Amber's Organics Newsletter.
News, updates, new products and garden talk all this month!

 

"When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be".

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NEW! TEXT AMBER IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS! This is a new service to help you because it is not always easy to answer the phone and do the multitude of tasks that I must do, so please feel free to text and receive a much faster response to your questions.  (559) 326 3019 

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ALERT! Amber’s Organics has a special request to all of my lovely customers.

I am introducing my “ Organic Hall Of Fame” photo album. We need pictures of YOU with your favourite product ( ..or seeds, growing, garden, etc) with a comment about why you love it, make them fun and show your creative flare & just be your natural self. you will be added to the new Face Book & Website albums.  Please send all pictures to my email address ambersoffea@aol.com   

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NEW! Organic Activated Charcoal " Dirt Magnet" Cleanser bar.

Activated charcoal is so porous that it can absorb much more toxins and atoms and ions, than its own weight. In terms of skin care, this porous activated charcoal helps in cases of acne to purify skin. Again it is wonderful for cleaning makeup off the skin. Basically it works great for skin impurities.

Activated charcoal can clear clogged pores by drawing out dirt, grime, oil and other impurities that clog the skin. It is capable of trapping bacteria, surface dirt, poisons and chemicals and make skin pure.This helps in acne and uneven skin pigmentation as well.

$3.50

 

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News This Month!  I am busier than ever, with many new products being created, new inspiration to follow, increased studies and a new store opening (see my Etsy store) at last Amber's Organics is  growing again having been slowed down by the difficult but worthwhile move to TX. The garden is looking good, green and lush and there are even a few vegetables being picked already for tea tonight.

I was donated some garden tubs from a wonderful local Musician and Ex Navy Navigator, Steve, who most kindly and generously contributed to some of the items that were either stolen on the move or I had to leave back in CA. He even brought some old wood which we have used to make some new raised beds. Things are looking up as I gather again all the tools needed to succeed.

I attended a few local Gigs with " Heat Of The Sun" the local rock band who are now sponsors of Amber's Organics, I even managed to sell a few soaps despite the fact that it is so loud my delicate ears needed to be muffled with two sets of ear plugs and I had to use sign language to respond to the customers. Regardless, it was a wonderful experience and I am so grateful to be able to offer soaps exclusively for this remarkable and talented band. I shall be there at their next gig soon with many more soaps and musicians products on hand!

I shall be revamping the website in the future weeks, with better checkout for your convenience, more options for payment and better shipping rates to offer,  more assessable features, updated pictures so that you can see your favourite products with ease, this is being worked on as I write  and I cannot wait to get your comments in the final results.

We are also going to seen at local craft fairs, heat of the sun Gigs, and markets, updates and news will follow.

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WANTED, CAT FOOD FOR OUR GANG OF GLORIOUS RESCUED CATS.

AMBER'S ORGANICS HAS BEEN SELLING NEW AND RECYCLED CLOTHES VIA EBAY TO FEED THE HUNGRY FELINES BUT WE CAN ALWAYS USE MORE. IF YOU WISH TO SEND A DONATION OF CAT FOOD, CLOTHES TO SELL OR A DONATION OF ANY KIND PLEASE POST TO AMBER'S ORGANICS, C/O CAT FEED FUND 3781 SHERRIL BROOK RD, SAN ANTONIO TX 78228.

Please copy and paste this link into your browser to see the cat fund clothes selection.

http://stores.ebay.com/Ambers-gardenofcures/New-Recycle-Clothes-Shoes-/_i.html?_fsub=14584731&_sid=371341832&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322

WE BLESS YOU!

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Recent News! We made it to Texas, the state where everything is big and we aim to get much bigger! After a three day enduring and grueling (but utterly incredible trip) we finally made it to our new home and business establishment. This is better than I imagined and after another episode of hard work and alterations I am sure it will be a new new herb shop to be proud of.  I will be having to start my organic garden from scratch as I was unable to bring any plants with me but a challenge was something I was never shy of and offers me an opportunity to try some new projects.  There are many dreams to unfold as each day progresses so watch this space and keep on with your wonderful support we are moving on by the Grace of God.

Please read my wonderful feedback to see how much Amber's Organics is appreciated. It makes me feel blessed to serve. 

 

Your own suggestions are always appreciated so do not hesitate to write to me at my email address. ambersorganics@aol.com

 

NEW! TEXT AMBER IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS!
 
 

The heat is on! Some of my beautiful organically preserved lotions and creams cannot endure hot weather and can turn runny on their travels to you. As a solution I am introducing new bottles for your convenience, at no extra cost. Please place your cream and lotions in the fridge upon arrival to ensure they recover. Please consider the same care for salves, balms and other delicate products.

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The Miracle Gynura Plant

 

Antiviral Miraculous Detoxifying Herb.

 Gynura procumbens is the new superfood. In Java, the young shoots of this plant are eaten raw as a vegetable. Singaporeans find it more palatable if the leaves have been blanched in hot water before consumption. This would be a matter of taste.

Ultimately, you are what you eat. For someone living with diabetes nothing could be truer. When it comes to maintaining good blood sugar levels, a healthy diet is vital. People with diabetes have to take extra care to ensure their diet is properly balanced with their insulin and oral medications. The right meal plan will also help any person living with diabetes improve their blood glucose levels. In Thai, this herb is known to reduce blood sugar and reverse diabetes. It is called “Longevity Spinach” it is said to be effective on Type 2 Diabetes and has proven to lower blood glucose on type 1 diabetes as well. Being an anti viral and anti-inflammatory herb it has the ability to help regulate not only the blood glucose, but also blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It has also shown promising results against viruses such as cancer and HIV.
General studies:
Anti-Inflammatory: Study of ethanol extract showed antiinflammatory activity.

Antihypertensive: Study showed the oral administration of aqueous extract significantly lowered blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Results suggest GPE may be useful for prevention and treatment of hypertension through increasing NO (nitric oxide) production in blood vessels.

Glucose Lowering: Ethanolic extract of leaves significantly suppressed elevated serum glucose levels in diabetic rats. The extract did not significantly suppress glucose levels in normal rats. Results conclude the leaves of GP may be biguanide-like activity.

Abundant Leaf Proteins / Peroxidase: Study found few abundant proteins from the leaves of GP; among these, peroxidase was found the most abundant of the extracted proteins. Results suggest a natural source for peroxidase for use in the cosmetic and skin care industry.

Nutritive / Antioxidative Properties: Ethanolic Gynura extract exhibited the highest antioxidative properties in every assay. Nutritive evaluation suggests the extract is a good protein source and may have positive effects on free radical scavenging and iron chelating.

Gynura procumbens Medical Toothpaste: A Gynura procumbens toothpaste invention consists of" gynura procumbens (Lour.) extractant of 1-20%, glycerol of 20-55%, diglycol of 10-15%, abradant of 20-45%, carboxymethyl cellulose of 0.5-1.5%, sodium dodecyl sulfate of 0.5-2%, additive of 1-4%, essence of 1-2% and saccharin of 0.1-1%.

Anti-Ulcerogenic: Study results suggest the ethanolic leaf extract of Gynura procumbens promotes ulcer protection as shown by significant reduction of ulcer area, histologic decreases in ulcer areas, with absence or reduction of edema and leucocyte infiltration of submucosal layer.

Anti-Diabetic: (1) Study evaluating the water extract of G. procumbens in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats showed a hypoglycemic effect by promoting glucose uptake by muscles. (2) Study results suggest the antidiabetic effect may be mediated through the stimulation of glucose uptake and the potentiation of insulin action.

Toxicological Evaluation: Administration of a methanol extract of G. procumbens did not produce mortality or significant changes in various parameters in both acute and sub-chronic toxicity studies.

COMMON USES
Besides the above medicinal properties, according to the Plant Resources of South East Asia (PROSEA), this plant is also used in Africa, where the boiled leaves are applied externally to relieve general body pains and raw leaves for rheumatic pains. Dried and pounded leaves are mixed with oil and applied as a poultice to treat skin complaints. It also used for the treatment of kidney problems and dysentery.

Longevity Spinach (gynura procumbens) can be eaten fresh like a salad, stir fried with other vegetables, juiced, and also enjoyed as a cup of tea. It has a very delicious taste.

CULTIVATION / GROWING
This plant grows easily from stem-cuttings. Seeds are not available. It is best grown in well-draining, fertile soil that is kept moist at all times. Semi-shade is preferred by this plant although it can be slowly adapted to grow in full sun, provided the plant does not dry out at the roots. Initial planting under direct sunshine will result in burnt leaves and stunting in growth. Growth should resume once the plant has acclimatised to its new growing conditions.

Gynura procumbens grows as a scrambling perennial plant with stems that can extend 18-20 feet long if left to grow. The fleshy leaves are bright green, and rather smooth to touch. The shape of leaves can vary depending on the growing conditions and they can range from roundish to ovate in shape but are all shallowly toothed at the margins.

In shade, they are darker green and appear rather flat but under direct sun, the two sides of each leaf may develop a slight V shape along the mid-rib and take on a lighter green color. The plants I have seen so far have green leaf undersides although I read that there are plants with purple undersides.

The stems can be totally purple or have patches/specks of purple. From the above description, one can observe that Gynura procumbens can be highly variable.

Gynura will climb if you let it but it is easy to keep it as a small bush in pots with regular pruning (harvesting/eating).

 

 

Amber’s Organics sells organic Gynura plants in Biodegradable pots for easy transplanting for only $10 per plant.

 Call/Text 559 326 3019 to purchase your plant and start on your way to better health.

 

 

 

Featured, New Products!


NEW Organic " Silk Lift " Firming & Smoothing Cream

Amber's Organics Silk Creamcombines hydrolyzed silk and enriched organic oils to make a unique, lifting, fiorming, smoothing product. Your skin will be left feeling silky-smooth and gently uplifted!

$7.50 

 


NEW! Organic Rosemary & Marigold Skin Firming Arm Creme

Botanical extracts of pure Rosemary enhance the creme as Rosemary minimizes water retention and improves the circulation, the results are that arms look firmer and muscles look more defined.

$25.99


NEW! Organic White Thyme & Californian Lemon Facial Wash,

Organically preserved facial wash that is safe enough for your acne & problem skin & is non drying. This mild formula is made from the purest castile soap & organic essential oils of white thyme & Californian lemon making it the perfect solution for skins prone to acne, oiliness, & outbreaks, it helps reduce open pores & controls blackheads & has mildly anti septic properties.  
 

$8.00

 


NEW! BIG BOLD BARS - Organic Shea Butter Bar Natural FACIAL FORMULA

Shea Helps with ALL of these! Wrinkles, fine lines and scars repairing, Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, Deeply moisturizing, Stimulating for the superficial microcirculation, skin strengthening, Skin protecting, UV protecting, Skin regenerating, Collagen production stimulating (makes the skin stronger, more supple and younger), Minor cuts and burns healing, Muscle ache healing. 

My new big bold bars are for the tough amongst us, who do not wish to mess around it flimsy bars, these mean business, the business of real clean!

$4.50

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Recipe of the month.

T'is the season to be sneezy!

 

Natural Cure for Itchy Eyes and How to Avoid It

Itchy eyes can be treated with natural remedies or home treatments to stop the frequent itchiness and irritation.

  • Prevention – This is the best solution if you want to be free from the burden of itchy eyes. Based on the causes that we have listed, avoiding those allergy-causing factors is a natural way of stopping the condition to happen over and over. Wear shades or sun glasses when roaming outside to protect your eyes from dusts and pollens. Check the foods that you eat, sometimes it can also cause allergic reactions. If you have pet at home, it is better to stay away from it.
  • Herbal Treatment – Instead of using eye-drops, there are natural herbal treatments as the best alternatives for over-the-counter medications. Cucumber is the most popular natural remedy for swelling and itchy eyes because of its anti-irritant property. Slices of chilled cucumber can be placed on the affected eye for a certain period of time. Aloe Vera, potato, and rosewater are the other herbal treatment for this condition.
  • Have enough rest – Avoid excessive watching on TV, prolonged use of computers, short-time of sleeping habit. This will help your eyes from stress and pressure that causes irritation.

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 Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.
Hippocrates 431 B.C.

Caraway seed tea for stomach ailments.

 

Caraway is best known as the crunchy seeds atop dark rye bread but this familiar kitchen spice is also one of the best herbs to prevent gas and bloating. Caraway combines very well with fennel and anise in carminative teas.
Ingredients:
Caraway *
Recipe Instructions: Herbal Tea :Bruise a teaspoon full of seeds with a mortar and pestle, then infuse covered in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes.
For Migraine
1 ounce valerian leaves + ½ ounce of juniper berries + 1⅔ ounce of St. John's wort + 1 ounce of linden flowers

Procedure

Always use clean water to make the herbal tea, and prepare the tea in clean cookware of cast iron, glass or stainless steel (other than aluminum).
In the boiling water, add the given amount of the desired herbs. Cover the container and let the herbs steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
Never over-steep the herbs as it might have an adverse effect on the flavor as well as use of the herbs.
You can also add lemon and honey to enhance the flavor and aroma of your tea.
Strain the tea with the help of a regular tea strainer.
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/herbal-tea-recipes.html
Procedure

Always use clean water to make the herbal tea, and prepare the tea in clean cookware of cast iron, glass or stainless steel (other than aluminum).
In the boiling water, add the given amount of the desired herbs. Cover the container and let the herbs steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
Never over-steep the herbs as it might have an adverse effect on the flavor as well as use of the herbs.
You can also add lemon and honey to enhance the flavor and aroma of your tea.
Strain the tea with the help of a regular tea strainer.
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/herbal-tea-recipes.html
For Migraine
1 ounce valerian leaves + ½ ounce of juniper berries + 1⅔ ounce of St. John's wort + 1 ounce of linden flowers

Procedure

Always use clean water to make the herbal tea, and prepare the tea in clean cookware of cast iron, glass or stainless steel (other than aluminum).
In the boiling water, add the given amount of the desired herbs. Cover the container and let the herbs steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
Never over-steep the herbs as it might have an adverse effect on the flavor as well as use of the herbs.
You can also add lemon and honey to enhance the flavor and aroma of your tea.
Strain the tea with the help of a regular tea strainer.
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/herbal-tea-recipes.html

 

For Migraine
1 ounce valerian leaves + ½ ounce of juniper berries + 1⅔ ounce of St. John's wort + 1 ounce of linden flowers

Procedure

Always use clean water to make the herbal tea, and prepare the tea in clean cookware of cast iron, glass or stainless steel (other than aluminum).
In the boiling water, add the given amount of the desired herbs. Cover the container and let the herbs steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
Never over-steep the herbs as it might have an adverse effect on the flavor as well as use of the herbs.
You can also add lemon and honey to enhance the flavor and aroma of your tea.
Strain the tea with the help of a regular tea strainer.
Read more at Buzzle:
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/herbal-tea-recipes.html

Lemon balm for cold sores
For cold sores you can use an ointment made with a few drops of melissa oil, or by using a compress soaked in a strong lemon balm tea.
Ingredients:
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons of finely cut leaves
  • 3/4 cup of water
Lemon Balm *
Recipe Instructions: Herbal Tea : Pour hot water over the leaves and leave to steep in a covered vessel. Use the cooled tea to saturate a compress and apply to cold sores several times dail

 
 

And now onto something for your garden's delight!

 

Mosquito Repellent Plants

As summer fast approaches, I would like to suggest plants that will repel mosquitoes in your landscape and how to use these plants to enjoy the outdoors during summer. In addition to the plants that repel mosquitoes I would like to suggest additional, eco-friendly ways to keep mosquitoes from your outdoor living spaces.

Some areas of the southeast have had drought busting rainstorms and even with the tremendous amounts of rainfall, these areas are still considered to be under drought conditions. With the severe amounts of rainfall that comes into an area, and the warmer temperatures of the season that is a sure sign the pesky mosquito is not far behind.

The plants that I am suggesting will repel mosquitoes from your outdoor living space. There are a few suggestions when planning to use the plants mentioned to enhance the natural repelling abilities:

vUse the plants in containers around your patio, deck, or outdoor living space such as patio tables and chairs.

vUse the plants in containers or planted in the ground by your front door and your back door.

vLemon Grass is the #1 recommended plant to grow in the landscape and in containers to use around your patio, deck or outdoor living spaces to repel mosquitoes during the summer.

vBefore having outdoor activities brush the Lemon Grass to release more of its fragrance.

vLemon Grass can be used in cooking.

 

Here are a few suggestions recommended to do in addition to using the recommended plants:

vFix all outdoor facets that drip.

vDrain your birdbath twice a week and refill your birdbath.

vTurn your empty outside pots and containers upside down to prevent the containers from collecting water.

vDrain your plant saucers that collect water once a week, mosquitos lay their eggs in stagnant water.

vTo reduce numerous other flying insects, including mosquitoes, plant marigolds in containers or in the landscape.

 

There are additional benefits to adding mosquito-repelling plants to your landscape. A few of the benefits are that the mixture of plants listed can be used in addition to repelling mosquitoes, but also used as herbs in cooking, the trees listed will attract additional wildlife such as birds to the garden to give natural predators of mosquitoes a safe heaven, the majority of the plants are nectar and larval food plants for butterflies in your area, and the Silver Dollar Tree can be used in your fresh cut flower arrangements as greens.

 

Ageratum or Floss Flower: Ageratum houstonianum. Type: Annual. Height: 6-12”. Spacing: 6-8” apart. Light Requirement: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly nectar plant.

Basil: Ocimum basilicum. Type: Annual. Height: 2 feet. Spacing: 18-24” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly nectar plant, the leaves are used in cooking. 

Cadaga Tree: Eucalyptus torelliana.Type: Tree. Height: To 80 feet. Spacing: 20-30 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Attracts wildlife to the garden.

Catmint: Nepeta faassenii.Type: Perennial. Height: 2-3 feet. Spacing: 12-18 “ apart. Additional Uses: Butterfly nectar plant, and your cats will love it. The picture on the right is Catmint.

Catnip: Nepeta cataria. Type: Perennial. Height: 2-3 feet. Spacing: 12-18 “ apart. Additional Uses: Butterfly nectar plant, and your cats will love it.

Citronella Grass: Cymbopogon nardus.Type: Perennial in USDA Zones 9 and 10, annual outside zone 9. Height: 5-6 feet. Spacing: 3-5 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: The oil from the plant is used in citronella candles.

Clove Tree: Syzygium aromaticum.Type: Tree. Height: 20-30 feet. Spacing: 25 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: The flower buds are the spice of commerce, and attracts wildlife to the garden.

Horsemint or Lemon Beebalm: Monarda citriodora.Type: Perennial. Height: 12-30”. Spacing: 12-24” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: The flowers can be used in fresh cut arrangements, nectar plant for butterflies and hummingbirds.

Lavender: Lavandula angustifolia.Type: Perennial. Height: 18-24”. Spacing: 12-18” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Nectar plant for butterflies, flowers can be dried, in potpourris, and sachets.

Lemon Balm: Melissa officinalis.Type: Perennial. Height: 2-3 feet. Spacing: 12-18” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: All leaves can be used in potpourris, flavor hot and iced teas, and used as a substitute for lemon peel in cooking.

Lemon Grass: Cymbopogon citrates.Type: Perennial to USDA zone 8, treat as an annual elsewhere. Height: 2-3 feet. Spacing: 3-5 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: The leaves are used in cooking. 

Lemon Scented Geranium: Pelargonium crispum.Type: Perennial. Height: 2-3 feet. Spacing: 12” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Nectar plant for butterflies, leaves are used in cooking, in potpourris, and sachets.

Lemon Verbena: Aloysia triphylla.Type: Perennial to USDA zone 8, treat as an annual elsewhere. Height: To 4 feet. Spacing: 18-24” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: The oil is used in perfumes; the leaves are used in flavoring teas and jellies.

Mexican Marigold Mint: Tagetes lucida.Type: Perennial. Height: 24-30”. Spacing: 12-18” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly nectar and larval food plant, fresh flowers are used in salads, leaves are used as a substitute for French tarragon.

Mindanao Gum Tree: Eucalyptus deglupta.Type: Tree. Height: To 225 feet. Spacing: 30 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Attracts wildlife to the garden.

Pennyroyal: Mentha pulegium.Type: Perennial. Height: 6-12”. Spacing: 12” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: A groundcover, nectar plant for butterflies, the leaves are used in the flavoring for fish dishes.

Peppermint: Mentha piperita.Type: Perennial. Height: 24-36”. Spacing: 12-18” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Leaves are used fresh in hot and iced teas, butterfly nectar and larval food plant. 

Pitcher Plant: Nepenthes alata.Type: Herbaceous perennial. Height: To 14 feet, usually grown in a hanging basket. Spacing: N/A. Light Requirements: Partial shade to shade. Additional Uses: Will attract and capture all types of pesky insects from your garden. The plant is available at local garden centers in hanging baskets and can be placed in tree limbs or placed on patio plant stands. The plant uses the insects it captures as fertilizer. The picture on the left is Mindanao Gum, and the picture on the right is Mexican Marigold Mint.

Prostrate Rosemary: Rosmarinus officinalis 'Prostrates'.Type: Perennial shrub or groundcover. Height: 12-18”. Spacing: 2 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: The leaves are used in lamb and fish dishes, butterfly nectar plant, drought tolerant plant.

Red-Flowering Gum Tree: Eucalyptus ficifolia.Type: Tree. Height: 25-30 feet. Spacing: 20-25 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: After establishment in the landscape the tree is very drought tolerant, the leaves are fragrant, attracts wildlife to the garden, very showy red flowers in spring and summer.

Roman Wormwood: Artemisia pontica.Type: Perennial. Height: 18-24”. Spacing: 12” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Nectar and larval food plant for butterflies, drought tolerant plant.

Rosemary: Rosmarinus officinalis.Type: Perennial shrub. Height: 4 feet. Spacing: 3-5 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: The leaves are used in lamb and fish dishes, drought tolerant plant, and butterfly nectar plant.

Silver Dollar Tree: Eucalyptus cinerea.Type: Tree. Height: To 20 feet. Spacing: 25 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Attracts wildlife to the garden, the foliage is used in fresh cut flower arrangements as greens, and dried floral arrangements.

Tansy: Tanacetum vulgare.Type: Perennial. Height: 3-4 feet. Spacing: 12-18” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Nectar food plant for butterflies. The picture on the left is Prostrate Rosemary, and the picture on the right is Pitcher Plant.

Wormwood: Artemisia absinthium.Type: Perennial. Height: 2-3 feet. Spacing: 18-24” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Nectar and larval food plant for butterflies, drought tolerant plant.

Wormwood: Artemisia 'Powis Castle'.Type: Perennial. Height: 2-3 feet. Spacing: 3 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Nectar and larval food plant for butterflies, drought tolerant plant.

2 Easy Compost Recipes to Get Your Organic Garden Growing

A healthy vibrant garden requires organic nutrients like carbon and nitrogen. Compost is a natural recycling technique used by organic gardeners to put nutrients back into depleted soil. It can be made at home by reusing leftover scraps from the kitchen and organic matter from the yard. Check out our article on the benefits of compost for your garden.

Making compost is like baking a cake or making soup. When you make it the first time or two, you use a recipe. The recipe contains a list of ingredients and an explanation of how to combine them. If an ingredient is missing or isn't added according to the recipe the cake or soup might fail.

This also applies to compost, there is a recipe. There are specific ingredients that require specific measurements. Furthermore, like your cake recipe the ingredients must be combined in a certain way for the recipe to succeed.

Below is a recipe for two different types of compost piles. One is high maintenance and will produce compost quickly in four to six weeks. The other is a low maintenance recipe and who knows when you will have compost. It could be one month, two months or even a year before you have usable compost.

Spring and fall are great times to start composting as there are plenty of ingredients available from your own garden and kitchen waste. So clean up the yard, follow the recipe below and start composting!

Ingredients:

Note: You will need nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) at a ratio of one part (N)itrogen to three parts (C)arbon.

(N)itrogen (one part) components consist of:

  • Stable scraps like horse manure, rabbit, pig, goat and chicken manure
  • Fish meal
  • Blood meal
  • Cottonseed meal
  • Legumes such as alfalfa and pea clover
  • Green garden waste like weeds
  • Algae and sea weed
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Algae
  • Seaweed
  • Lake moss
  • Hair
  • Kitchen vegetable scraps
  • Grass clippings without chemical fertilizers from the first two or three weeks of spring when they are lush and tender (at this time they are high in nitrogen but afterward they go into the carbon category)
  • Sod

(C)arbon (three parts) components consists of:

  • Straw
  • Dried leaves
  • Sawdust in small amounts, (as long as it hasn't been treated with chemicals)
  • Untreated wood chips in small amounts
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Cardboard
  • Dryer lint
  • Corn stalks and corn cob
  • Shredded brown paper grocery bags
  • Pine needles and pine cones
  • Oak leaves
  • Egg shells

Water - You will need just enough water for the pile to be moist, not wet.

Air Circulation

What NOT to add to a compost pile:

Ashes from coal or charcoal, cat litter or droppings, dog waste, fish scraps, ashes from untreated wood, meat, fat, grease, oils, bones, milk, cheese, yogurt, potatoes, sawdust and wood shavings from chemically treated wood.

Recipe for a high maintenance compost pile:

If you want compost quickly and you aren't afraid of a few quick chores then this recipe is for you.

Compost can be made in a pile in the back yard or a binicon according to the compost chef's preferences. Keep in mind that if you mix your compost in a pile, it needs to be protected from varmints. You can easily do this by surrounding the pile with chicken wire or by building a wood enclosure. Make sure that any large ingredients, like paper bags or garden waste, are broken down into small pieces so that they will quickly decompose.

For maximum production of your compost pile, combine all of your ingredients at once. Don't keep adding ingredients to the bin. Every time a new ingredient is added to the pile, the decomposition process starts over. That's why it is a good idea to have two piles going at the same time. Use one pile to collect the ingredients and a second pile that is engaged in the composting process.

To build your compost pile, first put a pile of twigs and sticks at the bottom so your pile will circulate air and breathe. Next, layer the (C)arbon and (N)itrogen ingredients on top of the twigs, starting with the (C)arbon ingredients. Continue with the (N)itrogen and then the (C)arbon, next the (N)itrogen and finishing with the (C)arbon.

Next add water. Add just enough so that the ingredients feel like a damp sponge that has been wrung out. To test for dampness pick up a handful of the ingredients and wring them out. If a few drops of water come out, it's perfect. However if a stream of water comes out, your pile is too wet. If the pile is too wet, add more dry ingredients and let the pile dry out. To help the pile quickly dry while keeping it oxygenated, turn it often using a shovel or a pitch fork, about once every day or two.

If you mixed one part (N)itrogen with three parts (C)arbon and your compost pile is damp like a wrung out sponge, it should heat to a temperature between 104°-160°, even in cold northern climates. Stir the pile about every four to seven days. Mix thoroughly. Stirring will move the cold ingredients into the warm center of the pile. Stirring replenishes foods and oxygen for the microorganisms that are hard at work breaking down the ingredients. Heat helps the ingredients quickly decompose and keeps the pile operating at its peak. Moreover, at 131° most disease causing pathogens die as well as pests, seeds and weeds.

You will know when your compost is finished when it smells earthy, contains small uniform particles and the color resembles dark brown soil and is light and fluffy.

Recipe for low maintenance compost:

If you don't care how long it takes to make compost, one month, six months, or even one year and you don't have time for weekly chores, then this recipe is for you.

Follow the above recipe. The exception, the ingredients of this low maintenance pile do not need to be combined at the same time. You can start your pile with a few ingredients and add ingredients as they become available. Furthermore, you don't need to stir this pile as often, just when you think of it. In this low maintenance recipe, do not add weeds or diseased plants because the compost won't get hot enough to destroy pathogens.

List of handy tools:

  • Garden gloves
  • Compost Bin or chicken wire
  • Compost Thermometer
  • Shovel
  • Pitch fork for stirring compost
  • Worms
  • Compost starter
  • Compost accelerator
  • • Indoor pail for kitchen waste
  • Books on composting
 

The following is a chart listing common composting materials

Type of Material Use it? Carbon/ Nitrogen Details
Vegetables and veggie peels Yes Nitrogen Great source of nitrogen. Bury in compost pile.
Leaves (trees and bushes) Yes Carbon May contain materials bad for plants.
Ashes from untreated, unpainted wood Careful Neutral Fine amounts at most. Can make the pile too alkaline and suppress
composting.
Fruit and fruit peels Yes Nitrogen great source of nitrogen. Bury within compost pile.
Bird droppings Careful Nitrogen May contain weed seeds or disease organisms.
Cardboard Yes Carbon Shred into small pieces if you use it. Wetting it makes it easier
to tear. If you have a lot, consider recycling instead.
Cat droppings or cat litter No n/a May contain disease organisms. Avoid.
Coffee ground and filters Yes N Great souce of nitrogen for your composter, add the grounds and the filter. Worms love coffee grounds and coffee filters.
Compost activator Not required, but ok. Neutral You don’t really need it, but it doesn’t hurt.
Cornstalks, corn cobs Yes Carbon Best if shredded and mixed well with nitrogen rich materials.
Diseased plants Careful Nitrogen If your pile doesn’t get hot enough, it might not kill the organisms,
so be careful. Let it cure several months, and don’t use resulting
compost near the type of plant that was diseased.
Dog droppings No n/a Avoid.
Dryer lint Yes Carbon Compost away! Moistening helps.
Eggshells Yes O Break down slowly. Crushing shells helps.
Fish scraps No n/a Can attract rodents and cause a stinky pile.
Beverages, kitchen rinse water Yes Neutral Good to moisten the middle of the pile. Don’t over-moisten the
pile.
Hair Yes Nitrogen Scatter so it isn’t in clumps.
Lime No n/a Can kill composting action. Avoid.
Manure (horse, cow, pig, sheep, goat, chicken, rabbit) Yes Nitrogen Great source of nitrogen. Mix with carbon rich materials so it
breaks down better.
Meat, fat, grease, oils, bones No n/a Avoid.
Milk, cheese, yogurt Careful Neutral Not recommended. Put it deep in the pile to avoid attracting animals.
Newspaper Yes Carbon Shred it so it breaks down easier. It is easy to add
too much newspaper, so recycle instead if you have a lot.
Don’t add slick colored pages.
Ashes from coal or charcoal No n/a Shredding leaves helps them break down faster.They decompose slower without shreding. Acidic.
Sawdust and wood shavings (untreated wood) Yes Carbon You’ll need a lot of nitrogen materials to make up for the high
carbon content. Don’t use too much, and don’t use treated woods.
Pine needles and cones Yes Carbon Don’t overload the pile. Also acidic and decomposes slowly.
Weeds Careful Nitrogen Dry them out on the pavement, then add later.
Sod Careful Nitrogen Make sure the pile is hot enough, so grass doesn’t continue
growing.
Algae, seaweed and lake moss Yes Nitrogen Good nutrient source.
 

Amber's Corner. Garden Tip of the month.  

 

Our earth is in trouble, and we've got to save it!

If you throw away 2 aluminum cans, you waste more energy than 1,000,000,000 (one billion) of the world's poorest people use a day.
Making a new can from scratch uses the energy equal to half a can of gasoline.
About one third of what an average American throws out is packaging.
More than 1,000,000,000 (one billion) trees are used to make disposable diapers every year.
In one minute, 50 acres of rainforest are destroyed.
Some rain has a pH of 3 or 4. (which is pretty acidic, considering 7 is neutral, not acidic, and battery acid has a pH of 1). Some fish, such as lake trout and smallmouth bass, have trouble reproducing at a pH of 6, which is only slightly acidic. Some clams and snails can't survive at all. Most crayfish are dead at a pH of 5. You can see how bad this is for the environment.
On average, a person in the US uses energy two times more than a person in Japan or West Germany does, and 50 times more than a person in India.
About 90% of the energy used in lighting a standard (incandescent) light bulb is lost as heat.
Air conditioning uses 10 times more energy than a fan, therefore, it creates 10 times the pollutants.
It takes half the output of the Alaskan pipeline to heat the air that escapes from all the homes in the US during a year.
Cars and pick-up trucks are responsible for about 20% of the carbon dioxide released into the air.
There are about 500 million automobiles on the planet, burning an average of 2 gallons of fuel a day. Each gallon releases 20 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air.
About 80% of our trash goes to landfills, 10% is incinerated, and 10% is recycled.
Since there is little oxygen underground, where we bury our garbage, to help bacteria eat the garbage, almost nothing happens to it. Scientists have dug into landfills and found ears of corn still intact after 20 years, and newspapers still readable after 30.
The average American makes about 3.5 pounds of trash a day.
In a year, the average American uses as much wood in the form of paper as the average resident of the developing world burns as fuel.


26 things we can do to help:


1. Turn off lights.
2. Turn off other electric things, like TVs, stereos, and radios when not in use.
3. Use rechargable batteries.
4. Do things manually instead of electrically, like open cans by hand.
5. Use fans instead of air conditioners.
6. In winter, wear a sweater instead of turning up your thermostat.
7. Insulate your home so you won't be cold in winter.
8. Use less hot water.
9. Whenever possible, use a bus or subway, or ride your bike or walk.
10. Try to buy organic fruits and vegetables if you're concerned about pesticides. (Organic food is grown without man-made fertilizers and/or pesticides).
11. Don't waste products made from forest materials.
12. Use recycled paper and/or recycle it. Reuse old papers.
13. Don't buy products that may have been made at the expense of the rainforest.
14. Support products that are harvested from the rainforest but have not cut down trees to get it.
15. Plant trees, espessially if you have cut one down.
16. Get other people to help you in your cause. Make and/or join an organization.
17. Avoid products that are used once, then thrown away.
18. Buy products with little or no packaging.
19. Encourage your grocery store sell environmentally friendly cloth bags for people to use when they shop, or bring your own.
20. REDUCE, REUSE, & RECYCLE.
21. Compost.
22. Buy recycled products.
23. Don't buy pets taken from the wild.
24. If you have a good zoo nearby, (if the animals are healthy and the zoo takes care of them), support it! Especially if they help breed endangered animals.
25. Don't buy products if animals were killed to make it.
26. Cut up your six-pack rings before throwing them out.

What Winston Churchill Can Teach You about Green Living

 Winston Churchill 

Winston Churchill was a bigger-than-life statesman, military man and strong voice during the horror of World War II. He also wrote, receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature. He used words well. His wisdom is something to study for straight-forward talk.

“The price of greatness is responsibility.”
Churchill understood responsibility. There is a valuable lesson here that if the
United States is to be a leader in green living, we must act accordingly. Being green isn’t always easy, but it’s the right thing to do.

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”
Giving back to the planet is an honorable thing to do. There is a certain sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing that you are making green choices and reducing your carbon footprint. It’s a personal thing. Some people may not
car to make that decision, but you have. You are helping to make a better life for future generations.

“We are stripped bare by the curse of plenty.”
One of the best ways to live a green lifestyle is to live within your means, using just what you need. America has become a society of plenty. It’s not enough to have just one TV or stereo. The average American has lots of things. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average household has 24
electronic products. This adds up to significant portion of your home’s carbon footprint.

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
Some people write off actions like recycling or smart
purchases, saying that they mean nothing. However, when taken as a whole, your choices and those of others make a big difference. Americans are embracing recycling more and more. Recovery rates of most items in the municipal solid waste stream continue to rise. It’s the change in attitude that makes the difference.

Winston Churchill was a wise man in his time and still today. He has much to teach us about fortitude and courage even in the darkest times. His words can be an inspiration to you and others to make good choices that will benefit the environment and future generations. These selfless acts are the foundation of greatness.

Lazy Person's Compost

Ingredients: green and brown yard waste, water as needed.

Directions

  • In a heap, layer your yard waste as it accumulates. For faster composting, chip it up first.
  • Water so compost is kept as moist as a wrung-out sponge.
  • In a year to 18 months, the material at the bottom and center of the pile will be dark, crumbly compost. Sift, and use the uncomposted material to start a new batch.
 

 


 
Chamomile Jelly Recipe from Britain Origin: Britain Period: Traditional This is a traditional British recipe for a classic clear jelly made from apples that's flavoured with dried chamomile flowers. Ingredients: 2.5kg cooking apples, washed and roughly chopped juice of 3 lemons 6 tbsp dried chamomile flowers 75g sugar per 100ml liquid Celtnet recipes chicken recipe divider Chamomile Jelly Preparation: Method: Place the apples and the chamomile flowers in a heavy-bottomed saucepan along with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, until very soft. Pour into a jelly bag or a sieve lined with several layers of muslin and allow to drain into a bowl (do not be tempted to squeeze the bag as this will only make the jelly cloudy). The following morning discard the fruit pulp and flowers then measure the volume of the liquid and add 75g sugar per 100ml of fluid. Place the juice, lemon juice and the sugar in a saucepan, heat through then add the sugar, stirring until completely dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook rapidly for about 15 minutes. Test for setting by placing a plate in the fridge. Spoon a little of the jelly onto the plate, allow to cook then move it with your fingernail. If a crinkly skin forms then the jelly is ready. If not continue boiling for 5 minutes more and test again. Skim the surface then ladle into sterilized jars that have been warmed in an oven set to 100°C for 5 minutes. Allow 1cm of head space then secure the lid, allow to cool and store. This is excellent jelly with a delicate apple and honey flavour that works well on toast and makes a good accompaniment to cheese.

Read more at Celtnet: http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/miscellaneous/fetch-recipe.php?rid=misc-chamomile-jelly
Copyright © celtnet
Chamomile Jelly Recipe from Britain Origin: Britain Period: Traditional This is a traditional British recipe for a classic clear jelly made from apples that's flavoured with dried chamomile flowers. Ingredients: 2.5kg cooking apples, washed and roughly chopped juice of 3 lemons 6 tbsp dried chamomile flowers 75g sugar per 100ml liquid Celtnet recipes chicken recipe divider Chamomile Jelly Preparation: Method: Place the apples and the chamomile flowers in a heavy-bottomed saucepan along with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, until very soft. Pour into a jelly bag or a sieve lined with several layers of muslin and allow to drain into a bowl (do not be tempted to squeeze the bag as this will only make the jelly cloudy). The following morning discard the fruit pulp and flowers then measure the volume of the liquid and add 75g sugar per 100ml of fluid. Place the juice, lemon juice and the sugar in a saucepan, heat through then add the sugar, stirring until completely dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook rapidly for about 15 minutes. Test for setting by placing a plate in the fridge. Spoon a little of the jelly onto the plate, allow to cook then move it with your fingernail. If a crinkly skin forms then the jelly is ready. If not continue boiling for 5 minutes more and test again. Skim the surface then ladle into sterilized jars that have been warmed in an oven set to 100°C for 5 minutes. Allow 1cm of head space then secure the lid, allow to cool and store. This is excellent jelly with a delicate apple and honey flavour that works well on toast and makes a good accompaniment to cheese.

Read more at Celtnet: http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/miscellaneous/fetch-recipe.php?rid=misc-chamomile-jelly
Copyright © celtnet
Chamomile Jelly Recipe from Britain Origin: Britain Period: Traditional This is a traditional British recipe for a classic clear jelly made from apples that's flavoured with dried chamomile flowers. Ingredients: 2.5kg cooking apples, washed and roughly chopped juice of 3 lemons 6 tbsp dried chamomile flowers 75g sugar per 100ml liquid Celtnet recipes chicken recipe divider Chamomile Jelly Preparation: Method: Place the apples and the chamomile flowers in a heavy-bottomed saucepan along with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, until very soft. Pour into a jelly bag or a sieve lined with several layers of muslin and allow to drain into a bowl (do not be tempted to squeeze the bag as this will only make the jelly cloudy). The following morning discard the fruit pulp and flowers then measure the volume of the liquid and add 75g sugar per 100ml of fluid. Place the juice, lemon juice and the sugar in a saucepan, heat through then add the sugar, stirring until completely dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook rapidly for about 15 minutes. Test for setting by placing a plate in the fridge. Spoon a little of the jelly onto the plate, allow to cook then move it with your fingernail. If a crinkly skin forms then the jelly is ready. If not continue boiling for 5 minutes more and test again. Skim the surface then ladle into sterilized jars that have been warmed in an oven set to 100°C for 5 minutes. Allow 1cm of head space then secure the lid, allow to cool and store. This is excellent jelly with a delicate apple and honey flavour that works well on toast and makes a good accompaniment to cheese.

Read more at Celtnet: http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/miscellaneous/fetch-recipe.php?rid=misc-chamomile-jelly
Copyright © celtnet
Chamomile Jelly Recipe from Britain Origin: Britain Period: Traditional This is a traditional British recipe for a classic clear jelly made from apples that's flavoured with dried chamomile flowers. Ingredients: 2.5kg cooking apples, washed and roughly chopped juice of 3 lemons 6 tbsp dried chamomile flowers 75g sugar per 100ml liquid Celtnet recipes chicken recipe divider Chamomile Jelly Preparation: Method: Place the apples and the chamomile flowers in a heavy-bottomed saucepan along with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, until very soft. Pour into a jelly bag or a sieve lined with several layers of muslin and allow to drain into a bowl (do not be tempted to squeeze the bag as this will only make the jelly cloudy). The following morning discard the fruit pulp and flowers then measure the volume of the liquid and add 75g sugar per 100ml of fluid. Place the juice, lemon juice and the sugar in a saucepan, heat through then add the sugar, stirring until completely dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook rapidly for about 15 minutes. Test for setting by placing a plate in the fridge. Spoon a little of the jelly onto the plate, allow to cook then move it with your fingernail. If a crinkly skin forms then the jelly is ready. If not continue boiling for 5 minutes more and test again. Skim the surface then ladle into sterilized jars that have been warmed in an oven set to 100°C for 5 minutes. Allow 1cm of head space then secure the lid, allow to cool and store. This is excellent jelly with a delicate apple and honey flavour that works well on toast and makes a good accompaniment to cheese.

Read more at Celtnet: http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/miscellaneous/fetch-recipe.php?rid=misc-chamomile-jelly
Copyright © celtn
 
 
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Activated charcoal is so porous that it can absorb
Activated charcoal is so porous that it can absorb much more toxins and atoms and ions, than its own weight. In terms of skin care, this porous activated charcoal helps in cases of acne to purify skin. Again it is wonderful for cleaning makeup off the skin. Basically it works great for skin impurities. Activated charcoal can clear clogged pores by drawing out dirt, grime, oil and other impurities that clog the skin. It is capable of trapping bacteria, surface dirt, poisons and chemicals and make skin pure.This helps in acne and uneven skin pigmentation as well.
Sep 23, 2014
September's bargain bag of seeds for only $2.00 fo
September's bargain bag of seeds for only $2.00 for 50 seeds! Get yours before October arrives!
Sep 23, 2014
SUDS ON STRING!
July is soap & suds month!
Aug 8, 2014
Mini soap on a string for less waste
New soaps in stock!
Aug 8, 2014
New products!
New products!
Aug 7, 2014
New Soaps Galore!
July is soap month!
Jul 10, 2014
BIG BOLD BARS OF SOAP IN STOCK!
New this month!
Jul 10, 2014
Lets Get Sudsy "Soap of JULY" special!
Offers for July!
Jul 1, 2014

What does it exactly mean to live organically? Well, aside from eating organic foods, organic living applies to many things. This day and age, our home living environments are constantly inundated with products, many of which we have grown so accustomed to, that we really don't always stop to think if they could be affecting our health - especially in the long term. Many people who have made the switch to organic and natural living, oftentimes were prompted to do so because of unexplainable health conditions (such as allergies) that seemingly popped up overnight. It goes to show how much we truly don't know about the repercussions and effects of manmade chemicals and artificial substances present in our daily lives. If you stop to think about it, it makes perfect sense to live as Mother Nature intended us to. Even if you can't do everything organically, you can at least try doing things more naturally. Please take your time to read up on our organic living tips and articles presented below. If you're like us, you will be surprised how much there is to learn about organic living.