Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

Ila Bonczek

Ila lives in the Garden State with her family and four chickens. She has been growing produce and perennials for 20 years, and recommends gardening for food and fun, but not for fortune.
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Healing Traditions: All-purpose Summer Salve Recipe
No matter how careful we are, most of us manage to damage ourselves here and there, now and then. For these occasions, I will share a recipe for a fabulous summer salve that promotes healing...
Traditional Ways to Beat the Heat
As the dog days of summer descend upon us, we are lucky to have the option to seek refuge in air conditioned spaces; but how did our ancestors beat the heat? With looming threats of...
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Survival Tips for Serious Gardeners: Poison Ivy, Ticks and More
Gardening is a great way to get in touch with nature, grow amazing produce, beautify your neighborhood, and attract wildlife; but even the most benevolent activities come with pitfalls. While there are elements of the...
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History Reveals an Ancient Digital Device Stored in the Pocket: The Human Hand
While the human hand is the obvious tool of choice for an astounding number of physical tasks, it was once commonly used as a mnemonic device. Historical records demonstrate the utility of our five fingers...
Spix’s Macaw (Rare Blue Parrot) Experiment: Be Free, and Multiply!
The Spix’s macaw, with fewer than 200 living members — all in captivity — may be the world’s rarest bird.  Due to poaching and habitat destruction, Spix’s macaw is on the verge of extinction. Despite...
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Independence Day–History, Tradition, Inspiration
Regarding Independence Day, most Americans would agree that we owe our freedom largely to The Declaration of Independence, a document written nearly 250 years ago that officially separated us from England; yet another document may...
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Turf Alternatives–Going Green Without the Grass
Re-thinking your lawn? You’re not alone. Homeowners across America are looking to improve the environment, starting with their own backyard. Whether you want a lower maintenance walking surface, a pollinator-friendly green space, or an edible...
Clearing the Fog: 5 Things To Forgo for Better Focus – and 5 More To Embrace
Brain fog is a cloudy-headed feeling that makes it hard to focus or think clearly, and easy to forget. Brain fog itself is bad enough, but the ensuing frustration from reduced cognition may also lead...
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Will Spotted Lanternflies Plague the Garden State in 2022? Maybe Not
First discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014, spotted lanternflies—an invasive species called Lycorma delicatula originating from parts of China—have spread to and infested most of the Garden State, with 13 of New Jersey’s 21 counties quarantined...
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Declutter Now – The Right Way To Get Rid of the Wrong Stuff
Would you like to declutter? For various reasons, most of us have more stuff than we need. Due to impulse buying, social customs that call for obligatory—yet unnecessary—gifts, and the phenomenon of items outliving their...
Helpful Hints for Harvesting and Growing Potted Herbs
Given a little good soil and a lot of bright sun, most herbs are fairly easy to grow. Herbs don’t need a lot of space, and can even be grown on a balcony high above...
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Limited Lighting and Window Treatments: Tristate Area Addresses Modern-Day Threats to Migrating Birds
Municipalities in New York and New Jersey are attempting to address a growing threat to migrating birds that is compounded by the fact that they lie directly in the birds’ migratory path. Hudson Valley and...