Hal's Hat

Hal's Hat

Monday, February 17, 2014

February garden update, Posts You Might Like....

In the Posts You Might Like category, try this:
Are you interested in prairie ecology? I certainly am, as I design "native" plantings and allow native plantings to inform my more formal residential plans. This blog, The Prairie Ecologist, is by a prairie conservator supported by the Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. He has his family's farm and grassland acreage and he's working to restore it and other huge tracts of prairie back to a stable, prairie state. It is fascinating and interesting to read how grazing land goes back to prairie... and also it has nice pictures. Here is a lovely one:
from www.theprairieecologist.com

This is a great Missouri evening primrose. It blooms by night and is the plant used to get (wait for it....) Evening Primrose Oil! I know.... Find a place in your garden for 3 or 4 of these this year? They self seed- they want to populate your garden! But know this and you'll be ready.

February is the month to begin the spring garden. I order seeds that I will direct sow- lettuce, spinach, peas, kale. I will plant broccoli and kohlrabi (cabbage is in this group but I don't have space for it) from plants because they take too long if put in from seed. I will buy these locally.
Potatoes- my neighbor and I are growing these in burlap coffee bags. Putting three seed potatoes per bag and about 6 bags. I order organic seed potatoes!
I realized last night that when I began gardening (vegetable that is) on my own, in a little rental house, I needed some guidance and reassurance. There were so many choices, so many seeds... where was I supposed to start?? Here is the garden calendar that got me through it all! Thanks K-State... your resources are invaluable to all of us gardeners out here. I chose some varieties I had grown with my dad, the lettuces he preferred and radishes. Then I branched out on my own. It'll happen...just keep reading and be patient. Amend your soil and don't use pesticides! I say this because when you first start gardening, it's all a learning experience. See what it's like to use no pesticides. See what fails every time (hello squash bugs and powdery mildew on every squash plant ever) and see what works like magic (Helllooo carrots and lettuce and kale and chard and some tomatoes and some peppers and tomatillos and sweet potatoes and peas).

There you have it- more landscaping updates will be up when I do Jeremy Taylor's radio show this weekend, 10:30 KLWN 1320... use the "Listen Live" button so you don't have to mess with an AM radio! This week I'll be talking about trees, shrubs and plants that stand up to ice/ snow and even the dreaded salt truck. It kills many many many plants... also, how to test your own soil (the quick and dirty way). See you then!


Monday, February 3, 2014

extended break--- winter cave

I have to admit that I just haven't felt like talking. Haven't felt like making sweeping observations or synthesizing new information. So I haven't here. But I am being urged to connect some of you with this wonderful glut of new information I have. This article here really just changed my thinking---well, not changed- this article ARTICULATED so many issues for me. I believe parents with children should read this. It will give you hope and inspiration about your kid's physical/ psychological make up. It is about balance and regeneration. If you have brains, guts and heart, read this! 
Also, I've been asked about DMAE as a supplement for ADHD. Here is a good run down on it- why it works and it safe for many. I'm not in favor of websites trying to sell me stuff, while telling me they are informational. So please ignore that this source is a supplement seller. The scientific info is sound. I have had a very specific reason to use Phosphytidyl Serine and it worked very well. So if you are intrigued, have had fatigue and exhaustion issues, let me know and I'll write up about it. 
Also, the grey times are getting at many of us. It is time to amp up our nutrition. One of the ways is with minerals. We are all lacking on the local greens front, no? Please make yourself some nettle infusion. It's cut nettle leaf, bought from your natural food store, steep in hot water for many hours. I use 1 oz of nettles for a quart of water. This is a great source of magnesium, calcium and other minerals. It is a great helper in all things PMS and menopausal (pre, peri, whatnot). 

Are you fighting the winter sicknesses? Who isn't? Oh those folks with no kids who work alone and never venture out and are really mellow. If this isn't you, take heed. Here are some FLU -fighting remedies.... this doesn't mean they will work if you have the flu. I have had a flu shot this year and I'm not ashamed of it! These herbal, natural and supplemental goodies work with your good nutrition, your herbal support, your good hygiene practices to minimize your chances of contracting the flu. Here they are:

Oscillococcininum:If you suspect that the headache (swollen glands and sore throats are my trademark) and achiness in your muscles is the beginning of the flu, please take Oscillococcininum. It is now available at drugstores as well as the Merc, Vitacost (online discount), Natural Grocers and more. Instead of the whole dosage amount under your tongue at once, I take a 1/4 of it at a time, once per hour or so. If the symptoms are better at the end of it, I know it's working and I will continue for 24 hours. I will rest more, drink more liquids, bone broths, greens and feel better. This has worked for me all season- it also works on kids!!
Probiotics: We are steadily taking pro-biotic tabs. It helps gut flora, immunity, and balance (see above article!). 
Elderberry: We are taking elderberry lozenges. Because elderberry is especially good with kiddos. She's gentle and boosting and reminds the body to stay strong. 
Vitamin D3. The NIH recommends for kids a daily 200IU dose. I give mine 500 IU as there is ample evidence that it is not harmful, fights infections and boosts immunity. I do not give them much if any in the summer. 
Extras that help but aren't necessary..... cod liver oil, fish oil (I use gummies. What of it??)
Here is our flu story this year: my friend since my teenage years contracted H1N1 this winter. She's spent 3 weeks in a coma, fighting for her life from it and the following pneumonia. While she has neither of these at the moment, she is still unconscious, in intensive care and has and ECMO machine functioning for her lungs. She is having dialysis because her liver has begun to fail. I understand and empathize with many of your feelings about vaccines, shots, big pharma... but not right now. It's not a conspiracy- this flu vaccine is actually quadravalent. It deals with the main four types of flu out there this year. It helps with others. It doesn't make a normally healthy and strong person sick. Please consider it. 
That being said, my youngest got the flu the day she and her sis were to get their vaccines. It was heart-wrenching. She was immediately just flattened. We got her tested that day and they determined it was Type 1- the subtype of this is H1N1. She started Tamiflu and it was amazing. Her fever dropped and it didn't go over 99 degrees. Period. We caught it super early and saved her so much suffering.
I say a blessing to the Western medicine that has helped save so many lives, while I burn sage and chant and grow my herbs to support myself so I need very little of the Western medicine. 

On a separate note, I have had a success story that will illuminate my own frayed defenses this cold new year! Picture this: January, extreme stress, life-changing events and studying for the (dammmmmnnnnnn it) GRE. I realized I had a cold-sore rearing its head. I had to cop to my emotions, my stress, my needs and attempt to mediate it all. I chose an adaptogen to help my immunity, that I could safely take in quantity since this was a crisis. Then I chose to take crisis doses of lysine. I put a little bit of essential oil (clove bud oil) on it to encourage the swelling down- it actually worked! Let me tell you it worked well. I've never had actual success heading cold sores off at the pass. My secret agent in all of this is the big Bear medicine, Osha root tincture. It really worked and it's spiciness allowed so much healing in. I took massive doses of lysine (and got a much better lysine supplement that I am taking at maintenance levels weekly, not daily) and rested, did restorative yoga and meditation. Success! Sorry, it's a pitiful story. But hopefully illuminates. Also, prepare for the GRE for months, not a week. M'Kay? Here is the article that brought up adaptogens. 

Be well, keep in touch!