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Garden of Eating

Posted by Cynthia Brian on
Garden of Eating

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By Cynthia Brian

“The gathering of salads, radishes, and herbs made me feel like another about her baby–how could anything so beautiful be mine?” Alice B. Toklas

The final month of summer is the most delicious time of the season when summer crops, especially tomatoes and squash are at their tastiest. Throughout the year I look forward to this moment when I can pluck sun-ripened heirloom tomatoes right off the vine, pinch a basil leaf or two, and devour the combination while working in my potager.


Since medieval days, the French have been combining flowers, herbs, and vegetables in kitchen gardens called potagers. Still popular today, according to government surveys, at least 25% of consumed vegetables in France are home-grown. With the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables at an all-time high, many Americans are following suit and smartly growing their own groceries. 

Growing up on our farm, our edible gardens were expansive. Everything we consumed we either grew or raised, except for dairy products. Whenever we visited friends or relatives, we always brought vegetable garden platter.jpega box of freshly harvested goodies. Our meals were colorful, flavorful, and nutritious, making me a life-long advocate of continuing the tradition of growing my own organic crops and sharing the bounty with others.


Everyone benefits from enjoying a little patch of earth; however, most people don’t live on farms with acres of land. The good news is you don’t need a hectare to grow your own herbs and vegetables. With limited space, window boxes, balconies, doorsteps, and porches become your personal, edible Eden.

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If you are wondering what is a potager or kitchen garden, the best description is that it is a place where you grow your own garden of eating. In other words, what do you want to bring into the kitchen? Fruit, herbs, flowers, and vegetables are all welcome in a kitchen garden. Kids are instilled with better eating habits as well as a love of gardening by giving them a small plot or pot to grow foods they want to eat. Whether you are a green thumb or a non-gardener, growing edibles in a container on your patio or deck next to the grill make the ingredients easier to use in your meal planning. Most people don’t want to hike out to the back forty to harvest a handful of chives. Ornamental edibles are gorgeous and entertaining as herbs, flowers, and vegetables flow seamlessly together, attracting beneficial insects to keep the garden healthy and in balance.


Although it is too late this year to plant a kitchen garden for summer harvesting, the forthcoming fall offers the opportunity to plant winter crops. And by salivating now over the luscious summer offerings of tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant, and more, you can plan next spring’s planting.

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What do you need to grow a mini garden of tasty delights?

Containers: Anything that can hold soil and water will work well. You can purchase decorative containers in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and textures or you can recycle unlikely items for more of a unique design statement. I grow herbs and plants in old cowboy boots, coffee mugs, shells, wine boxes, teapots, toys, and even hats.  Drainage is critical, especially for any vessel without a bottom hole.  Add an inch of gravel or packing pebbles to the bottom of any containers to improve the drainage. Water damages surfaces. Provide saucers to prevent runoff staining.

Soil: Synthetic “soils” are best suited for growing vegetables and herbs in pots. Purchase pre-made bags or make your own by mixing sawdust, wood chips, peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, fertilizer, compost, or other organic mediums. Mixtures must be free of disease and weed seeds, be able to hold moisture and nutrients, be lightweight, and drain well.  Before planting, water the new soil thoroughly.

Sun: Growing herbs or vegetables requires sunshine. Make sure to position your planters in a non-drafty area receiving five to six hours of sun daily. A south, southeast, southwest, or west location is ideal. Most containers are easily moved from place to place. If very large or extra heavy, utilize the assistance of a hand truck!


Seeds: Whether you choose seeds or small plants, you’ll want to choose herbs or veggies that won’t grow too tall or too wide and don’t have a deep rooting system. My favorites are parsley, mint, basil, chives, sage, thyme, dill, strawberries, and lavender. I have had success in growing tomatoes, eggplant, lettuce, cabbage, and peppers in containers on my patio. If you have vertical space on a balcony or porch, pole beans are fun while cucumbers and squash can be trained to trail. For great barbecue flavors, keep a wagon of herbs, specifically rosemary, within rolling distance.


Water: Herbs and vegetables drown when water-logged. Water sparingly. Once a week during cooler seasons or in hot weather, once a day is sufficient. Poor drainage kills plants while wet leaves encourage disease. Be diligent. Feed once a month with a fertilizer designed for edibles. 


My Asian pear and apple trees are overflowing with fruit this year as are all my citrus trees including lemon, lime, tangerine, and tangelo. Grapes are ripening and will be harvested next month. Miniature or dwarf fruit trees are available at local nurseries allowing you to grow your favorite treats in troughs or containers. Berries can be grown in barrels to boost your antioxidant quotient to fight disease and keep you healthy. 

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There is nothing better than plucking a few leaves from your aromatic herbs, ripe fruit from your tree, tangy berries from the bush, or any veggie growing in your personal plots to add flavor and health to your cuisine. Growing in the ground or pots near your cooking environment will decrease stress and improve your happiness quotient.  Your botanical babies are beautiful!

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Plant your own garden of eating today.  Enjoy paradise on a plate. Bon appetite!


Happy Gardening. Happy Growing.

Photos and more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1614/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Garden-of-eating.html

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Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com. Her newest children’s picture book series, Stella Bella’s Barnyard Adventures, will be available soon. Buy copies of her books, www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. Receive a FREE inspirational music DVD and special savings. Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.



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The Lies of Obesity: What Your Body Wants You To Know

Posted by Editor on
The Lies of Obesity: What Your Body Wants You To Know


This reality is a huge perpetrator of the lies of obesity, and it’s why so many people are frustrated with diets, the so called “experts”, themselves and their bodies.

Could you be unknowingly functioning from some of these lies?  Here are three of the many lies you may have bought.

Lie number 1.
Our bodies are unconsciousness objects that should bend to our will.  What if your body IS actually conscious?  What if it knows what is best for it?  The idea that we should “have dominion” over our bodies springs from religious tenants that tell us we are far greater than our bodies, as well as the earth and the animal kingdom.  Does that seem heavy or light to you?  How much of a superior attitude do you have to take to believe that? Has that attitude ever worked for you?

Once we actually acknowledge that our bodies are consciousness, all kinds of new possibilities open up.  Partnering with our bodies, instead of trying to lord it over them, takes us from the place of antagonism to a space of cooperation.  Can we over ride our bodies and their knowing?  Absolutely, though the results are seldom what we think they should be and the results seldom last.

What if you honored your body rather than exercised power over it?  How much could that change for you?

Lie number 2.
The experts know more than you do about how you should treat your body.  Why should anyone know more about what’s good for your body than you?  Doesn’t the idea of imposing someone else’s regime on your body seem a little ludicrous?  Most of us were taught early on that we can’t trust ourselves to know what we know, and we should always trust the “experts”.  This insures that we will be able to be controlled, and that we will never step into the communion that’s possible with our bodies.  What if you were willing to begin to know what was true for you, which includes the capacity to communicate with and listen to your body?  What if you became your own “expert?

Lie number 3
Curing obesity requires will power.  Willpower is a highly touted concept in this reality but let’s take a closer look at what it actually entails. The idea implies that we should come to a decision, then impose it with what amounts to force, effort and violence on ourselves or our bodies.  Notice there’s no question in “willpower”, nor is there any possibility of change.  How well do you respond when someone tries to force something on you?  If you’re like most of us, forcing creates a huge amount of resistance and a kind of “to heck with you” attitude!  Using will power also necessitates us overriding and cutting off our knowing, if it contradicts what we have already decided we should do.  If you use will power in connection with your body, what are the chances your body is apt to do what you want it to do? Probably slim to none!  All that will power does is to set up resistance and reaction and a battle.  Are you willing to let go of will power in favor of question and knowing?

These are just three of the may lies that this reality perpetrates about obesity.  Are you interested in learning more?

Access Consciousness is presenting a groundbreaking tele-series on the Lies Of Obesity. Could exposing these lies create a totally different way for all of us to relate to and work with our bodies?  What if the failure to change what goes on with our bodies has little to do with what we eat and how much we exercise or don’t exercise? Gary Douglas, the founder of Access Consciousness and Donnielle Carter, co-author of Right Body For You, have assisted thousands of people in successfully changing their relationships with their bodies from one of force and antagonism to one of joyful cooperation and communion.

What if the kingpin of all of this had to do with judgment? Donnielle says:  “When I see a person who’s obese I never see them covered with fat, I see them covered with judgment.” She goes on to say: “Anyone who is judging their body (and who doesn’t?) is actually being abusive to it.”  It’s this judgment (abuse) that sets up the estrangement between ourselves and our bodies.

Whether it’s about  gaining enormous amounts of weight or our bodies breaking down, learning how to stop judging our bodies creates a completely different possibility.

What if obesity isn’t difficult to change?  What if gorging on judgment is more of a killer than gorging on food?

Are you interested in a new paradigm that will give you the tools and information to successfully alter how your body shows up?

What if your body could be your best friend? This tele-series is for anyone who has an issues with their body, and will invite you to all of the magic your body can be!

Addressing The Lies Of Obesity begins December 16.  Click here to sign up.

Gary Douglas, Dr Dain Heer and Ricky Williams discussed a totally different perspective on obesity on the Voice America Empowerment Channel Show. For more information visit our Access Consciousness Blog.

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