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Deck Lighting that Naturally Repels Mosquitoes.

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Deck Lighting that Naturally Repels Mosquitoes.

   So can we all agree that tiki torches are only good for a 70s-themed pool party or a Gilligan’s Island Revival? Stinky, smoky, and unattractive, they do not belong on your gorgeously decorated deck! But they do have one redeeming quality: the bug fighting power of essential oils (yes, citronella is an essential oil). Mosquitoes just hate that lemony smell and it’s a great non-chemical, non-toxic solution to keeping our outdoor spaces bug free. More About Essential Oils . . .    If you’ve been on Pinterest (or even to a grocery store these days), you’ve heard about essential...

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Fix Garden Problems with Companion Planting

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Fix Garden Problems with Companion Planting

Just like people, garden vegetable plants grow best when they’re with friends! If you struggle with pests, critters, or even want a better crop, companion gardening can help! For instance, did you know that bee balm and mint planted near tomatoes will enhance the flavor?  Gardeners have been using companion planting for centuries as a natural approach to harnessing each plant’s unique qualities to mutually benefit each other. There are hundreds of combinations to try (or avoid) so knowing the family of your plant is a good start (for example, broccoli and cabbage are from the same family so they have the...

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How to Pick the Perfect Pepper

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How to Pick the Perfect Pepper

  Whether it’s salsa or chili con carne, doesn’t it sometimes seem like a shot-in-the-dark when you’re adding hot peppers? As you’re carefully chopping and mixing, you’re always wondering if the salsa is going to end up bland or flaming hot and you won’t really know until it’s all put together and ready to eat. Of course, a few surprises are fun in life but picking the right type of pepper will help you take the guesswork out of home cooking and gardening.   To begin your pepper education, we’d like to introduce you to the Scoville Heat Unit Scale...

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Garden Designs

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Garden Designs

Choose these naturally mosquito-repellent plants for any patio garden or high traffic outdoor space. In warmer zones many of these plants will grow perennially. Bug Free Kid Zone & Patio Garden A. Lemon Grass B. Lantana Camara C. Citronella Geranium D. Any Mint E. Lavender F. Butterfly Bush

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Cooking with Lemongrass

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Cooking with Lemongrass

  Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups Recipe created by Chef Katie Chine and served at the 2013 White House Easter Egg Roll. Ingredients: 2 TB olive oil. 2 tsp. peeled, minced fresh ginger 1 clove garlic, minced 1 TB lemongrass, finely minced ½ lb. ground chicken ¼ cup mushrooms, finely chopped ¼ cup water chestnuts, rinsed, drained, and finely chopped 2 TB fresh cilantro (chop 1 TB finely, reserve remaining leaves for garnish) 1 TB green onion, finely chopped 1 TB fish sauce Season with salt and pepper to taste 8 large butter lettuce leaves Directions: Heat oil in skillet and...

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