Healing herbs

Healing herbs
Echinacea and Calendula

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Turn A 30-Year-Old Organic Farm In Maryland Into A Food Education Hub, Not Soccer Fields

from change: Nick's Organic Farm has leased County land held for an eventual middle school in Montgomery County Maryland for the past 30 years. Farmers from all over the region rely on Nick's certified organic feed and seed for their organic operations.

On March 7, 2011, Nick and the community at large were given 2-weeks notice that the land would become Soccer Fields. There have still been no public hearings on this decision.

Many environmental, agriculture and local food organizations have banded together to ask Montgomery County's Executive, Ike Leggett, to form a Food Policy Council that will use Nick's Organic Farm as an anchor for agricultural and food education.

A Food Policy Council would fit perfectly with the County's current efforts to strengthen the local food system; including the Food Innovation Hub, and of course the nationally renowned Agricultural Reserve.

We have to act quickly, the County is moving ahead on soccer field construction on this site. Please join the organizations calling for a Food Education center at Brickyard Farm by signing the petition to Executive Leggett. The public should have a voice in the future of the Brickyard property...and the health of their local food system.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Useful Tips For Avoiding Jail Time While Vegetable Gardening In Your Front Yard

from ecolocalizer: One of our sister blogs, Eat Drink Better, just wrote about a Michigan family who is being threatened with financial penalties and jail time for simply growing vegetables in their own front yard. Persecuting people for growing food is difficult to fathom, but similar oppressive restrictions and bizarre city ordinances seem to be an issue nationwide.

So before you get caught picking cucumbers in your front yard, are slapped with a fine, and charged with a misdemeanor, here are some sneaky strategies you can try to disguise your subversive gardening acts.

You can always resort to planting edible flowers and herbs among the veggies in your front yard, and Big Brother will be none the wiser.

This method of stealth edible gardening is worth a try if you are unfortunate enough to live in a city with an ordinance dictating what types of plants are “suitable” for your front yard. I am very much in favor of working to change such local laws that are misguided and often outdated; but in the meantime, the following tips may help keep you out of handcuffs.

British Columbia Man Faces Six Months In Jail for Growing Food

from treehugger: Last week Colleen brought us the story of a woman in Michigan who is facing jail time for planting a garden. Sadly, this type of heavy-handed by-the-letter enforcement of bylaws exists at the same time as people embrace urban agriculture as a viable source of high quality nutrition. A man in Lanztville, British Columbia is facing a similar battle with the local government after converting his 2.5 acre "residential" lot from a gravel pit into a thriving organic farm. His refusal to "cease all agricultural activity" could land him six months in jail.

Acting on a single complaint from a disgruntled neighbor the regional district sent a letter to Dirk Becker giving him 14 days to "remove the piles of soil and manure from the property." The quoted bylaw states that property owners will ensure their property doesn't become or remain "unsightly". Specifically this refers to "the accumulation of filth, discarded materials or rubbish, which includes unused or stripped automobiles, trucks, trailers, boats, vessels, machinery, mechanical or metal parts." Admittedly, it can be argued that, to some a manure pile could be considered "filth". But, considering how Becker regenerated his 2.5 acres (see photo above) this characterization is an insult.

Becker explains the character of his neighbourhood and the evolution of his piece of property in an article he wrote for Synergy Magazine.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Health Benefits Of Oregano

from hubpages: Oregano is an aromatic herb that belongs to the mint family, it can grow to about two feet in height.

It is native to the Mediterranean region but is cultivated worldwide. The leaves as well as the volatile oil of oregano are used medicinally, but must be carefully distinguished as they are quite different.

There is a common oregano that is use for cooking and the oregano that is use to make oil. Origanum Marjoram is the common oregano used for cooking. Origanum Vulgare is the wild oregano used for making oil.

Oil of Oregano is a highly potent purifier that provides many benefits for human health. The two important compounds that are responsible for the many health benefits of oregano are carvacrol and thymol.

Studies have shown that both of these compounds can inhibit the growth of bacteria, virus and fungi which is the main causes of many illnesses in humans.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Bees Helps You Setup Your Own Beehive

from laughingsquid: So I’ve always consumed a lot of honey (I drink it. No really. Literally) and have always been interested in getting my own hive.

But actually maintaining a hive is kind of a pain. And it’s not really easy. And there are mites. And diseases (for the bees, not for you). And smokers. And bunny suits. So it’s always been more of a pain than it seemed like it was worth.

But you might have recently heard about hive “Colony Collapse Disorder.” As many as 36% of hives in the US have been lost to collapse.

Not to sound snarky and state the obvious, but if all our bees go away, most of our agriculture goes away.

No more fruit. No more flowers. No more honey. No Mustard, cabbage, vanilla, peppers, canola, cantaloupe, strawberries, alfalfa (horse munchies), almonds, grapes (as in those things used to make wine) or eggplants. (OK, I can personally live without eggplants, but the world should probably keep them.)

Practical Permaculture in Britain

from permacultureideas: Practical Permaculture in Britain documentary by Malcolm Baldwin. All 6 parts are featured here.

Permaculture Ideas is a place to find a range of articles, videos and latest news related to Permaculture.

A vast resource for those looking for an introduction, inspiration or to further their understanding on the matter.

Whether you skim the top or dig deep into the archives you'll no doubt be inspired by the wonderful ideas Permaculture brings!

The above link is not working! Try this one instead for more information on practical Permaculture:

Woman Faces 93 Day Jail Sentence For Growing Veggies in Front Yard

from cherylkicksass: In case you haven't yet heard, the crime syndicate U.S. government, having recently admitted to arming Mexican drug gangs with 30,000 weapons, has stated growing a vegetable garden in one's yard a criminal act.

Now the City of Oak Park, Mich. is carrying through with its insidious plan to

put a woman in jail 93 days for growing in her front yard.

It can be presumed the primary intent of these outlandish laws is for the government to ultimately have full control of the U.S. food supply under bill HR 875. (See American Family Farms and Gardens: Outlawed by Obama's New Bill?)

Consequently, cities are enacting codes based on the Federal mandate barring people from growing food on their own property.

You May Be Arrested Soon For Growing A Tomato

from friendseat: As our government hands over billions to Wall Street bankers, jobless Americans live in tent cities and collect food stamps in record numbers.

Now when we need it the most, growing our own food may be against the law and punishable by a fine of up to $1,000,000. Think I’m joking? Meet Bill HR 875, The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009, introduced by Rosa DeLauro whose husband Stanley Greenburg works for Monsanto.

The insanity doesn’t stop there—fishing boats, hotdog stands, neighborhood vegetable booths and farmers’ markets will be federally regulated under the same draconian law. As always, the spin is designed to make you (the public) believe these new provisions are for your own good.

Under the deceitful guise of protection, the goal of this bill is crystal clear: to prevent us from locally growing our own food so multinational agribusiness can completely control the production and distribution of our food supply.

I refer you to the usual suspects—Monsanto, ADM, Sodexo, Tyson, and Smithfield.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It: Kitchen Projects Help You Break Away From Factory Food

from takepart: There's been a huge surge of interest in home canning and preservation as more and more people embrace the local food movement and try to break away from the packaged and processed items on offer at the local grocery store.

But for those who grew up with the convenience of factory-made food, jumping headfirst into DIY kitchen wizardry can seem a bit daunting.

Enter Karen Solomon, with her refreshingly easy new book, Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It, and Other Kitchen Projects.

It's the follow-up to her 2009 book, Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It. Karen's bright and attractive new publication offers a slew of easy-to-follow and helpful tips that can help even the most inexperienced cook stock their home pantry with homemade kitchen staples.


Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Farmageddon: New Food Freedom Documentary Debut

from healthfreedoms: Kristin Canty started out like any mom, who educated herself on the best diet and healing path of her children. She knew she would have to do something about the alarming amount of small farm raids and restricted rights to the foods of her family’s choice: thus, Farmageddon was born.

Because, it’s not just about food freedom; all of our freedoms are at stake. Farmageddon highlights the urgency of food freedom, encouraging farmers and consumers alike to take action to preserve individuals’ rights to access food of their choice and farmers’ rights to produce these foods safely and free from unreasonably burdensome regulations – and raids.

Nutrition educators and activists belonging to the Weston Price Foundation are a significant influence in the Great American Diet Debate. Volunteer leaders have established over 300 chapters in the U.S. These chapter leaders do some heavy lifting, providing a free list of healthy food sources, grassroots organizing, holding conferences, and manning booths at health expos.

Volunteer leaders like Kristin Canty of Massachusetts are promoting some pretty contrarian ideas; animal fat and cholesterol are good for you, raw milk is healthier than processed milk, whole milk is better than skim, whole grains (unless soaked or sprouted) are unhealthy to consume, and modern soy-laden foods are hazardous to your health.

Perhaps the most controversial, Foundation members eschew processed foods in favor of home cooking, canning and preserving. And, they prefer food from traditional, mixed use farms rather than industrial scale factory farms. These activists equate ‘going green’ with your food choices with superior health and vitality–a compelling message for an increasingly sick and weak nation.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Edible flowers Are The New Rage In Haute Cuisine

from whatscookingamerica: After falling out of favor for many years, cooking and garnishing with flowers is back in vogue once again.

Flower cookery has been traced back to Roman times, and to the Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Indian cultures. Edible flowers were especially popular in the Victorian era during Queen Victoria's reign.

Today, many restaurant chefs and innovative home cooks garnish their

entrees with flower blossoms for a touch of elegance.

The secret to success when using edible flowers is to keep the dish simple, do not add to many other flavors that will over power the delicate taste of the flower. Today this nearly lost art is enjoying a revival.