Natural Pesticide for your Garden

natural bug killer

I found a “natural solution” to combat garden pests, tried a few days ago and it works!!!! I’m so happy about this so I thought I would share this recipe with you since I know a lot of you aren’t particularly fond of using chemicals in your garden bed.

I have a HUGE garden and for the past few weeks or so, the green bean plants have been totally infested with Japanese beetles…so many of them it’s sickening. Yuck!  I’m into organic foods and gardening and I don’t want to use the chemical sprays you get from the store. I tried several “natural” approaches and none of those worked, except for this particular one. Here is the recipe:

In a large bowl, combine the following:

  • 2 Tablespoons of liquid soap (either Mrs. Meyers, Castille Soap, or Murphy’s Oil Soap)
  • 4 Cups Water
  • 3 drops of Lemon or Orange Essential Oil
  • 5 Garlic Cloves, cut coarsely
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder

Mix well and let the mixture sit overnight. Next day, strain the solution so that garlic chunks don’t clog up your spray bottle.  Pour the solution into a spray bottle and keep for up to 2 weeks. It works!!!!

The soap mixture (soap, water, and oil) is an insecticide. While the garlic and chili powder repel the nasty pests. The smell is VERY strong so I keep my spray bottle out in the garden to help repel the nasty bugs. Make sure to spray all over the plants, including the underside of them.

The trick is to spray this mixture on the plants as soon as you see any pests, which is when it works best. It took me a few days to see the full results but that was because I waited so long to find a good solution.

This solution is suppose to work on the following pests:  aphids, mites, white flies, thrips, mealy bugs, Japanese beetles, borers, leafhoppers, and slugs. Garlic also deters larger pests such as deer and rabbits.  The only pests that we have problems with are the Japanese beetles so I know this solution works well on getting rid of them.  As for the others pests that I mentioned, I don’t know because we haven’t had any problems with them.  It’s definitely worth a try especially since most the substances for this solution is found in our cabinet.

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Turmeric -The Wonder Spice


turmericTurmeric is probably the most effective spice that exists. It is a bright yellow colored spice that is acquired from the Curcuma Longa plant which originates from the Ginger family, which is another powerful spice. There are at least 10 main health benefits of turmeric:

1. Curcumin Contains Powerful medicinal properties. It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and as a medicinal spice. Turmeric contains compounds with medicinal properties. These compounds are called cucuminoids of which the most effective one is curcumin.

Curcumin is the main active ingredients in turmeric. It is a very powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.   However, the content of turmeric is not very high, only about 3%. So sprinkling turmeric in your food or drink won’t be effective.

To experience the full effects of turmeric, then you need to take an extract that contains at least 95% curcuminoids. Since curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream, make sure that the turmeric supplement or extract has black pepper in it, also called piperine, which is a natural substand that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000%. It’s also important to take curcumin with a fatty meal since it is fat soluble.

2. Curcumin is an Anti-Inflammatory.  A lot of people think that inflammation in the body is a bad thing, but it’s actually beneficial because it helps the body fight foreign invaders and also helps to repair damage to our tissues. Without inflammation, pathogens could easily take over our bodies and kill us.

The problem with inflammation is when it is long term and is turns against one’s own body. Inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic disease, including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and other degenerative conditions. Therefore, anything that can fight chronic inflammation is beneficial in treating and preventing diseases. Curcumin is a strong anti-inflammatory. It targets multiple steps in the inflammatory pathway at the molecular level.

3. Curcumin Significantly Increases the Antioxidant Capacity of the Body.  The main reason antioxidants are so important to the human body is because it protects it from free radicals. Free radicals can built up in cells and cause damage to other molecules, such as DNA, lipids, proteins, etc. This damage can lead to cancer and other diseases.

Curcumin protects the body by 2 ways. First, it is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals from damaging cells. Second, it can also boost the activity of the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.

4. Curcumin Improves Brain Function and a Lower Risk of Brain Diseases. There is a hormone called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) which is a type of growth hormone that functions in the brain. This BDNF hormone helps the brain to multiply and increase the number of neurons, along with forming new connections. Many brain disorders have been linked to decreased levels of BDNF, including depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

Curcumin can increase brains levels of BDNF, and by doing this it can delay and in some cases reverse many brain and age-related decreases in brain function.

5. Curcumin Lowers Your Risk of Heart Disease. The main benefits of curcumin when it comes to heart disease is improving the function of the endothelium, which is the linking of the blood vessels. When the endothelial is not functioning properly, then it has a hard time regulating blood pressure, blooding clotting, and other factors related to blood.

Curcumin can improve endothelial function and is as effective as exercise and the drug, Atorvastatin, but without side effects. It also reduces inflammation and oxidation which are both very important in heart disease.

6. Turmeric Can Help Prevent Cancer. Cancer is basically an uncontrolled growth of cells which keeps other “healthy” cells from functioning properly.

Curcumin can reduce the angiogenesis which is the growth of new blood vessels in tumors, it can reduce metastasis (spread of cancer), and can contribute to the death of cancerous cells. Curcumin may even help prevent cancer from occurring in the first place. As a preventative measure, my family and I take 900mg of Turmeric, with 95% curcuminoids and black pepper every day.   The picture associated with this post is the bottle that we use.

7. Curcumin May Prevent and Treat Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world and a leading cause of dementia. Unfortunately, there is not good treatment for it yet. Preventing it from happening is very important.

Curcumin has shown to cross the blood-brain barrier which not many drugs can do that. Inflammation and oxidative damage play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin has beneficial effects on both of these.

One key feature of Alzheimer’s disease is a buildup of protein called Amyloid plaques. Curcumin can help clear these plagues. It is not known at this time whether curcumin can slow down or reverse the progression of Alzheimer’s.

8. Curcumin Supplements Help People Who Have Arthritis. Arthritis involves inflammation of the joints. Since curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory, it would help with the arthritis inflammation.

9. Curcumin Helps Fight Depression. Depression is linked to reduced levels of BDNF and a shrinking hippocampus, an area of the brain related to learning and memory. Studies have shown that curcumin can boost the brain neurotransmitters serotonin (lower levels are linked to depression) and dopamine (helps control the brain’s rewards and pleasure centers).

10. Curcumin May Help Delay Aging and Fight Age-Related Chronic Diseases. Oxidation and inflammation play a role in aging. Since we know that curcumin plays a great role in combating oxidation and inflammation, it will slow down the aging process. I’m not saying that curcumin will “keep you young forever.” But it will combat some of the harmful effects of unhealthy habits, poor environment, etc that may speed up the aging process


*Side note: Keep in mind that certain supplements, including those made from turmeric, can interact with other medications. For example, turmeric may slow blood clotting, so people taking drugs with the same effect, like anticoagulants, should be cautious about taking turmeric supplements. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.

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Bonnie Plants do NOT sell GMO Plants

I’m very pleased to announce that Bonnie Plants do NOT grow plants from GMO seeds!

The screen shot below is taken directly from their company website 🙂

Way to go, Bonnie!



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Seeds Owned by Monsanto and Seeds That Are Not Owned by Them

SnapCrab_NoName_2015-3-22_10-22-54_No-00 SnapCrab_NoName_2015-3-22_10-31-20_No-00monsanto herbicide

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safe seeds 1safe seeds 2

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Choosing Watermelons, Cantaloupes, and Mangoes

choosing melons

How to Choose a Ripe Watermelons

Look for uniform shape. Look for a firm, symmetrical watermelon free from bruises, cuts or dents. If the watermelon has any lumps or bumps, this may mean that it received irregular amounts of sunshine or water during growing.

Lift it up. The watermelon should be heavy for its size, as this indicates that it is full of water and therefore nice and ripe. Try comparing the weight of your watermelon with another of equal size – the heavier one will be the ripest. This advice goes for most fruit and vegetables.

Look for the field spot. The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot, known as the field spot. This is where the melon sat on the ground and ripened in the sun, so the darker it is the better. If the field spot is white, or even nonexistent, this probably means that the watermelon was picked too soon, and will not be ripe.[1]

Inspect the color. A perfect, ripe watermelon should be dark green in color and dull in appearance, rather than shiny. A shiny watermelon will usually be underripe.

Try the knocking technique. The knocking technique can be a little hard to master, but many watermelon fans swear by it. Give the watermelon a firm rap with your knuckles and listen to the sound it makes. For a ripe melon, you want a full sound, more tenor than base. You do not want a dull or deep sound, as this means the watermelon is unripe.[2]

How to Choose Ripe Cantaloupes

Take a look at the bin, shelf, or box the cantaloupes are being stored in. If there are flies or other insects around it, or there is juice leaking out and covering the fruits, it’s probably a good idea to buy your melon elsewhere.

To pick a cantaloupe, look for a fruit that is light tan with green lines across it.  Avoid melons with punctures, dents, or large brown or black patches.

Pick up the cantaloupe.  It should be heavy for its size, and firm but not rock hard.  A cantaloupe that is still a little hard is good for if you are buying for an event about a week away, but if you are planning on taking your cantaloupe home and eating then and there, you’ll want one that has a little give.

Smell.  Sniff the spot where the melon was severed from its stem.  You should smell an aroma similar to a freshly sliced cantaloupe.  If you can’t smell anything, it’s under ripe. An unpleasing smell means it’s no longer good to eat.

Listen.  Shake the cantaloupe next to your ear.  If you can hear seed rattling about inside, it’s ready to eat.

 How to choose a ripe Mango

Touch and feel around the entire mango.  Ripe mangoes will be slightly soft to the touch just like avocados and peaches, but not soft or mushy enough to where your fingers sink into or through the skin.  On the other hand, if you do not plan on eating the mango for a few days, you may want to choose a mango with firmer skin.

Inspect the mango visually.  Choose mangoes that are full, plump and round, especially around the stem because they will be the ripest and of the best quality.  Choosing mangoes shaped as footballs are also ideal.  Sometimes ripe mangoes will have brown spots or speckles; this is normal. Do not pick flat or thin mangoes because they are likely to be stringy.  Avoid choosing mangoes with wrinkled or shriveled skin because they will no longer be ripe.

Smell mangoes near their stems.  Ripe mangoes will always have a strong, sweet, fragrant and fruity aroma around the stem.  Stay away from mangoes that smell sour or like alcohol because these mangoes may be overripe.  Since mangoes have a high natural sugar content, they will ferment naturally, so the sour, alcoholic odor is a distinctive sign the mango is no longer ripe.

Disregard the color of mangoes.  Since the colors of ripe mangoes can range from yellow, to green, pink, and red depending on the variety and season, do not rely on color alone to determine the ripeness of a mango.  Instead, familiarize yourself with the different varieties of mangoes and the seasons in which they thrive.

Learn about the varieties of different mangoes.  Since mangoes have different colors and slightly different flavors depending on the current season and the region they come from, you may want to learn how to identify certain types of mangoes to heighten your overall experience with them.  There are 6 different types of mangoes.

  • Pick Ataulfo mangoes for a sweet and creamy flavor.  Ataulfos have smaller seeds and more flesh.  They are vibrant yellow and are small and shaped like an oval.  Ataulfos are ripe when their skin turns deep gold and may develop small wrinkles when they are fully ripe.  Ataulfos come from Mexico and are usually available from March through July.
  • Pick Francis mangoes if you like rich, spicy and sweet flavors.  Francis mangoes have bright yellow skin with green overtones and are usually oblong or shaped like the letter S. Francis mangoes are ripe when their green overtones fade away and the yellow hues become more golden.  Francis mangoes are grown on small farms throughout Haiti and are usually available from May through July.
  • Choose Haden mangoes for rich flavor with aromatic overtones.  Haden mangoes are bright red with green and yellow overtones and small white dots.  Haden mangoes are usually medium or large with oval or round shapes.  Haden mangoes are ripe when the green overtones begin changing to yellow.  Haden mangoes are from Mexico and are only available during April and May.
  • Pick Keitt mangoes for a sweet, fruity flavor.  Keitts are oval-shaped and medium to dark green with a pink blush.  The skin of Keitt mangoes will remain green even when they are ripe.  Keitt mangoes are grown in both Mexico and the United States and are usually available in August and September.
  • Choose Kent mangoes for a sweet and rich flavor.  Kent mangoes come in large, oval shapes and are dark green with a dark red blush.  Kent mangoes are ripe when yellow overtones or dots begin to spread over the skin of the mango.  Kent mangoes come from Mexico, Peru, and Ecuador and are available from January to March and June to August.
  • Pick Tommy Atkins mangoes for a mild and sweet flavor.  Tommy Atkins mangoes will have a dark red blush with some green, orange, and yellow accents and are oblong or oval-shaped.  The only way to test the ripeness of Tommy Atkins mangoes are to feel them, since their color will not change.  Tommy Atkins mangoes are grown in Mexico and other regions in South America and are available from March to July and from October to January.
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Dandelions and Bees


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Epsom Salt Bath

epsom salt bath recipe

For my personal story of using epsom salt for healing, please click on the link below:

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