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The Awesome Aloe

Always referred to as a healing plant Aloe vera will sit comfortably on any windowsill.
Not only is it handy indoors to soothe any kitchen or sunburns, this succulent will purify the air of formaldehyde and benzene, found in varnishes, floor finishes, and detergents.
They last for years and years and ‘pup’ regularly so that you will be able to naturally grow as many as you need to.

Now, Aloe vera is not a cactus and is more closely related to Asparagus than to any of the cactus family but it does love to live in heat and even though it will survive drought conditions, that doesn’t mean that it likes it.
Their particular version of photosynthesis means that they will only release tiny amounts of water at night when the gulp down the carbon dioxide voraciously.

Aloin is the bitter principle of the plant and it sits just below the underside of the leaf skin. Be careful not to include the dark or deep yellow gel when you are collecting the latex as we describe above.
If you are an avid fan of the Italian Amaro liquers like Averna, Ramazzotti, Lucano, and Montenegro then you will probably enjoy a little of the Aloin as it is a common ingredient in that particular style of beverage.
You really don’t want to include the bitter taste into your extraction, accidentally..
Although Aloe vera has been used as an ingredient in laxative formulations for centuries it has no legal credibility as no pharmaceutical companies have bothered to demonstrate it’s properties using ‘acceptable’ methods of testing.


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Deciding what Vegetables to Plant

This is a much more important decision than you would think on the surface.
Deciding what you can fit into the space that you have is important but the other considerations that you must include are value for money and nutritional value to you and your family.
Vegetable prices have been so erratic and unstable recently that it is almost anyone’s guess what next week will be like but here are some lists to help you decide.
Firstly here is a list in order of the ‘space’ occupied by the plant for the $ benefit derived.
1. Tomatoes
2. Rhubarb
3. Bunching onions
4. Leaf lettuce
5. Squash
6. Onion bulbs
7. Asparagus
8. Podded peas
9. Beans
10. Carrots
11. Capsicum
12. Kohl rabi
13. Chard
14. Mustard Greens
15. Spinach
You will notice that I have omitted potatoes, Brassicas, celery, corn, squash and melons because the space they consume for the produce derived is only worth it if you have space to waste which very few people do.
Secondly, the nutritional value, including fibre of the vegetables that you plant is profoundly important.
Here is another list of ‘nutritional value for space occupied:
1. Ceylon Spinach
2. Lablab beans
3. Peas
4. Spinach
5. Sweet potatoes
6. Kale
7. Mustard greens
8. Chinese Mini Cabbage
9. Cos Lettuce
10. Perpetual Spinach
11. Amaranth
12. Swiss chard
13. Tomatoes
14. Corn
15. Yam Bean
16. Potatoes
17. Carrots
18. Asparagus
19. Aubergine
20. Onion & Radish

Now, you need to think about what you actually ‘like’ to eat and then your decision is ‘good to grow’.