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Winter Wonderland !!

The beginning of Winter is just a few days away and I’m excited about the outdoor opportunities it offers. The Moon is waning at the moment as we move toward the beginning of Winter this Sunday, the 21st. After a beautiful Fall I welcome the changing weather. With the leaves off the trees, it’s a great time to explore your favorite patch of woods. Animal sign is easy to interpret, as their trails and runs are very visible this time of year. It’s truly a great opportunity to learn about your woodland neighbors.

Much of the East coast experienced a poor crop of Acorns this year. I could hardly find any in my woods and I’m sure our local squirrel and deer population have been affected by the lack of food. I read recently that some scientists fear the shortage may affect squirrel and deer populations as a result. Indeed, I have noticed that the population of squirrels on my property seems to be less now than last year, and I’ve seen a few that were uncommonly small. Since acorn production runs in cycles though, it’s not that uncommon to have lean year after a year of abundance. Perhaps next year will balance things out. We did however experience a good year for Black Walnut and Hickory nuts. Both are absolutely delicious, though it is a bit tedious to extract the nutmeats. I find it well worth my effort .

Numerous species of migrating birds have been… Read the rest of this entry »

Corn Syrup’s New Disguise

According to the Corn Refiners Association, high-fructose corn syrup contains the same amount of calories as cane and beet sugar, is metabolized by the body the same way as these sweeteners are, and is an all-natural product.116cornusa

Their current ad campaign insists that high-fructose corn syrup is just like honey, which is made by enzymes in a bee’s abdomen — as opposed to the enzymes and acids in centrifuges, ion exchange columns and liquid chromatographers used to make high-fructose corn syrup.

High-fructose corn syrup could be all-natural, if cornstarch happened to fall into a vat of alpha-amylase, soak there for a while, then trickle into another vat of glucoamylase, get strained to remove the Aspergillus fungus likely growing on top, and then find its way into some industrial-grade D-xylose isomerase.

High-fructose corn syrup is indeed similar to cane sugar in that it is about 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose. The American Medical Association issued a statement explaining that “high-fructose syrup does not appear to contribute more to obesity than other caloric sweeteners” … but they also said… Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s a great resource guide from my friend Evelyn Vincent!…~Richard

Many already know Ive been interested in plants since the age of 4. I began using herbal remedies when I was about 16, started using essential oils 20 years ago.My previous business was in landscaping, I was probably the only landscaper in the US who didnt own a lawn mower or snow plow. I primarily focused on creating garden rooms (suitable for people as well as certification for Backyard Wildlife Habitats http://www.nwf.org/backyard through the National Wildlife Federation). Another aspect I brought to my business was knowledge of native plants, a passion of mine, and training as a classical Feng Shui practitioner.
Below is a list of resources that helped me to make better choices, and much progress over the years while I learned. I hope you will find them useful and that they encourage you to become more healthy, green, and contribute to maintaining the biodiversity that is being lost.

Eastern Tailed Blue

Eastern Tailed Blue

Great Sources for Seeds
Johnnys Selected Seeds http://johnnyseed.com/ – an employee-owned company. Has a very nice selection of Heirloom, organic, and non-hybrid seed choices.
Seed Savers Exchange http://www.seedsavers.org/ – A non-profit organization of gardeners who save and share heirloom seed.
The Cooks Garden http://www.cooksgarden.com/ – a nice assortment of seeds, particularly geared for those who love to garden and cook.
Books that I love which have made a difference in my relationship to plants, growing, and mother nature…

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DID YOU KNOW?

Autumn Olive (elaegnus umbellata) berries contain up to 17 times more lycopene than tomatoes? Lycopene has powerful antioxidant properties. These wild berries make an excellent jelly and are available right now!!

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