Aches and Pains

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

Aches and Pains

Many of our aches and pains can be attributed to our dietary intake.  Salt, Sugar, and Fat are the three biggest culprits. We are what we eat.

 

 

 

David Proctor

 

 
 
 

           From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Aches and Pains

                                    by David Proctor

May 18, 2017

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


It is not easy to limit the intake of unhealthy nutrients due to the abundance that they are used in processed foods and prepared foods from restaurants.
 
The change that the FDA has made for food labels will not go into enforcement for another year.  The good thing about the new label requirements is that they will at least, to some degree, give the general public a means to make decisions on food purchases and intake.

Food Label

How many people do you know that are over the age of fifty that are not on some type of medication?  The number gets even higher once you look at the population that is over sixty.  The sad truth of the matter is how many young adults and children are on medications to relieve symptoms.
 
I believe that we have been persuaded to try and take the easy way out and that is to take a pill for what ails you.  The truth be known, if we concentrated on the cause of the symptom, we would all live a better life with few if any symptoms.

It is hard to cut out the food that we eat that is not good for us.  We are fighting a very hard battle against some of the brightest scientists in the country that have as a job, to get us to eat more food.
 
Ever tried to eat one or two potato chips then put them away?  We see it all the time in marketing, the way a Snickers can change your personality, how a drink is your reward for the hard day you put in, how you can bond with your child by eating cereal with them and the list goes on. 

Food Servings

I point out some of these examples to illustrate how things can be stacked against your willpower, if we let them into our inner psyche.
 
I have found great difficulty in cutting out or even cutting back on some of the food items that contain salt, sugar, and fat.  I love potato chips, Snickers, chocolate chip cookies and the list goes on.
 
I found myself gaining weight. I knew the reason, I was eating too many sweets.  I thought not a big deal, I’m older I can do as I want.  Not the case, besides the weight gain, I started to notice me knees starting to ache. It was not easy but I have tried to stop or at least limit my sugar intake.  The ache in the knees has gone away and in a few weeks, I dropped nine pounds.

Scales

The point I would like to make is that what we consume has a great deal to do with our health.  If effort is made to at least notice or have a conscience awareness of what we are eating and drinking then maybe we can curtail the causes instead of the symptoms of ill health.
 
Simply increasing the amount of green vegetables, fruit and berries can have a huge difference in how we feel.  If you notice that you have trouble making it up a few flights of stairs and then have trouble with your knees, try cutting out sugar.  Sugar can really cause problems with inflammation, which is what is causing the aches you feel.
 
Having trouble with blood pressure, cut salt, sugar and fat.  You and your doctor will see a huge difference.
 
If it’s easy it’s probably bad for you, if it’s hard, then it might be good for you.  It is easy to take a pill, it’s hard to change your lifestyle.  Lifestyle is what I say we need to change.  The Urban Farm Lifestyle.

 


Check It Out!

 

Salt, Sugar, Fat

 

Michael Moss: How the Food Giants Hooked Us  25:55


Quick Tip

 

The key to avoiding aches and pains is not medications but eating healthy, real food.

A simple calculation to see how much sugar you are consuming:

4 grams of carbohydrates = 1 teaspoon of sugar in your body

(When you check product labels, be sure to verify the serving size so you complete the calculation for the amount of food or beverage you want to consume.)


Bibliography:

“Sugar Aches & Inflammation | Nutritional Weight & Wellness.” Nutritional Weight and Wellness. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2017.

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “Labeling & Nutrition – Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label.” U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, n.d. Web. 15 May 2017.


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Posted in Health, Magazine Issues Tagged with: , , , ,

Urban Farm

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

Urban Farm

My Urban Farm is slowly taking shape.  My livestock is bees, worms, and hopefully soon, chickens. My sole plants are Jalapenos with tomatoes on the way.

 

David Proctor

 

 
 
 

           From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Urban Farm

 

                                    by David Proctor

May 11, 2017

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


This has been a busy spring so far.  I have been trying to get the Jalapeno cuttings transplanted now for at least two months. This last weekend I was able to dig down under the fresh compost to get to the aged compost. I placed some in plant containers for the jalapenos plants.  I replanted two cuttings in straight compost, two in compost, potting soil, vermiculite and perlite and the last one in straight potting soil.

Jalapeno Transplants
Transplanted Jalapenos

The plant that I knew that wouldn’t make it is now outside with buds on it.  I moved it to a larger pot and kept the root ball but added compost around it.  I am hoping that with these different combinations, that I will be able to get at least one or two of the jalapeno plants to grow and produce.

Jalapeno Buds

Buds On Jalapeno

The compost has developed into a rich black humus. It is full of worms and microbial life. I have trouble understanding why everyone rakes leaves and grass clippings, and throws them away. The trees have roots that bring up micronutrients from deep down. Some of the micronutrients will end up in the leaves. This is one reason why compost is so good for plants.  The grass clippings add the nitrogen that is needed for the compost process.

Compost
Compost

Hopefully, I can get a start on tomatoes plants soon. I also want to try and grow the various plants that are needed to make salsa. I have trouble in trying to do that because of the thick canopy of trees in my yard. I will have to try and find a compromise. I have a few of the smaller trees I have been eyeballing to cut down and make into three to four foot logs to grow mushrooms in.
 
Once the logs are cut to length they can be soaked then drilled and mycelium plugs put in for mushrooms.
 
The worms are doing well. I plan on giving them some more room in the near future. I am anxious to harvest the castings to make worm tea for my plants.  I believe that with the compost and worm tea, I might be able to get a salsa garden going yet.

Worms
Worm Farm 

I want to set up a portable chicken coop in the backyard.  If I can make it light enough, I should be able to move the chickens around the yard to help keep the weeds down and the bug population under control. 
 
The bees appear to be doing very well this spring. They have been receiving a bag of 1:1 sugar water to help them along.  In fact, one hive has already had an expansion added to it.  The problem I have seen with feeding the bees is that they appear to build comb randomly around the super.

Bee Feedbag
Bee’s Feedbag

The brood box was moved back on top and the honey super placed back on the bottom. The Warre hive is expanded opposite of the Langstroth hive.
 
I have ambitions of raising bees as naturally as possible. I have hopes of not having dependent bees that are always looking for the food to be brought to them. This may not be possible though until I am able to have bees with Virginia genetics. Ones that have lived through a winter on their own. The best way to come close to that is by getting a feral swarm.  They say they don’t exist anymore, but I’m not so sure.
 
I ordered some lemongrass essential oil and have placed it in the top bar hive as a bait trap. The lemongrass puts out a smell to the bees that attracts the scout bees that are looking for a new home for the hive. The hive will naturally divide by swarming, and I hope they will be attracted to the bait hive by this scent that is similar to the pheromone given off by the queen bee.
 
I still have my Mason bees that seem to be doing well.  One has already sealed up one of the tubes in the block I have for them to lay eggs in.  It will not be long before I put out leafcutter bees for the summer pollination.

Mason Bee Home
Mason Bee Block

As you can see, I have a hodgepodge of critters and plants going on here.  I may be making mistakes, but it is a fun learning process.  I am getting my hands dirty and enjoying it.
 
This is a far cry from what I had imagined myself doing as a farmer, but you have to make the best of where you are at and what you have to work with.


Check It Out!

Bees
Bees
Honey Comb
Bees Building Comb
Bee Window
Bee Window
Building Comb Backwards
Bees Building Comb In Wrong Direction, They Didn’t Read The Manual

Quick Tip

 

  • Keep compost moist and turn often
  • Transplant cuttings before long root system has developed
  • Check cocoons of Mason Bees with bright light to see if viable
  • Keep brood box on top with Warre Hive

Bibliography:
Lessons from my mistakes.

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Posted in Apiary, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with: , , , ,

Straw Bale Garden

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

Straw Bale Garden

If you want to have a garden where you don’t have to bend over to the ground, do not have to weed and can have the worse soil around, then straw bale gardening might be for you.

David Proctor

 

 
 
 

           From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Straw Bale Garden

 

                                    by David Proctor

May 4, 2017

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine  Published Weekly


There has been a resurgence in straw bale gardening due to its simplicity and ease of use.  The straw bale is used as the container for the plant.

The first thing to do is position the bale or bales.  Be sure the strings are on the side.  If they are on top the bale can come apart if they are cut will planting.  The bale should be on the narrow side with the cut side facing up and the folded straw side facing down.

Straw Bale Set Up

The straw bale or bales have to be conditioned before they are used.  This is done by wetting the bale daily so the microbes inside the bale will start to compost.  Sometimes some nitrogen is added to help get the process going.

The bales will start to heat up internally and the temperature can rise to 120F to 140F.  This is why you want to condition the bale so it doesn’t cook your seeds or plants.  This process will take a couple of weeks to complete.

 You will know when it’s done by the temperature becoming close to ambient.  This can be determined by a thermometer or sticking your finger into the bale to judge the temperature.

Once the process of conditioning is done, it is time to plant.  If the bales are arranged end to end a metal fence post can be driven at the end of each row then wire strung from post to post.  A header board is put at top to keep the post from drawing into each other.
 
With multiple wires, this will work as a trellis for your plants as they grow vertical.  If it is still cool weather, a piece of plastic can be hung over the trellis to have a greenhouse effect.

Two methods are used for planting.  The first method is to place a thin layer of potting soil on top of the bale and then place seeds in the soil and cover with another thin layer.  This will help to keep the seeds moist and protected.  The warmth of the straw bale will help in germination.

The second method is to dig out a plug of straw about the size of the root ball of the plant, then place you plant in the now vacant hole.  You can place the straw back around the plant.

The bale and plants will need to be watered daily.  The best way to accomplish this is with a drip irrigation method.  The water will run through the bale so be sure to keep it moist, but not waste water.

Since a straw bale has little to no nutrition, it is a good idea to feed your plants.  Compost placed around the roots of the plants will also help in the feeding.

Just to make the most use of the bale, other plants can be planted on the sides of the bale. Flowers can be planted to make for an appealing garden for the eye and for pollinators.

When fall comes around the plants can be harvested and the remains of the straw bale used for compost.

Straw bale gardening encompasses container gardening, raised bed gardening all in one.  It is a way for those in urban areas to be able to have a garden, even if one bale and on the back deck.  It is economical and an easy way to have a garden without all the normal digging and weed pulling that accompanies in ground gardens.


Check It Out!

 

Straw Bale Gardening  4:26


Quick Tip

 

  • Tomatoes: 2 to 3 plants per bale
  • Peppers: 4 plants per bale 
  • Squash: 2 to 4 plants per bale 
  • Zucchini: 2 to 3 plants per bale 
  • Strawberries: 3 to 4 plants per bale 
Straw Bale Garden

Bibliography:

“Beginner’s Guide to Straw Bale Gardening.” Safer® Brand. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 May 2017.

“How to Condition and Plant a Bale of Straw for Gardening.” Bonnie Plants. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 May 2017.


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Posted in Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with:

Happy :)

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

Happy 🙂

Happy.  What makes you happy? During times of adversity, sickness or just feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, flowers can help cheer you up.  Carolyn writes of her day trip to go see flowers at Burnside Farms for the Holland in Haymarket Festival.

Enjoy,

David Proctor

 

 
 
 

           From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Burnside Farms: Holland in Haymarket Festival
                                    

by Carolyn Proctor


April 27, 2017

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


Last Friday I had the pleasure of making a trip to Burnside Farms in northern Virginia on my day off. Here is a list of the highlights from the farm as encouragement for you to visit before the season ends.

Right now Burnside is celebrating their Holland in Haymarket Festival, which is a brief period in which the public can purchase tickets for one of the most renowned pick your own flower events in North America. The farm plants nearly eight acres that include over a million tulips and daffodils.

Due to the unpredictability of the weather, the opening day fluctuates every year, but fell on April 12th and is beginning to wind down. Dependent on the popularity and weather, Burnside is typically open for just a few weeks.

To attend the festival, you must first purchase a ticket at the gate, which is $6-8 dollars whether it is a weekday or weekend, passports are available for the season for unlimited re-entry for $14, and children under two can enter for free. The daffodils are two for $1 and tulips are one for $1, per stem.

My trip only included the flower picking, although, there are more activities available. Burnside Farms also houses three bounce features, playhouse area, corn hole games, a picnic area, and more than 100 pairs of authentic Dutch wooden shoes.

To receive updates on any changes in hours, you can visit the farms website at http://www.burnsidefarms.com/ or like their Facebook page by just searching Burnside Farms. Personally, I found to check the updates more frequently on the Facebook Page!

If for any unfortunate reason you are unable to make the Holland in Haymarket Festival, there will be a Summer of Sunflowers Festival that usually falls in the middle of July! This will include over 30 varieties of “cutting” sunflowers on nearly six successive acres.


Check It Out!


Quick Trip

Holland In Haymarket

Flowers At Burnside Farms


Bibliography:

Carolyn’s Day Trip


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Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with:

Urban Chickens

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

Urban Chickens

You may have decided that you want to start raising chickens so you have your own healthy fresh eggs or maybe you gave chicks to your children for Easter.  Now where do you put your chickens and how do you keep them corralled?

Enjoy,

David Proctor

           From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


 

Urban Chickens

                                    by David Proctor

April 20, 2017

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


 

Living in an urban environment can be challenging to keeping chickens or for that matter, most anything that you would consider from an agricultural standpoint.  Chickens can exist in a city environment and thrive quite well.

One of the keys to the chickens thriving is making sure that they are not a meal for the neighbor’s dog or other potential predator.

As much as we love chickens, so do many other animals that would love to make a meal out of them.  To help prevent this a chicken coop needs to be placed where the chickens can be safe and have a place to roost away from harm.

Since chickens have become popular to raise in the city or urban areas, chicken coops have become more available in many different styles, shapes and sizes.

I have had an interest in the mobile type of coops so the chickens can help with bugs in the yard and in turn the eggs will have that deep yellow yolk that taste so good from ranged chickens.

This particular coop was purchased and modified to be mobile.

Chicken Coop

 Chicken Coop – Rear

Chicken Coop Front

 Chicken Coop – Front

Handles were added and wheels to the back of the coop.  Along the base, reinforcement was added to help keep the chicken coop from damage when moved.

 

Chicken Coop

 Chicken Coop – Side

Chicken Coop - Side

 Chicken Coop – Side Entrance

This is a good design and modification.  One to two people can move this coop and provide the chickens with new grass and bugs to eat.  We all know how quickly grass will disappear when a coop is stationary.

 

Another design that I have looked at is the chicken tractor used by Joel Salatin at Poly Face Farm.  His chicken tractor holds numerous chickens which is great for an area that has room, but in an urban setting, that is not always the case.

Chicken Tractor

Chicken Tractor

Joel also has a lower based coop that is used to raise broilers that has potential for my yard.

Broiler Coop

 Commercial Broiler Coop

I have a pretty steep slope in my back yard that I am trying to figure out how to have a mobile chicken coop that can be stable and not tip over.

Smaller Coop

 Smaller Coop – Has Potential

I have even thought about in my case using a stationary chicken coop but making the area where the chickens can range, mobile.  I would do this with electric poultry fencing.

 

An example of a beautiful stationary chicken coop is my neighbors.

Stationary Chicken Coop

Stationary Chicken Coop

Stationary Chicken Coop Front

Stationary Chicken Coop Front

Stationary Chicken Coop Inside
Stationary Chicken  Coop Inside

Poultry fencing can be easily moved and can also help deter predators from killing and eating the chickens.  This would require a bit of work to heard the chickens around to the established fenced area.  One idea might be to attach more than one fenced area together so they can be moved between areas.

This is a work in progress and I am sure I will have a learning curve as to what will work and what will not work for my situation.


 

Check It Out!

 

How to Install an Electric Poultry Fence Video
PermaculturePA


 

Quick Tip

Once you move your birds to their permanent residence, make sure they are protected from predators, especially at night.
Even a latched door may not be secure enough to keep raccoons out.


 

Bibliography:
“6 Week Old Chicks.” Poultry 6 to 8 Weeks Old | Purina Animal Nutrition. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

 


 

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Posted in Animal Husbandry, Chickens, Magazine Issues Tagged with: , , ,

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