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OSHA cites Impact Plastics for 24 violations

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PUTNAM —Impact Plastics, a long-time business in Putnam, has received 24 citations from OSHA.Twenty-two of the citations are considered serious, which the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said means “there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.” Impact Plastics, the business name of […]

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Gardening With Your Kids

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Photo by: http://life.wilko.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/stock-kids-garden.jpg

For children, gardens are enchanting and filled with so many wonders. Most of all it is fun. Kids love to play, especially in the dirt and that is why getting their interest in gardening can be very easy.
But gardening is not just all fun and games. Your kids can learn a lot from gardening. Garden is where you and your child can explore together and discover its invaluable gift… like finding a treasure chest.
You can nurture their appreciation for growing and handpicking fresh vegetables. Teach them the growth process of plants by planting seeds and watching them grow. Give them an idea about nature, recycling, nutrition and why organic gardening is the best way to grow food.
Show them the value of growing their own food and how they can be self-reliant. Caring for the plants will teach them responsibility and encourages physical activities as it involves watering and weeding. Both you and your kids can even learn patience in the garden.
It is worth noting some important ends about gardening and your kids. Start small and remember that kids has a very short span of attention. To sustain their interest, you have to combine gardening and play to keep them from getting bored.
Here’s how to make your gardening fun. A good 5 x 10 feet outdoor space can be a good start. Even a simple container gardening can be fun, but I’m sure that they would rather get down and dirty. Keep the kids’ garden simple and manageable for them. Better yet, work together with their ideas of how they want their garden to look like. Help them with the construction and show them how it is done, but do not do all the work by yourself. Involve the kids in the process and let them take ownership of the project.
Together, choose the appropriate gardening tools to use, not the toy tools. Show them how each tool are used and how to properly care for them. Select a few varieties of seeds or plants that easily grow. It is much better to start on a small plot and gradually increase it when your kid gardener can do it on their own. Explain to them the importance of sunlight, good soil, and a good drainage to have a productive garden. If you need to, use only organic materials. Do not use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides to treat the soil and the plant. Do not expose your kids to chemicals, but instead tell them the danger and the health risk it entails.
When it’s time, harvest with your kids the bounty of their garden and let them share with neighbors and friends.
So, why not make simple digging, planting and picking a lifetime of love and fond memories. Go out and spend quality time with your kids in the garden!… Have fun.

“From Two Sticks” To A Million Trees – Fighting Malnutrition Organically!

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“From Two Sticks” is a concept of one community development worker and organic farmer to fight malnutrition in Indonesia. His mission… spread the Chaya plant in all of Indonesia and eventually to other third world countries.
Indonesia, the 4th largest country in the world. With a population of over 240 million, around 32 percent are under 18 years of age.  Child malnutrition affects around 36 percent of  children under the age of 5 in Indonesia and because of the lack of necessary micronutrients that they need in their diet, these children suffers one of the many consequences of malnutrition – Stunting.
Child stunting… is a reduced growth rate in child’s development caused by malnutrition in their early childhood and even during their fetal development brought on by their malnourish mother. Children affected by stunting will never be able to regain their lost height and corresponding body weight. This may also lead to their premature death later in life due to undeveloped vital organs. Stunting and its effect cannot be reversed.
One solution that will provide pregnant mothers and children the nourishment they need at no cost at all is to plant CHAYA around their houses.
What is Chaya?  It is a bush that produces leafy vegetable similar to spinach, but the nutrients it contains is three times than other green vegetables.  It is packed with iron, calcium and potassium.  Chaya leaf is also high in protein and crude fiber, including a good amount of other essential minerals needed by the body.
This super leaf has a lot of health benefits to offer.  It can enhance calcium in the bones, improves blood circulation and lower the bad cholesterol.  Because of its very high vitamin C content, it can boost the immune system, prevent common cold, treats scurvy, infections, and kidney disorders.  Chaya can also maintain glucose metabolism to prevent diabetes and improves brain function.
It is important to note that raw Chaya leaves contain hydrogen cyanide, a very toxic chemical. Therefore, it needs to be cooked for at least 20 minutes to get rid of them. Another way is to dry the leaves.
When cooking Chaya, never use aluminum cookware as it causes toxic reaction, avoid smelling the steam too.
Chaya leaves and shoots are available year round, making it ideal to include in the daily diet. It is very easy to plant and can thrive on a varied range of environment. It’s almost maintenance free.
Indeed, Chaya is a practical solution in the fight against malnutrition,… organically and economically!
Andy Bell, the man behind the initial spreading of chaya and Jon Iannacone, Director of the new documentary film “From Two Sticks” have joined forces for this noble cause. A very daunting task, but nevertheless achievable.
To tell their story to the world, they need funding support to complete the film.
Know more by visiting:  http://tinyurl.com/from2sticks; www.fromtwosticks.com

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Picture courtesy of: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-housing-project-lot-turned-farm-article-1.1376459

Having a connection with the plant is important and people find a lot of reasons why.  Certainly, there are those who will do gardening for health reasons or just for the fun of it. Others simply want to grow their own food because they want them fresh and safe.

Urban gardening or farming has been around for some time now.  The “Hanging Garden” in the ancient city of Babylon is one fine example. People In the medieval time would create their plots around the edges of their town which many think is where “allotment gardening” has evolved. During World War II, fresh fruits and vegetables in this country were produced in the Victory Gardens.

Urban farming is an offshoot of organic farming which helped city dwellers and consumers with foods that are grown locally.  It improves the health by lessening the risk of obesity and heart disease of residents and at the same time keeping them safe.

With urban farming people (especially the children) get to appreciate how our foods are grown and where they come from. Just imagine having your own vegetable patch in your backyard and grown organically.  There’s nothing better than freshly picked veggies straight to your kitchen. If everyone has an access to food with good quality, nutritious and affordable, the problem of hunger and obesity in most of our states would be reduced or perhaps eliminated.

With the increasing demand for organic foods by local grocery stores and restaurants, urban farming is definitely the way to go. Do you know that farm produce is laden with chemical preservatives when transported over long distance?  Their nutritional value is lost so you really don’t get them fresh anymore. What is good about having locally grown food is how the local economy is stimulated.  Energy usage is reduced together with the cost associated with the packaging, storage and in transporting the goods. More significantly, the money spent on local farming stays only within the local economy.

Urban farming also provides a sense of community and pride to local residents. It adds greenery to cities attracting tourists and bring jobs to the underserved areas. Urban farming also helps reduce stress on the sewer system usually caused by storm water runoff. It is an ecological program that is giving rooftops and unused space a new purpose and meaning. Some city planners and architects are now incorporating urban farming in their designs like vertical farms and rooftop gardens. Soon, city dwellers will be seeing more birds, butterflies, bees and other insects again.

Try growing organic tomatoes in containers today! You’ll be surprised how easy it is! Enjoy!

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Chemical Or Organic Pest Control – Your Life Your Choice

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Photo courtesy of http://www.sadakafirm.com/pesticides-in-foods/

It is sad that the connection between chemical pesticides and some serious illnesses is an issue mostly ignored. A lot of research has been done to cure diseases and we have been successful on some but the funny thing about this is that only a handful of us stop to ask what is really causing these illnesses in the first place. There has been mounting evidences telling us the truth and it is just a matter of accepting the fact about its potentially harmful effects on our health, our home and the environment.
If you are not convinced, let me tell you some of the reasons why you should avoid using chemical pesticides.

Chemical pesticides as based on previous studies, linger in the atmosphere, in our waterways and the ground even long after we have stopped using them.  Just imagine the lingering pollution on the world’s field that has accumulated for almost a hundred years of using chemical pesticides!

We have precariously disturbed the balance of nature as a good number of necessary bugs have been reduced as pesticides are not discriminatory. Thus, even   beneficial insects which are crucial to the eco-system are also eliminated in the process.

And here’s one more… Chemical pesticides have caused a myriad of diseases and serious illnesses like some types of cancer. They have been liked to hormone imbalance, brain damage, infertility, birth defects and miscarriage.

That’s just for starters, the list goes on.
How about controlling pests the organic way?  It is just as effective but far safer and less expensive. By going organic, it allows us to start from scratch on the proper care for the soil. You will reduce soil chemical contamination which will bring back nutrients and useful organisms.  How do you like harvesting clean, chemical free and unaltered produce in your organic garden? It may seem overwhelming but it’s really not that difficult.
Here are some very effective organic pesticides available around:

Garlic Oil – sprayed in and around your home and can repel most insects.
Neem Oil – an effective insect repellant used in organic farming for centuries now. It can also disrupt insects’ ability to breed and grow.
Lime Sulfur – used by both non-organic and organic gardeners which eliminates most species of mites & other insects. Its fungicidal property is ideal for ornamental plants and fruit bearing trees.
Tobacco Water – This solution of tobacco and water is deadly to worms found in soil including symphylids, fungus gnats, and some underground pests.  It resembles like tea after mixing, so be careful with it.

You can make your own concoction using ingredients found in your kitchen. But always take caution, not just because it’s organic, it means it is always safe. Keep them away at all times from your kids and pets.
Now, don’t you think it’s about time shifting to organic pesticides?

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Farm Fresh Wheatgrass

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There are distinguished medical specialists who reported hundred of cases in which the chlorophyll found in wheatgrass has cured deep infections, stimulates healing process, removed necrotic debris from an open wound and even accelerated connective tissue formation and epidermal proliferation. The chlorophyll discovered to aid in the purification of blood, prevents tooth decay, aids in the proper digestion of the body, helps liver detoxification, keeps the thyroid gland in its balance, cleanses the internal organs in the system, enhances capillary function, supports sex hormones and even builds up the white blood cell counts that fights infection. Furthermore, the green juices produced by the wheatgrass powder provide easy assimilation of nutrients, especially in cases of immune-suppression and poor digestion.
There are farms around the world that do their best to provide us farm fresh wheatgrass powder. Get the most potent nutrient from an organic fresh certified wheatgrass powder shipped in your local markets. The wheatgrass produced are packed directly ordered from fresh farm for the ultimate nutritional experience. Get your health to the next level with exclusive wheatgrass powder, freshly harvested, packed and delivered right to you.
Wheatgrass is grown by soaking seeds in a clean water until they sprout and grow shoots at approximately 2 inches or 5 cm long. Compared to barley grass that only provides a broader range of nutrients, wheatgrass has a superior content of antioxidants and organic phosphates that aids in proper body function.
Wheatgrass juice is high in iron, oxygen, and enzymes and is one of the commonly known, richest sources of vitamins such as A, B and C. A mix of 1 to 2 tsp of wheatgrass powder into juice, salad dressing even in smoothies or other food. Build up to twice daily over the first month of usage. It is best taken on an empty stomach to achieve its full benefits and ensure consuming six glasses of water daily for better result.
Organic grown wheatgrass is analyzed for quality, safety and even its true botanical identity by the best in quality control. With quality control, organic farms make sure that they are free from irradiation and ozone treatment, sulfur, gasses and other sanitary chemicals. It is also checked for its natural color, depth, taste and even the aroma of the grasses being packed and distributed in the organic sections of supermarkets and convenient stores. Organic certified farms ensure the public with their best quality products.

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Why Organic Farming Offers The Best?

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Organic food is the one setting up the standard for quality including freshness, flavor, texture and its variety. These foods are being produced without the involvement of using modern toxic standards and persistent chemicals which are commonly done on conventional food products.
Conventional type of farming practices use synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, organisms that are genetically engineered and enhancers to promote growth on soil and crops. The main focus on conventional farming is the short-term goal of producing crops rather than selecting a long term which helps the health of soil. Synthetic fertilizers affect the health situation of soil found to be lacking in various nutrients. Utilization of pesticides and fungicides are being managed to control harmful insects in storage of crops as well as to its transportation procedure. On the other hand, the promotion of organic farming uses an alternative to the use of synthetic fertilizers. Farmers take the holistic, safe, principled approach that harness and respect the power of the natural procedures to build a positive process across the whole ecosystem.
Organic farming methods offer the best compared to the conventional one because it is available and considered to be a practical model in the solution of an economically friendly food production around the world nowadays. The reason behind such is being less dependent to an oil-based type of fertilizers which can mainly harm the ecology of the farm as well as confers to the extreme climatic change.
Organic farmers manage crops by preventing problems that may occur in using proactive practices. It offers the best solution in maintaining and replenishing soil fertility without damaging the normal process. In addition, it also eliminates the usage of fertilizers and pesticides that could damage the soil fertility in the long run. It restores, maintain and enhances the equilibrium of the ecosystem. Thus, supporting and building biologically diverse type of agriculture. Farmers picked the most environmentally friendly methods that address the problems with pests and diseases that could harm and affect their crops.
Organic farming uses strategies to be considered as the best through the maximization of crop rotation which means the alternation of crops that are growing in each field. The procedure of covering crops can help in protecting the soil, adding nutrients and preventing the growth of weeds. Studying the methods on how to release beneficial insects and how they could add compost and plant wastes through their crops were basically could help the crops to be healthy.

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Wise Gardening Tips to Follow Like a Pro

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Being a professional is not a requirement when setting up an organic garden. Anyone can grow their own garden for as long as it practices the basics of organic gardening in order to help plants grow bountifully. Listed below are some of the effective tips on building an organic garden:

Always have the handy tools. Having the tools around you can make your work efficient in the garden. You can keep the tools in a large bucket or in ragged pants with several pockets.
Add earthworms in the garden. These tiny creatures are considered the gardener’s best friend. Earthworms can help aerate the soil through the tunneling and nitrogen-rich castings, thereby improving the amount of oxygen absorbed in the roots of the plants, as well as enhancing water retention capacity and keeping the soil workable and loose. Also, they can increase mineral production from the soil, where plants can obtain the outstanding benefit. Lastly, these creatures can break up hard pan soil that may hamper the growth of the roots.
Know the amount of water that the plants need. Basically, plants really need water. Thinner plants require more water because they feature a larger surface area with less capacity in storing water. On the other hand, plants that have large and thick leaves are more suited for water-deprived environment. Unfortunately, overwatering may hamper plant growth because of microbial growth on their roots.
Sprinkling milled sphagnum moss on the seeds can prevent them from damping-off when growing it. Damping-off is a fungal disorder that may cause the seedlings to rot. When the seeds need light, sprinkle the moss with water first before dropping the seeds into it.
Use marigolds in removing nematodes in the soil. Nematodes are soil-dwelling pests that damage food crops like potatoes and tomatoes. The chemicals produced by the roots and decaying leaves of marigolds are toxic to nematodes.
Avoid stacking up of garden chores. For those who have hectic schedules, performing small tasks is essential in order to prevent piling extra work when they have time. For instance, take time to pull some weeds while taking your pet out for a walk.

To sum it all, organic gardening is a work of both new and pro. Gardening can be a relaxing leisure and hobby at the same time for those who want it to be like it. Following these tips and cautions can help you start a better and cultivating organic garden.

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The Beginner’s Guide on Raising an Organic Garden

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Organic gardening is a method of cultivating plants that don’t make use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Instead, implementing the natural methods and application of hard work will certainly help grow and propagate plants in the garden.

The benefits of organic gardening

Offers better nutrition. According to a certain study published in the Journal of Complimentary Medicine, it has been revealed that organic food crops contain significant amounts of essential nutrients that the body needs in order to stay fit and healthy. These food crops are free from harmful chemicals that come from synthetic chemicals that can cause different illnesses and diseases.
Lessens household expenses. Since the garden provides a steady supply of food crops, homeowners will no longer purchase from local stores, thus facilitating cutting back on the grocery bills.
Helps improve the environment. Instead of throwing grass clippings, fallen dried leaves or food scraps, these things can be utilized in making compost. Compost serves as an organic fertilizer in growing fruits and vegetables in the garden.

Easy Tips on Starting an Organic Garden
Although there are plenty of benefits when raising an organic garden, a lot of people tend to be intimidated by the fact that it involves a lot of work compared to conventional farming. Listed below are some of the simple tips that can be used in starting an organic garden:

Know the land area to use. Survey the backyard and see the available space in the organic garden. The area must be sufficient enough to have at least six hours of sun exposure every day. The area should have a proper drainage as well.
Prepare the soil. After selecting an area to use, clear the area of grass and weeds, loosen up the soil and add a great amount of compost in it.
Select the right seedlings to plant on the land. For those who are new in propagating organic garden, it is best to make use of seedlings than growing seeds. Seedlings contain well-developed roots and are already capable of surviving in the land. Also, the waiting time becomes shorter when using seedlings.
Begin in small scale. Even if the space in our backyard is big enough to have an organic garden, it is best to start in small scale. Organic gardening requires a lot of hard work. Thus, starting with a small piece of land with a couple of crops allow users to maintain their garden without becoming too overwhelmed. Then, homeowners can expand their garden and add more crops in the long run.
Label crops. Every crop entails own specific requirements. Thus, adding a label to the crops will ensure homeowners that they will give the right amount of attention and care in order for the crops to grow properly.