• Tandose Sambo

Monday Lifestyle: Capsule Gardening

Welcome back to the blog!!

Life is evolving in 2020 thankfully!! For my lifestyle segments, I'm resuming my gardening series. I won't exactly claim to be a child of the soil (I'm as millennial as they come), but with a more mature consciousness, and via health focuses, I've started realizing how important fresh organic produce is to our existence. Settling into a nice flow, I've successfully managed to find a balance in my weekly activities. Working with a schedule, I'm finding that I'm able to do everything from freestyle and freeflow on a Sunday, to waking up on a Monday morning and having the energy to resume my filming flow! You just have to balance your life! Life is multi-dimensional. It's a nice existence to say the least. Acknowledging the fact that like most of my subbies...there's a real life behind the camera, I love to delve into some of the things that I've been enjoying during my off time.

In my collective consciousness, I've lived in three apartment buildings in my entire life. The first two were early on in my family's existence, but with the expansions (my siblings) we have lived in three homes with reasonably sized front and backyards. Children need space to run up and down...and thankfully we were given that space. I've done everything from rollerblading jumping out of windows as a child!!The space...allowed for two things:

a) A front yard where floral plants are displayed

b) A backyard where fruit trees and a small vegetable patch were maintained

Admittedly, since I've been walking all over the "hood", I stopped paying attention to what was in our own space for a good two months. I'm finding with my walks, that I've started reconnecting with nature. Up to last week. I found that if I walk early enough...I'll find a cow farmer who walks his six cows in the To describe where I am, I am on a 10 minute drive away from the bustling city. The peace and clean air in the hills provides the ideal environment for lots of rain, which in terms sustains a clean ecosystem that enables plants to thrive. There's a marked difference in the soil fertility here I've noticed. Essentially, with the fresher soil, our fruits end up being two to three times the size of the fruits that grow in the more densely populated soils of the city.

At this juncture in the writing flow (February) we have two sets of fruits trees that are bearing. These are:

a) Our banana trees. I use these for fruit smoothies once they are in abundance

b) Our ackee trees. These fruits are to be cooked, and we usually have these with saltfish.

During the Christmas holidays, we re-did the shed, and cleared the peripheral space around it. If you peruse the picture above, you'll see that we actually recycled six tires, and used them as planters. If you want a good DIY project, tire repurposing is always a great thing to do. What we change our car tires per unit time. We change them two at a time. Once the retired tires are collected, we use them as planters. In terms of your decor you can:

a) Keep the tires as is. In the space, we just kept the tires in their natural state.

b) You can paint them. Many individuals will actually take the time to whitewash their tires, and allow them to match their curbs. You don't have to paint the tires white, you can paint them any colour you like.

c) Change the design. What some people actually create a planter that looks somewhat like a flower. If you make small slits in the inner perimeter of the tires, you can fan the wedges and create a fancier design for the tire planter.

What we did with just the beginning!! I do love the concept of recycling and I wanted to share with you one of the items that we recycle in our home!

With the fertile soil available, we went ahead and filled the tire planters with our fresh soil, and planted a series of plants, that thrive well in a potted fixture. These include:

a) Fevergrass: What we do with fevergrass (or lemongrass) is make tea, or even use it as a natural mosquito repellant. During the rainy season it does get damp enough that mosquitoes become prevalent, so along with the neem candles, if you don't want to be burning can simply cut sprigs of fevergrass, place them in a bowl with pine, and let the two diffuse into the atmosphere.

b) Escallions: These are a variety of onions, and I honestly prefer them to onions due to their ease of cutting. We do shop at the supermarket for our fresh produce, but those items that we purchase with live parts, like roots or seeds, we'll keep the roots and plant in our garden, or plant the seeds in planters, and then transplant the saplings into the soil post the initial growth period. In the base planter above, is this month's escallion planting. I'll track them weekly on the blog as part of the Monday Lifestyle segments.

c) Aloe Vera: With the aloe vera plant as one of my new favorites ( I've started using it in my hair now as part of my pre-poo, I'm going to ensure that I water the one (in the middle planter above...daily and nurture it. While I was gardening, I discovered that it does have a sapling, and I took the time to ensure that I was able to isolate the sapling, and allow it to thrive in the pot with its mother plant.

My critical gardening essentials include:

a) Gloves: I get gardening gloves for $1.00 at Woolworth's. When I get a chance...I'll do a gardening haul.

b) Small soil till: Yours truly searched the place for the mini gardening kit...and couldn't find it. I found a machete, and used it to till the soil.

c) The groundspace: We do compost, so essentially, when I remove plant matter, I simply place it around the base of a plant, and let it decompose back into the soil. Nothing is wasted.

Spending about forty minutes just clearing the space, I went ahead and started the process of nurturing my capsule gardens. The Gods must have heard that I was planning to resume my activities...because as soon as I was finished, a good two hours later...fresh rain water is now nurturing my saplings. Fresh good food is good for your body. Nurture yourself and eat healthy!!

Take good care of yourself!! I love you for reading!!


**Dr T**

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