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When I first started gardening - nothing more than a small raised veggie bed on my apartment’s balcony - the results were depressing to say the least. I’d plant the seeds. I’d water them. I’d position them in the sun as it moved across my apartment. But no matter what I tried...nothing would grow. Or, more specifically, nothing would survive long enough to grow up big and strong (and delicious). Some would succumb to bugs, insects and pests, while others would finish life as undersized vegetables that, while adorable, didn’t taste that great.

On top of that, the limited plants that did grow left a bunch of space for weeds and other no-thank-you’s to grow, so I spent most of my time weeding and not a whole lot of time reaping the delicious gardening rewards. Safe to say I was close to giving up. 

Not wanting to abandon my dreams of a green thumb, and still wanting to remain chemical free, I did some searching, some reading, and some ground work (pun intended), and found that there’s some great ways to improve the health of your soil and keep those bugs at bay without resorting to soil services, fumigants, or other nasty chemicals.

Word of warning: choosing the organic, natural way does take more work, but the results and peace of mind that you’re not putting chemicals near your food, your pets, or your family is an amazing feeling. And I still maintain that the food just tastes better. As I’ve had a few people ask me in the past, I thought I’d share a few of my favourite ways to keep my soil healthy and my veggies growing big and strong. Hope you enjoy!

1. Set up a compost and add organic matter 

Composting takes a bit of work, but gosh is it rewarding. It’s one of the most enjoyable garden hobbies I’ve taken up yet, and feels great to put those scraps to good use and reduce the bulk of organic materials that your home produces. 

In my experience, I’ve found that a one-quarter inch of compost each season helps to provide your plants / crops / veggies with nutrients, and fills your soil with all the good stuff you want it to have. I’ve also read that it improves your soil’s water retention, and helps keep diseases at bay. Pretty cool! 

While it can take a bit of work, if you keep the scale down it’s relatively simple (this is the guide I followed). Long story short, you build a compost pile, layer the organic material like manure, kitchen waste and weeds, and combine this with less decomposable materials like leaves or straw. And viola, compost! Oh, and don’t forget to get some water and air in there, too.

2. Plant cover crops

This might be my favourite tip of all, and it’s one that was passed onto me by a good friend. Not only does it keep replant disease at bay, the freshly killed cover crops add a bunch of nutrients to the soil and keep our soil microbe friends happy. 

Out of the cover crops, Legumes are my favourite - alfalfa and beans, particularly - because they fix nitrogen from the atmosphere into a product that’s able to be used by crop plants. And don’t just stick with one, either. Mixing these together supercharges the benefits to your soil, and helps those veggies grow up big, strong, and super tasty.

3. Use organic fertilizers

Chemical fertilizers can be tempting. Trust me, I’ve been there. While they may be cheaper initially, they often have to be reapplied more often, and the benefits are short lived. Not to mention the chemicals and other unknown products you’re adding to your soil. 

These chemical fertilizers also don’t add much to the soil itself. Sure, they help support the growth of whatever it is you’re planting, but they don’t improve the long-term quality of your soil, which is the main goal here. 

Obviously compost is the go-to option here, but it’s not always practical. Especially in smaller spaces, or if you’re waiting on your compost to mature. This is the ideal time for a little organic fertilizer! My absolute favourite - and I’ve been through a few - is canola meal, which is a finely ground material which is lightweight and easy to spread. Unlike some other manures, it’s also weed free - ain’t nobody got time for weeding - and helps give your seeds a boost. 

And that about wraps it up. Hope those help! :-) 

Mark Mar 29 · Rate: 5 · Comments: 3 · Tags: soil, garden, garden soil, healthy soil, organic soil, compost
They will be missed too!

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These two loved souls are leaving the White House as well and it looks like the new incoming President has not much interest or connection to having these kind of family members around, what do you think?

see full report and credits @

Approximately 80 % of UK animal protection laws 
originate from the EU, and these laws have prohibited some of the worst aspects of industrial livestock production. Veal crates have been banned from 2007, barren battery cages for egg-laying hens from 2012, and sow stalls from 2013. The EU ‘constitution’ also contains a declaration that animals are sentient beings and that all EU and member state legislation must take into account the effect on animal welfare.

full article and credits @ https://sentience-politics.org/2016/06/billions-betrayed-by-brexit-and-they-didnt-even-get-to-vote/
D.Ranch Jun 24 '16 · Tags: animal welfare

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So, until they come to take me to the "room", I will sit and wait and hope for a miracle. For you.
Paws Crossed,


Hi, I am Max (ID A4196236) and I am a neutered adult male German Shepherd. I am a big fellow, about 100 pounds - so one of the bigger version German Shepherds. I was discarded by my owners at Downey Shelter on May 9. My family told the shelter they were just too busy to deal with me anymore. ((Really? I didn't take much of anyone's time.))

My Dad said we were just going for a ride. Then we came to this place. Its awful noisy and frightening and the dogs here don't sound happy at all. Then my Dad handed my leash over to a guy who put me in this cage on wheels. I was very nervous and paced back and forth because this was very strange and frightening to me. 

And then he just walked away. He didn't say anything. Just left. I barked and barked and barked but he wouldn't look at me. I barked to say, "You love me... remember??" "What will the kids do?" "Are you coming back for me?" "Please don't do this." Please.

This is what the volunteers said about me. "Max has a medium energy level and walks fairly well on leash. He would prefer to be the only pet in his new home and he will be GOOD WITH OLDER CHILDREN who can handle being around a larger dog. Max is a FABULOUS indoor pet for an individual or family living in a private home."

Well, I have been here a month now and my family and home is just a dream now. I have pretty much given up ever seeing my family and even when people come through the shelter, they don't select me because I am bigger and older than small, young dogs and puppies. Plus they are getting ready to kill me any day. They want the cage I am in.

I am a favorite here at the shelter but that won't save me. I put my paw out to reach people coming by and sometimes they stop and say hello but then keep going. 

I bark to say, "Wait, come back. Take one more look." Then the door closes behind them and its quiet again until the next family or person comes by and the eyes of all dogs turn to the door.

I guess I am just not what anyone wants. I can be the best pal and the most faithful companion but I just need a chance to show it.

The volunteer, Bruce, said that this ad was my last best hope for getting someone to find me and cherish me. He said that just maybe, the person who is supposed to find me will find my little ad on the internet and make me theirs. Is that you? Could it be?

Can You Be Max's Hero? (11258 Garfield Ave, Downey, CA)
his info is @ http://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/pet/5628249000.html

Horribly abused and neglected dog discarded with the trash

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People living on a Miami street in the Cutler Bay neighborhood made a horrifying discovery last week. Next to a pile of discarded furniture and garbage was a bucket. Inside the bucket, something moved. It was a dog Their neighbors had left their unwanted dog out to be taken away with the trash.

credits and full story @ www.examiner.com/article/heartless-owner-moves-and-abandons-senior-dog-bucket-at-curb-with-the-garbage

Now this story is talking about a family so this means there are children in this lovely family, this just really scares me for a lot of reasons. What do you think?

Lexi Bennett Jun 2 '16 · Comments: 1 · Tags: discarded, dog in trash, shih tzu
Found this news this morning and just brakes your heart, a kind and caring woman not able to cope and no help but scrutinizing for what she was forced to do.  Is it time to change the laws kill shelters are under, having to take in every dog brought in even if this means kill the once from last week? 

Here is Jian Zhicheng article and may she find piece.

Site imageAnimal lover: Jian had worked at the centre for some years and was described as kind and caring.

A veterinarian, who had the heartbreaking task of euthanize unwanted animals at a state run animal shelter in Taiwan, committed suicide earlier this month - the apparent reason was her anguish over being forced to end so many innocent lives, reported Monday's publication of the Daily Mail

full article & credits @ https://www.examiner.com/article/veterinarian-who-had-to-put-animals-down-at-shelter-committed-suicide

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Rachel do what a lot of dog owners do, dump him at a shelter and give him the opportunity to become an ambassador for shelter dogs and to talk about his experience in a way human will hopefully hear and understand better what this means for the dog. 

'Puppy play is definitely not about sex, it is a form of escapism,' says Kye, a 28-year-old Oxford graduate who looks after some of the pups.Around 10,000 people follow the pet play craze in the UK, according to Channel 4's Secret Life of the Human Pups, which explores the phenomenon.

This is for real folks read the article @ 


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Green Humour by Rohan Chakravarty

The report emphasizes "the critical relationship between a healthy environment and healthy people," and stresses the importance of combating global warming by moving to a low-carbon future.
The U.N. Environment Agency's Frontiers report also highlighted the threat to human health posed by the alarming amount of plastic waste in the oceans, and scientific evidence suggesting that losses and damage from climate change are inevitable, with "profound consequences" for ecosystems, people, assets and economies.

Full article and crtedits @  https://www.roanoke.com/news/nation/wire/un-growing-environmental-threat-from-animal-to-man-diseases/article_0d433d54-a385-5bd1-8021-0902c1e5cc88.html 

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