Grow Tomatoes At Home

Growing your own food can be very satisfying. article, wikimedia article, wikimedia photo

Among other things, it supplies a sense of freedom, creativity, closeness to the earth and the healthy building blocks for a tasty meal.

Some might be a little intimidated by the thought but with some experienced guidance it can be done.

A fantastic fruit source scientifically speaking or vegetable given how you look at are tomatoes. article, wikimedia article, wikimedia photo

Would you like to grow some on your patio?

Here is an article from a guest writer as to how you can do that.

Growing Container Tomatoes On Patios The Espalier Way
 by: Kaye Dennan

“There isn’t enough room to grow tomatoes”, you might reply, but if you want to grow tomatoes in a small courtyard or on a patio there is a way to do it. What I am referring to is the growing method, espalier. This system grows plants up a trellis or support system by spreading the branches up and along it. In a courtyard a trellis is placed against the wall and the container tomato plant grown up it.

Why grow espalier tomatoes?

There are several reasons why growing espalier tomatoes in courtyards or on patios is desirable and primarily because they can be grown by taking up only a small amount of space that is available. Another benefit of growing this way is that by spreading the branches out the fruit receives maximum sunlight. The warmth from the wall also speeds up the ripening time of the fruit.

The espalier system also makes tending the tomato plant easier as all the branches are accessible and therefore control of pests and diseases is easier. As the branches are spread out and the leaves get a better chance to dry, there is less chance of blight and other diseases taking a hold on the plant.

Prepare for growing the container tomato

The job is to decide on a nice sunny position. Healthy tomato plants need 6 to 8 hours sunlight. Once the location is decided then the next steps can take place:

1. Decide on the trellis style, locate and attach it to the wall

2. Have a pot that is a minimum of 12 inches (preferably 18 inches) across at the top or even bigger

3. Cover the holes on the bottom of the pot with fine mesh and fill the bottom 3 inches with small rocks to help with drainage

4. Prepare the soil so that it is the right mix for tomato plants and it will probably need 8-8-8 fertilizer, organic compost and check for other nutrients as well

5. Plant the tomato seedling in the pot up to the top 4 to 6 leaves (yes, that is right as the stem will grow roots and be a strong plant to support the weight of the tomato tree)

6. As the plant grows spread the branches out to the left and right (although they can be taken one way if the pot has been placed at the end of the trellis) and tie to the trellis. Use 2 inch strips of nylon stocking or rag to secure the plant as they do not cut through the soft stems of the tomato plant.

7. Prune unnecessary branches coming from the V-joints so that the branches that you kept have room to grow.

All other requirements of growing a strong tomato plant apply to one growing in a container, whether espaliered or not. It will need fertilizer, and organic compost. One step not to miss that is very important is to water the plant every day, preferably early morning. So when you have got this all set up, sit back and enjoy the growing process and most of all those delicious tomatoes at the end of the growing season.

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Sources:, Wikipedia,, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.

Be Truthful To Yourself

Telling the truth all of the time seems to be impossible for most. Telling yourself the truth about issues you don’t want to address is even harder. article, Wikimedia photo

It’s called denial and it can have severe consequences.

Why should we tell ourselves the truth? We love to procure varied opinions so let’s do that now from a guest writer.

Tell Yourself the Truth – by: Susan Russo

“Three things cannot be long hidden; the sun, the moon, and the truth.” -Buddha

Think of all of the excuses you’ve heard people tell themselves to avoid facing reality. People don’t exercise because they don’t have the time. They drink because they’re stressed. Children are neglected because the parents are too busy to take 5 minutes out of their days to give to them. And abused women win the prize for making up every excuse in the book about why they stay in abusive relationships.

When we deny what we truly want, i.e. a thinner body, a better relationship with whomever, a better job, less stress in our lives and eliminating or limiting negative habits we ultimately pay the penalty of not living a happier more balanced life.

article fciwomenswrestling

The outcome: our bodies aren’t the way we want, our health suffers, our relationships are not what they could be, our financial situations are a struggle, etc. all because we can’t face reality and tell ourselves the truth.

If you really want to get out of debt, be less stressed, lose weight, if you want to stop smoking, stop fighting, be a more “present” parent or a better person in whatever area you feel needs the help, until you quit making excuses as to why you can’t; you will continue to have what you’ve got.

Admitting that there is an issue or a problem is always the first step in changing anything. Facing reality and getting real with yourself will allow you to have a new perspective on how all of your excuses are keeping you stuck. And sadly, we all make excuses about the things we most need to address.

But, unless you are willing to be totally honest with yourself you won’t change a thing.

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth…..Marcus Aurelius

Wouldn’t you love to live the life you’ve always wanted? If you begin to tell yourself the truth you will finally be able to do something about it. You can now decide whether or not you like your life the way it is or if you are going to choose a different course. article - Wikimedia Photo

Look, we all have crutches that make it easier to get through life. But, it’s when these crutches begin to actually cripple us that we stay stuck in what can turn into miserable situations. And the longer we stay stuck the harder it is to change.

Don’t make your excuses start to become your reality. You’ve told yourself these lies for so long that you actually start to believe them. The real reality is we can live any way we want without the excuses.

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.……Mark Twain

Life without the excuses: I’m fat because I don’t exercise and I eat what I want. I’m stressed because I let life and all of its complications upset me. I don’t spend enough time nurturing my children because I simply don’t feel like it. I am in debt because I’m wasteful and don’t cut back in the many ways that I can. I drink because I like it regardless of how it makes me feel. I stay in abusive relationships because I don’t know my self-worth or value myself and the list goes on and on.

If you really want to lose weight make the time to work out. If you’re stressed, learn stress management or meditate. If you are struggling financially; create a budget and adhere to it. If you don’t spend enough time with your children, find 5 minutes and give them your undivided attention. If you are in an abusive relationship, stop telling yourself its okay if someone treats you badly.

It’s up to you to either live your life allowing the excuses to make what you do (which you know you shouldn’t) bearable. Or, tell yourself the truth and know that the truth can set you free!

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A view of her site shares that Susan Russo is fast becoming known as the mentor who can transform your life. She is the President and founder of Pinnacle Thought Inc., a company committed to providing inspiration, self-empowerment and the tools and strategies to people around the world that are interested in taking their life to the next level.

She is also the author of There Is Life After What’s-His-Name and The 7 Keys to Unlock the Power Within You She is also co-author of Success and Happiness-16 Experts Reveal Their Secrets. Susan has touched thousands of people through her work and has the ability to turn negative circumstances into life changing opportunities!

Susan is a woman who truly understands the hardship of how to get over a broken heart because she has lived through all of the emotions, pain, and question that come from the aftermath of a breakup or divorce. Knowing that she wasn’t the only person who has struggled with this pain, Susan found the solution that allowed people to move beyond the pain sooner rather than later. She writes about what she discovered in her book so that she can make a difference in the lives of others and help them navigate their way through ending a relationship.

She has lived the principles in her books and is now focused on communicating them to others through her writing, teaching, and coaching.

Susan Russo is an author and coach whose work has inspired people from all over the world to take back their power! Would you like to empower yourself to do the same? Discover Susan’s 7 Keys to unlock your power by picking up your FREE report at:

Sources:, Wikipedia,, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.



BofA Female Friendly

Bank of America continues to look for ways to empower women and advance leadership roles.

If you have been in the work force for years at the present time are you prospering or struggling financially? It may come as a surprise but much of your happiness or satisfaction with your present economic station depends upon whether you had good mentors to guide you in the early stages of your financial development.

A mentor is a wise, trusted and experienced teacher that provides effective guidance. For a mentor to truly be effective, they must possess all three of those key characteristics. article - Wikimedia photo

In terms of social responsibility, one of the goals of Bank of America is a continued commitment to advancing women leaders and for those of you women reading this article in our competitive wrestling community, that could mean you.

So that Female Competition International (FCI) communicates their ideas as accurately as possible, we have visited their websites at and

One of their goals is explained very simply and clearly. “Through strategic partnerships, investments, and programs, we’re connecting women to the human, social, and financial capital resources they need to maximize their potential. Our efforts are empowering women to enrich their lives, as well as those of their families and communities, and helping create stronger economies worldwide.”

By investing in and empowering women inside and outside the company, Bank of America is creating strong leaders who are contributing to the growth of local economies.

wikimedia photo article

“Our signature initiative, the Global Ambassadors Program, developed in conjunction with Vital Voices Global Partnership and launched in 2012, connects women leaders from emerging countries with senior executives from a range of business sectors, including Bank of America, for one-on-one mentoring,” says Candace Browning, head of Global Research at BofA Merrill Lynch. The program helps women overcome personal, business, civic and other barriers to economic empowerment. “Through mentoring forums held in Haiti, South Africa, India, Singapore, and Brazil, we’ve convened hundreds of women to discuss how women’s leadership can help address economic issues facing their countries,” Browning adds.

“These efforts expand upon our numerous programs aimed at connecting women — both our women clients and women within Bank of America to the tools needed for economic success,” Browning notes.

These include:

  • Philanthropic investments and leadership development programs.
  • Socially Innovative Investing, which includes the recently launched (proprietary) investment strategies for clients focused on women’s and girls’ equality.
  • The Women and Wealth program, which is focused on delivering solutions that meet the unique wealth management needs of women.
  • Socially responsible private equity investments for clients, focused on women business owners.
  • The bank’s Supplier Diversity and Development Program, which ensures that the bank seeks products and services from diverse businesses across the organization, including women-owned businesses.
  • Line of business councils, engagement forums, and an enterprise group focused on women’s professional development: Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Development (LEAD) for Women, provide women at the company with leadership opportunities and skills development.

For more information, go to Bank of America’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) website or U.S. Trust’s women’s website.

An example to follow can be gleaned from the December 10, 2012 article by Julie Fasone Holder written for the Huffington Post.

According to Ms. Holder at her site, she is the CEO and Founder of JFH Insights, Management Advising and a Board Member of Directors at Eastman Chemical Co.

In the article she explains, “In my position as founder and principle of my consulting firm, JFH Insights, and previously as Senior Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Corporate Reputation at the Dow Chemical Company, I understand firsthand the sacrifices women must often make to accomplish what we set out to do.

However, what stands at the center of ensuring that more women reach the highest echelons of leadership in the workplace is one simple act: mentorship. Having strong leaders who helped guide and shape my career has been integral in getting me to where I am today, and it made me realize early on that women can and should strive for the top. While at Dow, I was a founder of the Women’s Innovation Network (WIN), a group of men and women focused on maximizing the professional contributions women make at the company. As a successful business leader, I consider it a top priority and responsibility to mentor the next generation of female leaders.”

Bank of America’s Global Ambassadors Program is founded on the importance and effectiveness of mentorship for businesswomen in the developing world. Approximately one billion women have the potential to enter the global workforce in the next decade, but only if given the opportunity to do so. article

Bank of America is committed to mentoring emerging women business leaders because mentoring has been proven to produce significant results for both the mentor and the mentee. Businesswomen often face exclusion from networks and conversations that can open the door to career development and promotions. By connecting regularly with women in leadership positions, emerging women leaders can further their careers and contribute to their local communities and economies.

Finally a perfect example of this plan in motion can be seen here. According to The World Bank, more than 70 million women have joined the workforce in Latin America and the Caribbean region in the last 20 years, and female income has helped alleviate extreme poverty in the region by 30 percent, demonstrating that gender equality is crucial to economic growth. However, there is still substantial room for improvement.

At FCI our hope is to continue to provide our readers in the international female wrestling community with ideas from corporations and female leaders around the globe on avenues that can improve their economic development.

The great benefit of becoming involved in mentor programs is that you don’t have to re-invent the wheel and it allows you to have an ear to helpful conversations and broad ideas that can improve your economic life that previously may have been closed to women.

If FCI is successful, the fully competitive women’s wrestling industry, primarily the freestyle and submission wrestling world is undergoing a cultural shift where all dignified women’s wrestling will co-operate and partner with one another to create an ideal market for corporations to advertise to.

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Sources:,,,,, photos thank you BofA and Wikimedia Commons.