Archive for the ‘Organics’ Category
Posted by nwnikkie on June 20, 2012
Posted by nwnikkie on April 18, 2012
Did you know that the main ingredients in most commercial bug sprays and repellents, Deet, is a neurotoxin and is harmful to the brain. Yup you read that right, harmful to our brains. If you do use deet it is recommended that the bug spray not be applied to the skin, but rather to the clothes. I have never been a fan of deet before and avoid bug sprays for my family and myself, lucky for us we don’t get many bites these days. Something about a good diet makes you a bad target. For years I have sworn off bug repellants of all sorts. I have instead incorporated plants into the landscape that help to repel the bugs. This works well when we are at home, but now that kids are old enough to go off to camp they need something to take with them. Making your own bug spray is not that hard. It is just as easy as making your own cleaners. My favorite bug sprays are easy to make. You can take some of your favorite essential oils and combine them in a spray bottle for a safe and easy effective bug spray. In an opaque spray bottle combine
- fill about 1/2 full with distilled or boiled water
- fill almost to top with witch hazel
- add 20-30 drops of essential oils of any of the following essential oils: rosemary, lemon eucalyptus, citronella, clove, lavender or tea tree oil. – The more oils you use the stronger the spray will be
Posted by nwnikkie on April 18, 2012
Bees feeding off tea trees native to New Zealand, produce a type of honey that’s known as “Jelly Bush Honey” in Australia and “Mankuta Honey” in New Zealand. Now, scientists at the University of Sydney’s School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences have found this particular type of honey has some amazing curative properties.
Until now, Manuka Honey has been sold in health food stores as a natural medicine. That is probably about to change. New research has shown the honey kills every type of bacteria scientists have thrown at it, including the antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’ plaguing hospitals and killing patients around the world.
Professor Dee Carter is one of the research team that made the discovery. She said a compound in the honey called methylglyoxal is the key ingredient to the effectiveness of the honey. However, methylglyoxal on its own is toxic but when it combines with what are, as yet, unknown compounds it causes “multi-system failure” in bacteria.
Manuka Honey Unique to New Zealand
Honey bees collect nectar from Manuka bushes (also known as Tea Trees) which grow in remote areas of New Zealand. According to Manuka Health the discovery of the anti-bacterial properties of methylglyoxal was made by Professor Thomas Henle at the University of Dresden, Germany.
The curative properties of various types of honey have been known to indigenous cultures for thousands of years, and dressing wounds with honey was common before the advent of antibiotics.
Posted by nwnikkie on July 24, 2011
(MotherEarthNews)People often dismiss gardening as an expensive hobby that they can’t afford. While that can be true, it doesn’t have to be. There are way to make gardening cheap.
Here are some resources that are available no matter where you live to lessen the financial burden of growing your own food.
Department of Sanitation or Office County Extension Either look them up on the web or give them a phone call. You might be surprised what is offered. There may be free events and programs during the year. They also might have some giveaways such as compost and mulch. Most cities usually offer compost bins at a discount to their residents as well.
5-Gallon Containers There are plenty of places that you can get containers to start your garden. Some include farmers markets, delis and restaurants. You’ll either be able to get them for free or $1 each.
Soda Bottles Sadly, soda bottles are everywhere. It’s not like you have to drink soda in order to get some. I’ve gotten some from the recycling bin of my apartment or from friends and relatives. You can use them to make hanging soda bottle planters or self-watering containers made out of a soda bottle.
Coconut Shells Once you crack open a coconut and use the milk and meat, you can then repurpose the shell to plant some shallow rooted veggies such as lettuce.
Cafes and Coffee Shops Your local cafe and coffee shops are usually more than likely to be willing to give you their used coffee grinds. The grinds works great as a fertilizer and help to feed the plants. They also make a great addition to your compost.
Free Seeds Look online for local seed swapping event or clubs. You also might find some where you can exchange with others in other parts of the country.
These are just six ways that you can cut some costs on gardening and should be available no matter where you live.
Posted by Sisko on July 20, 2011
Notes about the following article: Most articles instructing you on non-toxic garden remedies often suggest alternate toxic substances . This article is a good example and I thought it helpful to amend this one to demonstrate how these toxins creep into non-toxic advice. Remember anything you spray on your vegetable garden will end up on your plate. You can wash off soap but you cannot wash away the toxins they carry with them. Likewise on your lawn…your pets, wandering cats and dogs, and other critters graze on grasses and you track into your home any toxins placed on your lawn.
See emphasis bracketed in bold and strikethroughs. Dr. Bonners and Bio-Kleen are two good non toxic soaps. There are others. Check the ingredients like you would your food, your garden is food. Don’t use ” any brand” lawn fertilizer, most contain toxins. Get a non-toxic one from a “green” supplier or make your own. Corn syrup contains toxins. Cedar chips are often treated with chemicals, make sure yours aren’t. Finally, ammonia!!??
t’s that time of year to begin gardening and we always seem to encounter a few hiccups after the winter.
In my landscaping business, we specialize in pet friendly yards and encourage others to use natural remedies to eliminate pests and other gardening problems that you may encounter. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Common Sense, Everyday Use Items E.U.I, Food, Garden, Health, Organics | Tagged: do-it-yourself, edible plants, food, garden, health, insects, natural, nutrition, organic, vegetables | Leave a Comment »
Posted by nwnikkie on July 19, 2011
(MotherEarthNews)One of the characteristics of a truly sustainable garden is that it produces at least some of its own seed. This is most often done when gardeners select, harvest and store seeds until the proper time for planting the following year. But some self-seeding crops produce seeds so readily that as long as you give them time to flower and mature, and set seed, you will always have free plants growing in your garden. You can simply let the seeds fall where they are, or toss pieces of the seed heads into the corners of your garden, or whichever area you want them in — no harvesting, storing or replanting required. With most self-seeding vegetables, herbs and annual flowers, you’ll just need to learn to recognize the seedlings so you don’t hoe them down. Should seedlings require relocation, you can simply lift and move them — after all, they are sturdy field-grown seedlings.
In addition to getting all the free garden plants you need (and some to share with family and friends), nurturing self-seeders is also a great way to provide a diversity of flowers that supply pollen and nectar for beneficial insects. Self-seeding flowers, herbs and vegetables that show up in early spring include arugula, calendula, chamomile, cilantro, dill, bread seed poppies and brilliant red orach (mountain spinach). Nasturtiums, amaranth, New Zealand spinach, and even basil or zinnias appear later, after the soil has warmed.
Starting a new colony of any of these annuals is usually a simple matter of lopping off armloads of brittle, seed-bearing stems in the fall, and dumping them where you want the plants to appear the next season. It’s that easy. Most of the seedlings will appear in the first year after you let seed-bearing plants drop their seeds, with lower numbers popping up in subsequent seasons.
Posted by nwnikkie on July 19, 2011
Instructions on how to plant seed potatoes in a bin. This is a great idea if you are limited on space, live in an apartment etc…
First you must drill holes in the very bottom of the sides of the container for drainage. Here is picture that shows a drilled container:
Posted by nwnikkie on July 13, 2011
After having solved the problems of finding water, shelter, and animal food, you will have to consider the use of plants you can eat. In a survival situation you should always be on the lookout for familiar wild foods and live off the land whenever possible.
You must not count on being able to go for days without food as some sources would suggest. Even in the most static survival situation, maintaining health through a complete and nutritious diet is essential to maintaining strength and peace of mind.
Nature can provide you with food that will let you survive any ordeal, if you don’t eat the wrong plant. You must therefore learn as much as possible beforehand about the flora of the region where you will be operating. Plants can provide you with medicines in a survival situation. Plants can supply you with weapons and raw materials to construct shelters and build fires. Plants can even provide you with chemicals for poisoning fish, preserving animal hides, and for camouflaging yourself and your equipment.
EDIBILITY OF PLANTS
Plants are valuable sources of food because they are widely available, easily procured, and, in the proper combinations, can meet all your nutritional needs.
WARNING – The critical factor in using plants for food is to avoid accidental poisoning. Eat only those plats you can positively identify and you know are safe to eat.
Absolutely identify plants before using them as food. Poison hemlock has killed people who mistook it for its relatives, wild carrots and wild parsnips.
At times you may find yourself in a situation for which you could not plan. In this instance you may not have had the chance to learn the plant life of the region in which you must survive. In this case you can use the Universal Edibility Test to determine which plants you can eat and those to avoid.
It is important to be able to recognize both cultivated and wild edible plants in a survival situation. Most of the information in this chapter is directed towards identifying wild plants because information relating to cultivated plants is more readily available.
Remember the following when collecting wild plants for food:
- Plants growing near homes and occupied buildings or along roadsides may have been sprayed with pesticides. Wash them thoroughly. In more highly developed countries with many automobiles, avoid roadside plants, if possible, due to contamination from exhaust emissions.
- Plants growing in contaminated water or in water containing Giardia lamblia and other parasites are contaminated themselves. Boil or disinfect them.
- Some plants develop extremely dangerous fungal toxins. To lessen the chance of accidental poisoning, do not eat any fruit that is starting to spoil or showing signs of mildew or fungus.
- Plants of the same species may differ in their toxic or subtoxic compounds content because of genetic or environmental factors. One example of this is the foliage of the common chokecherry. Some chokecherry plants have high concentrations of deadly cyanide compounds while others have low concentrations or none. Horses have died from eating wilted wild cherry leaves. Avoid any weed, leaves, or seeds with an almondlike scent, a characteristic of the cyanide compounds.
- Some people are more susceptible to gastric distress (from plants) than others. If you are sensitive in this way, avoid unknown wild plants. If you are extremely sensitive to poison ivy, avoid products from this family, including any parts from sumacs, mangoes, and cashews.
- Some edible wild plants, such as acorns and water lily rhizomes, are bitter. These bitter substances, usually tannin compounds, make them unpalatable. Boiling them in several changes of water will usually remove these bitter properties.
- Many valuable wild plants have high concentrations of oxalate compounds, also known as oxalic acid. Oxalates produce a sharp burning sensation in your mouth and throat and damage the kidneys. Baking, roasting, or drying usually destroys these oxalate crystals. The corm (bulb) of the jack-in-the-pulpit is known as the “Indian turnip,” but you can eat it only after removing these crystals by slow baking or by drying.
Posted in First Aid/Medical, Food, Garden, Health, Organics, Safety, Survival, Tools | Tagged: antihemorrhagics, antiseptic, contact dermatitis, death, decoction, diarrhea, edible plants, healing, identification, infusion, ingestion poisoning, Medicinal plants, medicine, mushrooms, nature, nutrition, organic, poison, poisonous plants, poultice, sick, survival, tisane | 1 Comment »
Posted by nwnikkie on July 7, 2011
One common food storage program (particularly among Mormons) involves just four basic commodities: wheat, powdered milk, honey and salt. While this might not sound very exciting, it’s enough to keep body and soul together, and as such is of special interest not only to people interested in a food reserve, but to those who grow their own wheat.
In her 1969 book Passport to Survival, (Bookcraft Inc, Salt Lake City, Utah) Esther Dickey lists recipes for over a hundred ways to use these four basic foods! We’re not talking about recipes for bread and other baked goods, of which there are probably thousands. No, we’re talking about steamed wheat, bulgur wheat, sprouts, “cereals without boxtops,” mock walnut meats, wheat thins, teas, soups, and even desserts and candies!
Emergency stew consists of gluten cubes, stew broth, and noodles or mock tater tots (made with 1/4 cup dry milk, 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 cup of thick starch left over from making gluten. Combine all ingredients, drop mixture from a teaspoon onto a cookie sheet, and bake until brown.)
Or how about mock chicken legs? This is made with a taco filling —made from wheat sprouts, steamed wheat, cooked gluten and fine crumbs, ground and mixed—shaped into small rolls. Roll in crumbs, insert a toothpick in the small end, and heat in a casserole.