The Voice ‐ April 2019
Comment by Geoff
Not being able to predict how poluted air quality will become, measures must be taken.
Action from Bethnal Green and elsewhere to have a forest garden, plus a longer route of green area leading to the Thames, is a measure which the local politicians do not wish to support. But it's too late just coming up with ideas to solve the problem, we need action now.
We urge you to sign this Petition to persuade Hammerson and The Ballymore Group to take note of what the local population wish and not install an inappropriate park that would not fulfil the desired objective.
Read a synopsis of the Forest Garden Meeting held on 15 March 2019 to keep up to date with what is happening and please support our Crowd Funding scheme to enable the Forest Garden to happen. Back to top
Healing House Plants
Houseplants can do more than just make your rooms look brighter. They can also boost your mood, enhance your creativity, reduce your stress levels, increase your productivity, bring you tranquillity, maintain indoor humidity levels, produce oxygen and naturally filter air pollutants. You could say they are multi‐taskers.
Dry indoor air is blamed for a host of ailments like respiratory problems, sore throats, colds, and even skin breakouts. Houseplants plants help maintain, and in some cases increase, humidity levels by emitting water vapour during transpiration, helping to improve indoor air quality.
In addition to emitting oxygen and humidity, plants produce negative ions like many fancy air‐purifying machines. The negative ions attach themselves to, and effectively remove, any particles in the air such as dust, mould spores, bacteria, and allergens.
The presence of negative ions has also been shown to increase psychological health, productivity and overall well‐being. Some common houseplants even take it a step further in air quality control, naturally filtering indoor air pollutants like formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and benzene.
Plants keep the planet viable for human life, and while some of them are extremely beneficial when grown in the kitchen and main living spaces, the following are suited for the bedroom where they could help sleeping and drastically improve your health.
Also called the plant of immortality has countless medicinal properties, cleanses the air and boosts oxygen levels.
Releases a pleasant scent that improves sleep, increases alertness, treats depression and anxiety.
Helps you lower stress and anxiety, calms babies, slows the heart rate and boosts sleep quality.
Provides an effective way to naturally ease eye irritations, respiratory problems, headaches and boosts your energy levels.
Boosts memory and drastically enhances the air quality in the room.
Has been found to reduce airborne mould by 94% and is highly beneficial in the case of lung irritations and allergies. Back to top
Mix one gallon of vinegar with two cups of Epsom Salts and one‐quarter of eco‐friendly dish soap. Just mix and spray in the morning after the dew has evaporated. Walk away and after dinner the weeds are all gone!
This solution will kill anything you spray it on and is cheaper than any proprietary product. Never buy Round-up again. Back to top
‘Love Your Garden’ TV Show
A message from Anna Altounyan, Assistant Producer, Spun Gold TV
Anna works on Alan Titchmarsh’s garden makeover show, ‘Love Your Garden’ which redesigns and does makeovers of gardens for families across the country.
In the new series they are planning to follow new and experienced gardeners and any upcoming garden projects from start to finish in the South East area. They want these projects to be inspiring and hope to follow them over a six to eight‐week period from April until June 2019.
They are also interested in following someone who is willing to allow them to set up a small gardening project in their garden for a period six to eight weeks and who is willing to do a video diary of its changes.
Below are some potential new builds they would ideally like to follow, although they are open to new ideas and projects.
- Wildlife pond
- Flower meadow from seed
- An unusual raised bed project e.g. out of furniture
- A blank canvas, putting in new flower beds/bulbs from seed or a new lawn
- Vertical gardens, perhaps in a limited space, such as a roof terrace
- A novice gardener who is willing to let them set up a new build in their space and willing to take care of it for six to eight weeks and do a video diary for them
- A naturalistic kid’s den or play area
- A circular garden
If you are interested in taking part, please call Anna on 07518 598002 or 020 7065 6927 to discuss the matter. Back to top
Cooking in a Different Way ‐ Moroccan Vegetables
Consuming fresh, organically grown and GMO‐free vegetables is a cornerstone of optimal health and wellbeing.
Since vegetables can be prepared in various ways and flavoured with herbs and spices, there’s a high chance that you’ll find a veggie dish that you will truly love. This mouth watering Moroccan vegetables recipe combines fresh vegetables and flavourful spices, and works as a main dish or as a side dish. It’s a good starter recipe that you can serve to family and friends if you are interested in trying Moroccan cuisine. Cooking time is fifteen minutes and provides four servings.
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or good-quality animal fat
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of finely grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1 pinch of saffron (about 15 threads)
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- ¾ pound of tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and roughly chopped
- ¾ pound of sweet potato, cut into 1‐inch pieces
- ⅓ pound of parsnip, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large carrot, cut into 1‐inch pieces
- ¼ pound of dates, pitted and chopped
- ¼ pound of green olives, pitted
- 4 cups of chicken bone broth or water
- ½ pound of okra
- ½ pound of broccoli, broken into florets
- ½ pound of cauliflower, broken into florets
- 2 courgettes, cut into 1‐inch pieces
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon wedges, to serve
- Coriander leaves, to serve
- Coconut yogurt, to serve
Melt the oil or fat in a large saucepan or tagine over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for five minutes until soft. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 30 seconds, then stir in the dried spices and sauté for 30 seconds until fragrant.
Add the tomato paste cook for 30 minutes, then add the tomato, sweet potato, parsnip, carrot, dates and olives and stir to combine. Pour in the broth or water, mix well and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the okra, broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini to the pan. Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes until all the vegetables are soft. Season with salt and pepper.
To finish, serve directly from the pan or tagine or transfer to a large serving bowl. Squeeze over the lemon wedges, sprinkle with the coriander leaves and serve with coconut yogurt.
Morocco, located in the northern part of Africa, is home to a highly diverse cuisine. Because the country is at the crossroads of many civilizations, Moroccan dishes have Arab, Berber, Moorish, French, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean‐African, Iberian and Jewish influences.
Spices like cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, pepper and paprika are extensively used in Moroccan dishes, because they have been imported to the country for thousands of years. Other popular ingredients include fresh and/or dried fruits like apricots, dates, figs and raisins, as well as nuts like pine nuts, almonds and pistachios. Back to top