Get out your gardening tools and stock up on seeds. Growing your own food provides fresh ingredients for your meals, but you’ll soon see other benefits of home gardens that you may not have expected. Here are six ways to make the most of growing your own vegetables:
1. Control your crops
Growing your own produce lets you control what ends up on your family’s table. You decide what fertilizer, water and pest control to use, as well as whether to grow organic.
2. Live the ‘fresh is best’ lifestyle
Nothing beats flavor-and-nutrient-packed power of fresh-picked fruits and vegetables. Once harvested, produce begins to lose moisture and nutrients. At the grocery store, the freshness of your vegetables is largely out of your control. But when you’ve grow your own fruits and vegetables, you can know exactly when they’ve been picked and how fresh they are.
3. Make your yard inviting
A vegetable and fruit garden can add life, color and beauty to your backyard. The smell of ripening strawberries and the sight of crisp cucumbers are a warm invitation to people and pollinators alike. Plants that sport beautiful flowers to encourage pollination—like beans, peas and fruit trees—can really make a splash in your backyard. Plus, the insects they attract will likely pollinate other plants as well, making your whole garden grow faster.
4. Cut down on your grocery budget
One of the biggest advantages of growing your own food is that it can save you money. The price of a pack of seeds is almost equivalent to what you would pay for a single vegetable or fruit at the store. It may even cost less when you factor in the money spent on the gas used to drive to the supermarket. Plus, you can grow organic vegetables for a fraction of what they retail for in store. When taking food costs into consideration, gardening can become an appealing option to cut back on your grocery bill.
5. Make gardening a family hobby
Gardening is a fun, family-friendly activity that allows kids to get their hands dirty and learn where their food comes from. From planting seedlings to building salads together, starting a vegetable garden is a great way to get your family off the couch and onto their feet.
6. Make your health a priority
There’s one important nutrient gardening can give you before you even take a bite of your produce: vitamin D. The sun’s rays promote vitamin D production, which is vital to our health. Tending a backyard garden for about 30 minutes daily can promote better sleep and positive energy. Just remember the sunscreen.
Now that you see the benefits of starting a vegetable and fruit garden, learn how to plant one in 10 simple steps.
If you want the freshest produce possible, consider planting your own home garden—after all, you can’t get any closer to your kitchen table than your own backyard. Growing your own vegetables is thrifty, too. According to the National Gardening Association, the average family with a garden spends $70 on their crops—but they grow an estimated $600 worth of veggies!
To get started, here are 10 steps recommended by the National Gardening Association.
Restoring a classic car is a labor of love that can pay off in pride and personal satisfaction. Whether it’s a car that has been in your family for many years or a storage find that you got a great deal on, or you want to revive a car you loved as a teenager, there are many reasons for restoring a classic.
Classic car projects take time, attention to detail and money. If you’re interested in restoration, it’s important to be prepared. Doing your research ahead of time will help you decide if you’re willing to make the commitment to the task — and how to budget for it. If you decide you’d rather buy a classic car than restore one.
One great way to learn more about restoring a classic car is to visit a classic car museum or find a local classic car club. Such organizations can give you insider tips to save time and money and avoid frustrating surprises.
Choosing your car
All cars are not created equally, so a classic car restoration project will vary dramatically from one vehicle to the next. Some things to consider, in addition to the price of the car itself, are the cost and availability of parts. If the parts are no longer being manufactured for the vehicle, they may have to be rebuilt or custom made, which quickly drives the price up.
One of the best pieces of advice is to start out with the best condition car your budget will allow. And, in most cases if you have the choice, spend more for a better body with little to no rust versus a vehicle that’s mechanically sound with a rough body. Mechanical components are most times easier and more affordable to rebuild versus a rough body with lots of rust.
With that in mind, keep these “3 Ps” in mind when seeking the best classic cars to restore.
Parts, Popularity, Price
It is obviously important to find parts when restoring a car. The availability or lack thereof can delay the restoration and drive up the cost. Do your research to find out how difficult it is to locate parts. The Chevy Camaro was a popular car in the 1967–1969 production years. As a result, you’ll find it not only has great appeal on the street but also has plenty of aftermarket parts still available. Plus, it’s relatively inexpensive to repair and maintain.
If there are alternatives to the original parts, this opens up resources. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Oldsmobile Cutlass was the standard for affordable luxury. Although often overshadowed in the collector’s world by the more powerful (and pricier) Oldsmobile 442, the Cutlass remains a head-turner on the street. One advantage? Its chassis parts can be traded out with any GM vehicle.
The classic Mustang made from 1964 to 1968 remains a favorite among car collectors and enthusiasts. That means you can find parts (and a wealth of inside information) online. Their popularity helps keep the buying price in check, and that same popularity means if you decide to sell the car, you probably won’t have a hard time finding a buyer who’s interested in a fully restored beauty.
If you love muscle cars, consider one that offers a good-looking design with plenty of power under the hood. The 1971-72 Pontiac GTO, either the base V8 engine or the 455HO model, has parts are still available, and it has good street cred for the price, making it one of the best classic cars to restore. Keep in mind that, although these cars aren’t appreciating significantly, the appeal of the Corvette never seems to wane. Restoring one for your pleasure is rarely a waste. Models in the late 1970s through the early 1980s are becoming increasingly popular due to their affordability, and no other American car has enjoyed the iconic status of the ‘Vette. That means there are plenty of parts — and experts — to help restore this classic car.
Restoring a classic car takes time and care. During your project and when you’re done, you’ll want to protect your vehicle and make sure that it’s properly insured with Hagerty Insurance from Sterling Peaks Insurance for a lifetime of enjoyment. Specialty coverage for complected vehicles and vehicles under restoration.
Vintage car maintenance differs from contemporary car maintenance in a couple of ways. First, a vintage car has different parts that can’t be hooked up to a computer for diagnostics. Second, you probably aren’t driving it every day, so some of the benchmarks typically used to calculate when maintenance is due may not apply while it’s in storage.
Follow these hot rod and muscle car maintenance tips to keep your vintage car in tip-top shape.
How often should you drive a hot rod?
Automotive experts often suggest you drive your hot rod at least once a month, if possible. That’ll make sure the battery has enough juice to fire up the engine, and it also gives the parts a chance to move around.
Even if you aren’t driving it regularly, your muscle car still requires regular maintenance. Here’s a closer look at the basics of hot rod maintenance to help protect and preserve your car.
Maintain brake fluids
Just like humans, cars require a lot of fluids to keep running properly. One of the biggest areas of concern for hot rods – particularly if they aren’t being driven regularly – is brake fluid. When your car sits for long periods of time, the brake fluid can attract moisture from the atmosphere, even if it’s in an enclosed storage space, and that compromises its effectiveness.
It’s important to note this same thing can happen to brake fluid that’s sitting in an opened bottle; if you break the seal on a bottle of brake fluid, make sure you use it within one year.
To avoid damage and wear to your hot rod, make sure you change the brake fluid each year, regardless of how often you drive it. Mechanics typically recommend avoiding silicone brake fluid in vintage cars because it’s not always compatible with older systems. While silicone brake fluid has a longer shelf life, it’s generally not worth the risk because it can lead to rust in your hot rod’s system.
Change muscle car oil every three months
Brakes aren’t the only area where fluids are crucial; oil needs to be changed several times a year. Stick to the type and weight of oil recommended by the car’s manufacturer or your mechanic, and aim to change the oil at least every three months. Otherwise, condensation can build up, and you risk getting rust inside the engine.
Finally, radiators need your attention because they can have serious problems when they aren’t used regularly. Running the engine a couple of times a month — even if you just let it idle in the driveway — will circulate fluids and help keep your radiator in better operating condition.
Tire maintenance for hot rods
Your hot rod’s beauty is more than skin deep, but you want to make sure you’re paying as much attention to its outer looks as what’s under the hood. To begin, look at your tires. Not only can a nice set of wheels make your car stand out on the road but they need to be well maintained to keep you rolling.
Check the tire pressure every month and use that time to do a visual inspection. Look for cracks and wear, and check the depth of the treads.
Even if your tires look great and don’t show signs of wear, if they’re more than six years old, you should invest in a new set. Rubber deteriorates over time, and even tires that don’t show wear or haven’t been driven should be tossed after six years.
Maintaining a hot rod’s exterior
A great paint job completes the look of your hot rod, but it takes extra care to keep it looking like new. Your car can attract dust while sitting in the garage, and every time you take it out on the road, you’re picking up damaging elements like exhaust from other cars, tar and grime from the road and, of course, bugs. All these are hard on the paint and can cause deterioration and scratches.
Keeping it clean not only makes your car look great, but it also protects and preserves the paint. Wash your car as part of your regular muscle car maintenance program, being careful to only wash it in the shade and dry it with a microfiber towel or chamois.
When your car is clean, finish it off with a good coat of carnauba-based wax, then polish any chrome or aluminum surfaces to make them gleam. Finally, recondition any rubber surfaces, including the tires. Your car won’t only look and perform better, but it’ll also stay protected for the next few months.
You don’t have to be an expert at car repair to learn how to maintain your vintage car. But knowing what your hot rod needs and how to provide the proper maintenance is key to its long life.
Caring for your prized hot rod also means ensuring you’re protected out on the road. Learn more about how hot rod insurance can keep you covered.
What are life skills? People have different views about which life skills are most essential for success. However, what they do agree on is that we all need these skills for life in one form or another to address the issues that occur daily at work, school and home.
These skills have become particularly important in a world that’s experiencing . They can help build self-confidence and encourage wise decisions. Consider the list of life skills for adults below and why they’re important.
The value of life skills
Strong life skills can help you manage every day and more stressful situations skillfully, leading to career advancement. Improved mindfulness can improve your time management, while effective communication and collaboration skills can help you rally a team around a project. Inquisitiveness may help you see a problem differently and find solutions that save you or your company time and money – even old problems can require new thinking to solve.
Many companies see these types of life skills as increasingly important for leadership positions in their organizations.
Basic life skills resources available
As you consider what skills you’d like to develop or improve in your life, you’ll find many resources available. These can include books, audio courses and online programs. You can approach each of these skills individually or commit to improving all of the areas by working on each one a little bit each day.
One of the most effective ways of figuring out the skills you’d like to gain or change is to ask the people you regularly spend time around. Coworkers, friends or even a mentor at work, for example, can give you objective assessments of the skills you’re working on. There are a few helpful ways to approach this. Schedule a specific time to talk with a coworker instead of asking in passing or stopping them in the hallway; this is more convenient for them, and it also sets aside time for both of you to get more deeply involved in the conversation. Come prepared with specific questions, too. “What steps do you think I can take to improve my public speaking skills?” will get you a more specific answer than “Do I have good office skills?”
Whichever path you take, improving life skills will create a greater sense of fulfillment in both your life and your career advancement. Take some time to think about which ones are most relevant for you. If you’re looking for more help, Sterling Peaks Insurance,LLC offers a number of products and services that can make your home and work life easier to handle. Contact Sterling Peaks Insurance.
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