Benefits of Hydroponic Vegetable Gardening

Growing your own vegetables every summer can be a very rewarding experience. Nothing tastes better than juicy homegrown tomatoes straight from the vine and cooking your own homegrown vegetables can bring a great sense of satisfaction after all that hard work in the summer heat.Many people enjoy gardening so much, they’re upset to see autumn weather start to make an appearance and their growing months start to wind down. However, gardening doesn’t have to be a seasonal hobby any longer. Hydroponic gardening allows gardeners to bring their crops indoors when the snow begins to fly, so they can enjoy fresh tomatoes, peppers and lettuce all year long. There are many benefits to hydroponic gardening to consider.Gardening AnytimeBecause hydroponic vegetable gardening does not use soil to grow crops, the environment can be completely controlled by the gardener. This is especially true when plants are grown indoors, away from potential pests and disease that lurk outside. Gardeners have full control over which nutrients the crops receive and how much and how often they receive them. Being able control variables like lighting and water help to ensure the healthiest plants and the best possible harvests. Many gardeners enjoy this aspect of hydroponic gardening most of all, since it helps alleviate the frustration of fighting natural pests and diseases that are common to traditional outdoor gardens.Good for the EnvironmentAnother big plus for hydroponic vegetable gardening is that it is kind to the environment by using recycled water and nutrients. Hydroponic vegetable gardening can also produce bumper crops in a fraction of the space it takes to grow a traditional vegetable garden. In fact, much hydroponic vegetable gardening that is done consists of plants placed vertically in hanging tubes or on shelves, so many plants can be grown in just a few square feet of space. With space at a premium on our earth today, this conservation of space is a huge contribution to the conservation of our planet.Ability to Garden Year RoundSince hydroponic vegetable gardening is not dependent on natural elements like sun, rain and warm temperatures, an indoor garden can be grown anywhere and anytime. Many gardeners do their hydroponic vegetable gardening indoors in the winter, using containers and artificial lighting to meet the needs of the plants. This means that gardeners no longer have to shut down their hobby when the snow begins to fly; instead they can enjoy a growing season that literally spans all twelve months of the year. With the many kits and supplies available today, it is not hard to begin hydroponic vegetable gardening at home simply and successfully.It is no wonder that hydroponic gardening has taken the gardening community by storm in recent years. If you are looking for a way to expand your gardening repertoire, enjoy gardening any time of the year, check out the possibilities in hydroponics today.

Hip Hop Fashion Trends – Then and Now

Hip hop fashion trends are not a newcomer to the fashion scene by any means. In fact, this style has been around since the 1980′s, when celebrities like Will Smith and Christopher “Kid” Reid showed youth how it should be done. Of course, hip hop fashion trends have evolved over the past two decades as tastes and styles have changed to correspond with the culture of the time. The following will offer you a brief but colorful history into the world of hip hop, with some of the current fashion design today.Early Hip Hop In the 1980′s, major brand names became synonymous with the hip hop fashion trends. Brands like Nike, Adidas and Clark shoes were sported with leather bomber jackets and brightly-colored track suits. Sports jerseys were a hot commodity, with Will Smith showing them off in his hit television show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire. This was the time when heavy gold jewelry and large sunglasses came into play, creating an image of wealth and luxury in the hip hop culture of this time. In the latter part of this decade, MC Hammer and other rappers introduced hip hop fashion trends like baggy pants and baseball caps.The Gangsta Look In the 1900′s, hip hop fashion trends shifted to the gangsta look in the fashion of the Los Angeles Chicano gangsters. This style sported baggy pants that were worn low and without a belt, shirt tails hanging outside the pants and bandanas on the head. In the midst of this fashion trend, designers were also providing something that the youth of this time liked, and brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Polo and Nautica also came into vogue. At this time, hip hop fashion trends evolved into urban streetwear, with names like Mecca USA, Lugz and Rocawear coming into play.Flash and Bling The turn of the century saw hip hop fashion trends switch to flashy ensembles and bling bling jewelry, made popular by the likes of Jay-Z and The Hot Boys. High end designers like Gucci came onto the hip hop scene during this time as well. Today, the hip hop look has toned down somewhat, with hip hop fashion trends that are more tailored and professional – preppie hip hop, if you will. However, since the hip hop fashion trends are primarily embraced by youth, this style will always be cutting edge and separate from the fashion mainstream. After more than two decades on the fashion scene, it appears that this trend is more than just a trend – it is a fashion icon that is here to stay.

What Are The Greatest Changes In Shopping In Your Lifetime

What are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime? So asked my 9 year old grandson.

As I thought of the question the local Green Grocer came to mind. Because that is what the greatest change in shopping in my lifetime is.

That was the first place to start with the question of what are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime.

Our local green grocer was the most important change in shopping in my lifetime. Beside him was our butcher, a hairdresser and a chemist.

Looking back, we were well catered for as we had quite a few in our suburb. And yes, the greatest changes in shopping in my lifetime were with the small family owned businesses.

Entertainment While Shopping Has Changed
Buying butter was an entertainment in itself.
My sister and I often had to go to a favourite family grocer close by. We were always polite as we asked for a pound or two of butter and other small items.

Out came a big block of wet butter wrapped in grease-proof paper. Brought from the back of the shop, placed on a huge counter top and included two grooved pates.

That was a big change in our shopping in my lifetime… you don’t come across butter bashing nowadays.

Our old friendly Mr. Mahon with the moustache, would cut a square of butter. Lift it to another piece of greaseproof paper with his pates. On it went to the weighing scales, a bit sliced off or added here and there.

Our old grocer would then bash it with gusto, turning it over and over. Upside down and sideways it went, so that it had grooves from the pates, splashes going everywhere, including our faces.

My sister and I thought this was great fun and it always cracked us up. We loved it, as we loved Mahon’s, on the corner, our very favourite grocery shop.

Grocery Shopping
Further afield, we often had to go to another of my mother’s favourite, not so local, green grocer’s. Mr. McKessie, ( spelt phonetically) would take our list, gather the groceries and put them all in a big cardboard box.

And because we were good customers he always delivered them to our house free of charge. But he wasn’t nearly as much fun as old Mr. Mahon. Even so, he was a nice man.

All Things Fresh
So there were very many common services such as home deliveries like:

• Farm eggs

• Fresh vegetables

• Cow’s milk

• Freshly baked bread

• Coal for our open fires

Delivery Services
A man used to come to our house a couple of times a week with farm fresh eggs.

Another used to come every day with fresh vegetables, although my father loved growing his own.

Our milk, topped with beautiful cream, was delivered to our doorstep every single morning.

Unbelievably, come think of it now, our bread came to us in a huge van driven by our “bread-man” named Jerry who became a family friend.

My parents always invited Jerry and his wife to their parties, and there were many during the summer months. Kids and adults all thoroughly enjoyed these times. Alcohol was never included, my parents were teetotallers. Lemonade was a treat, with home made sandwiches and cakes.

The coal-man was another who delivered bags of coal for our open fires. I can still see his sooty face under his tweed cap but I can’t remember his name. We knew them all by name but most of them escape me now.

Mr. Higgins, a service man from the Hoover Company always came to our house to replace our old vacuum cleaner with an updated model.

Our insurance company even sent a man to collect the weekly premium.

People then only paid for their shopping with cash. This in itself has been a huge change in shopping in my lifetime.

In some department stores there was a system whereby the money from the cash registers was transported in a small cylinder on a moving wire track to the central office.

Some Of The Bigger Changes
Some of the bigger changes in shopping were the opening of supermarkets.

• Supermarkets replaced many individual smaller grocery shops. Cash and bank cheques have given way to credit and key cards.

• Internet shopping… the latest trend, but in many minds, doing more harm, to book shops.

• Not many written shopping lists, because mobile phones have taken over.

On a more optimistic note, I hear that book shops are popular again after a decline.

Personal Service Has Most Definitely Changed
So, no one really has to leave home, to purchase almost anything, technology makes it so easy to do online.
And we have a much bigger range of products now, to choose from, and credit cards have given us the greatest ease of payment.

We have longer shopping hours, and weekend shopping. But we have lost the personal service that we oldies had taken for granted and also appreciated.

Because of their frenetic lifestyles, I have heard people say they find shopping very stressful, that is grocery shopping. I’m sure it is when you have to dash home and cook dinner after a days work. I often think there has to be a better, less stressful way.

My mother had the best of both worlds, in the services she had at her disposal. With a full time job looking after 9 people, 7 children plus her and my dad, she was very lucky. Lucky too that she did not have 2 jobs.