Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Arsenic in your Apple juice.. and Grape juice!!!

Every once in a while we sit back with a cup of cold apple or grape juice that we slowly sip bringing back memories of childhood, or maybe we pour a big glass for our own children.. I know I do.. or shall I say DID!!!

A new study from Consumer Reports found that 10% of the juices they tested had arsenic levels that exceed what’s allowed in water by the FDA and over 25% had high levels of lead. Consumer Reports and other doctors are urging that the FDA set limits on arsenic, warning of the chronic effects of exposure—especially in children.

The study looked at over 2 dozen juices and 88 samples from common brands in concentrate, ready to drink pouches, bottles, and containers.

The levels of arsenic they found weren’t enough to cause imminent death, but according to the researchers:
“What we’re talking about here is not acute affects,” Urvashi Rangan, director of safety and sustainability at Consumer Reports, told TODAY. “We’re talking about chronic effects. We’re talking about cancer risk. And so, the fact that 10 percent of our samples exceeded the drinking water standard underscores the need for a standard to be set in juices."

Five samples of apple juice and four of grape juice had total arsenic levels exceeding the 10 ppb federal limit for bottled and drinking water. Levels in the apple juices ranged from 1.1 to 13.9 ppb, and grape-juice levels were even higher, 5.9 to 24.7 ppb. Most of the total arsenic in the samples was inorganic, their tests showed.
As for lead, about one fourth of all juice samples had levels at or above the 5-ppb limit for bottled water. The top lead level for apple juice was 13.6 ppb; for grape juice, 15.9 ppb.

The following brands had at least one sample of apple juice that exceeded 10 ppb: Apple & Eve, Great Value (Walmart), and Mott’s.
For grape juice, at least one sample from Walgreens and Welch’s exceeded that threshold.

And these brands had one or more samples of apple juice that exceeded 5 ppb of lead: America’s Choice (A&P), Gerber, Gold Emblem (CVS), Great Value, Joe’s Kids (Trader Joe’s), Minute Maid, Seneca, and Walgreens.
At least one sample of grape juice exceeding 5 ppb of lead came from Gold Emblem, Walgreens, and Welch’s.

Ways to keep yourself and family safe? Don't drink juice, or go organic, or even better GO LOCAL FRESH SQUEEZED!!!! (yes readers I understand if your in FL this is almost impossible so go Organic)

Pictures after a Rain

There is nothing better for the garden then a slow steady all day rain, and I enjoyed it very much while at work knowing that my garden was drinking it all up!

The next morning I woke up early and went outside, walking through our gardens I loved the way the light glimmered off the still wet leaves and fruits, the still wet ground under my bare feet.. I just had to take out the camera and get some shots.. and a couple shots turned into A LOT of shots, so I hope you enjoy my photographs!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Peace I Find...

Do you ever have those days that you just need to get away?

The holidays are supposed to be for Joy, Happiness and Peace on Earth but I dont see that. I see it bringing out the worst in people, the shoppers who pepper spray other shoppers to get that toy, or game they think they "need", People pushing and shouting at other human beings, people getting drunk because they cant stand to be around their family for more then a few hours, people just showing complete disrespect to others, I dont understand it..
So where do you go to escape this negative energy?
Where can you find complete peace?

I find my peace in the garden, sure I can still hear the life going on around me but while I sit in my straw mulched yard, between the garden beds filled with happy plants that aren't affected by the problems of most people I can close my eyes take a deep breath and sink into a state of peaceful meditation, one where my energy can join with the plants, I can pulse through their leaves, stems, flowers, and fruits.. I can feel them content and happy, slowly growing bigger and taller, the sun shining on their leaves, or the cool night giving them a wonderful rest.

In this mind state you forget all those problems that bother you, you can relax and become one with nature, its easy to just sit out there for hours, feet dug into the dirt, the smell of your plants in the air, aware of all the animals and bugs that make this world their home.. this is what peaceful perfection is..

The Day After Thanksgiving!!

The day after thanksgiving has always been the day to decorate, from when I was a child to now that I have my daughter!!! So we decorated the house, picked the perfect tree, and baked some cookies, it was the perfect day!! :)

Here is the tree tied up on top of the car!

Ronnie carrying the tree inside

Brooke opening her Christmas Fairy gift

Brooke helping us unravel the lights

Still covered in lights :)

Brooke helping decorate the tree!!!

The finished tree!!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Pictures Around Sunny Spot Garden (November 25th, 2011)

My Molting Hen.. 1 of 2 currently molting.. THERE ARE FEATHERS EVERYWHERE!!!!!!

Mmmmm.. Chard!!!

The Gardens (Picture taken about 2 weeks ago)

Jasmine Flowers, one of the best smells EVER!!

Baby Mango tree getting new leaves

A 5ft Tomato plant!!!

Salad Bar (picture 1)
Salad Bar (Picture 2)

A Tomato..

A tomato plant that tipped over but seems to be growing fine...

2 HUGE tomatoes.. and still growing :)

Under Construction!!

Hi welcome to the new blog look, trying to see if people like this better so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE leave your thoughts in the comments readers!!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Quote..

I have been thinking a lot recently about a question I get asked all the time so I made a quote out of it, and after i wrote it and posted it on Facebook I realized how much I love it.. so here it is for you

"I get asked often why on earth a 20-something would spend all of her free time in the garden, or buried in books instead of out having a "life".. I'm quite confused by this question because I see this as the real "life", what am I supposed to do? Go to bars and clubs every night? Its just not me.... I would much rather be planting a seed, harvesting a fruit, or just enjoying the beauty and wonder mother earth gives us.. Its ok don't feel bad for me, because friend I feel bad for you"
~ Brittany Aukett

A Very Happy Thanksgiving!

***A very happy thanksgiving to you.. to me, a very happy thanksgiving to you to me!!!***

In just 3 days Thanksgiving will be upon us, A day to give thanks for everything in your life.

This makes me think, what am I thankful for?

Im thankful for my family first and foremost!
I was lucky enough to find my soul mate very young, our energies connected and out of that bond a beautiful little girl was born, now almost 4 she has stolen my heart and I love her so much!

Im thankful for the land I tend!
My house has a small bit of land less then a quarter acre I believe, but I have work hard and am still working to transform my front and back yard into a plant paradise. Mother Earth has been kind, giving my plants the best she can, Providing me with sun, rain, and nutrients. I have harvested fruits, berries, squash and other types of veggies from her and I thank her for that!

Im thankful for my friends!
This is you, maybe we have never met it doesn't matter you take the time to read this blog, you write to me, hopefully you learn something from me! If we have met that's even better, meeting like minded people and building a friendship is probably one of the most important things you can do! So thank you readers and friends!!! You inspire me and keep me going!

There are so many, many things I am thankful for. What about you?
In these couple days leading up to Thanksgiving.. Stop and take a deep breathe, look around you, we are always going going going we never really just stop and enjoy what is there.. Maybe its a favorite restaurant that when you go in they know your name, maybe its the way the light reflects off the clouds that day, maybe its the way your loved one looks at you first thing in the morning.. What ever it may be cherish that and be thankful for it!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Just a Flower

A beautiful happy cheer you up kinda flower..

Plans for papayas?

I currently have about 8 cups of papaya seedlings each with about 5 sprouts. My goal is to keep them going through winter bringing them in when it gets cold giving them a good start then sinking 5 gallon water saver buckets around the yard between the gardens etc and plating the seedling starts in there..

They create very little shade so they won't bother the gardens and will create a wonderful fruit for both local wildlife, chickens, and us!

I'm excited :)

Another Canning Adventure!

So out in the garden I realized I had a lot of beans, not as much as I'd like but a good amount, and since you are supposed to keep harvesting as much as possible (this keep the plant producing more and more) I had to do something with these beans. My daughter goes out and picks them everyday and just eats them fresh but i had another idea it it lined up with me getting another canning adventure under my belt! :)

I made... Spicy Dilly Beans!

With the help of another phone call to my momma I made 2 jars of spicy dilly beans!
These are pickled green beans with a fresh from the garden jalapeno!
I cannot wait to try these, and they were so simple to make!!! I will def be planting more space of beans next season to stock our cupboard full!!

3 things I learned:
~ Purple beans turn green
~ What a can sealing sounds like
~ Not to use dried dill weed

So as I am heating the beans in the pot with the vinegar and water, I look in the pot to see all of my beautiful dark purple beans have turned a deep green color, that was a shocker for me and I thought I had done something terribly wrong.. guess that's just the way they are..

Last time I canned we over processed which made the cans seal in the canner so I couldn't hear what it sounded like, this time within a minute of taking them out of the can I heard a nice PING!!! I got so excited I was giggling :)

.. so I also learned that if you use a dried dill weed as your dill it turns the liquid in the jar a brown color, fine for home eating but not the nicest to look at for gift giving!

Over all I am very excited to be able to add more home made and canned items to my pantry!!!

Yay for another successful canning adventure!