TURMERIC; amazing health benefits, easy to grow.

Turmeric rhizomes

I just harvested my turmeric and thought I would share a few health facts with you. This simple root plant has amazing proven health benefits.

Fresh Turmeric

Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. It is a very strong anti inflammatory, as strong as some pharmaceutical medications. It also has cancer and tumor reducing properties.
Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine, a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2,000%

What else can turmeric do for you?

Fights free radicals (Zombie cells) high antioxidants (curcumin delivers a one-two punch against free radicals. It blocks them directly, then stimulates your body’s own antioxidant defenses.)

Increases brain activity which may improve memory

Strengthens endothelium, which is the lining of your blood vessels. Improving blood flow and possibly reducing heart disease

Studies have shown that it can contribute to the death of cancerous cells and reduce angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumors) and metastasis (spread of cancer). It is a cancer killer. It has been found to reduce tumors in laboratory animals (tumor-ic ie; turmeric).
May help with arthritis pain.

Drying turmeric

Releases serotonin and dopamine which activates our happiness centers. Has been found to be as effective as prozac in treating depression. (so has St. John’s wort!)

There is some evidence that it may prevent cancer from occurring in the first place, especially cancers of the digestive system like colorectal cancer. In a 30-day study in 44 men with lesions in the colon that sometimes turn cancerous, 4 grams of curcumin per day reduced the number of lesions by 40%

Turmeric in container

Turmeric is fairly easily grown from Georgia south (zones 8 and up) by simply covering the rhizomes with 1-2 inches of soil. Water occasionally, fertilizer is not needed but may add to the size of the plants. Wait 8 months and as the leaves begin turning yellow, harvest the roots (rhizomes) carefully.

Nature signs.


On Sunday morning I enjoy easing into my day around 7 am. As the sun wakes up and streaks yellows, oranges, and the occasional prism of colors in the clouds, I begin to feel one with the universe. As the light warms the oak tree canopies I begin to hear the sound of song birds in the distance. The first to share her delight with life is the mockingbird. She has a strong vibrant whistle that can sing a variety of tunes. Next are the blue jays with loud joyous calls, while their babies are tweeting softly. The doves circle around the feeding tray softly cooing, (yes, I’m guilty of feeding the birds. Is it ethical? It brings me joy, is that selfish? Is it bad to change the natural way of things? Leave a comment below) That’s a topic for another day.

Sometimes I’m blessed with the high pitch, yet strong song from a cardinal, or a family of black birds, that hack and cough to scare others away, it’s kinda funny. Woodpeckers that knock, knock, knock their heads against a tree, then sneek in to the free breakfast tray when no one is looking.

Some days I may throw out some old bread crumbs, and on those days 10 to 20 crows will flock to my oak tree tops. Then after a few minutes of scouting the area, they will swoop down enmass each one flying directly to his piece of bread. It is an amazing display of organized nature at work. It is awesome watching them perform this precision dance as a collective group.

On my most blessed days a Cooper’s hawk will disrupt the entire scene buzzing in, trying to pick one of the birds off as they enjoy breakfast. The hawk misses its first attack, which seems to be more of a reconnaissance mission, and will then perch high on one of the trees. Here it can observe the action below. However the second the hawk shows up, all other wildlife vanishes. One second nature having a breakfast fiesta, the next only the hawk remains.

Mental strength.

Rumor has it that many cultures view having a hawk in your life as a good omen. I view it as a strong sign that God, the universe, Source, nature is on my side, and bringing me strength. It doesn’t matter if that’s true or not. As long as I believe it, it is making me stronger mentally. As this display of strength only happens sporadically, I see it as the universe giving me strength when I need it most.

Take time to embrace nature.

My connection to nature is what keeps me going in a positive direction. We all need a way to get through our daily lives without going insane. With work, families, friends, bills, etc. when do you find time to reconnect with who you really are? Do you ever stop to “smell the roses?” If you are searching for a way to keep your body and mind balanced, take a minute and enjoy the natural world around you. If you are looking for answers to your life’s questions, pay attention to the bird that just flew by, or the fly that just keeps sitting on your shoulder. Maybe, just maybe the universe has your back, and is trying to point you in the direction of least resistance to achieving your dreams.
The next time you experience a crow, cawing non-stop loudly outside of your window, take a second to reflect on the possibilities that nature is trying to help you, then show gratitude by saying thank you for the experience. Whether it’s real or not, you will feel better, and mentally you will be stronger because nature is on your side. You will feel as if you have a partner in life. It works for me, you may want to try it for yourself, or search online

Click on the picture to check out my natural health booklets.

DIY vine trellis

New passion vine trellis

What’s up nature lovers, gardening friends, and visitors? I hope you get outside and embrace nature today. It is free healthcare after all…

Our passion vine gets decimated by zebra longwing and gulf fritillary butterfly caterpillars a couple of times a year. I mean it goes from overflowing with leaves, to just a bunch of sticks.

Old Passiflora trellis

It has been grown on an old wooden trellis that was just falling apart. So this year after the caterpillars had their fill, and most of the leaves were gone, the vine was cut back and a new teepee type trellis was constructed. I had some spare pvc pipes laying around, and some twine, that was just perfect for a quick simple trellis for our Passiflora.

Zebra Longwing butterfly

I will miss the butterflies for a little while until the vine re-establishes itself. But for now I’m satisfied with the new trellis which will allow it to grow much larger to support more caterpillars. Yeah!!

If you were wondering how to make this amazingly simple trellis I’ll tell you…

1. Get 4 pvc poles any height you like. I had 4 already cut pipes that were close in height within 4″ of each other, so no cutting needed. My pipe is approx 5′ tall, 2″ diameter pipe.

2 Then I drilled holes through both sides at 10″ increments.

3. Now take some string or??? (any vine climbing material, fishing line, rope, cloth) and thread it through the holes you drilled.

I recommend starting with the top to form the tepee, then cut and tie off that string and start a new line from the bottom, circling the structure. We left one side of the teepee open, so that we could view the center and see what’s going on in there… caterpillars, chrysalis, and other cool stuff.

4. Now as the vine grows, you will have to teach it to climb up the trellis. Simply set it on the spot you want it to attach too, and it will.

That’s all there is to it. It took an hour or less for the whole project, and my cost was $0.

Here comes my nature preaching.. haha…

Working in the garden is one of the most free therapeutic things we can do with our time. It’s your choice how you spend your day, but I can assure you that watching tv, sitting still snacking, is killing you. While being outside could be healing you.

When you are outside you get vitamins from the sun, and beneficial chemicals from the air. When your hands are dirty from gardening you are strengthening your immune system thanks to friendly microbes in the soil.

And… when you become responsible for your plants you are reducing stress, while creating a bind with another living thing. It is mentally stimulating. Working, or playing as I call it, in your garden is possibly prolonging your life. So get outside and garden whenever you can.

Back to my original trellis post…

Have you made a makeshift trellis from scraps?

What simple garden projects have you made from recycled junk?

Post a pic and tell us of your success with penny pinching gardening.

Gardening, and getting dirty, is fun, and healthy for you.

#garden #nature #patiogarden #citygarden #urbangarden #passionflower #passiflora #passionvine #zebralongwing #butterfly #catipillar #gardenprojects#gardening#pennypinching#diy #diygardening


Zebra Longwing devastates Pasion vine.

Heliconius charithoniaThe Zebra Longwing butterfly is a warm weather insect that is found mostly from Florida, south into Central and S. America. However they have been spotted as far north as Nebraska, crazy! I’ve been to Nebraska and it gets cold there even in July! The Zebra Longwing butterfly relies on passion flower, and only the passion flower for its life to continue. They remember when and where a plant is found, and they will return generation after generation confident that the plant will be there for food for its babies, the caterpillars.Every year here in Florida we look forward to the onslaught of spiney, white and orange crawling caterpillars. They will eventually bring the butterfly to life. Or is it that I wait for the butterfly to bring the caterpillars? You know; which came first the egg or the chicken? My wife loves her butterflies and we encourage them with plants we know they are attracted to.The passion vine, passion flower, or scientifically known as Passiflora attracts the mature longwing butterfly, and is the host plant for this butterfly’s larvae. Meaning that this specific butterfly only lays eggs on this specific plant. And the caterpillars only eat the passion flower leaves.
Every year our plant gets bushy to the point that the trellis is ready to snap under the weight of the leaves. When the vine is allowed to grow it multiplies to gargantuan heights. Maybe exaggerating a little, however it is a very prolific grower.
Somehow nature knows that the vine is ready for an invasion, and then… here comes the voracious appetite of the Zebra caterpillar. Within 2 months or less, all of the leaves are decimated, and the plant looks like it is dead.Once the leaves are gone and the chrysalis have transformed into sexy black and yellow butterflies, the passion vine begins its life anew. Within just a few days after being devoured, small signs of life peak out from the dead looking plant. Before you know it, the vine will be overflowing with success, and then the process starts over.The vine never gives up and just keeps bouncing back. Just like us silly humans need to do. This natural life cycle of insect, and plants is a great demonstration for your life. The vine never gives up. As life challenges it by caterpillars eating all its leaves, passion vine saves just enough gas in its tank to begin its life anew.We are not that different from nature. As a matter of fact, we are nature, so it makes sense that we act and respond in similar ways. When your life seems over, remember the passion vine who bounces back from certain death every year.
You too will bounce back, and begin living again. You always have just enough gas in your tank to start over, it’s nature’s way. Now it is your choice how you use that gas to fuel your life. You just have to decide to get up and start growing again.With just a little positive momentum and some fresh natural nutrients, you will come back strong, just like Passiflora.
With a little faith in yourself you will be confident to transform into a new you. Just like the Zebra Longwing butterfly having faith that a plant will be waiting for its return every year, with faith you will know that the tools that you need to transform will also be there when you need them. With a little belief you will find a way to transform into the perfect you. Then with this knowledge you can begin your journey to a new happier, perfect you.

The universe has your back!

Hawk animal wisdom

As I evolve on my transformation to a more observant human being, I am beginning to see that God, the Source creator, the universe or nature is always watching our backs. Now I’m not saying we all have a couple of invisible, bulky dudes, with machine guns and baseball bats hanging out with us. Or, that we have these invisible angelic beings with wings flying over our heads.
What I believe is that we have to live by a system of choice, or free will. And we were granted life on earth for a purpose, but we weren’t given the rule book. The minute we are created, we begin our earthly experience, and it is up to us, each individual to figure out why we came here, and what we want to learn while we’re here.

There is no rule book.

Since there is no rule book, nature steps up, and then somehow connects with a higher power to guide us along the way. Similar to when you and a friend are walking down the street, and they nudge you a little, so that you don’t step in the puddle of water that you didn’t see.
Now that you’ve been nudged you can either, easily step over the water, go around, or fight it and jump right in. The choice is yours, you can take the path of least resistance and go with the force of the nudge to easily cross the obstacle, or you can try to force a different outcome. Either way nature, or your friend had your back and the choice was yours.

With a little nudge…

Now here’s the really crazy synchronistic thing; today is the last day of my job of 13 years. Partially due to the COVID-19 virus shutdown, which then led the company into bankruptcy. The company will survive, my job will not. Now this particular job wasn’t always my favorite place to be. So leaving is actually a good thing for me. I have been asking Source for a solution to my dilemma of not enjoying my job, and having a strong need to pay my bills. The universe showed up with a great solution. Close the business down, yet pay Steve a nice severance package so that he has time to work it all out, and pay his bills.
Me losing my job is actually a blessing. Seeing the hawk simply cements that this blessing came from a higher source. Here on my last day of work, a hawk shows up and hangs out with me. Giving me strength, power, and knowledge that I am not alone, and that I am on the right path.

Having said that, one way that the universe tries to nudge us is through our interactions with wildlife. This morning as I was enjoying my patio garden, a Cooper’s Hawk hovered within 10′ of me, then landed in a small tree outside of my patio. For the next five minutes we would stare at each other, while he allowed me to snap a couple of pictures of him. Finally bored with the exchange, or maybe opportunity arrived, he chased off after a dove. Very cool experience.


Whenever I am visited by nature ie;
a plant stands out for some reason,
a squirrel stares at me unusually long,
birds flying erratically in my direction,
or a hawk catching my attention and then sitting and watching me.

I will look to Google for a meaning. Then I will meditate, or think about how this exchange between nature and me affects my life; what meaning does it bring.
Throughout history the hawk has been a celebrated animal in many religions, and cultures. In spiritual circles, and indigenous traditions the hawk symbolizes power and focus, clear vision, and a strong connection to the source energy. According to historical traditions, when the hawk shows up in your life, you should pay attention to the subtle messages you are getting. Know that you will need to be strong and focused to achieve your dreams, and you have a partner, nature, to help guide you to success.

Cooper’s Hawk

Here are some of the spiritual associations for the hawk.

Clear Sightedness

Today I sense the message I am getting, is to know that all is well, and God will provide the strength I need to succeed. I also learned that I need to stay especially alert to the next signs that I am given. When you begin to feel that the signs the universe gives you have a meaning, you will definitely see more. Synchronicities will begin showing up everywhere, and you will be amazed at what you start seeing, and feeling.
To sum it up, you will need an open mind and heart to sense what nature is trying to tell you. Remember that not everything is a sign. Nature keeps on moving and is not always about you. However, if you pay attention, you will be given clues to the answers to your life’s rule book. Keep your mind and eyes open. The universe has your back!

For more animal spirit info…