My Cucumber plants have barely been in my gardens for 10 days and I already spotted the dreaded Cucumber Beetle.


A couple of the leaves had holes in them and I saw rust colored spots on the leaves. Sure signs of the dreaded Cucumber Beetle. I smushed several of them and several more flew away. I decided to try a different technique. I will take an empty sour cream container and add an inch or so of water and a squirt of dish soap. Hold the container under the leaf & tap the leaf. Hopefully the cucumber beetle will fall in and won’t be able to get out. I use this technique on the Japanese Beetles and it works great. Just time consuming. I DO NOT WANT TO USE CHEMICALS.

I think the mornings would be good for hunting the Cucumber Beetle because they should be quite sluggish and won’t fly off so easily. Except for one thing. My Mom always told me not to touch the plants when they are moist with dew or rain. It causes fungal diseases. Have any of you heard this? I better play it safe and do the BEETLE PATROL when the leaves are dry.

I already started some new cucumber seeds, just in case these plants start going downhill fast. There are a couple of cucumbers forming on the vine. Maybe in a couple of weeks I will be eating my organic cucumbers. Wish me luck.

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I started growing Holy Basil ‘Tulsi’ several years ago when I felt stressful. Little did I know there are many health benefits of consuming Holy Basil ‘Tulsi’. I did some searching for herbal remedies and Holy Basil ‘Tulsi’ was mentioned. This was the start of my passion for herbal teas. I take no medications so inter actions are not a problem for me. Be careful if you are taking medications.

I use it fresh during gardening season. I dry a lot of it for using during the winter. This year I am growing 12 plants. They are growing in my south windows right now and will be transplanted into my gardens the first week in June. Here in Wisconsin, zone 5, Holy Basil is an annual. It is very easy to collect seed and plant from year to year. Let me know it you are considering growing this special herb and how you like it.

Health Benefits of Tulsi as an Aromatic Digestive
Like our common culinary basil, holy basil has many positive effects on the digestive system. As a slightly warming and aromatic herb it is used to promote stagnant digestion and it is often paired with dried ginger for this purpose. Stagnant digestion is when you eat a meal and feel like it is stuck. One might also experience bloating, gas, decreased appetite and nausea. Tulsi is also helpful for heartburn and can help to heal ulcers.
The fresh juice sweetened with honey is used for intestinal parasites. And it is considered to be an hepatoprotective herb, or an herb that protects the liver from harm.

Health Benefits of Tulsi as a Blood Glucose Regulator
Holy basil has been shown to help regulate blood sugar in diabetics and specifically can lower fasting blood glucose significantly. One reasoning for this ability may be its high antioxidant levels. Someone who is taking insulin to control their diabetes might need to approach this herb with caution and adjust their insulin levels accordingly.

Health Benefits of Tulsi as a Cardiovascular Tonic

Tulsi has many beneficial actions on the heart. It is slightly blood thinning and promotes good circulation. It can lower stress-related high blood pressure and taken daily it can help optimize cholesterol levels. Stress can play an ugly role in overall cardiovascular health and the adaptogenic properties of tulsi can help mediate stress-related damage.
In Ayurveda, a formula that is balancing to all who take it (tridoshic) is made up of tulsi, arjuna and hawthorne.
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November 2013 I had a throbbing sinus headache for 10 days. I knew if I went to the doctor he would put me on antibiotics. I decided to not go the antibiotic root this time. I wanted to try getting rid of this sinus infection a natural way. Plus, I wanted to try to keep this condition from returning. PREVENTATIVE medicine. Something my doctor never mentions. I decided to do something that makes all doctors cringe, SEARCH THE INTERNET. Several times while reading articles, OIL PULLING was mentioned. I had no clue what they were talking about. What the heck is OIL PULLING? The more I read the more interesting it became. I decided to give it a try. Not only did it say OIL PULLING would get rid of my sinus headache, it would also keep it away for good. The articles had a list of all the great health benefits topically and internally. To mention a few benefits: teeth whitening, gum disease, superb oral hygiene, arthritis inflamation, weight loss, boosting your immune system, pulling out toxins from all over your body. I tried to keep an open mind and be positive BUT it did seem too good to be true. What the heck, I decided to give it a try.

At first it really turned my stomach to think of putting this substance, that looks like lard, into my mouth. I tried to think positive and picture me getting rid of sinus congestion once and for all. The texture gagged me at first. I couldn’t get LARD out of my mind. I said to myself, “Lark, don’t be so ridiculous. Just do it.” So I did it. My sinus headache was better within 2 hours and gone by the next day. Within a week my ears were unplugged and my sinuses were draining. I haven’t had a sinus headache since November 2013.

I start each morning OIL PULLING. You need to do this on an empty stomach, before eating or drinking anything. I take ONE TABLESPOON of organic, raw, extra virgin coconut oil into my mouth and swish. You keep swishing it around your mouth for 20 minutes. DO NOT SWALLOW ANY OF THIS LIQUID. YES, I said 20 minutes. I know that seems like a long time, I thought so to at first. BUT find something to do. Make your bed, take a shower, get your coffee or tea made, clean up the kitchen, pick out what you are wearing today, check your emails. Come on now, you can find something to do for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes SPIT INTO THE GARBAGE and DO NOT SWALLOW any of this liquid. Do not spit into any drains. It will harden and clog drains. Now rinse your mouth with warm water. Brush your teeth if you like, I brush mine after breakfast. Now carry on with your day.

I hope I got you to thinking about internet searching ‘THE BENEFITS OF OIL PULLING’. There are many and I am a healthier lady since making OIL PULLING part of my daily routine. By the way my husband is also OIL PULLING and that is an event in itself. :0)

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Another part of my daily routine is drinking organic fresh ginger root tea. It is one more step I am taking to help build a healthy immune system. There are many herbs to pick from for your immune system but ginger root seems to give me the ‘biggest bang for my buck’, helping with many health issues. I make two cups of tea every morning, letting it steep for at least a half hour (covered). Steeping tea COVERED allows all the volatile oils to stay in your tea and not evaporate. After I strain my tea, I eat a few of the slices of the fresh ginger root. Yes, it is spicy but you build up a tolerance for spicy the more you eat it. I have mentioned this before but I will say it again, I am working on building a healthy ‘gut flora’ and this is part of my routine. You might say that fresh ORGANIC ginger root is so expensive ( I buy mine for $5.98 a pound) BUT if you buy a box of organic ginger tea bags that is also expensive and you don’t get as good of health benefits from the dried. Here in Wisconsin I cannot grow enough to cover my use. Read more »

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10 Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water


About 8 months ago I started to drink lemon water first thing in the morning. Before I eat or drink anything. I am trying to balance my ‘gut flora’. Here are 10 reasons to start your day with a ½ of an organic squeezed lemon into a glass of warm (not hot) water. Before I slice my lemon in half, I peel it with a vegetable peeler. I freeze the peelings for later use or add them to my morning ginger lemon tea.

1) Aids Digestion. Lemon juice flushes out unwanted materials and toxins from the body. It’s atomic composition is similar to saliva and the hydrochloric acid of digestive juices. It encourages the liver to produce bile which is an acid that is required for digestion. Lemons are also high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract. The digestive qualities of lemon juice help to relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as heartburn, belching and bloating. The American Cancer Society actually recommends offering warm lemon water to cancer sufferers to help stimulate bowel movements.
2) Cleanses Your System / is a Diuretic. Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials in part because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Therefore toxins are released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy. The citric acid in lemons helps maximize enzyme function, which stimulates the liver and aids in detoxification.
3) Boosts Your Immune System. Lemons are high in vitamin C, which is great for fighting colds. They’re high in potassium, which stimulates brain and nerve function. Potassium also helps control blood pressure. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) found in lemons demonstrates anti-inflammatory effects, and is used as complementary support for asthma and other respiratory symptoms plus it enhances iron absorption in the body; iron plays an important role in immune function. Lemons also contain saponins, which show antimicrobial properties that may help keep cold and flu at bay. Lemons also reduce the amount of phlegm produced by the body. Read more »

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