulging in adventure sports.

These sports are associated with high causalities or fatalities and risk is intricately woven into the very element of extreme sports. Despite having claimed thousands of young lives, they continue to attract individuals, who are drawn to such sports like powerful magnets.

Snow sports are obviously hot during the winter season, and are thus the charm of places with long winters like Scotland, Canada, Russia etc. Skiing dangers abound. One strange danger is the ‘tree-well’ deaths or NARSID, snow immersion deaths that are not related to avalanche, occurs when the victim falls in the deep pitted area near a snow-laden tree are common. When the victim tries to rise or extricate it results in more deposition of snow over them and they die from hypothermia and asphyxia.

Inside a tree well it is difficult for someone to be able to see or hear you, so the chances of rescue are very remote. Falls and collision with static objects like trees or other persons coming in the way account for a lot of fatalities and wearing a helmet may prevent this to a large extent.

One third of ski injuries involve the knee joint, affecting either the anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament or the meniscus. There may be ligament tears or lower leg fractures that may require knee replacement surgery. Other common sites of injury are the head or the skull, thumb, and shoulder joint.

Snowboarding has an altogether different injury profile. Here, upper limb fractures predominate due to falls with outstretched hands. According to Dr. Gorger, at Deadwood Regional Hospital, broken collar bones, dislocated shoulders, and wrist fractures are quite common in snowboarding. The incidence is quite high in children and novice boarders due to not wearing protective gear such as wrist guards that protect the person from wrist injury.

In this regards I would like cite my own example- last winter I visited my cousin in Scotland who is sports savvy. She took me along with her for snowboarding and taught me for the first time; she herself was self-taught. I ended up fracturing the talus bone of my ankle, and injury commonly known as “snowboarder’s ankle”. I learned an important lesson, not to gamble with your safety and health, and seek professional training or instruction before going for adventure sports.

Thrill Seekers 

The thrill seekers who are fanatic about the stimulation and boost they get from such sports are not just daredevils, but very often they are our best scientists, surgeons, CEO’s, inventors and explorers. For example Dr. Kenneth Kalmer, a New York based renowned surgeon of international acclaim, and one of the finest surgeons of America, is a high altitude mountaineer. He is well aware of the health risks associated with it, but feels that it makes the society more vibrant and progressive. He says that the predisposition to take risk is not new; it is hardwired into our core, our evolutionary makeup since times immemorial. Man took risks in order to survive.

He feels that sportsmen linked to adventure sports are adroit and highly skilled, trained athletes, who are safety conscious, disciplined and can take care of themselves in high risk zones. He feels if adventure sports are practised in the right way with all the safety measures they significantly contribute in the development of our evolving and diverse society. But on the other hand, in an attempt to seek name and fame, perhaps to attract the attention of media, too many of them neglect the safety protocols, inviting troubles.

Some Other Problems

Nowadays, to fulfill the innate need of exhilaration, some people resort to other activities, having potentially greater social, personal and economic risks than adventure sports. For example, they may turn to addictions like gambling, sex, drinking, smoking or taking narcotics, to get the ‘high’ or surge of adrenaline, the same feeling or euphoria that they get from adventure sports due adrenaline surge.

Sitting for long hours to play video games or computer games is a leading cause of postural problems, obesity and other lifestyle diseases, but if one participates in such sports they will never fall prey to such lifestyle disorders. Challenging outdoor activities, even adventure sports are better outlets than these addictions according to Dr. Peter Katzmarzyk , who is linked with Canadian Heart Foundation. So, if practised in a proper way with all the safety protocols adventure sports are actually a boon in disguise. So, if you follow your sport’s guidelines and are trained, the risks are greatly reduced.

Author: Hi! I’m Rit, a causal writer at nutrition website FreshBeetle. I am fond of exploring every possible aspect in life that involved improving your health. I’ll be happy to see you from time to time on our site – FreshBeetle. 😉

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