It pays to be health conscious. These days, they’re getting addicted to a diet that includes homegrown vegetables and fresh fruit. There are a lot of benefits you receive from re-tooling your diet to include these, but you also get to help other people.

Not everyone will eat each vegetable they’re offered in a farmer’s market. However, you should start eating more of them and learn to love them. Here’s why.

Onions against Cancer (Lung and Prostate gland)

For people who love onions, this is good news. Onions are a good source of phytochemicals that significantly brings down the risk of lung and prostate cancer; that is, if you eat it raw, or at least, don’t cook it at high heat. It also makes for a fun dip—mixing it with tomatoes, avocado, and jalapeño peppers creates a health-friendly salsa dip to go along with your favorite chips.

Kale, White Bean against General Sickness

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Ever find yourself catching cold easily? Try some Kale and prepare White Bean in a soup or otherwise. These give you Vitamin K and Lutein, good for your blood and eyes, respectively. You also receive the added benefit of Vitamin C—you can eat it along other Vitamin C-rich food to create an effective barrier against sickness and other health problems involving the skin and, more importantly, your heart.

Peas against Cancer (Stomach)

The next time you think of spitting out that green pea in your mouth, think again. In a study done by the International Journal of Cancer, the daily consumption of green peas—along with other legumes, of course—significantly lowered people’s chances of contracting stomach cancer. Along with that, green peas are also a good ingredient to put in most soups and dishes.

Tomatoes against High Blood pressure

Tomatoes are mostly everyone’s favorite food and a main ingredient of ketchup. That being said, the red food that’s also a main ingredient in making Bloody Marys is a good source of Vitamin A. All those Vitamin A will do wonders for your vision, as well as give you a healthy immune system and a big boost to your reproduction. It’s also a good source of Vitamin C.

against Cancer-causing Oxidants

You’ve probably heard of anti-oxidants and cancer-causing free radicals. The former fights the latter, and the latter helps cancer cells multiply. Brussels sprouts—usually something people cringe at when thinking of eating—help a great deal in fighting off the Big C. It is also a good source of Vitamin C and helps fight against heart diseases—quite a resume for a leafy green.

Now that you’ve seen the benefits of these vegetables, it would be good to get into the habit of eating more of them and shirking away from avoiding them. It’s for your health and prolonging your life naturally, after all.

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Small Farm, Home Farm: Tips on Starting your own Backyard Farm

Maybe you’ve begun to take a liking to eating fresh plants and fruit you’ve grown yourself or you’ve started thinking about getting the best food for your family. Whatever your reason, starting your own backyard farm is not an easy task. Completely different from organic gardening, this requires a different type of learning and adaptation. […]

Maybe you’ve begun to take a liking to eating fresh plants and fruit you’ve grown yourself or you’ve started thinking about getting the best food for your family. Whatever your reason, starting your own backyard farm is not an easy task. Completely different from organic gardening, this requires a different type of learning and adaptation.

It can be an idea if you have a wide area in your home, but it’s something you should be prepared for if you decide to begin it.

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Study Farming/ Farming should be studied. That’s correct, because you don’t only raise plants and vegetables here—if you decide to go all the way, you’ll be dealing with dairy and poultry. The good thing is that there are a number of books on the subject you can buy or topics you can search for on the Internet. Whatever your source, you should study.

Choose your kind of Farm/ Your kind of farm falls into this category. If you’re looking to support your family by presenting fresh meals, you’ll be good with a hobby farm. Small farming businesses and homesteads do sometimes blur into the other. If you’re looking to start a small farm to support your family or the community, the latter two are great ideas.

Quick Start plants/ If you want the feeling of success, then you should choose plants according to your climate and ones that are easy to grow. Pick radishes for being a relatively stubborn grower. You should also realize root crops are pretty easy to grow. However, planting plants that you and your family will eat are more important than planting them for how easy they are to cultivate.

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Go Wild/ Don’t be afraid to experiment with a lot of plants you can grow in your garden! Variety is the spice of life and you should enable your garden to be as diverse and as different as possible. Aside from the colors and vibe they bring, they also give a substantial benefit to the soil; diverse plants promote a healthy ecosystem and is also a natural pest deterrent.

[Optional] Give Back to the Community/ Maybe your garden has started to become a full-fledged operation; maybe your crops are too irresistible to keep within only your family. Once you have this sort of arrangement, consider joining weekend farmer’s markets. You’re not only getting profit, you’re also promoting a healthier choice of food for people.

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Starting a farm is one of the most basic ideas people can have when thinking of feeding their family. It’s also a great way of making sure your money remains with you and you leave the problem of feeding expensive food to your family behind.

There once was a time when organic gardening got you labeled as someone who loved the environment too much or someone who was too health conscious. Being one of those two became a trend these days and everybody wanted to try out creating their own organic garden. Now, you can too, and reap the benefits of using your gardening soil for something better.

Before you start looking for the easiest crops to start growing, however, you need to understand how to start one properly.

Make the Soil your Target

One of the first mistakes of people who aim to own a garden—organic or otherwise—is paying too much attention on the plant. They begin buying plants without realizing that the soil needs checking or has to be healthy. The plants are fine; they can grow in the soil only if you make the soil healthier to support life. It is important for the soil to be checked first for nutrients.

Add in Compost

Compost is material made from mixing soil with organic waste. This means leftover fruits and vegetables that had gone to spoil are good stuff to mix into compost. There can be other stuff, but these are first and foremost what gardeners should go after. If you want to create a healthy mix of compost, the clue is to mix in dead stuff from plants.

The Right Plants to…plant

Creating a garden isn’t just picking plants and planting them into the soil. You soil can be healthy all you want, but if you plant something that doesn’t simply like the weather conditions in your area, it won’t grow no matter how green your thumb is. Remember to plant accordingly; some vegetables thrive in colder conditions while some like warmer climates. This leads to a high yield.

Choose to go completely Organic

If you start a garden, you’re going to be relying heavily on pesticides and plant ‘food’ that have been mixed in with chemicals. The very same plants in your garden that grow in the wild don’t need to rely on that kind of stuff. You should remember that, in organic gardening, it’s either you go completely organic or you don’t start a garden at all.

Choose your Vegetables

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The final—and most important—part of organic gardening is to choose which vegetables or plant-bearing plants you’ll cultivate. You may choose carrots, squash, tomatoes, and cucumbers. But just like growing them according to weather, you grow them according to the appetite your family has. Whatever your diet, though, there’s a different kind of rush eating food you’ve grown yourself.

We are all a product of what we eat and, if we eat what we’ve grown with love, then we’re all the better for it. Consider starting an organic garden to experience a different kind of accomplishment.

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Dip into some Fun: Fun Dips that are Healthy Too

Everybody loves snacks, who doesn’t? However, those salty, crispy chips, by themselves, aren’t worth what leafy green salads and celery sticks are. There’s a compromise you can have, though; you can substitute your snack dip for something healthy. If you’d rather have a bag of chips to go for Super Bowl Sundays or even just […]

Everybody loves snacks, who doesn’t? However, those salty, crispy chips, by themselves, aren’t worth what leafy green salads and celery sticks are. There’s a compromise you can have, though; you can substitute your snack dip for something healthy.

If you’d rather have a bag of chips to go for Super Bowl Sundays or even just for kicking back, here are some healthy dip ideas to pair with your favorite snack.

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First dip: Tzatziki

This Greek dip is not too difficult to make; the only problem, however, is obtaining some of the ingredients. You have to have a thick whipped Greek Yogurt as well as fresh cucumber, dill, garlic, lemon juice, as well as salt and pepper to taste. It’s better if you have your own garden for them.

Second dip: Greek Yogurt Ranch

Another dip with a Greek ingredient in it, this is a meshing of two cultures—American and Greek. It is American because of the ranch part. Aside from your chips, this is a great dip to create for your vegetable salad as well. You only have to have garlic, onion (both powdered), as well as dill and parsley (dried), a squeeze of lemon and good ol’ salt and pepper.

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Third dip: White Bean

White bean can be grown as a rotation crop for others. When you’ve got a surplus of it, mix it together with garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil, among others, to create a tasty dip. Aside from the main ingredients, spice up the variety by mixing other stuff in it.

Fourth dip: Hummus

If you’re planning something kosher for that snack time, why not try batching up a super tasty hummus dip? What you need for this is to get chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. Aside from those ingredients, you can add other materials to create good taste.

These are only a few options for your healthy snack time. If you’d rather have thin-sliced, deep fried potatoes—commonly known as potato chips—consider making it healthy with these dips!

There are many reasons to support small town farmer markets. There are the benefits you get from eating vegetables; the support you’re giving these farmers and their families; and the different options available to buy which doesn’t include a single drop of man-made stuff. However, you do have to drive all the way out of town to buy some.

Here are a few more benefits you receive from buying from these small farmer markets, if you are still looking for a reason why you should buy from them.

Reason 1: True Flavors

Looking for something tasty and fresh? They don’t come any fresher than they do in farmer’s markets. Here, you get your pick of freshly-plucked fruit as well as newly-dug up or picked vegetables. They will look good as salads or ingredients and will taste nicely as a shake or as fruit juice. If you’re looking for healthy options with good taste, go organic and support small town markets.

Reason 2: Organically Grown

Gardeners and home-farm advocates usually take a page out of these small-scale farmers; most of their fertilizers are organically-made. When you go to a small town farmer’s market and you see a product labeled ‘organically grown’, you can be sure they’re saying the truth. The freshness of the fruit is likely a by-product of the naturally-sown seed, which is grown and produced with very little to no chemicals involved.

Reason 3: Naturally Ripe

Sometimes, mass production food is ripened out of their season for max profit. Using chemicals, these fruits and vegetables are grown forcefully. Farmer’s markets don’t feature produce like those in big commercial stores; instead, what they have are seasonally-grown fruits and crops. While these may be limited because of the way they are grown, you can be sure they’re naturally fresh.

Reason 4: Rare Finds

Being a natural market, you usually find great vegetables and food sold in farmer’s markets you don’t usually find anywhere. Examples of these are red carrots and purple cauliflowers. These are naturally-grown; they aren’t your chemically-grown variety. There are a lot of these that are normally sold there and they also are great if you want to mix up your diet.

Reason 5: Very Affordable

The best reason to go to these markets, perhaps, is the price you get for the produce you buy. Usually, these vegetables aren’t that costly and they also are healthy. What better combination can you ask for?

Taking the extra mile in going to these weekend farmer’s markets gets you the best of what nature has to offer. You get two-fold benefits here, by the way; aside from the support to families, you also get to support your health.

As the saying goes, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ Health advocates will always tell you to get in your required vegetables and fruits for the day. The problem is when you simply cannot because the grocer that sells it is simply out of the way.

There are a lot of alternatives, sure, but it’s better if you grow these fruits and vegetables on your own. If not, here’s what you can do to get your fill.

Farmer’s Markets

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Farmer’s markets are your best bet at getting fresh vegetables and fruits as if you’ve picked them from the tree. Aside from that, you’re also getting the benefit of helping a farmer’s family have food on their table. The prices are also significantly lower as well as healthier.

Ask your Friends

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There are a lot of times your friends are good for asking something; this might be one of them. If you have no idea where to buy cheaper and fresher vegetables, ask your friends, they might know something that you don’t.

Be a Farmer

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Designed by Freepik

Sometimes, the richer small farming communities have a scheme where you can volunteer your time and help in the harvest. Instead of asking for pay or anything, you can alternatively ask them if they’d pay you in produce. This is one way you can get your vegetables and fruits for free.

Start your own Home Farm

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Even better, you can start your own organic garden! The small home farm craze is currently beginning to sweep the nation. It’s also a better alternative to creating gardens that are purely ornamental. Consult a book or read sources from the Internet to know how to properly start your home farm.

There are still a lot of ideas or places where you can get your fill of fresh fruit and vegetables. If you haven’t started yet, there’s no better time than now to get initiated on eating healthy.