Tag Archives: inspiration

Natural Fertilizers

Everyday I look for ways to stay close to nature and avoid buying unnecessary chemicals and manufactured items. This is not to undermine the need to manufacture but it does save money around the house. Recently, I ran out of fertilizer for my vegetable and flower plants. I stopped at the local feed store to inquire on what was best to use. I expected (or at least hoped for) an answer like worm castings. But the answer I got was, 10,10,10, referencing to a bag of 10-10-10 fertilizer containing 10 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphate and 10 percent potash. I have no idea what the ingredients are that make up this commercial mix; I just knew it was not what I was looking for. So I resorted to an internet search of natural fertilizers. Here are my notes from that search:

Epsom Salt – 1 teaspoon to 1 gallon of water, use monthly to provide magnesium and sulfate.
Coffee Grounds – sprinkle on soil around roses and blueberry bushes to provide acid.
Egg Shells – provide calcium carbonate (lime).
White Vinegar – 1 tablespoon per 1 gallon of water provides acid to plants.
Fireplace Ash – provides potassium and calcium carbonate.
Fish Tank Water – provides nitrogen.

I am good on all these ingredients accept the coffee grounds since I am a tea drinker. However, it looks like white vinegar will fulfill the need for acid on acid loving plants like roses and blueberry bushes, both of which I have. As a result, I have started using water from my indoor fish tank for indoor plants and water from my fish pond for outdoor plans. I do not yet know the results but I am hopeful of healthy, beautiful plants.

Everyone Needs Peaceful Sleep

We are not nocturnal. Our bodies function best when we get up with the sunrise, around 5:00 am. This puts a good bedtime at 9:00 or 10:00 pm.

Nightly Routine
A calming nighttime routine will prepare you both physically and mental for the task of falling asleep. Develop a routine of winding down that starts an hour or two before bedtime.

Calm the Mind
Purge your worries by keeping an evening journal that allows you to put life in perspective, include several positive things about your day. This can be as simple as a visit from your favorite outdoor bird. Look for things that brought a smile to your day. Enjoy a cup of you favorite calming tea. Then top it off with 10 or 15 minutes of light reading.

Herbal Teas for Relaxation and Sleep
My Favorite Choices: Lavender, Chamomile, Passionflower. Additional Calming Teas: Catnip, Lemonbalm, Valerian, St. John’s Wort.

Odd Market Days

Those market days right before a holiday are what I call “Odd Market Days”. Many of our regular shoppers don’t venture in on these odd days. They know the market mix will be out of the ordinary and the traffic count high. I always enjoy these days. They are an opportunity to meet new people; both locals who have a day off work and out-of-towners who are visiting for the first time or only come periodically when in town visiting friends and family.

The first timers are the best. They bring their cameras, taking pictures of the displays and market life. I enjoy their enthusiasm for what the market represents as well as what it has to offer. I often hear comments like, we don’t have anything like this where I live. And while Yorkers complain about the price of things we are often a bargain for those coming from up state New York or from the west coast.

The yearly repeat customers that show up on these days are happy to spout, “Remember me I was here last year”. These once a year shoppers are often ready to stock up on items they know won’t be available to them until their next trip back to PA.

The biggest business value from “Odd Market Days” is the opportunity to pick up new customers that will support you through out the year. These are those people that aren’t normally available to come to market on a Friday but find product and friendship that is worth seeking out through out the year. These people are one of the ways I grow my business.

So while some vendors don’t like these “Odd Market Days”; I see them as on opportunity to both grow my business and hear a few new stories. Recently, one of my yearly customer’s stocked up heavily on teas while stating, “You can’t buy teas where I live; the only beverages available are coffee and moonshine”.

I also love it when they buy your product because it has your name, city and state on it. These are souvenir gift and the purchasers of these gifts are proud to have found a local product to take home.  So, be it an “Odd Market Day” or just a regular Friday, “I look forward to seeing you at market!”

Each week at Market

Each week market brings new as well as repeat customers and interaction with market stand owners and market employees. Slowly, one week/one day at a time I follow their lives, their experiences and share in their gained knowledge. I generally wait on 40 to 60 customers a week and have conversation with another 20 or 30. I would think it fair to say I talk to 60 to 80 people in a market day. I met a young man recently that told me he had read that in a trip to the supermarket you have 3 to 5 personal encounters as opposed to a market shop where you can have 25 to 30. I spend very little time in supermarkets but I can attest to the market side of the equation. Each week I see both planned and chance meetings among friends and family. I witness hugs, laughter and even prayer amongst these chance meetings. Please come out and support the market it is a great tradition worth keeping. See you on Friday!

The Media and Your Health

Recently, I was asked if people are looking more to herbs, teas and natural supplements to address their health needs. I believe the more informed individuals have always done this. They are the advent readers, researchers and close to nature persons of our society. Recently however, the media has sent a wave of new people in search of natural cures for their ailments. I am sure that anyone reading this blog is aware of the, “Dr. Oz. said…” craze. While I believe he and other media avenues are influencing what people are buying, I also believe the need is being driven by a whole different avenue. Here is a list of some that come to mind, I am sure you could add to this list:

Cost of medical insurance
Lack of medical insurance
Lack to what medical insurance covers
High medical insurance deductibles and co-pays
Cost of prescription drugs
Side effects of prescription drugs
Disappointment in the results of drugs taken
And last but not least – Obesity and ill-health brought on by years of bad choices such as processed foods, fast foods and lack of exercise.

The problem I have when people ask me which herb or tea to consume for their illness is I believe there is no one magic cure. No one herb or tea will offset an array of bad choices. Lifestyle change is essential.

For all of you who are interested in getting back to nature in order to improve your health and well-being I suggest RESEARCH. Do your own research; there is no substitution for self-study. Only you know and understand the needs of your body. As you read you will find specific information that applies to your symptoms. You will be able to apply what is working or not working for you as well as what has worked or not worked in the past. When doing research avoid advertisers and websites geared toward selling products. Use sources like:
Smithsonian Handbooks
DK Publishing Books – http://us.dk.com/
Reader’s Digest Publications
wikipedia.com
botanical.com

Important List

It took me a year as a new Realtor before I earned myself a desk. It did not come with much, a chair, a phone (which I was happy for since the phone meant I could now forward my office calls to my cell phone), and a half sheet of paper left tacked to the back wall of my cubicle. Some previous occupant either thought it was worth passing on or not important enough to take along. It is titled, “Important List”. I hope it will be of as much value to you as it is to me.

Important List

the greatest loss……Loss of Self-Respect
the most destructive habit…… Worry
the ugliest personality trait……Selfishness
the greatest problem to overcome……Fear
the most crippling failure disease……Excuses
the most dangerous pariah……A Gossiper
the deadliest weapon……The Tongue
the most worthless emotion……Self-Pity
the greatest gift……Giving
the most satisfying work……Helping Others
the most endangered species……Dedicated Leaders
our greatest natural resource……Our Youth
the greatest “shot in the arm”……Encouragement
the most effective sleeping pill……Peace of Mind
the most powerful force in life……Love
the world’s most incredible computer……The Brain
the worst thing to be without……Hope
the two most power-filled words……I Can
the greatest asset……Belief
the most beautiful attire……Smile
the most prized possession……Integrity
the most powerful channel of communication……Prayer
the most contagious spirit……Enthusiasm
the most important thing in life……Creation

The power of one man’s word.

I don’t watch the Dr. Oz Show, but I do know he sends me weekly customers. Usually first thing in the morning one of my customers will start the ball rolling with “Dr. Oz says…” That’s when I know it is time to package a few extra bags of that spice or tea. Once he promoted watercress, while I don’t sell watercress the stand directly across from me does. By mid afternoon they sold out of watercress and watercress just isn’t a popular item. Amazing the power of one man’s word. The following week I said to the stand owner, “I noticed you sold a lot of watercress last week.” “Yes,” she said with a look of surprise. Recently, he promoted Yerba Mate Tea as a natural simulate, people use it in place of caffeine. Yes, I sold out. Because of him I can barely keep Turmeric in stock and I now sell Hibiscus tea. While I don’t have extra time to follow the Dr. Oz Show it would be helpful if one of my customers would email me the heads.

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