The Perfect Solution To A Whole Food Breakfast

Whole Food Breakfast

No matter how hectic your family life is, you should never miss breakfast. Healthy breakfast food has many advantages for your health, such as provision of energy for concentration; weight control; disease prevention, and many others. The key to a healthy breakfast is being prepared with nutrient-laden foods that you can easily put together when you get up every morning.

If you’re looking for a solution to a whole food breakfast, here are a few suggestions to ensure that you wake up to a healthy meal in the morning:

Healthy Breakfast Smoothies

Breakfast Smoothies

Smoothies are some of the easiest on-the-go breakfast meals you can make. On average, a healthy breakfast smoothie will take you less than ten minutes to prepare. An easy smoothie recipe that packs lots of healthy nutrients includes one cup of strawberries, a banana, a cup of low-fat yogurt, honey, and crushed ice. You may or may not add protein powder. With this tasty smoothie, you’ll have eaten three of your fruit servings for the day.

Whole-grain Cereal

Whole-grain CerealA bowl of whole-grain breakfast cereal is another perfect solution to a whole food breakfast. When it comes to breakfast cereals, the choice is usually between nutrition and taste. Breakfast cereals with lots of colors and artificial flavors tend to taste better than toasted whole-grain cereals with natural flavors. However, the latter have a higher nutrition value than the former. So if you care about your health, choose toasted whole-grain cereals for your breakfast.

The biggest advantage with cereal is that it has the shortest preparation time (less than five minutes on average). Most times, you simply need to add low-fat milk to a bowl of cereal and top it off with some frozen fruit too and you’re off to a nutritious start of the day.

Whole-grain Pita with Cheese

Whole-grain PitaAnother easy breakfast meal comprises whole-grain pita with tomato and cheese, along with an apple. This healthy breakfast meal gives you a mix of ‘good’ fat, protein, carbohydrates, and fiber in the fruit. Simply add a piece of low-fat cheese to your whole-grain pita with a slice of tomato into your microwave for approximately five minutes. You can complete with a cup of tea or fresh orange juice for more vitamins.


OatmealOatmeal is a heart-healthy food that contains a high amount of complex carbohydrates that slowly release energy throughout the day. In addition to keeping you full most of the day, oatmeal is easy to make: preparation time is less than 10 minutes and you may add milk if you want. You can also add blueberries or a few slices of apple. There are many ways you can have your oatmeal; just be creative and try out different things, provided you choose steel-cut oatmeal.

In all, you should aim at one serving of a whole grain cereal, a serving of a high calcium food, and a serving of high protein food. There are many alternatives here, so make sure your breakfast includes variety every day.

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How to get rid of cucumber beetles naturally

Cucumber Beetle Damage

The cucumber beetle is so named because it feeds off cucumber plants (among other vining fruits) and can seriously damage or even kill the plants.

Its body is even shaped like a cucumber even though it is significantly smaller. It also feeds off the plants and fruits of watermelon, muskmelon, pumpkin, squash and gourd.

The stripes on the back of one type of cucumber beetle resemble the stripes on some varieties of watermelon and some cucumber rinds. The other type of this beetle has spotted backs.

Cucumber Beetle Damage

The cucumber beetle comes out of hibernation every spring in southern states when the soil temperature reaches about 65 degrees, Farenheit. In states further north, the beetle migrates from the south and arrives in June.

Whether it migrates or hibernates, it is looking for food to eat about the same time that sprouts of these vining plants are just pushing up through the soil’s crusty surface. The sprouting seedlings provide a tender, succulent meal for the hungry cucumber beetle.

This insect also causes damage through the bacteria it carries inside its body that comes in contact with the plants and the soil through the beetle’s feces. If the bacteria gets inside the plant’s system, it can cause its leaves to wilt.

The bacteria multiply rapidly and can move from an infected plant to healthy plants. The larvae of the cucumber beetle feeds off the plants’ roots and stems, and the adult cucumber beetle feeds off the larger plants’ leaves and blossoms. This insect also eats the rinds of the cucumber, muskmelon, watermelon, pumpkin, gourd, and squash.

Results of the Damage

If the beetle has infected the internal systems of the cucumber, watermelon and muskmelon plants and caused the leaves to wilt, the plants cannot be saved, cutting into crop yields and profits. Yields are also affected negatively when the beetles have eaten sprouts, blossoms, roots and stems of the plants.

Infested plants will not produce as much as healthy plants. Beetles that feed off the rinds of watermelons, cucumbers and muskmelons ruin the appearance of those fruits, making it impossible to sell them at farmers markets and to retailers. Profits take a direct hit.

Prevention both Natural and Artificial

Inspect the soil to look for eggs prior to planting. Introduce lacewings and ladybugs, which feast on the eggs, into your garden at the site.

Plant your cucumbers, squashes and melons a little later in the season than your neighbors so any beetles in the area will be attracted to their gardens. As soon as you plant your seedlings, or if you plant seeds in your garden, as soon as they sprout, cover the seedlings with screens, cones or garden row covers.

Constant inspection of your plants from the minute they begin to poke up through the soil is essential. As the plants grow, be sure to inspect the undersides of leaves and stems because the beetles are shade loving insects.

Gardeners can buy a device to place near their plants that serve to lure beetles into them and trap them on a sticky surface similar to fly paper.

Sprays are available made from pyrethrum, which is an extract of the chrysanthemum painted daisy flower. If any of the plants indicate evidence of bacterial wilting, pull them up and destroy them immediately before the healthy plants around them are infected.

Do not put infected plants into your compost pile, which is another way bacteria is spread, perpetuating the problem. Destroying them also prevents them from attracting more of these pests into your garden.


Any covers place upon the plants squash, pumpkins, melons, cucumbers and gourds must be removed as soon as blossoms appear so the plants can pollinate.

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How to Make Compost at Home

How to Make Compost at Home

How to Make Compost at Home – How does the saying go “Time to get your hands dirty”? Gardening can (is) a lot of fun and enjoyment but if you are planning on staying clean while doing it, me thinks you need to think this out again. And I hate to say it, but making compost can be one of the dirtiest jobs of all. So let’s get started.

What is Compost

CompostWhen you combine your household wastes and mix it with items that are biodegradable, such as manure, add a little water, some air and nitrogen, you end up with something called compost.

In its finished state, it is a soil mixture that is dark and will crumble in your hand. It is used as fertilizer or mulch and will also condition your soil.

Out of the mulch come microorganisms that are essential to your plants health and well being.

What Goes into Compost

What Goes into CompostIf you are new to composting, I think you may be surprised what can be added to your compost. I know I was when I first started.

Your compost materials are broken down into 2 categories and labelled as “Green’s” or “Brown’s”.

Greens are your nitrogen’s and moisture and will rot very quickly. Your Brown’s are your waste items that will take a lot longer to rot.

Remember above we mentioned that air was an important component to making compost, well the “Brown’s” will provide the pockets of air required. The Brown’s will also provide the needed carbon and fiber.


  • Grass cuttings
  • Vegetable peelings
  • Leaves
  • Fruit
  • Tea bags
  • Weeds
  • Trimmings from hedges
  • Potting soil that has grown old
  • Twigs
  • Coffee filters with coffee grounds
  • Weeds that have not went to seed
  • Plant stalks


  •  Cardboard boxes
  • Newspapers (scrunched up)
  • Toilet roll tubes
  • Egg shells (crushed)
  • Shredded paper
  • Twigs and hedge clippings

What Does NOT go into compost

We have listed above what you can put in your compost; here is a list of what you should NOT put in your compost:

  • Weeds that have went to seed
  • Dead animals
  • Pet feces
  • Bread and grains
  • Meat
  • Grease
  • Cooking oil
  • Oily foods
  • Diseased plants

Making Quality Compost

First off, it is not hard to make good compost; you just need to be careful that you get the right mix of your Green’s and Brown’s. So now we will get into how to make compost at home.

Start out by mixing your Brown’s and Green’s in a ratio of about 3:1 (3 – Brown, 1 – Green). “Now that sounds easing enough, but how do I make sure the ratio is 3:1”? Again, glad you asked. So, how about you get a pile of your Green’s put them in your compost area and then add 3 times equal parts of your Brown’s.

If you can make this pile about 3 feet high it should also give you a base of about 3 feet. The more you have of the mixture, the quicker and easier it will break down.

You may want to help the process along by adding an existing pile of compost to your newly started pile.

There is no worry about the mixture having an odor or smell to it if you have mixed it properly. Look for an earthy smell not a rotting smell.

So how do you know if you have the right combination? Good Question, I never thought you would ask. If your mixture looks a little too dry, then add more Green’s.

Also, there will be a need to add moisture to your compost when starting out. When we say moisture, we don’t mean that you want to soak the pile with water. As the pile moistens it should feel sponge. That tells you there is enough moisture.

By keeping the pile moist, you are quickening the breakdown of your Green’s and Brown’s into compost.

Then the opposite, if your mixture looks a little too wet then add more Brown’s. Pretty simple, eh?

At least once a week you will need to take a shovel or pitch fork and turn over your compost. This will loosen up the mixture allowing more air to flow. This will help in quickening the process.

How Long To Become Compost

This is a tricky question and there are many factors that come into play here. First thing that needs to be considered is the amount and mixture of of your Brown’s and Green’s. Then you need to consider the weather and the conditions of your surroundings. The average time for the mixture to be ready as compost is probably between 6 and 9 months. By this time the original ingredients shouldn’t be recognized, you will not have compost.

Compost Location

As the title of the movie starring James Caan would suggest, try to hide your compost in plain sight; as close to your garden as possible but not where it becomes a distraction. What has not been mentioned yet in this article is that your compost should be placed in some sort of bin, or closed in area like a fenced off area. This will be covered in another article.


As you can see, making compost is quite easy and requires not too much of your time, but it will cause you to get your hands dirty 🙂 We have tried to show you how to make compost at home, so now it’s your turn. Go get started!!

I hope you have found this article interesting and informative. I take great pride in this website and will try my hardest to give you the best possible content.

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2016 Summer Shares Now Available!


Season #7!!!

Becoming a CSA member at Annie’s means that you are purchasing a vegetable share for a period of 22 weeks. This year shares will begin May 18 and will end October 16. Shares can either be weekly deliveries or every other week. If you are looking for more than vegetables, Annie’s also has shares that will provide you with fruit, raspberries, strawberries, apples, and honey. You can also try our Staples Shares which features Hansen’s milk, butter, S&C Organic eggs, and fresh bread from Dough and Joe Bakery.

Taking a few weeks off to go on vacation during the summer? That’s okay. Just give us a call and tell us the time you will be gone and no deliveries will be made during that time. You can resume when you return and we will double your share or extend your share into November. Annie’s will also take the time to make your share fit your dietary needs. We don’t want you to receive produce you are unable to consume. Therefore, if you have allergies to certain types of foods, let us know and we will not include them. Or possibly you just are not able to consume some types of produce, or you really cannot stomach a certain type of produce. Please let us know and we will be happy to accommodate you in creating a produce share that fits your needs.

Buying locally not only keeps monies within your community but it allows you the opportunity to know who is growing your food and how they are growing it. All of our produce is naturally raised with organic practices. Annie’s was USDA GAP (Good Agriculture Practices) certified in 2010.

We look forward to having you join our CSA and if you are ever in the area, be sure to stop in. We will be glad to give you a tour!

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Welcome to Annie’s Gardens and Greens!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out our webstie.

In November of 2013, I closed the doors to Annie’s GreenGrocery in Calmar, and December 29, 2014 I sold the building to Jason Sparrow.

Last year was my first year of growing produce only for the CSA. I had intentions of keeping the roadside stand going, but due to all of the rain we had, my produce did not grow very well at first. The year may have started off on a soggy note, but as the summer went on things began to pick up and I had plenty of items to fill my CSA bags.

Annie’s grows heirloom vegetables. Heirlooms are the original seed, meaning that if you save the seed you will end up with the same plant that you started out with. Hybrids are plants that take two different plants and their qualities and make it into a “better” plant. However, you cannot save hybrid seed as it will go back to one of the original plants.

I have always been very conscience about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and do not use any kind of GMO seeds. Several years ago, I made the decision to raise all of our seeds in organic soil and compost. We do not fertilize with chemicals but use only compost. This makes for a very healthy plant.

It is my hope that 2016 will be a better growing season and that I can reopen the roadside stand.

Be sure to stop in and chat a while and remember to ENJOY!!

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