Posts Tagged ‘garden’

This month Helping Hands Network founder, Tim Frentz, publicly introduced the Hawkins Texas Learning Center fundraiser to the local community.

The Network set up a booth at the Hawkins Festival and representatives of local media interviewed Frentz to help us spread awareness.

The teaser and one FULL interview was released today on

Hawkins booth promo




The Helping Hands Network (HHN) founder has spent 2 years building a support network in the East Texas community of Hawkins Texas. Business partners have been established; volunteers have been organized and trained; and now a community Education center is ready to be developed.

First option to purchase the community center property has been offered to HHN and they need to raise $35,000 to finance and improve it.


(You can visit this link on FLIKR to scroll your cursor and look around the studio space!)

The location of the property is perfect for the newest HHN addition because there are several groups working together to improve the impoverished neighborhood.

The Hawkins / Holy Lake Ranch area churches work together to support one central Helping Hand Mission to provide food, shelter and household emergency items to those in need. This mission is one block from the HHN education center.

The Hawkins area Chamber of Commerce is developing a business incubator location to provide job training to help improve the poverty and homeless problems. This location is 2 blocks from the HHN site.

The City of Hawkins has developed a community park with updated features on the same street as the HHN site.

There is a partnering motel on the same street that can provide emergency shelter to those homeless during disaster relief situations.

The HHN is working with these groups by providing business skill training, survival workshops, wellness classes and other wonderful events at the community education center property. The two story complex is perfect for the program.


(You can pause the youtube video & drag your cursor to look around the property.)

The upper level provides office space, storage and a wellness studio where visitors have events like yoga and movie/game nights. The lower level will be developed for emergency shelter, group meals, classroom training and art studio space. A community garden is in the second year of growth on the surrounding property.

IF enough money is not raised by March 2018, the property will be sold to the public and the community center and garden program will be forced to start over so please donate if you can. Direct deposits via paypal ID (tfrentz @ hotmail) are preferred to accelerate the processing time. 

Thank you for your consideration.



ANY gifted amount receives 6 FREE Tech/Computer Consulting Service Calls

$100+ receives a free home repair valued up to 25% of the amount gifted AND 5% off any item listed on our eBay store per $100 gifted. Visit 

$500+ receives a 25% discount on 6 home repair service calls & 6 free tech services.  

$1000+ receives a 25% discount on 12 home repair service calls & 12 free tech services AND a voting seat on the Education Center Board of Directors.




WHAT should you be growing and purchasing from the local farmers markets????


WaterCress – Packs the most vital 17 human body nutrients into one source.

Unpasteurized (raw) grass-fed milk — Raw organic milk from grass-fed cows contains both beneficial fats, bacteria that boost your immune system, and a number of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Although raw milk availability is limited in the US, depending on where you live, you can locate the source closest to you at

Whey protein — Even if you don’t have access to raw milk, you can use a high-quality whey protein derived from the milk of grass-fed cows to receive much of the same health benefits. Whey protein contains beta-glucans and immunoglobulins, which protect your immune system and support your body’s natural detoxification processes.

Fermented foods — One of the most healthful fermented foods is kefir — an ancient cultured, enzyme-rich food full of friendly microorganisms that balance your “inner ecosystem” and strengthen immunity. Besides kefir, other good fermented foods include natto, kimchee, miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, and olives.

Raw organic eggs from pastured chickens – Raw, free-range eggs are an inexpensive and amazing source of high-quality nutrients that many people are deficient in, especially high-quality protein and fat. To find free-range pasture farms, try your local health food store, or go to or

Grass-fed beef or organ meats – Grass-fed beef is very high in vitamins A, B12 and E, omega-3 fats, beta carotene, zinc and the potent immune system enhancer CLA (conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid). But don’t confuse “organic” with grass-fed, since many organically raised cows are still fed organic corn, which you don’t want. However, most grass-fed cows are raised organically.

Coconut oil — Besides being excellent for your thyroid and your metabolism, coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which converts in your body to monolaurin – a compound also found in breast milk that strengthens a baby’s immunity. Rub on teeth for 15 minutes to help restore oral health, enamel, gums etc. (sesame and hemp oils are great for oral use as well.)

Its medium chain fatty acids, or triglycerides (MCT’s) also impart a number of health benefits, including raising your body’s metabolism and fighting off pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and fungi. Make sure you choose an organic coconut oil that is unrefined, unbleached, made without heat processing or chemicals, and does not contain GM ingredients.

Berries – Cherries, Blueberries and raspberries rate very high in antioxidant capacity compared to other fruits and vegetables. They are also lower in fructose than many other fruits.

Broccoli – Broccoli contains the highest amount of isothiocyanates, a cancer-fighting compound, of all the crunchy vegetables. Studies have shown that just 10 spears a week (5 servings) can make a difference in your health.

Chlorella –This single-cell freshwater algae acts as an efficient detoxification agent by binding to toxins (most of which promote chronic inflammation), such as mercury, and carrying them out of your system. The chlorophyll in the chlorella helps you process more oxygen, cleanses your blood and promotes the growth and repair of your tissues. (For more information, please see my interview with expert, Ginny Banks.)

Tea – As for beverages, clean pure water is a must for optimal health, but if you want another beverage, a good choice with added health benefits is high quality herbal teas.

Matcha tea is the most nutrient-rich green tea and comes in the form of a stone-ground powder, completely unfermented. The best Matcha comes from Japan and has up to 17 times the antioxidants of wild blueberries, and seven times more than dark chocolate. Tulsi is another tea loaded with antioxidants and other micronutrients that support immune function and heart health. Hemp, kenaf and sage leafs are also full of nutrients.

Krill Oil—Krill oil is the only dietary supplement that makes it to this list, and that’s only because the ideal food source for these essential omega-3 fats has been destroyed by widespread pollution. The dangers of eating fish simply outweigh the benefits due to the toxic mercury levels they now contain, with very few exceptions. Antarctic krill oil is a pure marine oil loaded with powerful antioxidants and omega-3 oils, with NO heavy metal contamination.

*THIS CHART is a rating not a percentage. Read the study to decode the rating system!



TOP 12 Healing Health Foods

As part of a healthy diet, whole foods play a significant role in helping our bodies  function optimally. There are hundreds of extremely nutritious whole foods, but the  dozen on this list do more than contribute healthy nutrients — they help you heal. In fact,  every food on this list boasts multiple healing effects, from fighting cancer to reducing  cholesterol, guarding against heart disease, and more. Eat these super-healing picks and  start feeling pretty super yourself.

1. Cherries

Cherries boast a laundry list of healing powers. For starters, they pack a powerful  nutritional punch for a relatively low calorie count. They’re also packed with substances  that help fight inflammation and cancer. As if that weren’t enough, in lab studies,  quercetin and ellagic acid, two compounds contained in cherries, have been shown to  inhibit the growth of tumors and even cause cancer cells to commit suicide — without  damaging healthy cells. Cherries also have antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Anthocyanin, another compound in cherries, is credited with lowering the uric acid levels  in the blood, thereby reducing a common cause of gout. Researchers believe anthocyanins  may also reduce your risk of colon cancer. Further, these compounds work like a natural  form of ibuprofen, reducing inflammation and curbing pain. Regular consumption may help  lower risk of heart attack and stroke.

In Chinese medicine, cherries are routinely used as a remedy for gout, arthritis, and  rheumatism (as well as anemia, due to their high iron content). Plus they’re delicious.

How much:
Aim for a daily serving while they’re in season locally. And keep a bag of frozen cherries  in your freezer the rest of the year; frozen cherries retain 100 percent of their  nutritional value and make a great addition to smoothies, yogurt, and oatmeal.

Buy organic, since conventionally grown cherries can be high in pesticides.
Make a Cherry Clafoutis.

2. Guavas

Guavas are a small tropical fruit that can be round, oval, or pear-shaped. They’re not all  that common, so they might be hard to find, depending on where you live. But if you can  track them down, it’s more than worth it. Guavas contain more of the cancer-fighting  antioxidant lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable, and nearly 20 percent more than  tomatoes. Our bodies can’t process much of the lycopene in tomatoes until they’re cooked;  the processing helps break down tough cell walls. However, guavas’ cell structure allows  the antioxidant to be absorbed whether the fruit is raw or cooked, and the whole fruit  offers the nutrition without the added sodium of processed tomato products.

Lycopene protects our healthy cells from free radicals that can cause all kinds of damage,  including blocked arteries, joint degeneration, nervous system problems, and even cancer.  Lycopene consumption is associated with significantly lower rates of prostate cancer; in  addition, men with prostate tumors who consumed lycopene supplements showed  significant improvements, such as smaller tumors and decreased malignancy. Lycopene has  also been found to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, and research suggests that  this antioxidant may also help protect against coronary heart disease.

This strange-looking little fruit is also packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants.  Serving for serving, guava offers more than 60 percent more potassium than a banana,  which can help protect against heart disease and stroke. In fact, the nutrients found in  guavas have been shown to lower LDL and boost HDL cholesterol, reduce triglycerides,  and lower blood pressure.

How much:
Aim to eat fresh guavas as often as you can when you can find them in stores. They’re not  commonly available in the freezer section; and most guava juices are processed and  sweetened, so they don’t provide the same superior nutrition that the whole, fresh fruit  does. One to two guavas a day is a good goal.

Opt for the red-fleshed variety if you can; both are loaded with antioxidants, but the red  type has more than the white-fleshed apple guava.

3. Beans

Beans are a miracle food. They lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar and insulin  production, promote digestive health, and protect against cancer. If you think of fiber,  protein, and antioxidants and immediately think whole grains, meat, and fruit, think again  — beans offer all three in a single package.

An assortment of phytochemicals found in beans has been shown to protect cells from  cancerous activity by inhibiting cancer cells from reproducing, slowing tumor growth.  Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health reported that women who consumed  beans at least twice a week were 24 percent less likely to develop breast cancer, and  multiple studies have tied beans to a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high  blood pressure, and breast and colon cancers.

Beans deliver a whopping amount of antioxidants, which help prevent and fight oxidative  damage. In fact, the USDA’s ranking of foods by antioxidant capacity places three  varieties of beans (red beans, red kidney beans, and pinto beans) in the top four — and  that’s among all food groups. Beans are a great source of dietary fiber, protein, and iron.  They also contain the amino acid tryptophan; foods with high amounts of tryptophan can  help regulate your appetite, aid in sleep, and improve your mood. Many are also rich in  folate, which plays a significant role in heart health. And depending on the type of bean  you choose, you’ll also get decent amounts of potassium, magnesium, vitamin B1 and B2,  and vitamin K. Soybeans are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.

In Chinese medicine, various types of beans have been used to treat alcoholism, food  poisoning, edema (particularly in the legs), high blood pressure, diarrhea, laryngitis,  kidney stones, rheumatism, and dozens of other conditions.

How much:
Aim for a minimum of two servings of beans per week.

Adzuki and mung beans are among the most easily digested; pinto, kidney, navy, garbanzo,  lima, and black beans are more difficult to digest.

4. Kiwifruit

This tiny, nutrient-dense fruit packs an amazing amount of vitamin C (double the amount  found in oranges), has more fiber than apples, and beats bananas as a high-potassium  food. The unique blend of phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals found in kiwifruit helps  protect against heart disease, stroke, cancer, and respiratory disease. Kiwifruit’s natural  blood-thinning properties work without the side effects of aspirin and support vascular  health by reducing the formation of spontaneous blood clots, lowering LDL cholesterol,  and reducing blood pressure. Multiple studies have shown that kiwifruit not only reduces  oxidative stress and damage to DNA but also prompts damaged cells to repair themselves.

Kiwifruit is often prescribed as part of a dietary regimen to battle cancer and heart  disease, and in Chinese medicine it’s used to accelerate the healing of wounds and sores.

How much:
Aim to eat one to two kiwifruit a day while they’re in season, for the best taste and  nutrition. California-grown kiwifruit are in season from October through May, and New  Zealand kiwifruit are available between April and November.

Kiwifruit contains enzymes that activate once you cut the fruit, causing the flesh to  tenderize. So if you’re making a fruit salad, cut the kiwifruit last.
The riper the kiwifruit, the greater the antioxidant power, so let them ripen before you  dig in.

5. Watercress

Not only is watercress extremely nutritious, it’s about as close as you can get to a  calorie-free food. Calorie for calorie, it provides four times the calcium of 2 percent milk.  Ounce for ounce, it offers as much vitamin C as an orange and more iron than spinach. It’s  packed with vitamin A and has lots of vitamin K, along with multiple antioxidant  carotenoids and protective phytochemicals.

The nutrients in watercress protect against cancer and macular degeneration, help build  the immune system, and support bone health. The iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen  to your body’s tissues for energy. The phytochemicals in watercress battle cancer in three  ways: killing cancer cells, blocking carcinogens, and protecting healthy cells from  carcinogens. They’ve also been shown to help prevent lung and esophageal cancer and can  help lower your risk for other cancers.

In Chinese medicine, watercress is thought to help reduce tumors, improve night vision,  and stimulate bile production (improving digestion and settling intestinal gas). It’s used as  a remedy for jaundice, urinary difficulty, sore throat, mumps, and bad breath.

How much:
Eat watercress daily if you can. In some regions, it’s more widely available during the  spring and summer, when it’s cultivated outdoors. But since it can also be grown  hydroponically in greenhouses, you can find it year-round in many grocery stores and at  your local farmer’s market.

You can cook it, but watercress is better for you when you eat it raw. Tuck it into a  sandwich in place of lettuce.
Toss it with your favorite vegetables and eat it in a salad.
Watercress is great in pesto — just replace the basil with watercress — and soups.
Use watercress as a wonderfully detoxifying ingredient in a juice or smoothie.

6. Spinach

You already knew spinach was good for you, but did you know just how good? Spinach  protects against eye disease and vision loss; it’s good for brain function; it guards against  colon, prostate, and breast cancers; it protects against heart disease, stroke, and  dementia; it lowers blood pressure; it’s anti-inflammatory; and it’s great for bone health.  Spinach has an amazing array of nutrients, including high amounts of vitamin K, calcium,  vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and iron.

A carotenoid found in spinach not only kills prostate cancer cells, it also prevents them  from multiplying. Folate promotes vascular health by lowering homocysteine, an amino acid  that, at high levels, raises the risk of dementia and cardiovascular disease, including heart  disease and stroke. Folate has also been shown to reduce the risk of developing  colorectal, ovarian, and breast cancers and to help stop uncontrolled cell growth, one of  the primary characteristics of all cancers. The vitamin C and beta-carotene in spinach  protect against colon cancer in addition to fighting inflammation, making them key  components of brain health, particularly in older adults.

Spinach is loaded with vitamin K (one cup of cooked spinach provides 1,111 percent of the  recommended daily amount!), which builds strong bones by helping calcium adhere to the  bone. Spinach is also rich in lutein, which protects against age-related macular  degeneration, and it may help prevent heart attacks by keeping artery walls clear of  cholesterol buildup.

How much:
Fresh spinach should be a daily staple in your diet. It’s available in practically every  grocery store, no matter where you live, it’s easy to find year-round, and you’d be hard  pressed to find a more nutritionally sound, versatile green. So do yourself a healthy favor  and aim for a few ounces, raw or lightly steamed, every day.

Add a handful of fresh spinach to your next fruit smoothie. It’ll change the color but not  the taste.
Conventionally grown spinach is susceptible to pesticide residue; stick to organic.

7. Onions

Onions get a bad rap for their effect on the breath, but that’s not the only part of the  body where they pack a wallop. Onions contain potent cancer-fighting enzymes; onion  consumption has been shown to help lower the risk of prostate and esophageal cancers  and has also been linked to reduced mortality from coronary heart disease. Research  suggests that they may help protect against stomach cancer. Onions contain sulfides that  help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as a peptide that may help prevent bone  loss by inhibiting the loss of calcium and other bone minerals.

Onions have super antioxidant power. They contain quercetin, a natural antihistamine that  reduces airway inflammation and helps relieve symptoms of allergies and hay fever.  Onions also boast high levels of vitamin C, which, along with the quercetin, battles cold  and flu symptoms. Onions’ anti-inflammatory properties help fight the pain and swelling  associated with osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis. Onions are also extremely rich in sulfur  and they have antibiotic and antiviral properties, making them excellent for people who  consume a diet high in protein, fat, or sugar, as they help cleanse the arteries and impede  the growth of viruses, yeasts, and other disease-causing agents, which can build up in an  imbalanced diet.

How much:
For all the health benefits onions provide, it would be ideal to eat one a day. However, if  that’s not doable for you, add a few onions to your weekly grocery list and try to eat a  little bit every day. All varieties are extremely good for you, but shallots and yellow  onions lead the pack in antioxidant activity. Raw onions provide the best nutrition, but  they’re still great for you when they’re lightly cooked. And cooking meat at high  temperatures (such as on a grill) with onions can help reduce or counteract carcinogens  produced by the meat.

Onions should be stored at room temperature, but if they bother your eyes when you cut  them, try refrigerating them for an hour beforehand.

8. Carrots

Carrots are a great source of the potent antioxidants known as carotenoids. Diets high in  carotenoids have been tied to a decreased risk in postmenopausal breast cancer as well as  cancers of the bladder, cervix, prostate, colon, larynx, and esophagus. Conversely, diets  low in carotenoids have been associated with chronic disease, including heart disease and  various cancers. Research suggests that just one carrot per day could reduce your risk of  lung cancer by half. Carrots may also reduce your risk of kidney and ovarian cancers. In  addition to fighting cancer, the nutrients in carrots inhibit cardiovascular disease,  stimulate the immune system, promote colon health, and support ear and eye health.

Carrots contain calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin C, and an  incredible amount of vitamin A. The alpha-carotene in carrots has shown promise in  inhibiting tumor growth. Carrots also contain the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which  work together to promote eye health and prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. In  Chinese medicine, carrots are used to treat rheumatism, kidney stones, tumors, indigestion,  diarrhea, night blindness, ear infections, earaches, deafness, skin lesions, urinary tract  infections, coughs, and constipation.

How much:
Eat a serving of carrots each day if you can, and enjoy them year-round. Carrots are good  for you whether they’re raw or lightly cooked; cooking helps break down the tough fiber,  making some of the nutrients more easily absorbed. For the best nutrition, go for whole  carrots that are firm and fresh-looking. Precut baby carrots are made from whole carrots  and, although they’re convenient, they tend to lose important nutrients during processing.

Remove carrot tops before storing them in the fridge, as the tops drain moisture from the  roots and will cause the carrots to wilt.
Buy organic; conventionally grown carrots frequently show high pesticide residues.

9. Cabbage

Cabbage is a powerhouse source of vitamins K and C. Just one cup supplies 91 percent of  the recommended daily amount for vitamin K, 50 percent of vitamin C, good amounts of  fiber, and decent scores of manganese, vitamin B6, folate, and more — and it’ll only cost  you about 33 calories. Calorie for calorie, cabbage offers 11 percent more vitamin C than  oranges.

Cabbage contains high levels of antioxidant sulforaphanes that not only fight free  radicals before they damage DNA but also stimulate enzymes that detoxify carcinogens in  the body. Researchers believe this one-two approach may contribute to the apparent  ability of cruciferous vegetables to reduce the risk of cancer more effectively than any  other plant food group. Numerous studies point to a strong association between diets high  in cruciferous vegetables and a low incidence of lung, colon, breast, ovarian, and bladder  cancers.

Cabbage builds strong bones, dampens allergic reactions, reduces inflammation, and  promotes gastrointestinal health. Cabbage is routinely juiced as a natural remedy for  healing peptic ulcers due to its high glutamine content. It also provides significant  cardiovascular benefit by preventing plaque formation in the blood vessels. In Chinese  medicine, cabbage is used to treat constipation, the common cold, whooping cough,  depression and irritability, and stomach ulcers. When eaten and used as a poultice, as a  dual treatment, cabbage is helpful for healing bedsores, varicose veins, and arthritis.

How much:
The more cabbage you can include in your diet, the better. A study of Polish women found  that those who ate at least four servings of cabbage per week as adolescents were 72  percent less likely to develop breast cancer later in life than their peers who consumed  only one weekly serving or less.

Try raw sauerkraut. It has all the health properties of cabbage, plus some potent  probiotics, which are excellent for digestive health.
Use the whole cabbage; the outer leaves contain a third more calcium than the inner  leaves.
Both are nutritional stars, but red cabbages are far superior to the white variety, with  about seven times more vitamin C and more than four times the polyphenols, which protect  cells from oxidative stress and cancer.

10. Broccoli

You’ll find it difficult to locate another single food source with as much naturally  occurring health-promoting properties as broccoli. A single cup of steamed broccoli  provides more than 200 percent of the RDA for vitamin C (again, more than oranges),  nearly as much of vitamin K, and about half of the daily allowance for vitamin A, along  with plentiful folate, fiber, sulfur, iron, B vitamins, and a whole host of other important  nutrients. Calorie for calorie, broccoli contains about twice the amount of protein as steak  — and a lot more protective phytonutrients.

Broccoli’s phytochemicals fight cancer by neutralizing carcinogens and accelerating their  elimination from the body, in addition to inhibiting tumors caused by chemical  carcinogens. Studies show evidence that these substances help prevent lung and  esophageal cancers and may play a role in lowering the risk of other cancers, including  gastrointestinal cancer.

Phytonutrients called indoles found in broccoli help protect against prostate, gastric, skin,  breast, and cervical cancers. Some research suggests that indoles also protect the  structure of DNA and may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Extensive studies have  linked broccoli to a 20 percent reduction in heart disease risk. In Chinese medicine,  broccoli is used to treat eye inflammation.

How much:
If you can eat a little broccoli every day, your body will thank you for it. If you can’t  swing it, aim for eating it as regularly as possible. Like many other vegetables, broccoli  provides fantastic nutrition both in its raw form and when it’s properly cooked. Cooking  reduces some of broccoli’s anticancer components, but lightly steaming it will preserve  most of the nutrients. Broccoli is available fresh year-round in most areas, but if you can’t  find it where you live, frozen broccoli is a good substitute.

Steaming or cooking broccoli lightly releases the maximum amount of the antioxidant  sulforaphane.

11. Kale

Kale is highly nutritious, has powerful antioxidant properties, and is anti-inflammatory.  One cup of cooked kale contains an astounding 1,328 percent of the RDA for vitamin K,  192 percent of the RDA for vitamin A, and 89 percent of the RDA for vitamin C. It’s also a  good source of calcium and iron.

Kale is in the same plant family as broccoli and cabbage, and, like its cruciferous cousins,  it contains high levels of the cancer-fighting compound sulforaphane, which guards  against prostate, gastric, skin, and breast cancers by boosting the body’s detoxification  enzymes and fighting free radicals in the body. The indoles in kale have been shown to  protect against breast, cervical, and colon cancers. The vitamin K in kale promotes blood  clotting, protects the heart, and helps build strong bones by anchoring calcium to the  bone. It also has more antioxidant power than spinach, protecting against free-radical  damage. Kale is extra rich in beta-carotene (containing seven times as much as does  broccoli), lutein, and zeaxanthin (ten times the amount in broccoli). In Chinese medicine,  kale is used to help ease lung congestion.

How much:
Like cabbage, the more kale you can eat, the better. A daily serving is ideal. Eat it as much  as you can, as long as you can find it fresh at your local grocery or farmer’s market. In  some areas, it’s available all year; in others, it only makes an appearance during summer  and fall.

Kale’s growing season extends nearly year-round; the only time it’s out of season is  summer, when plenty of other leafy greens are abundant.
Steam or saute kale on its own, or add it to soups and stews. Cooking helps tenderize the  leaves.
Kale is also a great addition when it’s blended in fruit smoothies or juiced with other  vegetables.

12. Dandelion

The same pesky weed known for ruining lawns has a long history of being used as a  healing herb in cultures around the globe. One cup of raw dandelion greens provides 535  percent of the RDA of vitamin K and 112 percent of the RDA for vitamin A. Dandelion  greens are also a good source of vitamin C, calcium, iron, fiber, and potassium. Among all  foods, it’s one of the richest sources of vitamin A; among all green vegetables, it’s one of  the best sources of beta-carotene.

Dandelion has been used for centuries to treat hepatitis, kidney, and liver disorders such  as kidney stones, jaundice, and cirrhosis. It’s routinely prescribed as a natural treatment  for hepatitis C, anemia, and liver detoxification (poor liver function has been linked to  numerous conditions, from indigestion and hepatitis to irritability and depression). As a  natural diuretic, dandelion supports the entire digestive system and increases urine  output, helping flush toxins and excess salt from the kidneys. The naturally occurring  potassium in dandelions helps prevent the loss of potassium that can occur with  pharmaceutical diuretics.

Dandelion promotes digestive health by stimulating bile production, resulting in a gentle  laxative effect. Inulin, a naturally occurring soluble fiber in dandelion, further aids  digestion by feeding the healthy probiotic bacteria in the intestines; it also increases  calcium absorption and has a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels, therefore being  useful in treating diabetes. Both the dandelion leaves and root are used to treat heartburn  and indigestion. The pectin in dandelion relieves constipation and, in combination with  vitamin C, reduces cholesterol. Dandelion is excellent for reducing edema, bloating, and  water retention; it can also help reduce high blood pressure. On top of all that, dandelion  contains multiple antidiarrheal and antibacterial properties.

In Chinese medicine, dandelion is used in combination with other herbs to treat hepatitis  and upper respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. The sap from the  stem and root is a topical remedy for warts. Imagine — all this from a lowly weed!

How much:
How much dandelion to incorporate into your diet boils down to two factors: availability  and personal preference. Dandelion greens are considered a specialty item in some areas  and therefore can be difficult to find. They also have a pungent taste, and people tend to  love or hate the flavor. If you can find fresh dandelion greens and you enjoy the taste,  make them a regular part of your diet.

Use the root in soups or saute it on its own.
If the raw leaves are too bitter for you, try them lightly steamed or sauteed.

The time to harvest dandelion greens is early in the spring, when they are their youngest  and before they flower. They can be harvested again in late fall as they loose some of  their bitterness after a frost. Look for young dandelions growing in rich, moist soil,  making sure not to forage close to roads (they can accumulate pollution) or from areas  that have been treated with garden chemicals. For a special treat, get out early in spring  and look for the crown, which is the cluster of new buds that sits above the taproot.  These are the tenderest, sweetest parts of the plant.

Young dandelion greens are tender and delicious served raw in salads or sandwiches. If  you use the greens that have been harvested after the plant has flowered, you can  blanche them in water to remove the bitterness; dump the bitter water, and blanche them  again. You will loose a lot of vitamins this way, but there are still plenty of beneficial  nutrients left. Use sautéed or steamed dandelion greens as you would any other greens.  Dandelion root can by ground and used as a substitute for coffee, and dandelion flowers  can be used in recipes and for garnish.

#SOIL prep #recipe for your #GArden

gravel (2 inches)
wood mulch (2 inches)
dirt (1 inch)
compost (horse and chicken mix 1 inch) nitrogen
sand (1 inch)
dirt and wood chips (1 inch) nitrogen
cardboard – Carbon
compost (food scraps with phosphate egg shells and potassium banana peels 1 inch)
pine ash, sand and needles (1/2 inch) nitrogen
dandelion leaves (1 layer) nitrogen
dirt and grass clippings (1 inch)
earth worms
wood chips after sprouting to keep soil moist


earth worms

milkweed for butterfly feeding

flowers for honey bees

mint and marigold to deter mosquitos and veggie eating beetles


What is My BIGgest Moral Value?

Most would say it is a combination of my dedication to sell my possessions and apply my wealth towards causes in need of life saving help.


Some say it is my ability to live free on the road for the past 8 years and counting while giving my time and labor to volunteering and philanthropy organizations.


Floating my consciousness above these physical attributes which lie in the realm of RE-ACTING, I am able to examine the deeper issue.

Looking deep into the ROOT of the problems faced by the Causes we help, there is an association with money and it’s use to acquire “things”. These things then eventually create stress or other problems by transforming into a bond of addiction between the thing and our life processes.


SO MY BIGgest Moral Value is my dedication to the first step of minimizing the CAUSES of problems in our life which is to STOP acquiring forms of WASTE.


If you are able to reuse everything in your life without the help of outside sources you stop addiction; you no longer need to buy “things”; you educate yourself to build/create/repair; and you phase out nearly all need for money.


Below will be a growing list of examples as I take time to record them:

– I create and contribute to NO trash. This removes the need for money to pay a trash service. I grow my own food. My food scraps go back into the garden compost. IF I acquire something with a non biodegradable wrapper I use it as packaging material for our donated shipping items.


– I harness and use renewable clean energy. IF I am on a grid power source I minimize every use and am aware of my actions and the pollution I am contributing to.


– I do all my own labor for building, repairing etc. that are absolutely necessary.


– I reuse or trade and barter for any products

Monday (April 10)

I woke up to the mountain top birds and sun lit sky light of Jasons yurt. While Jay made breakfast I went out and enjoyed a nice open forest solar shower.

I then drove Jasons backup vehicle down the mountain so it would be there for his sister to drive up later that day.  After my normal morning yoga workout in the sunshine and breakfast I went to meet Seth. He took me out to the hops field to cut trees for a trellis system he was erecting.  I enjoyed cutting them with hand saws and then helping drag them around to the holes they would be placed in. This took most of the day.

After we were done I was invited to the community meeting and dinner. It was great to see them so organized. The meeting was led by a coordinator with a timed agenda and a minute taker by her side. When a subject went over the time aloted there was a vote to adjust the agenda. When community feedback was wanted there was a selection of thumb signals to show levels of tsupport. When someone agreed with what was being said you would snap or shake fingers. The topics for the night included the organizing of a May Day and Beltrane festival and updates to the extended guest policy. After the meeting, Jason gave me a ride back over the Cric house.  I turned on a video about the illegal formation and acceptance of the federal reserve and irs income tax as I drifted to sleep.


Tues. (4/11)

Most days here it is partly cloudy because the warm dry desert air collides with the cool wet air from the ocean rain clouds build up. During this time in spring it will sprinkle at some point most every day.

Today we went out to the field and I used an antique hand drill to put bolts in all the poles. It would rain hard at the end of the day so I switched back to the garden.  The night was just like the others with the exception of a large dumpster find. They brought back a crate of pickle jars, 2 boxes full of 10 pizzas and a box of produce.

Wed. (4/12)

The rain clouds decided to open up to day so most of the day I was running back and forth between writing on the porch and shoveling compost on the garden bed.

I took advantage of the down time to shadow the dairy experts Scott and Aubre to learn about making butter and cheeses.  The night was filled by my normal Cric house routine except I made everyone a nice pasta soup for dinner.


Thur. 4/12

It continued to rain so today was a repeat of yesterday with the exception that tonight there was a social gathering to celebrate passover.  Around 6, about half of the village got carpools to the south side Vic house for the party. The rest didn’t want to walk in the pooring rain.

Once Jason and I got there we helped set up the food. We used blankets around the floor to eat on which had some stressing out about spilling their wine with 10 children running around wild. Somehow no wine was ever spilt though.   The event started with some Jewish members projecting the story of passover on the wall and then we shared matsa dipped in horseradish and a sweet dip made to offset the spice.  After that the hosts led us in some singing and then passed some breaded fish dishes and breaded soup around.

After dinner we helped with the dishes then we said our good byes and I had Jason drop me back off at the Cric house.


Friday 4/13

It was my last day so I offered to help a few random people outside of my Cric group. When I wasn’t working on the gardens I was helping move big redwood lumber planks.

Towards the end of the day I started handing out thank you tokens to those who gave me the most of their time and said my good byes. Jason had an appointment in Santa Rosa so it worked out he could give me a ride to the Farm House cafe.


Sat 4/14

I woke up at 7 and had enough time to get a quickworkout in and breakfast before catching my ride to town. I left my hiking shoes for Jason or Seth since I was done with them and off we went. I had Jason drop me off at the cafe where this adventure all started at.  The Farm House cafe was right across the street from where my friend that invited me actually lived, so it was the perfect spot to have her visit me.


While I waited for her to show up I helped the owner and staff bring in supplies and then ordered breakfast in exchange for loitering there 3 hours. I was only going to be able to mingle with Kai for about 20 minutes before my carpool would arrive. What little time we did have we took advantage of.

As 10:30 came and went my nervousness grew that my carpool would not show up.  Before I got too worked up, here came Ben around the corner. He looked just like the normal nomad, scruffy and full of self expressionist character.  All 3 of us continued in conversation a few minutes until Kai needed to return a phone call. We concluded our good byes and loaded up in B’s van which was crammed full of gear.


Our drive was a long 11 hours but we managed to keep the conversation going between talks about his classical guitar career, travels to Cuba/Venzuela/Spain and the relationships that transpired. It was enjoyable to get time with a 27 yearold that had experienced the world.

His stories about being raised on a sustainable farm with no materialism was especially enlightening.  I really appreciated that he was willing to accept a trade worth exactly the amount of fuel I was costing him ($50) to go out of his way which was 250 miles and 4 hours.  As I approached sin city, one of my best friends, Ryan, sent me his location to be dropped off. About 50 of my dart friends were at Ballys casino.  B and I exchanged blessings and I was on my way for another chapter of adventure in Las Vegas.

Hypnotic crashing waves,

Gentle rays of terrainian sun,
Never ending warmth of santa ana.
The end is near… for now.

Loving friends,
GREAT causes in need,
sponsors in the mist.
the end is near.

Accommodations comforting me,

Hot tub, garden, pools and the never ending beach,

I don’t want to give you up.
Volleyball, soccer, nightly concerts and parties,
please fit in my trunk.

I try so hard to not take you all for granted,
I live without you half my year,
but all of you fail to connect me with what I need.
What I need?
Ohhhh what I need I have not held here yet again.

Eight years of following one cause to the next,
from the food war in Nebraska,
to the Native reservation corruption and suicides in the northern plains,
to the evil doctors of Brainard Minnesota,
to the murderous woman between New York and Phily.
You all misguide me.


I chase the hurricanes of New Orleans,
to the tornadoes in Joplin,
to the forest fires of Texas,
and ride the waves through the Pan Pacific.
All to fall deep, deep in love,
just to be broken time and time again.

I pray the magic of the SoCal hot springs,
the aura of the moon goddesses,
the family of the gathering tribes,
the expression of the burners,
the power of the Canyon ranches,
the sounds of the Agape,
the prayers of the yogi meditation fellowship,
ALL will bring me the one.

Several surround me,
a few embrace me,
but only one tried to love me.
and now that the end is near,
you grow on me.

I think about life with you,
about a life with all of you.
So many things in common,
so much warmth you shine upon me,
your energy draws me near like the moon to the earth.

Are you available?
Are you really capable of loving me for me?
The time is not right, there’s someone else.
And so it continues,
the countdown goes on,
new causes cry for help & the move is in motion.

The end may be near,
but perhaps you will be available and capable again soon.
there is no end to our circle,
and just maybe the good bye is really a SEE YOU SOON?

Here are some great notes on gardening….

SHADE Garden Notes:

Here is a chart for the best seeds to plant.

-IF you have a fence or wall facing the sun then you will want to paint it white or cover it with white material to reflect extra light into the garden. -Wrap pieces of iron or heavy items in aluminum foil to reflect light from under the plants. Keep the base of the plant covered with mulch to retain moisture.

-Keep a spider house and a bird house in opposite corners to help remove insect pests.

*Pictures of my gardens will be loaded soon.


So far, 21st century farming has relied on oil and gas. But the giant combines on the mega “farms” will have to re-tool or stop running. Food that is trucked and flown thousands of miles to get to us is becoming much more expensive, as it gets less fresh and looses nutritious value. Taste has been compromised for convenience and shelf life. Our remote supply may even eventually dwindle. It’s time for local action. Grow a survival garden!

Plant vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers. Enough for you, your family, and some extra for the local food pantry. Learn how to maximize your garden space, prepare your soil, keep the produce coming through three seasons, and preserve it to last through next winter.

You can start with a small garden plot, something you and your backyard can handle. Believe it or not, with the right planning and effort, a 20 x 20 plot–400 square feet–can yield 600 pounds of produce in six months, enough to feed a family of five for a year. That’s over $1500 worth of food. And the monetary investment is small; you can keep it under $100 with a really sharp pencil. You’ll need seeds, compost and a few garage sale tools. If deer are a problem, you’ll need 8 foot fencing. You can use mesh deer fence and attach it to downed tree branches if you don’t want to buy posts.

The vegetables best suited to a survival garden are beans, beets, carrots, peas, radishes, lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, onions, cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini, leeks, turnips, cabbage, broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, tomatoes, and potatoes. Perennials such as asparagus and rhubarb that can come up yearly without re-planting should be included. Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and figs provide healthful and refreshing desserts. Plant root crops such as potatoes and winter squash, also onions and garlic, which you can store for months in a cool place.

Marigolds and nasturtiums are essential. Why are flowers needed in a survival garden? To attract beneficial insects, to lift your spirits, and to provide fresh cut cheer and beauty in your home to stand in for expensive decorations that may have to wait.

Plan to spend about an hour a day on a 400 square-foot plot for maximum productivity, yield and taste. It will take much less time if you make it a family activity, or get help from volunteers from the food pantry to which you plan to contribute.

Condition your ground. It is imperative to “grow the soil”. Use compost and deep soil preparation. Roots cannot penetrate compacted dirt. It must be light and aerated. Spend as much time as necessary to prepare the soil well or the yields will be poor. Good preparation yields four times the productivity per unit of area.

Purchase open-pollinated organic seed. Open-pollinated seeds enable you to gather seeds from your harvest, and save them for the next year’s planting. Use easy-to-save seeds like zucchini, cantaloupe, watermelon, corn, sunflowers for roasting, and peppers.

Don’t plant all your seeds at once. Save some for succession planting. Crops like lettuce and spinach can be planted every two weeks so the crops come up at different intervals, ensuring fresh food for a longer time. Plant broccoli early for an early harvest, then plant a second crop in mid-July for a fall harvest. Plant on the south side for full sun, if possible.

Seeds and seedlings must stay moist. They may need to be watered more than once daily. Check them often. Try to water mature plants about 2 hours before sunset. Plants do a significant amount of their growing at night, and this gives them the water to do so.

Maximize your garden space by utilizing trellises, strings, cages and poles to grow vertically. Make tepees by tying three branches together and train vines to wind around them. Cucumbers and melons take up a lot of space as their vines travel across the garden if grown conventionally, but they are well suited to growing upwards with good support.

Use intensive gardening. This method saves space by planting closely in raised beds that warm up faster and are more airy, not compacted. Raised beds decrease the amount of sunlight reaching the ground, thereby minimizing both water requirements and weed growth.

Use companion planting. Native Americans understood this. They planted the “three sisters” together: squash to shade out weeds, corn, and beans to supply nitrogen to the corn.

Utilize your space wisely. Plant beets between the broccoli, radishes and lettuce between the tomatoes. Grow carrots in a 2 x 2 ft square rather than in rows. You can produce over 300 carrots in that small space!

Choose food that has multiple uses, and plant lots of it. Tomatoes can be eaten raw in salads or off the vine, cooked to flavor meats and stews, and canned and frozen to make sauce for pasta. You can even make the sauce and can that. Learn how to preserve your harvest, including canning, drying and freezing.

Maybe we’ve become too independent. In dangerous times, should we stand alone? Or can we do better joining with our families and communities for local strength and support when it comes to those things we need for survival, especially our food? Gardening used to be a family or community effort, not drudgery. Take a look back to another time of crisis, when 20 million Victory Gardens made a difference in fuel consumption, food quality, family time, and self-confidence.

If you just can’t plant your own garden, visit your local farmers’ market often or join a Community Supported Garden. Farm work done cooperatively benefits more than just one individual, one family, one business or one school. It benefits the local people in the co-op, the local farmers, and the earth. It reduces oil and gas use, saves trees used for packaging materials, and provides nutritious, chemical-free food. Plus you’ll get expert instruction and make new friends.


It takes more than good soil, sun, and nutrients to ensure success in a garden. Plants have to grow well with one another. Some are friends and some are foes! Learn more about companion planting or what is also called companion gardening.

Examples of Companion Plants

  • Blueberries, mountain laurel, azaleas, and other ericaceous (heath family) plants thrive in the acidic soils created by pines and oaks.
  • Shade-loving plants seek the shelter provided by a wooded grove.
  • The shade-lovers in return protect the forest floor from erosion with their thick tangle of shallow roots.
  • Legumes and some trees, such as alders, have symbiotic relationships with bacteria in the soil that help them to capture nitrogen from the air and convert it to fertilizer, enriching the soil so plants can prosper in their presence.

Tips for Your Vegetable Garden

  • Some plants, especially herbs, act as repellents, confusing insects with their strong odors that mask the scent of the intended host plants.
  • Dill and basil planted among tomatoes protect the tomatoes from hornworms, and sage scattered about the cabbage patch reduces injury from cabbage moths.
  • Marigolds are as good as gold when grown with just about any garden plant, repelling beetles, nematodes, and even animal pests.
  • Some companions act as trap plants, luring insects to themselves. Nasturtiums, for example, are so favored by aphids that the devastating insects will flock to them instead of other plants.
  • Carrots, dill, parsley, and parsnip attract garden heroes — praying mantises, ladybugs, and spiders — that dine on insect pests.
  • Much of companion planting is common sense: Lettuce, radishes, and other quick-growing plants sown between hills of melons or winter squash will mature and be harvested long before these vines need more leg room.
  • Leafy greens like spinach and Swiss chard grown in the shadow of corn
  • Sunflowers appreciate the dapple shade that corn casts and, since their roots occupy different levels in the soil, don’t compete for water and nutrients.

Incompatible Plants (Combatants)

  • While white garlic and onions repel a plethora of pests and make excellent neighbors for most garden plants, the growth of beans and peas is stunted in their presence.
  • Potatoes and beans grow poorly in the company of sunflowers, and although cabbage and cauliflower are closely related, they don’t like each other at all.

Strange Pairings

Sometimes plants may be helpful to one another only at a certain stage of their growth. The number and ratio of different plants growing together is often a factor in their compatibility, and sometimes plants make good companions for no apparent reason.

  • You would assume that keeping a garden weed-free would be a good thing, but this is not always the case. Certain weeds pull nutrients from deep in the soil and bring them close to the surface. When the weeds die and decompose, nutrients become available in the surface soil and are more easily accessed by shallow-rooted plants.
  • Perhaps one of the most intriguing examples of strange garden bedfellows is the relationship between the weed stinging nettle and several vegetable varieties. For reasons that are unclear, plants grown in the presence of stinging nettle display exceptional vigor and resist spoiling.

One of the keys to successful companion planting is observation. Record your plant combinations and the results from year to year, and share this information with other gardening friends. Companionship is just as important for gardeners as it is for gardens.


THIS INFO PROVIDED BY: FoodFreedom.Wordpress

I guess spring really is on its way. From collecting fruit tree scions to community-run seed libraries to seed libraries in libraries, biodiversity in the garden seems to be a hot topic right now. I’ve just come across a story about what might just be the mother of all seed swaps.

Based in Brighton, England, Seedy Sunday is an annual event that claims to have “blazed the trail for UK seed swaps over the past decade”. Held on the first Sunday of February every year, the seed swap attracts well over 1000 visitors who, in return for a donation or in exchange for seed they have saved, can choose seeds from dozens of traditional varieties of garden vegetables to take home and grow.

Seed Swapping as Protest Movement

Although the physical conservation and evolution of cherished seed varieties is a crucial part of the event, Seedy Sunday is also about education and fun, and it is an opportunity for gardeners to protest at the corporatization of the world’s seed supply. Peter Giovannini talks about his experiences of Seedy Sunday, painting a picture of gardeners struggling against the systemic “outlawing” of non-approved seed varieties because of European Union legislation:

“The industrialisation of agriculture has caused an erosion of the diversity of crop varieties. Agrobiodiversity is declining at an alarming rate because growers are increasingly relying on purchased seeds, and the dynamic process that produces and conserves agrobiodiversity has been suddenly interrupted. EU seed marketing regulations have also contributed to this decline by imposing criteria for the commercialisation of seed varieties that are rarely met by locally adapted varieties or landraces. Indeed, seed swappers refer to the seed varieties that are not admitted in the national official lists, which list the varieties that can be sold, as ‘outlawed.’”

The next Seedy Sunday is only just over a week away. Get your garden plan ready.

More on Seed Swapping and Biodiversity in the Garden
A Community-Run Seed Library: Shouldn’t Every Library Loan Seeds? (Video)
How to Collect Scions for Growing Rare Fruit (Video)
Growing Apple Trees from Seed
Untouchable Organic Seed Bank: Saving Seeds and Empowering Women
Saving Seeds is Critical to Fighting Climate Change
Seed Libraries Prove Tough to Sprout
Massive Russian Seed Bank at Risk of Demolition


Home Grown is organizing a seed swap by mail on February 28. Log in and report what seeds you have for exchange.

The National Gardening Assn also has an online seed swap.

From: Lawse, Daniel []
Sent: 25 January 2011 14:56
Subject: MCC Sustainability :: Urban Farming and Sustainable Landscaping
Workshops – everything from Tomatoes and Mushrooms to Lawns and Trees!

Spread the word…

Urban Farming and Sustainable Landscaping Workshops at MCC

Choose from these classes to learn urban farming and sustainable landscaping
practices for both your home landscape and industry practices. The Urban
Farming and Sustainable Landscaping classes will cover topics timely for the
season. Instructors include both MCC Horticulture faculty and industry

To register for MCC Urban Farming and Sustainable Landscaping classes, call:

Tons of Tomatoes! February 3
Should you grow heirloom or hybrid? What is the difference between
determinate or indeterminate? This fun and informative class tackles some of
the most common questions about the tomato, America’s favorite garden treat.
The instructor is Christine Kasel, MCC Horticulture Instructor. (one
Fort Omaha Campus, Bldg. 29, 30th & Fort St.
HOMI-054N-01 TH 06:30P-09:00P 02/03-02/03 $19

Water-Wise Lawns, February 5
Take a step beyond Kentucky bluegrass in this class. Learn about the
water-wise turfs such as fescue, rye and newer bluegrass cultivars that will
beautify your lawn and stay green regardless of drought or rain. The
instructor is Terry Haubold, Director of Maintenance and Grounds at Millard
Public Schools in Millard, Neb. (one session)
Fort Omaha Campus, Bldg. 29, 30th & Fort St.
HOMI-052N-01 SA 09:30A-12:00P 02/05-02/05 $19

Water-Wise Trees, February 10
This class explores low-maintenance, water-wise trees for urban and rural
use. The wide range of trees available include ornamental, shade tolerant
and indigenous trees, as well as those from other areas of the world that
are suitable to our area. The instructor is Bryan Kinghorn, Kinghorn Gardens
in Omaha, Neb. (one session)
Fort Omaha Campus, Bldg. 29, 30th & Fort St.
HOMI-050N-01 TH 06:30P-09:00P 02/10-02/10 $19

Fruit Tree Pruning, February 12
Now is the time to learn about proper dormant pruning techniques for fruit
trees. This hands-on seminar is just in time for pruning most fruit trees in
the home garden. The instructors are Harlan Hamernik, Wild Plums Nursery in
Clarkson, Neb., and Ed Rasmussen, The Fragrant Path in Fort Calhoun, Neb.
(one session)
Fort Omaha Campus, Bldg. 29, 30th & Fort St.
HOMI-049N-01 SA 09:30A-12:00P 02/12-02/12 $23
HOMI-049N-02 SA 01:30P-04:00P 02/12-02/12 $23

Container Vegetable Gardening, February 17
You do not have to have a huge lawn or acreage to grow great vegetables. If
you have a rooftop, balcony or patio, you can create a garden. This class
explores the materials and plant selections most suited for container
vegetable gardening. The instructor is Christine Kasel, MCC Horticulture
Instructor. (one session)
Fort Omaha Campus, Bldg. 29, 30th & Fort St.
HOMI-053N-01 TH 06:30P-09:00P 02/17-02/17 $19

Home Mushroom Cultivation, February 19
This workshop introduces you to outdoor mushroom cultivation that can be
done at home. The focus will be on production of Shiitake and Oyster
mushrooms grown on hardwood logs. The instructor is Patrick Duffy, MCC
Garden Manager. (one session)
Fort Omaha Campus, Bldg. 29, 30th & Fort St.
HOMI-055N-01 SA 09:30A-12:00P 02/19-02/19 $19

Daniel J. Lawse
Coordinator of Sustainable Practices | 402-738-4564
Metropolitan Community College (MCC) | PO Box 3777 | Omaha, NE 68103