Skip to comments.Weekly Roundup - Living On Nothing Edition [Survival Today - an On going Thread #3]
Posted on 07/24/2009 3:37:21 AM PDT by nw_arizona_granny
Weekly Roundup - Living On Nothing Edition Category: Roundups | Comments(15)
Did you hear about the guy that lives on nothing? No seriously, he lives on zero dollars a day. Meet Daniel Suelo, who lives in a cave outside Moab, Utah. Suelo has no mortgage, no car payment, no debt of any kind. He also has no home, no car, no television, and absolutely no creature comforts. But he does have a lot of creatures, as in the mice and bugs that scurry about the cave floor hes called home for the last three years.
To us, Suelo probably sounds a little extreme. Actually, he probably sounds very extreme. After all, I suspect most of you reading this are doing so under the protection of some sort of man-made shelter, and with some amount of money on your person, and probably a few needs for money, too. And who doesnt need money unless they have completely unplugged from the grid? Still, its an amusing story about a guy who rejects all forms of consumerism as we know it.
The Frugal Roundup
How to Brew Your Own Beer and Maybe Save Some Money. A fantastic introduction to home brewing, something Ive never done myself, but always been interested in trying. (@Generation X Finance)
Contentment: A Great Financial Principle. If I had to name one required emotion for living a frugal lifestyle it would be contentment. Once you are content with your belongings and your lot in life you can ignore forces attempting to separate you from your money. (@Personal Finance by the Book)
Use Energy Star Appliances to Save On Utility Costs. I enjoyed this post because it included actual numbers, and actual total savings, from someone who upgraded to new, energy star appliances. (@The Digerati Life)
Over-Saving for Retirement? Is it possible to over-save for retirement? Yes, I think so. At some point I like the idea of putting some money aside in taxable investments outside of retirement funds, to be accessed prior to traditional retirement age. (@The Simple Dollar)
40 Things to Teach My Kids Before They Leave Home. A great list of both practical and philosophical lessons to teach your kids before they reach the age where they know everything. I think that now happens around 13 years-old. (@My Supercharged Life)
Index Fund Investing Overview. If you are looking for a place to invest with high diversification and relatively low fees (for broader index funds with low turnover), index funds are a great place to start. (@Money Smart Life)
5 Reasons To Line Dry Your Laundry. My wife and I may soon be installing a clothesline in our backyard. In many neighborhoods they are frowned upon - one of the reasons I dont like living in a neighborhood. I digress. One of our neighbors recently put up a clothesline, and we might just follow his lead. (@Simple Mom)
A Few Others I Enjoyed
* 4 Quick Tips for Getting Out of a Rut * Young and Cash Rich * Embracing Simple Style * First Trading Experience With OptionsHouse * The Exponential Power of Delayed Consumption * How Much Emergency Fund is Enough? * 50 Questions that Will Free Your Mind * Save Money On Car Insurance
Recipe: Crusty Italian Bread
Posted by: “Rina”
* Exported from MasterCook *
Crusty Italian Bread
Recipe By :
Serving Size : 12 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Bread Bread - White
Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
———— —————— ————————————————
1 1/4 cups warm water
3 and 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour — plus extra
for the counter (I use all purpose)
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 Cup 1/2 Cup Cornmeal — or semolina
Use dough cycle on your machine
Adjust dough ball as necessary, Add a little more flour if the dough is wet
or a little more water if it is dry.
or Food processor directions:
Combine the flour with the yeast and sea salt in a powerful 11-cup food
processor. Blend for 5 seconds. Slowly add 1 and 1/4 cups of warm (110
degree) water through the feed tube while the processor is running; the
dough should come together, forming a somewhat sticky, smooth ball. Add a
little more flour if the dough is wet or a little more water if it is dry.
Once the dough forms a ball around the blade of the food processor, process
for 45 seconds. Turn the dough out onto the counter, shape into a ball, and
transfer to a floured bowl; sprinkle it with a little flour and turn it to
coat with the flour on all sides. Cover and let rise at room temperature for
2 hours, or until the dough doubles in bulk. (Or let the dough rise in the
refrigerator for up to 24 hours, remembering to bring it to room temperature
before shaping it and letting it rise a second time.)
Plop the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Cut it into 3 pieces and
shape each into a ball, don’t press out all the air bubbles (leaving air
bubbles ensures larger air holes when the bread is baked). Cover with a
towel and let rest for about 15 minutes. Heat your oven with a baking stone
in it to 475 degrees. (If you don’t have a stone you can use cookie sheets)
Shape balls into logs, by first flattening into a rectangles 4” x 5”, then
fold one side towards you and pinch (seal) the seam, turn the rectangle 180º
and repeat, fold toward you and seal then fold the log in half and pinch
edges together and roll it into about 14” log tapering the ends.
Cover with a towel and let Logs rise for about 30 minutes.
Slash with a razor blade and dust with flour. Use a peel or an upside down
cookie sheet that has been dusted with corn meal or semolina to move them
onto the baking stone. Lower the oven temperature to 450º and bake for 25
minutes, or until the bread is brown and crispy. You can mist with water a
couple of times during the first 10 minutes, but work quickly or your oven
will loose too much heat.
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“3, 12” Loaves”
Tartar Sauce Darling for Fish and Shellfish
Posted by: “Lynnda”
Tartar Sauce Darling for Fish and Shellfish
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 t. dried parsley flakes
1 green onion, tops included
2 T. fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
3 T. sweet relish
Blend first 6 ingredients in blender container. Add relish and blend for about 5 seconds. Relish should not get too smooth. Place mixture in a jar, cover and refrigerate. Serve with fried fish or shellfish. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
Source: Renny Darling
Notes from the cookbook: Some time ago, someone wrote...Americans love to eat fish with an abomination called Tartar sauce. And for a moment, I felt awful because I truly enjoy tartar sauce with Batter fried shrimp. However, I feel that it’s up to you to decide whether tartar sauce is your pleasure or not. If it is, I hope you enjoy my simple little sauce.
2a. Pink Mayonnaise for Fish and Shellfish
Posted by: “Lynnda”
Pink Mayonnaise for Fish and Shellfish
1/2 cup cream whipped
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup chopped chives
2 T. chopped parsley
1 1/2 T. lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
IN mixer, whip cream until stiff. Add remaining ingredients and on low speed, beat until blended. Place dressing in a jar, cover and refrigerate. Serve with cold fish or shellfish. Makes about 2 cups.
Source: Renny Darling
3. Green Goddess Dressing Darling
Posted by: “Lynnda”
Green Goddess Darling
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup cream
1 t. garlic powder
1/4 bunch parsley, remove stems, use only the leaves
3 green onions, medium sized, use the whole onion
1/4 t. MSG or Accent
Salt to taste
Mix all ingredients in blender container and blend at high speed until mixture is smooth. Pour dressing into glass jar, cover and refrigerator. Makes 1 1/2 cups.
Note: Dressing will keep for a week in the refrigerator. This salad dressing is also exceptionally good as a dip for a cold vegetable platter.
Source: Renny Darling
4. Tomato Chili Cheese Quiche
Posted by: “Lynnda”
Tomato Chili Cheese Quiche
2 frozen pie shells (9 inch. Buy the shallow shells, not the deep dish variety)
1 can diced chile, 4 oz
3/4 pound jack cheese, grated
1 tomato sliced very very thin
1 1/2 cups half and half cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Bake frozen pie shells at 400 for 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Divide chili, cheese and tomato slices between the 2 baked shells. Beat eggs with cream for about 2 minutes. Add Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and mix well. Divide mixture evenly between the 2 pie shells. Bake at 350 for about 40 to 45 minute so until custard is set. Each pie serves 4
Note: I do not recommend freezing this quiche. It can be reheated but it is best served freshly baked.
Source: Renny Darling
5. French Bread with Garlic and Parmesan
Posted by: “Lynnda”
French Bread with Garlic and Parmesan
1 French bread, cut into 3/4 inch slices
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 cloves minced garlic
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Place cut slices of bread on cookie sheet. Mix mayonnaise, garlic and grated cheese and mix until blended. Spread paste on rounds of French bread. Sprinkle tops with paprika. Heat in 350 oven until heated through. Broil for a few seconds to lightly brown. Serve with soup or salad.
Source: Renny Darling
6. Chocolate Chip Toffee Scones
Posted by: “ny14467”
Chocolate Chip Toffee Scones
3 1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar - plus additional
1 T. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. walnuts, toasted, chopped
1/2 c. chocolate-covered English toffee bits (or Skor bits)
2 c. chilled whipping cream
2 T. (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly butter 2 heavy large baking sheets. Combine flour, 1/2 c. sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Stir in chocolate chips, nuts and toffee bits. Beat cream in another large bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream gently into dry ingredients. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead gently until soft dough forms, about 2 minutes. Form dough into ball; pat out to form 1 1/4” round. Cut dough into 12 wedges.
Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheets, spacing apart. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with additional sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.
7a. Camp Out Chili Dogs
Posted by: “ny14467”
Camp Out Chili Dogs
1 pound hot dogs
1 large onion — finely chopped or 3 tablespoons dried minced onion
2 15-oz cans chili with beans
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 pound cheddar cheese, cubed or grated
hot dog rolls
Combine all ingredients except cheese and rolls in Crock-Pot. Stir well. Cover and cook on Low for 5 to 10 hours or on High for 2 to 3 hours.
Add cheese just before serving and allow to melt slightly.
Serve each hot dog in a roll and spoon sauce over top.
8a. Chocolate Chip Cinnabars
Posted by: “ny14467”
Chocolate Chip Cinnabars
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
1/3 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350. Grease 8 or 9 inch square pan.
In large bowl beat sugar and butter or margarine until light and fluffy. Add honey and vanilla; blend well. Add eggs, flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder; mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake at 350* for 25-35 minutes. Cut into bars.
9a. Cheesy Spanish Rice Chicken Quesadillas
Posted by: “ny14467”
Cheesy Spanish Rice Chicken Quesadillas
6 chicken tenderloins, frozen, boneless, skinless
1 3/4 cups water
1 box any brand spanish rice
6 flour tortillas (8-inch)
1/4 cup ripe olives — sliced
1 1/4 cups Mexican-style cheese — shredded
3/4 cup salsa
1/3 cup sour cream
Heat oven to 450 F.
Cut frozen tenderloins into 1-inch pieces.
In large skillet, combine water, rice and contents of seasoning packet; add chicken. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes.
Spray both sides of tortillas with nonstick cooking spray. Place 3 tortillas on a large baking sheet. Top each tortilla with 1/3 of cooked rice mixture, olives and 1/3 cup cheese. Top with remaining tortillas; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
Bake 5 to 7 minutes, or until light brown. To serve, cut into wedges. Top with salsa and sour cream.
10a. Barbecued Spareribs
Posted by: “Lynnda”
2 lbs. spareribs
1 T. vinegar
4 T. soy sauce
3 T. sugar
1/4 t. Accent
1 slice ginger
1 clove garlic
1 small onion, chopped
1 bottle catsup
3 cups sugar
1/3 cup salt
6 medium cloves garlic, chopped fine
1/2 cup salad oil
Soak ribs in sauce for over 1 hour. Broil in oven or barbecue on grill until done. For the sauce, mix ingredients. Marinate ribs for 2 to 3 hours. Broil in oven or on grill, or bake in 350 oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
11. Balsamic Strawberries
Posted by: “Lynnda”
1 pound fresh Louisiana strawberries
1/4 to 1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 1/2 t. good quality balsamic vinegar per person
Pepper to taste
Fresh mint leaves for garnish
Cut strawberries into halves or quarters, depending on the size. Place strawberries in a bowl. Fold in sugar. Add desired amount of balsamic vinegar and pepper to taste and stir gently. Chill, covered, for 4 hours. Serve over vanilla or strawberry ice cream, angel food cake of sour cream pound cake. Garnish with mint leaves. Makes a variable amount.
source: Roux To Do
12a. Baked Round Steak
Posted by: “Lynnda”
Baked Round Steak
1 or 2 lbs. round steak
1 large onion, cut up
a little salt
1 can mushrooms
a little pepper
Cut steak for serving. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roll in flour. Brown in pan on both sides. Place in oven and put onions and mushrooms on steak. Add 3 cups water and cook slowly for 2 hours. If not enough water for gravy, add a little.
13. Saute of Pork Hongrose
Posted by: “Lynnda”
Sauté of Pork Hongrose
1 1/4 lbs. pork fillets, diagonally cut in 1/2 inch slices
2 T. clarified butter OR 2 T. vegetable oil with 1 T. butter
2 shallots, chopped
1 T. paprika
1 T. flour
1/4 cup plus 1 T. sherry
1/2 cup beef broth or consommé
2 oz. fresh whole mushrooms
1/4 cup half and half
In skillet, briefly sauté pork in small batches in butter, turning until no longer pink on both sides. Remove and set aside. Cook shallots with paprika in skillet for 2 to 5 minutes. Stir in flour land add sherry and broth or consommé. Add pork to sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in cream, check seasonings and reheat. Serves 2 to 3
Source: I’ll Cook When Pigs Fly
14a. Tooter’s Taco Casserole
Posted by: “Lynnda”
Tooter’s Taco Casserole
1 1/2 cups dry potato flakes
2/3 cup water
1 carton sour cream, 8 oz
Mix all crust ingredients and press into buttered 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake in preheated 350 oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
2 pounds ground beef
2 envelopes taco seasoning mix
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (6 oz)
Brown beef in skillet on medium heat. Drain fat. Stir in seasoning mix and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spread filling mixture over baked crust and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake for 5 more minutes at 350.
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
1 cup chopped tomato
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped black olives
2 cups slightly crushed nacho cheese flavored tortilla chips
Taco sauce, optional
Sour cream, optional
Top casserole with topping ingredients, arranged in layers or serve on the side for individual tastes. Cut into squares to serve. Serves 6
Source My Old Recipes and Cooking with the Warriors
15. Spanish (Tortilla)-—w/ Veggies, Eggs, & Meat
Posted by: “RUSSIE-—— >^..^<”
1 tbs oil
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled, diced
1 large onion, chopped
1 large cubanelle pepper, chopped
4 oz ham, chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano or Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
8 large eggs
(Heat oven to 350 degrees). Heat oil in a skillet. Add potatoes and onion, saute 5 min. or until potatoes are tender.
*Add peppers, ham, oregano, salt and pepper, cook 3 min. or until peppers are tender. Whisk eggs in a bowl. Pour into skillet.
*(Bake 20 min.) or until center is set. Let stand 2 min. Run spatula around edge of skillet and under tortilla. Place serving platter over skillet and invert. Serve with salsa and green salad.
MAKES 4 SERVINGS OF TORTILLA...
16. Sweet ‘n’ Sour (Cabbage) Saute-—w/ Fruit
Posted by: “RUSSIE-—— >^..^<”
SWEET ‘N’ SOUR CABBAGE SAUTE
1 tbs oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 head cabbage, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tbs sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 nectarines or peaches, pitted, chopped
Heat oil in a (skillet). Add onion, saute 5 min. or until transparent. Add cabbage, (saute 3 min.) more or until tender.
*Remove from heat, stir in vinegar, sugar, salt and nectarines, then serve.
MAKES 6 SERVINGS OF CABBAGE...
17. Heat up the Grill Fast-—(TIP)
Posted by: “RUSSIE-—— >^..^<”
HEAT UP THE GRILL FAST
The grill isn’t heating up quickly enough. The solution: Place a double layer of foil over the grates. By trapping the heat that’s rising up from the coals, the foil will cause the grates to get screaming hot in a matter of minutes...
18. Strawberry Yogurt Swirl (Pops)-—w/ Lemon
Posted by: “RUSSIE-—— >^..^<”
STRAWBERRY YOGURT SWIRL POPS
1 pound strawberries, hulled
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
2 cups vanilla yogurt
2 large plastic squeeze bottles
10 pop molds
Place strawberries, 1/3 cup sugar and lemon juice (in blender), puree 3 min. Pour into a large plastic squeeze bottle and screw on bottle top.
*In a bowl, stir remaining sugar into yogurt until sugar is dissolved. Pour into the second squeeze bottle and screw on bottle top.
*Fill each pop mold with strawberry and yogurt mixtures, alternately squeezing or spooning the mixtures into each mold to create a swirled pattern. Place tops on molds, insert wooden sticks. (Freeze 6 hours) or until solidly frozen.
*Remove molds from freezer. Soften slightly at room temp 5 min. (or dip molds in warm water a few seconds). Remove pops from molds. Serve immediately or wrap pops separately in plastic wrap, then store in freezer bag or container.
MAKES 10 SERVINGS OF POPS...
19. Spiced Rubbed Roast (Pork)-—w/ Garlic
Posted by: “RUSSIE-—— >^..^<”
SPICE RUBBED ROAST PORK
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp each chili powder and paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 pounds boneless center cut pork loin
(Heat oven to 375 degrees). Mix sugar and the spices in a bowl. Rub mixture all over pork. Place in roasting pan.
*(Roast 50 min.) or until thermometer reads 150 degrees. Remove from oven and let rest 15 min. before carving to serve.
MAKES 6 SERVINGS OF PORK...
20. Tomato Herb (Focaccia)-—Like a Pizza
Posted by: “RUSSIE-—— >^..^<”
2 tbs olive oil
1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes
Sea salt flakes or coarse salt
Brush a 9x13” pan with 1 tbs oil. Roll dough into an 8x12” rectangle. Place in pan, loosely cover and (let rise 1 hour).
*With your knuckles, make deep dents all over dough and press into corners of pan. Top with tomatoes, rosemary and salt. Drizzle with 1 tbs oil and (bake at 375 degrees) 25 min. or until golden, then serve.
MAKES 6 SERVINGS OF FOCACCIA...
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All-Year Blueberry Corn Muffins
1 c Buttermilk
2 lg Eggs
1/4 c Corn oil
1 c Cornmeal
1 c All purpose flour
1/2 c Packed golden brown sugar
1 1/2 ts Baking powder
1/2 ts Baking soda
1/4 ts Salt
1 Box frozen blueberries; unthawed (12-ounce)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 12-cup muffin pan with muffin papers.
Whisk buttermilk, eggs and corn oil together in small bowl. Sift cornmeal,
flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into large bowl. Add
blueberries and toss to coat thoroughly. Add buttermilk mixture and stir
just until dry ingredients are moist.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan. Bake until tester inserted into
center of muffins comes out clean, about 27 minutes. Transfer muffins to rack.
Let stand 15 minutes and serve
10a. Blueberry Baked Native Pudding
Blueberry Baked Native Pudding
1 c Fresh or frozen blueberries
2 c Milk
1/4 c Sugar
1/4 c Stone-ground white cornmeal
1 lg Egg, lightly beaten
1 ts Grated orange peel
1/2 ts Ground ginger
1/4 ts Ground cinnamon
1/2 ts Salt
1/4 c Light molasses
1/4 c Packed brown sugar
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray 1 1/2-quart baking dish with vegetable
oil spray. Pour blueberries into pan and spread them out evenly.
In heavy saucepan, mix milk with sugar. Place over medium-high heat and
stir until milk is simmering; gradually sprinkle in cornmeal and whisk until
In small bowl, whisk egg, orange peel, ginger, cinnamon, salt, molasses and
brown sugar together. Whisk in small amount of cornmeal mixture. Return
whole mixture to saucepan; stir to blend. Pour mixture into prepared baking
dish over berries. Bake in preheated oven 45-55 minutes, or until knife
inserted into center of pudding comes out clean.
To visit your group on the web, go to:
Appears to have articles about on line marketing and at home working:
Hierloom Organics Seeds of Action Community Support Program
Posted by Barbara Peterson under Food Localization, Growing Your Own | Tags: community support, Gardening, heirloom, organic, seeds |
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The Heirloom Organics Seeds of Action! program provides seeds and assistance, free of cost, to non-profit groups and organizations throughout North America, who are using seeds for community service projects.
Here you will see accounts of the various group projects occurring around the country, which Heirloom Organics is supporting. If you have a group you believe qualifies, you can apply to the program on these pages as well.
Heirloom Organics is proud to support school groups, church organizations, community gardening groups, summer camps, Native American groups, community action groups, self-reliance initiatives, open-pollinated group projects and others.
If you are in charge of a group or organization that you believe qualifies for the Seeds of Action! program, follow the link below and fill out the assistance request form and provide the following items:
1. A brief description of your group or program that will use the seeds.
2. A brief description of your garden plan (size, what varieties, how it will be developed)
3. A Picture of your group and/or garden plot (by e-mail)
4. Permission to publish your story.
The Self-Sustainers Herbal Garden
Posted by tempestodimare under Cooking, Food Localization, Growing Your Own, Survival, health | Tags: bee colony collapse disorder, garden, Herbs, medicinal herbs, spring |
By Drina Brooke,
Certified community herbalist and professional musician
Spring has sprung, and the bird is on the wing.
Why thats absurd, the wing is on the bird!
And while the birds, bees and butterflies are winging it over to your garden, perhaps you might enjoy cultivating an herbal garden to sustain yourself, the birds, the bees and the butterflies alike. What a lovely project! Just imagine coming home to those fragrant scents, with butterflies atop the plants and singing birds in the air. Hooray for spring!
Herbs can be so fun just for home crafts projects, like herbal vinegars as holiday gifts, adding beautiful flavors to your favored dishes, making pesto, or for medicinal purposes (herein defined as cleansing and strengthening your body, thus helping it to cope with stress and heal itself. Never substitute herbs for medications without your doctors advice, and never wean yourself from any medication without professional supervision, as this can be dangerous. Note that drug-herb interactions may occur: Check with your doctor or pharmacist, who may also consult this website for interactions: www.herbmed.org. If you want to know more about the efficacy of herbs in comparison with mainstream medications, see the excellent pocket-sized book Pocket Guide to Herbal Medicine by Karin Kraft, MD and Christopher Hobbs, LAc published by Thieme. This book offers full-disclosure comparisons of the efficacy of both modalities, instructs the reader how to administer herbs in methods such as herbal body wraps, baths, steaming and teas, mentions drug-herb interactions, and is excellent ).
home.howstuffworks.com/enlarge-image.htm?term check this out, its gorgeous and very creative
You can plan a formal herb garden with contrasting textures and colors, in elegant European-style geometric shapes with a fountain or waterfall at the center, with garden benches, a meditative gazebo, you name it. Mix herbs with flowers as a border along the entryway to your doorstep, and combine herbs such as rue with garlic and marigold for aphid or other pest control. Or, you can just have a simple herb patch, and the only limit is in your imagination. Even gardening space takes a back seat where container and hanging herbal baskets are concerned. Urban residents might consider using the vertical spaceon poles, trellises, along a well-lit wall, you name it-alongside vertical produce gardening.
Before you begin to cultivate your herb garden, its helpful to know something about the soil conditions. As with almost any garden plant, herbs want soil that drains well, has good organic matter like compost and other materials, and a correct PH balance suited to each plant. To over-fertilize also may mean a loss of essential oils, those fragrant constituents of the herbs which are secreted as anti-microbials and protect the plants from invading bugs, viruses and pests. These essential oils are also what impart the plants unique fragrance and flavors. As if the plant was trying to compensate for the loss of these essential oils, it begins to make too many leaves and become too shrubby, if the soil is over-loaded with too much compost or too many fertilizers. So as they say, too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Its all about balance, isnt it.
Clay soils should be amended with sand for drainage, adding plenty of compost and organic matter for plant food. It may be hard work initially, but to spend a bit of time digging the soil two feet deep, fertilizing and amending it with sand or whatever else may be needed, will be time well-spent. Your plants will thrive and thank you for it later. The deeper the soil is dug, the greater the encouragement of healthy root growth, which seek water and draw in nutrients from the soil. Healthy and long, strong roots mean healthier and more lush plants. Incidentally, healthy plants also tend to be more disease and bug-resistant. Win-win!
If gophers are a problem in your area, these may or may not be attracted to most herbs but to lay down chicken wire, nailed to a board to assure that the gopher cannot get in, then to pile the well-rotted compost-imbued soil on top of the chicken wire, is to seal any wannabe munchers out of the garden area. Let them enjoy their grass and ivy leaves and whatever else you have to offer them: After all, gophers deserve to live and eat too! In fact, their role in nature is to aerate heavy clay soil, so to reject them as pests is only hurting the environment. Give them space, carve out your own, and we all can co-exist in friendly agreement on this planet which will be all the healthier and happier for it. Remember that if gophers are aerating the heavy soil, they are your friends and your helpers, and you can thank them for it!
Before planning your garden, make sure you get your soil tested for heavy metals in a laboratory recommended by your local plant nursery. Contrary to popular belief, mercury can contaminate the soil even in absence of industrial causes, simply because of natural geological processes such as volcanic activity et al. That is why mainstream American herbal companies are really very good, by the way, about testing their herbal batches on a routine basis for heavy metals and other matters of concern. In your own backyard, you should do the same. Consider too that pesticides pollute the ground water, and that the bee colony collapse disorder is most noted where heavy pesticide spraying is practiced. To cultivate an organic herb or produce garden is important to survival at this point, and not just a goody two-shoes ideal.
Here is a site which links many others containing herb growing information, harvesting, planting, starting from seed, crafts projects, cooking, you name it, all with herbs as the focus:
Here is a site with a quick-glance reference chart for herbs: Sun requirements, watering, etc and culinary uses:
Below, I am organizing any herbs I recommend for your herbal garden according to their known and scientifically tested medicinal functions. You can read this entire article or just skim through it by scrolling down and reading the categories (in caps and bold font) of greatest interest to you. Note that the Latin botanical names used here are the medicinal variety of the herb, and that there may be additional varieties of a lesser medicinal value or even toxic ones: Be sure to order the plants by their Latin names. Both Latin words must match in order to be the correct medicinal variety of the herb.
Keep in mind that some herbs are great for tea, but others will need to be tinctured for effectiveness (I will indicate below which herbs must of necessity be tinctured. Anything not specifically noted may be used effectively as tea, but note that this is always weaker than the tincture. The latter will always pack a greater therapeutic punch, so take note). You can learn about tincturing, making your own essential oils, herbal powders, and more from James Greens excellent book, The Herbal Medicine Makers Handbook, A Home Manual.
HERBS FOR DIGESTION:
German Chamomile matricaria recutita contains the constituent bisabolol, which is anti-inflammatory and thereby eases stomach pains, nausea and stomach flu symptoms. May be made into a strong tea and used as a compress on the abdomen, as well as drunk internally, in stomach ache and flu infections. Also may be used for steaming to soothe the lining of the lungs and bronchial tubes in colds, flus, bronchitis and even pneumonia (though additional herbs would be very necessary alongside this, to help clear up the infection. The chamomile would be merely a supportive adjunct, as steam. Drape a towel over your head and over the pot of tea to trap the steam, and inhale but make sure the steam is not hot enough to burn your skin, or it will burn the linings of the nose, lungs and bronchial airways. A tolerably warm steam with chamomile can be quite therapeutic, however and should be repeated several times daily). The cooled tea may be sponged on the body to reduce fevers, and to aid the healing of burns and sunburn (though aloe vera and calendula would be even better for the latter two functions). Chamomile tea rinses will bring blond highlights out of lighter-colored hair (not a hair dye though), can be made as a strong concentrate to add to a relaxing bath, and may be drunk for relaxing stress or winding down for sleep. Combines beautifully with linden flowers as a sleep aid and nervine sedative. May also be used for infant teething and colic. (Roman Chamomile lacks the mildly antimicrobial qualities of the German variety, but is otherwise a very similar plant). CAUTION: Occasional individuals may be allergic to this plant as a member of the aster family, with skin rashes and mouth blisters as allergic response. Parts used: Flowers.
Peppermint mentha peperita is so common that it bears no description. It grows near streams in damp soil, so it will need lots of water. The very cooling tea is extremely refreshing on a hot summers day. It helps to break up digestive gas, thereby easing out flatulence or stomach complaints such as colic, indigestion or stomach flu (alongside the even more-indicated chamomile in the latter case). Pairs very nicely with chamomile for stomach pains, and is safe to use for children. Ethnopharmacist Elizabeth William writes in her Potters Herbal Cyclopaedia that the extract of peppermint was sucessfully used to check histamine secretions in laboratory rats. (Nettles are very popular in histamine and other allergic reactions, so the combination of nettles with peppermint extract might be very effective). Mix the essential oil of peppermint with that of the oregano plant, and you have got a very good anti-microbial useful for earaches and stomach pains alike. Tastes delicious with lemon balm in a hot or iced tea combination. Mint leaves are a nice surprise twist in salads, too and so yummy in many Middle Eastern dishes! Parts used: Leaves.
Ginger Zingiber officinalis is a commonly-used kitchen spice which aids digestive uptake of nutrients and herbal constituents. Therefore, it is often used in combination with other herbs to aid absorption of the formula. Popularly known as an anti-nauseant, the tea is drunk by pregnant women to stave off morning sickness complaints, as well as by all in stomach flus for its anti-nauseant effect, especially if mixed with honey. Ginger helps to break up stomach gas, therefore is nicely paired with mint tea in this capacity (a tasty combination to boot). The fresh and dried root both inhibit gastric acid secretion, making it a useful herb in hyperacidic conditions. The freshly-grated root with hot water to release the constituents, may be wrapped with cheesecloth around arthritic joints. This dilates the capillaries and brings blood flow to the area, thereby stimulating healing and releasing toxic matter, and easing out arthritic pains. (This may be done with powdered mustard or cayenne as well). CAUTION #1: The skin can burn with all of the above spices, so leave on for no more than ten minutes and be sure to remove it as the skin turns a healthy pink, but do not leave it on or the skin can actually blister. Never leave a spice-wrapped patient unattended to be sure no accidental sleep and severe burning occurs. Always follow up a spice wrap or compress with olive oil to soothe the skin. CAUTION #2: Ginger prevents blood platelet aggregation, and thus thins the blood (as do garlic, ginseng and gingko, paired up with ginger as The Four Gs which thin the blood). Do not supplement ginger on a routine basis with blood-thinning medications, and watch for easy bruising if used frequently but when used alone, it probably is not a problem. Part used: Root (not to be confused with wild ginger, a different herb with toxic constituents and which also bears no resemblance or relationship to the spice we are talking about here).
Yarrow achillea milefolium is a beautifully decorative plant which can be dried and used in dried arrangements. It attracts butterflies and is a very good liver remedy. Its bitter flavor stimulates bile production from the liver, thereby aiding the break-down of fats and cholesterols. It may be combined with chamomile as a tea and made into a compress, to be applied to the affected area in stomach aches. Inhibits edema, is diaphoretic (will induce a sweat which helps the body to literally burn out any viruses or bacterial infections), is a natural diuretic, and may be useful in arthritis and hypertension. Part used: Herb.
Dandelion taraxacum officinale What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not been discovered was a quote I once saw on a teabag (source unknown). The root is an important liver remedy, stimulating bile flow to aid the breakdown of fats and cholesterols and other foods, and is a gentle liver cleanser. Very neutral taste. The leaf has a bitter flavor which also stimulates bile, but is diuretic and replaces any potassium excreted through the urine. A plant with its own innate wisdom, eh? The flower and bitter leaves may be eaten in salads (combine with salad greens and apples to cut the bitter taste). The roots are often roasted as a coffee-flavored substitute, though they contain zero caffeine and will not ease out withdrawal symptoms. But supporting the liver with the root makes sense in withdrawal none-the-less. Parts used: Leaf, root, flower.
Milk Thistle sylibum marianum is an extremely important liver herb. It generates the growth of new liver tissue, stimulates bile flow, and has a neutral thermal nature making it suitable for use in over-stimulated or sluggish conditions alike. A very powerful detoxifier. The silymarin constituent has been fed to laboratory rats prior to administering the poison aminita mushroom, and the animals showed 100% protection from the fatal toxin. Humans injected with the silymarin constituent of the herb (which is very different than using the whole herb, much more concentrated as a separate chemical) show greatly reduced fatalities up to 48 hours after accidental eating of the aminita mushroom. It is believed that the protective mechanism arises from the binding of silymarin to cellular receptor sites, thereby blocking the entry of the fatal aminita mushroom toxin. A very effective herb in cancer use as well as a liver herb. Used by nursing mothers to increase milk flow, and virtually non-toxic. There are no drug-herb interactions with milk thistle noted at this time, though studies of herb-drug interactions are ongoing and new interactions are being noted all the time. A recent study indicated that milk thistle enhances the uptake of radiation and chemotherapy in cancer patients (be sure to inform your doctor, as this could change the required medical dosage to avoid toxicity). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17548794 (this Medline summary is from 2007, but the confirmation of the research came in 2008 or 2009). As a tea it has a very neutral flavor, which may be mixed with mint or fruit juice for pleasing taste. Part used: Seeds.
Blackberries the root contains tannins, which contract and firm tissue and squeeze water out. This makes it useful in diarrhea and swollen throat or gum tissues. Part used: Root but the fruits bear no description and are well-loved!
HERBS FOR HEADACHES:
Meadowsweet filipendula ulmaria is a herb which beautifully illustrates the principle of constituents acting together, and why using the whole herb may often be more desirable than extracting isolated constituents. The salycins in the herb are in enough abundance that aspirin was once made out of the herb. Yet, even while the anti-inflammatory aspirin-like compounds are present in this herb, an innate plant wisdom also protects the stomach from bleeding as happens with the mainstream drug: Mucilage, a gel-like component, coats the digestive lining and soothes it so well that meadowsweet not only does not cause digestive bleeding or irritation as aspirin would, but in fact it was specifically used for stomach ulcers. Nature is wise, eh? Useful as anti-inflammatory and stomach remedy. Alongside other salycin-containing herbs such as white willow bark (from which aspirin is currently made) and wintergreen, it makes a good headache remedy. (Another point of natures wisdom: Many headache complaints may be related to digestive stagnation). Tincture for best results. Part used: Herb.
White willow salix alba: The bark contains the glycosides which convert in the body to salycins, the chemical constituent from which aspirin is made. Interestingly enough, the plant almost yields itself for mans harvesting because the bark naturally occurs with channels about 2 cm wide and 2 mm thick. It almost asks to be peeled off and tinctured! (Must be tinctured for best results). Use like aspirin for headaches, muscle and joint pains, and to lower fevers. Most effective when paired up together with other salycin-containing herbs (meadowsweet and wintergreen). Will not hurt the stomach, thanks to the fact that the glycosides in the plant which are synthesized to salycins, are lower in concentration than would be expected considering the glycoside content, thereby protecting the stomach. Part used: Bark.
Wintergreen gaultheria procumbens has a distinctive flavor tasting like a combination of mint, camphor, pepper and who knows what something just very distinctively wintergreen in flavor. Contains salicylic acid, the active chemical in aspirin. A ground cover which remains evergreen, hence its name. Use the leaves in teas or tinctures, apply topically as compress for muscle and joint pain relief, for sprains and neurological pains of any kind. Or tincture together with meadowsweet and white willow for headache relief. The tea will be weaker than the tincture but it may be drunk for mild headache relief. Part used: Leaf.
Feverfew tanacetum parthenium is in the aster family (and a small number of people are allergic to this plant family) and is commonly used for migraine relief, alongside other salycin-containing herbs. Feverfew lacks the salycin constituent but has sesquiterpene lactones which inhibit arachidonic acid (inflammatory acid obtained largely from dietary animal products) and prostaglandin synthesis (hormone-like chemical messengers which can be either inflammatory or anti-inflammatory in nature). It also inhibits serotonin secretion, and serotonin is involved in the causes of migraine, hence its action writes ethnopharmacist Elizabeth Williamson. Also useful in rheumatoid arthritis, to cool down fevers, and as vermifuge (to expel worms). Part used: Leaf (which tastes nauseating, so use it dried in capsules).
HERBS FOR SLEEP AND RELAXATION:
See German Chamomile, above. My favorite relaxing combination: Chamomile, linden, and orange blossom water. Really tasty and effective! Chamomile also mixes beautifully with linden flowers, below.
Linden or Lime Flowers Tilia platyphylla This fast-growing tree grows in Europe, and it is said that one can hear a linden tree from half a mile away, because it sings with so many bees. So this tree is great for sustaining the bees as well as people. The heady aroma from the delicate flowers, which hang down in fine feather-like clusters of creamy color, is strong and lovely yet not sickeningly sweet as some other heady perfumes are. Its leaves are delicately heart-shaped, making this a pretty tree to have around, great for shade on account of its very tall height, yet it yields itself to container gardening too. The flowers contain digestive-soothing mucilage but also is high in flavonoids, which are anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial (used in colds and flu, though I would use it as a background supportive herb and not as the main ingredient for this purpose). Experiments have shown that the extracted watery constituents bind to GABA receptors in the brain, which accounts for the herbs sedative action. Pairs beautifully with chamomile for a soothing good-night drink. The flavor of the flowers is similar to chamomile, with a very subtle orange-like background flavor, only as a hint. This is one of my favorite herbs! Mix linden with chamomile and orange blossom water for flavor (available in Middle Eastern specialty food stores). Not only will the flavor be divine, but the anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory flavonoid content would be boosted by the combination of the orange blossom water and tilia flowers acting together. Yummy! (Orange blossom water itself is also sedative even in agitated conditions, great for helping sleep along). Linden is helpful for indigestion, headaches including migraine, colds and flu, and as soothing nervine. Part used: Flower.
See image here: http://www.naturehills.com/images/ProductImages/linden_american_big.jpg growing info here: http://www.ehow.com/how_2079819_grow-littleleaf-linden-tree.html
Passionflower passiflora incarnata: This climbing vine has a beautiful flower resembling a sunburst, if such a thing could occur in vivid purple with a dark center as is common to this exotic-looking plant. Attracts butterflies which also lay their eggs on the vine. Commonly well-known as herbal sedative, useful for bringing on a relaxing sleep, as tea but especially as tincture. Also has some antispasmodic effects. Excellent nervine for long-term use, as are chamomile and linden above. Parts used: Leaf, whole plant.
Hops or humulus lupulus is used for making beer, but also has superb sedative action. In fact its so good that you have to watch out: Excess long-term use may exacerbate depression. Use in moderation if you are not a depressed individual, and it is excellent for calming down the stressed body and helping to bring on a peaceful sleep. Part used: Strobiles.
Lavender lavendula angustifolia is the richest-known plant source of linalool, which has a calming effect. Make a very strong concentrated tea and add it to your bath for relaxing sleep. Christopher Hobbs LAc and Karin Kraft MD write in their book A Pocket Guide to Herbal Medicine that to raise the body temperature at night with a warm bath, and then to cool down, is to assist the body in falling asleep.
HERBS FOR BLOOD SUGAR BALANCE:
Diabetes is an epidemic in our country, and no wonder. With chemicals lacing our food, Leaky Gut Syndrome (see my article about this) may be an unrecognized epidemic of its own, and can be an underpinning for pancreatic insufficiency. Not to mention the sugar and corn syrup-laced foods in everything from ketchup to icecream to canned foods. To balance blood sugar, I recommend dietary measures, using the herbs below, and also strengthening and detoxifying the liver which screens the blood, breaking down some of the excess blood sugar. The liver also stores and releases metabolized sugar called glycogen. Keeping it clear and strong is one important aid in balancing blood sugar and hormones too, alongside the indicated herbs for balancing the blood sugar, below. Adrenal-supporting herbs are key as well, because the adrenals tell the liver when to release glycogen. To use blood sugar-balancing herbs is, however, the first line of defense alongside diet. Note that the herbs below must never be substituted for diabetic medication, which is required for sustaining life. But the use of herbs and excellent dietary habits, with lots of fiber and chromium in the diet, can at times create favorable conditions in which diabetic patients also can use less of their medication, according to Dr. Linda Rector-Page. However, to reduce ones medication intake must of necessity require a physicians supervision, and must never be attempted alone because of obvious concerns to health. Take your precautions, take your herbs but let your physician watch the laboratory figures very carefully and never, repeat, never reduce any medication on your own. Note that herbs work best in combinations instead of when standing alone: The combination of all the herbs below will be best than using them singly.
Blueberry leaves lower blood sugar! What a fun way to eat your way into health, huh, and feed the birds too while you are at it. Mixed with bananas, the fruit can reduce helicobacter infections which cause ulcers (as backup to other herbs which are much more effective in this situation. I would recommend deglycerinated licorice and marshmallow root among other herbs for ulcers). Another fun way to eat your way into health! Blueberry bushes require acidic soil, are prone to root rot so be sure to mulch them well with evergreen bark for acidity and to protect from excess water. They will eventually grow as tall as six feet tall and about four feet around at the top, but will take a long time to do this, a number of years. Plant a second bush for cross-fertilization, to assure better fruit bearing and be sure to select a self-fertilizing bush if you only plant one. Two will still be better for fruit bearing. Planting two feeds you and the birds too (time for us all to start thinking that way, eh? Sharing is caring, after all). Part used: Leaves (for diabetes).
Fenugreek trigonella foenum-graecum was tested on guinea pigs in a laboratory which were fed glucose syrup in order to produce experimental diabetes, and divided into two groups. Group 1 was fed only the syrup. Group 2 was fed the syrup and fenugreek fiber. Both groups were observed and compared. It was found that the group fed the fenugreek fiber gained much less weight around their abdomen (implicated in blood sugar disorders) and that when eating fenugreek fiber, blood sugar was much lower than with the group fed the glucose syrup. (Sorry as I do not have the exact figures anymore but stay tuned for an update. The figures were quite impressive, however). Used as a kitchen spice. Lowers blood sugar, contra-indicated in hypoglycemia. Grind to a powder and use capsules for best results and use daily. Part used: Seed.
Bitter melon balances blood sugar especially in diabetic situations.
Stevia stevia rebaudiana aids the bodys insulin receptivity mechanism, thereby lowering high blood sugar or raising it when it is low. Countries such as Peru that use stevia show very few diabetes and hypoglycemia rates, according to naturopathic doctor Linda Rector-Page in her Healthy Healing book. This is a naturally sweet herb which bypasses sugar without the carcinogenic, fibromyalgia-linked chemicals in aspartame or nutrasweet. As above it is in fact extremely healthy for the human body. Its licorice-like taste is admittedly an acquired one, but so is the saccharin flavor of its synthetic counterparts. Part used: Leaf. Use as powder (stronger) or tea (weaker).
Vitex Vitex agnus castus watch out! Here comes one of my favorite herbs, because its just gorgeous. This very fast-growing shrub will jump from a five-gallon potted plant to eight feet high in no time flat, usually over one or at most two seasons. It has a fairly wide-spreading umbel, sort of a rounded shape, so plan extra space around it (not a skinny plant). Prune back each year to encourage new wood growth. Tolerates some frost but not snow or heavy frost. The flowers resemble tall and skinny lilacs, with a beautiful silvery-lavender hue. The leaves are shaped much like marijuana foliage except that they lack any serrated edge, so be sure to cue in any curious police to this fact! (The tree-like trunk on this shrub sets it apart from the marijuana plant too, its not even possible to confuse the two plants except for the leaves). The leaves drape very gracefully in a vase, and the fragrance is somewhat peppery-sweet. The berry tea tastes like a cross-over between mint and pepper. This herb talks to the pituitary-hypothalamic axis, which governs (among other things) the release of sex hormones. In so doing, the herb balances female hormones, though there may be a tendency for progesterone levels to rise somewhat. But it does not directly stimulate progesterone, per se and for the most part has actual balancing action on hormones. Useful in menopause transition, for PMS (long-term use can actually cure this disorder), endometriosis (use for one year or longer), and other female complaints, or to clear up male and female acne. Just display those lovely and long-lasting flowers in a vase! Beautiful. Part used: Berry, as tea or tincture
Pictured here in very accurate color: http://www.oranjerievereniging.nl/fotos/Vitex_agnus-castus_1.jpg
This photo shows the alba white-flowered variety and the leaves: http://www.henriettesherbal.com/files/images/photos/v/vi/d05_9049_vitex-agnus-castus-f-alba.jpg
Good vitex gardening and soil condition comments here: http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/herbal/msg0916194527867.html
Master herbalist/botanist Christopher Hobbss detailed and long history of the vitex plant http://www.healthy.net/scr/article.aspx?Id=430
Black Cohosh cimicifuga racimosa is a popular womans herb on account of its relaxing the uterus in menstrual cramps, and in normalizing hormone fluctuations. Useful in menstural cramps, hormone changes like menopause and for easing out emotional distress during this phase. Master herbalist David Hoffmann writes in his book Medical Herbalism that this herb may be used to balance hormones where the ovaries have been removed or hysterectomy has occurred. He also emphasizes that while popularly known as a womans herb, it is very valuable in rheumatic conditions including osteoarthritis and other arthritic conditions. As a relaxant, it is helpful in easing out nerve pains such as in neuralgia and sciatica, writes Hoffmann. Often paired with Vitex for hormone-balancing effect. NOTE: This plant is not to be confused with blue cohosh, also a womans herb but which has just the opposite effect of the black plant. The blue cohosh stimulates uterine contractions and is quite powerful in this regard. Used carefully with a very experienced herbalist-midwife/physician, it may facilitate labor contractions but there is a risk, if over-used, that it can even rupture the uterus because its contracting power is that strong. Used carefully it can be very effective, in highly competent hands. Not for laypersons use. Use the black cohosh instead. Part used: Dried root and rhizome
Pennyroyal mentha pulegium is related to mint, grows near streams and in damp soil, so it will need plenty of water. Use this herb carefully. It will induce a menstrual period and can cause a woman to abort her fetus. Definitely not for use during pregnancy. The pulegone constituent is toxic to the kidneys and liver in not-too-large doses, so completely avoid use of the essential oil and drink this only as a tea to be sure it is mild enough to minimize any toxicity. May be safely drunk only as a tea, to induce a menstrual period and to relieve any abdominal gas. When diluted in water the toxic constituents should be at a fairly low level, and other plant constituents also balance out the pulegone, making it fairly safe for internal use as tea. It is the essential oil product that you want to avoid completely. CAUTION: Avoid use even as tea if liver or kidney disease are present. One ounce of pulegone essential oil can kill. The required amount of pulegone to induce abortion is close to this toxic, lethal-level dose, so it is far from advisable as deaths have been reported when used as abortifacient. Keep the essential oil out of reach of children or any suicidally-inclined people! Do not administer this herb to children. Part used: Dried herb
Castor oil plant ricinus communis The oil will ease out pains from ovarian cysts and endometriosis if applied as a hot compress to the abdomen, with a hot water bottle or electric heating pad to keep the compress warm. Keep the compress on for about an hour. Very effective even in severe pain levels from cysts and other infections. (Note that hormone imbalance and candida albicans infections can cause these symptoms: See your doctor and try using the Vitex Agnus Castus above for hormone balance, along with liver-cleansing teas. The liver breaks down excess hormones in the blood, therefore to cleanse and strengthen it is one keystone in any hormone-balancing therapy). CAUTION: Seeds are highly toxic, do not grow if children are around. Prolonged internal use of the castor oil can be toxic, causing a lack of fluid absorption in the intestine yet excess gastrointestinal secretions at the same time. This creates an imbalance in intestinal fluids and an exessively damp condition. Not healthy. I suggest using aloe vera instead instead of considering castor oil as a laxative. Part used: oil expressed from leaves, seeds.
Red Raspberry Leaves Rubus Idaeus Traditionally used to facilitate uterine contractions during labor. May also aid female fertility if the leaves are drunk daily as a tea or the tincture is used (especially in combination with vitex berries, above). The tannins in the leaves are useful for diarrhea or as gargle for sore throats, will reduce tissue swelling. Part used: Leaves but the fruit are delicious for eating and the birds will be fed by them too! Grow enough for yourself and to feed the birds, and you both will be happy campers.
HERBS FOR COLDS AND FLUS:
Black Elder sambuccus nigra This very valuable tree has multiple purposes. The berries are popularly used for wine-making, but clinical studies have proven the herb to be effective against ten strains of influenza (flu) virus. A 2009 study at the University of Gainesville, Florida proved the efficacy of the extract in blocking the entry of the H1N1 virus from penetrating the human cells, thus blocking the infection. In addition, the berry extract has been proven to strengthen cell membranes, thereby making viral penetration more difficult and enhancing immunity. Also enhances cytokine activity, chemical messengers which alert immune cells to swing into action. The berry is used for colds and flu. The flowers may be used in very modest amounts for steaming along with chamomile for colds and flus, to expel mucus (expectorant) and are diaphoretic (will induce a sweat or fever, thereby helping the body to burn out any bacterial or viral infections). The leaves may be applied topically as a compress for arthritic inflammation and joint pain. CAUTION: The leaves and twigs of the tree contain cyanides which are toxic. Use the leaves externally only, but the flowers and berries are very safe for internal consumption. Tincture would be most effective for cold and flu administration, but routine tea-drinking can be useful too.
Growing info for elder http://www.elderberries.com/elderberry-sambucus-info/elderberry-planting-growing-tips/
Echinacea e. Angustifolia, purpurea or pallida Any of the above varieties are medicinal, but each is slightly different from each other. This herb inhibits the production of hyoluronidase, an enzyme which breaks down hyaluronic acid, the cement which binds cellular material together and which strengthens membranes. As the enzyme breaks this cellular material down, the membranes are weakened, thereby allowing viruses and bacteria to pass through, becoming leaky as it were. Echinacea inhibits the production of this enzyme, thereby maintaining the bodys defenses against colds and flus, writes master herbalist David Hoffmann. The polysaccharides in echinacea signal the immune systems macrophage cells to swing into action. In addition, echinacea is an excellent lymphatic cleanser, indicated when skin eruptions such as boils and rashes appear, when tonsils or throat tissue are swollen, and in female infections. One clinical trial indicated that the immune systems T cells were at first stimulated by echinacea, but then they dropped after ten days, suggesting that the immune system tired out by over-stimulation. This however was using a particular isolated constituent of the herb, and not when using the herb in its entirety with its buffering constituents intact. As a precaution, use safely for ten days and then take a one-week break before starting use again. The purpurea variety has less of the immune-stimulating constituents than the other two plants. May be safely used by children and adults alike. Butterfly-friendly herb. CONTRAINDICATIONS: Auto-immune disease such as lupus, MS and some forms of arthritis, cancer. Parts used: Root
Goldenseal hydrastis canadensis the yellow alkaloid called berberine is the active constituent in this herb, possessing anti-microbial properties, and also soothing to the digestive mucosa or gut lining. Use alongside echinacea for colds, flus and as mild antibiotic. Berberine also has anti-cancer activity, is anti-diarrheal, anti-fungal (Effective against candida albicans infections, especially when paired with other berberine-containing herbs such as coptis), promotes bile and other liver secretions. Extremely bitter taste, use as capsule or tincture alongside echinacea for colds and flu. Parts used: Rhizome.
Grindelia grindelia squarrosa was once used to make asthma medication. Has antibacterial action, relaxes and dilates the bronchial tubes and airways, and is useful in chest colds such as bronchitis. Relaxes the heartbeat and thereby reduces high blood pressure. A sticky, shiny, low-growing orangy-yellow flower in the aster family (the occasional person may be allergic and develop skin rashes or mouth sores). Use in conjunction with bronchial airway-dilating lobelia inflata and coleus forshkolii for asthmatic conditions. Part used: Dried flower and aerial parts. All plants for asthma must of necessity be tinctured or they will not be strong enough.
Sage salvia officinalis contains soothing essential oils that are beneficial to the gums, throat and tonsils. It is very helpful as gargle for sore throats and laryngitis, while taking down tissue swelling in the gums, throat and tonsils alike. (Always spit out the gargled matter, never swallow it because it will contain toxins). Sage leaf tea is used for nursing mothers to decrease the flow of breast milk when weaning their infants. It also will stimulate the uterus so avoid during pregnancy. A strong tea as hair rinse will bring out auburn and brown highlights in the hair. Sage when drunk as a tea will induce a sweat, helping the body to burn out cold and flu infections via fever, the bodys immune defense against infections. (Contra-indicated in high fevers, use aspirin or chamomile sponge baths to reduce a high fever and keep a close watch on the situation, stay in very close touch with your physician. High fevers can produce brain damage so dont kid around. If there are hallucinations, administer aspirin and go to the emergency room). Master herbalist David Hoffmann writes in his Medical Herbalism book that adverse reactions are likely only with overdoses (more than 15 g of sage leaf per dose) or prolonged use of red sage. The toxic constituent of the essential oil, thujone, causes symptoms such as tachycardia, hot flashes, convulsions and dizziness. Again this is only in high doses. The leaf is very tasty when pan-fried in a combination of butter and olive oil, and poured over steamed or stir-fried vegetables such as zucchini. Really yummy. Part used: Leaf.
Roses can be grown not only for their gorgeous flowers, but also for the vitamin C-yielding rosehips. Simply dont deadhead or prune at the end of the season, to allow the hips to grow, then pick and dry. Done! Use for tea or grind into a powder for capsules. A friend of mine used to make rosehip soup with honey, and it was really surprisingly tasty. She would boil up the whole and washed rosehips, then press them through a foodmill with a sieve, to strain out the hairs in the center of the hips. The resulting puree was sweetened with honey and served as a cold soup at the dinner table. Really surprisingly yummy, as said! Rose water syrup is divinely tasty and has a deeply calming effect, making your insides glow as it goes down. Same can be said of rose petal jam. Try candied rose petals on your cakes. The variations are endless, and the experience divine! Enjoy, enjoy. The Rosa Rugosa variety will yield the largest hips (but not the most beautiful bush or flowers), but I do not know which variety has the highest vitamin C content, per se (though my suspicion is with the Rugosa rose). If anybody has any further information about this, please post below! Wed love to hear from you. Note too that Vitamin C supports the adrenal glands, alongside B complex and pantothenic acid (royal bee jelly is a hugely rich source of the latter, but I never favor disturbing the bees).
Note that all below must be tinctured if anti-viral effects are desired!
Osha ligusticum porteri This is an excellent anti-viral and a specific for colds of the chest, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Tincture for best effects, and combine with all of the herbs above. Very attractive, low-growing, fern-like plant. Part used: Root
Olive Leaf olea europea the fruit and olive oil are too well-known to merit any introduction. The leaf extract (must be tinctured) is an exceptionally good natural anti-viral, effective against AIDS and sexually transmitted disease infections (according to naturopathic physician Linda Rector-Page in her Healthy Healing book), colds and flus. Part used: Leaf
St. Johnswort hypericum perforatum is a low-growing plant with yellow flowers boasting a burst of yellow stamens that brush the air with their feathery texture. Very attractive. Traditionally known as an anti-depressant, the flower also has mild anti-viral properties on account of its flavonoid content. Tincture is effective as background supportive herb in cold and flu formulas. The flowers soaked in oil yield strongly anti-inflammatory hypericins, which are excellent topical nervous system anti-inflammatories. The oil should be a rich, earthone red color for active constituent content. To be effective as anti-depressant, the tincture needs to have 0.3% hypericins, and 2-3% hyperforins present, a standardizing process which is difficult for the layperson to do. CAUTION: St Johnswort raises the P450 and CYP3A4 liver enzyme series, and therefore will interact with a long list of pharmaceutical medications, reducing their effectiveness. Occasional cases of light sensitivity and skin rash have been reported with use of the herb, but this is more rare than common. Part used: Flower.
Lemon Balm Melissa Officinalis is much-loved by bees, possibly because of its anti-viral effects (and bees have been shown to have certain amounts of viruses and fungi in their intestines, accounting partially for the bee colony die-off concern, though pesticide use ranks as the number one killer). This herb relieves flatulence and spasming in the digestive tract, is very pleasant-tasting, and offers anti-viral action due to the presence of rosmarinic acid. It inhibits the binding of thyroid hormones to receptor cells, thereby lowering thyroid hormones (although in cases of moderate or severe hyperthyroidism, I would recommend seeing your doctor and taking the medication rather than using the herb. Be very careful as hyperthyroidism can be dangerous, and the herb may not be as strongly effective in this area as other herbs can be in similarly acute situations). A very good nervine, blends nicely with chamomile for a good nights sleep. Allow to flower for the bees sake, but traditionally the flowers are cut back in order to encourage better leaf growth. Part used: Leaf.
ADAPTOGENIC HERBS TO HELP YOUR BODY COPE WITH STRESS:
Ligustrum Ligustrum Lucidum this is a fast-growing tree in the olive family, with characteristically shiny leaves and purplish-black berries born in clusters. The berries are superb adrenal gland tonics, meaning that they strengthen these glands. The adrenals play a role in blood sugar regulation, in balancing male and female sex hormones, regulating heartbeat, play a role in immunity and regulate the bodys response to stress. If you have that Tired and wired feeling, an adrenal gland tonic may be what you need. This plant tonifies the deep qi, meaning that it strengthens the bodys immunity on a deep level without fatiguing or over-stimulating it. Part used: Berries, tinctured.
Eleuthero (Siberian ginseng) eleutherococcus senticosus is an adaptogenic herb, meaning that it balances adrenal hormones and aids your bodys ability to cope with stress. Eleuthero is fairly energizing without being overly stimulating either, but can be mildly stimulating to some people. Master phytotherapist David Hoffmann writes that eleuthero ginseng increases the resistance of the heart to oxygen deprivation, thus aiding angina, hypertension and hypotension alike. May be used to recover from the trauma of surgery and other traumas, or just for adapting to stress and keeping the body even-keeled. CAUTION: Do not use with heart medications or diabetic drugs. Part used: Root.
Holy Basil, Tulsi or ocimum sanctum has excellent adaptogenic effects, strengthening the bodys ability to cope with stress. It imparts a sense of calm and balance, even in some agitated conditions.Helpful to some individuals for getting a good nights sleep. Inhibits the inflammatory COX-2 enzyme and the stress-producing cortisol hormones. See Dr. Andrew Weils review of the plant here: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA346157/holy-basil-to-combat-stress.html and chemistry/scientific details here: http://vitanetonline.com/forums/1/Thread/394
HERBS FOR THE HEART AND MIND:
Ginkgo ginkgo biloba a tall and skinny tree with beautiful, fan-shaped leaves that flutter in the slightest breeze, creating a beautiful texture and imbued with a golden hue in the fall. The extract from the leaves strengthen the red blood cell membrane, thereby assisting transportation of oxygen and nutrients to the brain, and to almost every cell in the body. Clinical trials have shown gingko to reverse some cases of clinical alzheimers disease and to reduce the progression of other cases. Gingko dilates the blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure and increasing circulation. It assists memory, thins the blood (do not take with other blood-thinning medications) and is virtually non-toxic. Combines very well with hawthorn as a heart remedy. Part used: Leaf, tinctured.
Hawthorn crataegus oxycanthoides is a European shrub whose berry is a popular heart strengthener. The tincture strengthens the heart muscle yet renders it more flexible, thus increasing its pumping efficiency. It elasticizes and dilates the veins, and the coronary artery. In so doing it increases the efficiency of blood pumping, adjusting blood pressure up or down. It stabilizes heart arrhythmias by blocking the ACE enzyme and the repolarizing potassium current, writes Elizabeth Williamson in the Potters Herbal Cyclopaedia. Combines very well with gingko as heart remedy.
Motherwort Leonorus Cardiaca the Cardiaca word or course refers to the heart, indicating this herbs specific usefulness in this area. It stabilizes tachycardia, or irregular rapid heartbeat, especially when caused by anxiety. Often paired up with hawthorn in heart formulas. It is also a female herb, bringing on menstrual flow if absent especially from emotional causes, and may generally be used to ease out anxiety. Horribly bitter taste, so be very prepared. Best used in capsules to avoid the taste. CAUTION: May interfere with other cardiovascular treatments. Part used: Aerial parts.
Gotu Kola Centella asiatica, Hydrocotyle asiatica is a brain tonic aiding memory, used in senility alongside ginkgo, and enhances mental clarity and focus (good for students).
HERBS FOR THE BEES:
Linden Tree Flowers, see above attract lots of bees.
Oregano flowers are much loved by the bees, possibly on account of the plants carvacrol constituent, which is anti-viral and anti-fungal. Go figure that recent scientific research has been confirming the presence of viruses and fungi in the bees digestive tracts! (The greatest killers by far, however, are pesticides and truck transportation of beehives for commercial purposes, as well as feeding them sugar syrup). Interestingly enough, though thyme contains carvacrol and the bees like it, they seem to prefer the oregano which has a higher concentration of this constituent. Even urban residents can set out pots of oregano to help sustain the bees. Allow it to go to flower instead of practicing the old tradition of pinching them back, to attract and feed the bees.
Bottlebrush is a favorite of the bees.
Ivy flowers when our 60-year-old ivy hedge is covered with blooms, the hedge sings from across the yard, and is practically a hive full of bees. So many hundreds, maybe thousands of bees are on it. However keep in mind that our ivy hedge frames our large yard and is about ten feet high.
Lavender flowers seem to be a great favorite.
Citrus plants are high in anti-microbial essential oils which would help to kill off infections in the bees systems.
Pelargonium and geranium flowers are also high in anti-microbial essential oils.
HERBS FOR FIRST AID:
For beestings: Be sure the stinger has been removed. If there is an allergic reaction such as anaphylactic shock, get to the nearest emergency room immediately!
Rub garlic or onion on the bite, leave on for as long as tolerated without undue heat or burning sensations on the skin. Plantain leaf can be effective too, crush the leaf to get as much of the juice as possible on the bite.
For head lice and microbial infections: Tea tree oil mixed with shampoo to kill headlice. Mix one or two drops with water to apply to infected cuts and sores.
For infected gums: Grapefruit seed extract or tea tree oil as disinfectant, myrrh (contracts and firms gum tissue), clove oil for pain
Echinacea and goldenseal tincture for cuts and wounds, infections
Aloe vera and/or calendula flowers as tea for burns, sunburn, skin rashes, diaper rash
For sun poisoning: Sponge down with room-temperature chamomile tea (do not use cold to avoid shock), drink electrolyte-replacing drinks such as diluted orange juice with a pinch of salt, and get to the nearest emergency room as soon as possible if faintness, confusion or other symptoms are present. Take aspirin to reduce any fever that does not respond to a cool sponge bath.
Heres a really beautifully-designed formal herb garden, European castle-style just to inspire viewers: http://www.cookingisfun.ie/admin/uploads/herbgarden.jpg
Happy Spring, happy gardening and peace to all! Drina
Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)
* Spring is finally here!
* Down at the bottom of the garden, among the birds and the bees
* Thoughts on Wings
Broccoli and tomatoes enriched with bioactive chemicals
September, 2009 · Leave a Comment
Broccoli and tomatoes enriched with bioactive chemicals
A line of work that I fully agree with.
Feeding Tomato and Broccoli Powders Enriched with Bioactives Improves Bioactivity Markers in Rats
Ann G. Liu, Sonja E. Volker, Elizabeth H. Jeffery and John W. Erdman, Jr.
Division of Nutritional Sciences and Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, 905 South Goodwin Avenue, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801
J. Agric. Food Chem., Article ASAP Publication Date (Web): August 3, 2009
Many studies have evaluated the cancer -preventive potential of individual bioactives from tomatoes and broccoli, but few have examined them within the context of a whole food.
Male Copenhagen rats were fed diets containing 10% standard tomato powder, tomato enriched with lycopene or total carotenoids, standard broccoli floret, broccoli sprouts, or broccoli enriched with indole glucosinolates or selenium for 7 days. All broccoli diets increased the activity of colon quinone reductase (NQO1). Indole glucosinolate-enriched broccoli and selenium-enriched broccoli increased hepatic NQO1 and cytochrome P450 1A activity.
These results demonstrate that the bioactive content of vegetables affects both tissue content of bioactives and activity of detoxification enzymes. Enhancing bioactive content of tomatoes and broccoli may enhance efficacy in the prevention of prostate cancer.
Categories: Medicinal plants · herbs properties · medicinal foods · medicinal herbs · nutraceuticals · plants properties
Tagged: food as medicine, functional foods, herbal cure, herbs medicinal substances, plants extracts
Simple Herbal Tonics: Brews for Beginners
June 3, 2009 by newurbanhabitat
So you read my last article Herbs Made Easy: The Art of Simpling, and youre ready to plunge in and make an herbal tonic? All thats left is picking an herb and making an infusion. Remember the characteristics to look for when picking an herb.
* be safe
* be mild
* be food-like
* grow where you live.
Even though the plant grows in your area, even outside your back door, its safer and easier to buy some of the dried herb at your local health food or herb store at first. You can move on to growing or wildcrafting and preserving herbs later if you wish. Herbs are usually inexpensive by bulk. Look for herbs supplied by local organic growers or reputable wildcrafters, and make sure the store cleans and changes their jars or bins frequently. If you cant get dried herbs where you live, you can mail order them from Mountain Rose Herbs or another bulk herb company.
Here are three good, safe, nutrient-rich herbs to start experimenting with:
The herbalist Richard Mabey calls dandelion one of natures greatest medicines. And herbalist Joyce Warwell points out that its a prime ingredient in over half of the herbal blends on the market today and has a stellar safety record no known drug interactions, cumulative toxic effects, or contraindications for use. She adds, There is probably no existing condition that would not benefit from regularly consuming dandelions.
dandyEvery part of the dandelion is edible. The leaves contain vitamins A, B, C, and D, potassium, iron, lutein, and other nutrients. They can be eaten in salads or dried and made into tea. They are a powerful diuretic, but unlike pharmaceutical diuretics they dont leach potassium from the body. Warwell writes that dandelion stimulates liver function, reduces cholesterol, fights diabetes, and stimulates digestion. And Tierra adds that it decreases high blood pressure, cures skin eruptions, and quells a stomachache.
The flowers can be made into wine, tea, or even fritters, as blogger Steadymom illustrates here .
Dried dandelion roots contain vitamins, minerals, and potassium and make a powerful liver-stimulating tea. According to Tierra, even serious cases of hepatitis have been cured, sometimes within a week, with dandelion root tea. And roasted dandelion root makes a tasty coffee substitute.
The herbalist Susan Weed calls nettles one of the finest nourishing tonics known and contends that the list of vitamins and minerals in this herb includes nearly every one known to be necessary for human health and growth.
Weed writes that nettle infusions not only supply calcium, phosphurus and vitamins A and D, but all are in a readily assimilated form. Nettles also contain iron and vitamin C; the vitamin C ensures that the iron is well-absorbed by the body, making nettles an excellent remedy for anemia. Nettles are also high in protein. Their high vitamin and mineral content make nettles an excellent all-around tonic.
Nettles are also used to encourage the flow of breast milk in nursing women, lower blood sugar levels, slow profuse menstrual bleeding, treat eczema, heal arthritis and gout, and cure hay-fever allergy symptoms. Externally, nettle compresses can stop bleeding or heal hemmorhoids, eliminate dandruff, and slow hair loss. Does that sound like a lot of uses for one plant? Well, thats far from all. Check out the book 101 Uses for Stinging Nettles by Piers Warren for more.
According to Tierra, alfalfa means father in Arabic, perhaps referring to the plants function as a superlative restorative tonic. Alfalfa leaves are highly nutritious, containing vitamins C, D, E, and K, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, and protein.
Alfalfas historically been used to restore vitality and increase appetite in both horses and people. Its also used to treat cystitis, prostatitis, peptic ulcers, fever, insomnia, inflammation, and arthritis, as well as to increase the flow of breastmilk in nursing women, reduce inflammation, and regulate the bowels.
How to make a nourishing herbal infusion
Ive been making herbal infusions for years, using Susan Weeds infusion method:
1. Place one ounce of dried herb (about a cup) in a quart jar.
2. Fill the jar to the top with boiling water
3. Put the lid on tightly and steep for 4-10 hours. (I usually let it steep overnight.)
4. Strain and pour a cup, and store the rest in the refrigerater.
5. Drink 2-4 cups a day.
6. Drink the entire infusion within 36 hours or until it spoils.
7. Use whatever remains to water house plants, or pour over your hair after conditioning as a final rinse.
Dandelion, nettles, and alfalfa are mild herbs that have been ingested for thousands of years with excellent safety records, however they arent for everyone. If you have a medical condition or take any medications, check with your doctor, an herbalist, or a pharmacist first. And its a good idea for everyone to be cautious about what goes into your body. Read about whatever herbs you plan to take, seeking books and websites written by reputable herbalists, and be alert to the rare chance of allergic reaction or side effects. But dont forget to enjoy yourself. Nutritious herbal tonics are great additions to a healthy, happy life.
The New Age Herbalist by Richard Mabey
The Herbal Home Remedy Book by Joyce A. Warwell
The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra
Herbal for the Childbearing Year by Susan Weed
The Herb Book by John Lust
[I did not know I was making simples, for the hot summer over the years, I took a handful of peppermint, chamomille and lemon grass, all of them dried and put them in a jar, poured boiling water over them and when cool put in the refrig.
I made it super strong, so only a small amount was needed for tea, served with ice, it beats any tea made, even Lipton’s tea.
I always made Liption tea for company, but the other for me and laughed at those who don’t drink herbal products, once they tried a glass, drank from the herbal jar, instead of the reg. tea.
I don’t take the leaves out, they will settle to the bottom or use a tea strainer.
And my bookmark file gets longer and longer...
great quilting blog! Loved the “Doodle” quilt.
Looking at the other now.
Thanks for all the great recipes! I’ll read through now until my Melatonin kicks in. Then...to bed! Hopefully the Melatonin will do such a good job that hubby’s snoring won’t be an issue.
What zone are you in, Dela? We’re in 6 and going to get our seed potatoes Thursday. I’ve got peas to plant too.
I’m trying this one soon:
PORK AND BEANS BREAD
15 ounce can of pork and beans.
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil (not canola, not olive...vegetable oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecan or walnuts (measure after chopping)
3 cups all purpose flour
Spray two 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pans with Pam or another cooking spray.
Don’t drain the pork and beans. Pour them into a food processor or blender, juice and all, and process them until they’re pureed smooth with no lumps.
Place the beaten eggs in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the pureed pork and beans and mix them in well.
Add the vegetable oil and the vanilla extract. Mix well. Add the sugar and mix in. Then mix in the baking soda, baking powder, salt and Cinnamon. Stir until everything is incorporated.
Stir in the chopped nuts.
Add the flour in one cup increments, stirring after each addition.
Spoon half of the batter into each loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes, and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.
Remove from pans and cool on a wire rack. Can be stored in the freezer for 3 months
Heirloom Apple Conservation
National Effort Launched to Recover and Utilize Endangered Heirloom Apples
The Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) alliance is launching a Forgotten Fruits initiative to return America’s
most endangered heirloom apples to orchards, backyards, farmers’ markets, restaurants, home kitchens and cider houses.
RAFT has christened the year 2010 as the “Year of the Heirloom Apple” to engage food communities in restoring 90
heirloom apple varieties to each region of the country and to simultaneously renew culinary traditions associated with
American apple culture.
Over the next month RAFT is launching this initiative in Appalachia - the richest region for heirloom apples on the
continent - with events in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. The launch includes the internet release of its
Forgotten Fruits Manifesto and Manual. This publication builds upon the Collective wisdom and work of more than a dozen
of America’s elderly heirloom apple experts - a team nicknamed the “Buena Vista Social Club of Forgotten Fruits.”
Of some 15,000 to 16,000 apple varieties that have been named, grown and eaten on the North American continent, only
about 3,000 remain accessible through nurseries. Roughly nine out of ten apple varieties historically grown in the U.S.
are at risk of falling out of cultivation and falling off our tables.
Over the last century, apple culture and diversity in America have dramatically declined. RAFT partners have been
concerned that just one apple variety, the Red Delicious, now comprises 41% of the entire American apple crop. Eleven
common varieties produce 90% of all apples sold in chain grocery stores.
What’s more, much of the apple juice, puree and sauces consumed in the United States are now produced in other
countries. As the overall number of apple trees in cultivation decline to a fourth of what it was a century ago, the
number of apple varieties considered threatened or endangered has peaked at 94%. These are not just abstract
statistics, for they affect our health and the health of our landscapes.
RAFT has determined a previously-unrecognized catalyst of the decline in the variety of apples available to growers.
Over the last 15 years the United States has lost roughly 600 independently owned nurseries. These nurseries formerly
harbored most of the place-based heritage apples on the continent, but their business has been usurped by the
garden-and-lawn departments of big-box stores which offer far fewer varieties.
Perhaps just as problematic is the dramatic loss of traditional knowledge about apple cultivation and varietal usage
that has occurred over the last half century. The skills of grafting, pruning and preparing apples in diverse ways are
as endangered as the apples themselves.
The worst may be yet to come. Climate change may be one of several natural and man-made factors that have dramatically
reduced the number of chill hours apple-growing areas receive. These weather shifts have led to predictions that within
four decades, apple production may be lost from orchard-rich regions like the Central Valley of California and from
However, there are signs of hope. Despite the economic downturn, heirloom and antique apple varieties are being
successfully marketed at many of the 5,000 farmers’ markets and 2,500 Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) projects in
the U.S. Some CSAs, like the one of Mortez’s Mountain Apples near Boone, North Carolina, specialize in introducing
customers to a wide variety of delicious heirlooms. Consumption of hard cider is also on the rise in America, offering a
means to use many heirloom varieties not suited for eating fresh. Among chefs and cider-makers, future market prospects
for heirloom apples look good.
The Renewing America’s Food Traditions Alliance is now proposing that at least 90 endangered apple varieties in each
region be earmarked for recovery to our orchards, cideries, restaurants and kitchens. RAFT will be releasing its first
regional list of apples for recovery - including over a hundred heirlooms unique to Appalachia - at the Marketing
Opportunities for Southern Farmers conference on February 27th at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina.
To find out ways you can celebrate the Year of the Heirloom Apple, go to http://www.raftalliance.org and
RAFT is an alliance of food, farming, environmental and culinary advocates who have joined together to identify, restore
and celebrate America’s biologically and culturally diverse food traditions through conservation, education, promotion
and regional networking. Gary Nabhan is founder of Renewing America’s Food Traditions Alliance
For further information contact:
Gary Nabhan firstname.lastname@example.org, Regina Fitzsimmons email@example.com, Kanin Routson firstname.lastname@example.org,
(all at 520 621-5774), or Ben Watson BWatson@chelseagreen.com, John Bunker email@example.com, Tom Burford
firstname.lastname@example.org and Dan Bussey email@example.com.
How to Grow a Straw Bale Garden
By Kent Rogers | March 2006
* Preparing Your Bales
* Growing Your Garden
* Download the FULL article as a
Straw Bale Garden
Click to enlarge
Kent Rogers of Wake Forest has successfully cultivated a vegetable garden in bales of straw. Carolina Countrys report on his idea last year drew attention from gardeners and others across the state. Kent points out that the method produces good-looking, healthy plants without weeds, and is especially convenient for people who dont have a large plot of ground to till, or who are physically unable to do a lot of kneeling, bending, raking and hoeing. Here is some of his advice for people interested in straw bale gardening.
Preparing Your Bales
It takes 10 days to prepare your bales.
* Days 13: Water the bales thoroughly and keep them wet.
* Days 46: Sprinkle the bales with 1/2 cup of ammonium nitrate (32-0-0) per bale per day, and water it well into the bales. I didnt have any trouble finding ammonium nitrate from my local ag-supply store. They sold it in 40-pound bags. I have heard, however, that some people have had difficulty finding it in more urban settings. Ask around.
* Days 79: Cut back to 1/4 cup of ammonium nitrate per bale per day and continue to water it in well.
* Day 10: No more ammonium nitrate, but do add 1 cup of 10-10-10 fertilizer per bale and water it in well.
* Day 11: Transplant your plants into the bales. I used a spatula to make a crack in the bale for each plant. Place the plant down to its first leaf and close the crack back together as best you can.
Web links to articles on straw bale gardening:
Growing Your Garden
You can start your garden with seeds if you use some topsoil on top of the bales, but I transplanted all of my vegetables from flats and trays purchased from local nurseries.
I initially used 20 bales of wheat straw. The plants in the wheat straw were doing so well that I got 10 more bales of oat straw to see how that would do. (Pine straw wont work.)
I recommend getting bales that have been tightly baled. The oat straw bales I bought were lighter and baled looser than the wheat straw, and I learned that they dont hold as much water. I paid about $2.50 for each bale.
Use bales that have synthetic twine if you can find them. The twine wont rot and it will hold the bales together longer. If the bales use regular twine, thats no problem. You may have to put a stake at the end of the bales. The bales I used had regular twine, and they started to rot and break, but I arranged 10 in each row, so the bales tend to hold each other together.
I oriented my bales with the strings off the ground. You can do it either way, but I like the twine off the ground. The transplanting seemed easier with the bales oriented with the strings off the ground. You can decide which way to orient yours.
If you make more than one row of bales, put them wide enough apart so your lawnmower can get between them. And because youll be watering them, I recommend placing the bales where the water will drain away from your house or away from where youll be walking.
How many plants per bale? Try two tomato plants per bale, three peppers, two squash, two sets of cucumbers.
Be prepared to stake the tomatoes and peppers. I recommend 6-foot stakes for the tomatoes. I used tobacco sticks last year, but they are too short. My tomatoes grew way over the tobacco sticks.
I didnt plant any okra last year, but they will probably do well. Youll definitely have to stake them.
I dont think corn will work too well. The plants will be too top-heavy.
I water the bales in the morning and after sunset. You cant over-water because any excess will just run out of the bales. Soaker hoses will work. The main thing is not to let the bales get dried out between watering.
I started out using some Miracle Grow once a week for a couple of weeks. Then I sprinkled in some 10-10-10. You dont want to over fertilize.
The bales will start to sprout wheat or oat straw, but that is no problem. If the grass gets too much for you, just whack it off with a knife. I give my bales a haircut every so often with a steak knife. It takes no time at all.
One thing Ive noticedand this could be just a flukeis I have not had to spray my plants with any pesticides such as Liquid Sevin. I havent had any worms, bugs or other pest bother my straw bale garden. Maybe it has something to do with the plants being off the ground.
Be prepared to use new bales each year. I dont think they will be suitable for two years in a row. You can burn them, use them for mulch or bust them up and set new bales on them next year.
Kent Rogers is a member of Wake Electric, a Touchstone Energy cooperative. You can contact him by mail at 13028 Powell Rd, Wake Forest, NC 27587, and by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank You! That 6 grain loaf and the blueberry muffin recipes sound mouth watering!
Hi Delawhere! After last years garden fiasco, I hope the weather, will cooperate with us this season!
If this melt off continues I have plans to import some engineered topsoil to cover the acreage I'm beginning to clear of trees and stumps now. Going to be spendy, but clay up here just isn't garden friendly like the adobe clay I had on my acreage out west. Too much time and effort was expended last year with poor results... if we are to break our backs doing what must be done, that will change!
easy accidental lemon egg drop soup
Posted by: “Sandi”
The other day I accidentally thawed out chicken broth instead of chicken
soup for lunch. I added two eggs (whisked them in with a fork), a little
lemon juice and some leftover rice. It was wonderful!
Real http://www.realfoodforhealthandpleasure.blogspot.com/ Food for
Health and Pleasure Blog
Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo. ~ H. G. Wells
——————————————————————————————————— To visit your group on the web, go to:
Chocolate Cherry Bundt Cake
1 chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup oil 2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 can cherry pie filling
1 cup chocolate chips
Mix cake mix, eggs, oil, and vanilla with mixer. The batter will be very thick and Heavy. Add cherry pie filling and mix in with mixer (yes - Use the mixer to blend the cherries will break up some) You can do this by hand but as the batter is thick it does take awhile and a bit of strength. Or you can do both.
Add chocolate chips and stir with a wooden spoon. Grease (Pam) a Bundt pan and fill with batter-level out Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes or until test done Cool In pan for 15 minutes remove from pan.
When cooled sprinkle with confectionery sugar.
Pat W Menifee Ca
i made a loaf of yeast corn bread today, using the bread machine to
knead it and then removing it prior to the final rise to finish by hand.
I wanted a larger loaf than the one I posted a few days ago, so I
modified this recipe:
Yeast Corn Bread
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°), divided
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
3 tablespoons butter, softened (I used 2 tbsp butter, one of olive oil)
2 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2-1/4 to 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Add the cornmeal,
milk powder, butter, sugar, salt, 1-1/4 cups flour and remaining water.
Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8
minutes. Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once to coat
top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down; shape into a loaf. Place in a 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan
coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30
Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to
a wire rack to cool. Yield: 1 loaf (16 slices).
I added a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten because my flour was only 3%
The bread is very good - I’m on my second slice now and it’s not even
suppertime. I’ll make it again.
I’m just about out of vanilla cordial, so I started to make more today. It’s super easy, tasty, and can be used instead of vanilla extract in recipes. It sounds like something this group might like, so here’s the recipe.
based on a recipe from “Gifts of Food” by Susan Costner
submitted by mirthfullady 3/5/10
4 or 5 vanilla beans (at least 5 inches long)
1 liter Vodka (I prefer Grey Goose)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Optional: vanilla bean for packaging
Cut each vanilla bean into 4 pieces, then cut each section length-wise in half. Put vanilla bean pieces into full vodka bottle, or another clean, dry bottle with a tight cap. (If putting vanilla into a clean, dry bottle, now add the vodka to the bottle.) Close the bottle. Shake well.
Put the bottle somewhere you will remember to shake it every other day or so. Let it steep for 2 or 3 weeks. (Tasting it will let you know when it’s ready, but don’t taste too often.) ;)
Filter the vanilla vodka into a clean, decorative bottle with a coffee filter or cheese cloth.
Make a simple syrup by adding the 1 cup of sugar with the 1/2 cup of boiling water and stirring until it is completely dissolved. This should take 2 or 3 minutes. Cool completely.
Add the simple syrup for the bottle of extract and shake well. Add optional reserved vanilla bean. Make sure the bottle closes tightly.
For best results the cordial should be allowed to mature for 1 month or more before using.
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12 Ears of Corn, Grated Salt and Pepper to taste 6 Eggs
Separate the eggs. Beat the yolks and mix in the corn. Beat egg whites
and add corn mixture to whites. Add salt and pepper to taste. Fry in hot oil
in a skillet until golden brown, turning once.
5a. Apple-Cranberry Salsa
2 large, sweet apples (Macintosh or Granny Smith), cored and cut into
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
6 tablespoons lime juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons honey
2 cups onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups bell pepper (red, yellow and/or green)
2/3 cup fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 2 small cans chopped jalapeno
2 teaspoons salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Put apples and cranberries in a food processor or blender and pulse just a
bit; do not puree. Put this into a large bowl and toss with the remaining
ingredients. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour, then refrigerate for
at least 12 hours. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
by: Dale Carson / Indian Country Today
6. Comfy Winter Stew & Chunky Potato Soup: by: Dale Carson / Indian Cou
Comfy Winter Stew
2 pounds butternut squash, cubed, ½-inch
1 cup chopped onion
1 can pinto beans
1 can white northern beans
2 cups plum tomatoes, fresh or canned
2 cups corn kernels
2 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon oregano (optional)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1cup cooked meat, chopped (chicken, buffalo, pork, â¦) *optional
Saute the onion and add to the rest of ingredients in a large stock pot.
Cook on low for 40 minutes to an hour to let flavors blend. If stew is too
thick, add just a little water or more broth.
Chunky Potato Soup
4-6 large potatoes, with or without skins
3 strips bacon
½ sweet Vidalia onion, chopped
1 quart chicken broth*
2 cups water
1 tablespoon flour
2 cups grated cheese (mild cheddar, Monterey jack)*
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the potatoes into bite-size chunks and cook them in the chicken broth
and water for about 25 minutes, until soft-ish in a large pot. Meanwhile,
cook the bacon slowly in a frying pan. When done, remove and drain on paper
towel. Saute the onion in some of the bacon fat until translucent. Add the
cheese to the cooked potatoes, then the onions using a slotted spoon,
sprinkle in the flour, salt and pepper, crumble bacon over all and stir gently
At this point, you may add a little pinch of cayenne, a little milk or
cream if desired. Do not boil, simmer just long enough for texture to be
creamy, boiling will coagulate cheeses and milk.
* Low fat dairy products may be substituted.
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Athlete’s foot, jock itch, ring worm. None of these are any fun, and they can be quite painful if left untended. I have a great recipe for an Athlete’s Foot Cream, and I always have some on hand.
Creams are made by combining oils (or in the case of our forefathers, fat) and water in an emulsion. This isn’t like an ointment, because it will blend with the skin and helps cool and sooth, while allowing the skin to breath and sweat. The important thing to know about creams is that they degrade quickly and you need to store them in dark containers in a cool place.
Wine press or sieve
Muslin or cheese cloth
Butter knife or small rubber spatula
Dark glass or metal container to keep light out
1 oz garlic powder
1 oz ground clove (or substitute 1/2 oz clove oil)
1 ounce dried echinacea
1 ounce thyme
2 oz tea tree oil
3 oz emulsifying wax or allantoin (health food store or online)
2.5 oz glycerine (health food store or online)
1 1/3 cup water
Note: Before adding the herbs, grind them up in a coffee grinder or blender.
1. Melt the emulsifying wax or allantoin in a glass jar that is in the saucepan (poor man’s double boiler, heat water in the saucepan and set the glass bowl in the saucepan to melt the wax.) After wax is melted, add the glycerin, water and herb(s) while continually stirring until all ingredients are well mixed.
2. Turn down heat to simmer. Simmer for 3 hours.
3. Strain mixture through a wine press or sieve, using muslin or cheese cloth to catch the particles.
4. Stir continuously until it cools and sets.
5. With the small knife or spatula, place the set cream into your container.
6. Tighten lids and label.
7. Store in refrigerator as soon as possible.
2. First Aid Kit Level 2 videos on youtube
First Aid Kit Level 2 videos on youtube
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When I look for it, I get the munchies and ... well you know ;^)
If you run across it again, could you give me a ping?
PLU Codes Do Not Indicate Genetically Modified Produce
bt Jeffrey Smith: Author and Founder of the Institute for Responsible
Let’s put a rumor to rest. No, the 5-digit PLU codes on produce do not
tell you what is genetically modified or natural. This urban legend has
circulated long enough, even on the best of websites. It’s time to take it down.
The 4-digit PLU codes on the sometimes-pain-in-the-neck labels glued to
apples, for example, tell the checkout lady which is a small Fuji (4129) and
which is a Honeycrisp (3283). She’ll know what to charge you and the
inventory elves will know what’s what. If there’s a 5-digit code starting with 9,
then it’s organic.
How to get genetically-modified food out of your diet
An Activistâs Toolkit
How would you react if you discovered that most of the foods you ate every
day contained hidden ingredients that could be slowly poisoning you?
Disbelief? Sadness? Fear? Anger? Retribution? All of the above? Well,
surely the first thing you should do is: STOP EATING THEM! Genetically modified
crops such as corn, canola and soy are being used in over 70% of the
processed foods available in your local grocery store. So you might be forgiven
for thinking that if genetically modified ingredients are so widespread,
they must be safe to eat, right? Wrong. Itâs just a shame the FDA and the
corporate-controlled North American mainstream media persist in turning a
blind eye. (See The Big GMO Cover-Up by Jeffrey M. Smith.)
Of course, the last thing that the pro-GM food companies want is for
consumers to get informed and use their immense power to force change in the
marketplace. This has already happened in Europe where genetically modified
ingredients have to be labeled by law. As a result, food companies donât use
genetically modified ingredients! However, in the absence of equivalent
labeling requirements in the US or Canada, North American consumers have been
left in the dark for over 13 years and are unwittingly taking place in a
huge human feeding experiment.
We asked Jeffrey M. Smith, international bestselling author of Seeds of
Deception and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically
Engineered Foods, to give us some practical steps on how to get GMOs out of
our diet and off the face of the Earth, forever.
Would you choose genetically modified food if given a choice? Some animals
Thereâs a bowl of corn chips in front of you made from natural corn. Next
to it are genetically modified (GM) corn chips. Which do you choose?
If you were a pig or cow, we know the answerâthe natural corn. In 1998 and
1999, several farmers in Northwest Iowa repeatedly let pigs or cows into
pens with troughs of GM corn and non-GM corn. The animals would head
straight to the closer trough, filled with the genetically modified organisms
(GMOs). Theyâd sniff, maybe take a nibble, then go over to the trough with the
natural corn. After finishing off the last kernel, theyâd stop by the GM
corn one more time just to check it out, but quickly walk away.
An Iowa farmer who read about the finicky livestock decided to see if
squirrels had similar dispositions. He nailed ears of GM corn and non-GM corn
onto trees by his house. Sure enough, the squirrels ate only the natural
stuff, over and over again. When the farmer stopped replacing the natural
corn, the squirrels still refused to touch the GMO. After 10 cold winter days,
they got up the courage to nibble a few kernels, but that was all they
Another curious farmer wanted to repeat this with the squirrels in his
area. He bought a bag full of GM corn ears, and another of non-GM, and left it
in his garage to wait for winter. He waited too long. Mice did the
experiment for him. They broke into the natural corn bag and finished it. The GM
cobs were untouched.
Farmers, gardeners, reporters, and scientists have noticed similar
behavior on at least four continents. Chickens, elk, deer, and raccoons avoided GM
corn, while geese, rats, and buffalo refused GM soy, tomatoes, and
cottonseed, respectively. Why are animals put off by genetically engineered food?
No one knows for sure, but letâs get back to the GM corn chips still
sitting in front of you.
Genetic material from bacteria and viruses are forced into the cornâs DNA,
which is then cloned into a plant. This process leads to substantial
collateral damage, including changes in hundreds or thousands of natural corn
genes, plus widespread mutations. Most of the side-effects are never tested
for. We do know, for example, that an allergy-producing gene, normally
silent, gets switched on in a Monsanto corn variety. Proteins change shape,
which might be a serious health hazard. And a compound called lignin is
significantly overproduced. Lignin on its own may not be so bad, but in the
process of producing it, the plant also produces rotenone, a natural pesticide
linked to Parkinsonâs disease. No one has tested your chips to see they
contain more rotenone.
Bayerâs Liberty Link corn have added genes that allow the corn to
withstand high doses of Roundup or Liberty herbicide. These varieties, therefore,
have more weedkiller residues. Other GM varieties have inserted genes from
bacteria that produce an insect killing toxin in every cell (and in every
In addition, genes inserted into GM crops donât necessarily stay put. In
the only human GM feeding experimentâ done with Roundup Ready soyâ
functioning genes transferred into the DNA of bacteria living inside our
intestines. This means that millions of Americans probably have Roundup Ready gut
bacteriaâunkillable with Roundup herbicide. No one has yet looked to see if GM
corn genes also transfer. If they do, their insecticide-producing genes
could turn your gut flora into living pesticide factories, continuously
producing toxins inside youâlong after you finish your bowl of chips.
Have you made your decision yet? If you still need encouragement, check
out âThe Big GMO Cover-Upâ in UGM007 to find out why the American Academy of
Environmental Medicine wants doctors across the country to prescribe
non-GMO diets to everyone.
But arenât GMOs supposed to feed the world?
If youâre feeling some moral imperative to support GMOs, thatâs
understandable. The biotech industry spent more than $250 million convincing you
that its gene-spliced foods are the answer to the sick and starving. So donât
be embarrassed if you fell for it. Many leading US politicians have
likewise been mesmerized by this long-running PR ploy. Clintonâs Agriculture
Secretary Dan Glickman spoke candidly to a St. Louis Post Dispatch reporter
about the pro-GMO attitude embedded in the US government:
âIt was almost immoral to say that it wasnât good, because it was going
to solve the problems of the human race and feed the hungry and clothe the
naked. â¦ And if youâre against it, youâre Luddites, youâre stupid. â¦ You
felt like you were almost an alien, disloyal, by trying to present an
Glickman acknowledged that he too âspouted the rhetoric,â admitting, âit
was written into my speeches.â The current Ag Secretary, Tom Vilsack, is
the latest GMO cheerleader. As Iowaâs governor, he gave Monsanto an award in
2000, and the next year was anointed Biotech Governor of the Year by the
biotech industry trade organization.
In October 2009, Vilsack tried to play the âfeed the worldâ card at a
conference sponsored by the Community Food Security Coalition. Bad move Tom.
The people in the room were actually experts at feeding the world. Attendees
included numerous PhDs and eminent scholars, such as the co-chairman and
several leading authors of the authoritative IAASTD report, the worldâs most
comprehensive evaluation of agriculture.
This crowd knew that GMOs had no answers for world hunger. The IAASTD
report, for example, concluded that the current generation of GMOs does not
reduce hunger and poverty, does not improve nutrition, and does not facilitate
social and environmental sustainability. A comprehensive analysis by the
Union of Concerned Scientists concluded that GMOs do not increase yield; in
fact, on average they reduce yield. A USDA study showed that farmersâ
income doesnât increase, and in some cases, it decreases. And it doesnât help
the overall economy either. The federal government has been spending $3-5
billion per year to prop up the prices of the GM crops no one else wants.
Thus, when Secretary Vilsack invoked âthe ever-increasing population of
the globe and the capacity to be able to feed all of those peopleâ as the
excuse to promote GMOs, he was greeted by moans, groans, hisses, and even
boos. That didnât stop Vilsack from playing the same card two days later, but
this time he was at the World Food Prize conference. Thatâs sponsored by the
biotech industry, so they were overjoyed that the Ag Secretary was still
supporting their myth.
How Do You Choose Non-GMO?
Are you now ready to choose the bowl of natural chips? If so, youâre not
alone. Most Americans, according to a CBS/New York Times poll, would also
choose foods made without genetically modified organisms (GMOs) if they knew
which was whichâif they were labeled. But unlike most other industrialized
nations, GMOs donât have to be labeled in the US or Canada. Therefore,
avoiding GM foods here takes some doing.
Tip #1: Buy Organic
The best way is to buy organic foods, which donât allow the use of GMOs.
And you also benefit from organicsâ higher average levels of vitamins,
minerals, and antioxidants, as well as lower pesticide residues.
Tip #2: Look for ânon-GMOâ labels
Some companies voluntarily label products as ânon-GMO.â The best label is
now the Non-GMO Project Verified seal. Itâs the new uniform,
third-party-verified standard for non-GMO claims that is spreading through the industry.
Tip #3: Consult the Non-GMO Shopping Guide
For a handy list of non-GMO brands by category, go to
_www. NonGMOShoppingGuide.com_ (http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/) . .
View it online, download or order copies, and look for the Mobile Phone
Application coming soon.
Tip #4: Avoid at-risk ingredients
If itâs not labeled organic or non- GMO, and the brand is not listed in
the Guide, look at the ingredient panel to see if it contains any at-risk
GMOs. The most pervasive GMOs are derivatives of corn and soy. Here are some
common ones: (A more comprehensive list is available in the _Non-GMO Shopping
Guide_ (http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/) .)
flour, meal, oil, starch, gluten, and syrups. Sweeteners such as fructose,
dextrose, and glucose.
flour, oil, lecithin, protein, isolate, and isoflavones.
Oil from canola and cottonseed is genetically modified.
Sugar from GM sugar beets was introduced in late 2008, but a recent ruling
in a federal lawsuit may eventually drive it out of our food supply. For
now, if the sugar doesnât say pure cane, itâs likely blended with beet
Other than corn, there are only three items in the produce section that
may be genetically modified. That includes papaya from Hawaii (yes, only
Hawaii) and a small amount of zucchini and yellow squash. Mercifully, popcorn
is not GMO.
Aspartame, the artificial sweetener also known as NutraSweet and Equal, is
derived from GM microorganisms.
Meat, fish, eggs and dairy:
FDA scientists had warned that animals fed GMOs might bioaccumulate
toxins, which end up in milk, meat, or eggs. Their concerns were ignored and no
safety studies have looked into this. Most US livestock, and even farmed
fish, are fed GM soy or corn. To avoid GM-fed animal products, buy organic,
wild caught, or 100% grass-fed. Fortunately, there are no genetically
modified fish, fowl, or livestock yet approved for human consumption.
Dairy products also carry the risk that the cows were injected with
genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbST or rbGH). The milk from
drugged cows has more pus, antibiotics, bovine growth hormone, and insulin-like
growth factor 1 (IGF- 1). IGF-1 is a powerful hormone and a high risk factor
for cancer. Thatâs primarily why the American Public Health Association,
American Nurses Association, and many other groups condemn the use of rbGH.
Consumer concerns about rbGH have forced Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Dannon,
Yoplait, and most of the major dairies in the US to stop using the hormone. Look
for labels, consult the _Non-GMO Shopping Guide_
(http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/) , or buy organic dairy products.
How to Avoid GMOs in Restaurants
When eating at restaurants, it is not too hard to identify non-GMO options
if your restaurant cooks from scratch. If they use processed foods, which
is true of fast food places, they will have hidden GM ingredients.
For meals cooked from scratch, you will be able to easily identify most
GMO food items. Corn products include tortillas, corn bread, corn on the cob,
polenta, and corn chowder. Soy products include tofu, teriyaki and soy
The hidden ingredients are usually the oils used for cooking and salad
dressing. Most restaurant cooking oil is from soy, corn, cottonseed, and canola
âall GMOs. If they say vegetable oil or margarine, it means it is almost
certainly one of these.
Therefore, your first question is, âWhat oil do you cook with?â If they
use GMO oils, ask if they have anything that is cooked without oil, or if
olive oil or some other oil can be used. If they have olive oil, be sure itâs
not a blend. Many restaurants blend canola and olive.
Go through the same routine for the oil used in salad dressing, and for
the shortening in desserts.
But for the sweet stuff, the GMO threats include sugar from beets, high
fructose corn syrup, and aspartame. Since most processed foods contain GM
derivatives (corn and soy, for example), ask what foods are freshly prepared.
But check if packaged sauces are used.
Other potential sources of GM foods at restaurants include bread,
crackers, and mayonnaise.
Moving GMOs out of the market
The declining fortunes of rbGH demonstrate the power of informed
consumers. As more and more people linked the milk hormone to cancer, marketing
executives realized that allowing their suppliers to use the controversial drug
was bad for sales. Because the mainstream media has been pretty silent on
the health effects, it took a few years of a concerted consumer education
campaign to start the dominoes falling. If the hazards of rbGH had made
headline news, the tipping point would have been swift.
The experience of GMOs in Europe shows us just how swift markets can move.
In late January of 1999, biotech representatives predicted that 95% of all
commercial seeds would be genetically engineered by 2004. But just a few
weeks later, their plans to replace nature crashed. On February 16th, the
gag order imposed on a scientist who had conducted GMO safety studies was
lifted by order of the UK Parliament. When Dr. Arpad Pusztai, the top
scientist in his field, discovered the extensive damage that a GMO diet can cause,
he was fired after 35 years and silenced with threats of legal action. When
he finally was able to speak, all hell broke loose.
Within the week, the European press reeled off 159 column feet of
articles. Within the month, 750 articles on GMOs were circulating. According to one
editor, the coverage divided society into two warring blocks. Within just
10 weeks, the tipping point of consumer rejection was achieved. GM
ingredients had become a marketing liability. At the end of April, Unilever
publicly committed to remove GMOs from its European brands. Within the week, so
did nearly every other major food company.
These same companies continue to use GM ingredients in the US, where the
Pusztai controversy was not reported. Here, only one in four people are even
aware that theyâve ever eaten a genetically engineered food in their
Engineering a North American tipping point
The Campaign for Healthier Eating in America is designed to achieve a
tipping point of consumer rejection of GMOs in the US. Several indicators
suggest that itâs not far off. A December 2009 issue of Supermarket News, for
example, predicted: âThe coming year promises to bring about a greater, more
pervasive awarenessâ of the genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our
food supply. This trade publication, which is used by food executives as a
source of industry news and trends, attributed the coming uprising in part to
the Campaignâs new _Non-GMO Shopping Guide_
The article describes how food âculpritsâ such as fat, carbs, salt, and
added sugar can âdefine the decadeâ for the food industry; companies
scramble to create new low-culprit or culprit-free options. When the specter of
GMO health dangers surfaces onto consumersâ radar screen, however, there
will be a significant difference. Whereas traditional ingredient culprits
offer some consumer appeal like better taste or texture, GM foods do not.
Furthermore, companies can usually eliminate GMOs without even changing recipes.
They can simply substitute the non-GMO soy or non-GM corn, without
Therefore, when the industry gets hit with the anti-GMO tipping point,
they wonât create separate brand options of low GMO or GMO-free. Instead, they
will eliminate all GMOs from their brands and proudly proclaim that here
as they do in Europe.
The number of shoppers rejecting GMOs need only be a tiny amount, perhaps
5% of Americans, in order to convince food companies to do a brand-wide GMO
clean-out. But when you look at the numbers, no matter how you slice it,
they add up to a coming non-GMO tidal wave.
More than 9% of Americans regularly buy organic. About 29% are strongly
opposed to GM foods and believe they are unsafe. And 53% say they would avoid
GMOs if labeled. While most people do not conscientiously avoid brands
with GM ingredients, itâs usually because they donât know how. Hence the
importance of the _Non-GMO Shopping Guide_ (http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/)
Time to take charge
There are so many people predisposed to reject GMOs, we can achieve a
tipping point without ever having to convince those who are resistant. Just by
educating the people who want to know why GMOs are unsafe and how to avoid
them, we can kick GMOs out of the food supply. The Campaign offers
educational tools that are easy to use and to pass onto others. There are
right-brain books, left-brain books, videos for the visual learner, brochures,
articles, podcasts, CDs, PowerPoints, and of course, shopping guides.
The Campaign also provides strategies and support materials designed
specifically for the most receptive targeted groups: healthand
environmentally-conscious shoppers, parents, healthcare professionals, chefs and food
service professionals, and even religious groups. If you would like to lend a
hand and help protect the health of those you care about, visit
_www.healthiereating.org_ (http://www.healthiereating.org) and look at the action items
and tools available.
Little did you know that a bowl of chips would turn you into an activistâ¦
International bestselling author and filmmaker Jeffrey M. Smith is the is
the executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology (_www.
healthiereating.org_ (http://www.healthiereating.org/) ). His first book,
Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of
the Genetically Engineered Foods Youâre Eating, is the worldâs bestselling
and #1 rated book on GMOs. His second, Genetic Roulette: The Documented
Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, documents 65 health risks of
the GM foods Americans eat everyday.
STATE-OF-THE-SCIENCE ON THE HEALTH RISKS OF GM FOODS
from Institute for Responsible Technology ô P.O. Box 469 ô Fairfield,
IA 52556 ô USA
excerpt from the introduction (the pdf includes extensive citations):
âGenetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been linked to thousands of
toxic or allergic-type reactions, thousands of sick, sterile, and dead
livestock, and damage to virtually every organ and system studied in lab animals.
Nearly every independent animal feeding safety study shows adverse or
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Stock from a Rotisserie Chicken?
Posted by: “KittyHawk”
This is the stock recipe I use as a guideline more or less. I love the
rich flavor the mix of veggies and spice give this broth. I of course do
my own thing with it though. LOL I dehydrated allot of leek tops so I
just use those. I toss the everything except the chicken and bones into
a muslin bag I made and tie it up to toss in the pressure cooker. I
either use about a 3 lb stewing hen with skin removed and a couple
carcasses onto the 10 quart pressure cooker then add the bag in the
middle fill to the 2/3 mark with cold water and PC it on high for 45
minutes then quick release. Strain the broth into a large container and
chill. I get a good 3 quarts of stock. If I do not have the stewing hen
I use about 4 carcasses and any wing tips and scraps I have on hand and
do the same. When legs with thighs attached go one real cheap I use
about 4 lb of those and a carcass.
Chinese Style Rich Chicken Stock
3 lb chicken backs and necks, chopped in chunks
2 lb chicken wings or feet
20 cups cold water
1 onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic, whole
1 carrot, chopped
1 large leek, trimmed, sliced, and cleaned
2 inch piece ginger, thinly sliced
1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
1 tsp black peppercorns
Rinse chicken bones thoroughly under cold running water. Drain. Add to
with wings or feet with cold water.
Over medium heat, bring mixture to slow boil, skimming off foam
When stock starts to boil, add about 1 cup cold water to retard boiling.
heat and keep pot at steady simmer for about 10 minutes. Continue
surface is mostly clear.
Add all vegetables and peppercorns and reduce heat to slow simmer; continue
cooking uncovered for about 4 hours. Do not stir and do not allow to
surface a few times if necessary.
Strain finished stock through strainer lined with double layer of damp
cheesecloth to catch solids and much of the fat. Refrigerate and skim
Place stock in a large pot and bring back to a boil. Remove from heat
into prepared jars leaving a 1” headspace. Process ar 10 lb pressure.
20 minutes and quarts for 25 minutes. Adjust pressure according to altitude.
Makes about 15 to 16 cups
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Slow Cooker Meatballs in Peanut Chile Sauce Recipe
Posted: 07 Mar 2010 02:59 PM PST
Happy Oscar Night!
I made these fantastic meatballs last night for some friends, and they were so well-received I figured I better hurry up and share them with the Internet. I cheated and used store-bought already cooked meatballs, but you certainly could make your own to use.
I’m pleased to see that our friendly neighborhood Trader Joe’s is selling chicken meatballs that don’t have any added bread crumbs or other gluteny filler in the deli meat section. If you don’t live close to a Trader Joe’s, Aidells makes a gluten free meatball (read the label carefully—the Teriyaki flavor is NOT SAFE!).
Anyhow, the 7 of us (4 adults, three kids, aged 3 to 8.5) all really liked the flavor: creamy and slightly coconuty with a bit of spice.
40 already cooked meatballs (frozen or fresh)
2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
1 cup canned coconunt milk (I used light, it was fine. If using regular, shake well and include the cream on top)
1 tablespoon red chile paste (jarred, in the Asian cooking aisle)
2 teaspoons fish sauce (in Asian cooking aisle, surprisingly inexpensive)
1 1/2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
I used a 4 quart slow cooker. It’s okay to use a 6 quart, but decrease cooking time by about an hour.
Put meatballs into slow cooker (frozen is fine). Add peanut butter and coconut milk. Drop in a gollop of red curry paste, then add fish sauce and sugar. Stir as well as you can to combine-—it won’t be perfect because the peanut butter will still be clumpy. No worries.
Cook on low for 4-6 hours, high for 2-4, or until peanut butter mixture is fully melted and the meatballs are heated throughout.
Serve as a hot appetizer, or over long grained basmati rice as a meal.
These are delicious!! I ate 3 cold for breakfast, and they still were quite tasty. The spice of the sauce is noticeable, but kind of mellows when eaten with the meatball. If your meatballs have a kick to them on their own, cut back on the chili paste. We all really liked the bit of crunch from the chunky peanut butter, but if you aren’t a crunchy person, by all means use creamy.
I thought I could find the taco seasoning, it has vanished from the sites that I expected to find it.
Will this work?
Recipe: Fajita Seasoning
This recipe for Fajita Seasoning was given to me from a friend a number of years ago I dont know the original source Its easy and much cheaper to make the seasoning this way then buying those seasoning packs . Mix this recipe up and store in a jar 2 tablespoons equals a seasoning pack you would buy.
Recipe: Fajita Seasoning
All you need:
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ - ½ teaspoon cayenne (amount depends on how much heat you want)
¼ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 chicken bouillon cube, crushed
All you need to do:
Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl.
Store in an airtight container or Zip Loc bag until needed.
This recipe for Taco Seasoning is very close to the packaged kind you can find in the grocery store.
Tacos have become an American standard meal . Kids, as well as, adults scarf them down most cooks use packaged taco seasoning I did too until I realized I could do better by making my own seasoning . By making my own seasoning, I could eliminate the MSG and control the amount of salt in my tacos. I also liked the idea of controlling the heat too.
Its super easy to make up . use 3 tablespoons for every pound of ground beef you use if using with ground turkey or chicken you may want to add more since turkey and chicken are bland
The recipe makes a little more than 3 tablespoons... I would recommend you triple the recipe and save the leftovers for the next time... just store in a Ziploc bag... this way you’re good to go at a moments notice!
The great thing about making your own seasoning mix season to your taste use more seasoning if that is what suits your taste.
If you like your tacos with a kick add crushed red pepper flakes start with a ¼ teaspoon and taste add more to adjust to taste as necessary.
I also included in the picture below... 2 kinds of McCormick Chili Powder... one is the regular chili powder the other is the Mexican Hot Chili Powder... you may want to use some of both or just one or the other.
Recipe: Taco Seasoning
All you need:
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon paprika
1 ½ teaspoons cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne
All you need to do:
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, mix thoroughly.
Store in an airtight container.
LOL, happy that I could tempt you.
Let us know how you like them, when you make them up.
PORK AND BEANS BREAD<<<
That will either be your best secret recipe or it will not be made again.
I want to know how it turns out. Please!!
LOL, it is one that I would have wanted to try, when I could still get up and mess around.
Sleep well and sweet dreams.
If you will put a drop of lavender essential oil on his pillowcase, he will relax and not snore.
If he does not like the smell, wait until he is asleep and do it.
Yep, I was that sneaky.
I know a couple that it helped.
It will help you to relax and sleep better too, without pills.
great quilting blog! Loved the Doodle quilt.<<<
I liked it also, LOL, that is why I sent it to you.
I never did get to the other site.
Occupational sunlight exposure and kidney cancer risk in men (Less risk. D, of course)
American Cancer Society ^ | Mar 8, 2010 | Unknown
Posted on Monday, March 08, 2010 6:14:22 AM by decimon
Bugging bugs: Learning to speak microbe
New Scientist ^ | March 5, 2010 | Hayley Birch
Posted on Sunday, March 07, 2010 9:53:29 AM by grey_whiskers
Vitamin D crucial to activating immune defenses
University of Copenhagen ^ | Mar 7, 2010 | Unknown
Posted on Sunday, March 07, 2010 12:08:49 PM by decimon
Vitamin D Crucial To Activating Immune Defenses
Hmmm, never thought of herbs...
I do make lasagna with yogurt cheese that I make - along with whole wheat home made noodles - home made sauce and venison. Mmmmmm.
I am in zone 7 here...
Still had a few patches of snow on the garden yesterday - hopefully the warm day today will finish melting it, then maybe I can till it Tuesday if it isn’t too wet. Our sandy soil (Sassafras Loam) dries pretty fast and MAYBE I can get started catching up.
Typically the ‘Ides of March’ is potato planting day around here (per my grandfather’s schedule). Peas go in on the 1st of March (Geesh gotta get them in soooon).
Cabbage and broccoli plants are about ready to be hardened off - tis the busy season - I LOVE IT!
Well HI JD....
Glad to see you back online!
Have you considered adding greensand (about 100-150# per 1,000 sq ft) and lots of organic matter?
The Iron-Potassium Silicate really seems to work pretty well with the low organic content of upland clay soil. (plus it adds many many trace minerals too)
Brother-in-Law built a new home and tried and tried to grow a garden in his newly cleared clay soil - had him plant rye and vetch cover crop and work it in, then added the greensand. He now brings up his best veggies to see how they match up to mine... (He is in Central Virginia)
LOL every time I bake a different bread I think of you! (and the gulch express)
Hope all is going well for y’all!
Sounds like a winner, what time is dinner?
Allotment boost from under-used land planned
Plans to bring under-used and uncared for land back into use so that local communities
and keen would-be fruit and vegetable growers have somewhere to get digging, were
announced today by Communities Secretary John Denham and Environment Secretary Hilary
There is a huge interest in ‘growing your own’ with people wanting to get more in
touch with where their food comes from, as well as staying active and spending more
About 300,000 gardeners in England already have allotments but demand still outstrips
supply and the Government is therefore announcing new ways of meeting people’s desire
to dig in.
The Greenhorns - documentary film that explores the lives of America’s young farming
“The Greenhorns” is a documentary film that explores the lives of America’s young
farming community - its spirit, practices, and needs. It is the filmmakers’s hope
that by broadcasting the stories and voices of these young farmers, we can build
the case for those considering a career in agriculture - to embolden them, to entice
them, and to recruit them into farming.
Perspectives: Down on the urban farm
In his State of the Union address, President Obama enumerated ongoing problems requiring
his attention: health care, the economy, job creation, environmental issues and
lack of renewable fuels. In doing so, he suggested that increasing agricultural
exports would help solve some of these problems.
While export agriculture might indeed help some corporations, it is unlikely to
resolve issues directly affecting the public. One thing that would, however, is
urban agriculture. While not a panacea, urban agriculture can allay many of the
concerns mentioned by the president, and it can do so in several critical ways.
Artist imagines food garden at New York’s City Hall
We, the undersigned people of New York City, respectfully request that a vegetable
garden be planted in front of City Hall.
This garden will represent New Yorkers’ commitment to education, public service,
healthy eating, and environmental stewardship. This garden will be tended by NYC
public school students, in collaboration with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation
and our region’s talented gardeners and farmers. The harvest will be donated to
a nearby food pantry to feed the hungry.
Fashionista Farm Girls Sowing Rice & Riches In Tokyo
Working the earth with your own two hands isn’t exactly the type of activity that
many of us would choose to don our Sunday best for. It probably wouldn’t even occur
to most people to bother primping or preening because it’s not as if the crops really
care how you look. Farming is a dirty business after all, with dust swirling in
the air, the sun beating down on your neck and endless acres to plow, fertilize,
weed, water and harvest. Breaking a sweat is just part of the process but Japanese
model, singer and fashionista farm girl pioneer Shiho Fujita is intent on proving
that you don’t have to be schlumpy to show the land who’s boss. Why would a twenty-something
have any interest in digging in the dirt? Her motivation happens to be one part
damage control, one part fresh green entrepreneurial spirit.
Katimavik youth investigate urban agriculture and food security in Vancouver
A group of Katimavik youth volunteers set out into North Vancouver and Vancouver
to find out some answers about environmental initiatives on the subject of food
security. They interviewed Mark Bomford, UBC Farm; Emanuel Langlois, Katimivik
Participant; Heather Johnstone, Edible Gardens; Michael Levenston and Sharon Slack,
City Farmer; Chef Scott Rowe, Salvation Army; Nicole Robbins, Organics@Home; Melanie
ter Borg and Karen Morton, ecourbia.
All stories here:
City Farmer News [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1103158325806&s=1304&e=001krOt3tmGCTfvjgvpP8A36fuThuAFA6dvKLbQ5rRhYukP6_RpI7VYiZWBWM3u4ojq9aZ-MX9pmcn9JoqQMDopZrjEnIFyjOnkN9AskL7Pwh3-LDOQ0LWIsA==]
City Farmer - Canada’s Office of Urban Agriculture
>>Sounds like a winner, what time is dinner?<<
Awww, sorry you missed it a week ago - made an 18X24 tray of it and finished it off the next day for lunch.
Will have to call next time I get the pasta maker out and decide to make it again.
Will have to call next time I get the pasta maker out and decide to make it again.<<<
LOL, yes do call and I will hop right on a cloud and jump off at your place.
Beef Barley Soup Mix
1 pint container
3/4 C medium pearl barley, divided
1/2 C dried lentils
2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/4 C dried minced onions
1/4 C instant beef bouillon powder
2 tsp. dried celery flakes
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. dried minced garlic
Layer soup kit ingredients in the pint container in order listed, using half of the barley first and then the remaining barley at the top. Close container securely.
Attach cooking instructions:
BEEF BARLEY SOUP
1 jar Beef Barley Soup Mix
2 lb. boneless beef chuck, cut into ½ to 3/4-inch pieces OR 2 lb. lean ground beef
1 T vegetable oil
10 cups water
Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat and brown the meat. Pour off drippings. Add the contents of the soup mix and water to the Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer for 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours or until beef is fork tender. Discard bay leaves.
YIELD: 8 servings.
This recipe may be freely distributed with the following information:
Leslie Sausage lives with her husband in rural Texas. She is the mom of four grown children, a freelance writer, and has a degree in business administration. You are invited to visit her online for more creative, practical and fun ideas — http://heart4home.net.
3. Southwest Texas Snack Mix
Southwest Texas Snack Mix
1 cup small pretzel twists
1 cup corn chips
1 cup oyster crackers
1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 cup honey-roasted peanuts2 T butter or margarine, melted
2 T brown sugar
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1 t Chili Powder
1/2 t ground cumin
1/8 t cayenne pepper, optional
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Combine first five ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside while you make the coating mixture.
In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients; mix well.
Pour mixture over snack mix and toss to coat.
Place on ungreased 10x15-inch shallow baking pan.
Bake 25 minutes or until peanuts are golden brown, stirring halfway through cook time.
Cool completely. Mixture becomes crisp as it cools.
Makes 5 cups
This recipe may be freely distributed with the following information: Leslie Sausage lives with her husband in rural Texas. She is the mom of four grown children, a freelance writer, and has a degree in business administration. You are invited to visit her online for more creative, practical and fun ideas — http://heart4home.net.More Texas Food:
4. Easy Chicken Crockpot Recipe
Incredibly Easy Chicken
This low calorie chicken recipe is the easiest slow cooker cooking recipe you will ever find. Just throw the
ingredients into the slow cooker and in no time, you will have an incredibly delicious slow cooker chicken
h 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
h 28 ounces can Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes
h 1 envelope Herb and Garlic Recipe Soup Mix
h Hot cooked brown rice or whole wheat pasta
h reduced fat Parmesan cheese, grated
1. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces.
2. Mix chicken, tomatoes and soup mix together, and pour into slow cooker.
3. Cook on low for six to eight hours.
4. Serve over rice or bow tie pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
If you have an oven, you can do this in an oven-browning bag. Just bake for about 45 minutes at 350
Zucchini and mushrooms are nice additions to the recipe.
To visit your group on the web, go to:
=== Google Blogs Alert for: Urban Chicken farmers ===
Feed Denver: Urban Farms & Markets: 76 Trombones Led the Big Parade!
By Feed Denver: Urban Farms & Markets
Feed Denver: Urban Farms & Markets is dedicated to strengthening and
securing Denver’s urban agricultural food systems and helping transform
Denver into a green, sustainable, and productive city with thriving, fresh,
delicious, local food sources and ... Kate Johnson, the chicken queen here
at Feed Denver, says they are healthy and most of them will make it out to
the chicken coop. She is especially excited for the Cuckoo Marans, a French
breed, who lay dark brown eggs. ...
Feed Denver: Urban Farms & Markets
BioLargo, Inc.: John’s Hopkins - The American Farm- Creating ...
Silbergeld knew you could pick up Salmonella from, say, tainted chicken
salad. But how would that Salmonella have become resistant to antibiotics?
She turned to a colleague and asked. Because, he said, factory chicken
farms ..... Photo by Dale Keiger, Liz Wagstrom, assistant vice president of
science and technology for the National Pork Board, disputes the premise
she calls it “a kind of urban legend” that subtherapeutic dosages
of antibiotics drive resistance. ...
The Urban Homesteader: Comings and Goings, and Conventional Wisdom
By UdderMost Farm Girl ~
Chickens started out as something for me to do while caring for my elderly
father at home 24/7. Then, one chilly morning when we discovered our first
egg, warm from the nest on Christmas Eve 2008, a desire to be more
self-sustaining took root. ... make our own soap, lotion, ice cream and
yogurt; can salsa and tomatoes, green pepper jelly and strawberry jam,
applesauce and apple butter. Our urban farm is a work in progress ...
emphasis on work, but very satisfying! ...
The Urban Homesteader
HeartFelt: Options for food deliveries
By Urban Girl
AUBIN FARMS - Spencerville (south of Kemptville on 416) $35 week for home
delivery - biweekly option (17 week delivery season for vegetables)
Deliveries can include: eggs, beef, lamb, chicken, roses, homemade
chutneys, relishes, jams, ...
Allen Ginsberg Library - Post details: Denver Urban Homesteading
Fourth, for fun. Growing vegetables is fun. Raising food-producing animals
is fun. Fifth, because a chicken living in your backyard and playing with a
child is probably living a happier life than a chicken living on a factory
Allen Ginsberg Library
=== Google Web Alert for: Urban Chicken farmers ===
Ban Urban Chickens
Bc, the practice of raising urban chickens for eggs ruffles more than a few
to the widespread ban on chickens in the city, urban farmers across north
Chicken Farms In Iowa
Owner of fremont farms in iowa does not locate a chicken mega farm in the
area. had ... The urban chicken movement is gaining traction, but iowa city
Chicken Incubator Farm Supply Rosenberg Tx
The top feed and supply store for ranchers & farmers in san antonio, ...
There are many advantages of keeping backyard chickens, but most urban
Littleton may regulate urban chickens - Article Comments - View ...
Article Discussion on Urban chickens may not be the next big thing, ...
that these chickens are infinitely happier than the ones in mass production
A message from the Hopi Elders for 2010
You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
Now you must go back and tell the people that this is The Hour.
Here are the things that must be considered:
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know our garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
This could be a good time!
There is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.
They will try to hold on to the shore.
They will feel like they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off toward the middle of
the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.
See who is there with you and celebrate.
At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all
ourselves ! For the moment we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
The time of the lonely wolf is over.
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we have been waiting for
When you just want to get out of the elements for a little while, one of these may be the answer, they provide minimal protection and could never be described as comfortable, but they may make the difference between life and death if you are too tired or injured to construct anything more elaborate. (For pictures/diagrams see: http://forums.cosmoaccess.net/forum/survival/prep/shelter.htm)BoughShelter Look for branches that sweep to the ground or fallen boughs that offer protection from the wind-ensure they are secure enough not to fall on you though! You may want to secure them by lashing (see diagram). Weave in other branches to add supplemental protection, conifers are more suited to this technique than broad leaves.
The spreading roots and compacted earth at the base of a fallen tree form a useful storm barrier, if they are facing the right way. Filling in the sides around the roots will increase its potential and provide a solid base for construction of something more elaborate.
A shallowdepression in the earth will provide some protection from wind immediately, and provides a natural basis for construction of a shelter. However care must be taken in damp areas or on hills or youll end up under water! Lay a few light logs across the hollow and then a larger bow across them, this will give pitch to short branches laid across the top to keep out rain. Finish with turf or twigs and leaves.
A fallen trunk alone provides a good windbreak. Scoop out a small hollow on the leeward side and construct a lean-to roof of boughs.
A shelter is more comfortable if you have enough headroom to sit up in it. So build up a low wall of stones around a hollow or shallow excavation. Caulk the walls with mud, leaves, twigs and turf, finish with a roof of branches and turf.
If you should happen upon a growth of saplings, clear the ground between them and lash their tops together, weave branches between them and consolidate with ferns and turf. A similar effect can be gained by driving pliable branches firmly in the ground. If you have your bug-out or emergency kit you should have access to some form of waterproof sheeting, throw this over the saplings and weight with stones or logs.
With a waterproof poncho, groundsheet, piece of tarpaulin or plastic sheeting you can construct what is often referred to in the forces as a basha. There are a few designs below. Remember, always use natural shelter where possible, always insulate yourself from the ground and always secure the sheeting carefully.
Best known as the homes of North American Indians, start by tying three or more uprights together to form a cone, you can tie them on the ground before erecting. Cover with hides, sheeting or panels of birchbark. Ensure you leave a hole at the top for ventilation.
Under conditions of heavy snow it may be impossible to find building materials, at least not quickly enough to get you out of the elements. Fortunately snow itself provides a good building material. Dig into a drift of firm snow to make a cave. Make use of the fact that warm air rises and cold air sinks. Make your shelter on 3 levels. Build a SMALL fire on the highest, sleep in the middle and allow the low area to trap cold air. Use a stick or ice axe to force two holes in the roof, one to allow smoke to escape another to provide ventilation, fit a packed block of snow to the door.
It is possible to build simple walls by piling sticks between uprights driven into the ground and (if possible) tied at the top. Fill them well with dirt to close gaps and keep out the elements.
Make wattle and woven coverings for roofs or walls from springy saplings, small branches, plant stems, grasses or long leaves. First make a frame from less pliable material, tie off the struts and then weave in your materials. If you have little cordage drive the uprights into the ground and weave in enough of your material to make a basic framework, remove from the ground and finish.
Caves provide ready made shelter, even small caves can be made habitable and the larger ones make ideal permanent homes. Caves in rock set above valleys are normally dry inside, even if you get a little seepage through the roof. Caves can be cold and sometimes the local fauna may have beaten you to it so approach with care, if there are signs of other inhabitants light a fire near the entrance, but be sure to allow them an escape route, a good insulating layer of dry plant matter should help deal with the other problem. Beware of rockfall!!! Getting permanently trapped in your new home is not conducive to personal survival. Fires should be kept towards the rear of a cave, the smoke will rise and follow the roof to an exit, smoke from a fire lit near the entrance on the other hand will blow inside.
Turf Houses are useful in areas where timber is scarce or you do not have the necessary tools to work in wood. Cut sections of turf 18×6in and build them like bricks, overlapping Old English fashion. Slope the walls towards the rear to give pitch to your roof, which will have to be supported by wooden spars or some other equally strong material. Make a cover as described above and attach to the spars, cover this with leaves and then a layer of turf. Build low, big enough to situp or maybe scuttle around in but not high enough to stand up straight. You can leave the leeward side open, or for a stronger build fit a doorway to the lee wall, for this however you will need timber for the frame. You can build in an internal hearth and chimney, but remember that turf is flammable, coat the hearth area thickly with clay before use, or light a fire outside the door with a fire reflector behind.
The size of your log cabin will depend on two factors, the size of your timber and the number of people it is to house. A square or rectangle shape will be easiest to build and roof, 8ft square is a sensible size for a small cabin. Choose a level site to build your cabin, flatten a larger area if necessary, the walls must be level. Cutting down logs should ideally be accomplished with an axe or 2-handed saw although in a pinch the flexible saw from a survival kit will suffice. Unless youre sure youre up to the job dont attempt windows, you should get enough ventilation from the doorway, dont worry about making a door immediately, hang a blanket or other cloth over the door, itll keep out the wind. Caulk between the logs with a mixture of mud and the wood chips from your logging, use a sharpened stick to force it into the gaps. Cover the roof with saplings before laying a layer of mud and turf. You can add a fireplace if you leave a space in the roof for smoke to escape, but never leave it unattended, put it out rather than risk a fire, if you do make a fireplace it may be worth using stone if you have a ready supply, make a fireplace and chimney from flat-sided rocks caulked with clay.
Jelly, Honey For Pests
Tagged with: garden gate magazine
In the April issue of Garden Gate mag. someone wrote in and recommended making your own sticky traps. They used index cards, and honey or petroleum jelly.
Apparently some bugs are attracted to certain colors, like yellow or white. They recommended spreading honey on yellow index cards to trap aphids, thrips, and whitefies. And spread petroleum jelly on white index cards to trap plant bugs and rose chafers (so whats a plant bug, anyway)?
Attach the cards to stakes and place them in your garden. You will have to reapply the honey every couple of days.
Organic fungicide and pesticide
Tagged with: Organic fungicide organic pesticide
5 teaspoons of baking soda to 1 gallon of water is an effective fungicidethat works especially well on Black Spot and Powdery Mildew and Kelp and Seaweed sprays work well as pesticides against spider mites ,aphids , white flies , and thrips. Also they quoted a study done in the 60sthat the above also increases resistance to stress and frost.
Ron The One Who Walks Two Paths
Tagged with: living mulches
Living mulches Cover crops are usually killed or incorporated before establishing the vegetable crop. Recently, however, there has been interest in living mulch systems where the cover crop and vegetable grow together in the field for all or part of the growing season in order to extend weed control and other cover crop benefits such as decreased traffic compaction into the growing period of the crop.
Living mulches can compete for moisture and nutrients, so they are not recommended for low-growing, shallow-rooted, or drought-susceptible vegetable crops. Because they provide habitat for beneficial insects, living mulches sometimes decrease insect-pest populations. Population of other pests may increase however. In a New York study,use of a living mulch reduced population levels of cabbage looper, imported cabbage worm, aphid, and flea beetles, but slug populations increased.
Living mulches are not appropriate for all situations. It is very importatnt for characteristics of a living mulch to complement those of the vegetable crop. A cover crop should germinate and grow in the shade and be low growing relative to the main crop. For example, a vining cover crop should be used only with tall vegetable crops (such as sweet corn). Bush type cover crops such as red clover should be used on shorter vegetables such as cabbage, peppers and determinate tomatoes.
Cover crops should not be susceptible to the same diseases as the main crop , and should not interfere with harvest. To establish a living mulch: Make sure the field is free of weeds before planting the main crop. Let the main crop grow alone for 4 to 5 weeks so it can compete successfully with the living mulch crop. Typically this point will be reached after the last cultivation.
Establish the mulch by drilling rather than broadcasting since drilling the seed gives a better stand.
Rotate living mulch types.
Plant a garlic clove beside the plant you want to protect. Pests of all kinds will stay away. Do not plant garlic near peas.
Basil near tomatoes will repel worms and flies.
Plant onions near carrots and beets. Onions and garlic will protect your lettuce and beans from Japanese beetles, carrot flies and aphids.
Pour boiling water on ant hills to kill ants quickly.
To protect cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts from the cabbage moth, use mint, sage, dill, and thyme. Do not plant cabbage near strawberries.
To deter ants, use equal parts of vinegar and water to wash your countertops, floors, cabinets, etc.
Try leaving an open bottle of pennyroyal or citronella oil in your room if mosquitoes are a problem indoors. You can also rub a little apple-cider vinegar on your skin to serve as a repellant.
Aphids and spiders will stay away from plants that have been sprayed with dishwashing liquid mixed with water. Aphids will also stay away from anise and coriander.
Use a bit of cinnamon in your cupboards and drawers to get rid of silverfish.
To kill cockroaches, mix half a cup of flour, a quarter cup of sugar, and one cup of borax together. Sprinkle along the cracks and crevices where they hide.
To catch flys make your own flypaper with honey and yellow paper.
In general leave spiders alone they are good bugs.
To make a flea powder for dogs and cats that is organic, use Pennyroyal herb or oil and mix with cornstarch and douse the critters with some or plant it where they can roll in it.
To get rid of lice try using petroleum jelly (Vaseline). Try it, it works great. You saturate head with it, put a plastic cap on overnight and the next day they all wash right out, no need for fine tooth comb. May require several washings though
For home gardening it means: less work, less irrigation, improved soil, higher yields and no poisons. There are unlimited opportunities in market gardening, mini-farming and mini-ranching. People can have a comfortable income, a high quality lifestyle, provide a great service and a great way to raise children. A lady took a BIMA course, went home to Alaska, prepared her land and grossed $20,000 the first year. Then had a six months winter vacation! Houston with over one million people has almost no vegetable production in the five surrounding countries.
BIMA allows people to feed themselves on a local basis that provides total community food security and is a proven food production system that is ecologically sound, economically viable and socially responsible.
It creates a healthy soil for growing healthy plants to provide healthy food to feed healthy people [KH]. For the human population to be healthy, we need to consume healthy foods [organic] which come from healthy animals eating healthy plants grown in healthy soil [C Scheaffer, VMD/holistic].
Food Production: Agriculture is in a crisis worldwide. The Green Revolution is not ecologically sound, economically viable nor socially responsible. It makes farmers depend on, even an economic slave to, agribusiness and multinational corporations, CargillMonsanto, ConAgra, NovartisADM and others. Their goal is to control the worlds food supply from research to production to consumer by controlling seed, fertilizers and chemicals. These seed must have chemicals sprayed on them to produce and seed can not be saved for the next crop. Other corporations are beginning to market irradiated food which may be dangerous to our health. [Request: ÒWho Will Feed The WorldÓ by email, 12 pages of articles; www.nfu.org; www.moffa.org; www.inmotionmagazine.com; AGRIBUSINESS EXAMINER -Monitoring Corporate Agribusiness. Free from: Avkrebs@earthlink.net] The Congress, President, USDA [^partner in a GEg patent?; 30,000 grants; onjy 34 for organic, family farming], most land-grant colleges and most ag extension services are part of the problem rather than part of the solution and uses our tax dollars. The worlds farmers can produce all the food the worlds population requires, regardless of how high it goes, using BIMA.
^000200000B1100000AEE^B0B, ÒUrban Ag has the potential to provide many benefits to cities in nutritional improvement, hunger reduction, income generation, enterprise development and environmental enhancement. The poor and unemployed can grow their own food. Farming converts degraded and unkept vacant lots into healthy, green areas. Waste [grass, leaves, trees, sawdust, manure, food waste] can be composted and used on the farms as well as recycled water. City governments must recognize the potential of urban agriculture and accord it the status given to other industries and economic activities in the city.Ó Urban Ag Network, email@example.com. Books: Urban Agriculture Food, Jobs and Sustainable Cities; A Patch of Eden, H P Hynes; www.cityfarmer.org. Urban gardening is very important socially, economically, esthetically and recreationally. Cultivating Havana: Urban Agriculture; 1999,Food First
Urban Micro-entrepreneurship: Most urban agriculture is directed by NGOs but there are unlimited opportunities for private BIMA all over every city. Employment is limited and most are low pay. Urban homesteading and BIMA are a realistic option: socially and financially. Book: Entrepreneurial Community Gardens, G Feenstra, 1999.
Economic development is a major concern for most towns and cities. BIMA is very effective economic development. It benefits local people. Thirty experienced families can sell $40,000 each in the local farmers market. That is Òcreated wealthÓ. That is $1,200,000 added to the local economy each year. This wealth stays in the city rather than being sent to a corporate office somewhere; even abroad.
Rural: There is a grassroots movement back to family farming. BIMA is the answer and is being used by the many Ônew people entering agriculture as well as innovative farmers. Web: //sunsite.unc.edu/farm-connection; www.cfra.org.
Micro-entrepreneurship: Employment opportunities are limited and most are low pay. BIMA is a realistic option: socially and financially.
Organic: Gardeners and farmers have been organic since the beginning of agriculture until the discovery of certain chemicals in WW II [to kill people then, insects now]. No one has the right, moral or legal, to poison the air, soil or water. ÒOrganic gardening and farming is more than avoiding chemicals. The organic method requires a change of attitude and a different thought process.Ó [H Garrett, DMN; www.whitehawk.com/dirtdoctor]. Organic does not require the purchase of any outside inputs except seed and maybe organic fertilizer. The present generation knows nothing about raised beds or organics because their fathers and grandfathers have used chemicals since the 1950s. Therefore, they must be taught. [Read: From The Good Earth, M Ableman; Web: www,purefood.org; www.foodsecurity.org]
Note: A salesman sales chemical fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, etc to a farmer and gets paid by the chemical company from the sale. Promoters of organic gardening and farming have nothing to sale.
Raised beds: They have been used in Asia [Indonesia, China, Vietnam, PNG], Latin America [Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru], Europe [France] and USA [NE Indians] for centuries. I saw a few while living in Guatemala. Because of chemicals they were abandon but there is a worldwide movement back to using them. 80,000 km2 are being restored in Peru/Bolivia. They work.
Everyone should use and I teach:
A. Organic, biointensive, double dug, permanent raised beds with green manure/cover crops/mulch/-compost. This can double or even triple the yields while reducing the labor by half compared to traditional gardening. This works [USA: Chadwick Garden & market garden, Ecology Action, MOA, NFRDC; Mexico, ECOPOL; Philippines, IIRR; Kenya: Manor House Ag Center; Chile: Centro de Educac^on y Tecnolog^a; Vietnam: VACVINA] and the proof is there for all to see.
B. Organic, biointensive, permanent raised beds using no-till, green manure/cover crops/mulch/-compost. This works and the proof [Honduras: COSECHA, CIDICCO; Japan: M Fukuoka,; IIRR: Philippines; Chile, CET; USA: M Cain, AR] is there for all to see.
BIMA boasts two advantages no other production system can claim. First, it is easier on the soil than mechanized methods. Second, it is the least expensive method in terms of capital outlay. For very small farms [mini-farms] this method is not only economically viable but superior to the alternatives. Jeff Rast, Center for Small Acreage Farming, Countryside Magazine, Nov/Dec 98.
Only hand labor with hand tools are used but with sufficient land use power hand tools, scythes, wheel hoes with implements, push planters and spreaders, etc. A plow [moldboard, rototiller, etc] is never used. [Read: Plowman’s Folly, E H Faulker; Weeds-Control Without Chemicals, Walters. Video: Necessity of Organic Resides, R Parnes]. Transportation can be a bicycle, tricycle, quadracycle [pickup and/or passengers] with trailers. [Info: address above].
C. Organic, permanent raised beds [80Ó-100Ó wide] with green manure/cover crops using no-till machinery. Axles are extended to fit over the beds so the wheels run in permanent tracks. This works and the proof [Morrison, USDA/ARS, TX; Deep Bed Farming Society, CO; S Groff. PA; EPAGRI, Brazil] is there for all to see. [Video: No-Till Vegetables, S Groff]
D. Agroforestry: Trees [food, oils, chemicals, medicinals, spices, beverages, crafts, lumber, forages, firewood, windbreaks, industrials, etc] should be a planned crop. www.winrock.org; www.treesftf.org; www.unl.edu/nac.
1. Forestry: Forest must not be cleared but manage-harvested for natural crop production using raised beds for specific crops. This works and the proof [Brazil: Instituto de Permacultura da Bahia, Costa Rica, IANI] is there for all to see.
2. Alley Cropping: Raised beds between rows of trees. This works and the proof [USA; Nigeria, IITA; Philippines, IIRR, BMRLC; Costa Rica, IANI] is there for all to see.
Without a water system, bucket drip irrigation should be used. A kit [US$25 ppd] irrigates 200 feet of vegetables by filling a five gallon bucket each morning and each evening. Two kits will irrigate enough vegetables for a family of seven on a vegetarian diet during the dry season. [Kenya]. Can be adapted to irrigate trees, etc. [Video: Third World Irrigation Update, free with first kit or $5 ppd.]
Financing: Requirements for beginners: handtools, seed, fertilizer, water, misc for $400 or less. Micro-loan programs [no collateral required. failures-2%], cooperatives, ag incubators, foundations may be needed. Contact: The Intervale Foundation, 802-660-3508 fax 3501
Cooperative: tools for loan, purchase in bulk and sell, rent land, farmers markets, library, training classes, micro-loans, savings bank, rent value-added processing plant, etc for members only.
Land: Use land, free, owned by individuals, companies, churches, governments, schools, non-profits and the tax office [Repossessed land in Lubbock TX may be farmed free]. People will donate land to non-profit groups. The food bank in Lubbock TX has been given: various vacant lots, 25 A orchard; 5 A. farm and Jan 99, 48 A urban farm.
BIMA can produce flowers, dyes, vegetables, nuts, fruits, trees, grains, fibers, herbs, spices, medicinals, oils, teas, sweeteners, fragrances, seeds, ornamentals, industrials [lubricants, brooms, gums, waxes, oils, rubber, emulsifiers, chemicals, paper], forages, feed grains, farm animals. Market gardening has a average gross sales of $8,000 per acre with a few as high as $30,000 with value-added. A family with 2-15 acres can earn a very nice income.
Schools/Youth: Most young people do not know enough about agriculture to know whether they are interested in it or not. They should have some exposure to all of it. Should feel close to nature. 1. Gardens: Every school [primary, junior high, high school] should have a gardening project in every classroom. Foodworks, VT; Mountain School, VT; www.connriver.org/mountainschool. Home Schoolers should have a cooperative garden. [Yellowrose School, TX; request: BIMA-Youth; Our Wonderful Youth; www.ahs.org; www.national.org.
2. Market Garden/Mini-Farm: Every high school should have a BIMA training program as a career choice. [not part of Vo-Ag/FFA]; www.cityfarmer.org; AR firstname.lastname@example.org; Chicago HS for Ag Sciences; Read: Entrepreneurial Community Gardens,: Growing food, skills, jobs and communities. Freenstra, McGrew, Campbell, 1999.
3. Mini-Ranch/Dairy: Many students will not garden but prefer livestock. It is a rich educational experience to witness mating, birth, maturing, dying and having to nurture animals. Read: Explorations in Urban Animal Ag, HPI
Training: BIMA should be offered in all youth detention centers, prisons and jails [C Marcum, SF County Jail, CA]. Others: homeless [Homeless Project, Fresh Start Farms, HGP, CA], gang members [video: City Farmers, Survival in the Urban Landscape, 412-528-4839], welfare-to-work, etc. Most people want to work; not take handouts. They should be trained as should those seeking new careers, second jobs or part-time work. They have a choice of micro-entrepreneurship or employment.
1. Market Garden: One food bank offers training for up to three years.
2. Mini-Farm: Training in additional crops and value-added.
3. Mini-Ranch/Mini-Dairy: Some people prefer livestock. [St Anthony’s Dairy, email@example.com]
1. Home Garden/mini-ranch: Every home should have a garden to produce food for the family and forage for small animals for meat. This assures that the family, especially the children, do not consume chemicals. With experience, a family can grow all their vegetables on 1000 ft2. Additional beds can be used for forage for small farm animals.
2. Market Garden: High value, labor intensive crops are grown.
3. Mini-Farm: Additional crops requiring more land but less intensive labor. Some of these crops are particularly adapted to value-added.
4. Mini-Ranch: Use raised beds for forage/grain. Small animals are in pens which are over the beds and moved down the beds daily for grazing or cut and carry. HPI has a bee project in Chicago. Houston has hundreds of livestock. [DMN, Nov 98]. If neighbors do not complain, the city authorities probably wont. Raise quiet animals [no roosters], keep clean [no odors] and give each neighbor eggs or meat or vegetables every month. Mini-ranching requires a little more investment and land but less labor.
5. Mini-Dairy Farm: Raised beds for forage/grain. HPI has a dairy goat project in Chicago. There is a goat dairy in downtown Houston. Use milk goats, dairy sheep and miniatures.
1. Market Garden: Has more acreage and uses larger hand tools or power hand tools. The farmer who is willing to change can find a very profitable niche.
2. Mini-Farm: Larger scale. Grow volume and/or industrial crops which require more acres.
3. Mini-Ranch: Raised beds for forage/grain. Small animals are in pens which are over the beds and moved down the bed daily for grazing or cut and carry. Small livestock includes miniature swine [40#] and beef [15 meat and dual purpose breeds]. There is a demand for organic, farm raised meat, eggs, raw milk, etc.
4. Mini-Dairy: Use raised beds for forage & grain. Space for large dairy animals. [cattle, water buffalo, goats, sheep] Grow all feed. 50 cow dairy supports two families [CISA, PA].
Marketing: There is a nationwide, grassroots movement to buy local, buy fresh, buy organic. There are many ways to market but the following are the best.
1. Farm stand or curbside stand: Customers coming to you is low cost marketing. People will drive to a farm to buy fresh food.
2. Farmers Markets: The US government issues funds to families which must be used only for fresh fruits and vegetables and used only at a certified farmers market. The USDA grants permission for farmers markets to operate on government property. Put them in housing projects. Web: www.ams.usda.gov/directmarketing
3. CSA-Community Supported Agriculture: Customers pre-purchase shares of produce.
4. Value-added: Use family labor to process in some way what is grown to increase the selling price. Examples: solar dried fruit/vegetables, jams/jellies, crafts, milk/cheese, dried flowers, etc. [equipment manufacturers: Cecoco, Japan; milk processing, firstname.lastname@example.org].
5. Cooperatives: Enalbles the mini-agriculturists to work together to do what they cant do individually in marketing and/or value-added processing. [example-cheese making, jelly, etc]
Gardens/Mini-Farms workshops of 1 -4 days are available anywhere at anytime. They are practical and how-to. I take two reference books [English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Hindi, Arabic] to donate, drip irrigation samples and order free magazines [Spanish, English, Portuguese] if there is a library. Demonstrate raised bed construction, mulching and drip irrigation. Show videos/slides and networking. Display: books, periodicals, newsletters, tools.
The only opportunity to learn practical, how-to BIMA is in my workshops or in TN [gardening or mini-farming] on-farm workshops [five days each] in June. Contact for info. Ken Hargesheimer
I ask one favor of every person who gets this; pass it on to as many others as possible to encourage them to use organic gardening and farming. Encourage the schools to teach it.
Request: BIMA-A Sustainable Farming System; BIMA-Info & Ideas [five pp], BIMA-Third World, BIMA-Youth, Bucket drip kits by Email or SASE.
Can you imagine the beauty of your community with all vacant lots/land in mini-agriculture, wildflowers, wildlife, forest, prairie, stream riparians
Tropical Small Farms
We must remember that one factor of the Green Revolution around the world was mass migration of small property-owners to the cities to swell the slums ( Sao Paulo Brazil now has 15 million people, at least half of which are rural refugees). So when the Industrial Agriculture mega-business people talk about feeding the starving millions they omit to mention that these millions are starving because they were forced off their lands by an agricultural model which was too expensive and too destructive for small farms to hold up under. Our experience in Brazil mirrors what is said here about the small farm. We have seen examples of successful small farms of 3-4 hectares of agroforests ( which is the appropriate model in the tropics) earn US$300-400 per month, with practically zero costs other than family labor. This means a comfortable margin of profit which permits a very good life indeed. Marsha Hanzi. Instituto de Permacultura da bahia Brazil. email@example.com
* Gaviotas A Village to Reinvent the World, Alan Wiesman
* Entrepreneurial Community Gardens Freenstra
* Natural Pest Control Andy Lopez Andy@invisiblegardener
* Garden-Ville Method Malcolm Becyk
* Organic Manual Howard Garrett
* Organic Gardeners Composting Steve Solomon Out of print, Reprint in Fall 99
* Farmers Earthworm Handbook David Ernst
* How To Grow More Vegetables Than You Ever Though Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine, John Jeavons firstname.lastname@example.org Spanish, French, German, Russian, Arabic, Kiswahilli
* Plowmans Folly E H Faulkner
* Weeds: Control Without Poisons Charles Walters, Jr
* Growing Produce Family Style R Yoder 330-852-4687 [market gardening]
* Rebirth of The Small Family Farm Gregson, Box 2542, Vashon Island WA 98070, $10 ppd
* Solar Gardening Poisson 800-762-7325
* Cold Weather Gardening Frank Ours Box 371, Parson, WV $7 pp.
* From the Good Earth M Ableman
* Four Seasons Harvest, Eliot Coleman
* Winter Harvest Manual, Eliot Coleman
* New Organic Grower, Eliot Coleman
* You Can Farm: The Entrepreneurs Guide, Joe Salatin
* Salad Bar Beef, Joe Salatin
* Pastured Poultry Profits: Joe Salatin
* One Straw Revolution, M Fukuoka, Japanese
* Natural Way of Farming, M Fukuoka, Japanese
* Road Back To Nature, M Fukuoka, Japanese
TTU: BS-Agriculture; Ecology Action: BIMA Workshop 97
TX: Lubbock, Dallas, Hereford, Nazareth, Happy, Amarillo
MS: Oxford; FL: N Ft Myers
Mexico, Rep. Dominicana, C^t^ dIvoire, Nigeria, Honduras Box 1901, Lubbock TX 79408-1901
Tel 806-744-8517; Fax 806-747-0500; email@example.com
Workshops in organic, biointensive, raised-bed gardening, market gardening, mini-farming, mini-ranching worldwide in English & Spanish
Natural Pest Control
Here are some of the kitchen-cabinet remedies weve tested over the years and found just as good as many chemicals and sold in garden centers.
FRUIT COCKTAIL.You can buy Japanese-beetle traps of all sorts, but most are no more effective in trapping these pests than a can of fruit cocktail. Open the can and let it sit in the sun
for about a week to ferment. Then stand it on bricks or wood blocks in a
light-colored pail. Fill the pail with water to just below the top of the can and
put it about 25 feet from the plants you want to protect. The beetles,attracted
to the sweet and potent bail, will fall into the water and drown. (If rain
dilutes the fruit cocktail, youll have to start anew.)
BUTTERMILK -The scrourge of many outdoor ornamental plants, and indoor ones, too, is the mite, so tiny it would take 50 of them to cover the head of a pin. The most common one, the red
spider mite, causes yellowing and stippling of foliage and twisting of leaf tips.
There is a simple home cure that works on the ornamental plants and fruit trees. Mix 1/2 cup o buttermilk, 4 cups of wheat flour and 5 gallons of water and strain through cheesecloth. Sprayed a plant, the mixture destroys a high-percentage of mites as well as their eggs.
EPSOM SALTS AND BORAX -If you raise muskmelons that taste flat, the trouble could be a lack of magnesium in sandy soil. University of Maryland tests show that muskmellons can be sweetened
by spraying the vines with a solution of borax, Epsom salts and water. Use 3-1/3 tablespoons of household borax, plus 6-1/2 tablespoons of Epsom salts, in 5 gallons of water. Spray foliage when the vines begin to run and again when fruits are about two inches in diameter.
SOAP, DETERGENT, TOBACCO. -Soap effectively controls fungus gnats, tiny black flies that may thrive in the soil of your house plants. Make suds of laundry soap, and pour 1/2 cup to 1 cup
around the top of the pots. Any bar laundry soap will work, but naphtha soap works best. (my note, good old Fels Naphtha again to the rescue!) Soapsuds also make a fine killer of soft-bodies pests such as aphids. And nothing beats liquid dishwashing detergent for getting rid of whiteflies, one of the worst pests gardeners have to contend with. Also called flying dandruff, these snow-white insects, each about 1/16 inch long, congregate on the underside of leaves and suck
sap. They also secrete a sticky substance that attracts a black mold and kills foliage.
Mix 1 teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent in a gallon of water and spray the undersides of leaves every five days for 15 days. Repeat once a week thereafter, until the insects are eradicated. If youre a smoker or use tobacco in any form, be sure to wash your hands with laundry soap before handling plants.
TOMATOES, PEPPERS,EGGPLANTS, petunias and other members of the Solanaceae family. The soap deactivates tobacco-mosaic virus which may be present on your hands and helps prevent it from spreading to plants. A plant that already has this virus must be removed and destroyed immediately.
On the other hand, for garden plants and house plants (except those ofthe Solanaceeae family), you cant find a better aphid killer than nicotine. Soak two or three cigarette butts in a cup of water to get a brown tea.
Mix in a little soapsuds and dip infected parts of house plants in the solution or use it as a spray. Tobacco juice also is highly effective in killing such pests in the soil of house plants as symphilids, fungus gnats and springtails. Pour a cupful around the base of the plant. (Caution: nicotine is toxic: keep the mixture our of the reach of children and pets.)
-To protect ripening tomatoes from fungal diseases, wash them with a solution of 1 tablespoon of bleach to a quart of water, and dry with a paper towel. Wrap each tomato in newspaper, and store in a basket or tray in a cool place (any area with a temperature around 55 degrees).
To sterilize your garden tools and old clay or plastic flowerpots, scrub them with a brush. Then soak them for a few minutes in a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water.
TALCUM POWDER -It youre plagued by rabbits, try dusting your plants with ordinary talcum powder. It also works like a charm in repelling flea beetles on tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and other plants.
GARLIC -If youre looking for ammunition to keep cats and dogs away, chop up abulb of garlic or a large onion, add a tablespoon of cayenne pepper, and steep in a quart of water for an hour. Add 1 teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent to help the mixture stick to the plant. Strain what you need into a sprayer or watering can and sprinkle it on plant leaves. The rest will remain potent for several weeks if refrigerated in a tightly covered jar. (Do not spray outdoors on
windy days as solution may burn you reyes. Indoors, be careful not to breathe the
VINEGAR -Azaleas and gardenias need an acid soil. If you live in a
hard-water area, your plants may suffer from too much lime, causing leaves to
Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to a quart of water and pour a cupful or
so around the base of a plant every two or three weeks until the yellow
Vinegar is also useful in making a preservative for cut flowers.
Mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and 2 teaspoons of cane sugar in a quart of water.
Use in vase instead of plain water.
BEER -Placed in shallow pans flush with the ground, beer is a safe, inexpensive killer of snails and slugs. The pests crawl into the pans and drown. In a report to the Entomological Society of America a few years ago, Floyd F. Smith of the U.S. Dept. ofAgriculture said that in a series
of four-day greenhouse tests, beer attracted more than 300 slugs, while metaldhyde, a standard bait,attracted only 28!!!!!!Very likely at this date in time, there may be other stuff on the market that updatesall this, but I for one, am surely going to get a LARGE can of talcum powder for my tomatoes!!!!!
Everyone stay safe,
Dar in Tucson
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