Organic gardening.

Last week we talked about organic gardening and the effect soil has on vegies.  Today I want to look at seeds and pest prevention.



Once you have prepared your soil, it’s important to know a bit about seeds before you start growing your own vegetables. There are usually different varieties of seeds for each type of plant, each with its own characteristics. For example, the common tomato plant has hundreds of varieties.

Some varieties will do better in different conditions, such as being sun hardy, shade tolerant or drought resistant. You can also divide seeds by type. There are heirloom seeds, which are really perfect to use in an organic garden as the seed from the plants that are grown can be used to plant your garden the following year. This is really the most sustainable and natural of all seed planting practices.

There are also hybrid plants that are the result of selective breeding practices. Hybrids may be more tolerant to certain poor conditions but the seed cannot be saved from the plants and planted the following year as each generation will be weaker than the one before it.

In some countries there are GMO or genetically modified seeds, that feature a seed that has been cloned with a different species to make it pest resistant, but these seeds are not “natural” and really defeat the purpose of organic gardening.


Organic gardening takes advantage of many strategies, such as companion gardening, to help deter pests in the garden. You can conduct a simple search about companion gardening online, and discover which plants “like” to be planted next to each other. For example, certain flowers planted in a border around your garden will deter certain bugs that might eat the vegetables, and certain plants fix certain nutrients or release other natural substances in the ground as they grow and can help an entirely different species of plant to grow better.

Common examples are the practice of planting varieties of squash with corn and beans or planting onions next to your potatoes, dill next to your tomatoes, garlic in your rose beds and carrots near your peas.  You will also want to learn about natural remedies for common ailments such as blight, mould or mildew and other natural solutions that can be made at home to help keep pests from attacking your vegies.

While it’s a bit more involved than gardening with man-made chemicals, it is really much easier than it sounds. Once you set down to enjoy the different, delicious taste and texture provided by organic vegies, and know that you are putting something into your body that you helped to create, that is free of dangerous chemicals and was grown in such a way as to help improve the Earth, you will realize it was well worth your time and efforts.

Massage, anyone?

Sometimes getting away from it all is just the start of your relaxation experience.  You might need a little help to unwind and that’s where massage comes in.

Having a massage should not just be seen as a luxury but as an important part of your routine.  Research has shown that massage helps to improve your attention and focus, is great for pain relief and also for general health.  The relaxing nature of a massage can help to reduce blood pressure, enhanced your flexibility as well improve the circulation of your blood.

Deep tissue massage is intended to relieve tension within the muscle and the surrounding tissue and often used where you may have suffered an injury.  Often athletes or people who may have a physical job can get significant benefit from this type of massage but also office workers who are suffering from strains due to their work environment can also get great benefits.

Massages are also great to simply get rid of tensions as well as feel calm and relaxed.  There is nothing like getting away from it all on a holiday and having a massage to clear out all of the stresses from our day to day life and activities.

That’s one reason why we can offer you a massage package the next time you visit us.  When making your booking let us know if you are interested in our massage package so we can arrange for our super talented masseuse to be available.  Leanne of Leanne’s Massage Therapy is wonderful.

Annie’s Cedar Farm Cottages here in Upper Plenty gives you the quiet surroundings you need.  Let us look after you  and make your stay with us enjoyable, comfortable and above all relaxing.

Bed and Breakfast means Relaxation

Bed and Breakfast retreats are perfect for when you need to relax. For some people, though, relaxation is difficult.  They are so used to rushing everywhere and living life under pressure.  Does that sound like your life?

We want you to really enjoy your time out when you come to stay so here are a few tips that will help you to relax.

1.  Disconnect.

Turn off your phone.  Leave the laptop or iPad at home.  Those things only mean work or pressure to do something.  When you are at a Bed and Breakfast retreat, you are there to get away.  If you have them with you, you KNOW you’ll turn them on “Just for a peep” or to “see that everything is ok.”  If the world can’t get along without you for a day or two, you are doing something wrong.  No one is indispensable and even you need time off to recharge.  So, ditch the electronics for a day or so.

2.  Reconnect.

Most of our visitors come with a friend or partner.  It has sometimes been quite a while since the two of them were able to get away and have a chat without interruption.  When you finally get the time to reconnect with that special person, you will be amazed by the sense of peace and companionship that spreads through you, body and soul.  When you are really connected with your partner, your stress levels drop dramatically.  You don’t feel so alone and you know you have support.

3. Breathe.

Bed and Breakfast retreats and farmstay’s are located in peaceful and scenic surrounds.  If you go outside and lie in the lush green grass, close your eyes and take a deep breath, you will be filled with fresh, pure air.  Not only is it good for your body, it’s wonderful for your mind.  When was the last time you breathed in such sweet, fresh air?  It would have been a very special time – perhaps even from your childhood.  Those wonderful memories and feelings will wash over you with every breath you take.

4.  Meditate.

Meditation doesn’t have to mean sitting cross-legged and chanting ‘Om’.  Find a quiet place that feels comfortable and safe.  Relax and close your eyes.  Listen to the rhythm of your breath.  Breathe in and breathe out, paying attention to the way your body responds.  After a while the most amazing thing happens.  You find a spot inside your mind that lets you roam freely around your thoughts and your body without bringing with it any of the frustrations that usually come with them.  This is when you make those amazing discoveries about yourself.  It’s when you suddenly find the way forward that has been eluding you.  It’s when your body speaks to you and tells you what it needs for maximum wellness.   Meditation is refreshing and very illuminating.

5.  Massage

Massage is soothing.  It relieves stress that is stored in the body and it relaxes your busy mind.  Sometimes I think people forget that massage is a therapy, not a luxury.  It is something that we should all experience regularly.  While you are here, why not practice on each other?  Or, if that is too much like hard work. experience a professional therapeutic massage with our masseuse, Leanne.

Relaxation is all about turning off all those switches in your mind and body that have been jammed on for so long.  Staying at a Bed and Breakfast retreat will give you the right surroundings to relax in.  Now it’s up to you to take advantage of it.

Do you love animals?

If you’re an animal lover you will be in the right place when you visit Annie’s Cedar Farm Cottages in Upper Plenty.

From the kangaroos that wait in the driveway to ‘welcome’ you to the sheep and cattle that wander the property, you will be surrounded by animals of different species.

If that isn’t enough for you, tomorrow is the Wallan Pet Expo.

Come along and be entertained by the Agility Dog Display and a Performing Pig from Edgar’s Mission’s. (We will tell you more about this wonderful place in the future.)

Displays include RSPCA, animal adoption agencies, pet accessories, Snake Handler, as well as for the kids a petting zoo, jumping castle, balloon magic and face painting.

There will even be “Door Prizes” and Giveaways

MICROCHIPPING is available at $25 per pet.
Dogs must be on a lead
Cats must be secured in a cage
No booking required

When? Saturday, 19 November 2011
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Where? Hadfield Park, High Street, Wallan.