Some Questions – I’d Love To Hear Your Thoughts

I don’t usually create many videos and articles once summer rolls around.

That’s because you guys seem to stop tuning in as much this time of year and I often get into other projects of mine as well.

Of course I don’t stop gardening, but that doesn’t take much work once you have a garden that’s functioning pretty well, especially when you’re focusing on perennial plants…

My main tasks now are weeding and fertilizing.

My GardenMy forest garden is still a baby, but looks a little more jungle-like all the time.

You can read about those at the links above.

As for what do I do for the rest of the year when I’m not doing stuff for SmilingGardener.com, it differs every year.

This year I’m working on a new project about how to improve your health and happiness – nutrition, fitness and your mind.

I’m not doing this alone because I’m not an expert in any of these things, but I’m finding experts in various fields and working with them.

Today, what I really wanted to do was say hey, it’s been a while, I hope you’re having a good summer.

And as I prepare for this new project, I’d really like to learn more about your approach to nutrition, exercise, and happiness.

So for nutrition, what sort of guidelines have you created for yourself that you try to follow, and also, what questions do you always find yourself struggling with?

By the way, I’ll be talking to naturopaths, nutritionists and dietitians this year, and I’ll be interested to bring your questions to them.

And for exercise, what do you do there? What questions do you have there? I’ll be talking with personal trainers and physiotherapists and chiropractors.

For your mind, what do you do to relieve stress or anxiety, or just to be happy? What questions do you have there? I’ll be talking with therapists and psychologists and meditators and so on.

So:

  • What do you eat and drink?
  • What do you do for exercise?
  • What do you do for your mind?
  • And what questions do you have about all of these things?

Let me know down below – I’m really interested in your thoughts 🙂

102 Comments

  1. Patrice on August 2, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Hi PhilHave you ever encountered or heard of squash plants not producing? I have planted the yellow crook neck squash this year and have had many blooms. I’ve fertilized with your products, using the same things you’ve mentioned in your article above. Normally, my squash plants will produce “vegetables” immediately after the blooms. But, this year, the plants are not producing. My plants are healthy and growing … no pest problems, no weeds I’m confused.

    • Cynthia Smith on August 3, 2014 at 12:08 am

      Patrice–This happened to me one year, and we found that it was too cold for the bees to come and pollinate the squash. The only neighbors who had squash had hand pollinated their squash blooms. To do that take a q-tip and get the pollen on it and then touch another bloom with the q-tip. My mom thought it was funny to buzzz like a bee, but I don’t think you have to do that unless you want too…LOL

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      Squash have male and female flowers. The male flowers start blooming before the females, so it could be that your females just aren’t blooming yet. But if they are, it could be a lot of things – weather too hot, not enough water, too much nitrogen, pests or disease, etc.Or it may be a problem of the females not being pollinated. That’s the job of insects, who travel between male and female flowers doing the pollination. But sometimes that doesn’t happen, for various reasons, such as a lack of pollinators.Fortunately, you can do it yourself. It will probably be best if you search online to find some photos of how to do it, but in short, you want to pick a male flower that is mature (should leave yellow pollen on your finger when you touch the stamen), remove the petals, and rub it inside the female flowers, touching the male stamen to the female stigma. Voila – pollination!

      • Ian McAllister on August 5, 2014 at 11:19 am

        Some years there are hardly any female flowers, but I hand-pollinate those that do appear.

  2. Susan on August 2, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    I enjoy hiking. What are the best strength-training exercises to do to strengthen legs if you don’t belong to a gym or have machines? I say love mantras every day that I learned from Christine Arylo since I took her Choose We Before Me class which is really excellent. We can’t be happy all the time because negative feelings are normal and sometimes we can use them as a sign that in some area, we need to take action to change things. I eat whole food plant-based 100% of the time and drink water and as a result I have great cholesterol and no weight issues.

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      Hiking, love mantras, whole food plant-based diet with lots of water – thanks for sharing. And good question about strengthening legs – there are some great body weight exercises you can do and I’ll be excited to talk to a personal trainer about that.

  3. Nana Betsy on August 2, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Hi PhilI am retired and a grandmother of 13 grandchildren. I had a desk job for 15 years before retirement. The first year of retirement I packed on the pounds and became depressed. I now live by the 3 W’s: Walk, weights and water. I eat protein at every meal and snack on fresh fruits & veggies as well as a small handful of nuts. I NO longer bake sweets and shy away from sugar and carbs. My summer’s are filled with veggie gardening, quilting & visiting. Sudoku, reading and more quilting in the winter . I like to surf the internet for gardening tips all year round and that’s how I found your “smiling” site. Two gardening questions: 1) my zucchini plants always get powdery mildew on the leaves. It has not been a threat to the vast production of Zukes. What am I doing wrong? 2) Since my garden consists of raised beds and I rotate my plantings each year I have found that my cucumbers (grown on an “A” frame trellis ) are curling and not growing straight. What do I need to add to the soil? I live in south central VA and my garden is amended every year with my own compost. Thanks

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      Walk/weights/water, protein/fruits/veggies/nuts, decreasing sugar/carbs, lots of activities – thanks for sharing! Powdery mildew on the squash family seems to happen in most gardens, including often in mine at the end of the season – it’s something I don’t worry about as long as the fruits are producing. Regular applications of microbial inoculants such as the SCD Probiotics I mentioned up above can be helpful there. Curling cucumbers can be caused by a lot of issues. Actually, it can be similar to the reasons that squash sometimes don’t fruit, which Patrice already mentioned in the comments on this page.

  4. Steve on August 2, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Thanks for your enjoyable videos. I love Organic vegetable and fruit gardening and get most of my exercise in the garden and with martial arts. I especially love growing grapes Organically.I eat mostly Organic foods including Organic beef and chicken. I stay away from all GMOs. If I even vaguely suspect something has a GMO ingredient, I do not buy it or use it.Meditation is quite beneficial for keeping healthy and in touch with a deep source within (“Insight” or “Vipassana” mediation). Ten-day mediation retreats are especially beneficial.

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      Gardening/martial arts, organic non-gmo, meditation – thanks for sharing Steve! I did Vipassana back in April and am still benefiting from it every day.

  5. Sarah on August 2, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Hi Phil!Food:Completely grain free – I learned by reading Lynn-Genet Recitas’s book, The Plan, that I’m very sensitive to all cereal grains and mildly sensitive to others. This cured my 35+ year IBS literally overnight. Btw, no doctor had been able to help me. So yay.Oodles of fresh, organic vegetables, both cooked and raw. Pasture raised eggs, chicken, and beef. Some whole, organic fruit but not a ton. Flax seed granola I make myself. Fresh coconut milk I make from the coconut. Lots of yummy fats like butter from pasture raised cows, olive oil, and raw nuts and seeds.Drink:Bullet proof coffee (google it – super yum). Filtered water. Herbal tea. Wine. That’s about all that crosses my lips.Exercise:I live in San Francisco so I walk as much as I can, taking the hilly routes and tracking via a hill tracker I found online. Makes it kind of fun, to see how high I can climb on my way to and from the grocery store.Mind and Spirit:Sorely neglected. Trying to find balance.

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      No grains, yes organic vegetables/fruits, pasture-raised animals, several types of drinks, walking, need some balance on the mind and spirit – thanks for sharing Sarah! Ya, for some people grains are excellent and for others they can cause big issues.

  6. JJM123 on August 2, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Other than essential oils, my favorite general purpose being Tea Tree:I’ve pretty much given up on Sugar in favor of “Stevia In The Raw”. In SE Texas I can sometimes get some of the plants to grow well on the east side of my house. I have not been able to reproduce via cuttings. Any suggestions on how to reproduce Stevia and how to best use my plants/leaves as sweeteners?Chia Seeds, promoted as a compact source of energy, have become an addition to my morning bowl of cereal. I’ve planted some of the seeds and ended up with plenty of pretty small blue flowers on 3′ tall plants. When trying to harvest any seeds, almost impossible to sort the (few) seeds from chaff. Any suggestions on gathering these and other small herb seeds?I make and consume Colloidal Silver made with distilled water, silver rods and purchased battery powered ‘generator’. I can not verify it’s benefits but do believe that it has helped my dog overcome bladder infection. Some people swear by it but I question if I bought into a myth?

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 10:06 pm

      Good questions. I’ve never grown stevia or chia outdoors up in my neck of the woods. I don’t have much trouble separating the chaff from bigger seeds like cilantro and dill, but I’m not sure about chia. I know it’s best to pull the whole plant and knock it into a container to get the seeds to drop, but not sure how much chaff drops with it.

  7. Cechevar on August 2, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Eat, drink, excercise, think is all about us. We born, we die. All that remain is what we do for the comunity. It is true we need firt to be strong in order to help but not forgeting meanwhile the final taget. We are gregarious beings.

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      You’re right, we need to take care of our communities and need to take care of ourselves in order to do that.

  8. Ryan on August 2, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Phil, i enjoy the site!I live in a ski resort town in b.c and well that’s a huge thing, city life, I wont do any more, not worry about $$$, live off your land and recycle and be as good to the land as you can.I ski tour, ski, hike, bike, swim, eat all organic, everything I can grow in my garden, no gmo!working or looking at the garden daily is a healthy thing, yoga, enjoying the Columbia river, or the view from a top the mountains.just try and enjoy life in the bush or in your garden! a born and raised green thumb!

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      Lots of exercise, home-grown organic food, and the great outdoors – sounds good to me 🙂

  9. jeffreyfranz on August 2, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    1. Organic fruit, vegetables, grains and yogurt + fish. No meat.2. Walk, hike, tennis, weights and calisthenics. 3. Meditation, music and reading. Most favorite thing: The ocean.4. I’m pretty settled on these but will review comments below for ideas. How about yoga?

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      Thanks for the nice list.

  10. mbw on August 2, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    I eat food that can be easily identified for what it is : fruit,veggies,(some I grow, but wish I was growing more), beef from our pasture, wild game my husband hunts. and very few processed things. I like to swim, walk and bike for “exercise” but they are also (along with gardening) things that make me happy.For my mind I read, pray, do crosswords and sudoku, knit, and sew (again, things that make me happy).I am anxious to see what you will have in future videos…

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      Whole foods, exercise and lots of great practices for the mind – thanks for sharing!

  11. SJC on August 2, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Hi Phil, just wanted to let you know how we enjoy your letters and tips. Just an fyi. It’s August here in the south and really hot!

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      Thanks 🙂

  12. Deana on August 2, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    I’ve done quite a bit of study over the last 5 years on the subjects you are asking about including building our soil so that our produce has the highest nutrient content possible. I mostly drink water and I add liquid minerals to that. I do drink some herbal teas and I juice about 3x per week. I have a smoothie most mornings for breakfast. I eat an 80/20 diet where 80% is raw produce and 20% is grains and protein (only whole grains, nuts, chicken, fish, and rarely pork and beef). I start my day with 1/2 squeezed lemon in warm water as a daily liver detox. I eat all things raw and when I do preserve, it’s through (in order of frequency) dehydration, freezing, and some canning. I take live probiotics, prebiotics, and food enzymes (mostly fresh papaya seeds). Currently, I am really enjoying a liquid vitamin supplement called Source of LIfe. I also drink 2oz per day of an antioxidant drink called Ningxia Red. I take these supplements because I know the soil our food is grown in lacks nutrients across the board. I try only to eat organically grown foods. I am currently reading a book called, “The Iodine Crisis” which is very interesting and I just started adding iodine drops to my morning smoothie today! I incorporate herbs and therapeutic grade (only) essential oils in my daily life to promote a strong immune system and healthy cells. Currently, I am taking some additional supplements for specific purposes. I worked out with weight training and cardio almost daily for over 20 years and discovered I was hurting myself; now I just practice daily yoga, yumana body rolling, and of course, gardening chores. I am a very spiritual person and I practice meditation and prayer. I read a LOT and always have about 5 or 6 books going. I read subjects like inspirational stories, building soil, plants, micro-nutrients, food preparation books, natural healing, etc. I find good health is the whole body, mind, and spirit. I make time for myself and relaxing in spite of all the work that remains on “the list”. I take time for my family and my hobbies. When I am doing my chores, I enjoy them and marvel in how well things are growing and how beautiful nature is. When interacting with people, I choose to spend my time with positive, thoughtful, caring, and uplifting people. I always have more questions about these subjects.

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 10:15 pm

      Water with liquid minerals/herbal tea/juice/smoothies, 80% raw produce, probiotics/prebiotics/enzymes/supplements, herbs/essential oils, yoga/body rolling/gardening instead of weights/cardio, meditation/prayer/reading, family/hobbies, and lots more – phew, good list!

  13. Bob on August 2, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Hi Phil I have been following your gardening blog for a couple of years now and find your information very useful for my gardening projects. Also, I have purchased some of your products since you ship to the U.S. now and I assume that you only sell products that are processed properly and are the best available. Your book is the first one I go to for gardening answers!I am 66 years old and am interested in eating, exercising, and living in a holistic way. I try to get exercise, but that has been a hit and miss , (especially in the summer cause I’m pretty active anyway). I watch what I eat most of the time as I know it is healthy, but I don’t have any real philosophy or approach that would bring these important things that you mentioned together as a holistic approach and so I would be interested in your findings. I remember reading in one of your blogs that you consumed some form of Bokashi as a way to optimize your digestive system, (if I remember correctly) and I know there are similar products available in health food stores, though I have not tried it myself. I look forward to hearing from you on this subject, also.

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      Yes, I consume a version of the SCD Probiotics listed up in the article above, and I make my own kombucha, too. Will definitely want to talk more about fermenting on this new project. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Carol J on August 2, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Hi Phil,I’m vegan and don’t eat junk food — just lots of plants. For fats I eat nuts, avocado, and such found in whole foods but avoid using oil (although in restaurants I ease up if they can’t, as finding vegan is enough challenge.) I try to go often to cooking classes/demos at a local health food store, as well as on-line. That way I keep learning about food and how to make it sing. 🙂 My favorite nutrition advice is from Dr. Michael Gregor at “nutritionfacts.org”. For exercise, I practice yoga everyday, sometimes about 40 minutes, sometimes just 15 minutes when time is tight. I go to local dances often. The weekly dances are low intensity and go on about 90 minutes. The twice monthly dances are vigorous (and so fun!) and go on for 2 1/2 hours. Also I like to hike, go for walks, jog (just a little), do light weights, and follow some on-line classes for targeting different areas. I also have a little garden, but as you say — often it’s just pulling weeds and the basics. So everyday I do at least a little exercise and throughout the week I add in much more. For my mind I focus using a mantrum for about 20 minutes and I meditate (goal is silence, but you know how elusive that can be) 30 minutes a day. Plus I try to learn lots of different things. I’m learning Italian now, read, go to monthly lectures at our veg society, and enjoy trying my hand at arts — latest is wood carving, which I find very satisfying and will probably be a keeper in my life (you can probably tell I’m now retired.) I’m thinking of taking up archery — not for hunting, obviously, but just for focus, exercise, and pleasure.Question: How do I find a vegan boyfriend? Just kidding… I’d like to learn more from you and from the others here. What would you all like to teach me?

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      Healthy vegan diet, yoga/dancing, walk/jog and weights/online classes, mantra/meditation, keep learning new things – thanks for sharing!

  15. Abbyzmom on August 2, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    I avoid gluten, and most dairy. The exceptions are butter, and some cheese. No milk, sour cream, yogurt. I try to keep the carbs low, but am not obsessive about it. I try to eat homemade fermented veggies, and I am trying to limit alcohol to once a week or so. I walk for 20 minutes most days. I don’t formally meditate, but when I walk, I let my mind wander and disingage from my current concerns. By the end, I am more focused than before.

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 10:19 pm

      No gluten, little dairy, low carb, fermentation, limit alcohol, walking – thanks for sharing!

  16. Cynthia Smith on August 3, 2014 at 12:21 am

    John–I love your blog entries and often print them out and send them to my son, who is in prison for the next eight years. When he gets out he’ll know theoretically how to garden, and then he can work getting the experience.I eat fresh squeezed vegetable and fruit juices, nuts and lots of avocados. I like meat, but I limit it to once a week because the grass-fed naturally raised meat is scarce and expensive. I have chickens who give me eggs. I can’t eat them, though…LOLGardening is exercise as we live on the side of a hill, but I also use a recumbent bicycle and swim.As for my mind, I play Scrabble, sew, and write books on spiritual subjects.I have had lots of questions in the past, but I think I have found my perfectly balanced Bliss and am completely happy.

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      Veg/fruit juice, nuts, some grass-fed meat, gardening/biking/swimming, scrabble/sewing/writing – thanks for sharing, bliss sounds like a worthy goal 🙂

  17. olonkejek on August 3, 2014 at 2:02 am

    PhilI am looking for a way to introduce Ericoid Mychorrizal Fungi to my Blueberries. Can you assist me? Love your stuff! Dennis Reid Bremen Ga

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      Santiam Organics makes an ericoid inoculant that you can find online. Or find blueberries or their relatives in nature and take a few handfuls of soil from there (a blueberry grower may very well not have them in their soil, especially on a farm that’s sprayed with pesticides).

      • olonkejek on August 4, 2014 at 1:15 am

        Thanks so much Dennis

        • olonkejek on August 4, 2014 at 1:17 am

          dumb question but here goes– If i put some soil like you mentioned on roots coming out of the south of a plant, will ther ericoid spread to all roots (or should I dig dow in 3-4 different places in order to get good inoculation?

          • Phil on August 4, 2014 at 9:57 pm

            It’s a great question. As long as part of the plant gets inoculated, the fungi should eventually travel around to the whole plant. And yet, if time allows, I would do just as you said and dig little holes in 3-4 places, just to be sure each plant gets inoculated.



  18. nektaria on August 3, 2014 at 2:12 am

    I eat mostly organic fruit and veggies. We are transitioning to grass-finished beef, free range chickens, and organic pork. I eat lots of grass-fed butter, avocados, olive oil and coconut oil. I eat gluten free so Paleo recipes are usually helpful. Many health gurus (ie Sally Fallon at Weston Price Foundation) encourage the consumption of liver. I like it but…I hesitate to eat it. Any experience? My garden is minimally successful. We rent so I am limited to containers. I grow kitchen herbs right now but I want very much to grow medicinal herbs, however I do not know how to properly harvest or dry any herbs, nor do I know how to turn them into medicine. Especially I am interested in learning about any medicinal herbs that help with heart disease and inflammation. Videos on how to make decoctions, teas, tinctures would be helpful. I am also interested in core exercise and low impact exercise.

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      Organic food, gluten free, interest in medicinal herbs for heart and inflammation, core/low impact exercises. Thanks for sharing! Drying herbs is easy enough to learn, and making tinctures takes a little more effort, but is very rewarding.

  19. Funshine on August 3, 2014 at 8:00 am

    What about learning og which healthy foods are relaxing/calming and which healthy foods give energy.Amino acids , herbs and mood?Why does somone crave organic butter?What foods contain GABA?

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      Thanks for the questions!

  20. Mat on August 3, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Hi Phil,I eat and drink a normal balanced diet – some grown in the garden, some from the supermarket – and am extremely skeptical about the physical merits of fad diets. I take almost no exercise. For my mind I consume an inordinate amount of dry white wine (more red in the winter). I’m 43, look 33, in shape and never sick.I guess genetics counts for most – grandad is going strong at 95

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      Thanks for sharing Mat.

  21. Marty on August 3, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Eating: One of my favorite dishes is oatmeal cooked with cinnamon and apple juice. After cooking I add vanilla flavored whey protein powder, milled flax seed, and fruit. Sometimes I add 1/2 cup of Cheerios. This morning the fruit was blueberries. Later it may be some strawberries or perhaps an orange or banana or pineapple. In season it could be fresh cut up figs. I mix this together after adding lemon, pomegranate or grape juice. If my berry project works out, it will be raspberries, more blueberries, blackberries, grapes and figs for my oatmeal.Exercise: I can be found hitting tennis balls at the local courts most evenings. I get to the courts by bicycle. I do a lot of bicycling.Gardening: My current garden project (started last year) is to grow berries. I have started multiple varieties of blueberry and raspberry as well as some black berry plants, some fig trees and one grape vine. I selected blueberry and raspberry plants from a list of early, middle and late bearing varieties so as to get as long a fruiting season as possible. I am anticipating the day when I will be eating the fruits of my gardening with my oatmeal dish.I have used a number of your ideas as well as others that I have researched to optimize plant health and growth.Question?: Extra Sun: I have a limited space (especially sunny space) for my plants. I am using silver plastic mulch to hopefully increase sun exposure. I have read a couple other ideas that I have not implemented. For instance, I read somewhere (I can’t find it now), that a small solar device implanted in the soil next to a plant will help it to grow in limited sunlight. I also read an electronic book by George Starr White MD that talks about using copper wires connected to pipes, metal fences or grounded copper rods which provide energy to plants. Have you ever heard of experiments that show that this extra energy might be a significant supplement to the sun’s energy so that a less than ideal spot might be used to grow plants requiring a lot of sun? Is paramagnetic energy said by anyone to help? Have you got any other ideas?

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      Oatmeal with lots of goodies in it, tennis/bicycling, gardening – thanks for sharing.I know of people who are using electricity successfully. I’m not sure how that relates to the sun’s energy, but it’s doing something when done right. I haven’t heard of using a solar device next to the plant. Paramagnetic rock dust can sometimes help quite a lot. Improving the soil nutrient balance (with a good soil test and subsequent fertilization) as well as the biology (with compost and inoculants) will help too.

    • Antony John on August 5, 2014 at 11:58 am

      Hai Phil,Thanks for your reply regarding sea water. I still wish to know the technique of making concentrated sea water. I live couple of kilometers away from sea. But, I wish to introduce this product in my state of India. For that, I wish to manufacture it.

      • Phil on August 5, 2014 at 12:33 pm

        Cool, good idea – you’ll want to contact someone who manufacturers it to see if they can help.

  22. Richard on August 3, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    I have been on theBlood Type diet since 1979. This diet is based on your blood type is the mostextensive individualistic diet I know of. It was originated by a Naturopath Dr.James D’Adamo and his work has been taken over by his son also a Naturopath Dr.Peter D’Adamo who runs the Center for Generative Medicine at BridgeportUniversity in Connecticut. It was mygood fortune to have been a patient of Dr. James D’Adamo and to continue to bea patient or Dr. Peter D’Adamo. When I startedwith them 35 years ago I was a mess both physically and mentally. At that timeI saw so many medical doctors that didn’t have a clue what was wrong me buttold me I was fine because all my blood tests were fine. Taking the holisticpath was the best decision I ever made. The Blood Type Diet is designed soyou eat the foods that are best for your blood type and avoid eating foods thatare not good for your blood type. In addition to your blood type numerous otherfactors go into designing a diet explicitly for you and different than the dietfor anyone else. The day I walked into their office I knew I was in the rightpace to get well. After getting the explanation of the Blood Type Dieteverything made sense. I had beenorganic gardening for a number of years and the idea of building healthy soilto develop healthy plants. Correlated with the idea of eat the rights foods tohave a healthy body. It took me awhilebut I got better and I know that if I hadn’t had the good fortune to get on theBlood Type Diet I would not have the quality of life I have today. It would beimpossible for me to explain the Blood Type Diet and do it justice but if youare interested in learning about it you can information on it at: http://www.dadamo.com regards to your survey, I have type A blood and the type A diet leans towards a vegetarian dietbut other factors come into play. My diet is high in vegetables and wholegrains with small amounts of fish, poultry and dairy products. I drink lots ofwater and some juices. For exercise I hike and walk (suggested types ofexercise are given with the diet). Asfar as medical practitioners in addition to Naturopaths I use acupuncturists andmassage therapists. My hobbies aregardening, fly fishing and fly tying. For my mind reading, fly tying,words with friends, crossword puzzles and suduko. Stress is a hard one. I try to stay away from situations thatstress me out but I know that isn’t always possible. He diet helps because it is designed to keepmy body calm. Exercise helps and ofcourse my hobbies. Knowing that .I comefirst and learning when to say no helps. But the dealing with stress questionis a hard one.Phil,Want to thank you for helping me improve my organic gardening skills andknowledge. I got your 15 lessons,downloaded you ebookand started using SCD Probiotics and myrrhizal fungi. My garden has thrived this year and I lovethe idea of growing more nutrient dense food

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 10:34 pm

      Thanks for the detail Richard. Happy the Blood Type Diet is working for you. Vegetables/whole grains/some animals, water/juice, hiking/waking, gardening/fishing, various hobbies. Glad the garden is thriving 🙂

  23. Carol on August 3, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Phil you state you are focusing on your health! Good for you. Have you read about Liposomal Vitamin C? It is a very good product to make and use for many things, cancer, infections, heart health, brain health and the list goes on. Look it up on the internet. one really good site is http://www.livingherbalfarmacy.com

  24. Michael on August 3, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    HelloPhil,As far as nutrition goes, I have found that whenever I eat sugar, as good as it tastes for a short time; it comes with some longer lasting downers, such as lower energy and generally bad skin complexion. I physically feel bestwhen I eat proteins, vegetables, and whole grains.Also, I used to get the flu regularly each year, but since 1994 I have not had the flu. I do not ever get any flu shots, and though I cannot prove this is the reason why, I have not had the flu since I stopped eating all forms of pork. Coincidence?And just like plants need the correct nutrients, etc. to grow, and just like we need to eat the right nutrient-containing foods, I have found that the same thing goes for having a happy mind and spirit. Like eating sugary foods, I have found that there are a number of things that gave me a form of happiness for a short time, but they did not fulfill that deep longing that I had. It was like treating the symptoms and not the cause. It wasn’t until I learned that I wasloved unconditionally, and that Jesus proved this by sacrificing his life for me, personally, and that his coming back to life from the dead is an historical fact. Then, when I placed my trust in Him that is when I received fulfillment and the hope that has not diminished at all for the past 24 years. And I can also say this: things didn’t get easier after I put my trust in Jesus. In fact, things got harder. People started to mistreat me because of what I believed. Even still, the hope did not fade. Over the years since then, I have also grown to where certain things that used to cause me anxiety do not do that anymore. For example, I currently actually work in the mental health field and have done counseling for people in crisis. And what I have learned is,sometimes the anxiety people experience is because of their self-talk. Some people have automatic negative thoughts that developed over the years, and they don’t realize they do it. This alone has caused some formsof mental-health issues, anxiety, depression, etc. As for me, changing that self-talk has giving me peace of mind in certain areas of my life. Telling yourself the truth is so important, and it starts with knowing that God created you and that he loves you unconditionally.Anyway, as for questions I have, I would like to know the health benefits of Kombucha. I have heard that it is good for you, and I have also heard that it is toxic. I would like to know what it is in Kombucha that makes it either healthy or toxic for a person.Thank you Phil,Michael

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 10:47 pm

      Proteins/vegetables/whole grains, avoid sugar, changing self-talk habits – thanks for sharing. The toxicity concerns around kombucha are generally myths – it’s not a magic bullet, but can be very helpful for some people. I’ll definitely be getting more into it at some point. Thanks for asking.

  25. geekymom on August 3, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Hope this gives you lots of starting points:Diet: Weston A Price foundation guidelines to sourcing and preparation of food. Fear no fat, if traditionally prepared from a well-sourced animal/plant. Exclude foods you are sensitive to; this will differ for every person and also change over time and with the seasons. Takes a while to tune into for yourself if you’re not used to it. Consider trying Paleo/Gaps for a few weeks and then adding back in other foods to check your compatibility with it. Other authors with strong research you maybe interested in: Russell Blaylock, Nora Gedgaudas, Natasha Campbell-McBride, Joan Mathews-Larson, Stephanie Seneff, Josef Mercola, Allison Siebecker (siboinfo.com). Also interesting: Mary T Newport (coconut ketones), TED talk by Terry Wahls (on mitochondria), and many more.Exercise: look up on mercola.com: slow but “high intensity interval training”, and combine with “intermittent fasting” (it’s not what it sounds like). Mind: Yoga, QiGong, Meditation, Walking. Find a discipline and a good teacher you feel drawn to learn from. There are several schools of each discipline that were especially developed for preventing and healing chronic health conditions. As with every other skill, the basics are very important and I heard that an ignorant teacher (or lack of a teacher) can mess up your nervous system inadvertently. Do your research, then try to be patient and trust your teacher.

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 10:38 pm

      Quality fats and paleo approach, HIIT for exercise, yoga/qigong/meditation/walking – thanks for all the info!

  26. Meighan on August 3, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Great questions and what I’m also thinking about all the time these days. 1. I was vegan for 5 years but have reintroduced dairy, eggs (2/day!) and salmon in the hopes of increasing protein and decreasing carbs. I feel better. 2. I had my own business for 5 years http://www.growing4good.com but the digging and pounding resulted in slipped discs in my lower lumbar and shoulder tendinitis that won’t go away so I had to quit the garden biz, quit swimming, quit rock climbing, even biking hurts, so now I hike and aqua-jog and skate-ski in the winter. 3. The hiking serves as walking meditation. I’ve also started practicing lovingkindness mediation. I’m trying to slow down my lifestyle in general and increase my acts of kindness/decrease my impatience and negative thoughts. I’m about to begin working with a spiritual director (Catholic) and volunteer more. These are for obviously the mind & spirit.

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 10:49 pm

      Vegan reintroducing animal products, aqua jogging/skate skiing/hiking due to injuries, meditation/positive thinking/volunteering – thanks for sharing Meighan!

  27. Bob Rooker on August 3, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Have you heard of Liposomal Vitamin for your health? Check the internet http://www.livingherbalfarmacy.com for directions on how to make your own and what to use it for. Liposomal Vitamin C will cure just about any infection, improve heart health, can cure some cancers.

  28. Paula on August 3, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    Hi Phil! I’ve learned a lot from you over the past year. In return, I’d like to help you out, so here is my take on your questions:1) Eat and Drink…I am a type 1 diabetic, so I stay away from sugars as much as possible. I drink water, tea, and almond or 1% organic milk ( no juice, soda, or alcoholic beverages). I eat as organically as possible in my area..fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, beans, and organic fish, chicken or beef every once in a while when I feel the need for a little extra protein.2) Exercise… I recently joined a gym to have access to a swimming pool and yoga classes, also lift weights, but can’t walk much due to neuropathy and arthritis.3) Mind… I just retired as a science teacher, so I am trying to catch up on some reading, am learning to sew, and learning Italian. I also do as many puzzles as time allows and keep up with friends and family.4) Questions…Why can’t we get the government (US) to identify which foods are GMO? What is the best way to get more varieties of heirloom seeds? Other than “rooster juice” what is good for arthritis in the knee? Many thanks for all the knowledge and ideas you share.

    • Phil on August 4, 2014 at 9:40 pm

      Organic whole foods/low sugar, swimming/yoga/weights, reading/hobbies/learning – thanks for sharing Paula, and thanks for the great questions!

  29. MNV on August 3, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    I enjoy you stuff Phil.I eat whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables and very small amounts of nuts. I avoid eating overly processed food, any grains that are not whole, all oils, refined sugars, and added salt. I drink 4 or 5 glasses of wine a week. I don’t drink fruit juices. I eat greens with every meal. I’m 70.I do Bodyweight exercises 3 times a week. I read, meditate (Zazen) and do Lumosity. An old Chinese saying. If you wish to be happy for a few hours, drink wine until you head spins pleasantly; if you wish to be happy for a few days, get married and hide away; if you wish to be happy for a week, roast a tender pig and have a feast; if you wish to be happy all your life, become a gardener.”I don’t have any questions. It is interesting to see what others are doing.

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 10:43 pm

      Focus on whole foods, especially greens, and a bit of wine, bodyweight exercises, mediation and lumosity. Love the proverb – thanks for sharing.

    • Antony John on August 4, 2014 at 10:15 am

      Hai PhilI enjoy your gardening lessons. Thanks. May I know how to make concentrated sea water from ordinary sea water?

  30. johnpetersen on August 4, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Can you believe that I ordered some seeds and grew them out to find it was not the plant I ordered, yep, but now I can sooth malaria :)) oh well. ahem- I use hot peppers for bleeding hemroids and it works, cocoa powder in coffee seems to help too. Hot chocolate :)- Smells always seem to lift my spirits, like cracking a mint leaf open and smelling it, or mixing it with some stevia, garden bubble gum. Whats the easiest, least expensive way to get the essences from safe to use plants?-Here’s a doozy- Catfish–one of the healthiest fish you can eat right? They have to be caught. Other than anise and garlic and vanilla and hot peppers, what plants might be a good additive to add to fishing baits to attract them or other fish?

    • Phil on August 4, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      Unique questions John – thanks very much for sharing them.

  31. Veronica Franco on August 4, 2014 at 5:27 am

    I enjoy and appreciate your gadrening information, so thanks,again. Meanwhile, regarding your new and cool project, I avoid all processed foods, carbonated drinks, fast food and GMOS. I try to eat only organic, which in this present food system can be a challenge. I make everything I can from scratch, with ingredients I know, and if I can’t find raw milk ( a big challenge) I make sure it is organic and minimally “pasteurized”. I make my own mayo, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salad dressings, yoghurt, ice cream, etc. and ensure I get a good balance of fresh veges and fruits to go with good quality protein, and use natural anti-oxidants in my cooking (like turmeric, ginger, etc.) and healthy oils like coconut, flax and real olive oil (many adulturated versions out there) every chance I get, and shoot to use less wheat and more oat and alternative flours, when possible. Right now, my exercise is just getting things done around the house, and throwing the ball regularly for my pups. As resources for you to tap, I would recommend Jon Barron, Dr. Sears and GreenMedInfo.com. Enjoy your new project.

    • Phil on August 4, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      Thanks for the links Veronica. Seems like we’re seeing a theme here with whole foods, homemade, organic/non-gmo, etc. being mentioned often.

  32. fatma on August 4, 2014 at 11:58 am

    am twenties .. but i want to keep my outlook younger and pretty .. so how the food will help .. and spiritually how to feel the plant and the environment around .. thats for now thanks alot for every thing .. you are really good friend of mine

    • Phil on August 4, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      Thanks Fatma.

  33. Debbie Shepheard on August 4, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    I am in the midst of cleaning up my kitchen so that there are no “bad” foods here, no junk food. I intend to make or create all my own raw food/healthy snacks to keep on hand so we are not getting any more GMOs.My garden endeavours have always been organic and I buy heirloom organic seed, but for most of the year must by produce elsewhere and non-GMOs are getting harder to find as a lot of our produce is imported from the USA. I make most of what I can from scratch, including my almond milk. I buy only raw nuts and seeds and am learning more and more about paleo, raw and in general, a more natural diet. I drink water and tea. On a rare occasion I will have an alcoholic beverage but I prefer water and tea.For exercise, I like to walk, bike ride and dance. To exercise my brain, I like intelligent conversation, reading, puzzles (sudoku, crossword, word search and Lumosity and the Brain Age games on the Nintendo DS)As I have been researching these subjects for the past fourteen years, my only questions/problems continue to be motivational. How to stay on track when tempted (I try using tapping techniques), how to change the diet without the husband freaking out. 😀

    • Phil on August 4, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      Raw/organic/paleo, water and tea, walk/bike/dance, conversation/reading/games – thanks for the great list Debbie. I agree, I think for a lot of people, learning what to do is the easy part – it’s sticking to it that can be tricky.

  34. Phil on August 4, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Hi guys, you’ll notice I’m leaving some rather weird-looking replies to each of your comments – it’s just my way of making sure I’ve read every one thoroughly 🙂

  35. Gail on August 4, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    For food, I only eat from scratch and organic when necessary. I use the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen list put out by EWG. I mostly drink filtered water from my tap and maybe 100% fruit juice (organic) or green tea. About the only place I shop in is the organic/nutrition center at my store or an organic farmers’ market stand or farm. Meatwise, I mostly eat Alaska wild caught sockeye salmon (the only one that can’t be farm raised), occasionally tuna sustainably harvested. From time to time I have organic chicken or buffalo meat. Only organic in that department. Organic eggs makes a nice dinner occasionally. And, of course, the legumes via soup. Not a whole lot of sugar, and when I do, it’s evaporated cane juice or honey. I also make my own goat milk yogurt which I have every morning on my whole grain granola along with blueberries and raspberries. I sprinkle some raw chocolate nibs on top. Try to have raw almonds everyday and also the “healthy” portion of 72% dark chocolate (1 oz). (Isn’t life rough!)A good hike in the woods takes care of two in one. It’s works wonders for my peace of mind and reducing stress; and is also an excellent source of exercise. I’m 71 and not a single risk factor, so I assume I’m doing something right. Good luck with your quest.

    • Phil on August 5, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      Organic, homemade food, filtered water/tea, walking in the woods – thanks for sharing Gail.

  36. Juan on August 5, 2014 at 7:06 am

    1. What do I eat and drink? – I drink mostly coffee, tea and water, not a fan of fizzy drinks and alcohol, but I do drink them in moderation on occasion. 2. What do you do for exercise? – I gym, hike and fortunately for me most of my cousins are still kids, so I often play with them. 3. What do you do for your mind? – I’m a scientist, so my mind is busy solving and puzzling and arranging the whole day long, but to unwind I enjoy listening to music, watching good films or sitting outside drinking coffee with friends and family.4. What questions do I have about these things? – Well, I seem to get a handle one or two of these aspects of life at time, and then somehow the other is terribly neglected. So my question – what advice or tips would you/any of these experts suggest on maintaining a balance between these three?

    • Phil on August 5, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      Great list Juan, and good question – thanks for sharing this.

  37. Ian McAllister on August 5, 2014 at 11:35 am

    I use zero sugar, low carb, high coconut oil (150ml/day) and make my own Sauerkraut. My last batch is just perfect, justifying my purchase of a sauerkraut crock.I do a similar fermentation for my garden. I ferment all my food scraps with Bokashi culture since a few months ago. I switched over to square-foot gardening at the same time. I’m using one-square-foot containers with the bottom cut out and each one has two inches of yellow builder’s sand (My local sand is devoid of nutrients) one inch of Bokashi fermented scraps, half an inch of clay/silt soil improver, and 2 inches of sifted compost.It’s mid-winter here now, and only radishes and pak-choi grow when I plant them, but the soil will be improving until springtime as the Bokashi culture gets to work.Although my exercise is just gardening and walking, my body-fat percentage varies between 12% and 14% so the idea of getting my energy from coconut oil seems to be working. At my age more vigorous exercise than gardening is out of the question.

    • Phil on August 5, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      No sugar, low carb, high coconut oil, fermented foods, gardening and walking – thanks for sharing Ian!

  38. Susan on August 6, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Turned around our family diet with the help of the Daniel plan (Saddleback church, loads of free videos and recipes), discovered the whfoods.com website and the excellent book that goes with it. Discovered that if I drop bread from the menu I eat more vegetables. Eat local, bio if possible and as little processed foods as possible. For exercise: use the car as little as possible! I keep quail and the eggs lowered my husband’s hayfever symptoms. He has also started JuicePlus.

    • Phil on August 7, 2014 at 8:01 pm

      Less bread = more veggies. Local, organic, whole foods, eggs, juiceplus – thanks for sharing Susan!

  39. Jodi on August 8, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    I am 38 and I am a super happy person. I just got married (for the first time) last year. But I was happy before that. My secret: Be kind, don’t judge, be social, get outside, and always make good decisions. My husband and I couldn’t be happier. We are respectful to each other, we don’t criticize, we don’t fight. We both love to garden and watch the insects and birds in our yard. We have several pets and he has 2 wonderful children. I actually just stopped eating beef, chicken, and pork about 2 months ago. And really limit bread. I have no desire to eat those meats. Feels great and I am in great shape now.

    • Phil on August 9, 2014 at 11:35 am

      Thanks for sharing Jodi – be kind, don’t judge, be social, get outside, and always make good decisions, cut out certain meats and bread.

  40. Stars of Orion on August 11, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Morning Phil! Hope this day finds you well. I’m a Naturopath/Master Herbalist so my responses will probably be along the same lines as most. My diet is clean (no drinking/smoking) with plenty of organic fruit & vegetables, some lean meats & organic dairy. My breakfast & pre-workout meals are always a protein smoothie with a banana included. I use the herbs & vegetables I grow as my medicine, when feasible. Exercise is mountain biking, wreck diving, Krav Maga, weight training, hiking & Pilates. These also have a therapeutic effect on one’s mind in their own regard. For my mental as well as spiritual well-being, the Bible & prayer time comforts & encourages me when I need it. I have an evening tea ritual in my moon garden which is a nice ending to a day. I also like to stargaze when the weather permits or go for long walks by myself on the beach. There’s a certain serenity only nature can provide.Wanted to give you a heads up on the progress of my organic veggie garden: Thanks to the advice in your videos, this is the first year in how many that I’ve gotten a bumper crop of tomatoes, cukes & corn 🙂 ! So for anyone reading this: if you’re on the fence about Phil’s methods, let me assure you they DO work! It’s harnessing the power of nature to do for itself what it was naturally created to do using its own tools. It might be a bit more work at first, but the payoffs are worth it. Your soil is naturally replenished, your plants will be healthier, stronger, happier, & more productive & you become a more efficient, wiser gardener in the process. Thank you Phil for taking the time to share your knowledge with us in the hopes of creating a greater awareness about the importance of organic gardening. Happy growing everyone!

    • Phil on August 12, 2014 at 11:52 am

      Organic fruits/vegeables/lean meats/dairy/protein/herbs, many exercises aerobic and anaerobic, bible/prayer, tea ritual/nature – thanks for sharing. And thanks for the garden update – much appreciated 🙂

  41. Christine on August 15, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Hi PhilOur garden/food forest offer us wild foods and medicines and we have avoided dr’s for years thanks to learning how to use them. We gather wild fruit in season, too. I preserve/ferment everything I can so that even in our harsh Quebec winters we can eat something wild every day. Nourishing herbal infusions of oatstraw or nettle for minerals, good fats, good salt, seaweed and sunshine instead of vitamin pills or “herbal supplements” in capsules. What we can’t grow or forage ourselves we try to buy from local organic farmers but if we can’t, we don’t sweat it. A little supermarket food now and then won’t kill us. I bake our bread, make bone broths and hang the laundry outside or near the woodstove to dry.Exercise? Should probably do it more formally but the above lifestyle keeps us pretty active so we don’t sweat that too much either. We live pretty clean compared to some but indulge ourselves without guilt when we feel like it. Husband is about to take early retirement, I’ve been a housewife for years now. Income is about to take a hit but we deliberately bought a small house and paid it off early so we wouldn’t be slaves to the mortgage all our lives.Instead of fighting aging we’re embracing it. We avoid negative people and got rid of our TV.Just found this site, by the way, and like it. Your little food forest is adorable, may it be as much of a blessing for you as ours is!

    • Phil on August 15, 2014 at 9:09 pm

      Thanks for sharing Christine – lots of good tips in there, especially using wild foods as medicine and doing all of the fermenting/preserving.

  42. Ed on August 15, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Little to add that hasn’t been said below… all genuinely good advice, and thank-you. I ‘stumbled’ on your internet site a year ago and continue to return… not only for your depth of knowledge about gardening, but even more-so for the inspiration it gives to watch and listen to a young man truly wise beyond his years. Thank-you and your readers for restoring my faith that there are still some younger that recognize and value the true, perennial wisdom shown us eternally in Nature. Thank-you all… from the rest of us.

    • Phil on August 15, 2014 at 9:09 pm

      Thanks Ed – that really means a lot (especially today!).

  43. Debra Contreras on August 19, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Hi Phil, as for nutrition I am doing the Raw lifestyle. If it comes from my garden or a garden close by that is also organic I will eat it. I consume raw seafood (sashimi), no dairy or grains. Lots of seeds, nuts (soaked), berries… Most food from the garden gets frozen and converted into green smoothies or goes through the dehydrator for snacking. Exercise – walking, kayaking, gardening, horseback riding, swimming and rock climbing. These outdoor activities are also my sanity. Life is great!

    • Phil on August 20, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      Raw, organic. No dairy/grains. Lots of exercise and outdoor stuff. Thanks for sharing Debra!

  44. Mother Mary on August 21, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    I try to eat organically have even been able to throw my blood pressure pills away, do yoga & meditation walk our dog’s, drink water & wine with supper. An information about tweaking a program will be great.

    • Phil on August 24, 2014 at 9:05 pm

      Good idea, thanks Mary.

  45. Edwin on October 21, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    I am trying to reclaim an allotment which is one bed of couchgrass, thistles, dandelions and tanzy. The previous owner covered it with plastic, weighted it down with stones and covered that with soil. The weeds thrived. So now I would like to know the most effective organic way to get rid of the couchgrass (elymus repens) which is everywhere. I have clay soil mainly with some silt. It is hard work and retains the water when it rains and is like concrete when it is dry. I use compost, urine, coffee grounds, pulverized eggshells and weed tea. Local types of comfrey (symphytum officinale) grow naturally. The ones in the area have sky-blue, purple and beige-pink flowers. Since I find them attractive I seldom use them but use weed-tea instead. We have no electric at the alottment area nor do I know where to find molasses in Stockholm so I just put the weeds in a bucket, add water, cover it and leave it for a couple of weeks before diluting it and watering with it. I have been very happy for many years now even though this year has been full of set backs and infirmities.

    • Phil on October 25, 2014 at 6:57 am

      It’s quite a challenge to get rid of couchgrass. I was successful once by digging up all the soil and putting it through a screen. Of course that takes a long, long time. In the end, the easiest thing is to plant other plants to compete with the grass and make friends with the grass that does sprout, along with a little hoeing to keep it under control. As long as it doesn’t take over, it will at least provide benefits for the soil.

  46. Steve on November 27, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Phil,What do you think about applying wood ash?? I will have access to an abundance how much should I use?

    • Phil on November 30, 2014 at 7:23 am

      Wood ash is great if you know your soil needs both calcium and potassium, but if you already have an excess of either of these minerals, you don’t want to apply more (especially potassium, too much of which can really tighten up/compact your soil). I often suggest that people can use 3-4 pounds of calcium per 1000 square feet without needing a soil test, but not more than that unless a soil test says you need it.

  47. fcannon on December 11, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    Hi Phil,I just recently rediscovered your blog and so am coming a little late to the conversation.A few months ago I started eliminating processed sugars, grains and most dairy from my diet. In the process, I’ve lost a little over 50 pounds since September when I started getting serious about it. I usually eat a little protein with every meal, but the bulk is heavy on vegetables with some fruit and nuts, mainly walnuts. For protein I like wild caught Alaskan salmon and sardines and some chicken and beef. I try to buy organic veggies and fruit where ever and whenever available along with free range eggs. My worst remaining food habit is probably coffee, still love it and undoubtedly still drink too much of it, but have started adding green and herbal teas to the mix. Almost everything I eat is now cooked fresh and from scratch by me, although I do rely on a few canned and frozen items. I will dine out occasionally by myself or with friends but stick to salads and allow myself a couple of adult beverages per week.For exercise, I’ve always preferred walking but am now adding about 20 minutes of HIIT (high intensity interval training) everyday. For my mind, I read everyday. I enjoy woodworking, designing and building things both for myself and as gifts for friends and family. I sort of specialize in outdoor furniture, picnic tables, benches, chairs etc.I’ve been wanting to landscape my yard, my house sits on a large double lot just at the edge of a small town in Indiana. (Pop. of about 400) There’s farmland right behind my property, with a narrow swath of trees separating us. I’ve been in a kind of paralysis about landscaping, unable to nail down just exactly what I want, so every year I plant a few flowers and some tomatoes, promising myself to do better next year. Now I’m spending this winter actually listing what I want and making drawings, layouts and designs. I’ve come up with a 5 year plan, with part of the hardscape and ornamental and fruit trees going in this spring, the rest of the hardscapes coming in the following 2 years along with raised vegetable beds and flower beds. I want to put in mostly perennial fruits, vegetables and flowers, and sow my annuals in the vegetable beds, with annual flowers going where needed for color and eye appeal.Well, this is getting pretty long for a blog comment so I’ll close with that I’m pretty happy where my research has led and the results I’m getting from the nutrition and exercise aspect, though always open to new thoughts and ideas. Where I feel the biggest need is in the area of focus and concentration. Too easily distracted by bright, shiny objects. Getting better about it, but still an area that needs much work.Can’t even begin to tell you how much I’m enjoying your blog and YouTube channel. Thanks for all that you share and do.

    • Phil on December 12, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing, and for the detail. That’s all great advice. I hope my blog will help you as you continue to plan your garden. It sounds like a very fun project…

  48. Khanit A Trubem on November 29, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    I would like to know how to apply your fertilizer in smaller portions, like for potted plants, plants growing indoors? I was interested in buying your three recommended beginner fertilizers. If I can use small amounts, what is the “best used by” duration?
    Finally, could you also email me these answers so I don’t have to wade through all the comments? (Only because I don’t have much time.)

    Thanks

    • Phil on December 2, 2017 at 5:45 am

      Hi Khanit, the dilution rate depends on the product, but it’s often 1:50, so about 5 Tablespoons of fertilizer mixed in 1 gallon of water when you’re watering your plants. You want to use this the same day you mix it, but the undiluted fertilizers can be stored for at least a couple of years.

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