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About Cortney Timmer

Cortney is a mama to two little girls, Sadie and Hazel. Creating meals with organic, non-GMO foods for the health of her family is a passion of hers, as well as taking steps to live a greener, healthier lifestyle. She loves sharing tips on her blog to inspire others in their journey to live well.

Dealing with Aphids Naturally

There are some very simple and natural methods that can be used to get aphid infestations under control. When I consider how to deal with the attacks on my plants, I assess the amount of aphids first, and I look for beneficial insects nearby.

Milkweed is a nice addition to garden landscapes because it’s a beautiful perennial, and more importantly, it supports the monarch population that has been in danger. Milkweed plants are very easy to grow but oleander aphids (milkweed aphids) are a common problem. If the infestations are large enough they will gradually suck the life out of the plants. Plus, it’s possible that monarchs will avoid laying eggs on majorly infested milkweed leaves.

There are some very simple and natural methods that can be used to get aphid infestations under control. When I consider how to deal with the attacks on my plants, I assess the amount of aphids first, and I look for beneficial insects nearby.

There are some very simple and natural methods that can be used to get aphid infestations under control. When I consider how to deal with the attacks on my plants, I assess the amount of aphids first, and I look for beneficial insects nearby. Ladybugs and lacewings are among the many aphid predators that can help remove them. If there are not hundreds of thousands of aphids covering the milkweed, I figure it’s best to leave them there. They are a food source for the natural controlling predators which also help the other plants in my garden.

There are some very simple and natural methods that can be used to get aphid infestations under control. When I consider how to deal with the attacks on my plants, I assess the amount of aphids first, and I look for beneficial insects nearby.

When I see the oleander aphids multiply and completely cover the milkweed in my garden, that’s when I know I need to do something or the plants will die.

Before using any of the following natural methods, it’s important to look for monarch eggs or caterpillars on the plants first. If there are eggs on the leaves, carefully work around them. If there are caterpillars, you can temporarily move them to another milkweed plant until you’re done removing the aphids.

Removing Aphids by Hand: This is perhaps the most obvious method of removing aphids, but I’ve found it to be the most tedious. You simply rub the aphids off of the stems and leaves of the plant using your fingers. Wear gloves if you don’t want squished aphids all over your hands!

Removal by Hose: I have tried this method on large infestations of aphids and it’s perhaps my least favorite method. Using the jet setting on your hose sprayer, you attempt to spray the aphids off of the plant. I’m always afraid of damaging the plants by hitting them with a strong stream of water, and the aphids seem to hang on for dear life every time.

Wash with Soap: Based on my experience, this method has been most effective in reducing large aphid infestations. The soap eats away at the waxy coating on the aphids’ bodies and they dry up.

  1. Add a tablespoon of liquid castile soap to 32 ounces of distilled water in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Pour into a spray bottle.
  3. Spray the aphids on the stems and leaves of the plant, including the undersides of the leaves.
  4. After the aphids die, gently spray the plant with water to wash the soapy mixture away.
  • It’s very important to note that only pure liquid castile soap without synthetic chemical additives should be used.
  • To make sure the plant won’t be harmed by the spray, test it on a small area before spraying the entire thing.
  • Spray during the early morning hours to prevent the leaves from burning in the hot sun.
  • I feel better rinsing the plant with water afterwards so a soapy residue doesn’t form.
  • It is best to use distilled water as opposed to tap water because the soap can react with components of tap water and form a residue that is tough to remove.

While removing aphids from my milkweed plants, I’m not overly obsessed about taking out each and every one. I don’t want to destroy the natural habitat of beneficial insects who love to feast on them!

Garden Turkey Burgers

Ripe tomatoes, crispy lettuce, and sweet pickle relish are the perfect toppings for these simple but flavorful Garden Turkey Burgers. Fresh chives among other tasty garden herbs give them that delicious summertime flavor.

Fall is quickly approaching so I am making a point to enjoy every last flavor of summer. I’m not quite ready to start fall cooking until my garden gives me the cue! There are still sun-warmed juicy tomatoes to pick, fresh herbs to cook with, and veggies to toss into salads.

Ripe tomatoes, crispy lettuce, and sweet pickle relish are the perfect toppings for these simple but flavorful Garden Turkey Burgers. Fresh chives among other tasty garden herbs give them that delicious summertime flavor. Roasted herbed potatoes and fresh salad make the perfect complements to these burgers. A wonderful meal for your upcoming Labor Day weekend menu!

Garden Turkey Burgers

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4

Garden Turkey Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 pound organic ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, or 2 small sliced green onions
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup organic whole wheat dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 pastured egg
  • 1 teaspoon organic worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  1. Mix together all ingredients except for turkey in a large bowl.
  2. Using your hands, mix in the ground turkey.
  3. Form four burger patties, 1/4" to 1/2" thick.
  4. Grill until meat reaches 170 degrees F.
  5. Serve on whole wheat buns with your favorite garden toppings.
http://www.dailypea.com/garden-turkey-burgers-2

6 Steps to Going Green When Remodeling Your Kitchen

Going green in your kitchen is just one of the many steps that you can take to make your home more eco-friendly and most cost-effective. When you're energy-efficient, you're money-efficient, too.

Photo courtesy of Glass Tile Oasis

I loved the kitchen tile backsplash in the house we moved from in Michigan. It was one of my favorite DIY projects I had done, and I have been dreaming of installing a beautiful backsplash in our home here in South Carolina. One of my main goals with my new backsplash is to use eco-friendly materials to help keep toxins out of my household and the environment. The same goal will apply when I eventually change my countertops and flooring. Glass Tile Oasis gave me some great tips on choosing the best eco-friendly kitchen remodel materials.

When you’re remodeling your kitchen, you want it to be as “green” as possible. Not only is it better for the environment, it’s often better for your pocket book as you make energy-efficient choices that will last throughout the life of your kitchen. To ensure that you’re making the best possible choices, follow these steps to creating a green kitchen that you’ll love.

1. Choose kitchen cabinets that have been produced with sustainability in mind. Many manufacturers now make cabinets that are made from wood that is chosen from sustainable forests. Take the time to look into the practices of the manufacturer you’re choosing. Don’t just look at the wood; consider their supply chain practices and how close their facilities are to their wood’s source, their stores, and to you.

2. Look into recycled backsplash tile. Your backsplash tile is one of the most prominent accents in your kitchen. Choose tile that makes a statement about the things that are important to you: go with recycled materials. Backsplash tile is available online for every taste and budget.

3. Look into eco-friendly flooring. You already have a long list of criteria that your kitchen floor has to pass. It needs to be easy to clean, compatible with your current decorating scheme, and hardy enough to last for a long time. Recycled glass tiles and natural linoleum are quickly becoming popular choices in many kitchens and bathrooms. They aren’t just eco-friendly; they’re also better for your home and family, because they’re made without the use of harsh chemicals that can impact your health.

4. Select your appliances carefully. When you go appliance shopping, you’ll find that every appliance has an Energy Star rating that will tell you how efficiently it uses energy. Take a look at the Energy Star rating for your preferred appliance to determine how expensive it will be to operate over time. The more you use your appliances, the more those savings add up–both for you and for the environment.

5. Go for green countertops. There are plenty of options available to allow you to choose a gorgeous countertop that is also eco-friendly. Look into “green” materials: recycled glass, bamboo, and even recycled paper are all becoming popular countertop solutions for eco-friendly kitchens. As an added bonus, you’ll get a unique, gorgeous countertop that suits your tastes and displays your green lifestyle for all of your guests to see.

6. Look for energy-efficient lighting alternatives. These days, you can easily find lighting alternatives that are just as bright at half the energy cost. Advances in technology have made it possible for you to choose green lighting without sacrificing your ability to see clearly in your kitchen.

Going green in your kitchen is just one of the many steps that you can take to make your home more eco-friendly and most cost-effective. When you’re energy-efficient, you’re money-efficient, too. That means that going green doesn’t just save the earth. It saves you money at the same time. By following these tips, you can create a green kitchen that you’ll love.

Beet and Ginger Smoothie

Not only are beets super easy to grow, they also bring amazing flavor to the table along with tons of health benefits. Their versatility shouldn’t be underestimated, either! Roasting is one of the most popular ways to prepare them, but have you ever tried them in a smoothie?

I have a new appreciation for beets after the first season I grew them in our garden. Not only are beets super easy to grow, they also bring amazing flavor to the table along with tons of health benefits. Their versatility shouldn’t be underestimated, either! Roasting is one of the most popular ways to prepare them, but have you ever tried them in a smoothie? Delicious flavor set aside, beet smoothies can give your body a boost in eliminating toxins. My nutrient-dense Ginger Beet Detox Smoothie has 6 powerful cleansing ingredients. It’s a smoothie that I enjoy regularly to help strengthen my body and protect it from everyday environmental toxins.

  • Beets have been shown to protect the liver from toxins. Betalain is a compound in beets that has been known to help reduce affects of gamma radiation.
  • Leafy greens such as spinach contain chlorophyll, which boosts the digestive tract to eliminate toxins. The fiber contained in the greens helps cleanse the colon.
  • Ginger helps to boost the metabolism, which in turn helps the body flush out toxins.
  • Strawberries have certain antioxidants which help fight carcinogens and also have anti-aging properties.
  • Apples contain pectin which is a type of fiber that can aid the body in removing food preservatives and metals.
  • Bananas aid in digestion and help balance friendly bacteria in the gut.

If you normally don’t enjoy beets, this recipe is a great way to introduce them into your regular diet.

Beet and Ginger Smoothie

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 1

Beet and Ginger Smoothie

Ingredients

  • ½ cup organic beet juice
  • 1 teaspoon organic ginger root, minced
  • 1 cup organic baby spinach
  • 1 cup organic strawberries
  • 1 organic apple, cored and cut into pieces
  • Half of an organic banana
  • 6 ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and process until consistency is smooth.
  2. Pour into a chilled glass and enjoy!

Notes

if a juicer isn’t available to you, organic beet juice can be found at your local health food store.

http://www.dailypea.com/ginger-beet-detox-smoothie

Book Review: 37th Edition of the Ball Blue Book

The Ball Blue Book is a staple in the kitchen for anyone who cans; newbies and experienced home canners alike.

Wow, it is hard to believe that the last new blog post I published on Daily Pea was last Halloween. Time sure does fly by when you have two little ones, a household, work, a garden and a yard to take care of! Life has been busy but I have missed blogging. I have had many things resting in the back of my brain that I can’t wait to write about. Here is my first post to get things rolling again.

I was happy when I was asked to review the 37th edition Ball Blue Book, since we are harvesting lots of organic goodies from the garden as we speak! The first edition of this book was called The Correct Method of Preserving Fruit and was published in 1909. The first edition called the Ball Blue Book was published in 1915. Over the years it has evolved into a beautiful, full-color, must-have canning guide and recipe book. The 2015 edition is 200 pages long and includes more than 500 recipes (75 brand new ones!)

The Ball Blue Book is a staple in the kitchen for anyone who cans; newbies and experienced home canners alike.

The Ball Blue Book is a staple in the kitchen for anyone who cans; newbies and experienced home canners alike. It’s a reference book in which you can quickly find scientific facts, tips, easy-to-follow instructions and recipe inspiration. From freezing to the boiling-water method to the pressure canner method, this valuable resource has you covered.

The Ball Blue Book is a staple in the kitchen for anyone who cans; newbies and experienced home canners alike.

The recipes in the Ball Blue Book are organized by style (whole fruit, jams, jellies, pickles, etc.) If you are ever wondering about new ways to use your preserved garden harvest, open these pages for inspiration! There are delicious meal recipes as well. I recently harvested lots of basil from my garden and used the pesto recipe from page 152.

The recipes in the Ball Blue Book are organized by style (whole fruit, jams, jellies, pickles, etc.) If you are ever wondering about new ways to use your preserved garden harvest, open these pages for inspiration!

Between my mother and I, we own a few editions of the Ball Blue Book. It’s especially meaningful for me because my grandmother canned for years and used the Ball Blue Book in her kitchen. Last summer I posted her recipe for Old Fashioned Bread & Butter Pickles.

If you don’t yet have the 37th edition of the Ball Blue Book, I would highly recommend picking it up ASAP! In my opinion, it is a canning essential.

If you don’t yet have the 37th edition Ball Blue Book, I would highly recommend picking it up ASAP! In my opinion, it is a canning essential.

Disclosure: Jarden Home Brands (parent company of Ball Canning) sent me a copy of the Ball Blue Book to review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

Sausage Pizza Bake

When I plan my meals out for the week, I usually include at least a few super-simple recipes for busy nights. My Sausage Pizza Bake recipe is one of my go-tos.

When you have a million things going on, the last thing you’re able to do is spend hours in the kitchen cooking, even if you want to. However, you crave a homemade meal that’s nourishing for yourself and for your family. I can relate!

When I plan my meals out for the week, I usually include at least a few super-simple recipes for busy nights. My Sausage Pizza Bake recipe is one of my go-tos. It’s one that you can make a night ahead and refrigerate until you’re ready to put it in the oven.

When you first saw the name of this recipe, was the thing that came to mind a store-bought packaged meal, like Hamburger Helper? This is the real food version: no GMOs, preservatives, or additives like MSG.

Organic pastured pork, fresh organic peppers and mushrooms, and homemade tomato sauce are a few of the nutritious ingredients that set this Sausage Pizza Bake far apart from the store-bought versions.

Sausage Pizza Bake

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Serving Size: 6

Sausage Pizza Bake

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon organic olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 organic green bell pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cup organic mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried organic basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried organic oregano
  • 1 pound organic ground pork sausage (preferably pastured pork)
  • 4 cups organic pizza or pasta sauce (I make large batches of my homemade sauce and freeze for future use in recipes such as this one)
  • 1/2 pound cooked organic whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 cups grated organic mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated organic Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta.
  3. While pasta is cooking, sauté garlic, bell pepper and onion in the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan, for about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes longer, until tender and lightly browned.
  4. Stir in the dried herbs.
  5. Add the ground sausage and cook until the meat browns and there is no pink.
  6. Drain excess liquid and grease from the pan if desired.
  7. Stir in tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  8. Add cooked penne pasta.
  9. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
  10. Spread half of the sausage pizza mixture into the dish, then sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and 1/4 of the parmesan.
  11. Spread the remaining sausage pizza mixture into the dish and top with the remaining cup of mozzarella and 1/4 cup of parmesan.
  12. Bake for around 20 minutes, until cheeses are slightly golden brown.
  13. Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
http://www.dailypea.com/sausage-pizza-bake

Capture Beautiful Memories with the OneDay App #OneDayKids

The OneDay App helps you create moments to record with your family, then turns them into a movie with music, in a matter of seconds. It makes sharing with loved ones easy, too!

If you’re a parent with an iPhone, you’re probably like me and have thousands of photos and video clips of your kids on your camera roll. Although I love the ease of taking and saving photos and videos with my phone, I’ve always thought that it would be great to make a complete professional quality movie with the click of a button. The OneDay App can do this! It helps you create moments to record with your family, then turns them into a movie with music, in a matter of seconds. It makes sharing with loved ones easy, too!

See more about how this fabulous app works in my post at Scratch Mommy. Check out the movie I made with my girls, and also enter to win a $250 Target gift card!

Oven-Dried Apple Chips {Seasoned 5 Different Ways}

One of my favorite ways to use a bushel of apples is to make apple chips. Actually, you can make apple chips with just a few apples, and it's really easy to do!

One thing that is so wonderful about fall is the food that transitions us between summer and winter. It’s tough to let go of the warm gardening months and fresh fruits and veggies of summer, but the comforting foods of fall make the colder months easier to welcome. Apples are the first thing that come to my mind when fall approaches! There are so many ways to enjoy them while they’re in season.

One of my favorite ways to use a bushel of apples is to make apple chips. Actually, you can make apple chips with just a few apples, and it’s really easy to do! Check out my latest post at Scratch Mommy that shows how to make oven-dried apple chips, along with the 5 fabulous ways to season them.

DIY Halloween Trick-or-Treat Bag Sewing Project

These are the cutest little trick-or-treat bags and they have so many other uses! You could make a few of them with different fabrics to use throughout the year.

What are your favorite things about fall? Letting go of summer has always been tough for me but I find comfort in the beautiful fall colors, food, gardening, and walks that we take outdoors. I love DIY projects with my little girls this time of year, like our Halloween Trick-or-Treat Bag Sewing Project. These are the cutest little trick-or-treat bags and they have so many other uses! You could make a few of them with different fabrics to use throughout the year.

This is a simple project that’s great for any level of expertise on the sewing machine, even with little ones by your side. I had to smile because my toddler pressing the pedal on the sewing machine reminded me of my siblings and I trying my mom’s patience while she was trying to sew. I hope you’ll enjoy making memories with your little ones and that you’ll love using your tote bags through out the years! Head on over to Scratch Mommy to see my full tutorial on how to make them.

How We’re Dealing with Allergies

I'm not saying that these things cure, prevent or treat allergies, but they can help support the body's natural functions to ease discomfort.

Ever since we moved from Michigan a little over a year ago, my allergies have been different. Spring and fall used to be the times that my symptoms flared up and I could expect that every year. The first year living in South Carolina has been tough because the seasonal stuffy nose, itchy throat, and watery eyes challenge me for the better part of every month. It’s the worst right now while ragweed is in full bloom. Actually it drives me almost insane. I guess what did I expect since the ragweed in our backyard is taller than I am?

I want to share with you the natural methods that I’ve been using to deal with all the pollen that’s been making me nuts. I’m not saying that these things cure, prevent or treat allergies, but they can help support the body’s natural functions to ease discomfort. My allergy symptoms are not 100% gone by any means, but I’ve noticed a difference in the way my kids and I have been feeling.

Local Raw Honey

I'm not saying that these things cure, prevent or treat allergies, but they can help support the body's natural functions to ease discomfort.

We’ve heard farmers and beekeepers who have lived in our area for years say that eating a teaspoon to a tablespoon of local raw honey can help our bodies fight allergy symptoms caused by pollen. If you’re curious, this article supports this theory. I’ve been more than willing to try it so I take a teaspoon of local raw honey per day. I have also heard that it can take up to a year to feel a difference, but at the very least honey coats and soothes my itchy throat and eases my cough. It’s delicious in tea!

We have hives in our yard and the bees have been all over the ragweed. Hopefully ragweed pollen will transfer to the honey so we can eat it and build an immunity over time.

Neti Pot

I'm not saying that these things cure, prevent or treat allergies, but they can help support the body's natural functions to ease discomfort.

About a year ago I wrote an in-depth post about my neti pot. If you’ve never used a neti pot before, my post will help you get started if you’d like to try it. I promise it’s not scary!

By using a neti pot daily I’m rinsing my nasal passages with a sterile saline solution that aids in flushing out irritants like pollen and dust. It’s also very healing for irritated nasal membranes. The neti pot particularly helps me at bedtime because rinsing the irritants out helps me sleep better (i.e., sneeze less.) I also use it when I have a cold because it helps to break up the nasal congestion and reduce sinus pressure.

I use a ceramic neti pot because it’s very easy to sterilize and it doesn’t contain any of the chemicals that can be present in plastic types.

Essential Oils

I'm not saying that these things cure, prevent or treat allergies, but they can help support the body's natural functions to ease discomfort.

My favorite way to use essential oils is by diffusing them into the air. My entire family, including my two little ones, can receive benefits from the oils this way. The calming scents of our favorite oils help us to relax which is beneficial when we’re all driven crazy by constant sneezing and itching. Lavender, lemon and peppermint together are my favorite oils to diffuse for all of us during allergy season because their properties help our bodies maintain proper nasal function and overall wellness.

I use pure, unadulterated essential oils that were manufactured for therapeutic use. They were produced from plants that were grown without the use pesticides or herbicides. Read more about them here.

In addition to eating right, exercising, reducing stress and getting enough rest whenever possible, these natural remedies have helped us promote wellness during our allergy season. They may not be your miracle solution, but I’ll say that they’re definitely worth a try!