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Just because your feet are tired every day doesn’t mean that they are supposed to be achy and sore. While you might need to stand on your feet to do all the farm work, run around to catch up with small children, or walk around town to get your errands done, you can make sure that your feet stay as comfortable as possible. Instead of putting up with tender feet at the end of the day, use the following tips to discourage callouses, dry spots, and cramped toes.

Choose Proper Footwear

The first rule of thumb when choosing a new pair of shoes is to get the correct size. Choosing shoes that are too small or too big is not an option, even if you can’t find a pair of must-have shoes in your size. Wearing improperly fitted shoes causes blisters, callouses, and sore spots that simply aren’t worth having the perfect pair of shoes for an outfit.

Wear Your Shoes

Believe it or not, your feet will feel pampered if you not only pick shoes that fit well but if you also wear them during your waking hours. Walking around barefoot is one of the quickest ways to develop rough spots on your feet. Eventually, these hardened areas on your soles, heels, and toes cause a lot of discomfort whenever you do decide to begin wearing shoes again.

Exfoliate Your Skin

Whether or not you wear shoes most of the time, your feet are sure to develop a few calluses and rough spots. Take the time each week to exfoliate dead skin cells from your feet using a foot file, loofah, or specially designed emery board. Soaking your feet in warm water infused with bath salts often makes it easier to remove spent skin cells.

Slather Lotion on Your Tootsies

Slathering lotion on your feet offers the dual benefit of skin softening as well as aromatherapy. Simply choose a pleasant smelling cream or lotion and moisturize your feet with it each and every day. Experiment with several different scents until you find one that appeals to you for the added benefit of indulging in a touch of aromatherapy.

It makes sense for your feet to feel tired at the end of a long day, but you can take proactive steps to avoid that feeling. Start taking care of your feet now to minimize the damage that daily activities create for them. If you discover that you really enjoy pampering your feet, you might want to consider purchasing a personal foot spa.

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Cool Season Comeback: How to Grow Turnips

Do you want to grow a fall crop that produces both root vegetables and flavorful, edible greens? Are you planning ahead for your early spring garden? Turnips are easy growers that are making a comeback as a popular multi purpose veggie.

Planting Tips

Mark your calendar for planting 2-3 weeks before your last Spring frost date, or anytime late summer for a fall or early winter crop.

Turnips thrive best in cooler temperatures, so plan for germination and the main portion of growth to occur when temperatures are around 50F to 60F. Turnip bulbs become woody when temperatures exceed 75F, or if they’re allowed to dry out.

Choose a site in full sun where the soil is loose to about 18″ deep. Turnips don’t transplant well and must be direct-seeded.

Prepare your soil by incorporating compost, especially if your turnips follow heavy-feeding crops like corn. If your soil is clay-heavy, add a bit of sand to improve drainage. Turnip seeds are tiny, so break up soil clumps with a rake or your favorite cultivating tool to prepare a smooth surface. Turnips prefer a soil pH of 5.5 to 6.8, so add amendments accordingly.

Plant seeds no more than 1/2″ deep in rows 12″ apart. Drop seeds in a line, about a half-inch apart, and cover with a thin layer of light soil. Another method is to use the tip of a trowel to cut a shallow furrow in the garden bed. Once seeds are sprinkled in, gently backfill the displaced soil.

Containers for turnips should be at least 8″ deep. While turnips do quite well in containers and raised beds, take special care to prevent the soil from drying out.

The best companion plants for turnips are pole beans and peas, and strongly-scented herbs like mint and rosemary planted around your turnips will help keep rabbits and deer at bay.

Care and watering of turnips

Keep soil moist to encourage sprouting, but don’t overwater. Seedlings will germinate and emerge within 10-12 days. Mulch around larger plants to help maintain soil moisture.

Thin seedlings to 4-6 inches apart if you’re focusing on bulb growth, or 2-3 inches apart if you’re simply looking for fresh greens.

Common turnip pests and diseases include mildew, flea beetles, and aphids, though many green thumbs swear that turnips help repel aphids from their gardens. Keep weeds away from turnip plants to increase airflow and proper nutrition to the plant’s roots, and inspect regularly for issues.

These hardy plants, if kept properly watered and weeded, tend to withstand light pest and mildew infestations.

Harvesting your turnips

Mature turnip tops reach 12-15 inches in height in about 55 days. You’ll know when they’re ready to harvest when the smooth, rounded tops emerge from the soil, only partially-shaded from the upright display of leafy greens.

Harvest your turnips by gently loosening the soil around the bulbs and firmly pulling from the ground, or lifting from beneath with a garden fork. If you plan on storing your turnip bulbs, take care not to break the thin skin.

Cut off the tops and store them in the refrigerator for a few days as you would other greens, and keep bulbs in a refrigerator for up to three weeks, or in a cool, moist root cellar for up to three months.

Deliciously nutritious

Both turnip greens and roots have a distinct spicy “bite” to their flavor. Turnip greens taste much like mustard greens, and when sauteed with a bit of chicken broth and bacon, provide a flavor sensation reminiscent of southern cooking. Substitute vegetable broth, a bit of garlic, some lemon and salt, and you’ve got a vegetarian alternative to the old collard-style recipe.

Baby turnip greens add snap to salads, sandwiches, and burgers with their mild flavor akin to radish. Try turnip bulbs as a substitute for home-made mashed potatoes, or added in with your favorite mashing spuds. Cube turnips for stews, or puree them for hearty winter soups with a garnish of shredded greens.

Brush cubed turnips with olive oil and your favorite seasonings, and bake on a cookie sheet for an alternative to country-style potatoes, or add them alongside potatoes and carrots when you’re fixing your next roast.

Turnip greens at all stage of maturity are nutrient-dense vegetables. According to the online nutrition guide, World’s Healthiest Foods, fresh turnip greens are “high vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin C, folate, copper, manganese, dietary fiber, calcium, vitamin E and vitamin B6,” and they are also “a very good source of potassium, magnesium, pantothenic acid, vitamin B2, iron, and phosphorus. Additionally, they are a good source of vitamin B1, omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, and protein.”

Turnip bulbs are a carbohydrate-rich source of energy and are a good source of vitamin B6, folate, calcium, potassium and copper. The root vegetable is also a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and manganese.

Turnips have a long history as a staple crop, for good reason. Their flavor and texture have chefs scrambling to add them to their menus, and farmer’s market vendors are thrilled to sell out of these once-neglected cool-season favorites. How will you use turnips in your kitchen?


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