In This Issue:
- Health in the News: *Cocoa Bean Mulch Warning *Monsanto Goes GMO-Free in its Cafeteria *Can Environmental Toxins Turn Genes Off? *Organic Seed Resources *Paper or Plastic? Which is Best for the Environment? *Alaskan Seafood and Vibrio Infections *A recent study (OK, it’s really some dorky humor)
- What’s New on the Website? *Milk thistle *Certified Organic Food Survey *Old Tired Dog *List of Fragrance Chemicals
- Case of the Month: *GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms)—Are they safe?
- Product of the Month: *Scrub Buds
- Media Reviews: *Book review—The Findhorn Garden
- Ask Dr. Moffat: *Why should I eat organic Foods? *What is a CSA? How does one work? *How do you get your yard to be so colorful? *Does anyone have a blessing for plants? (From our Rural Roots List)
- Tips and Tricks for a Healthier Life *Farmers Market Today Magazine *The Dangers of Burning Candles *How to Use a Clothesline (Plus a poem) *Composting Tips
- Client Testimonials: *Epilepsy
- Healthy Recipes: *Basic Taco Filling
- Inspiration & Perspective: *An Old Farmer’s Advice *A prayer for the wild things *Guidance from Eileen Caddy *Hand washing prayer *The Benefit of Bees
- What’s New at Our House? *Tanglefoot *Annual Anniversary Tools *Gardening with power! Sod cutting.
- Local Events: *Sept. 13, 2008. Usui Reiki I, II, Master Level Class *Sept. 16, 2008. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction class
- In Memoriam: *Raymond E. Bryant, Karuna Reiki Master
Health in the News: Pet Poison Alert: Cocoa Bean Mulch Can Be Toxic To Dogs
(Article taken from the ASPCA website www.aspca.org )
If your dog likes to spend his summer grazing in your garden, his treat-seeking nose may lead him to one danger in particular: the sweet-smelling, but potentially harmful cocoa bean mulch. Made of cocoa bean shells and considered desirable for its eventual degradation into organic fertilizer, this gardener’s choice can be toxic to canines if eaten in large quantities—and some dogs have been known to eat amazing amounts!
In 2007, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) handled 26 cases of cocoa bean mulch ingestion—a third originating in California. “Dogs are attracted to the fertilizer’s sweet smell,” says Dr. Steven Hansen, ASPCA Veterinary Toxicologist and APCC Director, “but like chocolate, cocoa bean mulch can be too much for our canine companions.”
Ingestion of large amounts of cocoa bean mulch, which contains residual amounts of theobromine—a methylxanthine found in chocolate and known to be toxic to dogs—may cause a variety of clinical signs. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and elevated heart rate, and if large amounts are consumed, they may progress to hyperactivity, muscle tremors and possibly other more serious neurological signs.
Treatment includes administering medical-grade activated charcoal, bringing tremors under control, cardiac monitoring and preventing further exposure.
“One key point to remember is that some dogs, particularly those with indiscriminate eating habits, can be attracted to any organic matter,” says Dana Farbman, APCC Senior Manager, Professional Communications. “Therefore, if you have a dog with such eating habits, it’s important that you don’t leave him unsupervised or allow him into areas where such materials are being used.”
To avoid contact, pet parents should consider a nontoxic alternative, such as shredded pine, cedar or hemlock bark. These will keep your pooch—and your garden—healthy.
For more detailed information, please take a look at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center online.
Monsanto Goes GMO-Free in its Cafeteria (From ODE magazine June, 2007)
UNITED KINGDOM. From now on, staff at the British headquarters of biotech giant Monsanto will be eating only non-genetically modified products on their lunch breaks. Foods containing genetically modified soy and corn are no longer available in the company cafeteria. Granada Food Services, which manages the canteen, is said to be concerned about health risks. Monsanto’s press department contended the action was not the result of a boycott initiated by worried employees of the U.S. multinational. Please watch the documentary on Montsanto if you have not already.
Can Environmental Toxins Turn Genes Off? (Thanks to Mary M. who saw this article in the WSU Today online magazine http://www.theinnovators.wsu.edu/skinner-news-1.aspx and thought it would be of interest. Actually, I believe there is something in our environment that is preventing the inactive thyroid hormone from converting to the active form. Wonder if this is a partial answer for that pandemic challenge? See what you think. )
Work by a Washington State University research team has been chosen as one of the top 100 science stories of 2005 by Discover magazine.
Molecular biologist Michael K. Skinner and his co-workers found that exposing fetal rats to environmental toxins can affect their sexual development in a way that shows up in subsequent generations as well. They showed that the toxins did not cause mutations or changes in the DNA sequences. Rather, the toxins caused changes in chemicals attached to the DNA. Such changes are called “epigenetic,” meaning “around the genes.”
“I think this concept that epigenetics is going to play a really important role in biology is just now being appreciated,” said Skinner in June, when his team’s results were published in the journal Science. ” It probably is a big piece of the puzzle which we didn’t really have before.”
Their work joins a growing body of evidence that genes DNA sequences are not the only source of heritable traits. Instead, changes in small chemicals attached to the DNA can turn genes on or off, affecting a wide range of processes, including normal development and susceptibility to disease. Over the past several years, epigenetic changes have been implicated in several kinds of leukemia and in the premature aging of cloned animals such as Dolly the sheep.
Skinner’s group showed that epigenetic changes can be even more stable in a population than changes to the DNA itself. Its work raises the possibility that events in a person’s lifetime such as exposure to toxins, stress or disease could affect that person’s descendents several generations later.
Organic Seeds Anyone? Here are some resources:
In 2005, Monsanto Co. bought Seminis Seed Company, a vegetable seed producer who sells approximately 40% of vegetable seed in the U.S. and also sells many seeds to organic farmers. Many organic seed catalogs, including Territorial, Stokes, Johnny’s, Fedco, Nichols, Osborne, and Snow carry Seminis varieties.
“We will see in years to come how Monsanto may attempt to monopolize the organics resurgence” said one Rural Root list person. Many of our Rural Root organization people (http://www.ruralroots.org) are very concerned about this. I went in search of the original article and was astounded to read:
Monsanto, a developer of genetic modifications for crops (GMO’s) like soybeans and corn, said biotechnology modifications to Seminis’ fruits and vegetable lines were an option over the long term. (Gee, I can see why we should be concerned!)
This Rural Roots discussion generated much input which led to a variety of sources that carried organic seed (not genetically modified). I thought you’d like a list of them as well.
- Bill McDorman www.seedstrust.com
- Biodynamically Grown Garden Seeds…heirloom vegetables, herbs, grown in British Columbia and in Sun Valley, Idaho. http://www.soulmedicinejourney.com/GiveSeeds.html
- Bountiful Gardens www.bountifulgardens.org
- Camphill Village, website: www.turtletreeseeds.com
- Good Seed Company www.goodseedco.net in Oroville, Washington
- Heart of the Highlands seed catalog, Mariah Cornwoman and Bob Raymer, 519 S. Western Ave. Tonasket, WA 98855, 509-486-1855 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Osborne Seed Company, Certified Organic Seeds, Mount Vernon, WA, www.osborneseed.com
- Wild Garden Seeds in Oregon www.wildgardenseed.com
To read the full article, go to: http://www.isa.org/InTechTemplate.cfm?Section=Technology_Update1&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=42477
Paper or Plastic? Which is best for the Environment?
Did you know that?
- Each year the United States consumes 30 billion plastic and 10 billion paper grocery bags which requires the use of 12 million barrels of oil and the harvest of 14 million trees?
- More than 46,000 pieces of plastic contaminate each square mile of our oceans?
- Over 100,000 marine animals die every year from plastic entanglement.
- Only 1% of plastic bags are recycled annually.
What’s the solution? Bring your own re-usable bags. How are other countries handling this problem? Read about that here: http://www.igotmybag.org/why.htm
Comments by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger: “In late March, 2007, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban the use of plastic bags by grocery stores. For the record, I’m in favor of the San Francisco bag ban. It’s the right decision. Given that plastic bags take 1000 years to decompose in landfill, we need to take action right now to stop adding more plastic bags to the planet.
“And yet, as I’m pointing out in this article, isn’t it interesting how easy it is to ban plastic bags that are dangerous for the environment but how difficult it is to ban chemical food ingredients that are dangerous to human health?
“. . . If we’re really serious about planetary health, shouldn’t we ban all the poisons IN the bag instead of just the bag? Why not outlaw all the food and beverage additives that cause cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, depression and migraine headaches? I say let’s protect the planet and the consumer at the same time. Hand ’em a hemp cloth shopping bag filled with fresh, organic produce. That’s how you save the planet AND prevent disease in consumers.” Go get ‘em Mike. Reference: http://www.naturalnews.com/021764.html
Alaskan Seafood Under the Weather By Jia-Rui Chong Los Angeles Times
CORDOVA, Alaska – Oysterman Jim Aguiar had never had to deal with the bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus in his 25 years working the frigid waters of Prince William Sound.
The dangerous microbe infected seafood in warmer waters, like the Gulf of Mexico. Alaska was way too cold.
But the sound was gradually warming. By summer 2004, the temperature had risen just enough to poke above the crucial 59-degree mark. Cruise-ship passengers who had eaten local oysters were soon coming down with diarrhea, cramping and vomiting – the first cases of Vibrio food poisoning in Alaska that anyone could remember.
As scientists later determined, the culprit was not just the bacterium but the warming that allowed it to proliferate.
“This was probably the best example to date of how global-climate change is changing the importation of infectious diseases,” said Dr. Joe McLaughlin, acting chief of epidemiology at the Alaska Division of Public Health, who published a study on the outbreak.
The spread of human disease has become one of the most worrisome subplots in the story of global warming.
Incremental temperature changes have begun to redraw the distribution of bacteria, insects and plants, exposing new populations to diseases that they have never seen before.
Read Full Article here: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines07/0225-05.htm (Thank you to Malcolm Dell who sent this article.)
A recent study found the average American walks about 900 miles in one year. Another study found Americans drink, on average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year. That means, on average, Americans get about 41 miles to the gallon.
Kind of makes you proud to be American, doesn’t it? (Thanks Sue J. for that laugh. Hey, we all need one now that gas is $5/gallon!)
What’s New on the Website?
- Milk thistle
- Certified Organic Food Survey
- Old Tired Dog
- List of Fragrance Chemicals
Case of the Month: Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s): Are they safe?
When some new drug comes on the market it causes my body to react. I get a queasy feeling when I know there will be repercussions from the drug (like Fen-Fen—I just knew something bad was going to come of that, and it did). That same queasy feeling churns my gut when I hear and read about GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms) so I started doing a bit of research as I thought it would be a nice fit for this newsletter. Here’s a summary of what I found.
Genetic Engineering is the practice of altering or disrupting the genetic blueprints of living organism—plants, animals, humans, or microorganisms—and patenting them as Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) so that the resulting foods, seeds, or other products can be sold for profit. Very profitable stuff, but do these companies actually understand how they are affecting the world and other crops, insects, and ultimately human beings for generations to come?
Some people think that these mega companies intend to dominate and monopolize the food industry. Well, I guess that’s fine for them, but shouldn’t those people who don’t want to participate in this process still be able to grow their stuff the way they want to? The problem with these projects is that sometimes these GMO’s create environmental havoc as cross pollination and genetic drift are accomplished by insects, wind, rain, birds, bees and animals which then contaminates other farms and adjoining fields that surround these crops. In some cases farmers are then sued by the big conglomerates for selling the seed resulting from this cross-pollination.
Because this can happen, regulatory agencies have considered setting “allowable limits” for genetic contamination of non-genetically engineered (GE) foods but GE altered crops can be unpredictable. They can reproduce, migrate, and mutate. Once a gene gone wild is released into the farming situation, it would be virtually impossible to recall.
Genetic engineering randomly inserts the genes of one species into the genes of a non-related species in the form of a virus, antibiotic-resistant gene, or bacteria which permanently alters their genetic code. These altered genes then pass the changes to their offspring making herbicide and insect-resistant plants. This supposedly increases production and profit.
The challenge is that these sprays can kill beneficial insects and disrupt entire ecosystems. And, of course, creating disease-resistant strains of plants often results in stronger diseases and the development of “superweeds” through evolutionary adaptation.
Does using this technology help our planet and are we using fewer chemicals to produce crops? Apparently not.
“In early 1960 Rachel Carson wrote the book Silent Spring with dire warnings about pesticides. Yet, the EPA estimates that since then use of pesticides has increased twelvefold, while the percentage of crop losses before harvest has doubled.
More than 2 billion pounds of some 320 different toxic pesticides are manufactured annually in the United States (just counting the “active” ingredients), of which over 1 billion pounds are applied in the U.S., while the rest are exported. . .Barrels used for shipping these toxic chemical are then used for growing food by and for the native populations of these countries and end up being used to store drinking water and food. From the book Solviva by Anna Edey www.Solviva.com
And did you know that Pesticide Action Network reported that worldwide there are some 25 million pesticide poisonings annually? 220,000 resulting in death? http://www.panna.org/mag/spring2008/phc/pesticides-and-breast-cancer
Some scientists have warned that current gene-splicing techniques are crude, inexact, and unpredictable and so are inherently dangerous. There are little or no regulatory restraints, labeling requirements, scientific protocols or pre-market safety testing in the development of GMO’s. Many countries outside the United States have gone so far as to ban GMO’s altogether.
Earlier this year, Cornell University researchers discovered that pollen from genetically engineered Bt corn was poisonous to Monarch butterflies. Other GE crops have adversely affected beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings and bees, possibly birds and even beneficial soil microorganisms. Reference: http://www.gene.ch/gentech/1999/Dec/msg00185.html
It’s not easy to switch from one of these GMO crops to another. Because of this, farm soil is degraded from mono-cropping and the use of synthetic pesticides. In Germany, studies have shown that growing genetically-altered foods changes the healthy bacterial community within the soil, an essential component for soil fertility. Reference: http://www.omorganics.org/page.php?pageid=94
Just like the disaster with the pet food poisoning last fall, I think we’d all find it horrifying to find where these 40+ genetically engineered foods and crops are being sold and to what extent they are already in our food supply. GMO’s include soybeans, corn, potatoes, squash, canola and soy oil, papaya, tomatoes and dairy products. GMO plants account for 27% of all the soybeans grown in the United States and 25% of the corn. (Reference: GMO Risks and Hazards: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence of risk. See http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/terje-cn.htm for a wonderful explanation of how the cells have to be weakened before they can insert the new chromosome.)
There are over 70 million acres of GE crops under cultivation in the United States and over 500,000—4 to 5% of all our dairy cows—are being injected with genetically modified growth hormone (fBGH) so that they can produce more milk. These cows can pass some of this hormone to humans who drink the milk and eat dairy products. This modified growth hormone is suspected to cause thyroid cysts, breast, prostate and colon cancer by increasing the levels of Insulin-Like Grown Factor (IGF-1). Milk from cows injected with rBGH contains higher levels of pus, bacteria and fat. By the way, fat is notoriously high in toxins because most toxins are fat soluble—this is the main reason why people eat organic butter (to limit their exposure to these toxins).
So what happens when genetic modification goes wrong? Well, as gene technology is introduced the mutations can be unpredictable resulting in abnormalities in the metabolism, physiology and biochemistry of the plants, insects and people that eat the plants. Here are some examples.
Remember in the 1970s when they removed Tryptophan off the market? They said it was contaminated. Well the contamination was from one batch of GE bacteria which had been “contaminated” and this ended up killing people. For years you couldn’t get L-Tryptophan in the health food stores. They even had to change the name to reintroduce it. Now it’s called 5-HTP.
In 1996 a food disaster was averted when researchers found that a Brazil nut gene spliced into soybeans could induce potentially fatal allergies in those 8% of American children sensitive to Brazil nuts. They suggested volunteer human food trials since most allergic reactions typically occur only after the subject is sensitized by initial exposure of the allergen. This has not been accomplished as of yet.
Another challenge in 1999 with genetically modified potatoes made the end product potato poisonous to eat. The virus it was modified with somehow damaged the stomach lining, vital organs, and immune systems of lab rats. Alarmed, some scientists sent out warnings that genetic manipulation can increase the levels of natural plant toxins in foods creating an entirely new toxin. Without feeding tests and regulations, some of these toxins could actually make it onto the grocery shelves. Imagine the consequences—this sounds like a Sci-fi movie!
Recent lab tests and industry reports have shown that 60-75% of produce in non-organic supermarkets tests positive for GMO’s. I do believe that mandatory labeling of all products is a minimal standard necessary to keep us safe—at least it would make it easier to trace reactions and problems back to their original source. But what if it took weeks to months for side effects to manifest? Should we each be implanted with a microchip and scan ourselves and the foods we eat before each meal so that a computer program can track the safety of what we eat? Will it come to that?
Studies and lab tests show that genetically modified foods don’t have the concentrations of beneficial compounds that non-modified foods have. GMO seeds have never fared well when it comes to taste many believe. They’ve actually been labeled “frankenfoods” (whatever that is.)
A man I know shared the story that he worked for a major chemical company which had shipped several tons of corn to Japan. With the application of their chemicals that year they had a bumper crop of corn. The Japanese people tested the quality of corn and refused to take it because the amino acid content was unacceptably low. The crop had been pushed so hard to produce extra tonnage that the nutritional aspect of it had suffered.
We now have the genes to build sheep, donkeys and even humans. Asks Ronnie Cummins, a tireless campaigner for food safety, “One can only wonder, after the wholesale gene-altering and patenting of animals, will GE ‘designer babies’ be next?” Reference: http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/geff4.html
Hmm. Do you think GMO’s may be tied to the increase of diabetes, gut problems and food allergies? Chemical sensitivities are also a huge issue and getting worse.
Sometimes as humans, we just don’t think ahead 100 years or more and see that what we are doing now may affect future generations to come. There is definitely more components and intricate interactions than we could ever imagine when it comes to the manipulation of nature.
To stay current with Big Pharma and food issues you can sign up for updates on this website: http://www.organicconsumers.org
Product of the Month: Scrub Buds
We use Scrub Buds at our house. Michael introduced me to them many years ago. After my first experience with them I was in awe. They safely clean your pots and pans without scratching them OR your hands. These things are made of 11,000 inches of stainless steel, actually feel soft on your hands yet work better than a Brillo pad! And they don’t rust.
They are available through Quixstar (many of you may know this company from the past as Amway.) They come as four per box and cost about $10/box. Here’s what http://www.amway.com/en/HomeCare/dish-drops-scrubbuds.aspx has to say about them:
SCRUB BUDS™ Cleans better, lasts longer, feels good. “For really heavy burned-on challenges, many of us believe that steel scrubbing pads can be effective tools. Unfortunately, we also know the horrible rusty mess they present you with the next morning. DISH DROPS SCRUB BUDS Stainless Steel Scouring Sponges are stainless steel and won’t rust, so you can use them time and time again. They’re perfect for scrubbing vegetables, too, so you can use them both before and after dinner.”
I was so impressed by how well they work I once gave them out as part of my Christmas gifts for my family one year. I’m sure they thought I was nuts. They last four times longer than a steel wool pad. Highly recommended in my book. Please note that they don’t work so well on Teflon pans—they take the Teflon right off. Of course we shouldn’t be using those anyway. . . Purchase them through your local Quixstar distributor. We just look in the phone book and hook up with someone when we need to purchase another box every other year or so.
Media Reviews: Book Review—The Findhorn Garden
I want to tell you about one of my favorite out of print, hard to find books that has influenced the way I’ve gardened now for the last several years. The book originally was published as four booklets on a hand-cranked machine. It’s called The Findhorn Garden—Pioneering a New Vision of Man and Nature in Cooperation and it was written by the community of people that initially developed Findhorn (www.findhorn.org) .
As the true story goes, in 1962 Peter Caddy, his wife Eileen, their three boys and a spiritual colleague, Dorothy Maclean found themselves jobless and homeless after working for a living in a 4-star hotel and spa. They were used to dining nightly on five-course meals in their little town in northeast Scotland. Well, the hotel cut back due to a national recession and for the next several years this group of six found themselves living out of a 30-foot caravan trailer in a dumpy little sandy area they called a trailer park situated between a garbage dump and an old dilapidated garage.
Intuitive listeners to Spirit, they kept their hopes up as they survived for years on $20/week unemployment. After that ran out they lived on government subsidy. God told them they were there for a reason and they believed this. They were told that they would be doing something of importance for the world.
Peter attended job interview after job interview but turned up nothing in the way of employment. After weeks, months and finally years of interviews Peter was asked to sit before a committee who were trying to figure out why so many healthy, able-bodied people were unable to get work of any kind. Peter was an ex senior officer in the Royal Air force. He had managed a prestigious hotel and had exceptional organizational skills. Why was he not working?
After reviewing his thick record, one of the men asked Peter, “Would you say that God is preventing you from getting a job?” Amazed at the man’s understanding, Peter responded, “Why, yes, indeed.”
“Then presumably if we cut off your money, God will provide for you,” said the man.
And that’s exactly what happened. That next week copies of Dorothy’s newly published book, God Spoke to Me started to sell. She had written using journaling techniques during her very early morning meditations in the outhouse which was the only quiet place to go where they lived.
In the spring of 1963, still without work, Peter decided they better put in a garden. After laboring over books all winter on all kinds of gardening techniques, he found none that addressed the environment they were to garden in. Their home and garden plot was exposed to near constant winds from all sides and the soil—well—there was none. They lived on top of gravel and sand which was held together with couch grass.
With no money and a lot of faith, they cleared a small spot to plant some radishes. Peter wanted to build a patio and put up a fence so they could sit outside and meditate. He cleared a spot where he envisioned the patio to be trusting that God would provide whatever else was needed. Within days he noticed a couple of tons of water-damaged bags of cement in the dump across the road, so he drove over in the family vehicle and hauled it home. It was just enough to finish the patio. Next he built a fence made with discarded boards. Now, for the garden plot. . .
Peter dug up the couch grass, chopped it up as finely as possible and laid it upside down in a trough 18 inches wide by 12 inches deep then set the seeds on top of this grass. Horse feces from a nearby riding stable was used in this trough and Dorothy and Eileen cut seaweed off the local rocks and added that. God met their daily needs and they focused on the spiritual practice of gratitude.
Compost heaps were started behind the garage. A bale of straw which had fallen off someone’s truck was mixed with donated grass cuttings and vegetables too old to eat. Wood ashes were collected to give additional nutrients to the compost.
It was Dorothy that first connected with the devas of nature (The word deva is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘shining one’.) She found that she could talk directly to the plants. The peas spoke up first telling them how far apart they wanted to be, how often they wanted to be watered and they told her what was wrong and how to fix it. She relayed this information to Peter who listened and accommodated the plants and prepared more garden space. Dorothy realized that she was in contact not with the spirit of an individual plant, but with the ‘overlighting’ being of the species, which was the “consciousness holding the archetypal design of the species and the blueprint for its highest potential.”
Over a period of 11 months, co-creating with nature, the results of this methodology gave robust, nutritious vegetables and fruits larger than anything grown locally. In fact, it fed their entire family and they had leftovers to sell. Initially Peter determined that a red cabbage would grow to be 4 pounds and that they would need 8 heads that winter for the family. He ended up with mature cabbages weighing up to 42 pounds!
The townspeople were amazed at the size and quality of the produce and assumed they must be using artificial chemicals but when they asked the group their secret, they were told that the produce was “grown organically with lots of compost”. Devas were never mentioned because they felt the public would not understand.
A royal visitor interested in gardening who visited the garden did not accept this explanation and pushed Peter, Eileen and Dorothy to tell him what else they were doing. He urged them to write about the devas. They did, and the press labeled the community “airy-fairy New Agers.”
The gardens continued to grow and they ended up making money by selling their surplus. They used every unusable area within the park that they could. Scrap lumber was used to build small fences, windbreaks and cold frames. The devas wanted variety—lots of it, so they planted 65 types of vegetables, 21 types of fruits and 42 different herbs. Each of these plants had their own devas to bless them and watch over them.
One day Eileen relayed this advice from her meditation to Peter: “My son, let the garden develop naturally. When you are in the middle of something and suddenly feel that it is right to place a certain vegetable in a certain place, do so. Even if it means changing everything around again. . .”
Peter took that advice and purchased extra lettuce seeds. He planted the seeds in every spare spot on the property. That year the local area lettuce crop failed and all the stores and local people came to Findhorn to purchase their beautiful heads of lettuce.
In 1965 samples of the Findhorn soil were tested. Peter assumed that he probably had some deficiencies and almost heeded the soil-testers advice to amend the soil but six weeks later the test results revealed perfectly balanced soil.
By 1967 other like-minded and interested people started visiting the Findhorn garden. They wanted to be a part of that energy. Some stayed overnight happy to stay in another person’s spare room within the trailer park. Some stayed longer to work, learn and donate their time.
A man they called Roc (Robert Ogilvie Crombie) stayed quite a while. One day he had an encounter in the garden with a nature spirit. Soon after Pan, the head deva of nature, appeared to him as well. Roc’s story is just amazing. I think you’ll love his chapter of the book.
Next, flowers were planted representing all kinds of countries from around the world. A green house was erected as well as a rock garden and a marsh garden. Foxglove grew to nine feet tall. Roses, that don’t normally like that kind of soil, bloomed perfectly. The place was truly surrounded by magic.
As the movement grew, Findhorn needed more room for gardens so they eventually purchased the trailer park. In 1975 the old Victorian hotel and spa that Peter and his family originally worked at before losing their jobs was purchased by the Findhorn community to house the thousands of annual visitors. This hotel is now Cluny Hill College run by staff members of the Findhorn community who teach sustainable living techniques. Classes, workshops and Experience weeks are ongoing. It attracts international speakers and many forms of alternative thinking. The campus is now home to over 400 people from all around the world.
What happened to the original people who started The Findhorn Garden? Well, Peter died in a car crash February 18, 1996 and Eileen died at home December 13, 2006. You can still get Eileen Cady’s weekly messages by going to the Findhorn website, clicking on the inspiration link and filling in your email address. Dorothy Maclean left the community and moved to the United States in 1972. Dorothy still gives talks and workshops worldwide.
The Findhorn Garden. Get a copy of it today. You’ll be glad you did.
To visit the Findhorn Foundation website, go to: http://www.findhorn.org/index.php and to read about all the speakers who have given classes at Findhorn, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Findhorn_Foundation#The_founders
Ask Dr. Moffat:
Question: Why Should I Eat Organic Foods?
Answer: Well, for many reasons including:
1) Fewer Allergies and Illnesses: You won’t be exposed to harmful chemicals like herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, antibiotics and hormones. Did you know that some chemicals that are illegal to sell in the United States are still made here and sold overseas? These countries then grow the produce and ship it back to us! USDA estimates that 20% of our fruits and vegetables are imported and that only 1-2% of these are inspected for pesticide residues. It is now estimated that 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides and 30% of all pesticides are carcinogenic.
2) Organic Foods Taste Better. Organic foods have more and better quality vitamins, minerals antioxidants and amino acids than non-organic produce.
3) Organic foods protect your children. They are much more vulnerable to toxins than adults. The average child is exposed to four times as many cancer causing pesticides in food than adults based on what they like to eat.
4) Organic Gardening Preserves air and water quality. The use of herbicides and pesticides pollutes water sheds, lakes and streams with the run off. Some herbicides actually evaporate into the air after application and drift for miles (still having bad effects on plant life!) And some agricultural chemicals bind to dust particles which you breathe in during dust storms. Nitrate fertilizers can cause Sudden Infant death Syndrome in kids. (Read Michael’s Water and Nitrates handout: http://naturalhealthtechniques.com/BasicsofHealth/Water_files/waterepanitratefactsheet.htm .)
5) Organic Farming prevents erosion. In North America, soil is eroding seven times faster than it can be replaced. Organic farmers are bound by law and oath to have a soil building program in place for maintaining or improving the land and building soil microbes which make those things that grow in it healthier to eat—like making compost!
6) Eating Organic Protects Farm Worker Health. Farm workers are exposed to the highest concentrations of agricultural poisons of any segment of the population (Golfers may be close though because they walk in lawn and turf chemicals, handle them by touching their golf balls and breathe them for hours at a time.) These chemicals cross the blood brain barrier and can eat away at the brain causing plaques and multiple sclerosis signs.
7) You’ll know the source of your food. Most organic farmers are independently owned and operated and less than 100 acres. Buying locally helps support your neighbors and puts money into your own community.
8) Saves Energy. Buying organic also cuts down on pollution because the produce is not trucked in. Also, third world countries are not exploited. Many organic farmers incorporate alternative and renewable energy sources into their farming/homesteading systems.
9) Organic Farming Promotes Bio-diversity. The practice of planting large plots of land with the same crop, year after year (monocropping) is detrimental to the soil by depleting the soil of nutrients. This causes farmers to become more and more dependent on fertilizers and also upsets nature’s pest controls by reducing species variety. Gee, I wonder why we are having a problem with colony collapse in bees. Could it be our farming practices? (To read about colony collapse and what you can do about it, go to: http://www.nrdc.org/wildlife/animals/bees.asp?gclid=CKehnqjPrJQCFRwvagodpUCitQ )
10) Organic Foods are GMO free. GMOs pose unacceptable risks to bio-diversity and natural ecosystems.
Reference to read the entire article including wonderful educational links: http://www.thefutureisorganic.net/tenreasons.htm
Links for Organic Gardening and Newsletters:
• Organic Gardening Tips (hundreds of them!) http://www.organicgardentips.com
• 50 Organic Gardening Tips: http://www.compostguide.com/51-100.html
• Wonderful Organic newsletter Resource: http://www.organicnewstoday.com
Question: What is a CSA?
The definition for CSA—Community Supported Agriculture comes from the Robyn Van En Center who was one of the founders of CSA in the U.S.
“CSA is a relationship of mutual support and commitment between local farmers and community members who pay the farmer an annual membership fee to cover the production costs of the farm. In turn, members receive a weekly share of the harvest during the local growing season. The arrangement guarantees the farmer financial support and enables many small to moderate scale organic family farms to remain in business. Ultimately, CSA creates ‘agriculture-supported communities’ where members receive a wide variety of foods harvested at their peak of ripeness, flavor and vitamin and mineral content.”
CSA has been called “farming with a face on it.” You’ll have a very direct relationship to the farm and farmer growing your food.
How does CSA work?
The shareholder “shares” in the season’s harvest by receiving a weekly box of fresh delicious, quality produce throughout the growing season. Shares can be varied in size from a half-share (small basket size) to a family share (bushel basket). Shareholders give their farmer the opportunity to focus on the art and science of farming –of caring for the land while growing the most healthful and highest quality food. In this way, shareholders also support the land and the environment through the beneficial practices of their farmer. When love is put into the plant, love and better nutrition comes out of it and these foods do better in positively influencing every cell and molecule of your body.
Not a year goes by when at least a few clients in my practice don’t notice that our yard is much more lush and green than the neighbors on either side of us and they always ask me why that is. Well, we water for one, but we also give love and attention to the plants in our yard. We care for our yard like we do our health because it is all intertwined.
How long is the harvest season?
The harvest season is approximately 20 weeks, but some of the larger CSA’s exchange foods they are growing to extend the season and to provide more variety to the shareholders. Delivery of produce usually begins in April and ends in October.
What is in a share?
CSA growers grow everything in the garden catalog from A to Z in the way of veggies and some fruit, including heirloom tomatoes and herbs and some things you’ve probably never even tried before! Often the grower will include a recipe or two with each new addition in your basket (I think that’s a nice touch). Some of them even include farm-fresh eggs.
The produce is delivered fresh to your door or it is sometimes distributed from a community area (like a health food store, a centralized farm or Co-op) on certain days throughout the growing season.
Most often this produce is grown organically. Organically grown foods ensure the absence of pesticides and salt fertilizers and growing practices that give plants the best conditions to develop the highest nutrition and flavor.
How much does a CSA cost?
This varies widely by area, but shares can be in a range from $300-$800 per/season. These shares are usually paid for before the season starts. You’ll have to check to see if they have this kind of service in your area and you’ll want to reserve your share early because often there are long waiting lists for this type of service.
Helpful Links and Resources:
• About CSA’s: http://sweetearthorganicfarm.com/csa.php
• List of some local Wash/Idaho CSA Growers: http://www.ruralroots.org/NWDirect/NWDcasestudies.asp
• Washington State University Organic Farm CSA: http://www.css.wsu.edu/organicfarm/CSA.htm
Question: Denice, how do you get your yard to be so colorful nearly all year round? Barb
Dear Barb. Thanks for asking. Lots of people ask me that. I do have one trick.
To start a garden with such variety, I head to a few nurseries once a month and buy whatever is flowering during that time. Of course when you put the plants into your garden their flowering time may change a bit, but eventually you have so many different flowers that you have a wonderful palate of color.
I like flowers of different colors and shapes. That way I’ll attract all kinds of beneficial insects, bees, and birds. One year we had some awesome hummingbird moths. Those things are huge! And did you know that bees and butterflies can see color but that moths are attracted to scents? White flowers usually have more scent and are pollinated by moths. This happens at night and in the evening hours because they can smell where to go.
I prefer perennials but usually set aside some money for a few annuals each year for extra color. The fun part of doing it this way is that by the second or third years those perennials start to propagate themselves so you have lots of plants to share. Kind of like being Johnny Appleseed only with flowers. It’s fun. Try it.
I remember when we first moved to Moscow the woman three houses down invited us to see her Evening Primroses open up. We’d never seen it. I thought that was an odd invitation until we saw it happening and, WOW! Those flowers open up within about 10 seconds when they start to open. It’s like magic! I tried to grow some from seed that she gave me, but it didn’t work. Now that we have more room, I’ll try again. That variety was about 3 feet tall. Just tall enough to sit on a chair, sip a nice cold drink and have a front row seat and wait for “the show” to begin.
Ahh, the little things in life.
Question to our Rural Roots List (we have all kinds of weird questions that are answered here.) Does anybody have a blessing for plants before you plant them in the ground?
Answer: How about David Mallet’s “The Garden Song”: http://www.davidmallett.com/
It refers to seeds, not plants, but the sentiment is there, and you can sing it:
- Inch by inch, row by row
- Gonna make this garden grow.
- All it takes is a rake and a hoe
- And a piece of fertile ground.
- Inch by inch, row by row
- Someone bless these seeds I sow.
- Someone warm them from below
- ‘Til the rain comes tumbling down.
(Denice’s note: I’ve been singing this song all spring. Definitely makes the hard work go faster and I do believe the plants hear us anyway.)
Tips and Tricks for a Healthier Life:
Want to sell some of your home-grown goods? You may want to look into Farmer’s Market Today Magazine. A must-have magazine for successful planning, implementing and selling of farm produce direct to consumers. Find out what farmers markets across the U.S. are doing to succeed. Learn innovative strategies for direct selling and promotion. Sound off on issues affecting direct market farmers and sustainable agriculture. Read about creative techniques to build your customer base. You can request a free sample or subscribe at their website: http://www.farmersmarketstoday.com
How to Use a Clothesline:
1. Wash the clothesline before hanging any clothes. Walk the length of each line with a damp cloth around the line to clean it off.
2. Hang the clothes in a certain order and always hang whites with whites and hang them first.
3. Hang all shirts by the tail so it won’t make marks on the shoulders.
4. Hang the sheets and towels on the outside lines so you can hide your ‘unmentionables’ in the middle.
5. Clothes freeze dry. You can hang them in winter if you want to.
6. Gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes. Pins left on the line are ‘tacky’ and they’ll become dirty if left on the line.
7. If you are efficient, you will line the clothes up so that each item does not need two clothes pins, but will share one of the clothes pins with the next washed item.
8. Theoretically, clothes would come off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket and ready to be ironed if necessary. Ahem. . .right. . .
(Denice’s Note: For people with severe allergies, clothes are best dried in the clothes dryer on high heat as this inactivates and kills any mold/mildew and prevents pollens from adhering to the damp clothing that is hung out on the line.)
The Clothes Line
- A clothes line was a news forecast
- To neighbors passing by.
- There were no secrets you could keep
- When clothes were hung to dry.
- It also was a friendly link
- For neighbors always knew
- If company had stopped on by
- To spend a night or two.
- For then you’d see the ‘fancy sheets’
- And towels upon the line;
- You’d see the ‘company table cloths’
- With intricate design.
- The line announced a baby’s birth
- To folks who lived inside
- As brand new infant clothes were hung
- So carefully with pride.
- The ages of the children could
- So readily be known
- By watching how the sizes changed
- You’d know how much they’d grown.
- It also told when illness struck,
- As extra sheets were hung;
- Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe, too,
- Haphazardly were strung.
- It said, ‘Gone on vacation now,’
- When lines hung limp and bare.
- It told, ‘We’re back!’ when full lines sagged
- With not an inch to spare.
- New folks in town were scorned upon
- If wash was dingy gray,
- As neighbors carefully raised their brows,
- And looked the other way.
- But clothes lines now are of the past
- For dryers make work less.
- Now what goes on inside a home
- Is anybody’s guess.
- I really miss that way of life.
- It was a friendly sign–
- When neighbors knew each other best
- By what hung on the line!
Toxins in Burning Candles and Candle Wicks
Sweet Smelling Danger: I read an article about an 11-year-old boy whose grades dropped and his teacher wondered if he had attention deficit disorder. His blood tests revealed an elevated level of lead. Their house was so contaminated with lead that they couldn’t sell it without lead abatement to remove the 40 milligrams per square foot–27 times the limit allowed in Housing and Urban Development homes.
“When Cathy Flanders, 41, of Plano, Texas, started burning candles for their pleasant smell in the spring of 1997, it never occurred to her she could be poisoning her family. Three years, a serious illness, and a lawsuit later, Flanders has a lesson to share with anyone buying scented candles: Watch out for metal wicks. Lead emitted by this type of candle is a serious health hazard.”
Gee, I know lots of people who burn gobs of candles. . .
“Candles are fast becoming one of the most common unrecognized causes of poor indoor air quality,” says Diane Walsh Astry, Executive Director of the Health House Project, an American Lung Association education project in St. Paul, Minnesota. Read the full article: http://www.anapsid.org/cnd/mcs/candles.html#sweet
Best Candles to purchase and use:
Use candles with non-cored wicks which are generally made of a braided or twisted plant fiber (most commonly cotton). These wicks are considered to be the safest to burn. Cored wicks are usually cotton around a paper or metal core—which usually contains lead—thus the problem. Although North American countries banned these types of wicks in 1974, many countries outside of North America still produce candles using dangerous wicks which are still sold in stores.
Other issues that affect how cleanly a candle burns are the type of wax it is made of, and how it is burned. Beeswax and soy wax don’t produce sticky, black, petroleum-based soot. Avoid paraffin candles.
A candle burned in a draft with a smokey, guttering flame will be emitting particulate matter into the air no matter what the wick material is. A wick that is too large for a particular candle will also flare and burn less cleanly than a properly-sized wick.
Candle scents often contain stabilizers and fixatives which allow the oils to mix with wax and give off an aroma when heated. These scents can sometimes be toxic. Essential oils, although they may not blend well with the wax, are a safer choice. Essential oils are derived from natural substances, but you should know your source. Make sure they haven’t been mixed with additives.
Nature-identical scents are man-made copies of natural oils, using the same chemicals in combination to imitate particular scents. They are usually sold as fragrance oils. These are the kinds of oils often found in “plug ins” and can be toxic.
If you have petroleum allergies you don’t want to purchase candles that have been dyed with oil-soluble aniline (coal tar) dyes which stain the candle through and through. One common set of symptoms of petroleum allergies are that you get sleepy and have the munchies when you drive or ride in a car, or the smell of diesel oil nauseates you.
Other Additives found in many candles include:
- Vybar, a polymer which raises the melting point of paraffin, allowing scents and colors to blend evenly in the wax.
- Microcrystallines: A group of substances derived from petroleum that are added to candles to change the texture of the wax, add gloss, increase opacity, etc.
- Polyethylenes and other petroleum product used to add gloss, luster, or clear crystals to wax.
- Other common additives are UV inhibitors, release agents, and softeners (vegetable-, mineral- or animal-derived oils).
Composting Tips and Tricks: At our house we do massive amounts of composting. It’s great for the environment, helps the soil hold in water so cuts down on the water bill, is highly nourishing for the plants, cools the soil surface, buffers the pH of the soil, and entices lots of earth worms to be where the plant can use the highly beneficial worm castings. Composting is part of the cycle of life, and teaches us about the inter-connectedness of the natural world.
We just built 7 more 4 x 4 x 4 bins and lined them up adjacent to the garden using used (free) pallets. I usually stabilize the pallets with metal fence posts, but the price of metal has gone up so much, Michael helped me come up with a low-cost and prettier alternative. (See picture) We screwed the palates together using pieces of leftover lumber we’ve had around from other projects.
The trick to composting, so that it doesn’t stink causing the neighbors to complain, is to layer the correct amount of green matter including grass clippings and kitchen compost (nitrogen), dead matter (carbon) such as leaves, hay, straw, twigs, sawdust, newspaper (shredded old records and recyclables), a bit of compost left over from your last batch, chicken/horse/cow manure and moisture.
If it starts to stink I cut back on the water and add a bit of dirt (usually clods because they are then broken down by the worms). You also want it to decompose as fast as it can. I don’t turn my pile (I have better things to do with my spare time), and I always have a turnover rate of a year or less so I can use it on my beds annually.
I put 5-gallon buckets just under the roof line and gutters to catch the rainwater. I then put this highly oxygenated water on the compost bin to augment the moisture so I don’t have to spend time and money watering the bins.
My mom taught me a wonderful trick in speeding up the composting time. She recommended the use of drain tile in the center of the pile. I usually purchase the cheapest stuff I can find and drill extra holes in it then cut it up into lengths that will fit into the bin horizontally, criss-crossed or down the center of the pile. You can then put a hose into the drain tile and water the center of the pile and you don’t have to turn the compost. Love that trick.
I noticed that citrus fruit and avocado skin doesn’t compost very well so leave these items out. And I haven’t yet put grease or meat into the bins because I don’t want to attract rodents and, around here, bears.
Too much of any one material will slow down the composting process. If you have all leaves, all grass clippings or an overload of any other single type of material, it can throw off the balance of the pile. I often store a few bags of leaves from the previous fall to add to the grass clippings of the spring to balance things out.
Our landlord here at Tourmaline Farms asked us the other day, “When will you have enough horse manure?” I laughed. Many people are amazed with my fascination and fixation of composting and building soil for our garden. Mostly it’s just the vast amounts of manure they find distasteful.
Of course my answer was, “Never.” We just got another batch of chickens so that we can produce more compost in the winter months. I usually fill the chicken run and pen with straw and then add a few bags of leaves to the mix. By the time spring comes around, all I need to do is rake it up and put it around the plants once the sun warms up the soil.
Gee. This sounds like fun. Hey. . .I have my eye on three bales of rotting straw at the buffalo ranch just across the road from our place. I wonder if they’ve got a use for them. I gotta go.
Helpful links and references:
Dear Dr. D.: Even though my son is no longer having seizures with the suggestions you’ve made, I had to explain to three different people at the neurologist’s office why I don’t want to put my son on drugs. That was an interesting experience. They have agreed to go ahead and let me have my go with homeopathic remedies. They agree that if he’s improved they will do a follow up brain wave study to see if his epilepsy is any better. They made me repeat back to them that I understand this is not their idea it’s mine….blah blah blah.
Annie: What cute pictures you sent! Thanks for letting me have them. Hey, you did great! Stand by your guns and let’s keep going. You always have the drug option to fall back on right? Sean looks like the kind of person who can overcome ANYTHING! He looks patient and persistent. I have a good feeling about his treatment.
Let me know if you have any questions and be sure to schedule the rechecks for the next two times to get him on the right path. Next time I hope to focus on phlegm, chemicals, petrochemicals allergy and clearing out the mercury from any vaccines he has had. Thanks Annie. Sending healing love. Denice
Healthy Recipes: Basic Taco Filling Recipe
• 1 pound lean Ground Beef, Emu, Turkey, Venison, Elk Or Buffalo meat
• 1 medium-size Onion, finely chopped
• 1 ½ teaspoons Chili Powder
• ½ teaspoon chopped fresh Oregano leaves (can be dried as well)
• ½ teaspoon Paprika
• ¼ teaspoon fresh Rosemary (dried or powdered is fine as well)
• ½ teaspoon ground Cumin
• ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
• 1 teaspoon Garlic Salt
• Prepared Taco Sauce to taste
• 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
Filling is enough to fill 10-12 8 –inch tortilla shells with 2-3 tablespoons of the filling plus condiments:
• 1 cup Grated Cheese
• 2-3 cups Shredded Lettuce (the greener the more nutrients)
• 2 large coarsely chopped Tomatoes
In a wide, ungreased frying pan over medium heat, cook meat until brown and crumbly. Add onion and sauté until limp, then stir in chili powder, oregano, paprika, rosemary, cumin, pepper, garlic salt, taco sauce and Worcestershire. Simmer gently, uncovered stirring often until hot all the way through. We use the extra leftover filling for taco salads.
Inspiration & Perspective:
An Old Farmer’s Advice:
- * Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
- * Keep skunks, bankers and lawyers at a distance.
- * Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
- * A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
- * Words that soak into your ears are whispered…not yelled.
- * Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.
- * Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.
- * Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
- * It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.
- * You cannot unsay a cruel word.
- * Every path has a few puddles.
- * When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
- * The best sermons are lived, not preached.
- * Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.
- * Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
- * Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.
- * Don’t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t botherin’ you none.
- * Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.
- * If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
- * Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
- * The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.
- * Always drink upstream from the herd.
- * Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
- * Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.
- * If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around
- * Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
A Prayer for the Wild Things:
Oh, Great Spirit, we come to you with love and gratitude for all living things. We now pray especially for our relatives in the wilderness — the four-legged, the winged, those that live in the
waters, and those that crawl upon the land. Bless them, that they might continue to live in freedom and enjoy their right to be wild. Fill our hearts with tolerance, appreciation, and respect for all living things so that we all might live together in harmony and peace. Marcellus Bear Heart Williams
Guidance from Eileen Caddy Within you all power, all wisdom and all understanding.
“Can you accept that you have within you all power, all wisdom and all understanding? Do you really want to be a power in the world? Do you want to be able to help and uplift? Then you must learn to be true to the very highest within you. You will not only have to accept, but know without a shadow of a doubt, that I AM within you and that I can do all things. Nothing is impossible with Me, and with this inner knowing you can be master of every situation and rise above anything that would stand in your way”. Sign up for weekly emails like this at www.findhorn.org
A Prayer to wash your hands to sent from Meryl Flocchini, Master Herbalist of www.TwoRavensHerbals.com in Kooskia, ID.
Hi All. With all the talk of food safety and of washing our hands thoroughly (for example, wash your hands until you finish singing “abc” or “twinkle, twinkle” or “Happy birthday to you”), I thought I’d share what I use to wash my hands with these days. (It is not original. It does seem so appropriate and I think it takes about the same amount of time as the songs that should take about 20-30 seconds.) Peace, Meryl
- I cleanse myself of all selfishness, resentment, critical emotions toward my fellow beings, self condemnation, and ignorant interpretations of my life’s experiences.
- I bathe myself in generosity, appreciation, emotions of praise toward my fellow beings, self acceptance, and enlightened understanding of my life’s experiences.
The Benefit of Bees. Here’s a lovely You Tube video on bees someone sent me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBChiVJAgUg The video depicts how blessed we are to have them and has absolutely beautiful pictures! Enjoy. Denice
What’s New at Our House?
Michael has been applying Tanglefoot (http://www.tanglefoot.com/) to the shade trees around here. I’d never heard of it so I was fascinated to find that Tanglefoot is a chemical-free pest management product made of castor oil and vegetable gum, which has the consistency of honey, and has been on the market since 1885.
What you do is take a strip of duct tape, wrap it around the tree’s base and apply the Tanglefoot with a flat stick. The ants then get stuck in the stuff and it breaks their feeding cycle. They can’t carry aphid eggs up the tree where the eggs hatch out, grow into adult aphids and suck juices from the tree leaves making a sticky nectar which the ants then eat.
What a racket those ants have! Isn’t it so amazing that everything in nature has specially adapted things they do to reproduce and care for themselves? At the end of the season you remove the tape with all the dead insects on it and throw it into the trash. Ingenious.
Anniversary Tools. Michael and I celebrated our sixth anniversary this month. We pretty much had nothing when we got together tool-wise so each year we purchase a tool. The guys at the hardware stores have asked if I have any sisters.
Last year we bought a Sawsall. Did you know that that thing can cut through an 8-penny nail?
This year we purchased a cement mixer. We’re going to use it to mix soil. It will be SO much easier that way as I’ve been putting compost, dirt, peat moss and sand in a wheelbarrow then taking my Mantis tiller to mix each batch.
Sod Cutting Machine: I took a day off this month to rent a sod cutting machine. I’ve been taking about 24 work hours to dig the sod out of each new garden 40 x 4 foot bed in preparation for tilling and fortifying with mulch. My stepson suggested this faster way. I didn’t know what to expect. Boy was that slick but the machine is about as heavy as a woodstove and it definitely has a mind of its own. I learned quickly enough that I couldn’t push and control it using my own body. Gee, it bucked so strong I thought it was going to rip out my spleen! I noticed a nice set of bruises on my hip the day after.
Michael was working during the two hours I used the machine. He put it back on the truck for me during his lunch break (thank God). As he was guiding it onto the narrow little ramp they sent home with me, it didn’t get lined up correctly and it was pretty obvious that it wasn’t going to make it up the ramp. He tried to man-handle it back on track but the handle vibrated so much that it turned the sod cutting blade on. Crazy machine.
“How did you do this by yourself!?” He asked. “How do you get it to stop?!”
“Well, the lines aren’t so straight. Pull that little lever up!” I yelled over the clank of the machine as I madly grabbed for the lever which stopped the blade from vibrating.
Hope none of you will see what they look like before I repair them. Daryl, our landlord just laughed and took pictures. She’s sending them to the previous owner of the property. Great. . .
Sat. Sept. 13, 2008. Usui Reiki I, II, Master Level Class. Place: Our Home in Deary, Idaho (Call or email for directions. We do have 4 guest bedrooms for our out-of-town registrants.) Cost: $200 for Reiki I/II $300 for Master Level. $50 Non-refundable deposit required to hold a space. Seating is limited. Please register at least two weeks in advance. We take cash, check, Visa and MasterCard. For an optimal experience, please read and follow the Preparing for the Attunement suggestions at: http://naturalhealthtechniques.com/ShoppingCart/Usui_Reiki_Class.htm
Sept. 16, 2008. A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction class is being taught by Dave Potter beginning on Sept. 16, and ending Nov18. It’s based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s work (“Full Catastrophe Living”), and is a blend of meditation, body awareness, a bit of yoga, and learning about how our body handles (and can resolve) stress neurologically. The classes will meet on Tuesday nights at the UI Business Technology Incubator at 121 Sweet Ave. from 6:30-9:15pm. The first meeting on Sep 16 is a free Introduction/Orientation. Please feel free to come to the introduction to get a taste of what mindfulness meditation is about, even if you don’t think you’ll want to do the whole class.
In Memoriam—Raymond E. Bryant
Born August 11, 1938 at the family home in Jacksonville, Oregon Raymond Everett Bryant passed over to the other side April 13, 2008 from bone cancer. A gold miner, plumber, salesman for the tobacco industry and manager of a Goodyear tire store Ray had a full life until his retirement when he started his real career as one of the greatest energy workers I have ever known in my life so far.
For years he had an interest in metaphysics dabbling in black boxes and dowsing when one day he read Life Before Life by Helen Wambauch and was pulled to go to California to the University where she was doing past life regressions. It was there that he first was told he was a healer and should continue that work.
Shortly thereafter, he had a reading by a psychic in Lewiston, ID and was told again that he was a healer and should do “something with his hands.” After reading Born to Heal by Ruth Montgomery, he was guided by several healers to try out Usui Reiki and became fascinated with this form of healing work.
So, he quit smoking and started to volunteer his time wherever he could doing the Reiki technique for an entire year without pay. He eventually became a Teaching Karuna Reiki Master. He worked with a few massage therapists at first giving Reiki to their clients as they were being worked on. They often asked (some even begged) for him to be there during their massage because the massage therapist was able to perform deep connective tissue massage with very little pain if the Reiki was given.
Ray often asked for help from the other side and he had a specific affection for Bill Gray (Mr. X from the Born to Heal book). After about a year of working with other healers, Ray set out on his own as people started asking for him personally.
He chose to do Reiki along with massage and continued helping hundreds of people throughout his 14 years as a healer. He noticed within a few short years that by massaging certain areas of the body, the client would always talk about specific aspects of their lives. He nicknamed this “Emotional Rototilling through Reiki” and never turned anyone in pain away. Some people would crawl or have to be carried up the three steps to get to his treatment room but they’d always leave walking.
One of the most common questions he answered was, “I don’t see any electrical cords. Where are those heating pads you put on me?” His hands were so hot sometimes the veins on the back of his hands would perspire.
Now, I do believe that he could have helped thousands, but because he was so good, spent 2 hours per session and only charged $25 initially he was so booked up that he hardly ever had any openings! People often preplanned their vacations flying in from all over the United States to visit relatives close by around Ray’s available appointment times.
Often I’d have to ask Ray after he treated someone, “You’re not going to let them drive like that are you?” because they had such an energy buzz. I’d just shake my head as they walked like a drunkard down the hall to the bathroom. Ray’s energy buzzes lasted several days.
People often asked where they could learn to do what he was doing. I finally convinced him to get over his fear and we taught Reiki classes together. Ray and I attuned over 75 students to Usui Reiki. Many of these students have honored him by opening practices of their own and attuning other students. He personally mentored many a Reiki practitioner.
Ray was quite the gifted storyteller relaying story after story about healings and gold mining.
Lori, his daughter recounts, “I do have fond memories of those days. Suzie, my older sister and I, would spend hours on the banks of the New river while Dad and his brother (my uncle Del) would be in the river, under water with the dredge going. To keep us girls busy, he would set us up in a nice shady, sandy place, and show us how to gather the moss on the bedrock that was at the rivers edge and just a little deeper, and let us “pan” the moss. There was always gold dust in it, as it is a natural filter, and we would get such a big kick out of it, just knowing we were going to be millionaires! One of Dad`s favorite nuggets was a huge one the exact shape of California.”
Ray loved his garden and his flowers and often picked bouquets to give away to his clients. Once the local greenhouse gave him all their end-of-season petunias which he took home, pampered and fertilized to make an absolute blaze of color on the corner of milepost 76.3 across from the Tukaytespe picnic ground which was located just across the road from his home on Highway 12 in Kooskia, Idaho.
He got great joy from watching people screech to a halt when as they were blinded by the spectacular color coming around the bend, and even more joy watching the people come to picnic at the grounds with their chairs all set so that they could watch the flowers that summer. (He also got a big laugh out of people stopping to ask where the house of ill repute was that was located at that picnic ground area when he first moved to Idaho.)
He is survived by his two sons: Bill Bryant of Kooskia, ID; Ray “Chick” Bryant of Redding, CA and one daughter, Lori Custer of Cambridge, ID. He has several grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well.
His wife of 38 years, Joan Bryant and daughter Susan preceded him in death.