5 Tips For Growing A Breast Cancer Food Garden

Spring Gardening Tips For Breast Cancer Food GardenBy Regina M. Dlugokencky

Growing, nurturing and harvesting one’s food can be one of the most centering and fulfilling activities in which we can engage. It offers benefits far beyond the fresh air, a hand in your own nutrition, and low-impact physical exercise and has also been found to bring psychological benefits such as mood enhancement and stress reduction, too.

The web and books at your local library hold a world of information on just about any question you may have about gardening. Gardening classes are popping up everywhere and you can even hire a garden coach to get you off to a confident start.

Most importantly, remember that Mother Nature can be a pretty forgiving lady.
So, don’t wait! Let this be the year you go forward and garden, just keep this simple truth in mind: “things want to grow.”

There are just a few basic rules to begin your gardening adventure in the most wholesome way:

  1. Start Small and Choose the Right Site: 
    New gardeners and sage ones alike are equally guilty of taking too much on too soon. Stay focused and start slowly. Gardening should be a labor of love, but not one you’re shackled to and from which you plot escape. Consider container gardening for vegetables such as peppers and eggplants if you’re limited on space. Unless otherwise noted, site your garden where it will get full sun (6-­8 hours per day).
  2. Grow What You Love:  
    Growing a prolific but un-harvested vegetable will not only be less fulfilling, it will seem like a chore. If you have limited space, grow only your favorites and purchase the others at a local farmers’ market.
  3. Grow Organically:
    Not only will you save money on inputs that cause the environment and you some trouble, it is healthier on other levels. Organically grown vegetables have been found to be more nutrient-­dense than those conventionally grown. It just makes sense that Healthy Soil=Healthy Food=Healthy people. Soil is a living thing and healthy soil can be had with a bit of compost, kelp, and other unprocessed forms of nitrogen such as composted chicken, cow, or horse manure. (Don’t use fresh manure unless you are leaving it to age for several months before planting.)
  4. Buy Locally Grown Plants:  
    Locally grown plants are usually varieties that are acclimated to our Long Island climate, and so will likely grow happily in your garden. They also have usually been tended more carefully, than plants sold in the big box stores, which are probably from out of the area and have suffered all manner of abuse. By purchasing locally grown transplants, you are supporting local growers financially. when it is financially feasible, buy organically grown transplants.
  5. Invite Diversity:  
    Planting a variety of vegetables, flowers and herbs will guarantee success for at least a few things: a bad year for one variety will most certainly be a good one for another. Flowers and herbs attract beneficial insects like pollinators and provide habitat for predatory insects that keep those that would like to chomp on your plants in check. The Xerces Society is just one great organization that works to conserve native pollinators, check out their face sheets at http://www.xerces.org/fact-sheets

ReginaRegina M. Dlugokencky is a market gardener, garden coach, and librarian. Regina began gardening at age eight, after moving to Long Island from Brooklyn, and has been an avid organic gardener ever since. She has worked as an organic farmer for the past give years and is the founder of Seedsower Farm, LLC, of Centerport, a small, diversified business that includes growing organic vegetables and berries, seedling transplants, and provides kitchen garden coaching to gardeners of all abilities with gardens of all sizes

Therapeutic Dish Garden For Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Dish Garden In A Mug
By: Breast Cancer Yoga Staff.
The objective of a therapeutic dish garden is sensory stimulation through sight, touch and smell. This activity is achievable for those who maybe home bound because of cancer treatment. Gardening can promote feelings of enhanced self esteem and at the same time fun to do.

Materials Needed:

  • Planter dishes
  • Saucers for above dishes
  • Various small indoor tropical plants
  • Garden tools
  • Soil

Choosing a Dish Garden Planter
Your dish garden should be planted in an open, shallow container. The size is only relevant to the extent of how many (or few) plants it will be able to support. It is helpful if there are drainage holes in the container, but not necessary if there is sufficient depth to facilitate adding a gravel layer for drainage.

Choosing Appropriate Dish Gardening Plants
Unfortunately, because dish gardens typically have limited root space, the plants will tend to outgrow their home rather quickly. For this reason, it is a good idea to choose slow growing plants to prevent having to replace them too often. Choose plants which have the same general lighting and water requirements as your other choices.

How To Plant Your Dish Garden

  1. Drain excess water from the soil through drainage holes in the bottom of the planter.
  2. When you have no drainage holes you will have to cover the bottom of the container with a minimum of a one to two inch layer of pea gravel or coarse charcoal. The gravel should then be covered with a piece of nylon stocking or window screen to keep the soil from sifting down into the gravel, rendering it useless for drainage.
  3. Use a good commercial potting soil, to which you have added coarse sand or perlite to aid in the drainage.
  4. Add a sufficient layer of this soil mix, so that when you set the new plants in place, their soil level will be about 1/2 inch below the rim of the planter.
    Without removing the plants from their pots, try different planting arrangements.
  5. Arrange the plants according to how the dish garden is most likely to be viewed.
  6. As a centerpiece, for example, you would want the tallest plant in the center, so that the display would be viewable from all angles.
  7. If the garden will only be seen from one vantage point, however, you would want the tallest plants in the rear.
  8. Don’t over-plant your garden for the sake of having it look immediately full.
  9. By adding fewer plants, you will have a healthier garden which will fill in quickly, and last much longer.
  10. Make sure that the plants are thoroughly watered before planting.
  11. Plants can be easily removed from their pots, with their entire root structure intact, and ready for planting.
  12. Because a slow growth rate is desired in most dish gardens, it is better to just leave the roots alone.
  13. Beginning with the tallest plants first. Set plants into position.
  14. Fill in around each plant with fresh planting mix,
  15. Pack the soil gently, and water it lightly.
  16. You can top the soil with a mulch of fine bark or small gravel.
  17. Twigs and stones can be used to hide any bare plant stems.
  18. Ornaments can add to the artistry and the character of you dish garden.

With a little care, your dish garden will become an ornament for your home, and a living memory.

Dish Garden Ideas:
Succulent Dish Garden
Easy Care Dish Garden
Fairy Garden In A Pot
Magical Fairy Garden

Dawn Breast CancerAbout Dawn Bradford Lange:  Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Dawn is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.at the same t

How To Feed Wildlife For A Winter Living Healing Garden

Feeding Wildlife In The WinterBy: Breast Cancer Yoga Staff.

Gardens are living healing places, an environment that can feed body, mind and soul. We need more awareness to create gardens beyond decor. Designing a garden with purpose can be fun and beneficial to all. All spaces can be transformed into life-giving places, breathing rooms for wildlife, spaces that nurture our health and wellbeing.

Feeding backyard wildlife is not just a matter of throwing a few bread crusts off the back porch. If you want to feed wildlife during the winter effectively (to their benefit) ensure you do it properly with the energy and resources that will continue until the end of winter.


  • Start early in winter to allow animals the ability to find and become accustomed to the new feed.
  • Use the same feed throughout winter.
  • Provide food at a number of locations to ensure all have a chance to feed. This will also minimize aggression.
  • Keep the feed dry if using pellets or cereal grains. Wet feed will likely not be consumed.
  • Ensure a constant supply of feed is provided. Check after each snowfall that the feed is not covered.
  • Keep feeders full when winter is toughest.
  • Put up large-capacity feeders if necessary.
  • Encourage neighborhood bird feeding.
  • Increase the amount of feed available in late winter when need is the greatest and activity levels have increased.

Bird Feeder Recipes:

Cookie Cutter Bird Seed Feeder

Easy DIY Orange Bird Feeder

Rustic Fresh Fruit Bird Feeder

How To Provide Water When Its Freezing:

  1. A solar-heated water dish, a plastic dish with a black lid and a small hole for sipping. The black color absorbs the heat of the sun and keeps the water from freezing, but only works until the temperature drops below 20 degrees.
  2. A heated dog bowl, which can be filled with a layer of stones to keep the water shallow enough for the birds. It only turns on when the temperature is near freezing, and automatically shuts off when either all the contents evaporate or the temperature rises.
  3. A wide assortment of heated bird baths to suit almost any style. These operate on the same principles as a heated dog bowl, only turning on when the temperature falls.

It can be an expensive task to wildlife in winter. If you decide to take up the challenge, by following this advice, and to restore space for wildlife, you will begin the healing of our environment and ourselves.

Sources: Carole Sevilla Brown  a Conservation Biologist who firmly believes that wildlife conservation begins in your own back yard.

Dawn Breast CancerAbout Dawn Bradford Lange:  Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Dawn is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.



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