Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011..A New Year, A New Choice, A New Hope~

The old year will soon be out and the new one will settle in and quickly become the accepted norm.

Many will be making resolutions that are also the accepted norm...nothing wrong with resolutions except most are never realized.

Many things are out of balance in our society right now, jobs are hard to come by, money is even harder, and families who were considered in the middle class of income a few years ago are bordering on homeless, or being forced to let all they have worked for go...in hopes of salvaging a new start.

I find this current situation in my home country to be less than acceptable. We really should be so outraged that our only resolution is to make so much noise that those in power have no choice but to be pay attention.

We have a voice, we must stand up and use it. Each state has a government, know who represents you, they
are there to listen and act on our best interest.

Consider this...if just half of the voting population in each state would spend one hour each month- calling, sending emails, signing petitions, and writing letters...can you hear the shuffling of papers ?

There is power in numbers and in constant motion...if I have a group of  unhappy customers ringing my phone, knocking on my doors, and overloading my mailbox every day with demands ...I'm going to start looking for real solutions~

I hear so many say we don't have any power left. We have the same power we have always had...just more reasons to use it...and use it we must....2011 will see many changes, this is the year to take a stand, make it a priority, fight like your life depends on it...for my friend, it surely does.
If not now...when
If not you and I...who

Be a part of the change we  wish to see~

A mighty and productive New Year to you and yours~

Bea Kunz
Sage Hill Farms

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day's In Waiting~

Between Christmas Day and New Years Day is akin to being in Limbo for me...I never know exactly what I'm supposed to be doing...not being one to lounge around for very many days...I frankly am ready to get busy at something.??

So...I have tackled the project of cataloging all my herb information pertaining to the business of Sage Hill Farms. Quite the undertaking really. Once I have it all in one location it is much more than I knew was waiting for me.

Reading through some of the articles, memo's, and press coverings, it comes to life just how far this project has come. The beginnings started in 2003 with a simple idea of exploring my roots of farming, and maybe sharing that with others who had the desire to come along.

Sage Hill has been a learning project for me on many levels. The idea was to teach the concept of sustainable living through sustainable farming/gardening. While this has always been the higher priority, in the mix a business was born that has been both demanding and so rewarding.

We have meet many wonderful people, learned things we never knew existed, and are healthier, wealthier,(somewhat ) and indeed much wiser for the journey.

Herbs are little miracles that many call weeds...for example...

A new herb we will be adding to the gardens this spring is Borage.
This herb has a very high content of calcium, potassium, and mineral salts.
Research suggest that Borage works on the adrenal glands...where courage begins.
In earlier times it was floated in the stirrup-cups of Crusaders at their departure.....I suppose it was for this reason.

Borage has many culinary uses; the flowers can be sprinkled in salads, and used as a garnish or crystallized for cake decorations.

Leaf of Borage can be added to drinks, salads, yogurt, soft cheese, pickles and sandwiches.
The leaves can be cooked as spinach or mixed with same, added to ravioli stuffing is awesome.

The plant attracts bee's to the garden...which is a must for pollination.

A very cool use for Borage is to toss it into the fire place or outside fire pit. The nitrate potash content will emit sparks and a slight explosive sound like fireworks.

Borage is perfect for a salt substitute as it is rich in mineral salts.

So...if you have need of Borage...you know where to look.

http://www.sagehillfarmsandvintagestore.com

Have questions...we are here.
Have comments or shares....we love them.

Enjoy these limbo days....or maybe you are on a cruise and haven't a clue of my dilemma~

Bea Kunz

Friday, December 03, 2010

From The Gardens To December~with Mother Nature.

It seems today the gardens are green, lush, and producing...take a nap and presto ! The winter season arrived without a proper invitation....Mother Nature really has few manners, can be cold and harsh, hot and hard to deal with, change her mind more than any of  her sister friends, then  wrap herself in a white skirt and pretty red bow and suddenly be the star of the show.

Ms Rosemary and Lady Thyme adapts well to Mother Nature's dual personalities.
Rosemary bends and sways under the cloaking of the snow and ice, while Lady Thyme snuggles and comes out only when encouraged by a helping hand.

She has more helpers than Santa has elves, and the training she provides would tempt Einstein to start school all over again.

Mother Nature is old as dirt and looks smashing considering how stressful her life is on any given day, any year, any era......she is , without a doubt "timeless."

I suggest we throw a special party and shower her with the best gift of all....Consideration.

May your holiday's be filled with passion and com-passion~

Bea Kunz

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Marketing/Advertising/Selling-Avenues~

The season is upon us...if we have a business we are looking for and thinking about ways to market same.

If we are on the shopping end of the season...and who isn't ?  Then we are looking for good buys, great products, and the perfect gift to compliment that perfect person.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tobri, RYZE....and so many other social sites are brimming with hundreds of businesses...large and small...how does one zero in and know the best place to spend our time and our dollars.

Well, from my personal assessment , knowledge gained through years of networking travels-this is what I've ended up with.  Do claim it for your own, try it, then share it...

Pay attention to the connections you make. Ask yourself -why do I need this connection, and what can I contribute to the other side. If, you don't have good feedback on these two questions...you no doubt should pass.

Once a connection is offered/accepted, consider it a commitment, keep in touch, ask questions, learn about the person and the business.....then file it away for later needs, share it with others when the need presents an opening.

This is the season to go back over all the special connections we have made over the last year and include as many as possible in our holiday options for shopping.

When we don't utilize the businesses that we connect with...then it makes networking a bit of wasted time and effort...yours and mine.

Looking forward to a happy and eventful holiday season~

I trust the same for you.

Bea Rigsby-Kunz
Sage Hill Farms
http://www.sagehillfarmsandvintagestore.com

Monday, October 25, 2010

Herbs and Halloween~Beware !

It hasn't been that long ago when superstition was a main thread in common, ever day life.
Witches , or those believed to be witches, were burned at the stake  in 1692 in Salem Mass., by high ranking, educated, and supposedly christian men and women.
.
Marie Laveau was a famous Voodoo Queen in New Orleans who produced 15 children  and left a very long history of what fear and superstition can do and cause. http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/l/laveau_marie.html
Many herbs, plants, and weeds that we now take for granted to be on the side of goodness, has roots in Ancient history as defenders of evil.

I've included the uses that these same plants are known for today.


Mugwort-was, in the Middle Ages thought to be a magic herb to defend against witches, and even the Devil himself. Long stems of this herb, which can grow to be five feet tall, would be hung in doorways and from ceiling rafters.....Today Mugwort is used in medicinal ways or as a tea for better digestion and bloating.
It is also known that if not used with care it can bring on very vivid dreams.

Mullein- is a familiar herb in unattended places,  old railways, vacant lots, and overgrown farmland. Its soft, grey leaves were once thought by the Romans to be a powerful repellent to demons. In the Middle Ages mullein was called “hag taper” –but not because the dried flowering stems were used as torches (which they were), but because it was thought that witches used it in incantations and in their brews. ....Today Mullein is used to flavor liqueurs and to relieve respiratory discomfort from mucus. In homeopathic medicine it is used to treat migraine's and earache's.  All parts except the flower are mildly toxic...
Rue- has also been used since ancient times as a weapon against evil. Medieval folk used rue as a defense against witches, and against the plague, to the modern mind a much more real threat. Witches used rue in their enchantments too. “Double, double toil and trouble,” said the witches in Macbeth as the cauldron of magical herbs roiled and boiled......Today Rue is a popular plant in the garden for many uses. In culinary it can be used to infuse marinades, cream cheese, egg, and fish recipes.
Medicinally it is used to treat wounds and for arthritis . It is very irritating to the bare skin, handle with gloves.

Birch- the silvery-barked tree that we cherish in our landscape, was the witches’ choice for their broomsticks.....Today, birch leaf tea may be used as a mild sleep inducer....Today Birch is thought of as strictly a landscape plant/tree...but, the sap is used in wine and vinegar and beer from the bark. Tea from the leaves, and oil extracted from the bark is used to treat leather, and in medicated soaps for eczema.



Angelica, a Strong Defence Against Witches

In a class by itself is the Halloween herb whose name says it all. Thought to be the strongest defense against witches and the plague, angelica was revered as the best herb in the medicinal plant arsenal. An angel revealed the secrets of this plant to a monk while he dreamed and from then on no witch dared to use angelica in any brews or spells. Medieval monks continued to use this imposing plant’s roots in their wines and liqueurs, free from witch-like ties.......Today Angelica is still used to flavor gin, vermouth, and chartreuse.
The leaf is also used in teas to treat colds and  cooked with acidic fruits to reduce sugar requirements.
The leaf is also used for relaxing baths.


If angelica was the most potent anti-witch herb, then mandrake, the super strong, all-purpose herb for working every spell, invoking every curse, was the witch’s most desired plant. European mandrake, also known as Satan’s apple, is a narcotic root of human like appearance, long known as a mystical plant. When a face was carved into the root, the resulting manikin became a potent weapon, capable of great evil....

Mandrake, the Witch’s Ally

Mandrake has history in the book of Genesis-30:14

Today it is used in some alternative medicine for a non harsh relief of constipation issues.

Mandrake has some safety issues...Do Not Use Without A Doctors Supervision.

Isn't history the most exciting place to poke around~

Bea Kunz...share your Halloween frights with us, please...

Art from Tacuinum Sanitatis -1474...a Medieval handbook on wellness.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Discover Garlic~A Good Thing~

Garlic is so much more than a seasoning for a few specific dishes...dating back more than 4,000 years, garlic has been used for many different ailments...digestive issues, respiratory, fatigue, bacterial infections, toothaches, arthritis, and heart disease...all according to a review in the Nutritional Journal.

A quick guide to using garlic...again from the Nutritional Journal.

( please see your health care provider if you have health issues )

For Heart Health... take 1,200 mg daily of aged garlic extract.
For Strep Throat...gargle with a garlic solution (mix content of a garlic capsule and warm water )
Ear Infections...Use ear drops that contain garlic, (they are often combined with other herbs.) They can found in any good health food or alternative/compounding pharmacy.
Staph skin infections...use a topical garlic product...again look for this in the same places as above.

Fresh garlic bulbs will last for months..but once the bulb is broken apart it is only good for a few days.

According to Decker Weiss, NMD, a naturopath cardiologist in Scottsdale,Ariz., bugs don't develop resistance to garlic the way they do to antibiotics, Dr Weiss says he often gets better results with botanicals than antibiotics for non-life threatening infections.

Studies have shown that garlic helps protect against many cancers.

A simple and good thing~

To free choices and better health~

Bea Kunz

Monday, October 18, 2010

Spooks and Gourds or Spooky Gourds~

There are no shortage of gourds this year, not sure what prompted the surge in the abundance.
I've seen about 40 varities so far, from tiny wee ones that look like turnips to very large and deformed in the most amazing shapes.

Many people make bird-houses from the bottle neck gourd, a bulbous base with a long skinny neck.

They are pretty to look at, but I'm not a crafty kind-a-gal....I simply enjoy them for a month or so and then make compost fodder of them...makes us both happy~

From the herb beds/gardens.....oregano, thymem and sage are still thriving, chives are abundant, parsley is pretty, but not a lot of it.

Roses are still offering up the most beautiful buds and blooms.
~
Anything in shrub form that you plan to move , needs to done within the next week...depending on where you are of course. Anything that is moved has to have enough time to adapt to the new surroundings and harden off before the first frost. We are in the SE and I don't move anything after mid-October
If you have a green-house...Calendula's ( pot marigold ) grows really well in there....you can have a lively crop ready to plant out in the early spring.

I'm attempting Lemongrass in the green-house...will let you know how it progresses.


Happy Autumn~Do share...




Holiday Herbs, Foods, and Thoughts~

" One cannot think well, sleep well, love well, if one has not dined well." Virginia Woolf~

A lady before her time in many areas...her quote is enough for me to be a fan.

The holiday's are the perfect time to set standards on what and how we eat, if we can control the temptations of a constant offering of food and drink during these few months...we will certainly have the rest of the year under our control.

Balance your holiday eating with whole foods and grains, lots of vegetables, some fruits,very light on sweets and drinks that are full of empty calories and negative ingredients, small portions, and chew, chew, chew....make mine water, or at least half water.....every little effort will pay great results.

Do you know...Oregano has 42 times more antioxidants than apples. Don't pass up any chance to add this delightful herb to your dinner plate.

Spices and herbs that should find their way into our daily menu.

Basil, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, curry, and as I already mentioned...oregano.

All of these play a very distinct role in our body's functions....from circulation to destroying free radicals...it's all good~

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Seasonal Check-Up On Our Eating Style~

Our health is most often a direct result of what we eat, breathe and lavish upon ourselves.


Now please don't go for the clicker, I'm not going to pound you with what you should be doing.....my belief is if you don't like where you are, you will find a better place.

I'm here to guide and help you if you so desire.

I hear folks say so often that making changes to a healthier way of eating is too expensive.......well, let me tell you, it is a lot less expensive than the doctor bills and the funeral cost.

Eating and living healthy is so simple and so much fun, once you commit. Granted you have to be willing to cut back(way back) on a few major items in your diet. Those being, refined sugar, bad fats, processed foods and colas. Aim for eating as much home-grown/locally grown foods as possible. Stay away from GM foods ( genetically modified ) and high fructose corn syrup

Now just a little hint on how to start. Don't buy or bake anything with refined sugar for 2 weeks. Instead eat fruit and drink plenty of water. By the end of the second week, your taste for sweets will have changed completely.(if you don't cheat) Once you get the refined sugar out of your system it will react to it as an invader, you simply will not want it, and in some cases it will take longer and some never are able to break the habit (and it is a habit) completely. But at least you can downgrade to a few well made goodies a week, versus sugar laden junk.

When excess salt is removed from our food and we get a taste of the real food underneath, ah the pleasure of eating has only just begun.

Seasoning with herbs and herb blends can help you do that.
The same herbs can take the place of fatty seasonings as well.

I'm well aware that some foods just have to have some flavor from a good type seasoning other than herbs.. My favorites are; olive oil, almond oil, and a good grape-seed oil for high heat cooking.

Please be aware that olive oil turns rancid when it reaches a certain high heat...so it isn't good for frying......you know, frying isn't all bad, it's what you fry in and how you fry that makes the difference.
( when heating oil for frying...never allow it to smoke, if it does, toss it and start over.)
( never allow the food to sit in excess oil and soak it up)
( never re-heat fried foods.)

So, do you agree that the simple changes could put you on the road to a better life with your health.

And if you really think about it, our health is all we have...once that's gone, everything else really doesn't matter. You can't have a joyful, fun filled, satisfying life if your un-healthy.

Once you start and discover the good side......it will become a passion, and that is worth having!

Please feel free to ask questions or make donations of your own ideas. I'm a very receptive lady to others opinions.
I may not always like or use them, but I will take them and consider them carefully.

To Your Healthy and Happy Season of Foods~

Bea's Beatitudes/All About Herbs.: Herbs and Holiday's~

Bea's Beatitudes/All About Herbs.: Herbs and Holiday's~

Herbs and Holiday's~

Looking for simple ways to bring the outside in during this season ?

Don't forget about the wild-things...look outside the flower beds and garden beds, for many, those are either dormant or not looking real perky...getting ready for the winter sleep.

Autumn colored foliage, the maple, sassafras, dogwood, and others, depending on your location, will supply a fabulous arrangement for any spot you need color.

If you have or live near a wooded area with hardwoods...look for hickory nuts, black walnuts, acorns from oaks, and the lovely pinecones that most everyone has.
We have the White-pine, which looks much like a long leaf christmas tree, gives us the most awesome cones...long and slender with some variation in shapes.

The little guy beside the basket is just visiting, totally harmeless...as I found him in the bottom of the potting shed-container tub...petrified~he will eventually go into the small critter cemetery.

Happy Autumn~

Monday, October 04, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Goal-The Commitment-The Dedication

When we pot a plant we take all the steps to ensure that it flourishes and grows strong and healthy.

Do we not owe the same consideration to our "self."

September is " Get Healthy" month.

I challenge you to make the leap, set a goal, commit, and dedicate yourself to seeing it through.
Only you know what one thing or things that would make you healthier if you stopped, cold turkey, no more...a full and final pledge.

Do ask if you think I can help you...
And do share your goal and your progress.

Remember, every decision we make is a leap of faith, and faith will see us through to the finish line~

Bea Rigsby-Kunz
Have a Sanctified September~



Monday, September 13, 2010

Leaves Of Autumn~


All across the country leaves are falling, changing color, and  being admired for their beauty.

There is another side to the life of and usefulness of leaves.

Although leaves add agronomically significant amounts of nutrients, only a portion of the nutrients are available immediately after application for use by the crop. The increase in the soils total nutrient content will, however, contribute to the long term fertility of the soil as the nutrients are released over time.


Much of the nutrients in leaves are part of the organic structure of the plant tissue and require microbial decomposition to release them.  This is where composting plays a vital role in leaf usage.

When using leaves in your compost bin run them through a shredder or run the lawn mower over the pile a few times to cut the leaves into a finer mass...this promotes faster break down in the compost mix.

I hope you are enjoying Autumn as much as I~

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Lovely Lavender, Provence, and You~

If you can't go to Provence...bring Provence to " you .".... simply through identifying and incorporating your favorite scents, color, taste, and texture into your space on a daily basis you can transform an average routine to one with magical and exciting under-tones.

Lavender is adored by the French, this piquant herb is awesome for self care and  home care.
Favored for it's beauty, scent, and therapeutic powers, lavender is magical indeed.

From body lotion to eye gel, lavender can easily become a must have in one's self care basket of goodies.

Lavender provides " color therapy" in ways that date back to ancient times. Lavender ranges from royal to palest purples, each associated with serenity .

Lavender essential oils in the kitchen and laundry makes a Monday feel like the last part of a Friday ~

A sprig between the pages of your favorite books will keep you returning to read again and again.

Keepsake boxes and linen closets-mudrooms and play-rooms....there is no place that lavender can't transform to a higher level of acceptance and serenity.

And by all means don't forget about the charm,  flavor, and benefits of a cup of Lavender tea...it can soothe an ill tempered child, stressed out mom, tired dad or just bring pleasure to the senses...because~

Visit us at :
http://www.sagehillfarmsandvintagestore.com
for the best in Lavender tea~

Friday, September 03, 2010

Herbal Things To Know~

There is much the herb gardener can do this season to be assured of abundance in the gardens  in the coming year.

One important "to know" are the herbs that will self -sow ( the dropping of seed in the fall that will sprout up and make beautiful new plants the coming spring/summer. )

Borage, Clary Sage, Basil, Coriander, Dill,  Parsley, Pot Marigold,( calendula ) Purslane, ...are the most prolific of this group.

If you live in a climate with very harsh winters...then I would suggest lightly covering your herb beds, gardens, with straw or some other medium that can be easily removed when needed.

Some seed won't show until the new spring...but some will take root and start growing the same year they are dropped.

Don't be surprised if the plant and /or flower from the self-seeder isn't the same as the mother plant, they most often take on different colors and sometimes shape...does not hinder the properties.

Plants that are allowed to grow where mother nature plants them will do best...self-seeders will land in some odd places...this is the charm of the idea,

So plant where you wish to, need to, or have to...but also let some self-seeders do their natural design and you will have a signature garden to be admired.

Loving the promise of Autumn~

Bea

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sunflower Days~


From sacred religious emblem to icon of artist, the sunflower has had a rich and varied history.
An American native, this beautiful flower once covered thousands of miles of prairie, its remains have been unearthed in archaeological sites more than 5,000 years old.
The Incas favored the flower and considered  the heads, which turn throughout the day to follow the the light, a symbol of the sun god.

The sunflower was one of the first American plants to be exported to Europe, where it caught the attention of many artist...but made famous by Vincent van Gogh.

Today , besides a sought after food crop, the regal sunflower is a must in the late-summer garden.
They will bloom continually from August til frost, reds, gold, and orange heads of this cheery annual presage the vibrant autumn colors yet to come.

Sunflower oil  and the seed are valued commodities.

Sage Hill Farms uses sunflower seed in our salad blend, along with flash dried chives and a bit of Sea Salt....makes for a tasty and crunchy dish.

Look for it here:

http://www.sagehillfarmsandvintagestore.com

Autumn is lurking in the wings....enjoy and grow some sunflowers~

Bea Kunz

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bea's Beatitudes/All About Herbs.: Lavender and Virgo~

Bea's Beatitudes/All About Herbs.: Lavender and Virgo~

Lavender and Virgo~

Virgo...from August 24th to September 23rd...Virgo is an earth sign, and it's ruling planet is Mercury.

Lavender and Myrtle have Mercury as their ruling planet, and the calm gentle innocence of these two essential oils makes either one a good choice for Virgo.

Virgo's positive characteristics are ....practical and helpful.
While the negatives are ...cranky, pessimistic and meticulous...this explains the ruling planet Mercury.

Whether or not we believe in the influence the stars and the planets have on our lives is a personal choice for sure...however, the history that was saved and is available leads us to know that the ancient peoples lived by , believed in, and prospered from the knowledge.


The Major Stars In The Constellation 'Virgo'

Constellation Name of Star- their meaning -and number of stars.


Virgo ...Virginis- the virgin- 9

Zaniah... corner

Zavijava... barker's corner / grape gatherer

Auva... the barker

Heze... unknown

Porrima ...(Roman goddess of childbirth)

Spica... ear of wheat

Syrma ...train of a garment

Vindemiatrix... vine-harvester (female)

To all the Virgo birthday folks.....try some lavender in your diet and bath ....see if the stars are in your favor~

Bea Kunz
http;//www.sagehillfarmsandvintagestore.com

Monday, August 16, 2010

Aromatherapy-a side trip with herbs

There are so many wonderful ways to incorporate herbs into our daily lives. Culinary is my speciality, but I enjoy and would like to share some other ways that can bring many great good things. 

Aromatherapy is one of those jewels.

It can be used for beauty, moods and emotions, massage and relaxation, healing and for the mind and spirit.

Today we will dwell on beauty....

I'm sure you are aware that our faces are a reflection of our inner being.

Smoking, too much alcohol, drugs, too much sugar, red meat and stress are a few of the worst enemies to our inner beauty and shows up in our outer appearance.

Essential oils have been used for cosmetic purposes for centuries, the most well known by the Egyptians, who included frankinsense and cedarwood in embalming procedures.

It is noted in scientific studies that certain essential oils, such as rose, frankinsense, neroli, and lavender, stimulate the regeneration of healthy new skin cells.

To get the most benefit from aromatherapy, it should be introduced by a professional...an Esthetician is someone trained through many hours of hands on and study to work in whole body massage and other therapy procedures.

Make it as much a part of your personal care routine as your nails and hair...you will love the results.

Astrology is a big player in our body, mind, and spirit...

Leo, the lion, runs from July 24th to August 23rd. Leo is a fire sign, and its ruling planet is the Sun.

Benzoin, myrrh, frankinsense and helichrysum have the Sun as their ruling planet.

Any of these warm, sultry, resinous essential oils makes a good choice for Leo. ( of which I am one )

For information and education on Essential oils there is no-one better than Faye Durham. You can contact Faye by visiting her Facebook page where she shares her educated knowledge of all things healing and natural.
http://www.facebook.com/fdurham?ref=search
or
http://www.youngliving.or/fdurham

And say hello for me...this is strictly a love promotion and not a reward program for me.
I love Faye and I love the E-oils she promotes.

Blessings for your week~

Bea Kunz...and don't forget to add herbs to your diet....great rewards there too~
http://www.sagehillfarmsandvintagestore.com/

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Kids and Herbs~


Our children today face many health issues early in their life...due to all the same issues we, as adults are dealing with also.

Let me stress that I'm not a doctor, nor do I share this information with any intent to give medical advice to any person for any health issue. Even if we are opting for natural medicine, we all need the guidance of a health care provider. We are all different and need different attention to the same issues.

Now...that all being understood I would like to share some common sense points that can bring relief and leave your child/children in a better position without filling their bodies with drugs.

Nutritional and holistic therapies work well when used correctly.

This information is more than my personal choices, many ND's have spoken and written much on the same line of thought and experience.

School is back in session, germs are back in in the mix, they are a part of life and we can't isolate our children, so have to prepare them.

The first thing to make a priority is 'Washing The Hands'...often and with warm water and soap, for at least 20 seconds. Stress keeping the hands away from the face.

Supply your child with plenty tissue and teach them to use it and throw it away.

(Colds and Flu)

These are caused by viruses and are (Unresponsive to antibiotics )
Using herbal tea such as ginger and peppermint, Chicken broth soup with ginger, onions, and garlic will help to drain the sinuses.

Avoid simple sugars found in soda, white bread, white past, and candy, all of which suppress immunity.

Avoid or limit dairy which can cause or increase mucus.

For nasal congestion, use a humidifier and make sure your child gets at least eight hours of sleep every night. Keep pets out of the bedroom at all cost. Regardless how clean pets are they shed and put off dander that is super bad for a child's respitory system.

Supplements that fight cold and flu viruses include:

Echinacea...a review in the 'Lancet Infectious Diseases' found this herb decrease the odds of catching a cold/flu by 58%...and to shorten the duration by 1.4 days.
For a child-10 to 15 drops three times a day for a week when exposed to others with colds and/or during the flu season. You can easily find kid friendly versions that are free of alcohol.

Zinc Lozenges...Zinc acetate, gluconate, or gluconate-glycine lozenges have been shown to reduce duration of common cold.

Astragalus...is an herb long recommended for the prevention of the common cold and flu in children. It strengthens the immune system safely. 15 drops of the tincture or liquid extract twice a day during the fall and winter seasons is a must.

Eczema...Approximately 15 percent of all children have this condition ( my grandson did at one point in his baby years )eczema is characterized by red itchy patches on the skin. Most children who suffer with this is found to have undiagnosed food sensitivities, the most common of which include gluten ( in barley, wheat, rye, and other grains), citrus fruits, tomatoes, and soy and cow's milk.

A good way to test your own child is simply remove each item ( one at a time ) from the diet for two weeks. Notice if the skin starts to clear up.

Helpful supplements for this condition ( children and adults ) are, Probiotics...a healthy balance of good bacteria in the digestive tract helps reverse eczema.

Essential fatty acids...These helpful fats are also very important.

Give your child fish oil ...easy to take capsules that have no after taste are easy to find. Find one with a minimum of 500 mg of EPA and DHA combined . Whatever the dosage suggest decrease if the stool becomes too loose.

Chickweed cream...This little known cream is a wonderful alternative to steroidal and other prescription drugs for topical use.

One of the most important things we can do for our child is to have them tested by a Natural/Homeopathic doctor for allergies and food sensitivities.

Nut allergies are a major concern...severe nut allergies can make a child very ill and even cause death.

Happy, healthy childhoods are the best of our future....make it a priority~

Thursday, August 12, 2010


~
Aloe Vera ( Liliaceae )is a succulent plant with no stem, just thick fleshy leaves containing special sacs full of gel which oozes out when the the leaves are cut or broken. It flowers rarely and grows 2 to 3 ft tall.

Aloes should grow 3 years before you attempt to collect the gel.

They are not cold hardy except in some southern climates they can survive outside if caution is taken for protection.

I grow them in pots and move into a sheltered location before the first frost.

The gel of Aloe Vera is anti-inflammatory saponins and antimicrobial, vitamins C and E, soothing salycilic acid and minerals.

This plant is a must to have on hand for sun exposure, bug bites, burns, eczema,shingles, and other skin rashes that need speedy relief and healing.

It's often mixed with cucumber juice and in this form can be drunk to help immune function, digestive function, and conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and Chron's disease.

It is wonderful to break a leaf and apply the gel directly to the face and arms after being in the sun and/or water.

Aloe Vera doesn't like too much water and thrives in a location where filtered sun is available...loves the shade in the afternoon. Also likes being left in one location...not too much moving around.

Happy growing~

Monday, August 02, 2010

Herbs And Animals~


Animals, like humans, need good nutrition, holistic treatment of illness and regular grooming and cleaning of their body and living space.

Remember: Cats and dogs lick their coats , don't apply flea and tick medications that are harmful to them. Even if they don't ingest it through licking their coats it will be absorbed through their skin...just like humans.

Some good herbs to stuff their bedding and toys with are: Cedar, bay, eucalyptus, lavender and other strong smelling herbs.

Like their human companions -animals need whole foods, herbal supplements and a loving/peaceful environment to be happy and healthy.

Domestication keeps our pets from instinctively seeking the botanical diversity their bodies need. This can easily be done with the right herbal supplements.

Some of the herbs that are safe and good for our pets health:

Alfalfa-joint inflammation
Golden seal-immune functioning and infection fighting
Valerian, oat flower and Passionflower-calming
Tea Tree oil, comfrey and Rose geranium-wound healing

And...wonderful Catnip for energy and fun.

Ask your animal's doctor about this method of treatment and maintenance for your pets.

They will love you even more than they already do for the extra consideration.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Healing Herbs From The Garden~


Roses are seldom thought of as a medicinal option.

There is a saying that roses are good for "the skin and the soul." and they do have a long tradition in medicinal use.

In Roman times the wild rose was used to counter the bites of rabid dogs.
Roses continued as an official medicine well into the 1930's.

It has been known for its ability to ease a sore throat in a hasty manner.

Today the oil of rose is highly prized, being the most expensive of all essential oils. It is one of the most important oils in aromatherapy. In Ayurvedic medicine, roses are considered cooling and a tonic for the mind.

Rose oil contains vitamins C, B, E, and K., and about 300 chemical constituents, of which about 100 have been identified so far.

Rose Hips are a major source of vitamin C and make the most fabulous tea.

The petals are edible and can be used in many food choices...tossed into a fruit salad, frozen in cube trays for drinks, and sugared for cake toppings.

A rose is a rose is a rose...except when it's a cup of tea~

Bea Kunz~

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Healing Herbs From The Gardens~


Camellia sinensis~Tea...

Tea has become such a familiar drink that we have forgot it is also a potent medicinal herb.

The Chinese have been drinking tea since around 3000 B.C. and regard it as a good stimulant, an astringent for clearing phlegm, and a digestive remedy.

The three types of tea--green, black, and oolong are made from the same species.

Research shows that some green teas appear to reduce the risk of stomach cancer.

"Herbal Tea" is not a correct term...herbal infusions are called "Tisanes" if they are blended with a tea leaf then they are termed "herbal blends."

I believe there is a lot to be said for blends...the best of both benefits.

Many think herb tisanes and herbal blends only work for hot drinks...this is so not true. Ice cold herbal tisanes and blends are awesome.

Experiment...add a bit of stevia for sweetness and some fruit slices such as orange, strawberries and blueberries....yummy~

Visit Sage Hill Farms website for all your herbal needs...including Tisanes and herbal blends. They pack a powerful punch in many ways.

Bea Kunz...have a peaceful Sunday.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Healing Herbs From The Gardens~


Calendula...also known as Pot Marigold.

** Do not confuse this plant with the common garden variety of Marigold ( French, Tagetes patula, and other related species) that is used for warts, insecticides and weed killer.**

The golden flower of Calendula is a favorite among herbalist.

Macer's 12Th-century herbal recommends simply looking at the plant to improve eyesight, clear the head, and encourage cheerfulness.

In Culpepper's day, marigold was taken to "strengthen the heart," and was highly regarded for smallpox and measles.

Today it is widely used in patent homeopathic remedies.

The petals, leaves, flower head and the oil can be used in different manners for different needs;

Tea infusion for menopausal issues and inflammation of the esophagus

Tincture for good digestion and a liver flushing

Compress for healing wounds and for varicose veins

Essential oil of Calendula is awesome in the bath for nervous anxiety or depression.

Calendula is growing all around my gardens, it is indeed a pleasure to look upon and to partake of in its many wonderful ways of healing.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Healing Herbs From The Gardens


I get many request for advice on using herbs as medicine.

I follow this example for my self and my family...however, I'm not trained to offer medicinal advice...so know that this information is only a place for you to start your research and not intended as medicinal advice. If you are sick visit a doctor...and I would suggest a doctor in natural medicine applications...I think I can share that opinion ?

This will be a ten day series...I hope you enjoy the offering.

Garlic...has been used for at least 5,000 years as a medicine, long been known for reducing blood cholesterol levels. Even orthodox medicine acknowledges that the plant reduces the risk of further heart attacks in cardiac patients.

Garlic is also a stimulant for the immune system and an antibiotic.

Aloe...( Aloe vera )Originates from tropical Africa where related species are used as antidotes to poison arrow wounds.

Aloe promotes bile flow from the body, heals wounds, stops bleeding, and can be a simple sedative.

Celery...a very important medicinal herb in Eastern medicine.
The whole plant is gently stimulant, nourishing, and restorative.

It has wonderful anti toxic properties, a great cleansing tonic in the spring.
A homeopathic extract of the seeds is widely used in France to relieve retention of fluid.

Herbs in our food can be a great maintenance tool as well as flavor and aromatic additions.

Sage Hill Farms offers the very best in Culinary herbs for your healthy table~
http://www.sagehillfarmsandvintagestore.com

Blessings

Bea Kunz

Monday, July 12, 2010

Herbs Considered Necessary with Foods in Olden Times


I enjoy walking the path from then to now...hope you do also~

The following is taken from Phillips " Kitchen garden" printed in 1831; " French epicures keep their fish in Fennel herb to make them firm.

The American Indians also believed herbs were necessary with certain foods.
The best known botanical was the root of wild Ginger. It was used in foods with poor flavor. Wild Ginger is mentioned in several early American accounts. One record, written in 1782, tells after being captured by Indians, the author made an escape-then found his way back to civilization, feeding on weeds, roots, berries, and raw meats. He wrote; " When food sat heavy on my stomach, I would eat a little wild Ginger root, which put all to rights."

There is a great deal of truth in the old saying that, " the best doctor is the cook."

The value of herbs and spices as medicine has never been disputed, special virtues being accredited to the value of herbs in food.

Visit our website and add a dose of good medicine to your family foods.

Bea Kunz

Friday, July 09, 2010

http://snipurl.com/z3itv

http://snipurl.com/z3itv

One Outstanding woman and book...filled with many outstanding women and actions.
A must have for your forward reading.

Bea Kunz
http://twitter.com/beakunz

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Herbs In The July Kitchen~



And a sweet smelling kitchen it is !

From Bee-Balm to Lavender...Ice cold tea to hot tea cakes, herbs are a summer season must have.

Look for recipes, articles and product choices at Sage Hill Farms website.
(Click on blog title for website )

We are always available for consultations if they are desired.

Have a fun and healthy summer~

Bea Kunz
Sage Hill Farms

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Independence Day???

So much to be grateful for~
So much to be concerned about~
So much to ponder and no real choice on solutions~
~

Photobucket




http://www.naturalnews.com/029127_Gulf_Coast_cleanup.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/029130_Gulf_of_Mexico_censorship.html

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Plant A Seed or Many Seeds~


Seeds are a great way to add more nutrients to a gluten-free diet..or any diet really. Seeds are not common allergens, so people who are nut sensitive can eat them and be safe.

There are several seeds that are rich in hard to get nutrients...such as omega-3 essential fatty acids. Flax seeds are well known for this benefit. It's best to grind whole flax seed to get the best of what they offer.

Hemp and chia have a good balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and one of few sources of gamma-linolenic acid, an anti-inflammatory fat that many take in supplement form. Hemp is also rich in fiber and have complete protein with all the essential amino acids.

Chia seeds are a member of the mint family. They are easily digested, have high fiber levels, and can absorb so much water that they help release carbohydrates slowly into the bloodstream; this can help reduce food cravings.

Seeds are delicious sprinkled on cereal, salads, yogurt, and the comfort food...mac and cheese.
Also great as a hand to mouth snack.

Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of many vitamins and minerals...one being L-tryptophan...which has been shown to alleviate depression.

So...introduce seeds into your family's daily intake and know you are giving them a good dose of health.

Sage Hill has an awesome salad/vegetable/mac&cheese sprinkler.

http://www.sagehillfarmsandvintagestore.com

Salad Mix contains: dried chives, sunflower seeds and a bit of seas salt.


Yummy good~

Thanks for reading~

Bea Kunz

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Reaching A New Generation


Parents worry about it, teachers plan for it, Michael Pollan writes about it......regardless the debate about it, food is the utmost important ingredient we should all be concerned about with our children.

This is why Pollen's words get my vote, he has written much on the subject of our food, it's safety, and our responsibility to get aware and act accordingly.

His latest book: ' The Omnivore's Dilemma: The Secrets Behind What You Eat, Young Readers Edition. Is a book everyone should read with their children.

It will be a gift of living knowledge, something a child will remember always.

I just read that Monsanto is suing yet another small dairy, Oakhurst...simply because they don't like the fact that Oakhurst advertises on their label that they "don't" use growth hormones in their cows...hence none in the milk.
Monsanto of course thinks this is saying that their milk is superior to Monsanto's that is infused with growth hormones.

Rest assured....we are living in a time when companies like Monsanto has way too much control over what we consume in our foods, and whether or not we have the right to know about the ingredients.

One way to help change the food system's workings is to keep in touch with our representatives and let them know that we are paying attention.

Get on an email list like Organic Consumers, Slow Food USA, American Farmland Trust or Environmental Working Group. These groups are watchdogs in Washington and will alert us when a flood of emails will make a difference. I have been involved in this type activity for years and it does work. Votes are worth everything in the political world.....get the idea.

Pollan's food rules for kids; Don't eat anything your grandmother wouldn't have recognized as food.

Don't eat anything with more than 5 ingredients or ingredients you can't pronounce.

Don't eat anything with high-fructose corn syrup.

Children love being involved in their food choices, give them something to work with and they will change the food habits of their generation. It has to start with us, the parent, the adult, the teacher and the law makers.

Most parents will do anything for their children, this is something big we can do...educate them on how to be healthy, without good health everything else is really a waste of time and effort. Pick your spot, take a stand, make very loud noise until you know you have been heard.

Herbs and essential oils are a very interesting topic for an ongoing learning experience with your child/children.

Happy Fathers Day to all our dads...

Bea Kunz

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Eating organic~


An undertaking to consider with considerations....when we enter the area of how to eat for better health, well, it's a bumpy road to travel at times.

What is organic food anyway ?

Organic food is produced by farmers who practice the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations.

Transitioning to organic can be daunting at best...it can also be enlightening, educational, and eye-opening to what one has been eating in the past....not a pretty picture for most.

If you need a starting place, the summer season is perfect. We all tend to eat lighter, less, and more local.

Consider starting with these 12 foods to eat from the organic list...these are foods that have the highest absorption rate of pesticides/herbicides.

1...peaches
2...apples
3...sweet bell peppers
4...leafy greens
5...nectarines
6...strawberries
7...cherries
8...carrots
9...kale
10...celery
11...grapes
12...pears

As you can see most are the summer fruits that we all love and consume with delight during the fresh season.

When we eat as many of our foods as possible from the organic list and balance the rest from the local and fresh market.....well, only good things can be the reward.

Remember, Rome was not built in a day...we can't change a lifetime of habits overnight...take time, make a plan, and do what is right and best for your personal needs and desires. One lesson, one step, one food at a time.

Welcome to Organic~

Bea Kunz

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Herbs-Fresh and Aromatic=Parsley


Parsley Potatoes~

Who doesn't love potatoes? Add parsley and your palette will thank you.

Ingredients:

•3 large Russet potatoes, unpeeled
•3 tablespoons olive oil
•1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
•1 teaspoon cumin
•1 1/2 teaspoon Sea salt
•3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
•1/4 cup chopped yellow onion

Preparation:

Boil potatoes with skins on until soft and can be penetrated with a fork. Drain from water and allow to cool for 20 minutes.

Peel skin from potatoes and discard. Cut into 1 inch cubes. Set aside.

Heat oil to medium heat in a large skillet. Add onions and allow to saute on medium heat for about 2 minutes, just until onions begin to soften. Add potatoes and gently mix together.

Add cumin, parsley, and lemon juice. Mix well and allow to cook on low heat, covered, for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Parsley is easy to grow and so under-estimated for it's health benefits.

We often see it used on the side of a plate as a garnish...when in truth it can easily be the most nutritious item on the menu.

Parsley derives its name from a Greek word meaning "rock celery."

Promote Optimal Health

Parsley's volatile oils-particularly myristicin-have been shown to inhibit tumor formation in animal studies, and particularly, tumor formation in the lungs. Myristicin has also been shown to activate the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase, which helps attach the molecule glutathione to oxidized molecules that would otherwise do damage in the body. The activity of parsley's volatile oils qualifies it as a "chemoprotective" food, and in particular, a food that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens (like the benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke and charcoal grill smoke).

A Rich Source of Anti-Oxidant Nutrients

The flavonoids in parsley-especially luteolin-have been shown to function as antioxidants that combine with highly reactive oxygen-containing molecules (called oxygen radicals) and help prevent oxygen-based damage to cells. In addition, extracts from parsley have been used in animal studies to help increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood.

In addition to its volatile oils and flavonoids, parsley is an excellent source of two vital nutrients that are also important for the prevention of many diseases: vitamin C and vitamin A (notably through its concentration of the pro-vitamin A carotenoid, beta-carotene).

Vitamin C has many different functions. It is the body's primary water-soluble antioxidant, rendering harmless otherwise dangerous free radicals in all water-soluble areas of the body. High levels of free radicals contribute to the development and progression of a wide variety of diseases, including atherosclerosis, colon cancer, diabetes, and asthma. This may explain why people who consume healthy amounts of vitamin C-containing foods have reduced risks for all these conditions. Vitamin C is also a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, which explains its usefulness in conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. And since vitamin C is needed for the healthy function of the immune system, it can also be helpful for preventing recurrent ear infections or colds.

Beta-carotene, another important antioxidant, works in the fat-soluble areas of the body. Diets with beta-carotene-rich foods are also associated with a reduced risk for the development and progression of conditions like atherosclerosis, diabetes, and colon cancer. Like vitamin C, beta-carotene may also be helpful in reducing the severity of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. And beta-carotene is converted by the body to vitamin A, a nutrient so important to a strong immune system that its nickname is the "anti-infective vitamin."

Parsley For A Healthy Heart~

Parsley is a good source of folic acid, one of the most important B vitamins. While it plays numerous roles in the body, one of its most critical roles in relation to cardiovascular health is its necessary participation in the process through which the body converts homocysteine into benign molecules. Homocysteine is a potentially dangerous molecule that, at high levels, can directly damage blood vessels, and high levels of homocysteine are associated with a significantly increased risk of heart attack and stroke in people with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease. Enjoying foods rich in folic acid, like parsley, is an especially good idea for individuals who either have, or wish to prevent, these diseases. Folic acid is also a critical nutrient for proper cell division and is therefore vitally important for cancer-prevention in two areas of the body that contain rapidly dividing cells-the colon, and in women, the cervix.

Protection Against Rheumatoid Arthritis~

So, next time parsley appears on your plate as a garnish, recognize its true worth and partake of its abilities to improve your health. As an added bonus, you'll also enjoy parsley's legendary ability to cleanse your palate and your breath at the end of your meal.

Dried parsley is just as nutritious as fresh, will last for a year in tightly closed container and kept in a pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.



Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Juicy June~

I think this is going to be a very abundant year in the gardens.

The plants are beautiful and healthy-

Herbs are flowing from the beds into the walking paths.

And....today I gathered a large basket of Apricots from our own tree !

This is the first year for any of the fruit trees to bear ...peaches are plentiful, slower in growing than the apricots.

The June apple tree is over-loaded....I dry these little goodies for my grandsons to snack on. And, they make awesome apple-sauce.

So far, no pest....I'm grateful~
~Photobucket

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Day To Reflect And Be Grateful~


Memorial Day originated in 1868, when Union General John A. Logan designated a day in which the graves of Civil War soldiers would be decorated.

Known as Decoration Day, the holiday was changed to Memorial Day within twenty years, becoming a holiday dedicated to the memory of all war dead. It became a federal holiday in 1971, and is now observed on the last Monday in May.

There is also a Confederate Memorial Day, which is celebrated on various days in spring in some of the southern states.

Let us all stop for a moment and say a prayer of gratitude for the lives and the loss of so many in order to preserve our freedoms in a free country.

Regardless of our personal feelings or whether the system is justified in the manner of operation to accomplish the end results....our gratitude should be the same for our men and women in service.

To my grandfather, father, uncles, brother, son, and other family members who have given years and total allegiance to our country...a gracious "thank you."

Have a safe weekend~

Bea Rigsby-Kunz

Friday, May 21, 2010

An Herb To Know~




Sage is very dear to my heart..because, one, it was my mothers favorite herb, and now mine. Sage Hill Farms is named in honor of my mother and in honor of an herb plant that holds many magical surprises.

On the surface Sage can seem rather dull and common place...don't be fooled into accepting this as a fact.

Do you know...sage will whiten your teeth better than any commercial product.

Makes a wonderful rinse for dark hair..especially hair with red tints.

Delicious tossed into most any yellow vegetable and dried beans.

Get to know this beautiful herb and enjoy all the benefits it has to offer.

Makes a lovely addition to any flower bed too~

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Little Garden That Could~

I've been a member of KGI ( Kitchen Gardeners International ) for a few years...Roger Doiron, founder and activist for a better world through gardening connections is without a doubt an awesome and dedicated advocate for the cause of better food, better world.

If you would like to check out our fabulous group, please be my guest. We would love to have you join and become one of many around the world coming together for good and safe food~

http://kitchengardeners.org/blogs/roger-doiron/little-garden-that-could

Below is the latest article from Roger...I hope you enjoy reading and looking forward to your thoughts.

Bea Kunz
Sage Hill Farms
Tennessee~

~


THE LITTLE GARDEN THAT COULD~



Like the 20 million Victory Gardens planted during World War II, this trend can win the struggle for good health.
By ROGER DOIRON



SCARBOROUGH - The Obama family is celebrating the first anniversary of their new kitchen garden, but in my house we're putting two candles on the organic carrot cake and making a wish for our national food gardening future.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Roger Doiron of Scarborough is the founding director of Kitchen Gardeners International, a nonprofit group promoting home gardens.



Two years ago this month, my family and I planted a little garden of our own in the middle of our front yard. As luck would have it, we live in a little white cape with southern exposure which allowed us to claim that we had planted something much more noteworthy: a new food garden on the south lawn of the "white house."

Although the major networks were not present for our groundbreaking event, that didn't stop us from growing some media coverage of our own. We produced a short Internet video of our white house garden planting and used it to urge presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama to follow suit upon taking office.

The clip went as viral as a gardening video can hope to go, appearing on many busy websites and, ultimately, on national TV. Fast-forwarding to the present, I am happy to report that both "white house" gardens are flourishing and that a new food garden revival has taken root.

Like the Victory Garden movement of the previous century, war once again provides the context for this revival, but this time it's not nation against nation, but people waging a struggle for health, their own and that of the planet.

Whether the current home-grown revival sends its roots deeply and broadly enough in society to make a significant impact on social and environmental issues remains uncertain. According to a recent survey by the National Gardening Association, 1 million new food gardens are planned for 2010.

That may sound like a large number, but when it's compared with the estimated 20 million Victory Gardens planted in 1943 when the U.S. population was half what it is now, it would seem that we're only scratching the surface.

This brings me to my birthday wish. First lady Michelle Obama has been the best gift the food-gardening movement could ask for this past year, but I'm hoping that millions of new people will follow her example this year. To bring these new gardeners into the movement, we need to educate them about the diverse contributions food gardens can make to families, communities, and our country's national security.

Many people, including policy-makers, think that a number of new little gardens won't add up to anything more than a hill of beans, but our history proves otherwise.

At the peak of the Victory Garden movement, gardens behind homes, schools, prisons, workplaces and in vacant lots were growing 40 percent of the nation's produce and helping to conserve financial and natural resources at a time of crisis.

Last year, my wife and I did some garden math of our own to offer a more contemporary example. We weighed, recorded and priced every item coming out of our yard, front and back, over the course of the growing season. the time we were done, we calculated that we had saved over $2,200 and had met roughly half of our family's produce needs for the year.

And the food was not only delicious and low in carbs, but also low in carbon, having traveled less than 50 feet from plot to plate. Saving money is one financial incentive for growing kitchen gardens, but it shouldn't be the only one.

Each year, we manage to find billions of tax dollars to subsidize corn and soybeans, which are used to sweeten soft drinks and fatten livestock.

Surely some of those funds would be better spent sweetening the deal for gardeners through innovative fiscal incentives and grants for new school and community gardens.

We already provide tax breaks to encourage families to put solar panels on their houses, so why not encourage them also to grow solar-powered food behind those houses?

Whether we organize it now or it organizes us later, a food garden revolution is coming and that's a very good thing.

In fact, the only downside I see is a nationwide glut of summer squash, but hopefully many new gardeners will follow Michelle Obama's lead in sharing some of their bounty with neighbors in need.

Doing so would not only make for a better-fed nation but a more socially just one too. When it comes to the next healthy, home-grown revival, everyone should have a place at the table.



- Special to the Press Herald

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lavender Facts~



Lavender Facts~
Lavenders are all members of the same botanical genus: Lavandula. There are about 28 species of lavender, and each one is distinguished from one another by a different species name. For instance, Lavandula viridis, Lavandula lanata, Lavandula dentata.
The most popular lavenders fall into two basic groups. The first are all cultivars of the species Lavandula angustifolia and are often called English lavenders. Some books use the names L. vera or L. officinalis for English lavender, but both names are incorrect. The second group is made up of hybrids between the English lavenders and another species, Lavandula latifolia, and is called the lavandins (L. x intermedia).

Both of these groups have gray/green foliage, make nice low shrubs, and are hardy down to about USDA Zone 5. They prefer full sun and a well-drained soil. All are fragrant, and though the compositions of their essential oils do differ, it is difficult for most people to tell them apart by their scents.
The biggest differences between them are in their heights, flower colors, the size of the flower heads, and the time of blooms. The English lavenders tend to bloom in early summer, the lavandins in midsummer. The darkest flower colors are among the English lavenders, while the tallest plants, the longest flower stems, and the largest flower heads are among the lavandins.

The biggest killers of lavenders are root-rotting diseases, which proliferate in high humidity and wet soils. These are especially a problem for the English and lavandins. If you live in a humid area, like the Southeast, give your plants as much air circulation as possible. Don’t crowd them in because if one plant catches a disease, it can easily be transferred to the others if too close together..
Don’t use organic mulches around lavender, try pea gravel or white sand. Increase your drainage by planting in mounds or raised beds, and incorporate crushed granite, like chicken grit, into the top 12" of the soil.

The soil should be slightly acidic. Though lavenders don’t require a lot of fertilizer, some should be added each spring. Chicken manure actually has a fungal deterring component and is especially safe to use.

The easiest lavenders to grow in hot, problem areas are the French (L. dentata), Spanish (L. stoechas), and the hybrids ‘Goodwin Creek Grey’, L. x heterophylla and L. x allardii. These are also some of the best lavenders for containers, and all but the Spanish will bloom nearly year-round if given enough warmth and sunlight.

Lavender tea is delightful...hot or cold.

Get the freshest and most aromatic from the Sage Hill Farms website now.

http://www.sagehillfarmsandvintagestore.com

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Fennel Girls~


Florence and Bronze~

In the 1600's Spanish explorers brought herb seed to plant in the new world.
This is how Sweet Fennel became abundant along 'El Camino Real' or the Kings Highway-which connects the missions in California.

Today, tall wispy spires of green Sweet Fennel can still be seen along interstate 101-which traces the legendary route. ( Sweet Fennel is also know as Florence or Finocchio Fennel)

Bronze Fennel is grown for it leaves and seeds and has no edible root.
It is awesome combined with French Tarragon as a wrap for fish fillets.

Florence is grown for its vegetable root and has a sweet licorice flavor...delicious roasted with fresh grown garlic bulbs.

If you grow Bronze and want to collect seed, do not cut the center stalk after mid summer, this is where the bloom and seed will be. As the seed start to turn from green to brown...cut the whole head and allow it to finish ripening in a brown paper bag. When the seeds are dry they will easily fall off into the bag and you can easily clean ( just remove any leaves, stalk, etc) and put into an air-tight jar. Keep in a cool place out of direct sunlight.


Both Fennel's make beautiful additions to the garden and the Swallowtail butterfly loves them both.

Happy Gardening~

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

WOW-one for us !



All of you that know me, know how strongly I advocate for this cause....I have spent many, many, hours at the helm of whatever medium was at my disposal to get this message out there. So many others have done the same...our prayers have been heard and answered~

It was forever slow in coming but it's a hurdle we have made~

This is the starting point that can change years of wrongs and start a nation on the road to better health.

Thanks to Mike Adams at Natural News for his ever and unwavering dedication to stand-up for what is right by exposing what is wrong...Mike must be dancing in the street!
http://www.naturalnews.com


(NaturalNews) When a government panel of experts finds the courage to tell the truth about cancer, it's an event so rare that it becomes newsworthy. Late last week, a report from the President's Cancer Panel (PCP) broke ranks with the sick-care cancer establishment and dared to say something that natural health advocates have been warning about for decades: That Americans are "bombarded" with cancer-causing chemicals and radiation, and if we hope to reduce cancer rates, we must eliminate cancer-causing chemicals in foods, medicines, personal care products and our work and home environments.

In a directive to President Obama, the report states, "The panel urges you most strongly to use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase healthcare costs, cripple our nation's productivity, and devastate American lives."

Please...read the full report and share with us and everyone you know ...this awesome news.

http://www.naturalnews.com/028765_environmental_chemicals_cancer.html

A Mighty May indeed~

PS: I am happy to say when the Health Care reform bill was being tossed about...I sent a letter to our president suggesting this same action...instead of spending untold sums of money on "health care"...consider putting that money and that energy into cleaning up our food sources...we would then have much less need for health care at the critical stages we now have.