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The cold winter weather can be hard on your skin, and that dry air can be especially hard on your feet. Dry, cracked skin is a common problem when the temperatures start to drop, but there are ways to fight back and keep your toes in great shape all year long. Here are some essential skin care tips to keep your feet happy and healthy no matter how cold it gets outside.

Use Moisturizer

Indoor heat can really dry out the air in the winter, so keep your moisturizer nearby and use it often. Applying moisturizer to your tired feet will make them feel better and help you avoid dry, cracked skin.

Treat Yourself to a Soothing Bath

Keeping your feet clean is a big part of smart winter skin care, so treat yourself to a bubble bath or some soothing bath oil. Use a moisturizing shower gel or soap, and dry your feet thoroughly as soon as you leave the tub.

Give Your Feet Some Breathing Room

It may be tempting to keep your feet covered 24/7, especially when the temperature drops and your little piggies get cold. Even so, it is important to give your feet the breathing room they need, so pull off those slippers and go barefoot once in awhile.

Keep Your Nails Neatly Trimmed

Sandal season may be a distant memory, but that is no reason to let your toenails grow wild. Keeping your nails neatly trimmed is even more important in the cold winter months, so keep your nail file nearby. Even better, treat yourself to a pedicure – a little pampering is a sure cure for the winter blues.

Treat Your Damaged Nails Promptly

Nail damage is common in winter, and it is important to treat it promptly. Use a quality nail oil that contains tea tree oil or similar anti-fungal agents, and always follow the instructions on the package to make the treatment as effective as possible.

Enjoy a Regular Foot Massage

Nothing soothes tired winter feet quite like a soothing foot massage, so grab your partner and ask for a foot rub. You can also treat yourself to a foot massage using an electric foot massager or soothing foot bath with massage action.

It is not easy to keep your feet fresh and happy in the winter. The cold weather can chill your toes to the bone, and the dry air can leave your skin dry, cracked and painful. Even so, you do not have to give into these winter woes, and spending some time caring for your feet can help you avoid the worst those winter foot care blues.

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Bring on the Bees! Flowers to Attract These Beneficial Insects

Most farmers know the importance of having beneficial pollinators, like honey bees, near the garden or farm–so much so that many farmers also become beekeepers, hosting beehives on their properties. Bees and other insects are important for pollination, especially fruit trees and bushes, like blueberry, cherries, and most stone fruit trees that cannot self-pollinate. However, maintaining beehives can be difficult for small farmers or home gardeners who have little space and little time to spare. Instead, imagine a garden full of lush, colorful blooms that are as attractive to bees as they are to us! Include the following flowers in your garden for an open invitation for
the bees.

Calendula

Plant calendula to attract the bees with its sweet nectar, and reap the many benefits of this beautiful flower. Calendula comes in many varieties, ranging from yellows to oranges to pale pinks. These bright blooms quickly attract the bees (and butterflies, too!) while also acting a trap for some pests, such as the leafy green destroying aphids. Not to mention, calendula is also edible, traditionally used stews and teas. Calendula is also great for making salves and adding into any bouquet, making this flower a top choice for any garden.

Foxglove

This flower is toxic to humans and other mammals, keeping the deer and rabbits away. But, the bees and the hummingbirds love the nectar of the foxglove! Foxgloves come in just about any color and are often grown by market gardeners as a cut-flower for spikes in bouquets. Foxgloves provide brilliant blooms to enliven any garden or farm and are easy to grow. Grow in full sun with lots of water in rich soil. If you enjoy having them around, these flowers will self-seed, providing blooms and bees for years to come.

Yarrow

Yarrow is a perennial herb that will bring the bees to your space starting early in the summer. Yarrow often comes in pale, pastel colors and has many uses. Most flower farmers grow yarrow for bouquets while many home gardeners use yarrow as a medicinal herb used in treating fevers, common colds, and other inflammatory-type illnesses. Yarrow is easy to care for in the garden, requiring water only in times of drought and minimal to no fertilization. This low-maintenance plant is certainly an essential in your bee garden.

Sunflower

Sunflowers are the highlight of most gardens, with their tall-reaching blooms that follow the sun throughout the day. Bees, too, can’t seem to stay away from the prolific pollen produced from these bloomin’ beauties. Sunflowers grow best direct seeded into well-draining soil in an area that receives full sun throughout the summer. Some varieties of sunflowers will self-seed, and you will have yourself an endlessly growing sunflower field to keep the bees comin’ over the years.

The list of bee-attracting plants does not end there. For other options, think herbs! Add lavender, mint varieties, thyme, rosemary, chives, borage, and even oregano to bring in the bees. Simply imagine herbs and flowers with attractive scents and colorful blooms, and it’s likely to be these pollinator’s dream.


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