Eden's garden

Grow Healthy, Eat Healthy, Live longer

Activities for seniors

As we grow older our bodies begin to slow down and we become less active.  At this stage in our lives it so important that we not only eat healthily but involve ourselves in activities that will keep our heart rate up contributing to our overall health.

Who says that those golden years should be spent laying on the couch or sitting down day after day watching our favorite television programs, and while there is no harm in doing this, it should be done in moderation because there is a saying that “a body that is in motion stays in motion” and by engaging in physical activities will ensure that we maintain good health.

My mother in law is in her 70’s and she is always in her garden working, water or planting something and she has so much energy. She really enjoys her garden.

Connecting with nature

There is just something about the garden and connecting with nature. What I love about gardening is that we have an awesome part to play by giving nature a helping hand as we watch our gardens transform into a thing of beauty.

And this can be very exciting for seniors as they see the effort they put in each day begin to pay off in big ways. What is also great about garden activities is the mental effect it has on the mind and for seniors, this to can be very rewarding keeping their brains sharp and alert not to mention the many wildlife to watch in their habitat.

Gardening for seniors

Some ideas for garden projects for seniors

1. Flower gardens- Starting a flower garden is great because flower gardens tend to paint such a magical picture with its array of colors in full bloom.

2. Butterfly gardens- Creating a butterfly garden is worth having as you will not only providing a home for wildlife but watch them as they fly so gracefully collecting nectar.

3. Hummingbird gardening- Hummingbirds are really fun to watch as they go from plant to plant collecting nectar. This is a garden that will provide lots of fun and excitement to seniors as they go bird watching.

4. Herb gardens- What better way than to spend the time by creating a herb garden. Herbs can be used to flavor foods which are so great and also as a medicine to bring natural healing.

5. Vegetable gardens- What brings such delight is to be able to eat veggies that you grew your self. This experience is so rewarding as you eat the fruits of your labor.

6. Urban Gardening- What I love about this type of gardening is that it brings the whole community together both the young, middle age and seniors that promotes togetherness and friendship.

7. Raised bed gardening- Raised bed gardening is another twist to gardening that is really cool. Graden project like these can really add flavor and style.

8. Container gardening- Don’t have the space, no problem. Container gardening can ensure that you are still involved in some garden activities while connecting with nature and enjoying these portable gardens.

There are much more garden designs that can be added to this list. Get creative think outside the box, this is good for brain exercise.

Gardening for seniors

Garden safety tips

1. The first rule to remember at all times and that is safety first this is where proper planning comes in no matter how small the job may be.

2. Have a plan on where you are working exp… working on slopes, working near overhead power lines or electrical lines in the ground can be dangerous.

3. Be mindful of waterlines as well as irrigation lines.

4. Watch out for uneven grounds you don’t want to trip and fall.

5. Wait until the grounds are dried from rains or heavy dew. A former co-worker went out on the hotel grounds one morning making his regular checks, slipped on the grass that was wet and broke his leg. Talk about a freak accident. 

6. Wear long clothing to protect from sun or use sunscreen to protect skin.

7. Wear the proper footwear such as Gardening boots.

8. Gardening gloves.

9. Goggles to protect your eyes.

10. Ear muffs or ear plugs when using power tools such as lawnmowers, gas-powered trimmers etc…

11. Safety belt to support your back especially if the project requires some lifting.

12. Carry tools in a wheel burrow for ease and comfort.

13. Get help if the project requires more hands.

14. Keep body hydrated by drinking lots of water.

15. Eat a healthy meal before starting work and wait for 10-15 minutes before working.

16. The best time for seniors to garden outdoors is in the morning when it is cool or late in the evening when the sun is about to set.

17. Wearing a hat can help keep you cool when working in the heat.

18. Have a first aid kit close by.

19. Keep insect spray close by for, exp. wasp. hornets etc…

20. Never leave tools laying on the ground you might trip on them which may cause injury.

21. Paint garden tools with bright colors, this will make it easier for seniors when it comes to looking for the right tools.

22. Use a nice low chair if bending is a challenge.

Final Word

Gardening is a great activity for seniors as it can both contribute to their physical and mental well-being. This is a great way to get outdoors connecting with nature and getting those creative juices flowing.

So let’s help our senior citizens have this kind of experience by engaging in this fun-filled activity that is so rewarding as it brings, peace and relaxation as they reap the rewards of their labor.

One of nature’s wonders

Coco plums are one of nature’s wonders, this plant can be grown and maintained either as a hedge which is formal or informal letting it take off and grow or even as a tree.

The coco plum is a native of Florida, the Caribbean of which I am a part of and also Latin America. Coco plums are very delicious and have a sweet taste that will keep you coming back.

The international airport where I am employed has these plums throughout its landscape which I oversee. When the season comes to harvest many of the airport staff can be seen walking about in the parking lots and garden areas picking and feasting upon these plums.

Coco plums hardiness

What makes this plant so amazing is the many purposes they serve. Beside being growing for its fruits and use as a hedge, coco plums can be found along beaches and coastal areas for its ability to withstand salt sprays and high winds.

Some species of coco plums has red tips on the leaves which can be a show stopper if plants are properly maintained. The fruits of the coco plums are either light yellow-whiteish or dark purple.

Growing coco plums

1. Choose a location that gets 6-8 hours of sunlight.

2. Use organic or good garden soil. A soil ph of 6.6-6.4 is ideal.

3. The planting hole should be large enough so root ball can slide in easily, in other words, the planting hole should be two times the width of the root ball.

4. Though coco plums are considered to be drought tolerant it is good to keep soil somewhat moist not waterlogged or extremely wet.

5. Use of an organic fertilizer can work wonders.

Transplanting coco plum

From my experience of transplanting coco plums these plants in some instants can have a hard time bouncing back once transplanted. Care should be taking during transplanting procedures.

Make sure that most of the roots remain attached to plants, dig hole wide enough so roots sit comfortably and use an organic soil or good garden soil.

Remove about a third of the top growth so the plant can establish faster and keep soil somewhat moist, don’t allow the soil to dry out completely. And in short, your plant will be established.

Coco plums pest

The main pest problem that I have come across is whiteflies that can also cause the onset of sooty mold. Treating with insecticidal soap sprays or and organic insecticide has proven to be beneficial.

Coca plum jelly

Coca plum jelly makes a good treat, here is how it is done. In a medium-size pot add 1 1/2  cup of coco plums, add 1 pound of brown sugar then fill the pot with water till water covers coco plums next turn on the stove.

Bring coco plums to a boil and turn down the heat, after 2 1/2 to 3 hours remove from heat and add some cinnamon. The end result is this mixture should form a light brown jelly.

Enjoy!

Final Word

Coco plums are great to have as apart of your garden feature so install some of these plants and reap the benefits they have to offer as they serve you in so many ways.

Growing and harvesting eggplants

Popular belief has it that eggplants are veggies when in fact it is a botanical fruit that belongs to the nightshade family of plants that includes bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and so on.

Eggplants have been dated back as far as 2000 years ago. That is a lot of years that this fruit has been upon planet earth being used in so many dishes by so many cultures worldwide. Eggplants are loaded with vitamins and have many benefits.

But how is eggplant grown and harvested before it reaches our dinner tables?.

Growing eggplant

Growing eggplant guide

1. Eggplant love warmth so it is good to plant in a sunny location.6 -7 hours of sunlight is good.

2. This fruit loves a well- drain soil so plant in soils that meet plant’s requirements.

3. Eggplants can also be planted in raised beds.

4. Soil Ph should be anywhere from 6.3-6.8

5. Before planting cultivating soil so roots can establish easier.

6. Using a layer of mulch will help to suppress weeds and hold moisture.

7. These plants should be spaced about 23-36 inches apart.

8. Keep soil moist, not waterlogged.

9.  Using an organic fertilizer has proved to give good results.

Pest of eggplant

Pest problems of eggplant include

1. Colorado beetles- lay their eggs on the underside of plant leaves. The eggs are yellow and laid in masses. Hand picking has proven to be effective.

2. Flea beetles- chew holes in leaves can be treated with insecticides such as neem oil, diatomaceous earth and so on or covering with floating row cover.

3. Spider mites though tiny can cause devastation to eggplants with leaves turning yellow and following off. Using an organic insecticide or spraying with water will help.

Insecticidal soaps and botanicals have proven to be effective when treating insects of eggplants

Time to harvest

Eggplants take anywhere from 1oo-14o days before they reach full maturity so this is where you get to reap a harvest of your time and effect that you placed into growing these fruits.

To ensure the time of harvesting is right eggplant should be firm, press with your finger and if a sink or indentation is made you can harvest the fruit. The flesh should also be creamy.

How to store eggplant

Now that you have harvested your eggplants how are you going to store? eggplants can be stored in a cool dry place if you don’t intend to make a feast of them in a day or two, but if the time is extended beyond two days

wrap plants in a paper towel and place in a perforated plastic bag in the fridge crisper section. This will keep your eggplants in good condition for up to a  week.

For longer storage period store in freezer

Final word

There you have it, from the garden to the dinner table you have grown your own home eggplant. Eggplants contain so many vitamins and are so beneficial so give it a try, you will be glad that you did.

From the garden to the kitchen

Growing Cauliflower Plants simple steps

Growing Cauliflowers is not hard at all, all it takes is some know how and you will be on your way to harvesting your very own homegrown cauliflower. Nothing gives the home gardener more delight than to eat those fruits herbs and veggies that they grew themselves.

This was my experience on many occasions as I labored in my garden on a daily basis and watched as those seeds sprouted, grew, produced flowers and gave me a harvest which said to me that the time was well invested as I ate and enjoyed the fruits of my labor.

We will be discussing and looking at steps that are involved in growing cauliflower successfully.

Growing cauliflower plants

1. When planting Cauliflower select an area that gets 6 hours of sunlight. Make sure and use organic-rich soil.

2. Cauliflower is a cold season plant so it is good to plant in winter, early spring or fall.

3. When planting you can also install in raised beds. Each seedling should be spaced about 16-24 inches apart.

4.  The Soil PH of cauliflower should be anywhere from 6.5-6.8 for healthy growth.

5. Cover the soil with mulch and keep moist at all times.

6. Adding an organic fertilizer is a must to help in yielding a good crop.

7. Many varieties of cauliflower take at least from 74-86 days before harvesting.

8. When the head or the white part of the cauliflower becomes 2-3 inches in size with rubber bands tie the outer leaves over the head of the plant to protect from sun scorching.

9. Cauliflower will be ready to harvest in a week or two after the blanching process. Harvest cauliflower with the head is full, don’t leave off harvesting until the head splits.

How to harvest cauliflowers

Harvest cauliflower when the head is white and firm, Cut the cauliflower head from the main stem. Some outer leaves should be left to provide protection for the head.

Cauliflower Pest

The main pest problem of cauliflower is cabbage worms that hide inside of the cauliflowers head. To control these worms it is best to use an organic insect control spray such as Neem oil or Bacillus thuringiensis (BT).

The moth that is a white butterfly lays its eggs on the underside of the leaves, they may lay as much as 200 tiny yellow eggs. These eggs hatch in about 7 days.

The larva feeds heavily for about 2 weeks then pupates introducing a new generation.

Remember before using chemicals read the label and follow as directed because the label is law.

Final word

Growing cauliflower is so amazing and simple and the good part is as a home gardener you will be giving nature a helping hand as you watch your cauliflower mature and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Simple steps to growing sugar cane

Sugar cane is best grown in tropical and subtropical climates. Here where I live in the Bahamas sugar cane is grown on a wide scale by the Islanders and sold locally by the natives.

The best time to plant sugar cane is during the summer months since it is a warm season plant. Sugar can resemble the bamboo palm, but this plant actually belongs to the grass family.

What I find so amazing about the sugar cane plant is the natural sweetness that can really excite your taste buds. The sugar is extracted and can be used to sweeten many mouth-watering recipes. In this article, however, we will be looking at how to grow and care for sugar cane.

Growing sugar cane

1. When planting sugar cane gave plenty of room for this plant to grow. Sugar can loves organic-rich soil so make sure and accommodate your sugar cane with this type soil.

2. Dig a trench or furrow that is about 6-8 inches deep and a few inches longer than the cane that is to be installed. Plant cane in rows 6-8 feet apart.

3. Place sugar cane horizontally in the furrow and cover with soil.

4. Sugar canes should be well watered at all times to ensure the overall health of the plant.

5. Sugar cane should sprout in about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks.

6. Continue to keep the soil moist.

7. After sugar cane is established begin to fertilize with a complete fertilizer.

8. Apply another application in the late fall and spring.

10. Sugar cane should be ready to harvest in about 11-18 months. Sugar canes can reach a height anywhere from 10-12 feet.

Final word

Planting sugar cane is so simple, just follow these steps and you will be on your way to sugar cane success.