Review : Don’t Bit Me Patch

We live on a mosquito farm.

Seriously.

Everyone has them at their house in the summer right? Right.

Except we also have a good size river that floods during the spring/summer rains and then proceeds to fill all of the low lying areas just a few hundred feet from our front door. I mean, we used to live 2 miles (big move huh?) from where we are now and it was nothing compared to this. At night we get swarms of them outside the sliders and basically can’t go outside after about 6pm.

It borders on ridiculous.

A few years ago I tried out the Don’t Bite Me Patches to see if they worked. I really wanted to get rid of the chemical sprays we normally used.

This patch is a natural way to repel those stupid biting insects.

It contains only vitamin B1 and aloe.

The vitamin B1 travels through your system and the excess is the sent out your pores, thereby masking the carbon dioxide your body emits. The aloe is an anti inflammatory that helps minimize any inflammation that occurs if you do get a bite.

Sounds great right? At least a way to not use lots of chemicals.

But does it work?

I put one on my leg about 2 hours before I tested it out. (it takes 2 hours to be effective) After dinner I went outside, right up to the edge of the woods. What transpired was really weird. I was being swarmed, yet none landed on me. After a few minutes I received only one bite, which is a miracle seeing how many where out there.

Since then I have used the patches a few more times, and each time received one bite or less. So these things really do work! My only beef is that it takes a couple hours to be effective so it doesn’t really work for impromptu outings. But for camping or for when you know you’ll be outside for great lengths of time, these are awesome.

They’re waterproof and they even last for about 36 hours.

Best of all, you can put them on kids without having to worry about Deet and other toxins.

Has anyone else tried these?

I may try to remember to pick some up in the next few weeks as we’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors getting the garden ready.



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Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

Beginning Our Garden

It seems like summer has hit us full force, what with the record high temperatures we’ve been having lately. (we got the kiddie pool out today and the air conditioning on at night) And it seems that my garden should already be planted so that I can relax out in the sun.

But such is not the case, and I’m getting a bit behind on starting my plants from seed.

My kids and I had a great time yesterday getting dirty and filling our mini greenhouses from Jiffy that I picked up from a local hardware/farm store about $4.00 each. I love that this year I found some that are reusable without buying those little pods for them! The clear covers allow for quicker germination, it keeps the dirt moist, and also keeps my house cats out of them.

And such a quick little chore turned into almost an hour of fun for my littles as they so carefully scooped the dirt into each container.

gardening_20_032012

gardening_10_032012

why yes......she does dress herself

gardening_19_032012

Today I planted a full flat of seventy-two seeds, tomorrow I’ll at least one more full flat. (hopefully during afternoon quiet time so I can finish the job in under a few hours….)

I plan on a rather large garden this year and so far I have:

  • tomatoes (3 varieties)
  • peppers (5 varieties, some hot)
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • basil
  • lavender
  • chives
  • oregano
  • eggplant

Tomorrow will bring another large group of herbs and then many more will be sown directly into the soil in May.

What are you planting this year? What are your “must haves”?



All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

Grand Rapids Community Gardens

Many of the areas in and around Grand Rapids have community gardens, where you can grow your own food, even if you don’t have space in your own yard.

 

Blandford Nature Center Community Garden

location: 1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

deadline for application: March 2, 2012

cost: $40.00 for each 8’x25′ plot

contact: Jessica Lamden, 616.735.6240.14

details:

  • Garden space – available from April 13, 2012 through October 29, 2012 (Weather permitting)
  • Initial tilling completed by BNC staff prior to April 13 (Weather permitting)
  • Access to limited garden tools such as hoes, shovels, and  a wheelbarrow
  • Combination-Locked tool shed for storage of tools
  • Water access and usage
  • Compost pile for garden-related organic material
  • Public access restrooms
  • The opportunity to meet other gardeners, get outside more often, and share ideas, produce, flowers or seeds
  • Online discussion forum
  • Pre-registration for the 2013 growing season

Grassfields Garden Share

location: 14238 60th Avenue Coopersville, MI 49404

deadline for application: March 2, 2012

cost: $100.00 for each 20’x20′ plot

contact: Jay or Chaeli Meerman, (616) 997-8251

details: Grassfields will till the land, provide compost, and a source of water. You must purchase organic seed through the farm.

 

other area gardens as listed by Food Shed (these may or may not be open to more gardeners)

  • Cedar Springs (Main St. and the end of Pine St. in Cedar Springs)
  • Garden on Francis Avenue(on city land, either side of path leading to Garfield Nature Park, from the sidewalk to back lot lines of adjacent houses, which are 2148 and 2156 Francis)
  • Neighborhood Garden(east side of Fuller just south of Wealthy, on Dwelling Place, Inc. property )
  • School Gardens(Mixed Greens gardens at Taft, Rogers, Lane, and Parkview Elementary Schools, in Wyoming, and at Harrison Park Elementary school in Grand Rapids)
  • Unnamed(near Calvin College)


All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

Gardening in West Michigan

gardening in west michigan

photo credit:katerha

Planning on gardening this year and starting from seed? It’s time to get planting!

The last couple of years I’ve grown many of my plants from seed and plan to do it again this year. It’s not only economical, it’s been a great way to involve my children in the growing process. The hardest part is keeping them away from our cats. And trying to remember when to start them all.

A couple of weeks ago, while browsing Pinterest, I came across the site Sprout Robot. This handy site allows you to enter in your zipcode and tells you each week what seeds to plant.

This week (in west MI) we should be planting:

  • Bell Peppers
  • Tomatoes

I’ll be getting a bit of a late start on mine since I’ll be traveling this week. Instead, I plan on getting started next week once I buy my organic starter soil. My seeds have already been purchased, though if you haven’t purchased yours yet, don’t worry – you’re not to far behind yet!

Tips on starting from seed:

  • For best results use a Jiffy greenhouse (I love using these – the plants do very well) as they keep the seeds warm and moist. My friend Diana has a nicely written how-to post on how she starts her seeds.
  • In fact, she has an awesome list of posts on planting from seed.

Part 1: Ordering Seed Catalogs
Part 2: Understanding the differences between Heirloom, Hybrid, GMO, and Organic Seeds
Part 3: Planting Zones, Frost Dates, and Planting Calendars
Part 4. Understanding Succession Planting
Part 5. Spring Time is Near! It’s Time to Start Those Seedlings!
Part 6. Growing Seeds Indoors Under Supplemental Lighting
Part 7. Tending your seedlings
Part 8. Methods of Urban Gardening

  • If you don’t have grow lights, choose an east facing window to place the plants in front of. While a southern facing window seems to make more sense, the extra sun tends to make the plants a bit to spindly.

Do you plant from seed? What are your best tips?



All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

Blandford Nature Center Community Gardens

a guest post by Tammy

The snow may be piling up outside (or not…depending on the day), but inside I’m dreaming of gardening! Like a lot of my neighbors in Grand Rapids, our house is on a narrow, shaded plot, not suited to gardening. Last summer was our first year to garden at Blandford, and we already have our application in for next year! It was a great experience and we can’t wait to start all over again.

Each 8’ x 25’ plot is $40 for the season. The initial tilling is done for the gardeners (though if you rent a plot you really must get out there and work it again, the weeds grow fast and furious). There is easy access to water, and a shed for community tools such as a wheelbarrow, kneeling pads, watering cans, hand tools and hoes and shovels. The garden has a strict organic policy. Make sure you read the specifics, as well as download an application.

Last year we decided to start small with just one plot. “Just” one plot turned out to be perfect for our family of three. Some of our neighboring gardeners were more diverse with their vegetables, but we decided on mostly tomatoes and green beans for canning, with smaller amounts of peppers, cherry tomatoes, salad greens and sugar peas.

Not only did we have the benefits of organic, fresh produce, we got outside more than we ever have since moving to Michigan. My daughter loved going to the garden, digging in the dirt, and “helping” us. At the top of her list for each and every visit was to say “hello” to the chickens, which are owned by the school on the property.

grand rapids community garden

Our family loved the experience, and we are quite anxious to get our hands in the soil again!

 

Tammy has lived in Grand Rapids for nearly 7 years, and is a wife and stay at home mom. She enjoys learning new ways to save money, crafting, and cooking.



All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.