Off grid living: Grow 25 pounds of sweet potatoes in a bucket

Image: Off grid living: Grow 25 pounds of sweet potatoes in a bucket
Source: NaturalNews.com
Amy Goodrich
March 5, 2017

Although sweet potatoes are an important staple food for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, this versatile, orange root tuber can be added to many other meals all year round. While sweet potatoes have been used for ages by many cultures around the world, until recently they weren’t a regular sight on American kitchen tables outside of the Holiday season.

In the past decade, however, the sweet potato has found its way to our hearts. According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, the root vegetable’s popularity has skyrocketed between 2000 and 2014, with its consumption increasing by nearly 80 percent. And for a good reason; sweet potatoes pack a powerful nutritional punch.

They are loaded with essential micronutrients to promote overall health and have fewer calories than ordinary potatoes. Essential nutrients found in sweet potatoes include fiber, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and many vitamins of the B-complex.

What’s more, you actually don’t need a big garden or a lot of space to grow your own supply of sweet potatoes. Read on to find out how to grow sweet potatoes at your home.

Easy steps to grow sweet potatoes in a bucket

  1. Select the right sweet potato – Rooted sweet potatoes will give you the best result since you can be sure that they are not treated with pesticides to stop the sprouting process.
  2. Create some heat – Unlike regular potatoes, sweet potatoes love the heat. While sweet potatoes will still grow at a minimum temperature of 50 °F (10°C), they seem to do much better at room temperature. So, if you live in a colder climate, make sure to keep them indoors.
  3. Prepare a 5-gallon bucket – Once you have selected the right sprouted potato, fill a container that has draining holes in the bottom with moist soil. Plant one potato per 5-gallon bucket, tops exposed.
  4. Waiting for “slips” to emerge – After a while, green shoots or slips will start to grow out of the sweet potato. This step will take about 90 days.
  5. Transplant the slips – Once the slips are big enough, about 6 to 12 inches, it is time to gently remove them from the sweet potato and transplant them to a larger 20-gallon container. In each 20-gallon container, you can plant six sweet potato slips.
  6. Pick the right season – As mentioned before, sweet potatoes are a heat-loving plant. If you are planning to grown them outdoors, make sure the last frost of spring has already passed. Late spring is the ideal time of the year. Also, make sure they stay well-watered.
  7. Harvest time – After about 3 to 4 months – or when the leaves and vines start to turn yellow – you can start digging up the sweet potatoes. If you grow outdoors, this is usually just after the first frost. After digging up the sweet potatoes, shake off any excess dirt, but do not wash them with water as sweet potatoes need a curing process to create their delicious, sweet taste.
  8. Cure sweet potatoes – Next to enhancing their flavor, curing allows a second skin to form over scratches and bruises you made while digging up the potatoes. This protective layer makes it possible to store sweet potatoes at room temperature for up to a year. To cure, store the harvested tubers in a warm, humid place (80°F or 27°C) for two weeks.

As reported by Off The Grid News, bucket-grown sweet potatoes will have a yield of about 25 pounds for each 20-gallon container. (RELATED: Find more information about off-the-grid living at OffGrid.news.)

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

Sources:

TrueActivist.com

AGMRC.org

WHFoods.com

Almanac.com

7 Reasons Eating Dark Chocolate Supports Healthy Living

Dark chocolate
Source: NaturalNews.com
Amy Goodrich
July 20, 2016

Chocolate has been a long-time favorite of children and adults alike to satisfy a sweet tooth or cure a broken heart.

In the early day’s chocolate was seen as a mood-enhancing aphrodisiac and symbol of luxury and power only available to the wealthiest of people. Once touted as the “food of Gods” for its myriad of health benefits, this popular comfort food received some bad press due to its high fat content.

Despite the wealth of positive coverage, chocolate has long been suspected of worsening acne and increasing the risk for a host of lifestyle illnesses such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.

However, not all chocolate is created equally. The sugar and milk infused chocolate most Americans consume today will not be of much help when it comes to improving your health and happiness.

Dark chocolate, with at least 70 percent cocoa, on the other hand, has been scientifically proven to keep your brain sharp, your heart in perfect condition, and your skin shielded from UV-induced damage.

Here are seven science-backed reasons why you should indulge in this bitter and sweet treat more often.

1. Packed with beneficial nutrients

Dark chocolate with a high cocoa percentage is a good source of healthy fats, fiber, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, zinc, among many other beneficial plant nutrients. Though, moderation is key as all these nutrients come with a lot of calories and moderate amounts of sugar too.

2. Antioxidant powerhouse

Cocoa houses an impressive amount of powerful antioxidants such as polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins. In the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) chart, raw cocoa is at the top of the antioxidant list, among other superfoods such as blueberries, goji berries, and pomegranate seeds.

The ORAC scale was developed to measure the effectiveness of antioxidants to neutralize free radicals that may cause damage to DNA, cells, and tissues.

3. Reduce blood pressure naturally

A 2012 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that moderate consumption of dark chocolate or raw cocoa powder reduced blood pressure and improved insulin levels and blood flow.

4. Improve cholesterol levels

If you are struggling with elevated cholesterol levels, dark chocolate may become your new best friend. Regular consumption has shown to significantly decrease oxidized LDL (bad) cholesterol while improving HDL (good) cholesterol.

5 May Lower cardiovascular disease risk

High blood pressure, elevated LDL cholesterol, and insulin levels have been linked to cardiovascular diseases. As mentioned above, dark chocolate has a positive effect on all three, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases or death.

One study found that people who ate chocolate five times or more a week had a 57 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular issues. However, this number is to be taken with a grain of salt as it is based on observational studies and other factors may be at play.

6. Chocolate as a natural sunscreen

Flavanols in dark chocolate may protect against UV-induced damage, improve blood flow to the skin, and increase skin density and hydration.

7. Boost brain health

Lastly, dark chocolate may also boost brain power. It improves blood flow to the brain and has shown to improve memory in elderly people with mental impairment. Cocoa contains caffeine-like substances known to boost short-term brain function.

While the evidence that raw cocoa or dark chocolate can significantly improve your health is definitely out there, remember, that doesn’t give you carte blanche to load up on this sweet, bitter treat.

Keep consumption down to a square or two a day and make sure to buy high-quality and organic dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa. The more cocoa, the better as that is where all the amazing benefits are coming from.

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

This Herbicide Could Be Slowly Killing Us AND Causing This Condition

Source: iHealthTube.com
May 4, 2016

There are many things that could be behind the continued rise of health conditions in this country. Here, Dr. Stephanie Seneff discusses one that she thinks is a main contributor. Watch as she connects the dots between a common weed killer and some of the many health conditions facing us today. Find out how this herbicide could be slowly killing us and causing this common condition.