Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Moringa- Update On Our Straw Bale Garden

Posted by PicasaWell its time for an update on my experimental straw bale garden.

We are getting a ton of tomatoes, and cucumbers. They have had no tomato horn worms yet or disease problems. I have had no weeding to do either. I am very well pleased with the results and the lack of work with this kind of garden. The lavender up in the top picture is absolutely beautiful. The squash plant which was planted late has lots of blooms. I grew these plants from seeds. The first plants were starters from a nursery and they did not take well in the bale. I have to say by the time I planted them, it was very hot. I will start all my plants from seeds next year. They popped very quickly in the bales. I love this kind of garden. I also notice that there are less insect problems as well. We have had a handful of grasshoppers but they don't seem to be doing much damage. You must really deeply water the bales once planted. That is extremely important. I will try beans and all the rest of the veggies next year in the bales.

My gogi berry bushes planted with hay bale edging also has survived. It looked doubtful for awhile but I notice they have blooms. Berries should come next. I have found that watering them deeply and spraying all the vines, not just the roots,  seems to help them. Next challenge is if they make it through the winter and come back in Spring. Each season here has its challenges. A man who is an expert told me that they should survive. I will mulch them well with straw to help them along.

The comfrey plant in the bales never did well. Normally you can't raise Comfrey in pots but I am going to try and raise two plants in a 33 gal trash can this winter.....keep it in the shed.  Comfrey send down deep roots and if you pot it, generally will die off. I am curious to see if the trash can is deep enough to work. The area where they are growing was doing well but the leaves are showing signs of iron deficiency so will give them some help on that this week. So far the comfrey plant is the only one that did not do well.

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We have decided we may not stay here but will try to find a new place in spring. The winds here make it real hard to grow things. A nursery would be real work. There are two towns about an hour a way that are greener, have a river, and are agriculture areas. They grow hay and many crops. It would be much easier to try and raise herbs there. Their area contains 12,000 where this area has less than 100. So we are going to let go of the nursery idea here.  The winds were so bad this past spring that it is hard to tell how long a greenhouse would stay up. The soil here has a layer of lava rock a foot deep. It takes a huge amount of brawn to dig a hole. Most people here have a raised bed. That will take hauling in truck loads of soil amendments to do that. We have no shade on the property, so would have to build a shade house for many of them. We many change our mind but right now we are rethinking this area for a nursery.

I still am going ahead with buying the chickens and a Nigerian dwarf goat for milk. It is our plan to be self sufficient for the coming difficult times. We will not move if we cannot find the right place where we can grow herbs and have the livestock. We have our rabbits started now....3 Angora rabbits. My husband is building a second hutch. We are keeping them in a colony during the day and in the hutch at night for safety. They are really fun to watch. Their babies will give me fertilizer for my Moringa Trees, garden, and the earthworm beds. Their wool can be sold and you can eat them as well.  I may get a pair of New Zealand's for meat as well.

I know that some of you only think of rabbits as pets. Rabbits are often kept as just pets. Rabbits are also a farm animal used for food. We are setting up a homestead. Unless your are vegetarian, you are eating either chicken or beef. It is no different. If you raised a calf or sheep as the 4-H kids do, they will tell you how much they love their sheep or calf. The reality is though, they do become steak for someone. These three will not go for meat. They are my stock for the future. They have room to play and are fed very well. I spend time with them daily. Their babies will in some cases we sold for people who want their wool and to others who eat their own organic meat. The store bought meat these days is a toss up. The animals are fed hormones and antibiotics. They are fed Genetically M Corn and who know what else. Raising your own food and meat is the only real way you can know what you are eating for sure. It is only getting worse not better. You need to think about that folks.....the picture is not pretty. You are eating meat that was grown and housed in horrible tiny cages. Look at U-tube and how chickens are housed. It is very grim and nasty. You do not hesitate to eat chicken. Beef are also raised in grim pens. Hogs have it even worse. Most of your food is raised on huge farms with many thousands of animals. People just shut off their mind, while eating these foods. Eating your own raised food, you at least know they were kept humanely and fed properly. The meat was handled the right away. You know your animals were not sick or diseased. You know the quality of the food you raise. Its a choice of what you want to put into your body.

                                                     Well this is all for now. Kate, the Herbladyisin

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Moringa Leaves-Make Salad and a Green Drink Your Lunch

Hi Folks,

Do you have trouble fitting a salad and green drink into your schedule?

Our problem here is we end up working until it gets dark. Right now my husband is building a rabbit hutch and he often does not want to stop. I have trouble eating a salad then a main meal as well. Dinner ends up late and in a rush. I don't have time then to do all the salad cutting and prep. At breakfast if I drink a green drink, I am not hungry for a long time.

So now we do this.

Lunch is always a hearty salad with lettuce, Moringa leaves, grated carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, and tomatoes from the garden. We also have a green drink with Spirulina powder, green veggie powder, and Moringa leaf powder. The combination of the two gives a real pick me up for the rest of the day. I notice I have more energy when we do that. So try this. If you work, take the salad  in a small container and your drink in one as well. It in a real healthy way to avoid the afternoon crash. If you want more protein for lunch, add a sliced egg or grated cheese to the salad as well. You can make it either all vegetarian or a combination. It all works.

With lives so busy, you have to find out what works for you.

Bye for now,

Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Is It Safe To Buy Moringa Products from India

Hi Friends,

I have had two people email me this question. There is not an easy answer but I will give you the honest answer. The first consideration is quality. The second is FDA problems and customs problems. My experience will clarify the complexity of this answer.

Please go here to Protest S. 3002 where the FDA is trying in October to  reclassify herbs and supplements as drugs.

Is Ordering Moringa Products from India Safe?

Quality: There are many companies selling Moringa powder and caps from India. What they tell you on their website does not mean anything really. You need to contact the agencies that grant them their organic status if they are stating their products are organic.

Problems in Buying Certified Organic Moringa from India:

I investigated several companies that stated they were organic. When I asked for proof, they either didn't write back or said they didn't give out that information. One company was using a falsified organic certificate. I learned that the hard way by giving them an order, never hearing from them, then investigationg them through Europe, and finding out they were crooked. I lost $600.00 on that order.

The one company that did provide proof and were found to be legal by Lacon and NPOP, had no experience shipping to the United States.  I will tell you why that is important next.

The one company I did originally order from was Yelizir. They are Not orgainic certified. Their product, although not organic certified, does seem to be really quality product. I did not have the money to personally test the product at a lab. That is quite expensive. Most of my customers have called me to say the product seemed to really help them and have reordered. I have only personally taken their products.

What happened with the other company? This is the second part of the problem.....customs and FDA.

When I ordered Yelixir's products, they came by Fed Ex. Fed Ex has its own custom agents. I had no problem receiving my orders. Their labels and packaging are professional. They know what must be done to get their products through the FDA and Customs. My mistake was changing companies to try and buy organic certified.

The trouble with products from foreign countries:

When I ordered from the other company, they did not have the experience they professed, to ship to the US. Their labels were shoddy and unprofessional. The packaging was not tamper proof and not professional. They sent it by a regular shipper. It got flagged in customs and by the FDA for improper labels. The packaging was not tamper proof, so that sent up flags. They held it for purity samples. It was charged with improper labeling.

The worst problem was that the Indian company whose website url was listed on the packaging, made claims for its benefits for high blood pressure and diabetes. It had no import history so it was really given the treatment. In the end after weeks of waiting, it was rejected as an unapproved drug because of the claims made in India. I had the choice to return it under FDA supervision or destroy it under FDA supervision. I lost $1000 on that order.  I did finally get a refund from that company but it was a real nightmare. I only got the refund, because I had become friends with the head of Lacon in India. He put pressure on them for their shoddy labels. This company had A1 reviews from Lacon and from the lab that tested their product in India. Yet, their labels and packaging were shoddy.  So without any other leads in India for quality organic certified, I gave up on that.

FDA Red Tape:

Ordering Moringa or any other herb from a foreign country is a gamble. Even if its the most professional, quality product on the marketplace, the FDA or Customs can reject your order. There are thousands of rules for labels, bottles, product, and such that no company can keep track of them all. There are attorneys who specialize in helping companies make sure their product is up to code and who will fight the FDA to get a product released from their red tape. These lawyers only win 40 per cent of the time against the FDA. It can take many thousands of dollars and months to get your product cleared. The FDA will give you no real help to transverse the red tape. They tell you to hire an attorney. I went through all of this with one little package. I got no where with them. This is how they harass you out of business with red tape and charges. The FDA has a huge bias against supplements and herbs. It is all about profit and greed. As a company and importer you must pay huge fees to get your labels re-cleared. You must pay for inspections or problems they perceive. In the end most small companies give up for lack of money to fight them. This is why it is so important for you to protest S. 1310 this month. In October, the FDA is going to try to reclassify herbs and supplements like fish oil as drugs. That will give them the excuse to take off thousands of products and raise the price on the few they clear. You must stop this. 

Update Note:   June 14th, 2012

After two years of research, I have found Moringa Delight products from Nicaragua. They are grown on a plantation with fertile volcanic soil, and without chemicals, pesticides, or herbicides. The products grown, processed, and bottled with modern equipment, modern processing, tested by a FDA lab, and bottled by a FDA lab.  Visit the links below. I am proud to represent this new compan

Bye for now, Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin

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