Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Virtues of Asparagus

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Although I’ve always wanted to grow asparagus, somehow I never got around to it.  Unlike most garden vegetables, this plant does not give us instant gratification, as we must wait 2-3 years before its shoots are mature enough for harvesting.

However, wild asparagus (Asparagus racemosus) or better known as Shatavari in Ayurvedic medicine, grows prolifically in India as a medicinal vine, and is renown since ancient times for rejuvenating and healing women’s reproductive organs.

Today, Shatavari’s domesticated cousin, our common dinner table variety of asparagus, still retains medicinal value, and is an excellent source of potassium, folic acid, vitamins A, C, K, niacin, and phosphorus, while containing a balanced 2:1 ratio of calcium and magnesium.  Its high alkalinity helps reduce blood acidity and serves as a powerful detoxifying agent.  Although asparagus also has a large amount of antioxidant Glutathione,  a substance effective in preventing tumor growth, it should not be eaten by people with kidney problems.

 

Other Virtues of Asparagus

  • Nourishes/Increases Kidney Yin (Core energy reserves)
  • Reduces menopause symptoms
  • Benefits the Lungs by reducing phlegm and congestion
  • Prevents Constipation
  • Powerful anti-inflammatory
  • Can help balance blood sugar levels

 

So when you are preparing to give yourself a  Spring Cleanse, remember to include asparagus.   You will see and feel quick results.

Green Smoothies & Your Health

Friday, February 28th, 2014

These days Green Smoothies are all the rage and are promoted as one of the best things you can do for your health because they are made of 40% leafy greens, 60% fruit and often times extra nutritious additions such as hemp protein, chia or flax seeds, coconut oil, raw cacao powder and/or spirulina. And if you have a winter garden you can just go outside and pluck your fresh greens.

This power packed drink, chock full of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and fiber promises to be a healthy addition to your diet…or does it?  According to both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, drinking a green smoothie may have just the opposite effect on your body when consumed regularly over a long period of time.

 

Detrimental Factors of Green Smoothies

 Coldness ~ According to Chinese medicine, cold beverages, especially the first thing in the morning can destroy kidney yin, thus depleting our core vitality. Ayruvedic medicine teaches us that regular intake this type of food may aggravate our Vata causing a cold, rough, and dryness in body constitution, promoting symptoms such as variable energy, poor circulation, endocrine disorders, anxiety, or pain in our joints.

Depletes Ojas ~ According to Ayruvedic medicine aggravated Vata is also associated with the breaking down of all bodily tissues. Initially, the releasing of enormous energy makes us feel energetic, however over time our bones, marrow, nerve and reproductive systems can become depleted, effecting our immune systems and helping us become susceptible to auto-immune disease, chronic fatigue and other health issues.

Difficult to Digest ~ The large quantity of ingredients in a green smoothie makes it heavy and hard to digest, especially if you add super foods such as chia/flax seeds, hemp protein or coconut oil.

High in Oxalates ~ Greens are high oxalate foods and over time may help serious health issues to develop such as kidney stones.

 

The important thing to remember is that moderation is the key! Although green smoothies may initially be a great addition to your diet, actually reversing some health problems, you need to listen carefully to your body and know when it’s time to slow down consumption or stop drinking them entirely.

Extinct Judea Date Palm grown from 2,000 Year Seed

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

In 2005, research biologist, Elaine Solowey, decided to see if she could grow the then extinct Judea Date Palm from 2,000 year old seeds found at the ancient mountain fortress of Masada in Israel.

After soaking the seeds in warm water, prepping them with growth and rooting hormones, and then planting them in enzyme rich fertilizer, Dr. Solowey was amazed to see shoots coming up after only five weeks.

 With such vitality, it’s easy to see why the  Judea Date Palm was called The Tree of Life and  Date Bearing Phoenix.  Still thriving today, this resurrected date palm is bearing flowers, and researchers are hoping it is a female tree that will produce fruit.
 Known for a host of medicinal properties the Judea Date Palm was once at the heart of the region’s local economy.  Both the Bible and Quran site its mundane uses of food, shelter, shade, and good fortune, plus its healing virtues for disease, infection, and contraception.

However, after conquering the region in 70AD, Roman legions destroyed these valuable trees to crush resistance and control the local economy.

Judea Date Palm

A Thorny Apple Choice

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Cultivated since the earliest of times, the Apple tree is included in the Celtic Tree Ogham, an ancient language/divination system used by the Druids.  Here this fruit is associated with Choice and choosing between two equally attractive things.  Since the alternatives seem to be equally promising, the choice may be difficult.

The original apple of course was the crab apple, and not the hybrid types we grow and eat today.  This original apple tree usually had thorns and held very close ties to the Celtic shaman, as it was used while undergoing magical transformations in Otherworldly journeys.

Ironically, reflecting the apple’s thorny beginnings, we may be in for a new apple choice, as the USDA has just Ok’d GMO Arctic Apples for public consumption.  The better choice in this case would be eating only organic apples and apple products.  Because the US does not require companies to label GMO’s, the unaware American consumer will soon play guinea pig to this latest food experiment.

Designed for cosmetic purposes, these new GMO apples have their own magical transformation that eliminates the natural browning process when cut or eaten.

Although seemingly harmless, scientists believe that  browning may play an important role in stemming off apple pests and disease.  Another danger is that this non-browning apple will mask fruit decay; what looks to be fresh may actually be rotten.  Other far-reaching consequences may include apple growers needing to add costly protection against cross-contamination and foreign markets not wanting to purchase future apple crops.

Eco Dome from Cal Earth

Thursday, December 5th, 2013
Bored with just digging and maintaining a garden?  Now you can build a small house in your backyard made from earth using NASA’s Superadobe technology, recreated by Cal-Earth Institute.  This structure called the Moon Cocoon, is resistant to fire, floods, wind storms and earthquakes.

Watch this short flick and find out how.

Fungus Among Us – Take 2

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

After writing my article last month on the role mushrooms play in our environment, I was intrigued enough to watch another Paul Stamats lecture on You Tube. I found it to be both fascinating and enlightening, so below are a few of the things I learned listening to his amazing talk called The Future of Fungi.

After years of study, scientists have found that fungus inhabits all plants and trees, helping their seeds to germinate better and enabling them to resist disease and sustain long droughts, predator attacks, and sudden climate changes. Because fungi carry nutrients to trees over long distances, researchers have also discovered that mycelium have a balancing effect on the health of forests.

Fungi also create soil by decomposing leaves, straw, and other plant debris, and then form dense under ground water storing networks that branch out and explore new territory. It then educates the network of what it has found.  He calls fungi, earth’s natural internet, and goes on to say that networking is basic to all forms of life, including galaxies embedded in a field of dark matte that he believes to be cosmic consciousness.

Paul Stamats also believes that mycelium are intelligent, sentient beings, that actually are related to us because they also breath oxygen and release carbon dioxide.  He says that millions of years ago we were one species that began developing differently.

 

Other Mushrooms Discussed in the Film and What They Do.

Amadou mushroom – can create a spark and carry fire for several days.  Can be formed in to clothing and when smeared with animal grease, becomes water repellent.

Oyster mushroom – breaks down hydro carbons and eats oil.

Hideous Gomphidius– Eats Cesium 137 and lowers radiation in the surrounding environment.

Black Molds – growing on Chernobyl walls ate l million rads of gamma radiation, by using pigment cells to utilize radiation the same way plants use sunlight for cellular metabolism.

Agarikon mushroom eats bacteria of TB, small pox, staphlicocos and ecoli, but only  grows in old growth forests.

Reishi & Cordyceps – Used in the prevention of cancer

 

 

 

Want to see the film for yourself? 

View Paul Stamats film The Future is Fungi on You Tube

 

 

 

Seedless Watermelons: Are They Produced by Monsanto?

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Seedless watermelons are all the rage, but have you ever wondered where they came from and whether they are Monsanto’s latest gimmick?

I have.

After searching the Internet for answers, I found that this fruit is actually grown as a hybrid and is not genetically modified. First developed by a Japanese scientist in 1951 at Kyoto University, this strain of watermelon is produced by doubling its chromosomes from 11 to 22.

OK, so seedless watermelons are in the clear! However, while researching I found an extensive list of food companies that use GMO ingredients in their products. See left column to access this list.

There’s Fungus Among Us

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Fall marks a time when a variety of fungus begins to sprout in our gardens.  They seem to appear overnight brandishing an array of colors and shapes and then mysteriously disappear.  According to Paul Stamats, world renowned mycologist, mushrooms work with soil regeneration and communicating with other plants through an underground network.  Watch this short, yet informative, beautiful flick that shows time-lapsed mushroom birth and a snippet of Paul Stamat’s philosophy.

Joy of Flowers!

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

During the summer months one of my favorite morning pastimes is watching all the flower activity on my porch.  It gives me great pleasure to know I am supplying nectar to the many moths, bees, butterflies and hummingbirds that frequent this part of my garden.

Sitting and watching a sea of purples, pinks and an occasional yellow, I feel uplifted by sensing each flower’s beauty, vibration and presence, for flowers connect us with Divine joy!   It is by no accident that they are given when a dear one passes, when we celebrate our love for another, or when we want to say please forgive me.

When we sit quietly, in reverence and reflection with a flower, her spirit may sometimes share messages or guidance through our feelings.  Thus, through observation and heightened senses we may engage in a new type of relationship.

So the next time you encounter a flower, feel the wonder of its joyful presence.  And give gratitude for your beautiful experience.

Beans of Life

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

After July’s deluge I wasn’t sure that I would have a viable vegetable garden left.  Although my tomatoes, basil, oregano and parsley did not fair well, my cucumbers, squash and beans didn’t skip a beat.  Thriving in all that rain, the bush beans were the first to produce and grace my dinner table.

 High in antioxidants, fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc, beans, also known as legumes or pulses, are a great addition to anyone’s diet.  Green beans are also rich in Vitamin A, C, K, and Manganese.

Having a high level of isoflavones, (compounds similar to estrogen), some tout their benefits may include easing symptoms of menopause, preventing some forms of cancer, reducing a risk of heart disease and improving bone and prostate health.

Magical Properties of Beans

Ever since we heard the fairy tale of Jack and the Bean Stalk as children we have equated beans as being magical.  Here, in disgust Jack’s Mother throws his beans out the window and the very next day they grow into a huge bean stalk that reaches into the heavens, where he finds a world inhabited by giants and treasure.

 The beans planted in this story allude to a magic seed (of life) that when fully grown can help you to find opportunities and riches in unknown (or future) realms. Reflecting their abundant nourishment, the beans in this fable show us to have hope in life, for we never know what good fortune awaits us further down the road.