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If you’re a woman who farms, you know that the pressure can be intense. You’re working at all hours of the day, often starting early in the morning and finishing after the sun goes down, and meanwhile you’ve got to balance a home, love life, friends, family, and your own mental health. Add in hobbies, fitness, holidays, and finances, and you’ve got the recipe for a heaping bowl of stress. Obviously, we’d all like a six-week vacation in Bora Bora to wash the angst away, but that’s sadly not an option for most of us.

Luckily, you don’t need several hours and bundles of cash to relax. There are plenty of ways to de-stress in 15 minutes or less, so don’t let the pressure overwhelm you.

Breathe In, Breathe Out

Meditative breathing is a quick and easy way to ease your stresses. Take a deep breath in through your nose, extending it for as long as possible, and let it out from your mouth. Just 3 minutes of this calming practice can massively decrease your stress levels.

Make A Cup Of Tea

The simple act of making a cup of tea can be calming, as it focuses your mind on a simple and easily achievable task. Make your favorite brew and take 10 minutes to enjoy it – you’ll feel more calm after just a few sips.

Hit The Floor

Sitting on the floor is a classic return to childhood helplessness, but you can harness it for your own benefit. Try curling up in Child’s Pose (you’ll recognize it if you’ve ever taken a yoga class) to give you some physical and mental space from the things that are bothering you.

Journal It

Writing about what’s stressing you out can help to clarify your feelings and clear your mind. Try journaling to help you organize your thoughts and release them somewhere that’s safe, private, and personal.

Talk To Someone

Of course, talking to someone you trust is a great way to de-stress. It doesn’t have to be an hour-long therapy session (although those are great too!). Spend 15 minutes venting to your partner, calling your friend for a quick chat, or messaging your mom. Sometimes all you need is to feel heard.

These simple relaxation techniques will help you de-stress and clear your mind in no time at all. Even on the busiest day, you can hopefully make time for these soothing practices. You’ll be more level-headed and happy before you know it!

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Oh, we are all about…




Making Leaf Mold for Your Garden

Leaf mold is a substance that’s made from decomposing leaves. As leaves rot, they break down into leaf mold, which is a grainy, crumbly, black matter. Although this process takes up a lot of time, preferably one or two years, it’s not much of a problem since leaf mold doesn’t have to be applied regularly.

How Does It Work?

Although leaf mold isn’t considered to be very rich in the nutrients your soil needs (because it’s primarily composed of dead leaves) what it does is acts as a conditioner for your soil, greatly improving its texture. Additionally, it gives your soil better structure and enhances its ability to retain more water, which is helpful in the event that a heavy rain spell occurs.

Making Leaf Mold

Storage

Start by setting up space where you’ll store all the decaying leaves. Since we’re all urban city farmers here, it’s probable that you don’t have much space, so using a large garbage bag (the black ones) will do. Just remember to add holes for air circulation. Then you have to keep the bag out of sight because it’s not the most appealing thing you want your guests to see.

Get Leaves

Next, you’ll need to collect the leaves, which sounds easy, but is pretty difficult if you think about how much time will go into the task. To make it easier, you can purchase a garden vacuum or leaf blower. Garden vacuums always have bags attached in which they collect fallen leaves and other debris. You can empty out this bag and separate the leaves from other materials before using them for the leaf mold. Remember not to just use any leaves that come your way, but only ones that are healthy and don’t show any sign of disease. Using leaf mold made from disease-ridden leaves puts your crops at the risk of being affected by the disease too.

Shred ‘em up

If you live in an area that often gets heavy rain during the monsoon season, then leaf mold is a staple for you because it prevents soil from getting waterlogged. In this case, you’ll need your leaves to decay quickly. An easy way to do that is to shred them before adding them to your leaf mold bag. If you have a garden shredder, you can effortlessly shred your leaves into thin pieces. Otherwise, simply use a rotary mower on the leaves a few times. It isn’t essential that you shred your leaves, but it does speed up the process because otherwise, large leaves can keep air from circulating and enhancing the process of decomposition.

Bag Them

Add your shredded leaves to the large garbage bag and spray a little water when the leaves reach the top. Tie the bag from the top and leave it in a nicely shaded part of your garden.

Leave and Shake

Now you have to keep your leaves away for a period of 1 to 2 years for them to decompose. Remember to turn them over every month or so to keep them from getting compacted while increasing air circulation. Keep the leaves moist and you’ll have your leaf mold ready to use in your garden soon. Happy Farming!


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