Spring Has Sprung (In March)

We’ve got a few things growing in our garden beds…

Chamomile
Lemon Balm
Kale
Ginger Mint
Volunteer Tomatoes
Lavender
& Chocolate Mint

I’m hoping to add more mints, calendula, basils, sages, and various veggies & fruits to our beds.

We still have a few weeks before we get our big plants in the ground and plant our cucumber seeds.  We’re going to build a new bed as well.

Advertisements

Food Waste Summit Review

20170201_102937

Two weeks ago I was able to attend the Food Waste Summit at Parkview Hospital.  I was not sure what to expect but they did have a lot of high profile people in their panel ready to answer questions about food waste.  Some of these people represented the EPA, Kroger, and Waste Management.

Two items given out were a sticker to place on a bin holding whatever food needs to be used up first (“Eat this first”) and a notepad similar to the menu plan list every homemaker uses.  These two items were supposed to help households throw out less food by being aware of what needs to be used and what is already available to prevent over buying at the store.

One example I found useful was the “blue bin” used by some restaurants to create a visual aid for food waste.  Every piece of produce that would be thrown away for the day (think ends of onions) instead was tossed into the bin.  At the end of the day the crew would go through the bin and see if they were throwing away portions of produce they would actually be able to use.

I also learned that Kroger plans on being “zero waste company” by 2020.  I knew they donated their unsold items to local charities but I was unaware of this initiative.  Under the Good Samaritan law there is also little legal risk to picking up donated (or donating) food to others.  I think if more people knew this more would donate or take the time to pick up donated food from grocery stores and deliver it to those who could use it.

I was not so encouraged about the lack of community composting talk.  It seems that even in places where this has been implemented it is scarcely used and used improperly.  I’d love to have a neighborhood-managed compost heap that everyone can add to and benefit from.

Calendula-Sage Infusion

img_8971

A few weeks ago we had someone in the family with a mucus issue… so we whipped up an infusion with some known drying herbs we grow… Sage (salvia officinalis) & Calendula .  It made a beautiful tisane and was tasty enough that the recipient had no issue sipping on it through the next two days.  The dried  Calendula blossoms grow so large and make such a lovely looking infusion.  It is nice to still have some jars filled with dried herbs from the garden as we come to the end of Winter.

img_8970

Herban Homeschool: Week 13 & 14

We got back into the weekly lessons in January and I believe it was a success mostly due to the fact that we began our Word Families booklet (yay reading!) and Winter study.  We also started solving for the unknown in Math.  Going to the library once a week for a club meeting started as well.

img_8941

img_8973

 

We still continued to practice our lowercase letters.

img_8949

img_8951

 

And attempted to make new Minecraft creations with video templates.

img_8919

 

Now to start another week by enjoying this abnormally warm weather for January!

Here’s A Radical Idea: Stop Buying Supplements From The Market

 

Okay, I don’t want to lose you, this will be quick.  The internet is full of blog posts and articles selling you everything to make you perfectly happy and healthy (here is a quick comment to that, whatever they are selling won’t do it.)  Since supplements are not regulated by the FDA, anything can be in there. And unless an issue arises, or someone complains, or gets sick, or sues, you will be downing alfalfa capsules thinking it is St. John’s Wort.  This is not a joke, a recent study showed that over half of 10 tested St. John’s Wort supplements had little to none in it.  In fact, what they DID have could be even worse. One was filled with a known herbal diuretic. Yikes. (Another reason not to drop your prescription medication for herbal supplements without doctor and herbalist cooperation.)

So, quickly, what can you do?

Get your needs from food.  You know, “let food be thy medicine” and all of that. “Every food is a super-food”. I can probably come up with five or more slogans that say the same thing. Food was made to nourish us, eat it. Grow it. Share it. Enjoy it.

Find an educated herbal professional to walk you through what herbs you should grow, purchase, and use.  There is a reason these professionals take anatomy and physiology just like healthcare professionals. Many also study biochemistry or nutrition. Use their knowledge and let them help you!  If the goal is to balance yourself out to live a normal life, seek out a professional herbalist, alternative medicine practitioner, nutritionist, whatever you think would help you at this stage of your life.  You may seek out all of them. Bring these professionals your current supplement stash and you can wade through them together. I’ve never met an herbalist who practices for the money.  It is all about sharing knowledge.

Make your own nutritional supplements.  No, you are not “Doctor Mom”, you are a whole person aware of your bodily needs.  Giving yourself supplements to live life is not practicing medicine on yourself, and should not be used instead of seeing an educated professional.  If you have no issue making yourself a balanced dinner, you should have no issue making a mug of lemon balm tisane or sprinkling mustard powder on your cooked broccoli.  But when you start trying to fix a specific issue, that is when it would be best to search out the help of a practitioner, one who studies herbal energetics and nutritional synergy. With their help you can even make your own personalized supplement capsules. I assure you, a professional will also let you know when your issues are beyond their practice and recommend you into the hands  of those who may help better.

If you are into quick educational videos I recommend this one here about supplement safety. Black Raspberry Supplements Put To The Test 

Free Herbal Materia Medica Class

Right now The Herbal Academy (formerly Herbal Academy of New England) is offering a FREE six week online course on how to start your own Materia Medica.  It is perfect for those who have never taken an herbal class. No experience necessary!

What is a Materia Medica? Basically in herbalism a materia medica is a collection of information on healing materials.  This ranges from class notes and resource books to notebooks and drawings from wildcrafting adventures.  It is your library of study for your practice.

This small class is designed to help you start making your own journal.  It is simply one step to becoming more knowledgeable on herbs.

The class opens 1/10/17 and the free offer ends 1/31/17.

Click here for more information. 

Herban Homeschool: Week 5

Seeds this past week. Seeds and squirrels and the changing of seasons.

img_8461

Life in a basil seed we harvested and stored for next year.

img_8463

img_8432

And the parts of a tree.

img_8465

We narrated a squirrel with a seed.  The chosen title is below, along with a little something dad left up for the next day.

img_8472

We continued to gather things for the seasonal basket.

img_8476

And enjoyed every day out in the changing weather.

img_8488

Hopefully this week finds us out every day as well.