One supplement I would add to the list is phosphatidyl serine. I notice an uptick in alertness when I take this. My sister tried it and made her a bit too energetic but she's sensitive to most medications and supplement. I don't notice any unpleasant side effects.
When I first read that passage several years ago, I was thinking of a huge cabbage. So first scale up the veg then allow fermentation to occur only in the center by cutting out part of the stem, adding salt, and inserting a stopper. Allow the cabbage to ferment for several days. Set the cabbage in the sun when it is ripe (stem end down of course), pour your favorite beverage, sit down, and enjoy the moment. No matter what, it's a good day.
If this doesn't work, startling the cabbage may set it off.
Jay, this is somewhat anecdotal, but when my cousin received a brain injury in a car crash she started using essential oils to stimulate function and healing. I talked to her during her recovery period and I can't say if it was just time or the oils or both but she went from talking slowly and erratically to fully functional. The kicker is that it took many months for her full recovery, but she was also in fairly bad shape.
I do know that essential oils can penetrate directly to the brain when inhaled or drops used sublingually. I use frankincense under my tongue and it has worked well for me without any issues. So this will take some research to find the right oils or blends but it might be worth considering.
I just read a book on Japanese country cooking where the daikon radishes were dried then fermented. I've never tried this and am not sure about how you can ferment if something has no moisture to support microbes. Possibly they were just dried to reduce but not eliminate moisture.
But it sounds like you hit on a simultaneous drying and fermentation process. This is pretty interesting. I'm glad it turned out well.
Bruce, I am so sorry to hear about the accident. Don't be surprised if you feel out of sorts for several (or more) days after. Physical and emotional shock are nature's way of shielding us in the short term so that we can function, but at some point it may feel very real and personal. That's ok. Talking to someone or several someones about the experience will help you sort it out too.
After my car wreck a long time ago, I remember calmly talking to the state troopers, then going to get a burger, driving my totaled car home then going numb and not able to think straight. I never ate the food and was just on autopilot. I had serious injuries to my back and neck but felt no pain. It took several days to figure out all the physical and emotional things that were happening. The best advice I can give you is to just ride it out and get any help to need to do this.
It's amazing how a split second of inattention can cause so much harm.
I've been keeping a medjool date plant for about 20 years that I grew from seed. It was an experiment that I didn't think would succeed, but one did. I had all those pits from making date syrup so I figured, what the heck and planted them. It took a long while for one to germinate. I've lived in zone 6 all those years, so it's in a big pot. It goes outside in the summer and inside in the winter with grow lights. It doesn't like that our house is in the 50s-60s during the winter, but it hasn't died on me yet.
The root system is huge which you'd expect for a plant that has to dig down for moisture. It has never gotten over 3 feet tall and never bloomed. It would take being repotted into a container that's too big for me to lift easily so it stays rootbound.
When we get around to building a greenhouse I plan to install it in the soil and see what happens.
Trace, for me it's a matter of species and the degree of invasion into the house. Jumping spiders are relocated outside if we can catch them. Those suckers watch you when you look at them. Good thing they are as small as they are.
Small, web forming spiders are sometimes let alone and even protected. We had one small spider living in the bathroom wall socket last winter. It was catching lots of small insects. It was very well behaved so we left it alone for months until it died of old age or something else.
The hobo, brown recluse, and black widow spiders are not tolerated in the house due to their bite toxicity. The hobo spiders run like the wind so they're hard to catch and release so we swat them if they are in the house. They are left alone outside. I wouldn't even think of risking catch and release of a black widow. I'd rather juggle knives.
As others have mentioned, all of the plant material needs to be submerged. This used to be done with a plate with a weight on it if you're doing open fermentation in a barrel or bucket. I do the jar with airlock now, like you're doing and there are glass weights you can use that are helpful but don't always do the trick.
The jar on the left with the black growth has a lot of cabbage that is not submerged. All of the discolored kraut needs to be removed and the rest of it checked for taste/odor. Sometimes the cabbage is drier than usual so you don't get enough juice to keep everything submerged so when that happens I add brine (50g salt/liter) to top off the jar. We drink a shot of fermentation juice in the morning so extra juice doesn't go to waste.
Good luck with your fermentation endeavors. I've ruined plenty of jars of veggies when I first started learning, especially since I like to experiment. When you get it right though, it's wonderful.
I have been using diaomaceous earth on the outside edge of the door thresholds to stop the autumn invasion of our house. I've seen one big spider curled up in the powder already. Some still get in but it's probably from another route, so maybe lay a thick trail along the edges of the floors. I like DE because if the cats get into it they won't get hurt by it and it's cheap.
I've used Azure for years also. Very reliable for dry and frozen goods and an excellent selection of staple goods. The fresh produce is questionable depending upon the distance from them. Not their doing, just the time in transit even with refrigeration.
The tiny ones look like garlic bulbils that grow on top of the flower stalk of hard necked garlic. The marble sized ones look like first year garlic grown from bulbils. Put them back in the ground and next year you should get a full size bulb of garlic.
I have free seeded lots of garlic bulbils and they make a nice spring green garlic or you can just let them grow an extra year.
We are growing codonopsis and dandelion along with lots of other culinary and medicinal herbs in a hugel bed and they are doing very well. I haven't pulled the codonopsis yet but the dandelion get big in one season and the ones I've pulled have long healthy roots (up to 6"). My hugel bed has a base layer of big logs, then small logs, dirt, wood chips then topsoil. The small logs are fairly near the surface in some areas (2-3" deep) but that doesn't seem to be an issue.
We used the wood chips on top to help fill in gaps along with the dirt. The first year this bed was in production I pulled a plant that was doing much better than those around it. The root system was huge and some wood chips came up with it since the roots were wrapped around the chips, which had fungi growing and breaking them down.
The culinary herbs are going crazy. My lemon thyme plant is about 3 feet across and always busy with pollinators. The raspberry is insane and has spread 6 feet in every direction, so next year they get moved around the property so they don't take over more than they have already.
Maybe try it out with ashwagandha and dandelion first before starting the ones that don't mature for several years. In my research, most of them do not like to be moved once they are established. Or plant some in the hugel bed and some in a bed with deeper soil. That would be a really useful experiment.
Over the years I have done a little bit of both rotation and selecting for plants that are resistant to tomato ailments. I generally do a 3 year rotation but I haven't stressed about it too much. My current batch of tomatoes are in the same bed as last year and we've had no problems or losses. Over the last 20 years or so I have ripped out any plants that show problems and only save seed from the healthiest plants.
I do plant rotation more for nutrient availability than for disease prevention now.
If you intend to plant in the same place year after year any new virus or fungus will may take hold and you could lose a lot of your crop. But you could also save the survivors to breed a resilient tomato. It all depends on what you want to achieve. All of my strategies are dependent on saving seed. If you buy new seed or plants every year then you will have to be more careful.
I've never used cover crops as a way to prevent disease. Usually it's for nutrient and biomass additions to the soil, which will make a healthier soil and a more balanced microbiome.
Staying as active as possible while still allowing for injury recovery can be a tricky challenge. My husband and I are both in that category right now. I tend to err on the side of over-doing it.
One thing my physical therapist said that has stuck with me is that she'd rather work with injuries from over-exertion than under-exertion. They are easier to treat and heal faster because these people have more to work with as far as muscle and tendon strength.
Think about it. If you're sore from sitting around too much how do you take it easy to heal? That's like the old George Carlin joke. "What do dogs do on their day off? It's their job to lay around."
Phragmites is also used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to clear fevers, coughing and congestion, and help with stomach issues such as vomiting. The stems are used in this case. I've used them myself and they are a mild, but effective herb.
FYI the type used in TCM is Phramites communis or common water reed, which sounds similar to australis.
From the book of Native American Ethnobotany Phragmites australis was used to treat diarrhea, and the sugary sap was used in pneumonia to loosen phlegm and soothe lung pain. The stems were dried and beaten with sticks to remove the sugar crystals, seeds were used for food, and the sap collected and used like candy. It was also extensively used as fiber, splints for broken bones, making arrows, and a lot of other functions.
I agree Pearl. I often accuse my cats of having an intellect as good or better than humans, then hiding the fact because it's amusing to watch us go about our day thinking we're the smart ones. I never saw them commute to a day job so they must be superior beings.
I've never accused my chickens of being smart though. Maybe they're just better at hiding it.
It definitely has the mint-like leaves of lemon balm. My balm is more rounded with scalloped edges though. Crush some and if it smells lemony, that's probably it. It could be catnip too, which has it's own distinctive smell.
A close-up is needed for better identification, including the stem.
I had very similar plant growth on my citrus after repotting with an organic potting soil. I'm pretty sure it was contaminated with a persistent herbicide. After repotting with a new potting mix that I make myself, the citrus are all miraculously growing perfect healthy leaves. The old ones were twisted and thin.
My peppers are growing in nutrient depleted soils and most are doing well with good leaf structure. At worst they're not setting fruit but then it's been 20-30F above normal here the past few weeks. About half are setting fruit and even some tomatoes have set fruit after the 105+F week we had.
We have a staged list - do I have 5 minutes to get out or 2 hours? Can I get to my sisters house to stay, or a hotel, or are we camping? In addition to your list and the suggestions from others, here are a few more items that come to mind. I lists for different packs for different situations but won't go into that kind of detail here.
I won't leave without the cats so we will have to use vehicles. The pet pack has a disposable litter tray, one gallon bag of kibble and small bowls. The cats will be in carriers. Water for all of us is in the garage and ready to load.
I added face masks with a carbon p95 insert for smoke since I assume we will be driving through really bad air. I also have two respirators with particulate filters if needed but they are harder to breath through.
Pre-printed contact list and evacuation route maps since we may have to go on roads we're not familiar with. Assume that phone service is down because it would suck if you depended on it and it wasn't there. If phone service is good then that's probably better for navigation.
Wet wipes. Paracord of different lengths. Compass. Waterproof matches. Lifestraws. Multi-tools. Folding saw and shovel. I could go on, but again, it depends on the situation. Obviously you can't carry too much if walking out.
This is a difficult subject for all of us because the idea of having to evacuate is so scary, but I feel much better being as prepared as possible.
In my experience dandelions show themselves when the area is mowed down to allow sunlight in. We had few dandelions in our pasture until my husband mowed it down then they popped up everywhere.
I harvest dandelions after they go to seed even in my garden beds because I want them to propagate. This may not be the best time for potency since some energy went into the seeds, but the roots and leaves still look good. Typically, the time to harvest roots of most perennial herbs is in late fall when all of the energy goes into the root for the winter. Again, I don't worry too much about this since I want the leaves for their kidney cleansing properties as well as the root for its liver cleansing properties.
There are wildcrafted herbal preparations but you may find them to be expensive. One of my favorite places for high quality organic herbs is Mountain Rose Herbs. I have purchased from them for many years and their quality is always tops. If I need something right away, I get it from them. Then I work at growing my own, if possible.
Mike, why is the journal requirement being removed? I've been doing herbal medicine since the mid 80s and my notes have been extremely valuable since my memory isn't always perfect especially for specific formulations.
For me, this requirement is probably the most important and useful of the natural medicine curriculum.
I'm with Jane on this one. Asking a woman to use "clean used sanitary towels" is like asking a man to use "clean and used jock straps" or "clean and used condoms." If the immediate reaction was "eww" then there's the answer, even without the whole issue of potential transmission of blood-borne pathogens. It's highly unlikely that the previous user of the sanitary towels autoclaved them to make sure they were clear of pathogens.
When we were looking for property in the Washington/Idaho area, one of the criteria was past and current mining near the property. One house we considered off of Highway 20 near Colville had a uranium water filter listed in the sellers disclosure for the house. After checking into this, the realtor said that the water in the area was contaminated from old uranium mining activities. We decided to look elsewhere. Stevens County has over 1,000 mines listed so I would look into nearby mining, current and abandoned as well as water quality, especially during the spring runoff.
It is a beautiful area but this was a show stopper for us. Below is a map of uranium levels in wells near Colville.
I looked this up in the book of Native American Ethnobotany and it lists Matricaria discoidea as being used extensively as a digestive aid for cramps, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and upset stomach. It was also used for colds, fevers, pain, and as an incense/perfume. It was considered safe enough to use for babies with fevers. There were specific listings for many tribes including Aleut, Cheyenne, Blackfoot, and Okanagan-Colville so it was widely used.
Both Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine have guidelines on seasonal eating based on the idea that our bodies change with the seasons and do better when we eat certain foods with each season. For example during summer the heat tends to reduce the appetite, so the idea of a heavy meal is less appealing then a crisp salad or cold slice of watermelon. The idea of watermelon on a cold winter day isn't quite so appealing for most people.
I agree with most of what's been stated already, and we try to eat seasonally for the most part, but I freeze greens and other veggies and have them in winter, which is strictly not seasonal but I'm going to do it anyway. We dry, ferment, can, and freeze foods for the winter, then sprout seeds in January/February for some fresh flavor.
I think it's really important to learn from the past, but I don't want to be a slave to it either. We have citrus in winter and I'm thankful for the opportunity. That was our Christmas treat when I was growing up so it has a special appeal for me.
If you'd like a little more in depth view of insomnia from a Traditional Chinese Medicine approach, these are the first questions I would ask based on my studies of TCM:
What are the characteristics of the difficulty with sleep? There can be more than one at the same time (I've had 5 out of 6 myself).
1. Difficulty falling asleep
2. Difficulty staying asleep
3. Frequent re-awakening
4. Is sleep irregular or disturbed?
5. Is there excessive dreaming?
6. Do you prefer lying down facing a wall to sleep?
Difficulties with sleep are generally associated with the Heart in TCM. So if you also get rapid heartbeat, palpitations, anxiety, fear, etc. those are all associated with the Heart. Note that Heart is capitalized because it is not just the organ itself but a collection of functions roughly associated with the heart itself. There are herbs that are used for these conditions that aren't necessarily sedative but may be more nutritive.
There are other questions that can help to pinpoint what's going on from a TCM perspective but it's too detailed (and sometimes personal) to go into here. Message me if you're interested. There is also information online if you want to look into it more.
I've had similar bouts of doubting whether or not humanity is good for the earth. Right now it feels a lot more negative than positive, but humanity has the ability to pull its collective ass out of the fire. The big question for me is how much damage will be done to us and the earth before we get ourselves back on track, because I do believe that we will. So for now my husband and I are focusing on making our plot of earth the healthiest and most balanced that we can. It's a big job but the result feels good and is beautiful to look at. I think that all anyone can do is work with the tools that they have right now and make the best of it.
I have to keep reminding myself that only in the last generation or so have we had the ability to instantly access all of the woes of the world and it's current population of over 7.8 billion people. Even in the best of times that many people will have a lot of crap going on. Just seeing the news makes everything seem like there is nothing good happening, which is not true at all. I limit my time online looking at the news so that I don't get caught up in all of the drama.
The lack of shelf stability may also be due to the reduction in natural fruit acids, either by breeding the trait out or poor cultivation methods using exhausted soils. I've noticed that a lot of fruits now don't have a decent acidity to balance the sweetness. Most fruits are all pretty bland tasting, or as my husband would say, "bags of mostly water."
Combine high acidity and high sugar and you've got something that mold won't like too much. If it's just high sugar, then any condensation or areas of higher humidity can allow spores to grow.
We've learned to love tart/sweet fruits more since those fruit acids are also a healthy component in the fruit.
Maddy, there is no shame in not being able to spend a lot of money on pets. We've had to make those hard choices when we didn't have enough money for an expensive surgery for one of our Great Danes that we loved immensely. He was 8 years old, which is the average life span of a GD and may have lived another two or three (his sister died at 11) but we didn't know that at the time.
It sounds like Mittens was enjoying life even though she was sick, and was getting a lot of love and attention. You made the decision when she showed you that it was time, and that's the most important thing. Waiting for the warm day probably wasn't something that even entered her head at that time since she was being well cared for.
It's always hard to lose a pet, and I still get teary thinking about it. Losing a pet means you have the opportunity to give another animal a great life with you. There are so many out there in need of a good home.
We used to live in Denver which I believe has similar soil as yours - solid clay with no organic matter to speak of. I tried the slow way too then got angry when only the couch grass appreciated my efforts. Every year I would buy straw (this was before straw was contaminated) and put a 6-8 inch layer on the garden beds. By the end of the season, it would be gone and I swear the clay came back. But eventually it worked. I think the ratio was about 90% organic matter for every 10% of clay. Maybe higher. But we ended up with very loose, good soil.
I understand your frustration but it seems to take a rather insane amount of organic matter to break up the clay. But when that happens the clay contributes minerals and the soil is very good.
I use our Insta Pot several times a week. The most use is for our weekly batch of bone broth. 90-150 minutes, depending on the type of bones, and the bones are soft and all the goodness has been pulled out. The broth gels very well when cooled. This saves me a lot of time tending broth on the stove.
I also love it for cooking dry beans. Even beans that are several years old cook up smooth and soft.
It cooks excellent rice also.
I've seen a lot of recipes for the Insta Pot but most look like they are stovetop recipes that you can use in the machine. Not really interested in that aspect.
"In dwelling, be close to the land. In meditation, go deep in the heart. In dealing with others, be gentle and kind. In speech, be true. In ruling, be just. In daily life, be competent. In action, be aware of the time and the season." I feel more at home in the woods or on a farm so this works for me.
As Chuck pointed out, not everyone would choose homesteading, and I'm very thankful for that. I just had heart surgery and I'm very happy that my medical team and surgeon are dedicated to health care and not homesteading. There are many other examples.
John, there are lots of web sites that describe tests you can do at home (with someone's help) to see if it might be rotator cuff tears or impingement. I've had all three rotator cuff tendons in both shoulders injured, torn, etc. throughout my checkered youth. I somehow managed to tear one in three places according to the PT. The only thing that helped was what the PT called "friction massage" and it's damned painful (tears in the eyes and wanting to swear out loud painful) for about 2 minutes then the pain goes away. Multiple treatments are necessary but both my shoulders are pain free after 30 years.
The way he described it is that when a tendon is injured, the body lays down collagen in a patch, with the fibers running different directions, and they can adhere to the surrounding muscles. The friction massage tears the fibers running the wrong direction, leaving the ones going in the right direction along the tendon. The first time he did it I could barely lift my arm and it was excruciating. After the session I could lift it a lot higher and it didn't hurt. Of course I was sore the next day and had to repeat the procedure, but it seems to have actually healed the tendon.
This was 30 years ago so I don't know how things have advanced since then or what they call this treatment. The doctor would likely be clueless unless he/she is an orthpedic MD, and even then, who knows.