One Day Isn’t Enough

One Day Isn’t Enough

On Saturday, April 22, 2017, we will be celebrating Earth Day.  I’d like to suggest that we celebrate Earth Day every day.

What do Richard Nixon, Teddy Roosevelt and Rachel Carson have in common?  No, not all presidents.  We haven’t gotten that yet … a woman in the White House.  So, think again.  All vital participants in promoting an environmental consciousness in the US.  Yes, the much maligned RMN can be credited with the creation of the EPA, as well as the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.  Teddy spearheaded the conservation movement in the early 1900’s and Ms. Carson is responsible for ridding us of DDT.

Keep America Beautiful

By 1970, the world had reached about 3.7 billion people (sounds almost empty, right?) and there were some very big issues:  water pollution, air pollution, solid waste contamination.  I can remember riding down the highway seeing folks toss their McDonald’s bags out of the window of their speeding wood paneled station wagons.  The ‘Keep America Beautiful’ folks, mostly beverage and packing industries who wanted to keep their industries free of government regulation, began promoting anti litter campaigns to encourage folks to clean up.  It worked.  Who can forget this image & PSA? (more…)

Why You Shouldn’t Push Parsley Aside Anymore

Why You Shouldn’t Push Parsley Aside Anymore

If you asked most people what role they thought that parsley plays in cooking, health and nutrition, they would most likely say that it is used as a garnish or decoration for other foods. It is that often ignored tuft of green bits on your plate that you have, for many years, pushed to the side in lieu of devouring everything else. This is done without a thought or care and those who make it a habit almost assuredly aren’t aware of what they are missing.

Parsley originated in southern Europe along the Mediterranean and prior to ever being thought of as food, parsley was consumed as medicine. Parsley is an extremely nutritious herb that can be easily grown in your own culinary or healing herb garden. Unbeknownst to most folks, parsley is the most popular and widely used herb in the world.

The biennial plant gets its name from the Greek word for “rock celery” and contains high levels of vitamins K, C & A as well as respectable amounts of iron and potassium. If you were ever curious about what parsley can do for you keep reading to find out the benefits you’ve been forgoing by pushing aside this little green herbal dynamo. (more…)

Healing Herbs for a Healing Garden

Healing Herbs for a Healing Garden

My guilty secret?  Binge watching bad TV on Sunday afternoons after I’ve put the greenhouses ‘to bed’.  I get the biggest kick out of the commercials, especially the one for a well-known heartburn medication.  Basically, the message is this:  stuff your face until your body produces so much acid to deal with so much food and take this pill so you can ignore the warning signs your body is giving you and keep stuffing your face.

We’ve lost the art of looking after ourselves.  I know people who treat their cars better than they treat their own bodies.  They know more about the intricacies of a football play than they do about their own emotional well being.  We’ve become really dependent on other people and other properties to take care of what is ours;  we are reliant on those ‘purple pills’ to feel good.  We have started to treat the symptoms (acid reflux) but not the root causes (glutony).

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m am both thrilled and lucky to have access to exceptional care in this age of ‘modern medicine’.  And, we never, ever advocate the use of herbal remedies without the advice of health professionals.  However, it is important to remember that for most of mankind’s history, natural medicine has been used as a preventative measure.  I’m only pointing to the fact that there is an important role for medicinal herbs in the management of common health issues and in the maintenance of general health. (more…)

The Importance of Monarch Butterflies

The Importance of Monarch Butterflies

“Nature is not a luxury, it is an investment”

~ Mark Tercek
CEO, The Nature Conservancy

The time is running out for many native habitats, but there is so much you can do.  I have been working my land for the past 35 years, and I can now look over my conservation efforts and see that they have ‘borne fruit’.  From the reclaimed crop fields to thriving natural habitats filled with butterflies, pollinator bees, quail, deer;  everything that lives in our area makes their way into these ‘safe zones’.  They are vital as their world is shrinking thanks to plows, mowers and not to mention other encroachments.  This wasn’t a hard task;  marginal crop land taken out of production and planted as early succession natural habitat.  This effort was supported by state and federal programs available to landowners ~ it wasn’t a ‘break the bank’ effort, and we were also flooded with great information as well as direct payments from these programs.

You don’t have to own a farm to make a difference.  A yard will work.  But, you do have to have a commitment to leaving your land in better shape than you found it.  We call it stewardship, and firmly believe that each of us has both a right and responsibility. (more…)

End Times for Bees?

End Times for Bees?

Truth be told:  I’m a huge fan of apocalyptic or dystopian fiction.  Or, a fancier term, ‘speculative fiction’.  Meaning the ‘what ifs’ in life;  what if there was a pandemic, a nuclear explosion, or some cataclysmic event that creates a VERY challenging world for those left behind.

I’m no writer, but if I was, I think an interesting topic that could jump start one of these novels would be the elimination of pollinators from our natural world.  Oh, wait.  That is already happening.  Let’s consider the bees.  We, and I’m including myself in this collection, are terrible for bees.  We’ve caused pollution, we’ve destroyed a lot of their habitat and the use of certain pesticides have threatened their existence.  There is also the issue of a parasitic mite that is a huge contributor to their decline.

Bees. Did I mention that we can’t live without them?

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Solidago: 2017 Notable Native Herb

Solidago: 2017 Notable Native Herb

And The Winner Is….

Congratulations to the winner:  Solidago has been named the 2017 Notable Native Herb by the Herb Society of America.  We won’t be hearing any impressive acceptance speeches from the winner, so let me do the honors:

‘I would just like to thank the academy, well actually, the Herb Society of America, for this incredible honor.  I am truly speechless’

Or, if John Muir were still among us (and boy, do I wish he was) we’d use his own words:

The fragrance, color, and form of the whole spiritual expression of Goldenrod are hopeful and strength giving beyond any others I know.  A single spike is sufficient to heal unbelief and melancholy

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