Value Add Singapore

How to Grow Your Own Edible Garden in Singapore

Growing your own food can have many great benefits, like being able to teach your kids practical gardening skills, bringing some green indoors, and saving money. More importantly, growing your own food can make sure that you’re eating food that is fresh and organic. With a bit of soil and some seeds, you could start your grown garden. While many beginners are too intimidated to start their own garden, it doesn’t have to be too hard. Here are some tips and tricks for growing your own edible garden in Singapore.

1. Consider your space
If you live in a high-rise flat, you may think that it’s impossible for you to have your own edible indoor garden. However, there is always a way for you to create your own garden even with limited space. For example, you could create a vertical garden by hanging your pots on a wall, using a string or a plank of wood. You can even use chicken wire or netting to hang your pots from. There are a lot of guides online that can tell you step-by-step on how to create your own indoor garden, from table-tops to windowsills. For example, you could grow cherry tomatoes on your windowsill, or create a small Mediterranean herb garden on shelves near your kitchen.

2. Remember your lighting
Light is an important aspect of any garden. Without adequate lighting, your plants wouldn’t be able to create produce. Most edible plants need a lot of sunshine, about four to six hours of direct sunlight per day. But avoid direct sunlight during mid-afternoon, as this light is too harsh for plants. If you cannot remove your plants during these hours, you could install a sunshade to keep the harsh afternoon sunlight away from the plants.
However, if you live in high-rise flats, you may have the opposite problem, and your flat may lack adequate sunlight. If this is your problem, you could buy a grow lamp which could act as a stand-in for natural light.

3. Starter plants
Singapore’s humid weather is perfect for many kinds of plants. There are many plants you could choose from that could complement the amount of free time that you have. For example, if you don’t have a lot of free time, you could start with lower-maintenance plants, like long beans and brinjals. For those who want to just take a stab at gardening, microgreens are a great choice because they grow fast, some of them in just a matter of days. Good examples of microgreens are buckwheat and sunflowers.

For those who want to be even more economical, you can propagate saplings from the leftovers of grocery produce. By cutting parts of grocery produce and putting them in soil or a bit of water, you could create more food. Good choices are lemongrass, peppers, and tomatoes.

How to Make Your Own Tea Blends at Home in 3 Easy Steps

Blending or brewing your own tea at home involves combining different types of herbs, roots, and leaves, and it can be simple or complicated depending on what you prefer, and the best part about it is that you can customize the recipe according to your taste buds.

While there is a lot about drinking tea that can be relaxing to the soul, the making of it is in itself soothing and medicinal, and in some cases, almost alchemical. While there are a lot of ways to make your own special brews, there are three general steps you can follow:

1. Choose a teabag size.
The teabag size will depend on the size of the cup you intend to use. If you’re planning on drinking tea by yourself, you can opt for a smaller teabag, while serving many people will call for a larger one.

Alternatively, you can also choose to not use a teabag, but instead place them in the container and slowly add hot water to it and sieve the leaves, roots, and flowers out. You can even add them to the water before boiling.

2. Choose your preferred tea base.
An easy guide to brewing your own tea at home goes as follows: base first, then top, and finally florals.

Always choose the base first before adding the top. This will be the primary tea leaf that will provide the main flavor for your drink. As much as possible, avoid using too many tea types – keep them only up to a maximum of two.
The “top” will consist of supporting and catalyst herbs, which are secondary ingredients that either sooth or buffer the effects of the primary tea leaves. They usually make up roughly a third of the blend.

Lastly, the florals (though optional), which are unmistakable ingredients, will add a strong floral punch in any blend of your choosing, though they should only be added by about a pinch.

3. Know which flavors complement and contradict which.
There are three main categories of flavors when it comes to choosing your supporting or catalyst herbs: earthy, spicy, and sweet.

Earthy ingredients, such as catnip leaf, juniper berries, and dandelion, add a lot of depth and mix well with strong teas. They can also make them taste bitter, which sweet and tart flavors can counteract.

Spicy ingredients, such as peppercorn and cinnamon, are an excellent complement to earthy ingredients and mask them well, but to truly calm the strong, earthy flavors, sweet and tart flavors such as licorice root and hibiscus are needed.

You can even add fruity elements, such as lemon and orange peels, to bring out the lemon and orange flavors in your brew.

A Few Things to Remember

The year is almost done and there is so many things going on in your mind. Starting a new year is always an exciting thing to do as we hope for a better year ahead of us. Although the year you have experienced may be filled with unexpected events, you are still looking forward to the new year. Memories are a precious thing. The less we think about them, the more they tend to slip out of our fingers. While the more we think about them, the harder it is for us to build new memories. Before starting the new year, it is a good thing to look back and reflect on everything that has happened throughout the entire year and pick up the certain memories which are necessary for you to push through the next year with.

Learning from our mistakes is something we should all do.

Here is a list of the memories you to remember:

1. Biggest fight of the year
Fights are never that good. Even though you turn out the victor, you still lose something in the process of fighting. Well, this depends on the kind of fight. If we are talking about challenges, that is something that you should definitely not regret and learn from. But in this case, we are talking about the biggest fight you’ve had with a friend, a loved one, or maybe even a stranger. Remember what happened after the fight. That is the most important part. How much did you lose, and how much did you gain?

2. Biggest mistake of the year
Everyone makes mistakes. No matter who you are, we all make mistakes. After all, we’re only human. But these mistakes do not define us, these mistakes help mold us into someone better depending on our response towards our mistakes. Try to remember the biggest mistake you’ve made. Let it hurt you only for a bit, then slowly move on. Tell yourself, “it’s okay. We all make mistakes after all.”

3. Biggest loss of the year
Now this might be the most painful thing to remember as you might have not even accepted the loss you are experiencing. Well, maybe it’s time you accept that whatever it is you lost is gone. Realizing that something isn’t where it should be makes us panic because we are sure, we are absolutely certain that that certain thing belongs there. Maybe it’s time to accept that some things belong elsewhere whether we like it or not.

Growth doesn’t always come from good experiences. Sometimes it comes from remembering the bad ones.

How to Pack Light

Packing is usually stressful. At the back of your head, there’s always that itchy feeling that you’ve forgotten something. It may be a talent some people innately have and some do not. Well, the benefits of packing light is that you wouldn’t have to bring a lot of things all the time. I mean, isn’t it kind of inconvenient that your luggage weighs much more than you’ve expected? Or by the end of the trip, you’ve ended up not using everything packed in your luggage? Well, we want to prevent those kind of situations.

Here are a few ways for you to pack light:

1. Toiletries
When it comes to toiletries, do you need to bring them or is it okay if you don’t? depending on where you plan to stay, sometimes you wouldn’t need to bring toiletries. For example, if you are staying at a hotel, well, it’s pretty obvious that you wouldn’t need toiletries as they already have them around the room. If you are going to stay with a friend or acquaintance, or maybe even just somebody you know, it’s okay not to bring toiletries as well since you could ask them where can you buy your needed toiletries and save you the hassle of bringing them during the flight.

2. Reuse if you can
Sometimes you just don’t need to bring too much clothes. Sometimes you can reuse the clothes you’ve worn yesterday. You don’t always need to be so sure as to how many shirts you’re bringing. Sometimes you just have to reuse whatever limited shirts you have around with you.

3. Fold Properly
Sometimes the key to packing is to properly fit everything you need into a smaller sized bag or suitcase. How do you do that? Well, by proper folding. Make sure to iron your clothes before you fold them to make sure you can fold them as thin as possible. Once you’ve folded your shirts, try rolling them and squeezing them as you roll. Make sure that they are nice and tight and against each other. You’ll be surprised how much clothing you’ve actually fit inside your bag.

4. Arrange Properly
Arranging can be a bit tricky for some and really easy for others. Arrange the items in your bag geometrically and you’ll definitely have more space inside. Well, for your socks and other small pieces of garment, you wouldn’t have to make much room for them. You can just fit them anywhere you want.

Packing light does not only save you not just space, but also stress.

Caring for Your Hearing Aids

Your hearing aids help make your life easier by helping you interact with other people, so it only makes sense that you should take care of the small electronic devices to make them last longer.

Regardless of the type and design of your hearing aids, the following habits should be observed:

1. Read the instructions on the label carefully and follow the steps in proper cleaning. Use a clean, dry and soft cloth when cleaning. Do not lubricate the parts of the hearing aid as well.

2. Clean the earwax and ear drainage from your hearing aids carefully by following the instructions on the label. These can be removed with water and mild soap, but do not use solvents and alcohol when cleaning.

3. Do not use a blow dryer to dry your hearing aids, use a clean towel instead. Make sure the hearing aids are dry before reattaching them to your ears.

4. Never use cleaning products and hair products not designed for hearing aids.

5. Put on your hearing aids last after you’re done dressing up or used body products such as perfume, hair spray, lotions, and powder. Remember that the chemicals can clog up the components of the hearing aids.

6. Turn off your hearing aids if you don’t need them. Remove the batteries and then store the hearing aids in places that do not have moisture.

7. Replace the batteries when they’re running low and always keep extras handy. A battery will usually last between 1 to 2 weeks. When discarding batteries, make sure they are disposed one a time because they can be toxic.

8. Keep the hearing aids and batteries away from children and the pets at home.

9. Batteries should be stored in dry and cool places, because moisture can damage them.

10. Remove your hearing aids when you’re bathing or going swimming. They should not be exposed to the heat and moisture in the sauna or in the rain.

11. Never place your hearing aids near moisture, cold and heat. Heat and direct sunlight can damage the electronic parts.

12. If there is a buildup of moisture in the hearing aids, leave the battery case open to dry it out. You will also need a silica-based drying agent or a dehumidifier from your doctor.

13. Perform listening checks everyday using a listening tube provided by your doctor.

14. Avoid feedback or the whistling sound in your hearing aid. If this happens, you need to check the size of your earmold and have them replaced or cleaned.

15. Remove the hearing aids every time you undergo medical procedures and tests. You can still use them, however, in scanners in airports and other public areas.

16. Visit your doctor regularly for hearing tests, replacements, and performance testing of the hearing aids.

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