Wordwizardnz's Blog

September 13, 2015

Raspberries – one of the world’s healthiest fruits

Filed under: Uncategorized — wordwizardnz @ 7:45 am

raspberriesIn our efforts to lose weight through eating more from our garden, raspberries hold centre stage. Recent research shows these delicious soft berries help manage obesity by increasing fat cell metabolism thanks to the phytonutrients they contain. This makes them something to give priority to in the garden. Especially as they are sweet, abundant and easy to grow.

Raspberries are a luxury fruit if you buy them from the supermarket – imagine if you could have your own supply all summer long! It’s by no means impossible.

Growing raspberries is not difficult. You need a clear area and about half a dozen plants. They need support so a fence with the top wire about five foot high is ideal. String two lower wires and attach your canes to these. They are not particularly fussy, requiring only a well fertilised soil and sun. Don’t put them in a wind tunnel, mind you, that will scare off the bees as they arrive to fertilise your raspberry flowers. raspberry vines

Your main problem is going to be birds who you can guarantee will get to your berries before you do if you don’t net your plants. Securely. You would be amazed at how clever birds are at getting through netting to reach your berries – and how completely stupid they are at getting back out again. So, make sure your netting is well tied down.

In season, we harvest our raspberries every two days, just like our strawberries. That ensures there are enough berries to make it worth the effort of removing the netting. You want your berries to pull off the vines easily, if they don’t leave them because they won’t be sweet enough.

When you plant your berries make sure they are well mulched. Grass clippings are fine, so long as they are piled no closer than a foot away from the base of the plants.

When the season is over or during the winter or spring, your raspberries will need pruning. Fruit grows on the previous season’s wood so cut out any canes that have already fruited, spindly ones and those that have come up a distance from the main plant. Tie up the six to eight canes you have left to the wires. Any more canes than this will reduce the harvest.

How to use your raspberries

Eating your berries straight from the vines is the most delicious and most nutritious. They really are divine eaten this way. If you intend to eat them later, make sure they are chilled because they quickly develop mould patches. Berries can be frozen for later use, turned into jam (all that sugar though is perhaps not the best use of them for weight loss), or mixed with other fruit in smoothies or compote (for eating at breakfast or as a dessert). They can be added to muffins or made into ice cream. Whatever you do with your raspberries, you can be sure you’re giving your body very welcome nutrients, including antioxidants, while reducing the chances of contracting cancer.

Healthy Raspberry Smoothie

raspberry smoothie1 banana – cut into chunks
1 cup raspberries
3/4 cup orange juice (preferably fresh)
1/4 cup plain yoghurt
fresh honey to taste

Blend all ingredients until smooth, adding enough water to make it a consistency for drinking.

Serve immediately garnished with mint and extra raspberries, if needed.

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March 22, 2010

How to make the most of being LinkedIn

Filed under: Uncategorized — wordwizardnz @ 2:55 am

Many of us are new to using LinkedIn and are unsure how to make the most of being connected to other business colleagues, clients, suppliers or fellow members of organisations like BNI. After all, it’s very different from the traditional ways we’ve been communicating with people all these years.The problem has been exercising my mind, too, of recent days and thanks to reading relevant books and online information, I can now confidently give you several suggestions that I think will make a big difference to your online networking success.

1. It takes time. Yup, that’s right, it won’t happen overnight, or over a week or for that matter over a month. The key to online networking is to keep working at it slowly and carefully, every day if you can.  If you are inactive you won’t increase your number of connections (crucial for success), you won’t be seen as the expert in your field, and you won’t receive recommendations. The more active you are, the more your name (and photo) will come up in Network Updates and the more people will see you contributing in various ways.  Don’t know how to contribute? See point 3.

2. Join groups that you are interested in and contribute to the online discussions. Ask questions. Participate. The more you are involved, the more credible you will become. Eventually you will become the acknowledged expert in your field. And from what I read, I understand the money will follow. (I’m new at this too, remember.)

3. There are various ways to contribute and givers always gain (as every BNI member knows). You can add a post to the Reading List (especially if the book is relevant to your business or of interest to others). You can write a blog (I use WordPress because it’s easy to link to LinkedIn but there are plenty of other free blog sites). You can recommend people in your network (the giver’s gain principle in action here). You can advertise upcoming events (preferably business related, this isn’t Facebook after all). You can add a tweet on Twitter which will come up on your LinkedIn page. If you’re super-techie you could add a video, podcast or RSS feed (although I haven’t figured out how yet, first things first). In fact, you’re only limited by your imagination and, most probably, your available time. Because there’s no question that to be an effective online social networker you need to work at it every day. Wait a minute, didn’t I say that already? Yup, I did. So I’ve come full circle. And that is a pretty good analogy of LinkedIn – circles within circles.

Want a reading recommendation on the subject? Try Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk (published in NZ by Harper Collins). He’s such a master at this that his tactics are discussed in other books on the subject. You won’t go far wrong if you follow his advice. And in his case, the money has followed. Masses of it.

So, go to it and have some fun. If you think I can be of any help in getting going, just ask. If I can, I will; if I can’t I’ll try to find someone else who can.

Hoping to see lots of activity from you all.

Best

Lynnaire Johnston, Word Wizard

lynnaire@wordwizard.co.nz

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/wordwizardnz

March 18, 2010

How to get noticed using your email signature

Filed under: Uncategorized — wordwizardnz @ 3:05 am

Are you using your email signature to best advantage? Thankfully the days are largely gone when people only put their name (both of them if you were lucky!) at the end of their email. This made it really difficult to contact them if you were in a hurry.

Today, the very minimum required is your full name and company name (and possibly even physical and postal addresses) but savvy online marketers are also adding their other online accounts. These can include, but are not limited to, your website and Skype addresses, and hyperlinks to your Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts (or any others you have).

The object of being online today is connectivity and people need to be able to find you in a number of different places. Some people also include their photo which can be a good idea, if the camera likes you. (Unfortunately I’m not 21 anymore so I don’t do that!)

Have a look at your own signature and check to see if you’re making life easier or harder for those you’re sending emails to. You never know where your next bit of business will come from.

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