Seven Easy Ways to Enhance Your Immediate Environment


treesTrees  coexist in all stages of their evolution, everywhere on this planet. They filter the air, water, and soil in the ecosystem. In addition to commercial and industrial uses, trees provide shade, cool the atmosphere, are a source of food, medicine, heat, and folklore. They also enhance the environment, provide a refuge for the inner spirit, and therapy to the physical senses. Who can deny the enchanting serenity generated by the glowing embers of a crackling wood fire? With their expressive displays of winding limbs cascading through atmospheric heights, trees have long been a source of artistic inspiration.

The Versatile Nature of Trees

A broad range of industries use trees, for the manufacture of a wide array of products. From construction, furniture, carpentry, paper, paper products, and textiles, to chopsticks, automotive products, and food and beverage additives. Even In the real-estate industry, it is widely known that certain trees can increase property values by up to 27%.

There are over 23,000 different varieties of trees. Versatility is one of their best features. The Black walnut tree, for instance, is a deciduous hardwood, prized in the furniture industry, valued aesthetically, and highly regarded for it’s solid structure and durability. The Black walnut tree provides a nutritionally valued food, medicine, (varied applications), natural dye, (used in tanning), and an insecticide. It can grow to more than 100 feet in height, and 4 feet in diameter.
trees- view from ground of the height of tall tree, summer-time

What to Consider Before Choosing Tree Species

The tallest tree officially recorded is a Coast Redwood, (Sequoia), in California, measuring 115.72 meters, or 379 feet. The Montezuma Cyprus, found in Mexico is the widest tree on record, at 36.2 meters, (118 feet). Important information to consider when beginning tree cultivation includes, the tree’s projected dimensions at maturity, the depth, and spread of roots, and soil, sun, and water requirements. Weather your interest is in enhancing your environment, living sustainably, or developing a source of income, there are a variety of options available to obtain, and cultivate trees, and tree seedlings.

Where to Buy Trees

The following methods can accommodate any budget:

  • Nurseries, and Garden Centers at Large Retail Outlets: If you are intent on purchasing 1-10 trees, or want to develop a collection of plants and trees, nurseries and garden centers usually carry a variety. They generally stock an evolving selection of trees and plants that are most suitable to their specific geographic climate and season. In the spring, march through may, retailers will begin expanding their stock to accommodate the seasonal shift. Not only do their prices vary, you can find trees significantly marked down toward the end of the season, (mid-July through August). In additition to retailing plants more consistently, nurseries typically offer more extensive information on plants than garden centers, for the simple fact that plants are their primary retail item.
  • Florist Found in Grocery Stores: The florist department can easily be overlooked along with the music played over the speaker system at grocery chain stores. However, you may find a unique and interesting variety of plants and trees throughout the year, and increasingly so from spring to fall.

Tree Seedlings

It’s a little known fact that you can buy native tree seedlings, (one year old), in bulk, at little cost through your state’s department of forestry. It is in the interest of the environment to provide this service to the public. Each state has it’s own guidelines, rules, and native selection of trees. If you’re interest is in a certain species, in some instances, you can order from out-of-state.

Orders are generally handled on a first come, first served basis, and residents of that state will take priority. To find the website, enter the following into the web browser search box: The abbreviation for your state and [.forest]. They can additionally give you planting instructions.

Consider planting trees and plants for medicinal value. You can begin with more popular varieties. Sage and Rosemary are two perennial herbs that resiliently bounce back from freezing cold temperatures. You can purchase seed starters, and start growing medicinal plants indoors to help ensure successful development.

Cost Free Methods of Obtaining Trees

  • Tree Cuttings: Depending on the species, there are different methods for easy propagation of trees. Tree cuttings will have to develop root fibers for successful planting and growth. Air-layering is one method of tree propagation.
  • Local, state parks: Parks can provide an instant refuge from stress, and enhance your appreciation for the natural wonders around you. They are also an inexhaustive reference point for your curiosity, including plant and ecological research. You can find a park in your state at: [Http://],
  • Or, search for the nearest campground at: [Http://]

You are not on your own with regards to acquiring the necessary information for growing and cultivating trees and plants. In my experience, I find those involved in horticulture eager to share valuable knowledge on this topic. From an ecological stand-point, the public’s awareness, and interest is beneficial. Furthermore, on an individual level it is personally uplifting to observe and reap the many rewards of the plant world.

Bibliography:  “Tree Facts”. NC state university college of agriculture & life sciences department of horticultural science. [] [11/07/2015.];

“The Tallest, and Oldest Trees Worldwide”. Monumental Trees. [Http://].[11/07/2015.]

save money on produce; photo of basekt of peaches, and watermelons



The Retail Cost of Produce

Produce pricing varies across the country based on factors such as the distance of the retailer from the food’s origins, or weather it is in season locally. At a store in a major city in the Midwest you can expect to pay around $5.00 for three peaches. If the actual cost is a discriminating factor, the likelihood of your consuming produce on a regular basis is minimal. Based on The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) recommendations, adults can meet the recommended minimum daily allowance of fruit by consuming 1, 1/2 cups per day of fruit. For vegetables, the minimum recommendation is 2 cups of vegetables. For optimal health, fruits can easily make up the snacking part of your daily food intake, (between meals).

Why eat More Produce?

Fruits regularly incorporated into the diet will deter consumption of unhealthy processed foods. More specifically, foods containing excessively toxic levels of added sweeteners. One person with an average weight of 150 pounds could ideally consume an estimated equivalent of between 3–6 average size peaches per day; or 1/4 to 1/2 of a 30-lb. watermelon, (throughout the day). Consuming this on a hot day with an average temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit helps to regulate body temperature. Watermelon contains about 92% water. A peach contains 88% water. This high water content can replenish fluid lost in high temperatures.

(Please note):  foods consumed will have a chemical reaction in the gut, Which is processing these foods at an estimated 98.6 degrees farenheit, (37 degrees Celsius). To a person eating a diet rich in processed, refined foods, even suggesting consuming this much fruit in one day could prove  a disastrous, if not explosive experiment. The emphasis here is on incorporating fruits and vegetables into the diet.

Methods of Purchasing Produce 

With persistance, one can find cost-effective methods to maintaining a healthy diet  without compromising quality. The following are popular economical methods of obtaining produce:

.There is an  established and growing array of national grocery store chains that Price Match competing grocery store  advertisements which are found in the local daily newspaper or on the web.

  • Farmers Markets: You can generally purchase quality produce by way of wholesale pricing if you buy in larger quantity, such as by the case.
  • Roadside Farm Stands, Roadside Vendors: Certain states have laws established to promote these roadside vendors. Farm stands can sometimes be found in remote areas. They are generally located not too far from packing houses or farms where the produce is grown and harvested.

Fruits and vegetables trucks : On the rise throughout the United States, as a source of distributive retail to locations lacking in fresh produce. Some can even accommodate various methods of payment. Remember, as a courtesy to other shoppers, shop with your

back of produce truck, displaying watermelons, canteloupe, grapes, tomatoes, peaches

a Mobile produce truck in the southeast that accepts credit, debit, and e.b.t. cards

eyes. You can always let the vendor know how you prefer the texture of your fruits and vegetables.

Many grocery retailers are beginning to offer online shopping with pickup, or delivery.


  Pick your own, (U pick farms): At these farms, you pay the grower a small fee for what you pick, established either by weight or by volume. These growers are often one of the guarded secrets of locals, roadside vendors, and farmers’ markets. You may have to drive a distance, as they are typically in rural areas.

  • If you have some land available for use setting a starting point for Developing a Garden can bring much reward. Acreage is not re
    DSCN5546-1/produce/ vies of purple-hull peas ready to be harvested on a farm

    Purple-hull peas ready for harvest

    quired, you can start with little space. There are even vegetables you can grow in container pots on a porch.  Different fruits and vegetables need different levels of sunlight, water, space, and maintenance. You can start by simply saving those seeds from the watermelons, and almost all fruits and vegetables you eat. You can also choose to Purchase Seeds.

However, you begin, not only will you save money on produce, you will develop valuable survival skills as you invest in your health, and that of your family.


the white house vegetable garden

the white house vegetable garden