Garden Calander – February

In February in many coastal areas of Australia, summer humidity sets in and everything rots out from under you. This is also the month of the year when the worst lawn problems appear. In some areas the dreaded armyworm marches across entire neighbourhoods; symptoms include the browning off of huge lawn areas almost overnight. On closer inspection. small, greyish caterpillars can be found in tunnels just below the soil surface. Often, flocks of galahs or even starlings are blamed for the damage, but in fact these birds help by eating the armyworms.

JOBS TO DO NOW
• In coastal areas, powdery mildew Will be on the increase. This causes a talc like coating on leaves and, later, dieback of roses, crepe myrtles, cucumbers, zucchinis, pumpkins, grapes, fuchsias and anything else that happens to be lying around. To control this problem, spray with Benlate(not organic). Organic option would be milk.

• This is the last month (in non-tropical areas) to plant warm climate plants such as hibiscus, bougainvillea and frangipani. Later planting may causeQueensland Fruit Fly problems.

• Watch out for fruit fly in central and northern areas; to control, spray with Lebaycid or Chemspray Fruit Fly Kit. Organic option is netting or fruit fly lure.

• Take a look at your native shrubs-if they have finished flowering and look a little scruffy, prune lightly all over. This helps them to live longer, look better and flower more.

LAWNS
• To control severe infestations of armyworms, spray with Carbaryl(Organic use neem)-and keep the galahs away for a few days. Fungal diseases in lawns, which appear as small, often dead patches, can be sprayed with Daconil or Mancozeb(Use organic fungicide). Don’t overwater, as this helps diseases to spread. Black beetles rarely do much damage, but in severe cases and as a last resort use any of the lawn beetle chemicals that are available.

CITRUSAfrican Violet
• Fertilise citrus trees. Citrus will bravely fruit until they exhaust themselves and the surrounding soil, leading to die-back, collar rot etc, so get some chook manure or citrus food. Apply the manure as a surface mulch 1cm (0.5”) thick to the width of the branches (but keep it back 10cm/4″ from the trunk) and water in well with a sprinkler. A light application of trace elements, particularly in sandy soil areas, will help to make the fruit taste sweeter and the tree itself to resist disease and insect attack.

• Keep weeds and lawns away from the trunks of citrus trees. As well as competing for food and water, grass and weeds can hide problems such as collar rot, which affect the citrus trunk at ground level.

INDOOR PLANTS
• This is a good time to fertilise. For year round feeding use nine-month Osmocote, Nutricote or Selley’s spikes, and for a quick boost use Nitrosol or Fish Emulsion. Always water well when you apply fertiliser.

• Either don’t bother to feed African violets or use African violet food only, and don’t overwater.

TIME TO PLANT
• Wok enthusiasts can plant snow peas, sugar snap peas and Chinese cabbage, all of which are really worthwhile. Purists who need lots of exercise might consider growing potatoes. This is also the time for beans, peas, broccoli, carrots, beetroot, lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower and tomatoes (in warmer areas).

• Flowering annuals to plant include violas, pansies, cinerarias and primulas.

Reference: Mr Don Burke

Can Organic Farming Feed the World?

What is organic farming? Organic farming can be described as an approach to agriculture where the main aims are to create holistic, nutritional, humane, environmentally and economically sustainable agricultural production systems. Maximum reliance is placed on farm renewable resources and the management of self regulating biological systems and interactions in order to provide exceptional levels of crop, livestock and human nutrition. Protection from pests/diseases, and an acceptable return to the human and other resources employed. Reliance on external inputs whether from chemical or organic is reduced as much as possible. In many European nations, organic agriculture is known as ecological agriculture. This reflects this reliance on ecosystem management rather than external inputs.

The objective of sustainability lies at the heart of organic farming. It is one of the major factors determining the acceptability or otherwise of specific production practices. The term ‘sustainable’ is used in its general sense to encompass not just conservation of non-renewable resources(soil, water, energy, minerals) but also issues of environmental, social and economic sustainability. The term ‘organic’ is best described as referring to the concept of the farm as an whole organism in which all the component parts – the soil minerals, insects, organic matter, microorganisms, plants, animals and man interact to create a workable and stable whole.

The key characteristics of organic farming are:

  • Protecting the long term fertility of soils by increasing organic matter levels, encouraging soil microbe activity.
  • Providing crop nutrients indirectly using relatively insoluble(natural) nutrient sources which are made available to the plant by soil microorganisms.
  • Nitrogen is provided through the use of legumes and biological nitrogen fixation. I is also provided by recycling of organic materials incorporating crop residues and livestock manure.
  • Weed, disease and pest control relying primarily on crop rotations, organic manuring, plant health, natural predators, bio-diversity, resistant varieties(conventional plant breeding) and only natural biological and chemical intervention.
  • The management of livestock involved considering behavioural needs and animal welfare issues with respect to health, nutrition, housing, breeding and rearing.
  • Careful attention to the impact of the farming system on the larger environment and the conservation of native wildlife and natural habitats also need to be considered.

Dr. Dean Ornish tracks the dramatic spread of obesity

In a sobering 3-minute talk, Dr. Dean Ornish tracks the dramatic spread of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease around the globe — as people outside the US start to eat, live and die like Americans do. “This may be the first generation in which our kids live a shorter lifespan than we do,” Ornish says. The good news? These trends are preventable and even reversible through diet and exercise.

According to Dr. Ornish “Cardiovascular diseases kill more people each year than in the US. And worldwide than all other illnesses combined… Of these 95% are preventable and reversible.”

The Culprit and the Cure Book Overview

Everyday television, radio, and newspapers report on the latest scientific findings regarding obesity, heart disease, nutrition, and other health topics. These same media outlets provide advertisements about the latest diet fads, fast foods, supplements, and quick health fixes. Most often these messages conflict, leaving the public wondering what is fact, what is fiction, and what can a person do to enjoy optimal health.Steven G. Aldana, Ph.D. has cut through the marketing hype, sorted through reams of research, and consolidated mountains of evidence to put together a real-world guide to healthy living. His book The Culprit and the Cure is a practical guide that allows real people-like you and I-to improve the quality and length of their lives.

Dr. Aldana presents the scientific evidence suggesting that healthy lifestyle choices can significantly increase the health, vitality, and longevity of individuals. We all know that non-smokers live longer than smokers-but did you know that eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day can reduce your risk of many types of cancer by 50 percent? We all know the importance of regular exercise-but how would your motivation to actually do it change if you knew that exercising can add years to your life expectancy. Or how about increasing your life expectancy by 10 to 20 years by also eating healthy foods?

In The Culprit and the Cure Dr. Aldana has gleaned research from around the globe covering the areas of diet, disease, lifestyle, and healthy behaviors to provide a practical guide to making the changes science has proven will lead to better health and longer life. In an entertaining, easy to understand, and convincing manner, The Culprit and the Cure presents the evidence, makes recommendations, and provides strategies to help even the least disciplined among us achieve a better quality of life.

For anyone who is finally ready to change his or her life for the better, or for anyone simply trying to maintain good health, this is the book to read. As individuals gain an understanding of why good nutrition and physical activity are vital to long-term health, The Culprit and the Cure empowers them with hands-on tips and achievable guidance on how to eat right, exercise, and enjoy a long, high-quality life. Once readers see this information transform their own lives, they will want to share it with those they really care about.

The Culprit and the Cure truly transforms the lives of readers as they:

  • Learn how life span and the risk of chronic diseases are determined by lifestyle choices
  • Understand how science has solved much of the good health puzzle
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight for life
  • Begin and maintain a habit of regular exercise and good nutrition
  • Experience health and quality living in ways they never thought possible

Steven G. Aldana is a professor of lifestyle medicine in the College of Health and Human Performance at Brigham Young University. As a prolific researcher and writer, The Culprit and the Cure is the latest of several books he has written in addition to more than 60 scientific articles. A nationally recognized scientist and teacher, Dr. Aldana has become a leading authority on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. Now, with The Culprit and the Cure that importance is supported with a practical, do-able plan to make lifestyle change a reality.According to Dr. Aldana, “This book will help you live a longer, better life. Once you understand why your current lifestyle is causing poor health and see what is meant by good nutrition and physical activity, you will be more ready to change your behaviors. By learning how to change, you start on the road to better health. The time to plan for a healthy future is now.”

Click on the link The Culprit and the Cure – Chapter 1 to read the first chapter or click on The Culprit and the Cure – Chapter 1 to hear the audio version.

A Healthy Lifestyle Can Add 10-20 Extra Years to Your Life: The Choice is Yours’

Ten to twenty years of additional, high quality life await those who adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Aldana, nationally recognized lifestyle medicine expert, shows why a healthy lifestyle will extend life, prevent chronic diseases, and control body weight. Dr. Aldana presents the science of healthy living and the way to be healthy for life.Right not 2 out of 3 of Americans are overweight and may increase to 85% in the near future.You need to have flashplayer enabled to watch this Google video

Dr. Garry Gordon gives his presentation “Cancer, Degenerative Diseases, and Aging”

Dr. Garry Gordon gives his presentation “Cancer, Degenerative Diseases, and Aging” at the Advanced Detoxification and Gene Based Medicine Conference held in Phoenix, AZ March 10-11, 2007. This video gives some insights into the new generation of alternative treatments. You need to have flashplayer enabled to watch this Google video

The Silent Killers

Australia health with minerals. Nutrition linked to many diseases including cancer. Ask your doctor how much nutrition research did they learn at university. The mineral link in agriculture is missing, NPK isn’t enough. So much more good information for all Australians.