Nature's Nurses

Eco Consultancy & Contracting ~ Greening Your Space, Inside & Out!


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small people

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too, can become great”

~Mark Twain

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Night time….

time to get back to your self

daily tasks put away

the mind runs on auto, silently buzzing without contact

joins back with the heart and soul.

 

Nature’s Gifts; There not just a pretty plant!

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Nature has provided us with some amazing things, plants being one. Many of these mini blessings can be found on roadsides, fields and  Check out these wonderful aromatherapy herbs which can be taken in many forms to alleviate almost every aliment.

Find more information here.

aromatherapy herbs


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FREE 5 Garden Tour in East New York on Sat., June 28, 2014!

Love Morgan Powell walking tours! Add to calendar!

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Event: You are invited to a FREE public tour of 5 diverse community gardens.  Each one is thriving with activity and showcases traditional and non-traditional techniques and plants!
Date/Time: Saturday, June 28, 2014 from 10 a.m. – Noon. (Rain or shine).
Location: Tour will assemble inside UCC Youth Farm (600 Schenck Avenue, 11207) between Livonia and New Lots Avenues.
Tour leader: Morgan Powell – aabgamp@hotmail.com

Note: The actual tour will focus primarily on current conditions however the narrative below is an alternative way to imagine the richness of the route.

Visitors congregate within UCC Youth Farm (established in 1998) located at Schenck Avenue between Livonia & New Lots avenues by the tracks of the no.3 train line.

Hello Neighbors and Friends:

My name is Morgan Powell.  Local gardeners and I will be your host for the next two magical hours as we survey five community gardens here in East New…

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The 5 Healthiest Backyard Weeds

 

Great article borrowed from Sarah Outlaw from Real Food Outlaws Blog

“A major part of achieving optimal health is living in partnership with nature. Growing your own food is a great way to rekindle this connection with nature. But have you thought about eating plants that grow wild—perhaps in your own backyard?

Some “weeds” can be delicious if prepared properly, and they are absolutely free.

In a recently published article, Live Science collected some easy-to-identify healthful weeds. Here are the 5 healthiest backyard weeds:

  • DandelionThe entire plant is edible, and the leaves contain vitamins A, C and K, along with calcium, iron, manganese, and potassium.
  • PurslanePurslane tops the list of plants with omega-3 fats.
  • Lamb’s-quartersLamb’s-quarters are like spinach, except healthier, tastier and easier to grow.
  • PlantainNot the better-known banana-like plant with the same name. It has a nutritional profile similar to dandelion.
  • Stinging NettlesIf you handle them so that you don’t get a painful rash from the tiny, acid-filled needles, these are delicious and nutritious cooked or prepared as a tea.

This is of course how our ancestors ate. They hunted and gathered, and ALL of it was wild. And by all accounts, they were far healthier than we are.”

 Read more here:  The 5 Healthiest Backyard Weeds 


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January 2014 Bronx Green-Up and Compost Project E-News

BRONX GREEN-UP

Pre-registration recommended. To reserve your place or for more information, please contact Bronx Green-Up at 718.817.8026 or bronxgreenup@nybg.org. Be aware that space is limited for some events; priority will be given to members of Bronx Green-Up gardens and NYC Compost Project sites in the Bronx.

GreenThumb/NYC Parks Membership Update
Join Bronx Green-Up as we host GreenThumb’s Membership Update for GreenThumb gardeners. It’s that time of year when gardeners need to update their community garden membership lists. GreenThumb is introducing its new Membership Agreement Form, available in four languages, which can also be accessed online. Gardeners must ensure their garden records are kept up-to-date with garden registrations and current license agreements, and have no outstanding violations in order to be eligible to receive supplies, technical assistance, and services throughout the year. For more information, call GreenThumb at 212.788.8070.
Saturday, February 8 • 10 a.m.–2 p.m. • The New York Botanical Garden • Watson Education Building, Room 302

Bronx Green-Up Info Table: Bronx Parks Speak Up—Bronx Parks: A 20/20 Vision
Visit our table for free tip sheets, pamphlets, and workshop schedules designed to help gardeners increase their horticultural expertise. Event registration required. For more information, visit bronxspeakup.org.
Saturday, February 22 • 11 a.m.–5 p.m. • Lehman College • 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West • Faculty Dining Room of the Music Building

Grow More Vegetables Certificate Series 2014
The Grow More Vegetables Certificate Series is an edible gardening course designed to equip community gardeners, teachers, and city residents with organic techniques for growing vegetables safely and effectively, particularly in an urban setting. The program consists of six classroom sessions and additional hands-on gardening instruction in the field. Each student will have the opportunity to design his or her own urban vegetable gardening project as a final component of the course. The projects are open-ended with two main goals: to grow more food and to pass on what will have been learned to an identified group in your community. To request an application, please e-mail bronxgreenup@nybg.org or call 718.817.8026.
Six Wednesdays, March 5–April 9 • 6–8 p.m. • The New York Botanical Garden • Watson Education Building

Workshop and Information Table: GreenThumb GrowTogether Conference
Join Bronx Green-Up for a gardening workshop and then visit our table for free tip sheets, pamphlets, and workshop schedules designed to help gardeners increase their horticultural expertise. For more information, visit greenthumbnyc.org.
Saturday, March 29 • 9 a.m.–4 p.m.; specific workshop time to be determined • Hostos Community College • East 149th Street and Grand Concourse

NYC COMPOST PROJECT
Pre-registration recommended. To reserve your place or for more information, please contact the NYC Compost Project in the Bronx at 718.817.8543 or compost@nybg.org. Be aware that space is limited for some events; priority will be given to members of Bronx Green-Up gardens and NYC Compost Project sites in the Bronx.

MulchFest: Chip In! Mulch Your Tree! Help NYC Grow!
Bring your holiday tree to a designated park to be recycled into mulch that will nourish plantings across the city. Remove all lights and ornaments before bringing the tree to a MulchFest site. You are encouraged to bring sturdy bags to carry home free mulch provided at specific sites across the five boroughs. For more information, visit NYC’s 2014 Christmas Tree Recycling Web site.
Saturday and Sunday, January 11 and 12 • 10 a.m.–2 p.m. • Locations throughout New York City

Crazy for Composting
Are you passionate about composting but want more from your bin? This Q&A session provides the practical tips, advice, and encouragement you need to take composting to the next level, whether you are just starting out or have been digging in for years. Registered GreenThumb community gardens will be able to request an order of compost, soil, or clean fill for early spring delivery. Registration required; e-mail compost@nybg.org or call 718.817.8543 to register for one or both sessions.
Saturday, February 15 • 10 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–3 p.m. • The New York Botanical Garden • Watson Education Building

Bronx Master Composter Certificate Programapplications due February 20
This comprehensive train-the-trainer course is designed to promote the practice of composting in homes, schools, and community gardens in the Bronx. The program is held at The New York Botanical Garden in the spring and consists of seven Tuesday evening classes, two Saturday field trips, and 30 hours of Bronx-based volunteer outreach service in compost education and promotion. Course material fee is $40; limited scholarships are available. For an application and course details, visit the NYC Master Composter Certificate Course Web page, e-mail compost@nybg.org, or call 718.817.8543.

NYC Compost Project Information Tables
Stop by for free tip sheets, pamphlets, and workshop schedules designed to help gardeners increase their composting expertise. Experts will be on hand to answer composting questions.

  • Bronx Parks Speak Up
    Event registration required; for more information and to register, visit bronxspeakup.org.
    Saturday, February 22 • 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Information Table, 11 a.m.–1 p.m. • Lehman Community College • 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West • Faculty Dining Room of the Music Building 
  • GreenThumb GrowTogether
    Event registration required; for more information and to register, visit bronxspeakup.org.
    Saturday, March 29 • 9 a.m.–4 p.m.; specific workshop time to be determined • Hostos Community College • East 149th Street and Grand Concourse


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Crossword Puzzle

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HAVE FUN!

 

©// PuzzlExperts.com. Play word search online at YouPlay.com – the best puzzles online


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DIY Greenhouse – Geodesic dome

I love the idea of this project by , through the Instructables website;

Would love if someone tried it and sent me their finished greenhouse pictures!

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You would need:

Wooden laths (cheapest kind) – amount depending on how big you want the dome
Drill
Some-kind of pincers
Fence wire (soft)
Small clip/nail/clamp gun
Saw
Plastic film roll – about 8m x 2.5m
Some thread and anchors (bricks) for stabilization
Wide transparent tape
1-2liter Varnish & brush
Color sticky markers (for ease of construction)
Scissors / Cutting knife 

For window (x times how many you want):
Thread,
Small Hinges x2
Wider wooden laths for covering gaps around border

For doors:
Small Hinges x 2 
Furniture magnets 1-3
Furniture metal corners x 8 (4 for doors, 4 for frame) 
Wider wooden laths for covering gaps around border
Some handle

Soil & seeds or plants

Total costs for me were about: 80 EUR = ~ 105 USD

Greenhouse has been standing well since beginning of the summer

Step 1: Cutting wooden laths

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You would need to cut 3 types of wooden laths

For calculations I recommend to use this site (I built 5/8 size):

http://www.desertdomes.com/dome3calc.html

High precision is not necessary (+/- 5mm)

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For example for 1.5m radius (that I had) you would need

A elements 0.522m x 30
B elements 0.605m x 90
C elements 0.618m x 120

You can tweak these numbers in order to get the most out of wooden laths that in my case came in about 2m length.

 I advise you to write letter A, B, C with pencil on each stick and tie them together by groups.

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I advise sawing trough 4 or more laths at once. Sawing took for me about 3 hours of work.

Step 2: Drilling wholes in both sides of sticks

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I advise to drill trough 3 or more sticks at once to make process faster.  In my case it took about 2 hours of work

Step 3:

Next using diagram & fence wire start tithing sticks together.

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There are 2 types of shapes you would need to make:

Hexagons – with 6 C sticks
Pentagons – with 5 A sticks
All shared borders are B sticks  

Start building it upside-down with Pentagon in the middle.

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Again precision is not that important at this point. If you mix something up it is relatively easy to take it apart and fix it.

I advise you to use color sticky markers in order to keep track of shapes.  Assembly of dome itself for me took about 3 hours.

Step 4: Making doors

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Next you would need to turn structure to correct position sitting on bottom.

If the structure collapses its OK, because you would be able to straighten it out when it is standing.

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When it is standing measure as precise as you can doorway and create sides of doors like in images to make frame.
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Strengthen frame using metal corners on the corners of frame. It will also make sure it do not deform.

Step 5: Doors, Window and varnish

Measure and create construction of doors (straighten them in corners with metal corners)
Keep in mind space for hinges and wider lathes around frame of doors (and places for magnets)

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Measure and create window as triangle inside other chosen triangle. I strongly advice to have 2 or more windows because this dome-type greenhouse is very humid when it is finished.

You can see my window frame in one of the images below (in corner), but you can improvise your own version. I used thread to tie a handle for it (for use to hold it in open position when it is finished)

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After construction varnish everything as well as you can (I advise at least 2 times with a time span in between to dry it), otherwise wood will rot very soon.  Let everything dry for couple of hours day.

Step 6: Secure plastic film

Make sure it will not be windy day, because wind could blow whole project away like a sail.

Secure plastic film roll using clamp/nail/clamp gun (I do not know exact name of it in english – look in photo)

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Start putting on plastic on doors, windows and then start from top to one side of the dome.  Try to secure plastic in pieces as large as possible so you do not need many cuts.
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Shoot with gun clamps in wooden frame and stretch plastic over. If it is not precise you can fold plastic in rolls that you can nail to frame as well.

Don’t worry if there are some holes not covered. You can add cut-off pieces later at the end.

Step 7: Construct outer frames of windows

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Add wider wooden laths around frames of doors and windows like in pictures.Add furniture magnets to doors and windows (if you wish). They work really good and I advice to add one to window as well.Add handle to doors.Add hinges to doors and windows and install them to the structure.Add some extra plastic film around doors and window to avoid wind blowing trough the structure when it is not desirable. If you will have wind draft you could have giant sail in your garden.

Step 8: Prep location

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Get ready spot for greenhouse (you can measure radius with a string)Dig out grass around radius and put on new soil.
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Dig holes for anchors and get thread and bricks/rocks to construct them.
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Next you should be able to pick up whole structure from inside and move it over the new spot. Hold it by the frame.When you place it on the spot you can arrange disrupted parts and secure it with anchors.
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Step 9: Planting

From my experience of growing plants:Plant fewer plants rather many together – in the end you will have better harvest. Use some organic fertilizer
If you plant tomatoes make sure the soil is right and you have very good ventilation, because they like more air than humid air.Things that grow well in this kind of greenhouse:
– radishes
– salads
– peppermints & other kind of spices
– tomatoes
– paprika
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My plan for next year is to build autonomous ventilation and irrigation system using Arduino or something like that.You could also build inside some white led lights to have glowing dome in night time.
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