Sunday, January 5, 2014

Moving from Nevada to California....Challenges and Blessings....Our New Home

I want to let you all know that we are NOW located in Spring Valley, California. Spring Valley is located in San Diego County.

People ask us WHY we moved back to California? We moved back both for the business and to take care of my husband's dad.  It was one of those decisions that came from God and our hearts.  Even though there were many elements of Nevada I loved such as the wild horses and quail, there were many negatives for the business.  The climate was very unforgiving and harsh. You could not grow the Moringa trees at all except in the house. Even at that, the trees did not like living in Nevada. San Diego county is one of the only areas where you can grow the trees year round in the United States. Spring Valley is very mild in temperature but gets warm in the summer, which the trees will love. There is a large population here which will help the business grow more quickly. There is an abundance of farmer's markets, swap meets, and clubs for promotion. It is the best place to be for our business. Moving down took a few days longer, so if you called during that time and did not receive a call back, I am sorry. We did not have Internet or phone service for several days.

Moving Is Not Ever Fun.....Lesson Learned....Don't Move in Winter if you can help it! 

Two previous mild winters with no snow led us to believe it wouldn't be a huge problem moving in January. We wanted to be with family for Christmas. We had a new grand daughter who was celebrating her first Christmas. December's cold front hit hard and exactly at the wrong time.We got a half foot of snow a week before moving that did not melt, just froze into slippery frozen ice! Not helpful!

The move down here to San Diego was a nightmare. We packed the truck with a half foot of frozen snow on the ground, temperature highs of 33 degrees and lows of 1 to 5 degrees at night. It made packing the truck a nightmare. The truck had problems starting in the cold. The people who were helping us pack the truck had broken pipes and livestock. Any and every delay took place. We ended up stuck in the driveway two days longer than planned.  I had worked hard to save some of the stock including scented geranium stock.  The Goji berries were so frozen into the ground, they could not be uprooted to take with us. My Comfrey roots froze as well. What stock would fit into the truck, froze. So we lost all the stock.  That was a huge loss of money and plants. There was nothing to do to save them.  It is just one of those events that takes place and you go on from there.  You can either keep looking at the loss or look to the future. I won't say my heart did not hurt with the loss. A lot of tears where shed as I realized that we could not save them.

Snow Boots to T-Shirts 

We came down dressed in snow boots with our fingers split from working in the cold for several days to 75 degrees and tee shirts. It was quite a change all at once. I cannot say I miss the cold, the snow, and the nasty winds.

Settled in and Moving Forward to a Great 2014

It has now been three weeks since we arrived in our new home.  The boxes are mostly gone from the house. We have most things settled in. I can now go back to the business and life here.   This week I bought several tomato plants, peppers, and lettuce.  The hummingbird feeders are hanging up and they have already found them. It is beginning to feel like home.  It still feels odd not seeing the Nevada mountains, the quail, and the neighbors goats.  The reality that this is not a vacation, but our new life is sinking in.  I will start Moringa seedlings in the house this week.  I am excited about that and growing almost anything I want here in our new yard.  We are quite blessed. This house is near everything but has an acre with it. The house has a 15 acre park butt up against the back yard and a small year round creek on the side. When I look out our front patio doors, I see the rest of the property, not people. We only have neighbors on one side. I can even have chickens and ducks once more. The property is flat which is nice. It is also well fenced making it safe for the dog and future flock. It is an oasis in the middle of the city.

Moving and Changing your life demands courage and faith!

You need to ask God for what you want. I believe in prayer and this place is a prayer answered. One of my readers called me one day and during the conversation told me I needed a place with a creek on it. The odds of finding a place close into town with a creek were pretty slim. Yet, that is what I added to my prayer in trying to locate a suitable house in San Diego. We have a creek.  So even though we are starting over, it is in a place where I can grow almost any plant. So that is a huge blessing in our lives.  So when you are praying, be specific, and ask God for what you need. Then believe you will find it or receive it.  It took a lot of faith to move down here. It took a lot of faith to find this house while still living in Nevada. You must step out of your comfortable box and see the next step. That is hard to do at times. So if there is something you need to change this year, this brand new 2014 year, step out in faith.

Blessings to all of you in 2014.  Kate Freer

Update: We are now located in Indian Mound, TN as of 1-15-2015

Thursday, November 14, 2013

How do I Store Unused Moringa Seeds?

Winter is here and the time for planting Moringa seeds is past unless you have a heated green house or sun room.  They need warmth and sunlight to grow properly. If you plant them now without the above elements, they will either not grow at all or grow poorly. So since you received seeds with your order, what is the best way to store them?

#1:  Do not store Moringa seeds in the freezer or refrigerator as you would some types of seeds.  This will destroy them. They are a tropical plant who craves warmth. Every kind of seed is different in its needs to sprout and grow. Some seeds need a winter rest or cold to help them sprout Some seeds are only planted once the frost is gone. Some seeds need to be planted toward the summer months.  So research your different seeds you want to plant and what is needed for them to sprout and grow. 

#2: Store them in air tight container in a warm, moisture free shelf or room. Moisture will cause them to mold in the bad.

$3:  Start your seedings in the Spring in the house as you would your tomato seeds and other touchy vegetable plants. If your house is kept cold they will not sprout. Using grow lights and a heating mat will help them to get started. Don't over water the soil or they will mold or rot...just moist NOT wet. They hate wet feet and waterlogged soil. Their soil and container must drain well.

#4: DO NOT plant them outside until all danger of frost is over and when it begins to be warm and sunny.  If you take them outside too sun, they will not grow well. They may even turn up their leaves and die. They are a 'I love the sun and warm weather kind of plant'.

All for Today!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Move is On...... Back To Califormia.

This is great news for us. We have found a house that includes a half acre to grow herbs, a garden, and Moringa seedlings. We will be back in San Diego on Dec 15th.

If you need to order between the 10th and 15th, it cannot be sent until the 16th of Dec. Everything will be packed up between those dates and we will be on the road.

I do thank a number of readers who called me offering support and prayers to find the right house. It was difficult trying to find a house from such a great distance away.  We needed it to be close to town for my husband's job but with a rural feel and some room to grow things. We can even have chickens again.  There is a small creek that runs through the property and the back yard butts up to a 15 acre park.  That seemed impossible but we found one. I can plant my blackberries along the creek bed.

I do not believe without prayer and faith, we could have found it. In San Diego there are thousands of homes with concete patios, small yards, with neighbors looking over your wall. Many of them do not allow even a small dog, much less chickens.  It was a rare find.

So Moringa and Healing Herbs will be in moving mode from December 10th through the 16th.  We will be then based in Spring Valley, Ca!

Remember, there is FREE Shipping for orders of three or six bottles of Moringa caps or combined products during November.  Save money ordering this month! Order Here

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Moringa Business Moves Back To California......Wagon Ahead

Life presents opportunities and changes for our business.  After months of introspection and thought, we are moving back to California. One reason is to care for my husband's father who is beginning to need more help and two for the business.

Every day I turn down calls from customers who want to buy Moringa Trees. Our business began and was inspired in California.  It is one of the few places in the United States where the trees will grow there and thrive. We have many customers there in the past who still call us to see if we are growing trees again. Even though California is more expensive to live in, moving there will help our business to expand due to the inflow of customers, farmer's markets, and outlets to make the trees available.

We will be moving between Dec and January.  I will let you know our progress in a few weeks.  The main goal is to find a house with some room to grow the trees.  That is where faith in God and his help comes into play. It is not easy finding the right house from this far away. It needs a helping hand from God. I am convinced he will provide just the right place to land. So for those of you who have written to ask when we will have trees available. We should be selling trees again by May.

Send me an email and I will put you on a list for spring. I will also be selling Goji berry starts, and scented geranium starts.  I am not sure what else, but those are the top choices on our list.

Update: We are now located in Indian Mound, TN as of 1-15-2015

Friday, September 20, 2013

Moringa, Drugs, and Spices That Come From India...Are They Safe To Eat?

I get several calls a week on why I will not buy or sell Moringa from India or Moringa that has not been tested and bottled in a US lab....this is the answer below. 

Is the product you bought from India Safe? This includes spices such as Turmeric and even some of the drugs you may be taking. 

No... they are probably NOT safe even if the product is organic certified or packaged in an India lab. 

I receive 3 calls a week on this subject referring to products customers have bought from other companies who sell India Moringa. They want my opinion. 

My answer and the evidence is given below.  This article shows how spices, drugs, and Moringa grown and packaged in India are inferior in quality. It demonstrates how bad the India labs for their quality control procedures.

My Moringa caps come from Moringa grown in Honduras and is tested for Mold, bacteria, E-Coli  and bottled in a US lab. 

Twenty-Five percent of the black pepper, cumin, chili, or cardamon you use in your cooking is imported from India. India is the largest exporter of spices in the world!

Look at the evidence below from three different articles on India labs. This evidence supports my answer on the safety of products from India including Moringa powder.

The second part is on my experience trying to import organic certified Moringa powder from India several years ago. It is why I no longer sell product grown or packaged in India or China.  My experience proved that organic certified from India can be grossly contaminated. Herbs in India are not regulated to the extent of drugs. So if drug production fails the FDA inspections, what quality does the herb production have?  
Two of the articles were published this week on three India labs that failed inspections for drugs they produce. Drug production undergoes more intense examination than herb production does. This statement was repeated on purpose.

So the fact your Moringa product was produced by an India lab or is organic certified does not mean much. Please read the full articles that these excerpts come from. It will open your eyes to the truth. 

First Article excerpts

'MUMBAI, India (AP) -- Shares in India's largest pharmaceutical company plummeted Monday after U.S. regulators issued an import warning on one of its factory's products for failing quality control inspections."

With revenues of $2.3 billion for the last fiscal year, Ranbaxy is the leading drug maker in India's $26 billion generic pharmaceutical industry, but it has been plagued with problems in the U.S.

In May, the company's American subsidiary agreed to pay $500 million in fines and penalties for selling adulterated drugs and lying to federal regulators, the largest financial penalty against a generic drug company for violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which prohibits the sale of impure drugs. 

In late 2012, another subsidiary, Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc., was forced to halt production of a generic version of the cholesterol drug Lipitor to investigate how tiny glass particles got into the ingredients used for dozens of batches that had to be recalled. It was Ranbaxy's second recall of the drug in three months.

Two years ago, the FDA struck a deal that required Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. to undergo extra oversight and review from a third-party and improve its drug making procedures. "

 Read the full article Here

Second Article and Three excerpts from this article........

"New Delhi: Many Indian drug makers find themselves on wrong side of American rules, the US health regulator FDA says they are finding contaminants like filth, pesticides and insect parts in drugs manufactured here, but similar problems exit in many other countries as well."   

Listing out the problems encountered by its investigators in India, FDA said these were similar to those seen around the world and include issues associated with quality systems implementation, data integrity, and validation of various processes used in manufacturing or testing.

"FDA also encounters adulteration with contaminants that shouldn't be there, like microbiological agents (such as salmonella, listeria), or products identified with unapproved chemicals or pesticides, or presence of filth (such as foreign bodies, insect parts).

Third article on violations by other India labs:

"With regard to the second company, Himachal Pradesh-based Sentiss Pharma (formerly Promed Exports), the FDA said the company failed to establish adequate systems for monitoring environmental conditions and for cleaning and disinfecting the room and equipment in aseptic processing areas.

At least six Indian drug makers have been issued such warning letters so far this year by the FDA, which has also ordered recall of certain drugs manufactured in India.

Wockhardt and Fresenius Kabi received warning letters last month, while Hospira Healthcare India and RPG Life Sciences got such letters in May.

Besides, the FDA recently also clamped down on 15 companies globally, including Gujarat-based Amrutam Life Care, for illegal sale of drugs labelled as dietary supplements and ayurvedic products for treating diabetes.

Others having faced FDA action for non-compliance with various US regulations include Ranbaxy, Dr Reddy's Labs, Sun Pharma, Cadila, Aurobindo Pharma and Glenmark. "

My own experience below importing organic certified Moringa: This is the original Hold Notice by the FDA. Contaminated organic certified Moringa powder and caps packaged for resale in the United States: 
The yellow below highlights the contamination found in that shipment:

United States Food and Drug Administration
Notice of FDA Action
Southwest Import District
FDA will not request redelivery for examination or sampling, if the products not released by FDA are moved, following USCS conditional release to a location within the local metropolitan area or to a location approved by the FDA office at the number below.

All products in this entry not listed above may proceed without FDA examination.  This notice does not constitute assurance the products involved comply with provisions of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or other related acts, and does not preclude action should the products later be found violative.
Entry Number:
February 18, 2011
Notice Number:
Date Received: January 28, 2011
Port of Entry:
2501, San Diego, CA 
Arrival Date:
January 27, 2011
Ferrer Brokers
9840 Via De La Amistad
Suite B
San Diego, CA  92154
Broker Box:
Importer of Record: Lona Cathryn Freer, Alpine, CA  91901-5409
Lona Cathryn Freer, Alpine, CA  91901-5409
The following products are subject to refusal pursuant to the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&CA), Public Health Service Act (PHSA),or other related acts in that they appear to be adulterated, misbranded or otherwise in violation as indicated below:
Product Description
Respond By
March 11, 2011
You have the right to provide oral or written testimony, to the Food & Drug Administration, regarding the admissibility of the article(s) or the manner in which the article(s) can be brought into compliance.  This testimony must be provided to FDA on or before the dates shown above.
Please direct your response to:
Brett W. Podoski, Compliance Officer (CTNH)
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
9777 Via De La Amistad, Rm. 128
San Diego, CA 92154
(619) 661-3250 ext. 117
(619) 661-3195 (FAX)
2 Page:
Notice Prepared For:  The District Director, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Notice Prepared By:   CAW
FD&CA Section 501(a)(2)(A), 801(a)(3); ADULTERATION
The article appears to have been prepared, packed or held under insanitary conditions whereby it may have been contaminated with filth, or whereby it may have been rendered injurious to health. Actual charge:
501(a)(1) Filth findings: sample was found to contain over 1800 insect fragments in six subs examined for an average of 300 insect fragments per sub.  One sub also contained 3 rat/mouse hair fragments.

FD&CA Section 502(b)(2), 801(a)(3); MISBRANDING
The article is in package form and appears to not have a label containing an accurate statement of the quantity of the contents in terms of weight, measure or numerical count and no variations or exemptions have been prescribed by regs. The quantity of contents statement on the product labeling is listed in grams only and lacks the US customary terms of avoirdupois pounds and ounces.

FD&CA Section 505(a), 801(a)(3); UNAPPROVED NEW DRUG
The article appears to be a new drug without an approved new drug application. Product making drug claims: per website www. - prevents 300 diseases, stabilizing effect on blood pressure, and control of glucose levels in diabetes

This is the shipment that came with glowing reports from the agency that gave this well known company the organic certification.  I lost a lot of money on this shipment. It was destroyed at the customs office.  This is why I don't buy product grown and packaged in India.

God bless all of you!

Monday, August 19, 2013

What's Eating My Potato and Pepper Plant Leaves? Update on Garden

Well I learned a valuable lesson this month. Horn worms eat more than just tomato plant leaves and tomatoes.  They have a voracious appetite for many vegetable plants.

Potato Plants before the evil invasion.
This is the first year I have grown a full garden in a few years. I planted onions and potatoes for the first time ever. The plants grew beautiful with each week. Then something went wrong.  I went out to the garden every morning to find my potato plant leaves stripped. I thought it was quail that were the culprits.  Low and behold too late, I found the evil ones ....horn worms. There were at least 40 horn worms eating their hearts out.  I picked them off for over an hour.  This guy and his friends got away with vegetable plant mayhem. They were big enough to put a saddle on. I found that they will eat pepper plants and Goji berry leaves as well.  

The worst thing about them if that they blend in so well into the plant, that they are hard to spot until they have demolished half the branch. I have tri-focals so that makes it even harder to find them when they are small.

Early morning or evening is the easiest time to spot them. The light has to be just right. Look at your plants from different angles as well.

They are sprays and chemicals to kill them, but I don't use toxic stuff on my plants. I have enlisted my husband to help find them, since he doesn't wear glasses.  I now look for these guys the first time I see a branch with missing leaves. If you see little black pellets, that is their excretions. So look for the worms on branches above the droppings. The plants will come back once you pick off the worms and give it some fertilizer to boost the growth. The damage from the horn worms does set it back for several weeks.  I am hoping for my first homegrown potatoes.

Will ducks and chickens eat horn worms? Mine will and they fight over them.  So they at least make the critters a good treat.

Garden Progress so Far:  I am going to write a separate blog of the different types of berries I am growing and why. Each berry has some exciting research on their health benefits. Since most of them are rather expensive at the supermarket, I am growing them here on our place. They do take a lot of water and water here in Stagecoach is very inexpensive.

Blackberry Plants.....first crop this year. Just enough for a treat but next year look out ...blackberry jam. Talking about Jam. My sister in Tennessee makes the most awesome jam in the world. I have found that blackberries is a substitution for chocolate. I have no idea why but it works. I decided to  give up my only vise...chocolate. I never over-ate but always had a little every day. Despite all the good benefits in chocolate, it still is a processed calorie filled food. I felt it could be causing a rash problem so gave it up as an experiment.  At the same time, my sister sent me some of her blackberry jam with real berries and seeds in it. She uses very little sugar. It is mostly fruit.  I used a tablespoon on my toast and found I did not crave chocolate that day. So I have been using it since. The stuff you buy in the store does not work. It is high in sugar with a small amount of fruit.   I now buy frozen blackberries as well and put some into my yogurt.  It really is a healthy substitution when craving something sweet. Blackberries have a wealth of health benefits as well which deserves a blog of its own.  They are expensive so that is why I planted a blackberry patch this year. I will expand on it next year. Mulching and lots of water is the reason for my success in this harsh climate.

Aronia Berries:  Two out of three plants survived and are thriving now.  They will bare no berries this year but next year should be great. I am growing berries that are the highest in ORAC Values and health benefits. I bought seeds so will grow a whole row of them next year.

Elderberries:  I have three small bushes that have struggled for survival. I won't know until next spring if they can be grown here. The people who I bought them from, experts, have told me they should do fine.  The final verdict is out until next year. I am giving them all the care I can.

Onions:  Great first crop of yummy red onions!

Green Beans:  ready to pick in a few days.....this was from 20 year old bean seeds we found in an old house we stayed in for a year.  It was an experiment to see if they would sprout and actually have beans. Pretty cool for 20 year old seed.

Tomatoes:  Those are doing great! Most of them grew up from left over seeds in the soil from last spring. I didn't plant new seed.

Goji Berries:  I would have pictures of the fruit but I keep eating them first. The picture below is of the bushes. The house serves as a windbreak against the winds. They have done exceptionally well here despite being uprooted several times in moves. Next year they should have twice as many berries.  They are so good for you.

Goji Bushes along the front of the house.

Squash Plants: I have vigorous plants that are just starting to bare baby squash.  We have picked the first ones this week.  Interestingly, the ducks love the leaves. They eat them up like candy. Next year I will grow some extra bushes for them to feed on. Their need to forage is rough in much for them to eat. They get Comfrey leaves, Swiss Chard leaves, squash leaves, and weeds as additions to their pellets when I can find them.  They will only eat their duck feed if nothing else is available. They eat red ants too which is one reason to have them on the land.  They eat lots of bugs and work hard for their duck feed.

This year has given me much greater inspiration for growing here.  You must be smarter than the winds and the harsh elements.  That involves experimenting and being innovative in your gardening methods. Overall I have succeeded in most of the gardening endeavors here.  I hauled my Moringa trees outside.  I put them with the house as a windbreak.  This was several weeks ago. I will have pictures soon here.  They cannot be left out after about the middle of November when the first frost will hit.  So matter how much innovation I use, Moringa trees do not survive freezing temperatures.  There is only one other option for winter and that is a heated green house.  So that is just the reality.

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Herbally Yours, Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Tips to Help Your Plants Beat This Scorching Heat

There is only one word to describe our area the past few days....deadly heat. It it rarely 106 degrees in our area,  even in August. This is only July and the beginning of summer.  I already had most of my garden planted.  When this abnormal heat wave began, I had to think fast to try and save my garden.  We have little shade on this property so I needed to use creativity to 'create' some plant relief from the heat.

Water Deeply:  I water my plants twice a day. The heat just sucks out the moisture from the soil.
Plants in pots will dry out more quickly than plants in soil.  The roots will burn up in the pots. Cover black plastic pots with cardboard or other material to help save the roots. Put potted plants under trees, under taller bushes, or under shade cloth.  Mulch these plants as well. You may have to water more often than once or twice a day. 

Mulch all your plants! I used rotted straw.  I had two bales of rotted straw ( $9.00 a bale) sitting on the property.  I took that rotted straw and mulched around all the different plants. Then I soaked it. Rotted straw holds moisture better than good straw. In this bed there are two pepper plants, blackberry bushes, and some beans. Before the mulching, the pepper plants nearly died with the heat. As these baby beans get taller, I will add more mulch. I also added shade over them with a pallet and old wood.  The pie pans suspended from twine helps to keep the quail out.

Create shade with cardboard, boxes with the sides cut out, old sheets, shade cloth, pallets, old wood....anything that will help shade them when the temperatures reach triple digits.  These tools may not land your garden into the Better Homes and Garden Magazine but it will save your plants. Times are harsh so use what is at hand or cheap to get the job done. 

This bed of Comfrey plant is covered with an old fitted sheet.

These boxes with the sides cut out, top remaining is covering three little elderberry plants that were getting burned by the sun. They are surround by mulch as well.  Doing this is showing a difference in only two days. Their leaves were burning away in the sun.

Create Micro-Climates:

Picture #1 below shows the placement of this wooden container of pepper plants underneath this huge Russian Olive. The Branches help shade the pepper plants and protect them from the winds.

Picture #2 shows this tomato planted in this large trash can moved over to an area with these large elm trees in back of it. The trees also shelter it from the winds we get here.  The air is cooler there because of the trees.  It has some shade and sun during different parts of the day.

Move potted plants under shade trees or near hedges. 

I had to be careful how I placed this plant. I have chickens and ducks behind the pallet fence. They can fly up on the edge of the pallet fence. They roam the whole property but this area is their shade yard. The duck pools are in under the trees too. Chickens will eat your tomatoes, green or ripe. They will also dig in the planter if you don't protect the plant.  All my garden areas are protected by either chicken wire, plastic fence wire, or cages. We have quail, chipmunks, wild rabbits, and the farm ducks and chickens. 

Hope this helps.....keep cool with lots of water!  God bless all of you.
Happy July 4th tomorrow. Drive safe....don't drive and drink!

Kate Freer, the Herbladyisin