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* Gardens are good for Mother Nature. The
more food you grow at home, the fewer natural
resources will be needed to grow veggies in far
off places and ship them to your local supermar-
ket. Your garden is also a great opportunity to
recycle household food waste as compost. Plus,
when you choose Bonnie Plants in biodegrad-
able pots, you¡¯re saving millions of pounds of
plastic from landfills. The pots decompose, add
nutrients to the soil and help prevent transplant
* Gardening could get your kids excited about
veggies - really! When kids participate in gar-
dening, they take ownership of the plants they
help grow. And with their hands in the dirt,
they¡¯re not on their cellphones or playing video
games. Kids who grow veggies are much more
likely to eat them, and make gardening an on-
going, healthy habit.
* Save money at the supermarket. Growing
your own food means you¡¯ll spend much less
money in the produce aisle. Plus, you can grow
a wide variety of vegetables and herbs, even
expensive, restaurant-style ¡°foodie¡± greens you
Home & Garden
2016 June/July
Pg 7 - The Sunshine Express
Health Is Just A Garden Away
Backyard bounty: Vegetables are nature¡¯s
original nutritional powerhouses
(BPT):You¡¯ve probably heard the chatter around
how a handful of unusual foods are must-eat
nutritional powerhouses - and wondered how
you¡¯ll ever get your kids to try kale or chia
seeds. But you don¡¯t have to stress over how to
incorporate the latest health food fads into your
family¡¯s diet in order to get powerful nutrition.
The truth is, those headline-grabbers aren¡¯t the
only nutritional powerhouses. Most vegetables
are packed with vitamins and minerals, so quit
worrying about how to pronounce acai or where
to find seaweed in the supermarket. Instead,
improve your family¡¯s diet and save some mon-
ey by growing nutrition-packed vegetables right
in your own backyard. Keep these tips in mind:
* Growing squash is easier than finding chia
seeds. Many vegetables are easy to grow in any
home environment, whether it¡¯s a large garden
plot or pots on your patio. Leafy greens like let-
tuce, spinach, arugula and kale are full of nutri-
ents and simple to grow, even for beginners.
helps stimulate the body¡¯s detoxifying enzymes.
Tomatoes - Tomatoes provide vitamins A, C and B,
potassium and lycopene - an important phytonutri-
ent thought to help fight various cancers and lower
Spinach - Spinach contains more than a dozen
phytonutrients, and twice the daily recommended
allowance of vitamin K. These nutrients contribute to
cardiovascular and colon health, better brain func-
tion, eyesight and increased energy.
Kale - Kale contains vitamins A, C and K. A cup of
cooked kale gives you more than 1,000 percent of
the daily value for vitamin K. It¡¯s also high in manga-
nese, which promotes bone density.
Cauliflower - Low in calories and carbohydrates,
cauliflower is packed with a long list of nutrients,
including phytonutrients. They say cauliflower is the
new kale!
For more information on growing nutritional pow-
erhouse vegetables, visit
Bonnie Plants is the largest producer and supplier of
vegetable and herb plants in North America. You¡¯ll
find their plants at Home Depot, Walmart, Lowes and
4,700 independent garden retailers.
may not have tried
The plant pros at
Bonnie recommend
these nutrient pow-
erhouses to jump-
start your garden:
Strawberries - Just
one cup of berries
contains 3 grams of
fiber and more than
a full day¡¯s recom-
mended allowance of
vitamin C. Phenols
are potent antioxi-
dants that work to
protect the heart,
fight cancer, block
inflammation, and
they give strawber-
ries their red color.
Sweet potatoes
- Alpha and beta
carotene give sweet
potatoes their bright
orange color, and
your body converts
these compounds
into vitamin A, which
is good for your
eyes, bones and
immune system. A
half cup of sweet
potato provides
nearly four times the
daily recommended
allowance of vitamin
A, plus vitamins C,
B6, potassium and
Broccoli - This
green nutritional gi-
ant delivers vitamins
C, A and K (as-
sociated with bone
health), folate and
sulforaphane that
Pet Friendly Homes
A comfortable & safe home for your pet
(BPT): For millions of Americans, pets are a mem-
ber of the family. They provide companionship and
countless memories that last a lifetime. Having a
pet-friendly home increases the likelihood that these
memories will be positive.
These tips can make pet ownership simpler, and
create a safer, healthier environment for your four-
legged companion.
*Pet-friendly flooring - Carpeted flooring can be
a challenge for pet owners. Carpet traps unpleasant
odors and is difficult to clean. Hardwood, bamboo,
laminate and other alternatives - when properly
maintained - offer a surface that¡¯s easier to clean,
doesn¡¯t trap allergens and doesn¡¯t hide fur or other
Experts like Lumber Liquidators offer a wide selection
of flooring options, so you¡¯re sure to find a style and
look that will complement your home and is perfect
for your pet.
*A space to call their own - Many pets seek shel-
ter when startled by loud noises. Whether it¡¯s the
clap of thunder or a boisterous guest, an unexpected
noise can send your animal fleeing (or peeing). Hav-
ing a dedicated space for your pet, be it a mudroom,
doorless closet or comfy bed, provides a safe place
for your animal during times of stress.
Also, pets need a little down time every once in a
while. A cozy nook away from direct sunlight provides
a perfect place for them to relax and recharge.
*Picking the best paint - Even the cleanest of pets
can leave marks on your walls. Choosing the right
paint can make the difference between a permanent
stain and one that¡¯s easily removed. Lower sheens
are difficult to clean, so opt for semi-gloss or satin.
Also, depending on your climate, you may prefer a
light or dark paint color. Light colors can help keep
your pet cool by reflecting the sun, while darker
colors absorb the sun¡¯s heat and can warm the home
*Protect your curious pet - Pets are inherently
curious. If it¡¯s within reach, chances are it will be
investigated with a detective¡¯s attention. Even if the
food is safe for pets, the packaging may be harmful.
Medications, cleaners and cosmetics should also be
kept on high shelves or behind a latched cabinet.
Most pet owners know to keep food and toxins off ac-
cessible surfaces, but it¡¯s easy to forget something on
a bedside table or the edge of a counter.
Pets require time, attention and love. They will return
the favor more naturally in an environment that¡¯s
comfortable and safe. Consider these tips for creating
a pet-friendly home.
Transplants, like
those offered by
Bonnie Plants, make
it even easier by
helping you bypass
the work of start-
ing from seed. Plus,
you¡¯ll harvest six
weeks sooner.
* Healthy benefits
go far beyond nutri-
tion. Growing your
own vegetables and
herbs means you¡¯ll
always have a fresh
supply of nutrient-
rich food at home.
But gardening also
delivers healthful
exercise, time in the
fresh air, and it¡¯s a
relaxing and satisfy-
ing activity.