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Dream Green

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Empowerment
Dream Green

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“A dreamer dreams that everyone else in his dream must awaken before he can awaken.”

~ Ramana Maharshi

After my column, the Power of RE was published, I received numerous positive comments about how readers were implementing RE into their lives. It is gratifying to know that people read my articles, but I’ve always wondered what people do with the information they receive. 

Orinda resident, Kathy Boyle, showed me. She wrote: “I was intrigued by your ideas in your Lamorinda Weekly article about the Power of REhttp://lamorindanews.com/archive/issue1323/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Garden-Trends-for-2020-Part-1-The-power-of-RE.html As I was reading your article, I was envisioning those ideas in the context of gardening and recycling in my everyday life.  But then that wonderful Cervantes quote inspired me to amplify the ideas to how I am trying to live my life, especially during these very odd times.” (“Take a deep breath of life and consider how it should be lived.” ~Miguel de Cervantes) 

An elementary school Resource Specialist for forty years, Kathy had learned the power and effectiveness of ideas being created as colorful bulletin boards for kids. Now in retirement, she uses doors, walls, windows, mirrors, and even the shower door as her special bulletin boards by designing colorful visual pages to inspire herself. She also crafts pocket cards to carry with her on her hikes in nature. Her innovations helped me re-imagine my dream for this 2nd part in the 2020 Trends series. Thanks, Kathy for sharing your talents and for reaching out. Your art has reinvigorated me.

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Green careers are on the rise. From Boomers to Generation Z, people are finally understanding the call of the wild. From watering vacation gardens to talking to struggling plants, jobs are waiting to be filled. Horticultural therapy and plant blogging can become full-time careers. As our climate warms and more natural disasters occur, it is time for everyone to wake up to dream green.

Growing up on our farm, to be “dirt poor” meant that we had plenty of land, but not enough money. I remember the first time I visited New York City when I was nineteen and witnessed tiny bags of “dirt” being sold for $5.00 and more. I telephoned home and told my Daddy that we could be rich if we packaged and sold our acres of dirt. He responded that there was a big difference between soil and dirt in our century. Healthy soil is rich in vitamins, minerals, and organic matter. Dirt doesn’t have any nutritional value and isn’t valuable for growing anything. Unfortunately, today soil has been stripped of its nutrients.  Erosion and deforestation have washed away one-third of the world’s topsoil. Crops are planted for yield, not for nutrition. According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, if this negative trend doesn’t retreat soon, organically rich soil will be eliminated by 2050.

We have to dream green.

By embracing regenerative gardening practices, changing methods of farming and forestry, we can mitigate carbon and reverse the damage. We need to rebuild soil with organic matter, restore degraded soil, and reduce runoff. By composting, cover cropping, and no-tilling practices we can conserve wildlife and return to native soil. People are waking up to sustainability and the importance of caring for our environment. Composting reduces household waste by 40%. By growing organically, we revitalize the soil naturally. Planting cover crops of alfalfa, clover, beans, and mustard will control weeds and add nutrients to the soil. When planted in lawns, clover adds nitrogen to the earth, eliminating the need for additional fertilizer. 

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What about the greening of indoor spaces? Houseplants are connecting people with nature while cleaning the indoor air. Many young people have less income and live in smaller spaces. Succulents, bromeliads, peace lilies, snake plants, aloes, and fiddleleaf fig are easy to grow and long-lasting. Taking a class, attending a seminar, or watching how-to videos on YouTube are all terrific ways to learn more about growing nature inside.

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Pollution, pesticides, UV radiation, and climate change are all leading to the destruction of habitat for amphibians and wildlife. If your garden is silent, it is not healthy. We need the croaking of the frogs, singing of the birds, and the hooting of owls. They keep our gardens vital by dining on mosquitoes, beetles, snails, rats, gophers, and other pests. Plant ferns near water sources to protect frogs, toads, and turtles. Submerge water lilies to oxygenate the water while providing cover.

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Mushrooms are the trendy super-food of 2020.  Some species of fungi eat plastic and could help with rapid plastic decomposition. Edible mushrooms can prevent or treat hundreds of conditions. Although you don’t want to forage unless you are certain that a mushroom is not poisonous, if you want to grow mushrooms, inoculated logs can be purchased.

Being “woke” is a popular refrain these days. If we are going to dream green, we have to wake up to smell the roses. 2020 is the year that we must conceive unique sustainable ideas so that we achieve a world where we can breathe, live, and enjoy.

Implement the power of RE and dream green.

water lily.jpghttps://www.CynthiaBrian.com

 http://lamorindanews.com/archive/issue1324/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-2020-Garden-Trends-Part-2-Dream-green.html

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing.

Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for January

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BE AWARE of coyotes. I have had numerous reports of coyotes jumping backyard fences or digging under them to grab cats, chickens, rabbits, and small dogs. Since the autumn fires, food is sparse. and the coyotes are roaming neighborhoods. 

READ this Asbestos and Natural Disasters Guide that covers the impact of wildfires on structures made with asbestos:
https://www.asbestos.com/asbestos/natural-disasters/

California-specific: https://www.asbestos.com/states/california

DRY branches from tree trimmings for kindling.

BRIGHTEN your landscape, porch, or balcony by planting primroses which come in a variety of colors. 

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REPAIR broken pipes and irrigation systems while you have time.

PLANT bare root roses and fruit trees. Follow instructions on the packaging. Soak roots for a full 24 hours and cut off broken roots.  Plant the bud union 3 inches above the ground.

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REPOT potted plants you received as gifts of the holiday.  Remove wrapping to allow for good drainage.  Trim spent blossoms, water, and fertilize regularly.

REEDUCATE yourself about mulch: https://www.akhomeshow.com/mulch-information-guide.php

REREAD The Power of RE and incorporate RE into your personal, business, and gardening goals and resolutions for the year. http://lamorindanews.com/archive/issue1323/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Garden-Trends-for-2020-Part-1-The-power-of-RE.html

REST. It is winter and time for a break. Sit by the fire on non-Spare the Air days. Drink hot cocoa or hot mulled wine. Dream a green dream. 

Cyn-fireplace.jpghttps://www.CynthiaBrian.com

Photos and more: http://lamorindanews.com/archive/issue1324/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-2020-Garden-Trends-Part-2-Dream-green.html

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, 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.

Buy a copy of her books, Growing with the Goddess Gardener and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at https://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-storecyntha brian with books.jpg. 

 

Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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The Power of RE

Posted by presspass on
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Empowerment
The Power of RE

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LAMORINDA WEEKLY | Digging Deep with Cynthia Brian Garden Trends for 2020, Part 1

Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Garden-Trends-for-2020-Part-1-The-power-of-RE.pdf[1/6/2020 6:49:00 PM]

 

Cynthia Brian

Published January 8th, 2020

Digging Deep with Cynthia Brian

Garden Trends for

2020, Part 1

By Cynthia Brian

“Take a deep breath of life and consider how it should be

lived.”

~Miguel de Cervantes

 

A new year, great cheer, time to eliminate the fear

of getting dirty and starting a garden. So many people

confide to me that they have “brown thumbs.” I don’t

believe it is possible. There are only those who have not

tried, tried again. There is no failure in the garden.

Failure is fertilizer. Every time I have a plant that does

not do well, I send it to the compost pile where it will

renew my garden. Pledge to get down in the dirt this

year and experiment with plants. Once you have

success, you’ll be hooked on gardening, and your

vivacity will soar.

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To help you get into the swing of things, I’m

offering you the top trends that are predicted for 2020

that have been formulated by the Garden Media Group.

These trends help you choose plants, products, and

services that assist you to survive and thrive in the

outdoor world of Mother Nature. Who knows, with so much information you may become an influencer, or

even a trendsetter yourself.

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Dive in. Read the research and have some fun with regreening our Earth.

Currently, more than 50% of the world’s population resides in cities. By 2050, that number will grow

to 70%. With so much connectivity and urban living, people are hungry for nature. Because of urbanization,

it will become increasingly imperative for cities and businesses to design tranquil, plant-filled spaces for

people to refresh and enjoy. We live in the age of social media, and parks, forests, water elements and

sustainable edible gardens are critical not only for recreational purposes but to get away from the hustle and

bustle of urban living. People with knowledge of plants are in demand.

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More trees will be planted as a cost-saving strategy to improve the health of communities while

controlling stormwater runoff, reducing air pollution, and mitigating the heat. Green environments will

become the norm with green businesses assisting in the education of the public about the necessity of

becoming stewards of our planet.

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We currently live in a throw-away society of major consumption. Many of us remember the days when

appliances lasted 20 to 30 years. My mom’s washing machine lasted 45 years! Today, we are lucky to get

seven to 10 years before replacement. When I was a girl, I learned to sew and made all my clothes. Today I

mend torn clothing and alter my wardrobe to replicate current fashions. I don’t toss them. Since 1970,

global consumption tripled with only 9% of consumed materials reused. This material “mismanagement”

contributes to 67% of global greenhouse gas emissions. It’s easy to reuse, repurpose or re-engineer items

we already have to create new items we need.

 

Just today I was rereading a letter from my cousin who wrote to me about how he called my dad

“Superman” because he was one of those farmers who always stopped to help anyone in distress and could

fix anything and everything with baling wire and electrical tape. Daddy did more with less and he taught his

growing family to do the same. Repair, reuse, recycle, repurpose, remake, renew! We were all doing these

things before it was in vogue. Now the “re” everything is trending. It’s the power of RE.

When you buy a plant, either return the plastic container or reuse it. A major goal for 2020 is minimal

waste.

Are you looking for a great job or second career? Consider horticulture. Did you know that in 2018,

gardening in America grew to an industry of $40.6 billion according to Euro Monitor? By 2023, gardening is

expected to reach $49.3 billion, meaning that more labor will be necessary.

 

The next generations will need to learn to grow more food. Encourage children to seek an education

that will offer them expertise in urban agriculture, environmental sustainability, or garden installation. Start

on the job training now at home, in your backyard. Give your kids seeds to plant, weeds to pull, and areas

to irrigate. Allow them to grow a few vegetables to make a pizza. They’ll be happier, healthier, and will

become automatic stewards of our soils.

 

As we begin 2020, take a deep breath and walk around your neighborhood. Consider the importance

of the flora around you. What can you do personally to be more sustainable and regreen our planet?

I’ll have more information for you in my next column. Until then, remember that failure is fertilizer and

do your part to implement the power of RE.

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Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for January

RECYCLE unflocked Christmas trees without any stands by the curbside on your regular garbage service day. Remove all lights, ornaments, tinsel, and trimmings. For trees over 8 feet, the collection company requests that you cut them in half. 

RETURN grass clippings to your lawn. Grass mulching can fertilize the soil and minimize the amount of water needed to keep your yard green and healthy.

PRUNE roses and crape myrtles throughout this month.

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REVISIT the wonders of winter in the Sierras, in the vineyards, or public gardens. 

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RE-BOOST your vitamin C with fresh fruit from citrus trees. Ripening for the next two months you will enjoy sweet navel orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit, and Clementine.

REDEEM a planting offer from David Austin roses for 15% off with Offer code UKA or UKB before March 6 at www.davidaustinroses.com

PERUSE spring catalogs for ideas on planting then regift them to a fellow gardener. 

PROTECT plants from frost or freezing by covering with burlap or tarps.

HARVEST potatoes and beets.

REPLENISH bird feeders with nutritious seeds keeping our avian visitors nearby while supplementing their dietary requirements during the cold season.

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REFRESH your vitamin D requirement by spending 15 minutes outdoors daily.

RESOLVE to utilize the power of RE in 2020.

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Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. Happy New Year!

Photos at: http://lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1323/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Garden-Trends-for-2020-Part-1-The-power-of-RE.html

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Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, 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.

Buy a copy of her books, Growing with the Goddess Gardener and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

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Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

Be a Giver

Posted by presspass on
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Empowerment
Be a Giver

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December   30, 2019
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Be a GIVER!
We have the whole world in our hands.
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MESSAGE FROM CYNTHIA BRIAN Founder/Executive Director

cyn-xmas hat-treeBeing the Executive Director of a non-profit was not my dream. I never intended to start a charity.

My life was full, fun, and fanciful in the 1990s boasting a happy young family, a beautiful country home, glorious gardens, and a barnyard of rescued animals. As a successful actor, coach, and interior designer, my varied careers fulfilled my creative urges as well as increased my bank balance. Life was beautiful.

Since I was a little girl, volunteering was a part of life. Giving back was ingrained in us and it continued into my adulthood as I worked in my children’s classrooms, spearheaded events for worthy organizations, lead Girl Scouts, 4-H projects, sports activities, and lectured at church.  In my mind, it was other people who founded and created organizations and I had zero interest in becoming one of them.

Then my beloved Dad was diagnosed with a rare incurable cancer.  He was given three weeks to live and I became his champion to save his life, scouring the world for treatment in days before the internet. With excellent medical intervention and his positive attitude, our family enjoyed his earthly company for three additional years. When I asked him on his deathbed if there was anything more I could do for him, he smiled widely to exclaim, “I am dying a happy man. I married the woman I loved, we were blessed with five great children, and I worked in a profession that was my passion. I have lived my dreams.”

Something clicked inside me at that moment. My epiphany screamed pay it forward. My Daddy was a not a college-educated man, nor was he president of anything. He read books and did on the job training to learn what he needed as a farmer and a volunteer firefighter.  Dad was my hero, a man of his word, a pillar of strength, a person who helped everyone. Daddy was a giver. Although he was dying young, he felt that he had lived a life of purpose because he had loved, been loved, and fed people through his daily work.

It took many starts, stops, detours, and U-turns, but by 1999 I did pay it forward by establishing a charity, becoming a non-profit Founder and Executive Director. Be the Star You Are!®was created from my heart to empower those who needed it most—women, families, and kids.

It’s been a struggle to keep the vision alive. Thank goodness I didn’t have a crystal ball to see the many hurdles or I would never have started on this journey. Yet, now, working with teens and young adults, witnessing the slow yet steady progress to improve lives, I realize that this is the path I am meant to travel. Like my Daddy, I am a giver.

As I scroll through the hundreds of pages of volunteer sheets each filled with over a hundred names and positions, I am grateful for the experiences and the people who have grown with Be the Star You Are!® . We have planted pride, grown leaders, and reaped readers.

There comes an hour in all of our lives when we get turned upside down, meet disaster, sadness, loss, or regret face to face.  This is the opportunity to step up, put a smile on our faces, and make a difference.  Life offers choices. We can become bitter or we can become better. Better is best.

My Dad died many years ago in December. I miss my Dad and still hear his cheerful encouraging voice in my mind. His mentoring taught me how to live in the moment to recreate dreams, live with passion, welcome the possibilities, and see the potential in our world. His example showed me that I am enough and that each of us is unique with a special gift to share with our neighbors.

As 2019 ends and 2020 commences, I take this opportunity to thank you for being part of our collaborative community. Be the Star You Are!® volunteers are leading the way with empowerment, educational, communication, and literacy efforts that help others have a happily ever after. If you have the resources and believe in our mission, I encourage you to make a year-end tax-deductible donation, or better yet, sign up to donate regularly. You can donate via PAYPAL Giving Fund with no fees https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504 or send checks to BTSYA, PO Box 376, Moraga, California, 94556.

As we complete our first four months in our 21st year of being an all-volunteer charity with no paid staff, with your help,BTSYA will be able continue to make a difference in the years ahead for those in need. We must be doing something right to be around this long! Thank you for believing in our work to increase literacy and positive media messages.

Remember to shine brightly and smile widely. Be the star you were born to be. You can live your dreams.

Wishing you a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

Be a Giver! It will make you happy. 🙂

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556

Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org

https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

http://www.BTSYA.org

DONATE: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

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CHECKING ON CHARITY

2019-platinum-seal-guidestarBefore you donate this holiday season or anytime, it is always a great idea to make sure the charities that are asking for your dollars are legitimate. You want to be generous but you don’t want to be scammed. Here are a few tips to help you navigate.

  1. Locate your states charity regulator at www.nasconet.org
  2. To ascertain that your donation is tax-deductible, a charity must qualify as a 501 c 3 organization. Look up eligibility at https://irs.gov/charities-non-profits/tax-exempt-organization-search,
  3. Visit Great Non-Profits and read reviews. Be the Star You Are!® consistently receives 5 STAR reviews.  http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/be-the-star-you-are-inc/
  4. Check the watchdog of non-profits at GUIDESTAR: Search for your non-profit. Non-profits are rated as bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Be the Star You Are!® receives a platinum rating.: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3333882
  5. Go directly to the charity website and read about the mission and outreach programs. This will help you identify any bogus charities that are approaching you with a similar name.
  6. Don’t donate over the phone or through people you don’t know. Some solicitations made over the phone or on the internet could be scams.
  7. Be the Star You Are!® has been working faithfully to help those in need since 1999. Don’t be a scrooge and donate now either directly via www.BetheStarYouAre.org or Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504


IT’S ALL ABOUT THE GIVER

by Karen Kitchell

I believe gifts are meant to be tokens of appreciation or recognition of the role someone plays in our life. We can’t dictate what the receiver does with our gift, though we can enjoy knowing we have given our time and thought into choosing a meaningful gift. Instead of waiting to see or hear how very much someone likes what we have given, we can remind ourselves that we are a giver. And the world loves givers! It’s also important to remember that gifts can come from unexpected places and are not always things.

Karen Kitchel penned two chapters in the book, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World, and is a dedicated volunteer with BTSYA. She serves meals to the homeless and is a volunteer teacher, writer, job coach, and mentor. www.scatteringkindness.com

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Thank you from everyone at Be the Star You Are!®

BTSYA High Res Logo CCI.Make sure to make a year-end tax=deductible donation if you are able. Visit https://www.BetheStarYouare.org
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MIRACLE MOMENT®

It’s not how much you have, it’s how much you give”  

Crown Royal slogan



SHOPPING ALL YEAR ROUND?

Other easy ways that assist our mission and don’t cost you a penny!

1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882

2. Discounted books at Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity

3. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash at 3500+ popular online stores, then donate a percentage to BTSYA:https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc.

4. GoodShop: Choose Be the Star You Are as your charity to support. You can log in with Facebook, too, https://www.goodshop.com/nonprofit/be-the-star-you-are

5. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE: http://www.iGive.com/BTSYA

6. BTSYA Logo Store: http://btsya.rylees.net

7. Buy or Sell on EBAY:http://givingworks.ebay.com/charity-auctions/charity/be-the-star-you-are-501-c-3/1504/?favorite=link

8. Designer Clothes to Buy or Sell: https://www.unionandfifth.com/charities/be-the-star-you-are-moraga-ca/shop

9. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” T-shirts and tanks $19.99 at StarStyle® Store: https://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store

10. Are you a gamer, lover of new software, or other digital content? Buy all of your favorites at Humble Bundle. http://ow.ly/cYs130iN6n4

We appreciate a direct donation most of all via PAYPAL GIVING FUND at https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

Checks can be sent to PO Box 376, Moraga, California 94556

___________________

Direct Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®

Positive Results: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results

About Us: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/about_us

Programs: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/programs

How to Help: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/how-to-help

Blog: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/blog-1

Events: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/events

Contact us: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/contact

GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/be-the-star-you-are-inc/

GUIDESTAR: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3333882

We invite you to volunteer, get involved, or make a donation. Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504


Classified Ads

If you’d like to advertise your service or product while supporting Be the Star You Are!®, we are now accepting approved ads that will benefit readers. Contact info@BetheStarYouAre.org for details.


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TUNE IN!

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Our two Be the Star You Are!® radio broadcasts provide entertainment, information, and empowerment in every hour of power.

Listen LIVE to StarStyle® every Wednesday from 4pm PT at http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are or catch us on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/starstyle-be-the-star-you-are!/id669630180?mt=2

For a young adult look at life, listen to Express Yourself!™ Sunday’s at 3pm PT  at https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself or on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/express-yourself!/id481894121?mt=2

Read all about the Be the Star You Are!® Radio broadcasts, guests, reporters, hosts, and more at https://www.StarStyleRadio.com.


New Year's ChampagneMay you enjoy great health, peace, friendship, love, and joy now and forever. We have the whole world in our hands. Let’s take care of it.

With gratitude for you and your support from BTSYA volunteers!


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Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556
US
 

Yellowjackets on the Rampage

Posted by presspass on
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Empowerment
Yellowjackets on the Rampage

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When we think of yellowjackets, we normally associate these pesky stingers with interrupting barbecues, picnics, and outdoor festivities during the summer months. What most people don’t realize is that yellowjackets are the most aggressive during late autumn to mid-December. These wasp=like, six-legged, black and yellow flying pests are found anywhere throughout the United States wherever humans commune. Although they are pollinators, they eat meat, fish, and sugary foods. They are also attracted to perfumes and sweet smells.

At this time of year, larvae in the cells mature into males and females who mate. For this reason, the workers are diligently protecting the nest and will attack with a vengeance anyone that comes near. The nests are usually in a hole in the ground, in a bush, or at the base of a tree, although they will build nests in attics or other living spaces. If you are raking leaves and inadvertently come close to an area where a yellowjacket nest resides, a swarm of stinging scavengers will chase you, stinging repeatedly, sometimes causing dire allergic reactions. When we brush off or kill these insects, they release a pheromone that signals other yellow jackets nearby to attack. They are extremely territorial and if the nest is not exterminated, the fertilized eggs that hatch into queens in the spring will create a new nuisance…many more colonies of these pests. The workers will die when the weather turns extremely cold and the queen goes into hibernation.

If you detect a swarm of yellowjackets, call either an extermination company for a paid service or Vector Control for free extermination at (925) 685-9301.  

Remedies for yellowjacket stings:

Because yellowjackets are defending their colony, they can be very aggressive and dangerous.  

If you or your pet is allergic or are stung multiple times, seek medical assistance immediately. Besides the pain, swollenness, and itching, a large quantity of venom can cause nausea, fever, vomiting, fever, fainting, and anaphylactic shock. Delayed reactions, such as encephalitis, that occur weeks after a sting are rare but do occur. Contact your physician.

For immediate treatment of mild stings using a home remedy, make sure the stinger is not embedded in the skin. If you are outside, apply a compress of cold mud. As soon as possible do any of the following:

  1. 1. Take an antihistamine according to package directions.
  2. 2. Hold an ice pack covered in a thin cloth on the area.
  3. 3. Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to affected areas. The alkalinity in the baking soda neutralizes the venom. 
  4. 4. A cotton ball application of undiluted ammonia, vinegar, or toothpaste works in the same manner. The acid in vinegar reduces swelling and inflammation. 
  5. 5. Two or three aspirins can be crushed and mixed with water to make a paste to apply to the stings. The anti-inflammatory properties will assist in the control of swelling and pain.
  6. 6. Spread honey on the stings to reduce pain and itching. Leave on the skin for thirty minutes before rinsing with warm water. Reapply as necessary.swollen yellowjacket stung hand.jpg

Remember that yellowjackets are not bees. They are wasps. Don’t confuse the two. 

Photos and more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1321/Alert-Protect-yourself-from-yellowjackets-on-the-rampage.html

Cynthia Brian is the author of Growing with the Goddess Gardener and the Digging Deep columnist for the Lamorinda Weekly. www.CynthiaBrian.com

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, 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.

Buy a copy of her books, Growing with the Goddess Gardener and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

Cynthia Brian'Growing with the Goddess Gardener book copy.jpg

Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

Gratitude through the Flames

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Empowerment
Gratitude through the Flames

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Miracle Moment®

“The difference between a good life and a bad life is how well you walk through the fire.” Carl Jung, psychologist



MESSAGE FROM CYNTHIA BRIAN, Founder/Executive Director

 

cynthia brian-India mustardOctober was a frightening and challenging month for residents of California. Rampant power black outs and raging fires throughout the state required thousands of people to evacuate their homes. After producing our radio broadcasts, I went to bed on a Wednesday night and  at 2:15 am, my husband and I were awoken by firefighters pounding on our door shouting “evacuate now!” We were given 60 seconds to leave as the fire was flaming near our fence less than 100 feet away. Feeling immense gratitude for surviving the inferno, I quickly penned what I had learned during that frantic flee: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1317/One-Minute-to-Evacuate-a-personal-perspective-from-the-Oct-10-fire.html .

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November is the month to express our thanks. First responders deserve major credit and gratitude for saving property and lives. Both fire and police personnel have been working tirelessly throughout California during these unprecedented times.

Climate change is rapidly fueling natural disasters. Be the Star You Are!® continues to spearhead Operation Disaster Relief and we encourage you to contribute. No longer can we start a campaign only when tragedy strikes. Disasters have become a part of daily life and Be the Star You Are!® must be ready to assist at a moments notice.  All donations are greatly appreciated to help us help those in need. Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504.

Or send a check to BTSYA, PO Box 376, Moraga, California 94556. Give to this favorite 501(c)(3) and receive a deduction on your 2019 taxes if you itemize.

The power black outs continued throughout the month and it may be wise to take the steps to be self-sufficient or off the grid as we are living in a new environment. I’ve published two important articles for the newspaper where I work to help others know how to prepare for an emergency. Make sure to read these as they may save your life and that of your family and friends. Send these links to those you love to help them prepare for whatever disaster lurks in our future.

Safety first: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1318/Safety-First-Emergency-Preparation-and-the-Go-Bag.html

Scary, scary night: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1318/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Scary-scary-night.html

As we prepare for the holiday season of gifts and giving, we want to introduce you to books that will inspire and thrill you. Make sure to check out our Spotlight book, I am Me, a powerful book by teens with original art and poetry expressing the importance of being your authentic self. Also, order copies of our three signature books in the Be the Star You Are!® series for true stories, adages, and exercises to help you live, laugh, learn, and love more fully with 100% of the profits benefiting this charity. Giving Tuesday is December 3rd this year, so please mark your calendar and ask your company to match your donation.

Thank you to everyone for your patience, understanding, checking in, and love. We are very appreciative. Be safe and sound. Let’s hope no one has to walk through the fire to have a great life,

“Communicate, Collaborate, Innovate!”  Join us! Thanksgiving is TODAY and EVERYDAY!

Blessings and Gratitude,

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556

Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org

https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

http://www.BTSYA.org

DONATE: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

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RECOGNITION FOR 20 YEARS OF SERVICE:

20th Ca. legislature Honor for BTSYARecently, we received a lovely letter and Certificate of Recognition from the California Legislature congratulating Be the Star You Are!® on 20 years of service to the community. What an unexpected honor for which we are grateful to Assembly member, Rebecca Bauer-Kahan . We share this commendation with all of our dedicated volunteers and supporters. With your assistance, Be the Star You Are!® continues its imperative mission to empower women, families, and youth through increased literacy, positive media messages, and tools for living.

20th letter-Ca. legislature Honor for BTSYA


SPOTLIGHT on the teen book, I AM ME

spotlightI Am Me: Teen Artists and Writers Speak Out on Being Yourself 

This is a powerful book that helps young people believe that you don’t have to achieve “perfection” to be “perfect.”

“Edgy, powerful, insightful, and honest.” 

The pages in this book pairs award winning art and writing to empower teens to shake off negative influences to realize it is okay to be themselves. Each piece of art is skillfully matched with writing to reflect the attitude of a generation of teens who want to fit in but feel inadequate due to societal pressures.

www.i-am-me-teen.com or order on Amazon.

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Listen to Editor, Tom Worthen, Ph.d interviewed on Express Yourself! Teen Radio about this poignant message. https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/118745/optimism-with-i-am-me

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SUCCESS AT PEAR AND WINE FESTIVAL

Our Teen Event Director, Siri Phaneendra, did a fabulous job of putting on the BTSYA booth at the recent Pear and Wine Festival. Her mother and sister helped her with the new henna activity. Express Yourself!® radio hosts Kenneth Jeon and Jack Pawlakos were on hand to work in the booth. Thanks to Lamorinda Weekly newspaper for sponsorship and lending us the great canopy. What a fantastic family day of fun!

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BTSYA is a TOP NON PROFIT for 2019

2019-top-rated-awards-badge-embedWe have been honored with a Top-Rated Award for 2019 from GreatNonprofits! We appreciate all of your contributions! http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/be-the-star-you-are-inc/


RADIO BROADCASTS TO INSPIRE

Dr Dravon James-EvdyPeaceCynthia Brian was thrilled and honored to be a guest on Dr. Davon James LIVE radio broadcast on Veteran’s Day focusing on passion. Cynthia and Dr. James share how everyone can create success by living and working with passion. You are enough! Listen now! https://www.unityonlineradio.org/everyday-peace/living-and-working-your-passion

Express Yourself!® Teen Radio host Henna Hundal (also host of syndicated The Henna Hundal Show) facilitated an impressive broadcast about the critical importance of mentorship and coaching. Nicholas Donzelli, a ten year veteran of volunteering coaching of an award winning water polo team shared his insights along with Be the Star You Are!® founder and StarStyle® coach, Cynthia Brian. Having a coach and/or mentor in your life can help you launch your dreams. Be authentic. Tune in https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/118595/mentoring-with-henna-hundal-nick-donzelli-and-cynthia-brian

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Bill Gates and Henna Hundal  Malala Yousafzai and Henna Hundal


GIVING TUESDAY IS DECEMBER 3, 2019 

2019-platinum-seal-guidestarGivingTuesday​ started as a day for anyone, anywhere to give, and it’s grown into the biggest giving movement in the world. Celebrated each year on the Tuesday following U.S. Thanksgiving, and fueled by the power of social media, GivingTuesday inspires millions of people across the globe to show up and give back to causes and issues that matter to them. The goal is to create a massive wave of generosity that lasts well beyond that day, and touches every person on the planet. GivingTuesday takes place on December 3, 2019 this year. Create a fundraiser and ask your employer to match donations. Be the Star You Are!® will use your contributions for our ongoing outreach programs, disaster relief, and positive message radio broadcasts. Donations can be made to Be the Star You Are! via PAYPAL GIVING FUND with no fees. https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504. You will receive an instant tax receipt.

Then, continue being kind and doing good all year round.


VISIT WITH SANTA IS DECEMBER 14th

2018 Xmas with Santa-5A 2Mark your calendars for a jolly journey to the north pole on December 14th.  Be the Star You Are!® volunteers once again collaborate with 5 A Rent a Space in Moraga to bring Santa and his elves to the neighborhood. Kids can write a letter to Mr. Claus, get a FREE photo sitting on his lap, get creative with festive art projects, and enjoy hot chocolate and special treats. Holiday cards and books will be available for sale as a donation to BTSYA. The event is FREE for the entire family. 11am-3pm. Come enjoy holiday cheer with all of us.


HOW DO YOU THANK SOMEONE?

By Karen Kitchel

You know the feeling deep within. Someone just came to your door with a basket of warm cookies because they know you’re having a tough day.  You narrowly escape your burning home while a firefighter goes back in to save your puppy. Or maybe it was a stranger who picked up all the spilled candy that your little darling scattered on the supermarket floor.

Sometimes we wish we had a word much stronger than “thanks” to convey our heartfelt appreciation.  Perhaps by adding a sincere look or a tap on the arm, we can transfer our feelings of gratitude.

What else can we do to say thanks?  I once gave a co-worker a post-it note with a word of thanks, and ten years later she told me it still could be seen on her refrigerator. Think back to a time when you really felt thanked for something you said or did.  Why do you still remember that feeling?

While we celebrate one special day of giving thanks this month, we can enjoy the power of thanking someone every day.

BTSYA volunteer Karen Kitchel serves meals to the homeless, is a volunteer teacher, writer, job coach, and mentor. She wrote the chapter, The Gift of Adoption, in our book, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World. www.scatteringkindness.com

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SHOPPING FOR THE HOLIDAYS?  ENJOY DISCOUNTS & MORE

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Other easy ways that assist our mission and don’t cost you a penny!

1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882

2. Discounted books at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity

3. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash back at 3500+ popular online stores, then donate a percentage to BTSYA:https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

& buy from your favorite stores.

4. Search and Shop: Choose Be the Star You Are as your charity to support. You can log in with Facebook, too!http://www.goodsearch.com/goodto-go/be-the-star-you-are

5. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE: http://www.iGive.com/BTSYA

6. BTSYA Logo Storehttp://btsya.rylees.net

7. Buy or Sell on EBAY:http://givingworks.ebay.com/charity-auctions/charity/be-the-star-you-are-501-c-3/1504/?favorite=link

8. Designer Clothes to Buy or Sell: https://www.unionandfifth.com/charities/be-the-star-you-are-moraga-ca/shop

9. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” T-shirts and tanks $19.99 at StarStyle® Store: https://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store

10. Are you a gamer, lover of new software, or other digital content? Buy all of your favorites at Humble Bundle. http://ow.ly/cYs130iN6n4

We appreciate a direct donation most of all via PAYPAL GIVING FUND at https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

Checks can be sent to PO Box 376, Moraga, California 94556

Direct Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®

Positive Results: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results

About Us: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/about_us

Programs: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/programs

How to Help: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/how-to-help

Blog: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/blog-1

Events: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/events

Contact us: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/contact

GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/be-the-star-you-are-inc/

GUIDESTAR: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3333882

We invite you to volunteer, get involved, or make a donation. Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

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If you’d like to advertise your service or product while supporting Be the Star You Are!®, we are now accepting approved ads that will benefit readers. Contact info@BetheStarYouAre.org for details.


A NOTE WE LOVED!

”I admire you because despite your fears you face destiny as a beast and manage to reverse the worst situation. You don’t believe in dramatic forecasts and wake up every morning wanting to give the world the best. Thank you!” Nico Ficarelli, Decendiente de Manuel Creador De Argentina

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556

Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org

https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

http://www.BTSYA.org

All donations are 100% Tax Deductible according to law. Thank you!

https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

Happy Day of Thanksgiving! 

 
We Appreciate you!

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See all: http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/672296/fe82bef3f1/288055965/ac7221bc2f/

 

Starry, Scary Night

Posted by presspass on
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Empowerment
Starry, Scary Night

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“Starry, starry night

Flaming flowers that brightly blaze

Swirling clouds in violet haze.” Don McLean

In 1889, post-impressionist, Vincent Van Gogh, painted one of his most memorable paintings, The Starry Night, as he looked out of his asylum east window. On October 10, 2019, when I looked out our east window, the starry night was aglow with flames and they were not the brightly blaze of flaming flowers. Normally, I look forward to the month October because of the frivolity of Halloween. Costumes, candy, scarecrows, black cats, ghosts, ghouls, jack o ’lanterns, and trick or treating offer children a scary evening of amusement. It was a scary, scary night, but it was not Halloween.

The power was off and a fire erupted racing down the hill to a neighborhood fast asleep. Firefighters were swift and efficient evacuating the community and containing the inferno. Police officers assisted in maintaining peace and safety. Fortunately, all structures were saved and no injuries were incurred, thanks to the professional first responders. Gardens and landscapes survived the blaze with only a few fences being torched. 

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What homeowners need to know to be more fire-safe:

The area where I live in Northern California is rural, wooded, with minimal escape routes. Many of the plants and trees growing throughout our area are highly flammable including pines, cypress, cedar, fir, bamboo, acacia, juniper, Pampas grass, rosemary, ivy, arborvitae, miscanthus, and eucalyptus. Coyote brush, although moderately fire-resistant when it is young and green, is highly combustible as it grows. It depends on fires to regenerate and grows everywhere in our hills.  All of these plants need to be removed or carefully supervised. Since heat moves up, fire speed and severity is stronger on slopes where vegetation management is crucial.

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Autumn is a prime time to prepare your landscaping for the next season and create a defensible space around your property. A defensible space is an area around a structure that has been cleared of ignitable debris and botanicals that may cause a public safety hazard. No plant is fireproof. Under the right conditions, every plant will burn, especially those that are drought-stressed or not maintained.  A “fire-safe” plant means that it tends not to be a significant fuel source in itself with a chemical composition that resists heat and combustion. It is critical to keep plants around our homes well tended and pruned as a fire protection tool. The closer plants are to the house, the more care is needed. Every homeowner is responsible for managing their vegetation to meet Fire District requirements. 

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Neighborhoods are encouraged to form a committee to receive advice from local fire professionals on how to be Fire Wise. Being Fire Wise is dependent on the diligence of everyone in a neighborhood to keep property fire safe. Fires do not honor property lines. All properties become indefensible when one neighbor has overgrown bushes, brush, or low hanging trees.

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What makes flora highly flammable?

  • ϖ Dry and dead leaves, twigs, branches
  • ϖ Abundant, dense foliage
  • ϖ Needles
  • ϖ Low moisture foliage
  • ϖ Peeling, loose bark
  • ϖ Gummy sap
  • ϖ Leathery or aromatic leaves
  • ϖ Content of terpene, oils, or resin
  • ϖ Dry uncut grasses

What makes flora reasonably fire-resistant?

  • ϖ Hardy, slow-growing plants that don’t produce litter or thatch.
  • ϖ Drought tolerant natives with internal high water content. Generally, but not always, California natives are more tolerant of fire and deer.
  • ϖ Trees with thick bark that restrict the growth of invasive shrub species and hardwood trees such as walnut, cherry, maple, and poplar are less flammable. Deciduous trees and shrubs are more fire resistant because they have higher moisture content when in leaf, lower fuel volume when dormant, and usually do not contain flammable oils.
  • ϖ Supple, moist leaves with little to no sap or resin residue.
  • ϖ Low growing ground covers.
  • ϖ Bulbs with dried leaves cut to the ground.

What can you do now to create a more fire-resistant landscape?

  • ϖ Include pavers, bricks, pavement, gravel, rocks, dry creek beds, fountains, ponds, pools, and lawns. 
  • ϖ Select high moisture plants that grow close to the ground with a low sap and resin content
  • ϖ Plant the right plant in the correct location. Leave space between plants.
  • ϖ Minimize the inclusion of evergreen trees within thirty feet of structures. Clear the understory. Keep trees twenty feet away from chimneys. 
  • ϖ Remove invasive species or swaths of flammable plants including ivy, rosemary, broom, coyote brush, chamise, and juniper.
  • ϖ Keep mulch moist. Create zones of rock, brick, or gravel. Bark and leaves are not mulches recommended near structures.
  • ϖ Prune trees 6-10 feet above the ground to hinder fire laddering.
  • ϖ Keep appropriate clearance to reduce the threat of burning embers from decorative features such as gazebos, fences, sheds, porches, and junk areas.  
  • ϖ Irrigate and maintain all flora, lawns, and hillsides. Clover, groundcovers, and grasses that are kept low and green are excellent alternatives. 
  • ϖ Due to soil erosion, bare ground is not recommended.
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Helpful Websites

Sign Up for Alerts

Having had warning of the looming PGE blackout, I had deeply irrigated my entire garden and hillside. An alert from EBMUD instructed that in a power outage, water must be used judiciously, so as a pre-emptive measure, I watered my landscape thoroughly, soaking the grass, shrubs, mulch, trees, and fences. Throughout the summer, thrice, I had weed-whacked the tall grass surrounding my property and that of neighbors, pruned low hanging tree branches, and a week before the fire I had, thankfully, cut the dry perennials to the ground. These are steps I encourage all homeowners to undertake. Maintaining our landscaping is a never-ending task mandatory for both our pleasure and protection. 

Let’s participate in keeping the fire-breathing dragon away! Enjoy a safe and scary evening of Trick or Treating under the starry skies!

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. Happy Halloween!

Read more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1318/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Scary-scary-night.html

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, 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. 

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Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy a copy of her books, Growing with the Goddess Gardener and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

 

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Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

 

A Time and a Season

Posted by presspass on
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Empowerment
A Time and a Season

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 “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

With the power disruptions and fire fears of October in our rearview mirrors, we welcome November with open arms and grateful hearts. It won’t be long before the rains arrive. Driving or walking throughout the region, we witness a marvelous display of fall foliage as leaves on many deciduous trees turn from green to saffron to tangerine to crimson before dropping to the ground. 

Time to fertilize heavily. In autumn, plants quit sending minerals and water to leaves and blooms. The nutrients are instead directed to increase the roots while storing food for the winter months.  We witness the foliage color change to our great delight .

When you fertilize at this time of year, you’ll be feeding your trees, shrubs, plants, and lawns. This dormant feeding is crucial for the success of your garden for the following seasons.  The roots are busy storing nourishment even though the above-ground growth has halted. It’s best to do this heavy feeding after the first rain to assist the fertilizer to go deeper into the ground. The soil is still warm and will soak up the fertilizer. 

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Time to feed lawns. Lawns especially need fertilizing now. The blade growth has slowed, a signal that roots are digging deeper. Gradually start mowing your lawn shorter and fertilize heavily to prepare the grass for the long cold months ahead. There is still time to aerate if your clay soil is compacted. After the first rain is a good time to re-seed grass or install new sod. Make a personal batch of grass patch by mixing a bag of potting soil in a wheelbarrow with enough lawn seed until you see 20 or more seeds per handful. Scratch or till any bare patches, scatter the seed over the fresh soil, rake lightly, water, and wait for the seedlings to sprout. Keep the area damp until grass is established. Do not let it dry out.

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Time to prune dead branches and rake leaves. No plant or tree is fireproof. 

Dead branches, dry leaves, and grasses are highly flammable. Reduce fuel laddering by pruning trees 6-10 feet from the ground and several feet from roofs. A person should be able to walk under a tree without being hit by a branch. Clean out your gutters, eaves, porches, and decks. 

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Time to watch for rodents and skunks. It’s mating season for rodents and skunks. The recent fires have impacted wildlife movement allowing animals to migrate closer to residential development, including a plethora of rats. Vector Control Inspector, Joe Cleope, alerted me about the new procedures and protocols instigated in the district. Many people don’t know that Vector Control is a free service. If you have a question or concern, please visit the website for assistance. https://www.contracostamosquito.com.

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Time to plant garlic. Vampires may not like garlic, but foodies do! Planting just a dozen cloves will yield you a harvest of more than 120 cloves. A bulb has several cloves to break apart before planting in a sunny location in rich, well-drained soil. Put the pointy side up and the flat side down, cover the cloves with a layer of mulch, and they will multiply forming a new bulb. Harvesting will be late summer when the tops have yellowed. You can then tie or braid the stalks or cut the leaves above the bulb. Always save a large bulb for the next year of planting.

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Time to harvest and eat pineapple guavas. Called feijoa, the fruit is self-harvesting. It falls from the tree when ripe, however, you can also pick the fruit. When cut, a fully ripened feijoa will have clear-colored jellied sections. If not ripe, put in a brown paper bag for a few days with an apple. Scoop out the sweet/tart jelly and eat raw or make jams, sauces, glazes, or add to salads. The perfume from the fruit is as delicious as the fruit!

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Time to cut hydrangea blossoms. If you enjoy drying the flowers of hydrangeas, November is a perfect month to do so. If not, once the flowers fade, cut back the stems to encourage new growth.

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Time to plant succulents. Succulents are drought and fire-resistant. Many boast beautiful flowers, unique shapes, and striped striations. Planting a selection in one designated area presents a bigger impact of form, texture, and color.

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Time for final grape harvesting. The crops of grapes have come to season’s end.  If you still have bunches hanging on the vine, take the opportunity to cut them to refrigerate or dehydrate. Use the red-hued leaves in your autumn decorations and place settings.

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Time to give thanks. We all have so much for which to be grateful. As Thanksgiving nears, take time to express your appreciation for the blessings and gifts you have received. Remember the people in your life that have been there for you on all occasions…the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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To everything there is a season and now is the time to turn, turn, turn. 

Happy gardening. Happy growing. 

Photos and More: http://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1319/Cynthia-Brians-Gardening-Guide-for-November-A-time-to-plant-a-time-to-reap.html

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Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, 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.

Buy a copy of her books, Growing with the Goddess Gardener and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.StarStyleStore.net

Cynthia Brian books banner.jpg

Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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Back to Garden Work!

Posted by presspass on
0
Empowerment
Back to Garden Work!

Dragon pond gift from china.jpghttps://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1317/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Back-to-work.html

by Cynthia Brian

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

P.G.E. has informed the community that the power may be shut off for 48 hours at a time due to high gusty winds and dry conditions. Obviously, this doesn’t make me happy because if there is no electricity, there is no internet connection on my computer. Without an internet connection, I can’t submit my articles and photographs to the newspaper.  I’m not one to use my cell phone for my writing or photography assignments, thus, this announcement means that I have to stop my autumnal garden clean-up to write and publish.

The silver lining is that you, my dear readers, will get a jumpstart on your fall chores. Yes, it is time to get back to work in your yard.

The next 30 days are the optimal time to get your landscape prepared for the winter sleep and the spring awakening. Before the rains come, harvest your grapes, take away the trash, tidy up the vegetable patch, clear away the dead stems.  Over-wintering pests and diseases will take refuge in the hideouts of debris left in the garden. Corn stalks must be cut (use them for Halloween decorations). Pick the ripe apples, figs, and Asian pears. Leaves from deciduous and evergreen trees may be raked into the compost pile. Or, if you have space, stack leaves separately to create a rich leaf mold that can be used next season as a valuable ingredient in your potting soil. 

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Most garden projects are best begun in autumn when the soil is still warm with cooler evenings. Create new paths, add a rock garden, terrace a hillside, plant a fern grotto, sow a new lawn. If you have a greenhouse, start bringing frost tender potted plants into the structure. If you don’t have a greenhouse, identify plants that need protection and if they are in containers, move them closer to the house, preferably under an awning. For plants growing in your garden that will be susceptible to winters chill, wrap them in burlap. I am currently covering my bougainvillea and blue flowering Birds of Paradise. 

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With the change of seasons, our houseplants require a bit of TLC. For all of the smaller, moveable plants, bring them outdoors for a final refreshing shower to remove built-up dust. Give them a deep drink on a warm, but not a hot day, and let them dry in the shade before returning them to the house. For large plants such as fiddle leaf fig or philodendron, take a damp cloth and wipe each leaf, top and bottom, as well as the stems. With shorter days, less intense light, and a different indoor atmosphere, our houseplants may suffer. Make sure to keep the soil evenly moist without being soggy. If you want your Christmas cactus to bloom for the holidays, keep it in a cool room without watering so that it can rest. 

Mission Figs.jpg

Red flag days will be more common through November as winds kick up and the heat of fall keeps the thermometers rising. If you pruned your begonias and roses in the last few weeks, you’ll enjoy bountiful flowers until the downpours begin. I am truly enamored with begonias, both the tuberous and the wax leaf or fibrous. In some areas, the wax leaf begonia is an annual but in our warmer Mediterranean climate, they are perennial like their sisters, the tuberous begonias. Don’t make the mistake of pulling them out when they die back. Just cut them to the ground to allow them to overwinter and you’ll be rewarded with even a fuller plant next blooming season.

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Cynthia Brian’s “Back to Work” Gardening Guide for October

The chores already discussed need doing before inclement weather begins.

Once we have a deep soaking of life-giving rain, October is one of the best months for planting, seeding, and digging.

  • CREATE meandering borders filled with perennials and shrubs.
  • PLANT trees and bushes as the temperature cools.
  • SCATTER wildflower seeds, especially California poppies and lupines.
  • START a new lawn or re-seed an existing lawn.
  • DEADHEAD annuals.
  • ROOT out any remaining weeds.
  • DIG a pond and add a water feature.
  • Lily pond.jpg
  • CHOOSE fall planting bulbs that will have different bloom times from early to late spring. Don’t forget muscari (grape hyacinth). This fragrant bulb will multiply, growing in sun or shade.
  • REFRIGERATE hyacinth, crocus, and tulip for six weeks before planting. 
  • SOW cool-season vegetables including turnips, peas, lettuce, rutabagas, kohlrabi, carrots, kale, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
  • ADD a tropical ambiance with New Guinea impatiens, red-hot poker, and palms.
  • impatiencs, red hot pokers,.jpg
  • PROVIDE long-lasting beauty for sunny areas with ornamental grasses, geraniums, and elephant ear.
  • geranium, feather grass, elephant ear.jpghttps://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1317/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Back-to-work.html
  • FIX nitrogen and increase biomass with a cover crop such as mustard, alfalfa, or crimson clover.
  • ENJOY your begonias. Once they start dying back, do not pull them out. They will return more robust next fall. 
  • TAKE pleasure in photos of beautiful gardens, such as those from Butchart Gardens in Canada. See https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1316/Cynthia-Brians-Gardening-Guide-for-October-Benvenuto-to-Butchart-Gardens.html
  • Buchart Sunken Garden.jpg

Our gardens are winding down and so too will we. Get to work finishing your tasks this autumn in anticipation of a restful winter. Life begins again!

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. 

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Photos and More: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1317/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Back-to-work.html

One Minute Evacuation: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1317/One-Minute-to-Evacuate-a-personal-perspective-from-the-Oct-10-fire.html

 

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, 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. 

cyn-vineyard-old chevy truck.jpg

Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy a copy of her books, Growing with the Goddess Gardener and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

Cynthia Brian books banner.jpg

Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

 

Butchart Gardens

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Empowerment
Butchart Gardens

Buchart Sunken Garden.jpg

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

O Canada! 

After a hot summer of weeding, pruning, mowing, cleaning, composting, and tidying my plots, traveling to Victoria in British Columbia was a welcome respite. Despite the cold and inclement weather on Vancouver Island, we set out to explore the extraordinary National Historic Site of Canada in Brentwood Bay known as The Butchart Gardens. 

Entrance to Buchart Gardens.jpg

In 1904, the Butchart family built their home amongst sheltered Tod Inlet surrounded by forests and fields in an area where there were limestone deposits, the perfect conditions for establishing a cement plant. They named the location, “Benvenuto”, meaning “welcome” in Italian.  Mr. Butchart’s first barge-load of cement sailed from the inlet in 1905 for sale to Canadian cities. As rocks were gathered and piled in select locations and soil was brought in by the wagonloads, the quarry soon metamorphosed into the show-stopping sunken gardens. Every site for planting was meticulously chosen and a lake was created from the deepest part of the quarry, fed by a waterfall and stream. 

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Still owned and maintained by the Butchart family, the 55 acres of gardens continue to evolve, expand, and attract.  Over a million visitors a year flock to this oasis of calm and beauty. Today separate gardens include the Rose, Italian, Mediterranean, Japanese, and Sunken Garden. Numerous waterscapes abound. There are boat tours at Butchart Cove, fireworks in the evening, restaurants, tea time, and even a Carousel with thirty hand-carved animals that delight children and kids-at-heart alike.

Although I was enamored by the entire landscape, it was the Sunken Garden that captured my imagination. As an avid and very diligent gardener, I can only imagine the amount of labor that was involved in creating a lush and elegant horticultural masterpiece from a rough, grim, grey quarry of jagged rocks. As I meandered around the paths admiring the handiwork of years of devotion from hundreds of talented plant smiths, I was thrilled to see that the gorgeous flowers blooming in the beds and cascading over the stone banks, were plants that I grow in my California garden. Dahlias, roses, begonias, New Guinea impatiens, cannas, camellias, salvias, rhododendrons, geraniums, petunias, hydrangeas, alliums, acanthus, astilbes, arums, snapdragons, zinnias, euphorbias, fuchsias, heliotropes, hostas, lantanas, marigolds, and even an entire swatch of deep green shamrocks, also known as oxalis, blanketed this serene environment. It was such fun to pass a grouping and be able to answer my husband’s constant question: “What is this called?”  

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But one plant truly stumped me. I had never seen it before and although the entrance ticket includes a small flower and plant guide to the most popular species in the garden, I didn’t know what this plant was. Thankfully, The Butchart Gardens has a Plant Identification Center with knowledgeable plant people. I snapped a photo and showed it to the expert. “This is a tropical plant that we will soon put in the greenhouse to overwinter. It’s called a “Popcorn Plant” because it smells like buttered popcorn.” How marvelous to learn something new every day!

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The camellias and rhododendrons were budding but not in bloom and I can only imagine how sensational the grounds must be when they burst into flower. Every season brings new annuals and bulbs. Spring is filled with tulips, crocus, and daffodils reflecting a love for the Netherlands. There are over 900 bedding plant varieties, 26 greenhouses, and 50 full-time gardeners. 

A forest of trees including maples, madrones, dogwoods, magnolias, flowering cherry, weeping sequoias, poplars, beeches, and Golden chain trees anchor the scene. There were two unusual and unique trees encased in a rock-walled garden, the Monkey Puzzle Tree, definitely a conifer, but not one I’d seen before. 

Monkey Puzzle Tree with cones.jpg

Wherever I travel, I seek out gardens that will inspire and instruct me to be a better steward of our earth. Butchart Gardens is exquisitely and elegantly designed. With a plethora of water features including streams, lakes, waterfalls, and fountains, I was transported to a place of sheer joy and tranquility. Totem poles, bronzes, statuary, and whimsical moss-covered wire sculptures offer a nod to the artistic value of landscaping. To walk in the footsteps of those who lived a hundred years ago knowing that they lavished love on this land, preserving it for posterity as well as the enjoyment and education of the general public was simultaneously humbling and enlightening. 

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Life was created in a garden. A garden is life unfolding. I returned to my California countryside as October beckons with the changing of the foliage wardrobe and, motivated by my sojourn, immediately got to work with a spark of a new beginning for digging deeper. Although my property will unlikely ever be a Butchart or Giverny, it is my personalized refuge of sweet repose. 

lily pond, buchart garden.jpg

https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1316/Cynthia-Brians-Gardening-Guide-for-October-Benvenuto-to-Butchart-Gardens.html

O Canada, thank you. Benvenuto October. 

Cynthia Brian’s Garden Guide for October

CONTINUE watering your yard. Your plants need the moisture now more than ever.

VISIT a public garden for inspiration and ideas.

REFRIGERATE your spring bulbs for the next six weeks.

RAKE falling leaves to add to your compost pile.

PRUNE fruit trees after the harvest.

FERTILIZE begonias, dahlias, and roses.

dahlias at butchart gardens.jpg

 

READ a garden book. May I suggest, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, available at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store

Cynthia Brian'Growing with the Goddess Gardener book copy.jpg

TAKE a break. The tough landscaping projects start in two weeks!

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. 

Photos and article: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1316/Cynthia-Brians-Gardening-Guide-for-October-Benvenuto-to-Butchart-Gardens.html

cuphea(cigar plant), angelonia (blue), begonia.jpg

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, 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 Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy a copy of her new books, Growing with the Goddess Gardener and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

BE StarYouAre_Millennials to Boomers Cover.jpeg

Hire Cynthia for projects, consults, and lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

hanging basket, Buchart gardens.jpg

 

cynthia brian

Posted by presspass on
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Empowerment
cynthia brian

asian pears.jpg

by Cynthia Brian

“And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.” Oscar Wilde

In the fall of my freshman year at UCLA, I began working at one of the very first health food stores ever created in California. It was called Nature’s Health Cove and all the offerings were organic: pesticide, insecticide, and colorant-free. The fruits and vegetables were pathetic looking. Worms bored into apples, the Swiss chard had holes from munching snails, greens boasted fringed tips, a gift from hungry marauding rabbits, tomatoes were cracked, zucchini was malformed. Yet the produce tasted delicious and even though the prices were at least double of anything one could purchase at a grocery store, the crops sold rapidly. One of my tasks was to cull through any severely damaged items, putting them in a bucket for a compost pick up by an urban farmer. 

Having worked in the fruit drying yards and big barn dehydrators growing up on our farm, it dawned on me that usually, half or more of any fruit or vegetable is salvageable. I suggested to the owner that perhaps we could cut out the decaying parts and create healthy drinks and dried snacks with the ripe remainders. The initiative became an instant success with both students and the general public clamoring for a revolving menu of inexpensive tasty treats.

Farm Dedydrator barn.jpghttps://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1315/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Fall-forward-and-waste-not.html

As summer collapses into fall, my trees and vines are heavy with fruit. As much as I eat and give away, there is still more for the picking. I detest waste and besides canning and freezing the extras, I wanted to create some of the dried fruits of my youth.

Tangerines.jpg

While cleaning out one of our barns this summer, I came upon a vintage portable dehydrator that my Grandfather used eons ago to dry his autumn bounty of pears, apples, figs, and grapes.  I cleaned the appliance and set to work slicing and dicing. 

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The results are phenomenal.

If you’ve bought any dried fruit lately, you know how expensive it is. But if you are like me and enjoy DIY projects, I have a simple recipe for you to create your own personal organic fruit leathers. You can use trays and dry your produce in the sun the way it has been done for centuries, but it takes longer and critters may creep in to steal your sweets. My suggestion is to purchase a small dehydrator with four or five drawers. My dehydrator has four drawers and only a single heat setting. My thermometer says it’s dehydrating at 125 degrees, which is perfect. Every three hours I move the drawers from the bottom to the top.  From start to finish, it takes 24 hours. If you buy a dehydrator with adjustable temperature settings, you’ll be able to dehydrate more rapidly.

dehydrating apples.jpg

Here’s what to do:

  1. 1. Wash and pat dry your desired fruit and vegetables.
  2. 2. You can peel if you wish, but I don’t. Cutaway any bruised or damaged parts. Cut into slices about ¼ to ½ inch thick.
  3. 3. Some vegetables including eggplant, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, potatoes, and radishes need to be blanched for a few minutes. 
  4. 4. Cut the slices in a bowl and toss with lemon juice or apple vinegar to reduce browning. Although this step is optional, it helps in preservation.
  5. 5. Spray the trays with a light spritz of canola or olive oil to prevent sticking.
  6. 6. Place slices of the same fruit or vegetable on dehydrator racks in a single layer without overlapping. Use different trays for different varieties.
  7. 7. Check on the process until when done. Let the racks cool before removing the fruit.
  8. 8. You can enjoy your items immediately but if you want to store your stash, pack the dried fruit in glass jars or sealable plastic bags. Shake jars or bags once day to make sure there is no condensation. If there is any moisture, return the product to the dehydrator for a bit more drying. 
  9. 9. Store in a pantry or room temperature darkened area.
  10. 10. Voila! Your very own dried fruit and leathers.Finished fruit leather.jpg

You can also put the dried fruit in bags and freezer. I’ve experimented with over-ripe bananas, apples, pears, Asian pears, and I even made raisins with chardonnay grapes, seeds, and all. Crunchy! Everything turns out delicious and I know these dried trials are nutritious because except for the bananas, they originate in my organic orchard. My next testing will be to make sweet potato chips from the sweet potatoes I’m growing. I plan to go exotic by drying mangoes, strawberries, pineapple, and papayas. 

Recently we witnessed a rise of what I call the “ugly fruit”. Stores, farmer’s markets, and on-line sites are popularizing the value of imperfect produce. This is a giant step forward in eliminating waste and re-educating our families to value all products provided by nature.  Farmers using organic methods know that crops are not always pretty, but the nutritional value and health benefits outweigh perfection of form. 

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As summer slowly fades into fall, I wish you abundance and a garden of eating.

Cynthia Brian’s Mid Month Gardening Guide

PRUNE “widow makers”, dead branches on trees. You can identify the dead branches before the leaves fall from the rest of the tree. 

CHECK the crape myrtles in bloom. If you are considering planting a tree or two later in autumn, this is the perfect time to decide what color will be an advantage to your landscape. Crape myrtles are excellent specimens for year-round attractiveness. The leaves will turn red and golden in late autumn, the bark is bare and beautiful in winter, the leaves are shiny green in spring, and the tree blooms midsummer to late fall.

watermelon crape myrtle tree.jpg

REFRIGERATE crocus, tulips, and hyacinths for six weeks before planting.

ADD aged chicken manure to your soil if you are noticing that it is less fertile.

MARK your calendar for a visit to the Be the Star You Are!® non-profit booth at the Moraga Pear and Wine Festival on Saturday, September 28th.  Thanks to our sponsor, The Lamorinda Weekly. Details at https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org/events.

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DEADHEAD tuberous begonias to keep them blooming until frost. The flowers are edible with a tangy, citrusy flavor.

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ENJOY the final days of freshly picked tomatoes tossed with basil or cilantro.

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HARVEST tangerines, Asian pears, and grapes as they ripen.

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PHOTOGRAPH your deciduous trees as the changing colors emerge. The contrast of colors will amaze you as you reflect on the time-line.

DEHYDRATE extra fruit and vegetables for tasty snacks. Kids especially love these dried sweets.

CUT and compost the damaged parts from “ugly” produce and cook with the rest. 

WASTE NOT! Be a steward of our planet with simple up-cycling.

WELCOME the cool and crisp days of autumn. Fall forward!

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. 

See photos and read more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1315/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Fall-forward-and-waste-not.html

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, 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. 

Cynthai-Pink bower vne.jpg

Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy a copy of her new books, Growing with the Goddess Gardener and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. BE StarYouAre_Millennials to Boomers Cover.jpeg

Cynthia Brian'Growing with the Goddess Gardener book copy.jpgBack cover-Growiung  6 x 6 – Version 3.jpg

Hire Cynthia for projects, consults, and lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

 

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