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I always appreciate Vivian Goldschmidt’s timely, simple and effective advice about Bone Health. Everyone has become so afraid of the sun. Many never allow the sunlight to touch their skin. Vivian reminds us: don’t burn, but do take sunlight for Vitamin D.

Check out her 5 simple things to do this summer.

Hat Tip: saveourbones.com

 

mr-ghost-iphone-emf-detector

This just in courtesy of Micah: Mr Ghost EMF Detector

EMF smog is invisible and this device will reveal the vibrational world!

The dangers of EMF and RF’s are becoming known and because we cannot feel or see the fields this is a handy device to alert us to the areas of high radiation as well as safe or quiet spots. The earth’s magnetic field is a very different resonance than the frequency chosen for digital equipment and more and more research is revealing the weakening and deleterious effects of these fields on our health.

SImply google EMF’s and you will find a slew of articles. Here is just one of 1,000’s that will clarify the basic thoughts about EMF’s.

Be safe.

Don’t watch this if you are easily grossed out- this is a video of a mosquito laying eggs and then the larvae hatching. OMG! Know what mosquito larvae look like so you can do something about it if you see this in or near your home.

The Oldest Known Fossil Mosquito was found entombed in amber, approximate age of 100-90 million years. Pesky mosquitos affect humans more than any other insect. There are 2500 species of mosquitos in the world. 150 species occur in the US. Each species has a particular way of laying their eggs but all require water – be it a stagnant pond, a vase of standing water, snow melted in a bird feeder, water pooling on a puddle. Males don’t bite and feed on flower nectar. Most of the females (who are the egg layers) need to feed on blood to be able to create and lay their eggs. They can lay up to 200 or 300 eggs at a time and they hatch within 48 hours- sometimes faster depending on the temperature. the larvae need to swim around for a few days to mature. I’m not going to write any more about this because it makes me itchy to think about. BUT, knowing how to prevent unwanted swarms of skeeters is important. eHow has some good suggestions, also here is an article about using household products to kill larvae, and one more from eHow using garlic juice and apple cider vinegar in places where there is standing water. Great, I have loads of leftover garlic from last year’s harvest.

 

This is a wonderful chart from 1bog.org (One block Off the Grid)

 

Really have you ever thought about how much land you would need to meet all your family’s calorie needs for a year. This is a great chart.

 

1bog.org is an inventive group that can help you find the most cost-effective way to have solar power. One Block Off the Grid makes it easier and more affordable for homeowners to go solar by organizing group discounts, vetting solar installers, and providing you with objective information and advice along the way. Our solar advisors don’t work on commission. Their salary is the same whether you end up going solar or not, so the information you receive from One Block Off the Grid is always 100 percent unbiased.

Hat Tip: William Spear

 

 

 

 

 

Freezing Snow Peas

August 5, 2011

It’s the first week of August and I thought the season was over but it turns out that all my snow peas really needed was more water. There have been some huge rainstorms in the past 10 days and there are many new pea shoots, flowers and more snow peas. Yahoo. Here is how I am preserving some for the winter.

Wash and string (peel down the stringy seams on both sides by snapping the top and gently pulling down)

Place in boiling water for 2 minutes

 

Cool in iced water 2 minutes

Pat dry and freeze in freezer bags or freezer-safe containers.

Your Ecological Footprint

August 4, 2011

 

 

Do you know how large your ecological footprint is? Are you interested in lowering your footprint?

Look no further. The Center For Sustainable Ecology has put together a good quiz with wonderful information about all aspects of our lifestyles and possible changes we can make.

I took the quiz and found out that if everyone lived as my family does (which I thought was very frugally and consciously) we would still require more than one earth to sustain the lifestyle. It isn’t fair to the rest of the world to take such a large share of things.

The Ecological Footprint Quiz estimates the amount of land and ocean area required to sustain your consumption patterns and absorb your wastes on an annual basis. After answering 27 easy questions you’ll be able to compare your Ecological Footprint to others’ and learn how to reduce your impact on the Earth.

Flash Mob? Crop Mob!

July 24, 2011

Farming is traditionally a physical and labor intensive endeavor. In the past, community efforts were often necessary for planting, harvesting, processing, including barn-raising and house-raising. Modern day farming has become mechanized enabling  farmers to “do it alone”. A lonely career. Through resurgence of smaller farming initiatives a wonderful community spirit has emerged. People are participating in CSA’s and organic and local farmers are recognized in their communities and are well-received at local farmer’s markets.

Enter the Crop Mob movement. A group of 19 farmers, apprentices and friends in the Triangle area of North Carolina (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) began to work together to harvest sweet potatoes at the Piedmont Biofarm. They have made it a tradition and out of that tradition has grown to over 50 groups throughout the US. Find your local group on the map.

From the Crop Mob website:

“Many crop mobbers are apprentices or interns on these sustainable farms. The need for community participation matches a desire for community among young people interested in getting into farming. The crop mob was conceived as a way of building the community necessary to practice this kind of agriculture and to put the power to muster this group in the hands of our future food producers.

Any crop mobber can call a crop mob to do the kind of work it takes a community to do. We work together, share a meal, play, talk, and make music. No money is exchanged. This is the stuff that communities are made of.”

For more information, please send an email to info@cropmob.org. And check them out on facebook.

 

VIA: Kay Carroll, Market Master, Litchfield Farmer’s Market


I have just learned the easiest way to freeze blueberries. In the past I washed the berries, drained them, laid them out on cookie sheets in the freezer to freeze individually, then put the frozen berries into freezer bags. LONG PROCESS.

Recently, T and I picked berries at Evergreen Berry Farm in Watertown, CT. We picked on the bushes that were NOT sprayed- as there are areas of the field that never seem to need protection from insects and some that do. Interesting permaculture conundrum there….

As we were leaving T noticed a sign with freezing instructions as follows (so easy):

Put your fresh-picked berries into freezer bags and put in freezer. When you want to use the berries remove from freezer and rinse.  

Transition Town Movement

July 21, 2011



 OR

There are communities all over the world who are coming together with optimistic and infectious energy to create vital and lasting change for the good of all under the umbrella of The Transition movement. Transition Towns is about communities around the world responding to peak oil and climate change with creativity, imagination and humour, and setting about rebuilding their local economies and communities. It is positive, solutions focused, viral and fun. You can find out if there is a town in action near you from the US-based website or the global website. Or, you can start your own group!

These slides are from the film: Transition 1o1. Check it out.

 

The Seaweed Man

April 20, 2011

Living at the edge of the continent. This is how Larch Hanson, a seaweed harvester for forty years, describes himself. He has some powerful advice about including seaweed regularly in our diet. Here is his latest article as well as a link to William Spear’s article about protective diet in Huffington Post.:

Considering the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, it is important that you understand this article:Iodine in Seaweed Protects the Thyroid from Radiation

Once upon a time, about a gazillion years ago, the animals in the sea with spinal cords decided to base their regulatory hormones upon stable Iodine 127. A bazillion years later, some of those animals decided to leave the sea and live on the land where Iodine 127 was not abundant. Land plants don’t contain much iodine at all. So they developed thyroid glands and blood compounds that would conserve scarce Iodine 127. All went well, until some near-sighted nuclear scientists started splitting uranium atoms and creating radioactive Iodine 131 which concentrates through the food chain (from grass to cows to milk to humans, for instance) and can end up in the thyroid, burning it out, leaving people unable to self-regulate their lives. You see, Iodine 131 has a very short half-life of 8 days. That means that within a period of two months, it emits most of its radiation. And if that iodine 131 happens to be situated in the thyroid while it is emitting its radiation, it will do great damage to the thyroid gland. 25% of the women in this country, for instance, now have clinical symptoms of thyroid imbalance. Why is this happening?

Iodine is a member of the halide group of elements that includes bromine, chlorine, and fluorine. Compounds that contain these elements tend to displace iodine from the body. Modern people are exposed to bromated dough conditioners in commercially-produced bread, and bromine used in disinfectants (in hot tubs, for instance). Bleach in the laundry and at the swimming pool contains chlorine. Dentists use fluorides, and fluoride is used in toothpaste and drinking water. All of these sources of chemicals, and more, are exposing us to halides that displace iodine from our bodies. In the Southwest, the Colorado River system that irrigates the fields that produce 30% of the vegetables consumed in our country is contaminated by a lagoon of spent rocket fuel in Nevada that is leaching perchlorate into the water. Perchlorate is taken up by broad leaf veggies  like lettuce, and it gets into the body and blocks transport of iodine to the thyroid. If an air bag goes off in your car, your air is immediately contaminated with perchlorate released by the explosive air bag.

There really aren’t very good iodine supplements available to the public. If you read a material safety data sheet for potassium iodide, you will understand the negative side effects of long term use. The best long term strategy is to integrate seaweed into one’s daily diet. Then your thyroid will always have adequate levels of stable Iodine 127 and will not take in radioactive Iodine 131. Digitata kelp has the highest iodine content, followed by kelp. Alaria has moderate levels of iodine. All of these are good sources of iodine, provided you don’t roast them, releasing the iodine to the air. Learn a water-based method that will work for you. Make soup and drink the broth at the same time you eat the seaweed. Then your body will receive the iodine. If you are a raw foodist, make a smoothie that includes kelp. Nori and dulse don’t contain much iodine, compared to kelp and alaria. Any commercial seaweed that is promoted as “tender” or “convenient” or “ready to eat” probably has been subjected to a heat process (parboiling, roasting) and thus the iodine content is lowered.

Recipes for proper preparation of seaweed are available at LarchHanson.com and seaweed can be ordered direct from the harvester and his apprentices who use low temperature methods of drying at TheSeaweedMan.com.

Rest in the Light, abide in the Heart.Larch Hanson
Maine Seaweed LLC
Ph/fax: 207 546 2875