Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Why gardening is good for your health

Gardening can ease stress, keep you limber, and even improve your mood.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

Gardening gets you out in the fresh air and sunshine -- and it also gets your blood movingGardeners eat more fruits and vegetables than their peersPhysical activity associated with gardening can help lower the risk of developing dementia

(Health.com) -- Gillian Aldrich started growing vegetables in her backyard three years ago, and she's now working on planting a bed of hydrangeas, butterfly bushes, rose campion, and -- her favorite -- pale-pink hardy geraniums along one side of her property.

As she digs in the garden, her 8-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son often play around her, sometimes taking a break to dig for worms or pick strawberries.

Instead of watching them, Aldrich is playing, too -- "my kind of play," she says.

"When you sit at a desk all day, there's something about literally putting your hands in the dirt, digging and actually crea ting something that's really beautiful," says Aldrich, 42, a magazine editor in Maplewood, New Jersey. "There's something about just being out there that feels kind of elemental."

Aldrich isn't the only one who feels this way. Many gardeners view their hobby as the perfect antidote to the modern world, a way of reclaiming some of the intangible things we've lost in our busy, dirt-free lives.



Health.com: 7 steps to instant calm

The sensory experience of gardening "allows people to connect to this primal state," says James Jiler, the founder and executive director of Urban GreenWorks, a Miami-based nonprofit that creates garden and park programs for low-income neighborhoods.

"A lot of people [understand] that experience. They may not be able to put it into words, but they understand what's happening."

Working in the garden has other, less spiritual rewards. In addition to being a source of fresh, healthy produce, gardening can ease stress, keep you limber, and even improve your mood.

Here are just a few of the ways gardening can benefit your physical and mental health, and how you can start harvesting those benefits for you and your family.

Stress relief

A recent study in the Netherlands suggests that gardening can fight stress even better than other relaxing leisure activities.

After completing a stressful task, two groups of people were instructed to either read indoors or garden for 30 minutes. Afterward, the group that gardened reported being in a better mood than the reading group, and they also had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

"We live in a society where we're just maxing ourselves out all the time in terms of paying attention," says Andrea Faber Taylor, Ph.D., a horticulture instructor and researcher in the Landscape and Human Health Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Health.com: Job killing you? 8 types of work-related stress

Humans have a finite capacity for the kind of directed attention required by cell phones and email and the like, Taylor says, and when that capacity gets used up we tend to become irritable, error-prone, distractible, and stressed out.

Fortunately this "attention fatigue" appears to be reversible. Following a theory first suggested by University of Michigan researchers in the 1980s, Taylor and other experts have argued that we can replenish ourselves by engaging in "involuntary attention," an effortless form of attention that we use to enjoy natur e.

Trading your BlackBerry for blackberry bushes is an excellent way to fight stress and attention fatigue, Taylor says, as the rhythms of the natural environment and the repetitive, soothing nature of many gardening tasks are all sources of effortless attention.

"The breeze blows, things get dew on them, things flower; the sounds, the smells," says Taylor, herself a home gardener. "All of these draw on that form of attention."

Health.com: How to stop multitasking and lower stress

Better mental health

The effortless attention of gardening may even help improve depression symptoms.

In a study conducted in Norway, people who had been diagnosed with depression, persistent low mood, or "bipolar II disorder" spent six hours a week growing flowers and vegetables.

After three months, half of the participants had experienced a measurable improvement in their depression symptoms. What's more, their mood continued to be better three month s after the gardening program ended. The researchers suggest that the novelty of gardening may have been enough to jolt some of the participants out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRbW3ayDWVQ of their doldrums, but some experts have a much more radical explanation for how gardening might ease depression.

Health.com: Boost your mood naturally

Christopher Lowry, Ph.D., an assistant professor of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has been injecting mice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRbW3ayDWVQ with Mycobacterium vaccae, a harmless bacteria commonly found in soil, and has found that they increase the release and metabolism of serotonin in parts of the brain that control cognitive function and mood -- much like serotonin-boosting antidepressant drugs do.

Digging in the dirt isn't the same as taking Prozac, of course, but Lowry argues that because humans evolved along with M. vaccae and a host of other friendly bugs, the relative lack of these "old friends" in our current environment has thrown our immune systems out of whack.

This can lead to inflammation, which is implicated in a host of modern ills, from heart disease to diabetes to depression.

"By reintroducing these bacteria in the environment, that may help to alleviate some of these problems," Lowry says.

Exercise

Gardening gets you out in the fresh air and sunshine -- and it also gets your blood moving.

"There are lots of different movements in gardening, so you get some exercise benefits out of it as well," says William Maynard, the community garden program coordinator for the City of Sacramento's Department of Parks and Recreation.

Gardening is hardly pumping iron, and unless you're hauling wheelbarrows of dirt long distances every day, it probably won't do much for your cardiovascular fit ness.

But digging, planting, weeding, and other repetitive tasks that require strength or stretching are excellent forms of low-impact exercise, especially for people who find more vigorous exercise a challenge, such as those who are older, have disabilities, or suffer from chronic pain.

Health.com: 10 exercises for people in pain

As a pleasurable and goal-oriented outdoor activity, gardening has another advantage over other forms of exercise: People are more likely to stick with it and do it often.

"It's not just exercise for exercise itself, which can become tedious," says Katherine Brown, the executive director of the Southside Community Land Trust, a nonprofit that supports community gardens and other urban agriculture in and around Providence, R.I. "It's exercise that has a context, that reinforces the limberness of your limbs and the use of your hands. You've got a motivation for why you want to grip. You're not just gripping a ball, you want to pull a weed."

Brain health

Some research suggests that the physical activity associated with gardening can help lower the risk of developing dementia.

Two separate studies that followed people in their 60s and 70s for up to 16 years found, respectively, that those who gardened regularly had a 36% and 47% lower risk of dementia than non-gardeners, even when a range of other health factors were taken into account.

These findings are hardly definitive, but they suggest that the combination of physical and mental activity involved in gardening may have a positive influence on the mind.

And for people who are already experiencing mental decline, even just walking in a garden may be therapeutic. Many residential homes for people with dementia now have "wander" or "memory" gardens on their grounds, so that residents with Alzheimer's disease or other cognitive problems can walk through them without getting lost.

The sights, smells, and sounds of the garden are said to promote relaxation and reduce stress.

Health.com: 25 signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease

Nutrition

The food you grow yourself is the freshest food you can eat. And because home gardens are filled with fruits and vegetables, it's also among the healthiest food you can eat.

Not surprisingly, several studies have shown that gardeners eat more fruits and vegetables than their peers.

"People who are growing food tend to eat healthy," says Brown. "The work that we do here with kids demonstrates it on a daily basis, throughout the seasons."

Studies of after-school gardening programs suggest that kids who garden are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables. And they're a lot more adventurous about giving new foods a try, says Anne Palmer, who studies food environments as http://www.truevalue.com /thumbnail/Lawn-Garden/Hoses-Watering/Underground-Watering-System/pc/10/c/146/1418.uts the program director of Eating for the Future, a program based at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Center for a Livable Future, in Baltimore.

"I've watched a lot of cooking and gardening classes with kids," Palmer says. "It's amazing how many of them will try things like radicchio or some kind of unusual green that has a pretty strong flavor, like arugula, and they'll say, 'Wow, this is good.'"

Not to mention that homegrown produce simply tastes better.

"It's incomparably more delicious to eat something that's fresh," Brown says.

Health.com: 11 fresh fruit and veggie recipes



How to get started

You don't need a big backyard or a green thumb to benefit from gardening. If you have very little space or experie nce, you can start out with just a few houseplants, or you could even try gardening in containers.

"You can grow a wonderful crop of cherry tomatoes in nothing more than a five-gallon bucket that you've cleaned really well and put holes in the bottom of," Brown says.

For novices who want to learn the basics of gardening, a huge -- and somewhat overwhelming -- variety of information is available on the Web and in bookstores. But one of the best ways to get started is to meet some other gardeners, who can be found in local garden clubs and community gardens in just about any town or city.

For some great gardening tips, just start up a conversation with one of the gardeners next time you are passing by a community garden.

"Most will love to share their gardening savvy," Brown says. "That's a really nice way to start."

More on gardening from Eatocracy

Copyright Health Magazine 2011

http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/07/08/why.gardening.good/index.html

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Home Improvement Archives - ArticleCity.com

Home Improvement

Should You Repair Sprinkler Installation or Replace Your Driveway?

Mar 09, 2017

by ArticleCity Blog

0



0 Comments

A well-paved driveway is a safe driveway, but when is it time Sprinkler System Installation Mckinney to replace rather than repair? If you're unsure, you'll find your answers http://londongardens.co.uk/ here....

Read More

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_1400.shtml

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Autos & Trucks :: Stolen Recovered Salvage Auctions

Stolen recovered salvage yards put up for sale all sorts of cars, trucks and motorcycles. Some are more damaged than others, and some of the vehicles only require minor repairs. Online, one has the http://www.vikinggroupinc.com/technical-data/viking-fire-sprinklers opportunity to look at all the cars offered at the auction, estimating how damaged they truly are and what https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBmN2PTUB7w repairs they might need.

The business with stolen and recovered cars is extremely productive, since important profits are made. The supply is of course guaranteed by the increased number of car thefts, most of the recovered vehicles being far too damaged for the owners to be able to use them again. Insurance companies pay the theft claim to the owners and they sell the stolen and recovered vehicles to salvage yards. These vehicles are later purchased by different people, who are looking to save important sums of money on purchasing a car. They will take complete responsibility to repair the car and bring it back to its original state, making sure that it functions without any problems.

As someone interested in purchasing salvaged vehicles, you will be confronted with a number of options. The market is filled with interesting choices, even if some of these vehicles might be highly damaged. Fortunately, you have the Internet and its specialized resources that you can turn to for shopping around. Assess your options where stolen recovered salvage vehicles are concerned and take a decision that is based on actual facts, rather than hear say. There are determining factors that you will have to think about, including the repair costs, the price of the vehicle in question and the existing damage.



Even though purchasing a salvaged car might represent a smart idea, you will have to be extra careful not to be fooled. There are salvage yards and auctions where extensively damaged cars are sold, and very little information about their state is actually disclosed. You will have to discuss everything thoroughly with the person selling the salvaged cars, inquiring about key components such as the transmission system or the engine. If such parts are damaged beyond repair, then you should think twice before purchasing the car. It is for the best that you orientate yourself towards a car that is worth salvaging, paying a price that falls within your budget. Such vehicles are usually bought from different insurance companies, the usable spare parts being put up for sale afterwards.



There are many great opportunities to discover when it comes to stolen recovered salvage yards. Many great vehicles are recovered by the authorities. These https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBmN2PTUB7w vehicles present different degrees of damage and they are sold to salvage yards to recover losses. Prospective customers are presented with all sorts of vehicles, being given the chance to purchase a car that is not so badly damaged but has a price that they can afford. Stolen and recovered vehicles are definitely cheaper and they represent an attractive option for someone who lacks the financial means to purchase a new car. Make sure that you will have all the info before actually making a purchase!





http://www.articlebiz.com/article/390947-1-stolen-recovered-salvage-auctions/

Monday, 8 May 2017

Landscape Paper-101 - InfoBarrel

Use landscape-paper where you want to kill weeds. Cover the landscape-paper with mulch; the paper rots down after a year, allowing you to hoe the ground to keep those weeds under control.

Some weeds need light to germinate, to start growing. All plants need light to keep growing. Even perennial, deep-rooted weeds like dock weed will exhaust their stored food supply and die if they cannot photosynthesise because light is excluded.



The mulch needs something underneath if it is to have any chance of stopping dock weed or dandelions. Weed control fabric is designed to do that job. It does so very well, but weed control fabric allows wind blown seeds to put roots down, through it, to the soil. These weeds cannot then be removed by hoeing, because the fabric stops the hoe cutting off the weed just below ground level.

landscape-paper is a new, lower cost, alternative to weed control fabric.



You roll out the landscape-paper onto your vegetable or flower garden. You cut 3 inch diameter holes in it and plant your annuals, cabbages and onions through the holes. Cover the landscape-paper with mulch and you have an attractive looking an d totally weed-free vegetable garden or annual border.

landscape-paper comes in rolls 3 feet wide and 25 feet long. It is a pale brown color and it is biodegradable. The paper only lasts one season, but its low cost means that replacing it next season is no big deal.

For those who are growing organically landscape-paper is certified as suitable for growing organic vegetables because it contains no bleach or artificial additives.

If landscape-paper is not available where you live there are similar alternatives you might consider using.

Woodchip wallpaper is the first alternative, low cost, non-bleached paper with splinters stuck in it. It will cover the ground in exactly the same way and rot down into the soil after Sprinkler System Installation a year. Wallpaper rolls are only about 2 feet wide though, so by the time you have done more overlapping than with the wider landscape-paper your savings wi ll be minimal.

The paper underlay designed for underneath carpets might be a better alternative. It has no splinters in it and it is usually 6 feet wide, meaning less is wasted through overlaps.

Sheets of newspaper will also do the same job of separating mulch from soil, but these will not stop deep-rooted weeds in the same way as the others will. Use color printed newspaper if you want them to rot down more Sprinkler System Installation slowly.



You can also use newspaper sheets where you are laying turf. Just put the newspaper down on top of the raked soil. Weigh them down with stones and leave them for a month. Most of the weeds will have died by the end of the month and you can just roll the turf out on top of the newspaper.

http://www.infobarrel.com/Landscape_Paper-101