Stress Reduction

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 


Actively pursuing a peaceful lifestyle and reducing stress can seem challenging in this busy world. Google searches for relaxation techniques have skyrocketed since 2020. It seems we could all use some tips on how to zen out. 




Kelsey Proctor


From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

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

It is all about the soil!




Three Ways To Reduce Stress

by Kelsey Proctor

 September 16, 2021

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


I know, I know. Why am I starting this article out with bad energy and suggesting you reduce caffeine? Caffeine is a powerful stimulant. Overuse can lead to spikes in cortisol and adrenal gland fatigue, disruption of the REM sleep cycle, and dehydration. If you’re struggling with stress, avoiding substances that spike cortisol will help to maintain a more consistent, peaceful state. 

You don’t have to kick caffeine to the curb completely! Small changes lead to huge results. Cutting back on caffeine with lower-cafe options like green tea or matcha powder can help the transition without the mind-numbing migraine that comes with sudden caffeine withdrawal.


Matcha Power


L-theanine is the main source of the calming effect we feel when drinking tea. Many matcha powders on the market today include probiotics and bacteria for healthy digestion, as well.

Mindfully examining our days can be the key to discovering some preventable stressors in our lives. Often, the best place to start is by hydrating our system with liquids and enjoying happy, healthy food (any food that is nutritious and tastes amazing!).



Direct connection. This is the good stuff, right here. Our lives and schedules can seem like a turning wheel of daily tasks and responsibilities. Routine is great for lowering stress, but what happens when we switch on autopilot? Often, even surrounded by people at home and in the office, we will still feel a lack of connection.

Alone in a crowded room. I challenge you to be intentional with your effort to connect. Connection is easiest in places we are comfortable with; with people we love. Vulnerability and joy are often found hand-in-hand. Connection, they’ve said, is the opposite of addiction.


Humane Connection


Our ideal form of connection may look different for everyone. Meditation and connecting to a higher power, journaling notes of gratitude to connect with oneself, or calling an old friend while walking around the house. Notice how these few scenarios do not include physically being in a group?

Searching for connection in a world still battling COVID-19, I have had to be intentional with socializing. I connect every day with the world in brief conversations with neighbors, people at the park wanting to pet my dog or phone calls with friends.



Cold showers have roots in Ayurvedic medicine. Water therapy has long been used as a complementary treatment for anxiety and depression. I have always been a huge fan of cold water therapy: showers, swimming pools, ocean water in springtime.

What I didn’t realize were the physiological benefits I was subconsciously using to relax. Cold showers affect the sympathetic nervous system, lowering blood pressure and releasing dopamine in the brain.


Water Therapy


How does it work?  Cold showers activate the nervous system by “[increasing] the blood level of beta-endorphin and noradrenaline and to increase synaptic release of noradrenaline in the brain as well… a cold shower is expected to send an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain, which could result in an anti-depressive effect.”

An interesting study was published in 2018 on a 24-year-old woman with medication-resistant major depressive disorder. The mother was taking prescribed psychotropic medications, but with their lack of efficacy, and her first pregnancy – she wanted to wean off the medications for her baby. Now, keep in mind, this is in no way a comment on the use of psychotropic medications, but more a comment on the other tools we have to help ourselves.

The woman began a weekly program of cold open water swimming outside. The participant felt an immediate alleviation of symptoms and was cleared to discontinue the medication.

After the birth of her daughter, with continued open (cold) water swimming therapy, the participant was still medication-free one year later and had a significant reduction in overall symptoms.


I’ll leave with you today the words of Deborah Bennett, owner, and instructor of Heal me Yoga in VA.
The medicine of love and celebrating ourselves.
Action plan for today. Don’t rely on others to give you the love and recognition of how awesome you are. Don’t give others this responsibility.
The responsibility is yours.
give yourself the love you need and deserve.
celebrate how awesome you are and how far you have come.
go ahead and love and celebrate you. It will bring us much peace
And Peace = Health

Check It Out!


KIM SWIMS is a documentary film about the inspiring story of an accomplished open water swimmer’s attempt to become the first woman to swim 30 miles through a stretch of cold, rough and shark-inhabited waters off of the San Francisco coast.

Quick Tip


“A smile puts you on the right track. A smile makes the world a beautiful place. When you lose your smile, you lose your way in the chaos of life.” — Roy T. Bennett | Author



van Tulleken C, Tipton M, Massey H, Harper CM. Open water swimming as a treatment for major depressive disorder. BMJ Case Rep. 2018 Aug 21;2018:bcr2018225007. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2018-225007. PMID: 30131418; PMCID: PMC6112379.

Shevchuk NA. Adapted cold shower as a potential treatment for depression. Med Hypotheses. 2008;70(5):995-1001. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2007.04.052. Epub 2007 Nov 13. PMID: 17993252.


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

Bee Glue

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 

Bee Propolis

Propolis or bee glue is a resinous mixture made by honey bees from mixing saliva and beeswax with botanical sources like tree sap. 

David Proctor


From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

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

It is all about the soil!




Harvesting Honey Bee Propolis

by David Proctor

 September 9, 2021

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly

The propolis at one time was just considered a nuisance since it can make it laborious to get in the hive and do an inspection or to extract honey.


Hive Frames

Hive Frames


A few reasons the bees go to so much trouble to make propolis is that they use it to reduce the entrance into the hive, to make it more defensible, they use it to seal cracks or other openings, bees prefer a dark hive, and propolis is used by the bees medicinally.
Propolis is one of the most powerful antimicrobial substances found in nature. Not only do bees use it as a building material but also use it to sterilize and disinfect the beehive.


Bee Comb

Bee Comb


It has been found that the typical composition tends to have an approximate “45-55% resins, 25-35% waxes and fatty acids, 10% essential oils and aromatic compounds (phenolics), which includes vanillin and gives the propolis the vanilla-like smell and 5% pollen.”

An additional 5% of the makeup of propolis is “bioflavonoids known as Vitamin P and citrin”.

A few other compounds have not even been able to be identified yet by researchers.

Next are some methods to collect and process propolis.

Traps can be used that are thin plastic sheets with thin slits and placed in the hive instead of the inner cover.

Bees will fill the gaps in with propolis. This can be removed from the trap by putting it in a plastic bag and placing it in a freezer for a few hours.

When taken out, the trap can be twisted or banged on the table while in the plastic bag and most of the propolis will fall down into the bag.

You can use the propolis in this form if you would like. It can be chewed like gum to help with sore throats.

Propolis can also be collected by catching the hive scraping when cleaning out the honey supers during the honey harvest.


Propolis In Hive

Propolis In Hive


Unlike propolis collected from a trap, hive scraping will tend to have other things in it like beeswax, wood, bee parts, etc.

One way the contaminants can be removed from the propolis is by soaking the scraping in a bucket of water.

Most of the contaminants will float and can be removed.

Another way to clean propolis hive scraping is to place the scraping in an oven-proof container and cover it with two to three inches of water.

Place in oven at 200 degrees and bake for two hours, stirring often.

The melted wax and other pieces will float and the propolis will stick to the bottom of the container.

Let cool and pour off the water with the unwanted materials in it and now you have just the propolis on the bottom.

Place the pan in the freezer and when the propolis is brittle it can be removed by chipping it out of the container.

If you want to make a tincture, use the highest quality of grain alcohol, pure alcohol or ethyl alcohol, or any food-grade alcohol that is at least 130 proof (65% alcohol).

Never use rubbing alcohol.

Grind the propolis into a powder to give it more surface area for the alcohol, and place alcohol and propolis into a water-tight container, seal, and shake briefly.

Shaking should be repeated once or twice a day for over one or two weeks.

The next step is to filter the extract through a paper filter or fine cloth.

The result will be a clear liquid, free of particles and dark brown or reddish in color. This can now be bottled.

To make a tincture without alcohol, the propolis can be soaked in water or boiling it in water.

When boiling some of the aromatics may be lost, but this still has and proves to be a powerful bactericidal and fungicidal extract.

An oil extract of propolis may be obtained by filling a pot with propolis and any food-grade oil like coconut oil or even butter.

The contents of the pan are gently heated in a water bath and continually stirred for about ten minutes.

The resulting extract can be filtered and stored in sealed containers in the dark.

Even though the alcohol process results in the most potent extract, it does not mean it will be the best for the use that you need it for.

You should never use an alcohol extract around your eyes and should not be used on individuals with sensitivity to alcohol.

As you can see, the processing of propolis is not very difficult and can be used for many treatments for various ailments.





Honey bees make amazing products besides just honey.

Check It Out!

How to make a Propolis Tincture. 7:22
Apr 26, 2020
Innisfil Creek Honey

Quick Tip



Conrad, Ross. “Processing Propolis: Part 1.” Bee Culture –, 9 Sept. 2021,

Everything You Need To Know About Bee Propolis – Comvita USA,

“Propolis.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 9 Sept. 2021,


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

Freezing Corn

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 

Silver Queen Corn

Silver Queen sweet corn used to be the standard for sweet corn and was available everywhere.  Now you don’t see it around as much, so it’s a good time to think about saving what you can’t eat when you have some. 


David Proctor


From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

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

It is all about the soil!



Freezing Silver Queen Corn

by Lorie Calloway

 September 2, 2021

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly

My summer garden produced so well this year. I had lots of tomatoes, squash, eggplant, chard, kale, and onions. However, I do not have the space to grow sweet corn, so I visited the local Farmer’s Market to grab a few ears for dinner.

What I did not expect, was finding a vendor who had Silver Queen corn for sale. Silver Queen corn was the corn of choice when I was young, and even the grocery stores carried it in abundance. I had not seen it offered for sale in many years, so, I bought a dozen and a half ears; some for dinner, the rest to freeze.

Freezing corn allows you to have the taste of fresh corn during the cold, winter months, and is very easy to do. First, shuck the corn, and rinse it, using a soft bristled brush to whisk away the corn silk.


Rinsing Corn


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add the corn. This is a process called blanching, which will slow the development of enzymes which hasten the ripening process of vegetables.  Allow the water to come to a second boil after the corn is added, and boil for four minutes.

Prepare a container of ice water while the corn is in the boiling water.  After four minutes, submerge the corn into the cold water.




Allow the corn to drain. At this point, you can freeze the ears in a freezer bag, or, cut off the kernels. (My preferred method.)

Use a sharp knife to cut the kernels from the cob. There are many ways to do this…I just place the cob, wide end down, on a plate, and use a sharp knife to cut off the kernels.


Cutting Kernels Off Cob


The eighteen ears of corn I bought, yielded twelve cups of kernels.


Corn Is Ready To Freeze


I measured two cups of cut corn for each quart freezer bag. Each bag will provide enough for a meal for four people, or for a corn pudding recipe.


Labeled Freezer Bags


During the cold winter months, you will enjoy this taste of summer!

Check It Out!


Eastern Shore Silver Queen Corn Chowder


  • 8 ears of fresh Silver Queen corn
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 Tbsp.cream
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/4 salt
  • 1/4 black pepper


In soup pot, saute onion in butter. Remove the kernels from corn. Add to onions.
Add milk, bring close to boil. Mix cream with flour and stir into pot. Add cream and bring close to boil. Season with salt and black pepper
Serves 6
Delicious! This recipe was handed down in our family from my great grandmother and we have all made it and loved it!

Servings: 6
Time: 10 Minutes Preparation Time
30 Minutes Cooking Time

By Jackie from Salisbury, Maryland

Quick Tip


  • Use only fresh corn to freeze or process.
  • Blanch corn first for four minutes.
  • Submerge corn into ice water to stop the cooking process after blanching.
  • Squeeze as much air as possible from the freezer bags before sealing and placing in the freezer.



Jackie. “Eastern Shore Silver Queen Corn Chowder.” ThriftyFun,


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

Boost Your Immune System Naturally

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 

Strong Immunity

Our immune system is very important for our health and wellbeing. When our bodies are attacked by bacteria and viruses, our immune system is what fights off infections and diseases.

David Proctor


From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

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

It is all about the soil!




Six Steps to Strong Immunity

by David Proctor

 August 26, 2021

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly

I have heard time and again about so many people getting sick and some of those that have gotten sick, dying from virus infection this year.
I hope that the vaccines are able to give the desired effects that we all hope for.

I hear almost nothing about boosting our immune system naturally.

Boosting our immune system naturally is almost not even a consideration by politicians and scientists.

All I hear is wear a mask, wash your hands, and stay away from everyone. 

I don’t argue against those recommendations as far as trying to hold the spread of disease, but we will all probably be exposed if we haven’t been already.

I would like to point out some things that can help one to survive the times.

One thing is to lower stress.


Lower Stress

Lower Stress


If all you do is watch the news and hear about nothing good but only bad, turn the channel or turn the TV off. 

The TV stations are looking for ratings, and nothing will boost that better than fear

Usually, it’s the weatherman’s job, but now we get it from the everyday reporters.

Second, pay attention to what you eat.





If you are not careful the junk food and processed fast food will have just the same results on your body but will just take longer to run their course.

Now that the TV is off, and no political ads are playing, it’s time to start cooking again, or for some the first time to cook.

Start by using the freshest ingredients you can find.

Look for foods that have dark colors and taste strong, these will have more punch nutritionally.

Try and find nutrient-dense food grown and raised by local farmers/ranchers.

I know we are getting out of the growing season but we can still get good nutrition even though our store shelves may be bare at times.

This is where having a summer garden and canning can really play a big part in your health.

The big takeaway here is to go for naturally grown and raised.

Try to stay away from processed foods and chemically engineered goop that they are trying to pass off as vegetarian fake meat.

Third, work on getting quality sleep.


King Sleeping

King Sleeping


The sleep you get can help your overall mood and health.

Try and get at least six hours if not eight hours, of good sleep.

Fourth, “eat better meat“.  Meat that is raised from birth to death outside and grass-fed.


Grass Fed Beef

Grass-Fed Beef


You will not only get vitamins and nutrients that your body needs, but cannot be found elsewhere, in as nutrient-dense food as meat.

The fifth is to try to work on gut health. Most illnesses start in the gut.


Fermented Foods

Fermented Foods


Antibiotics are terrible for gut health.

Work on your gut health by incorporating probiotics into your diet.

Kombucha and other fermented foods are good sources.

Last but not least, number six, is to move!


Water Aerobics

Water Aerobics


You don’t have to run, you don’t have to lift weights, just don’t sit, but instead, stretch and walk.

Try and work in at least an hour a day.

The bottom line is strengthening your immune system naturally does not require you to follow a strict routine or take strange herbal combinations.

In fact, all it requires is that you get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and eat the right foods.

Healthy eating can actually be fun, once you know which foods to eat.

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, it’s that simple.

Check It Out!


Kombucha Recipe

Kombucha Recipe

Quick Tip


Time To Relax - Go Fishing

Time To Relax – Go Fishing





Posted in Animal Husbandry, Health, Magazine Issues, Recipes Tagged with: ,

Kombucha Probiotic Tea

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 

Kombucha Tea

I first tried home-brewed Kombucha a few years ago when my oldest gave me some she had made. One of the health benefits of Kombucha is the probiotics that can be beneficial to your gut.

David Proctor


From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

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

It is all about the soil!




Brewing Kombucha

by David Proctor

 August 19, 2021

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly

If you have ever tried Kombucha and have grown to like it; as I have, you may have noticed that the price in the store can seem pretty expensive, $3-$4 a bottle.

I would like to help get you started brewing Kombucha at home. 

The process isn’t very hard and you can have all you want and not break the bank.


Kombucha Tea Brewing

Kombucha Tea Brewing


Before you begin you will need to get a few things such as a starter culture or SCOBY, a few ingredients, and some equipment.

You can purchase the SCOBY dehydrated from a starter kit or even use a bottle of Kombucha from the store to form your own SCOBY, or even better, from someone that is currently brewing Kombucha tea.

  1. The equipment you will need is:
  • Quart size jar
  • Plastic or wooden stirring utensil
  • Tight weave cloth or paper coffee filter
  • Something to secure the cover to the jar (rubber band or canning jar rings)
  1. Ingredients:
    • Unfluoridated, Unchlorinated water
    • White Sugar
    • Tea
    • Distilled vinegar
    • Active Kombucha Scoby
  2. Ingredient ratio for one-quart batch:
    • 1 ½ teaspoon loose tea or 2 tea bags
    • ¼ cup of sugar
    • 2-3 cups water
    • ½ cup starter tea or vinegar
  3. Instructions:
  • Combine hot water and sugar in a glass jar, stir till the sugar dissolves.
  • Place loose tea in a metal tea ball or tea bags in the sugar water to steep.
  • Cool to room temperature
  • Remove tea
  • Add starter tea from a previous batch or distilled white vinegar as a substitute
  • Add an active Kombucha SCOBY
  • Cover jar with tight-weave towel or coffee filter
  • Leave undisturbed at a temperature between 68-85 F, out of direct sunlight for 7-30 days or to taste.
  • Pour from top of the jar, keep SCOBY and enough liquid to start another batch


Strawberry Basil Kombucha

Strawberry Basil Kombucha


As you can see, brewing Kombuchas is not really hard, has good health benefits, and can be a very refreshing drink.

Check It Out!

Homemade Kombucha Tea Tutorial Better than Store Bought! 26:17
Katie Cooks and Crafts

Quick Tip


Kombucha can be used for:
1. Dressing and Condiments
2. Meat Marinade
3. Frozen Treats
4. Soaking Grains for making bread, cake, and muffins
5. Acidic Ingredient in Mixed Drinks
6. Hair Care-if too acidic to drink makes a good hair rinse


Christensen, Emma. “How To Make Kombucha Tea at Home.” Kitchn, Apartment Therapy, LLC., 19 August 2021,

“Kombucha.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 19 August 2021,

“HOW-TO VIDEO: How to Make Kombucha Tea.” Cultures for Health, 19 August 2021,

“Cultures For Health.” Cultures for Health, 19 August 2021,


Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Recipes Tagged with:

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