Hark Health – Green Coffee Bean


Posted by Aimee | Posted in Site Information | Posted on 26-02-2014


This is a preview image of the Hark Health product Green Coffee Bean

Preview image of Hark Health Pure Green Coffee Bean with GCA


Buy Here: Amazon


I am so excited! This is not garden related which is pretty weird for me. But, a friend gave me an awesome opportunity to try a pre-release bottle of a new product. They know I am into everything natural, and they are trying to make natural supplements. I couldn’t wait to share this with you! I did a lot of research before I decided to try these supplements. You can never be too careful with what you put into your body. So the first thing I checked was the ingredients. I was happy to see that there are no fillers, no preservatives, and no artificial ingredients. That was an awesome start. You might be surprised how many “natural” supplements have bad things in them. A few examples: magnesium stearate and titanium dioxide.

You will also be glad to know that these supplements are also made in the USA. At an FDA inspected facility, that follows GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices). At that point, I was completely sold on the quality and naturalness of their products. And everything I looked up about Green Coffee Bean seemed positive though, like many things, it does not work for everyone.

For me, it did suppress my appetite. I noticed myself eating less from the first day. I was getting full sooner and though I was having the exact same things for lunch and dinner, I just wasn’t eating them all. It was weird leaving food on my plate. This made me start to lose weight when I wasn’t even trying. After doing this for about a week and losing 2.3 pounds, I got really excited. I was getting pumped about losing weight! I hope they work for you too because this is a great thing. Losing weight is a difficult road and I think we need all the help we can get.

Once I started seeing results, I started making small changes and seeing even better results. An example is going up and down the stairs a couple more times a day, or swapping the peanut butter in my afternoon snack to whole almonds. You can stick to the little changes easier, especially if you just add a few here and there. I was afraid though that the supplement would quit being as effective but they haven’t yet and now I am on my second bottle. I thought that maybe it was the placebo effect and that once it became routine I would quit paying attention. I worried that my paying attention had been what had made me more conscious of what I was eating in the first place. I am quite pleased to say though, that it did not happen that way at all. I still feel full longer and sooner with the green coffee bean. The best way to lose weight is to eat healthy, get out in the sunshine a little bit (don’t overdo it!), and to use natures bounty to help. I cannot wait to see what other products these guys come out with. This has helped me to lose weight naturally and given me more energy.

Green Coffee Bean is antioxidants and chlorogenic acids that help our body function better. Sort of the way eating your vegetables makes you function better than eating fast food. I recommend you try this supplement, even if only for the natural energy boost. We all need more energy, right? They did give me a free bottle to try but these opinions are my own.


Glad to be back


Posted by Aimee | Posted in Site Information | Posted on 12-02-2014

After a very long break I am very glad to be back. I will try to start posting more consistently and especially as has been requested, to start giving recommendations for some of the products I use myself to garden in Texas. I now get the unique chance to garden in both South Houston, Texas and in the Middle of Missouri. Each location has its own unique challenges and I will try to address both here.

One of my parents was not doing well at all and I was doing my very best to help out. On the plus side, they are doing better and I have gotten to do a lot more gardening. I have transplants waiting to go out and I just cannot wait to get my hands into the dirt. I hope to soon do a step by step on how to build an amazing wicking bed. I was unsure of my design at first but a full year of testing has yielded very impressive results. Only time will tell how the design wears though. The wicking beds have made a gorgeous addition to our garden and I very much hope to add two or maybe even three more this year.

They are a little on the expensive side but in 9 months of vegetable producing, I only watered the beds 4 times and I think it could have been skipped one of those times but someone watered the bed for me while I was out of town for a few days and I am counting that too, just in case. There was of course rain in-between waterings but much of this design is made with water collection/efficiency in mind.

That is all for now, I just wanted to say hello to everyone. I am so sorry for the almost two year break and I cannot emphasize how amazing you guys are who have been checking on me and still checking the site for updates. Wow! You guys are so awesome and so patient. Thank you and I am sorry for not updating more. I will try really hard to not let you down again but as you all know, life happens.

How to Care for a Live Christmas Tree


Posted by Aimee | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 03-01-2012

Live Christmas trees have steadily been becoming more popular. In a lot of ways this makes sense, many refuse to relinquish the smell and feel of a live Christmas tree for the holidays and a live tree fills that roll without killing a tree.

Live trees come in many sizes but most frequently are small, 2ft or less in height. They also are usually in nursery pots, often within decorative containers. As soon as it is convenient you will want to replant the tree into a pot with good drainage that is larger than the nursery pot it is in. Take note of what type of tree yours is. The most common that I have seen are noble firs. Also popular are rosemary trees that have been pruned to shape.

A rosemary may be a good choice because not only can you use pruning’s for meal seasoning but they are unlikely to grow as quickly or as large as a tree. I did not do my research before purchasing a live Christmas tree and now I wish I had. On hindsight I would have gotten a rosemary version and I would definitely NOT have purchased a pre-decorated one. It was an expensive nightmare and though the company did attempt to rectify the problem the second tree came in nearly as poorly. Fortunately the trees themselves were fine, it was the decorations that were a problem. They were wrapped so tightly and thickly around the tree that it was all you could see.

To care for your live Christmas tree make sure to look up the specific breed you have and make sure to maintain its preferences. In general most will want moist soil with a good organic fertilizer mixed in. Many of them prefer a slightly acidic soil. They do not like to be sitting in water though so make sure they have good drainage and a light layer of mulch doesn’t hurt to help keep moisture in.

Additionally when indoors they usually like to have their leaves lightly misted from time to time and most require a large amount of light. They will need to go outdoors eventually to get the light they need. If carefully taken care of you can get at least a few years Christmas services out of the tree and after that you can plant the tree in a suitable spot so it can really grow wild and provide a lot of shade, habitat, and food for wildlife. Pretty much a win-win situation.

Don’t Let Your Yard Look Like Ragnaros’ Lair


Posted by Aimee | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 29-08-2011

It is good to be back ladies and gentlemen. I love gardening and overcoming its challenges for the sweet, sweet rewards it has to offer. So, for those of you who are WoWers you know that Firelands is in full swing and here in South Houston it looks like we took it a little too literally. There is still a lot we can do though to keep things nice and green that aren’t quite crispy yet.

Though I am against unnecessary turf watering many of us live in areas with HOA’s that insist we keep our yards looking nice and shiny. It also has been somewhat necessary with many of us not seeing a single drop of rain for over a month with daily temperatures in the hundreds. Good thing I like the heat. To conserve water there are a few things you can do to help, when you cook pasta (not too much salt added) or veggies in water drain that water into a bowl let it cool to room temperature and then share it with your thirsty friends outside, the additional nutrients will make them even more happy and then the water doesn’t go to waste! That is a win-win situation in my book. Another good option is if you have to water your yard, let the kids run around in the sprinkler for a bit to get double use out of the water. Just make sure to use sun block!

Though really the subject I wanted to talk about is here soon temperatures will be winding down and September will be rolling in and mid September through the end of October is a wonderful time to pull out the MicroLife and feed your lawn. A spreader is really helpful for this but if you do not have one you can make one by punching a few small, pencil sized holes in a paper plate and shaking it lightly as you walk along (make sure not to put too much fertilizer on at once though or your plate will break)

After you have fertilized, water the yard well or time it before a rain so that it gets settles into place well and your lawn will undoubtedly green back up in no time and send Ragnaros and his fiery minions packing.



Posted by Aimee | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 29-06-2011

Wow! Not the video game this time either! I haven’t had time to post, very sorry but I will be posting again soon and I just cannot wait! Had oodles of work come up which is a good thing and I have to get that done (They take not paying your bills way seriously! So I got to make sure I keep paying them on time =)

I have had my little apartment garden on maintenance and have gotten half dozen tomatoes or better and several bunches of herbs, man I love fresh herbs! So, we will be talking more about all this as soon as I can squeeze out more than 2 minutes to let you guys know where I disappeared!

First book review: How-To Hydroponics


Posted by Aimee | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 29-04-2011

This is my first book review on Uberloots, I hope it is the first of many. Though at this point there is no set method, I will have to work that out over time.

How-To Hydroponics (Fourth Edition)

Author: Keith Roberto


5 stars (*****)

Positive About

This book is fantastic for not only the beginner but also for those that are advanced in the hydroponics area. He goes through many specifics and even covers some experimental methods. I think the best part is he not only covers the traditional, online available prebuilt hydroponics systems but also covers d-i-y systems which cost a fraction of what the other systems cost.

Negative About

It is hard to say anything bad about this book. It really is amazing and is the reason I chose it for my first review because in the months I have owned it not only have I carried it with me to show several others, but also I have read it several times and there is a wait list to borrow it! The only thing is that I still have some questions, I don’t know that I can hold that against the author though because I am an exceptionally inquisitive individual as no doubt most of you reading this are.

Overall Feelings

I love this book enough I plan on buying it for several friends and family members, as well as one for the library since they do not currently carry it as I had hoped when first learning of the book. I can say with sincerity that I will be purchasing any future editions of this book. Also, I find it unique that the author posts his contact information within the book and opens questions. I do plan to email him when I work up my nerve. Maybe after some more experimenting on my own to see if I can find some of my own answers and then comparing them to his suggestions as a self test. I really hope you all enjoy this book as much as I do.

There is a fungus among us, a fungus gnat that is.


Posted by Aimee | Posted in Insects | Posted on 21-03-2011

Pesky vermin that frequent indoor plants, fungus gnats as adults are harmless except for their reproductive abilities. The gnats however feed on decaying plant material, and delicate plant roots, which can stunt the growth of your indoor lovelies.

I picked up a batch of these wretched little fellows in a healthy looking spider plant and have battled them for over a year. The solution was to finally get serious about taking care of them and oodles of research.

A fungus gnat is a soft-bodied very tiny black fly and indoors their entire life cycle is about one month. Each adult female is capable of distributing two hundred eggs. Those eggs hatch into maggots that infect the top couple inches of potting soil, where they feed on decaying plant matter and plant roots. They then pupate and emerge as adults to perpetuate the cycle.

The last thing you want to do is go wild with insecticides in your home. Especially if you have kids or pets. Not to worry though, there are a plethora of cheap, organic, pet/child safe alternatives. The control methods are different for the fly and the larva. I recommend using a combination of several or even all of these options.

The key seems to be persistence, you want to continue treatment for a month after the last signs of the larva and adults have been seen to catch any stragglers. One surviving female has the potential to completely recreate the population! So stick to your guns folks.

To control the flies:

Use yellow sticky traps (if the females are stuck to the paper they cannot lay eggs in your plants.) The flies are drawn to the yellow.  (You can also make these at home.)

Set out small bowls of apple cider vinegar and change regularly. The flies are drawn to the smell and then drown in the liquid.

Hand squishing, they are not fast fliers and each one you take out is one less that can be making babies.

To control larva (the root of the problem, no pun intended.):

Repot all indoor plants and cover the top couple inches with decorative sand to make their survival more difficult.

Let plants dry out between watering times.

Place a potato wedge a quarter inch into the soil and then throw away, entirely out of the house. Repeat this for several weeks, continuing even after signs of the flies are gone.

Drench houseplants in a BT solution. This is an organic pest control that is entirely harmless to people and pets, it targets all caterpillars though so do not use on plants that you want to promote butterfly larva on. This also dissipates quickly and is even safe for use on food.

Inoculate your soil with parasitic nematodes; these are little critters that will feast on the larva. Do not use this in conjunction with BT. Steinernema feltiae is one of the most effective against fungus gnats.

Get that Garden Started


Posted by Aimee | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 28-02-2011

Starting a garden may seem like an impossible or even insurmountable task. Often not knowing where to begin or seeing the task as too daunting often keeps potential gardeners from ever starting. Don’t let it be that way, a garden does not have to be big or elaborate. One of the most wonderful things about gardens is that you can make them as fancy and over the top or as simple and cheap as you want. It is even possible to get a garden set up and going all in one day! (which we will detail more carefully in our next post.)

If you have no money but need food or crave flowers then you can grow plants literally just by scratching up the grass in a spot and planting right there. Of course this is not an ideal environment for plants, but as long as they have sun, earth, air, and water, they will grow, production will suffer to an extent. This garden will take more effort to help it thrive but it can be done without spending any money at all beyond the cost of seed to plant. This is very important for people to know, if you are careful, you can find seed very, very cheap and sometimes for free. (Check with places at the end of the growing center or Craig’s list.)  Many victory gardens were little more than grass pulled up from the back yard to plant seeds. If you are looking for optimum results without using any money here are a few pointers.

Start with a budget, even if that budget is zero. Write it on paper and write what you want to add to your garden with that budget. Be realistic, and see how to make your desires match your budget. Suggested lines are fertilizer, soil amendments, garden structures (like bricks to build a garden bed), seed, decor, etc. Where you can, find or reuse things you have available like maybe there happens to be a stack of bricks extra from someone on Craig’s list who just needs them hauled off? Being resourceful and a little planning really comes in handy here.

I know I have preached about this before but start a compost pile, even if it is just a spot on the ground where you toss your extra veggie scraps and collected material, that is all it has to be and it will break down with time into compost for your garden. You can also find free material for your compost pile all over, talk to landscapers in the area, they often would love to get rid of some of their extra lawn clippings. Or talk to lawn mowers, neighbors, even the grocery store may be willing to give you produce that needs thrown out. Another place to check is stables, if you are willing to muck the stables for them and haul off the manure, all that fine material is yours for free! Just make sure that the things you put into your compost pile are not treated with pesticides or chemical fertilizers because you do not want these sorts of things going into your food.

If you are starting with nothing at all except a patch of recently bared earth and seed, you may want to spend the bulk of your seed budget on big producers. Especially easy care big producers, a few examples are tomatoes, squash (especially zucchini), sweet potatoes (though not technically from seed), lettuce and all other greens, cucumbers, and radish. Choose proven producers and wait to test exotics until you have a bit more of a seed budget.

Unfortunately some of my favorites such as Irish potatoes and corn are heavy feeders and demand more care, while not out ruled, they take a lot of space and will not yield as well without ample fertilizer and tons of attention.

If you are very short on funds I highly recommend starting with seed and not transplants, use the extra money the transplants would cost towards fertilizer for your garden. Soil building will likely be the most expensive part for you and any extra funds should be reserved for this. People have grown food on nothing more than piles of dust and sprinkles of water but we can do better than that, even when starting with nothing, observing organic practices builds the soil and so naturally over time with proper care the soil will become increasingly more fertile. If you don’t have money it just means it is going to take a lot more time and effort.

Now is the perfect time to start your Texas garden, spring is almost here and temperatures are not hitting freezing any more (though there could always be a late freeze so keep watch!) Starting a garden is a fantastic way to cut your grocery bill by growing what you will eat and doing it cheaply. Just do not fall pray to the oodles of gadgets and exotic plants available.

Recipe for win


Posted by Aimee | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 29-01-2011

In our last post we spoke of making an excellent soil base for our plants, if you are interested in knowing more about why each component is vital, and what important characteristics it should have, please read on. I always suggest experimenting and trying to find a mix that works perfect for you in your specific area. This recipe was developed in Houston, Texas but I have had equal success with it at my parents in Salem, Missouri. The key components to building our own soil mix are: vermiculite, peat moss, compost, composted chicken manure, MicroLife fertilizer, soil moist, kelp meal, fish meal, and worm castings.

Coarse grade vermiculte can be difficult to find in bulk but is worth the search, I suggest checking with the local feed store, garden center, or agricultural supply, it can be found online but the shipping would probably make the costs prohibitive. The reason I prefer vermiculite over perlite is it seems to stay mixed with the soil better, being so light it will have a tendency to float to the top of the soil but in my experience the pearlite will do this to a much larger degree and much more quickly. However, perlite is often easier to find and will work as a substitute if needed. The reason you want to use vermiculite is because the particles are large enough they will create air spaces in your soil, which are vital for plant growth. Also, vermiculite will retain water like a sponge and when it has reached its capacity it ignores the water letting it trickle on to prevent holding too much water against the roots and drowning them.

Peat moss is another ingredient that will absorb moisture and hold it until needed by your plants. It is not a renewable resource though so I use it sparingly. As time goes on you will need to add more of all the components except these first two. You only need to add the vermiculite and peat moss once. Peat moss also helps absorb nutrients into your soil. It resists decomposition, though there may be suitable substitutions I have not been able to test these yet. Coir may be a good choice as it is renewable but it is unavailable to me in quantities needed for good testing at a price I can afford. Peat moss is readily available at most “box” home centers such as Home Depot or Lowe’s.

Next on the list is compost. In my opinion the most important of the components. Compost carries vital nutrients for your plants and promotes microbial soil life to thrive. It also provides the soil with necessary organic compounds. You want as varied a compost as you can get, by that I mean that you want not just one ingredient in your compost, such as cow manure compost or mushroom compost. You want a compost built off of several ingredients, like one you would build at home off of your kitchen and yard scraps. One that would contain fruits, vegetables, grass clippings, sticks, and hedge clippings. If this is not readily available the best thing to do is buy as many varied ingredient composts as you can and mix them all together.

Composted chicken manure is very high in nitrogen and also has a lot of potassium and phosphorus. The high nitrogen can be dangerous if the manure has not been composted properly. Too much nitrogen can burn or even kill plants. The balanced nutrients of this composted manure make it a very valuable addition to your soil mix. This counts as one of your compost types and if you happen to know someone who keeps chickens you can get the manure for free and compost it yourself. This will save you money and help you find a source of chicken manure that is antibiotic free.

As you know I preach on a regular basis about the awesomeness that is MicroLife fertilizer. I love that it is a convenient pelleted organic fertilizer. Made from dozens of ingredients and those ingredients are listed for you to see. I have always used the regular to great effect but they also have an Ultimate, and Azalea version. Once our soil is built I recommend adding MicroLife per manufacturer instructions every three months or so. If you are in South Texas like I am, we get to grow things year round and that means year round fertilizing, though keep in mind the plants needs. The thing I like about organic fertilizers like this is that they encourage microbial life in the soil and they cannot be washed out be heat and water like non organic fertilizers can. If you are unsure how much to fertilize, remember, you are better safe going light than killing your plant with too much.

soil moist is mostly for if you are using your soil as an indoor potting mix. It will keep you from having to water plants as often and the polymer contracts and expands helping to keep the soil less compacted which can be a serious problem for indoor potted plants. The brand you use is not important and as this is not an organic ingredient it can be omitted if you desire but I find it does miracles for my indoor plants when I have to go away for a few days.

kelp meal is a type of seaweed and it makes for a wonderful soil amendment and I also recommend adding it to your compost pile from time to time just toss a handful in as it is a great bioactivator. Meaning it will set the microbes that break down compost into action a lot faster and with all the trace elements that kelp contains it helps promote good healthy diverse soil. When I have a sickly looking plant I use liquid seaweed to perk it back up. It is amazing how well and how quickly it works, just make sure to not over fertilize.

Created from the grinding of whole fish and waste parts from fish used for food fish meal is most commonly found as a brown powder. It is exceptionally high in nutrients and I have you add it to build your soil as an activator of sorts. It makes a lot of nutrients readily available to plants and microbes until your soil has sufficient life in it to maintain the processes so beneficial to your plants. You can make your own fishmeal if you have easy access to fishing. The most common method is to let any superfluous fish or inedible fish bake in the sun or oven until thoroughly dried out and then grind them fine. The drying process is important as it removes the moisture making grinding and storing easier.

It is hard to find a better fertilizer than worm castings, it is however frequently expensive unless you make your own and even then they are usually hard to come by. The liquid that drains from your worm bins can also be used quite effectively in the garden. Use as much of this as you can conveniently get your hands on. The worms make easily digestible remains that microbe life loves and in turn those microbes will feed your plants. The overall goal of all good soils is to feed your plants. In the end you should have a good friable soil that smells sweetly earthy and is crumbly but capable of holding water and draining for your plants. Worm castings help with not only the nutritional content of your soil they also help it hold water and they let excess water drain away. The worms used to make vermicompost, red wigglers will not live well in your garden but by adding their castings to your garden you will bring on changes that will attract worms to your garden!

When I first moved to Houston, I was depressed thinking I would never get anything to grow in all that black clay. However, after a couple years work and diligent weeding, I started seeing worms. Not just one or two, they were all over the place. How they got there through all the neighbors clay I do not know but I know the effects were astounding. I have thick, rich, alive soil that people have even offered to pay me to get some. After some trial and error the above ingredients are the ones I found to work the best for me but that does not mean that there are not other good amendments out there. Just that for the most part I was able to get mine for super cheap by doing the work myself or trading services with others. If you know someone who has an over abundance of compost or other amendment you can use trade them something you have. Maybe you make your own vermicompost (worm castings) or maybe you can grow seedlings for them in exchange, or save/share seed. Most people are interested in sharing the work load so it doesn’t hurt to ask as long as you are willing to offer something fair in exchange and don’t get upset if they choose not to trade.

A soil mix that both your plants and the undead can enjoy!


Posted by Aimee | Posted in Compost, Raised Beds, Soil | Posted on 01-12-2010

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One of the most important things to do when starting your plants is to make sure that the soil they will be raised in is as good as you can make it. This often means making amendments to the soil or creating a soilless mix for the plants to grow in.

Having a good soil for your plant can often double or triple your harvest and often means the difference between a plant thriving or dying. For my plants I start with the same base every time, then expand to their specific needs. If it is going to be in my garden beds, I mix the soilless mixture in equal parts with my present soil, optimally to a depth of 12 inches.

I cannot claim full credit for my soilless recipe as it got it’s start by reading various garden books and trying different combinations. The one I chose ended up being very close to the one Mel Barthalowmew uses in his “Square Foot Gardening” series.

The key components to this mix are as follows: Coarse grade vermiculite, peat moss, compost, composted chicken manure, MicroLife fertilizer, soil moist, kelp meal, fish meal, and worm castings. These soil amendments combined make an absolutely fantastic soil. If you cannot get all of these ingredients you can still have good soil but each amendment has key benefits that I will go into further detail in our next post.

The recipe itself is pretty easy, I use an old, clean, five gallon bucket as a measure. An old gallon milk jug with the top cut off works pretty well too. Mixing the ingredients on a tarp works well if you have someone to help you mix. Otherwise in a wheelbarrow with a shovel is your next best option. You can enlarge or shrink your batch as you desire just keep the soil amendments in the same proportions. First measure out 1 bucket of each: vermiculite, peat moss, & compost.

The other soil amendments are more expensive and so I usually have less of a supply of them but you cannot have too much of the chicken manure or worm castings so that is what you want the bulk of it to be. Next, fill your bucket half full or more of composted chicken manure, Then add your worm castings to the bucket leaving about 1 gallon of space left (Total composted chicken manure and worm castings of 4 gallons.)add 1 cup of Microlife, 1 cup of soil moist, and then split the remaining room between the ground sea kelp and fish meal. Add this last bucket full to your pile of vermiculite, peat moss, & compost.

Mix the pile together thoroughly and then use as is for potted plants or raised beds or mix in equal parts with your soil. If your soil is very, very sandy, I recommend the addition of more compost (another bucket full). If your soil is mostly clay I suggest the addition of a bucket full of green sand (agricultural sand.)

This base has proved to me to be an excellent choice both indoors and out, my plants have thrived and I only add more compost and Microlife on occasion. You can also tailor this mix to your specific plants likes. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.