Friday, October 26, 2012

Cold Frame Worked.......fresh veggies! Duck Dilemma Solved too!

Well the first test ( 3 days of 28 degree temps) in the cold frame worked.  This is a simple wood frame with two sheets of 4mil plastic sheeting over the top. The containers of kale, tomatoes, and chard are inside. You open it from the back to water. This worked for the  past 3 days when it got down to 28 degrees. Even the professional greenhouse sheeting only gives from 4 to 8 degrees of protection.

So this did not do too bad. I got out seven nice big tomatoes from under this cold frame. The squash that was not protected did not survive the first night. I fed the stalks to the goats. 

The ends have dirt over the edges of the plastic to help keep the cold out. The Comfrey also survived and was fine.  We will see how far down, temp wise, this protects.  We get temps down to 10 degrees here and can dip lower than that. A cold frame is an extender for the season only. You must have a heated green house after a certain temperature point.  We did not get the greenhouse done so this was an alternative to see how it worked. There is another section next to this one pictured.

Duck Dilemma Solved.

I built a corral with pallets around their favorite trees (they don't fly) at the end of the current chicken coop. They now have their favorite area underneath the trees to play in. At night they go through an opening into the present chicken coop where they have protection and warmth at night. I don't have to work to get them they are happy and I have less work. I feel if I can give my animals quality of life...I do. In the spring when it is warm again, they will be allowed over the property to eat weeds and bugs. In Nevada right now, there is not much to forage on and the bugs including red ants are underground. They did a great job this summer, eating ants. 

Can You Guarantee Your Moringa Product Will Not Give Me a Allergic Reaction or Problem?

 I got an email this morning from someone who asked if I would guarantee my product would not cause her any allergies or intolerance problems. Would I guarantee that it was organic?  The email is below with my answer. You will get the truth here in this it or not.

I will not be selling Organic Certified.  The product is on its way from the FDA lab now. It will be for sale in a week.

#1  The product I am going to be selling is not organic certified. I never said it was. The producer and his trees were visited and given a through inspection. From that inspection, the owner demonstrated that he does not use chemicals and pesticides in his growing steps. Could he at some point? Yes   
We are not there supervising his plantation. It is not my plantation.

Organically Raised but Not Organic Certified...the Reality

There are many growers who raise their products by organic standards but do not have the money, the many thousands of dollars to go through the months and hundreds of pages of paperwork and regulations. It is not worth it. So they go by the standards, but don't have the label. The hundreds of regulations and stacks of paperwork required by the health dept, the state, the federal government, and the agriculture dept make it prone to growers cheating. They have it so complex, you can't even know sometimes when you are not complying with a rule. The more complicated you make a system, the more room there is for mistakes to occur. When you have  hundreds of workers tending the plants, weeding, picking the produce, separating the good from the bad product, packaging it, .......on and cannot watch every aspect and every worker all the time.  They can cough and not wash their hands, then pick more fruit. They can be sick period and not tell the owner...they will lose work. They can miss a step in cleaning because they are tired. They can miss a step in the process, because they don't care.  Do you think you can have employees who don't make mistakes in the process of your food?  Do you think all of them care if they sneeze, they should wash their hands. I went into the restroom at Smith's market. Two women in there with me, went to the bathroom, but did not wash their hands before leaving.  Your food, no matter where it comes from, it not always safe!!!!!

Honesty in Organic Growing:

#2:  It is known that some organic producers spray their plants when no one is looking. They cheat.  So the integrity of the Organic Certification is up to the honesty and values of the people who manage their crops. There are some who are honest and some who are not. You won't know. They spray at night or at times when they know they won't get caught.  They still have an organic certificate whether they cheat or do not. You are depending on their honesty...which is NOT always deserved.  This is the blunt truth folks. Organic certified not not mean it is not contaminated with dirt, bugs, E-coli, or bug/mouse  parts.  

#3  Intolerance to foods:  This can be caused not from the food but to stomach problems, lack of digestive enzymes, and digestion Mal functions.   It is not always the food itself that is the problem.  If your digestive system is compromised as in colitis and ulcers, IBS,  and other illnesses such as will have trouble digesting food.  

Here is the email I received below:

"Your article about how suppliers feign organic certification was very informative and I thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience.  The importance of finding a source of moringa provided by trustworthy and honest people is essential to me since I have many allergies and intolerance so must be mindful of what I ingest.  Can you tell me truthfully all about your Honduran supplies and suppliers of moringa leaves, powder and seeds?
A reliable supplier of organic produce grown without the use of chemicals is what I am looking for.  If this can be guaranteed and I develop no side effects attributed to chemical fertilisers and pesticides, I would like to start buying in bulk so that I can retail it to my many friends, acquaintances and colleagues .  However; the only way that I will be able to promote a product is if I wholeheartedly know that it is organic, chemical and microbe free."

My answer to this person and to anyone else with the same question: 

xxxxxxxx, No one can guarantee with honesty any product unless they grow it themselves. It is known that even some organic certified producers, spray their crops in the middle of the night when no one knows. I know this personally after talking to an organic farm here, that knows someone who does this. You are fooling yourself, if you think that organic certified is always safe. Read my article on organic certified from India that the FDA found severely contaminated with bug parts and dirt. 

Chemicals are NOT the only problem in food.  Reactions in a food can be caused from allergies such as weeds found in the finished product. 

Reactions can occur from fillers in the product. 

Some Moringa dealers are cutting their product with grass. Its green and so is Moringa. Only a microscope can tell the difference and other tests performed on the product. 

This is a problem with all herb products.  It depends on the tests performed on the bulk to catch dust, dirt, insect parts, E-Coli, bacteria, bugs, aphids, and other contamination other than just pesticides.  You are focusing on one aspect of product contamination.  Mini- wheat's was recalled because of machinery debris in the products.  

There are many steps where the product can be each step from growth to final packaging. 


Important Factors To Read About My  Honduran Product:

I can tell you that the product I will be selling has been tested for contamination and bottled in an FDA lab that is GMP compliant. 

Someone did visit his plantation and tour his facilities that I know who has other business down there.

From that inspection, it was demonstrated  that he does not use chemicals on his trees or artificial fertilizers.  We cannot guarantee that because we are not down there supervising his operation all the time.   It is not our operation and we are not managing that. 

No one else could guarantee that either unless they personally supervised the operation. If you want guarantees, I will not give you those. If someone else does, I would doubt that unless it is their own operation and they are supervising it.  

To order wholesale you must have a resale license and a business....that is the law here in the US.  Ordering for your family and others does not constitute a business.  You must have a resale certificate. I tell anyone who writes the same thing.  I have not said that I will be selling organic certified. I have had the product checked out, the bulk was originally tested for quality, it is tested for contamination and bottled in the US by a GMP compliant lab.

Thank you for writing, 

A last note, no matter how good a product is, you can have allergies to it.  I worked for an allergist years ago.  I would state that no company can guarantee you won't have an allergy or reaction to a is not possible. 

I hope this answers your questions.  The product is on its way here from the lab and will be put for sale in a week.  Kate Freer, The herbladyisin