Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Moringa As a Natural, Effective Plant Growth Stimulator

Moringa contains many properties to improve your health, but that is just the beginning.  Moringa can be used to naturally stimulate the growth of other veggies and plants. Research has shown how Moringa Leaf Extract can increase yields for most crops by 25 to30%. The active substance that causes this is Zeatin. Zeatin increases the growth of lateral buds which stimulates the plant to produce a more bushier plant.

How to Make Moringa Leaf Extract Growth Stimulating Plant Spray. 

#1:  This spray is used along with natural fertilizer applications, not alone on the veggie or plant.

#2:  Grind Moringa leaves and shoots ( young plants). One part Moringa to 10 parts water.

#3: Cover and let sit for a day.  Then filter out the solids and give the solids to your cattle or other farm animals. The easiest way to filter the mix is pouring into through a  a flour sack dish towel, then wringing out the liquids.

#3: Dilute the remaining liquid with water to achieve a 1:32 ratio. Use within 5 hours, spraying it directly on the plant. Use the spray on new plant growth that is at least 10 days old.   Use it again 30 days before the plant is ready to flower, when it begins to seed, and later on when the plant is fully mature.

I cannot say I have tried this myself, but the research has been done and proved.  Here is San Diego, I am saving 20 or so trees for our family.  Once they are big enough, I am going to try this.  Right now, my first goal is to have enough trees for our family to have sufficient leaves to eat and dry for later. 

I have to let you all know again, I cannot give health advice over the phone or in emails. I am not a doctor and cannot legally do so.  I cannot answer questions on other people's products. You must call that company or email them and ask the following questions:

#1:  You you sell your own leaves grown on your property? If you do, how do you grow and process it? Do you have it tested for E-Coli, Mold, and Bacteria? Who and how is your product packaged?  If you sell your own, do you use ONLY your leaves or do you buy from other companies as well? Where does that product come from?  This applies to organic certified as well.

#2: If they advertise that their product is organic certified, ask for their proof!  

#3: If they are importing the product, where is it imported from? Is it always bought from the same country or does that vary? Is your product tested in a US lab?  Is your product packaged in a US lab?  Is the product tested for E-coli, bacteria, and mold?   

Ask these questions to the people you are buying from, not me. I cannot answer them. I can tell you the overall evidence against buying from India and China. I can show you the problems in buying Moringa and other products from foreign countries without investigating the company personally.  

Buyer Beware is true about many things including Moringa. 


I do not sell Moringa products as of Sept, 2016. I am working on a project that demands an unbiased viewpoint. 

If you want to buy from my favorite herb, vitamins, and supplement companies. visit my store here

 Kate Freer, the herbladyisin

Monday, February 24, 2014

I Bought a Moringa Tree from a Greenhouse and It Died Soon After Purchase. Why? Container Do's and Don'ts

I just answered an email from a customer who said their Moringa seedlings grown from seed I had sent them,  died after two weeks of great growth. I wrote him back asking him several questions.  He answered that he was raising them in small plastic cups.  The tap root was hitting the bottom of the cups.  

He was killing the trees with the container.
This is not at our present house but shows the containers and the light they need. These were then taken to pots that were 20 to 33 gallons in size. 

Raised in 33 gal trash cans with drainage holes added. Containers very heavy and hard to move.  You can wheel them around outside to give them a better environment to live in. They were quite happy until winter hit. They were too heavy and tall to get through the door of the house with all the steps.  They did not survive in the unheated shed.  It was just too cold without being in the house.
In Stagecoach, our next home, they were raised in the house. Getting them out was not fun. It was 33 degrees as a high, 1 degree at night the week we moved with snow.  The moving truck would not start. It took them until the next day to fix it. The trees and other stock  froze in the moving truck stuck in the driveway.  Nevada is not the place for Moringa trees.

What Kind of Containers Should I Use for the Moringa Trees:

Once the seedlings have roots, they need warmth, indirect sunlight,  well draining, organic rich soil, and room to grow!

I take my rooted seedlings and put them in 32 ounce cups at the least with drainage holes in the bottom. If they are going outside, they go into one gallons. Mine are all in the house on two tables so put them in 32 ounce containers to get more on the table. 

They will go into larger containers in two weeks when the weather is more stable. The nights here are cold, the days hot, some days cool, and the trees are not happy. They like it hot and stable. They love it once it gets hot and stays that way. They love the summer.  

They will go outside when the temperature is stable and warm, not to a green house. They will be adapted to the real world before I sell them.

My seedlings are not growing quickly because they are not being raised in a heated green house.  I have them on tables in the living room by the huge windows. They are not under grow lights, as in the past, because of the electric bill. I may put them under lights now that we have determined what was creating a $400 bill. It was electric heaters in my father-in-law's bedroom.  I was afraid to add grow lights until we could bring our usage down. You can go online and see what your usage is. Then you try and solve the problem such as getting rid of the electric heaters. Then you go back a few days later and see the results. We also got rid of the electric dryer and got a used gas dryer. We cut our usage by $200 bucks this bill.  The next one will even be lower.  I needed to have a usage line so that I could then see if the lights are too expensive to use.  The sun in the living room is great some days, not so great on days like today that are cloudy. We will have 4 days of rain so that will reduce the light again.  I have serious questions about the trees being raised in green house conditions as with other plants.  They often don't do well in the real world.  I am getting calls from people who have bought trees from other sources and this is what they are reporting to me: 

Read on to learn more on this subject with tips on growing them. 

People call me." I bought a tree from a green house, then it died within a month of taking it home. Why?"

How would you like it if you were being raised in a nice heated, stable environment then rudely taken out into a new home which is not heated, not stable, and very shocking. It dies.  That is not even if you replant it as well. That is the problem with green house grown trees.  The real world is not a green house with temperature controlled conditions. That is why they say once you take it, we offer no returns or compensation if the plant dies. 

The Soil and Container Can Kill the Moringa Seedling: 

This is my suggestions for a healthy Moringa Tree:

They start out in a 32 ounce container. 

When they are a six inches tall, they go into one gallons at least or bigger.

When they are two feet high, they go into three gallon containers if they are to be sold and 10 to 20 gallon containers if I am keeping them.  

Moringa trees have a long tap root.  They need ROOM!. They will die when left in small pots.

Make sure the pots do not get water logged or sit in water! They will get root rot.  

Watch the sun.  Plastic containers can get very hot and burn the roots of plants. I had to move my lettuce into an area with less sun. It is like summer here in California.  

Use well draining soil and pots.   Yard soil containing clay holds water, does not allow for tap root growth, and will promote  root rot.  Yard soil often does not work for pots unless you have amended, rich, organic yard soil.

Do not put them in a place where water sits on the ground.  Create a drainage ditch away from the tree.

Seedlings that suddenly die may be suffering from Gnat larvae in the soil.  You may not see them but if you see adult Gnats, there are larvae. The larvae eat the tiny roots of the seedlings and kill them. Rolly bugs, the gray bugs that roll into balls also eat the baby Moringa seedlings.  

Layer your pots with organic potting soil, then a top layer of clean sand about a 1/2 inch thick. That sand helps kill the Gnat eggs and prevents them from hatching.   I just had to do that with mine. 

Do not use Miracle Grow! Do not use harsh fertilizers!  Do not Over-Water!  Do not leave them in small pots!

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

Buy USDA Organic Certified Moringa Powder, Tea, and Capsules from Ecuador. The products are tested and shipped from a US/GMP compliant lab in Connecticut. 

Visit Nature's Sunshine Herbs, Essential Oils, Flower Remedies, and so much more here

Thanks, Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin


Monday, February 17, 2014

Growing Moringa Trees is Important To Your Survival Plan

Moringa trees grown in 33 gal trash cans. They ended up in the house. Just too cold for survival outside in Nevada.

My belief is that times are going to get nasty and soon. Between what is happening in our country, with the climate changes, and Obamacare and its need to have a back up plan for your family. I remember my mom taking about the Depression years. They ate better than most because they raised their own chickens and vegetables. They ate popcorn for dinner at times, they were so poor. My mom wore flower sack dresses and shoes with holes in them. They did not have any extras.  She was tough and taught me to be tough. She didn't coddle me.

My father- in- law, who is 89,  hunted and fished at 7 years of age to help the family out. They moved into a vacant house and lived there for years. They bought a cow and farmed the lot next to it. They hauled watermelons and other goods to get money for food. They got real creative to survive. 

Most of us have not lived through times like that.  My family was somewhat poor but I had it much easier than my parents or grandparents. My mom made me beautiful dresses. She worked herself into the ground doing everything from cleaning houses to bookkeeping in the later years. My father worked at times. I never felt poor. I never felt disadvantaged.  I grew up loved and with lots of discipline. I grew up learning how to make things work with little. Creativity has always been my gift. I see a object but its use as many other things than it was originally designed for. I make something out of nothing.  That is what so many people today can't do.  If push come to shove, I will do better than most in survival. My husband, a city boy, learned along the way too. Together we think out of the box, and seek the company of those who do the same. It is a must for the coming hard times.

In the next few years, I believe our generation will experience severity of life style, food shortages, and hard, hard times. This is something that most of us are not fully prepared to deal with.  It cannot happen to us we say. Well it has happened in our history and it can happen again. It might be a good idea to get your head out of the hole, and prepare some....any way you can.  Do a little each month on your plan.  There is not a civilization in the world that did not have its high point, but later fell into ruin or devastation. In some cases it was war or climate changes that ended that civilization. In all cases, the empire at the time felt it was unstoppable. History is to learn from. It is too bad that we don't do that. Instead we tend to make the same mistakes over and over.

An article today talks about the drought taking place in California now. Droughts can go for 200 years. Even if it only lasts for only a few years, a good percentage of the crops we all eat are grown in California. 

From 80 to 95% of our vegetables are grown in California. This includes carrots, pepper, lettuce, spinach, fruits such as peaces.  

They are now instructing farmers not to plant crops because of the water shortage. Workers are leaving the area because there is no work. Farm families are losing money and in fear of losing their farms, some with three generations of farming. They are predicting the price of food to sky rocket.  Things do not look good folks.  This is not scare tactics, it is reality and not years in the future. Water rationing is coming to you soon. We will be getting it here this summer.

Our House is a Prayer Answered: 

Why did we move back to California? We get asked this weekly.

We moved back to care for my husband's dad.  We knew that times could get bad here but we felt it was what God wanted us to do.  Those of you who don't believe in God, I give no apologies for my blogs. It is your choice to read them or not. I am at a point in my life, I feel I should stand up for my beliefs, even if I lose readers or orders. I will also gain new customers who share views with me. I do believe in God and he has kept me from death on at least two occasions.  So our move back to California was from the heart. It is also a great place to grow Moringa trees with a climate that is garden-friendly most of the year.

One of the reasons, we rented this special house is because there is a creek on the property. Its funny when we were getting ready to move back here, a man called me up and told me to find a piece of property with a creek. I said to myself, that is going to be a miracle. I began praying for a miracle....a house not too far out where I could have chickens, a garden, and with a creek. It had to be close to town because of my husband's job. It needed to be close to doctors for my father-in-law. That was a hard list. People said we could not find a place to meet all those needs. We found this and it became our new home. The creek is on the property itself. It is not drinkable water but good enough for the garden. The water could also be filtered though a rock, sand, and charcoal filter as well. The creek could dry up completely but the water table is pretty high here in this spot. Water can be pretty cheaply pumped up into the main part of the yard with 15 watt solar panels. We intend to do just that. We won't need hundreds of gallons, just small amounts to keep the garden and Moringa trees going. Moringa trees, once they are established, are drought tolerant. Several could be kept in the house in containers. Any extra water could be applied to those trees. Extra water could come from your shower or from washing dishes. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Why is Moringa a Survival Food?

Moringa leaves are a nutritious food that will keep you going in an emergency. They are one of the few plants that contain protein, calcium, all the amino acids, antioxidants, trace minerals, iron and so much more. One of our first goals after the move back is to reestablish our own set of trees for our personal food storage. This house has a living room with great light and front windows. It is huge and we don't use it much.  There is room for 8 or more trees in the house if we wish to do that. There is room for many more outside. There is a creek for water, at least for awhile. You need to think about this.  Grow several trees in your house if you have sunlight or with grow lights...they might save your life one day.  Keep Moringa powder on hand. Add water and you have a meal to keep you going. If you look at climate patterns, things are getting pretty scary. No matter what is the origin, they are happening. Look to what you can grow in your area be it on your patio, your yard, your neighbor's yard, or in the house. I grew tomatoes in the house in Nevada last year. I used a fan to pollinate them. It worked.  That bush in a 33 gal container had tomatoes up until we moved and I packed up the house. We had Moringa leaves until the moving day. Take the time to see what you can grow for your family with the space you have.  Don't wait until the food prices are so high, you can't afford to eat.  Start a garden and a few Moringa trees now....!

Thanks for reading today, Kate Freer, the Herbladyisin
Update we are now located in Indian Mound, TN 1-15-2015

Buy USDA Organic Certified Moringa Powder, Tea, and Capsules from Ecuador. The products are tested and shipped from a US/GMP compliant lab in Connecticut. 

Visit Nature's Sunshine Herbs, Essential Oils, Flower Remedies, and so much more here

Thanks, Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin


Saturday, February 15, 2014

When Birth Control Leads To Death-Yaz and Yasmin

When I was in my childbearing years, I learned that my genetic history of blood clots made it deadly to take estrogen or birth control pills with estrogen in them.  My risk for blood clots is genetic, coming from my mom who had the same problems.  I got the bad card on that one.  Two newer birth control drugs are being  prescribed to many thousands of young woman yearly, without proper warnings about their dangerous side effects. Learn below which two birth control products can be deadly. 

 YAZ and Yasmin:

Yaz and Yasmin are two of the most popular birth control prescriptions on the market today. They are also prescribed for PMS, bloating, and acne. They can and do cause blood clots, DVT, and pulmonary embolisms. They do cause death. More than 13,000 patients have filed lawsuits against Bayer for prescribing the two drugs without proper warnings or education about the deadly risks.

Bayer has a long history of shady practices including being one of the companies who knowingly manufactured the gas to kill the Jews. Bet you didn't know that, You will find their history buried on the internet. Bayer has other blights on their company record including selling tainted HIV infected blood to third world countries. Bayer is one of several American companies who knowingly helped Hitler in the war.  The head of Bayer was indicted on war crimes, served time, had his company taken away after the war, bought it back later, and took the head position again. Henry Ford, is another American who was one of Hitler's first foreign backers. So your good old boy, Henry Ford, helped Hitler to kill the Jews.

I am not fond of drug companies including Bayer.  Bayer is just one more company who manufactures drugs, hides the side effects, commits fraud on the testing results, and is responsible for killing patients, before they are finally forced to  take the drug off the market later.There are very few drugs that do not come with side effects. There is no research that can show you how several different prescriptions will interact with each other. One person may have one side effect and another have numerous side effects. It is a crap shoot.

So ladies, Yaz and Yasmin, are not safe birth control methods.  If you are taking them, be aware you are creating risks to your life. There are 13,000 women who have found that out.  You may take the drug and be fine or be patient number 13, 001.

This is all for tonight. Blessing to all of you. Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin

Buy USDA Organic Certified Moringa Powder, Tea, and Capsules from Ecuador. The products are tested and shipped from a US/GMP compliant lab in Connecticut. 

Visit Nature's Sunshine Herbs, Essential Oils, Flower Remedies, and so much more here

Thanks, Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin


Friday, February 14, 2014

Learn About the Nutritional Value of Weeds: Why I Love Weeds!

In Stagecoach, Nevada we had few weeds in our yard other than goat heads. I had to work hard to find green fodder for the chickens, ducks and rabbits we raised.   There was not much that grew. Now back in San Diego, there are weeds growing all through our yard and it's a blessing.  I am not crazy, I assure you. Learn how weeds can be a blessing in your yard.

We just got these two rabbits a week ago and ducks will be arriving late in March.  These rabbits will provide rich manure for the garden and the Moringa Trees. I decided this time around I would get lops...rabbits with floppy ears that are very cute, easy to handle, and give my heart joy. I could have started with meat rabbits but wanted rabbits this time...that were more pets.These little guys are sharing the laundry room.  They have freedom to move about with a log and boards set up to give them something to play on. They have a litter box in one corner and are already almost trained. The manure and shavings are important garden soil amendments. Rabbit manure is also great for your worm beds. It does not burn as cow and horse manure does. It does not smell as bad either. 

Our new rabbits get a standard organic rabbit food ration but as a supplement receive Mallow and Filaree everyday for extra nutrients. These edible, nutritious weeds below are also great for rabbits when they are sick, to help them recover.

It is extremely important that you make sure the weeds you pick have not been sprayed with weed killer or other chemicals. That will kill your rabbits with one helping. All weeds and natural growing herbs should not be picked within 200 feet or more of a major road.  The weeds near the roads may have been sprayed or are contaminated with exhaust from the cars. Pick safely and know your plants.

Here are three weeds below commonly found in your yard that are wonderful food for bunnies, ducks,  chickens, and larger livestock.

The native  weed above is called Cutleaf Filaree. Most consider it a nuisance.  It grows in various areas around the US including California, Nevada, and Arizona.  This wonderful weed is considered important forage for cattle, sheep, horses, rabbits, chickens and ducks. If you raise livestock it is additional feed for your animals. It contains protein, calcium, minerals and fiber. It is free food.

The second weed pictured above with round leaves is Mallow.  This does get very tough when allowed to grow. You want to use this nutritious weed when the plants are small, young and tender.  Leaves are edible raw in salads or can be cooked and eaten like spinach. They can be dried and infused in tea as a good source of vitamins & minerals with significant calcium, vitamin A, & vitamin C. Small round seed pods can also be eaten

Dandelions are another very nutritious plant considered by many to be a weed.  I don't have any pictures yet to show on this one. The young tender leaves are good for humans and animals.   They contain 14% protein, Vitamin A,  iron, calcium, minerals, trace minerals, and are good for cleansing. I would give small portions of these to the rabbits because of their cleansing properties. Dandelion tea is good for the liver. Dandelions can be purchased from the store as well. I don't think I will be needing to do that here.

When we get ducks next month, these weeds will become important forage.  Ducks can be raised completely on forage if you have enough and the right kind. One advantage to ducks is they require less feed than chickens once they are several months old.  So all these weeds in our yard are future food for the ducks. I also have an area out front that is full of every kind of forage food. We have a small creek on the property as well. In emergencies, this is important. Lets say there is a time when stock feed is not available. If you have forage material on your property, your ducks, chickens, rabbits, and sheep will survive.  One of the reasons we rented this property is because of the creek and the land avail for planting.  In the city, this is one of a kind piece of property. Many people would see the work involved only. We see the potential for growing herbs, veggies, and Moringa.  It is located in one of the most temperate areas of San Diego, Ca.

These weeds can also be eaten in your salads as well . You need to pick them when they are young and tender. Make sure you wash them to rinse off dirt and insects.  If you have a dog, you also need to pick an area of nutritious weeds that is free from possible dog contamination. 

This is it for this blog...Blessings to All of You! Kate Freer, the Herbladyisin

Update we now live in Indian Mound, TN  1-15-2015

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Recall of 9 Million Pounds of Beef by USDA this Weekend. Our Food Is Safe Here is the US? No, Not Really

I get calls weekly on the safety of Moringa powder. This is an issue you should be concerned about but the food you eat everyday is even more an issue.  The food produced in the US is sometimes bad, contaminated or unfit. This is the headline below in today's news. This did not make the front page. Why is it that movie stars get front page headlines but food recalls don't? Perhaps there is a problem with what is important to people these days. Perhaps it is that we don't want to know where our food comes from and that often it is not safe!

"Is a New Policy Behind USDA's Recall of 8.7 Million Pounds of Beef?"


This weekend Rancho Feeding Corp in Petaluma, Calif., was required by the USDA to recall 9 million pounds of their meat. This unfit meat when to California, Florida ,Illinois and Texas. It seems the company sold meat from cows that were sick and diseased without inspection.  I am sure this goes on with other companies as well, that are not caught. There are not enough inspectors to inspect any of our food including red meat, pork, fish, and produce. 

I had a long conversation with a man who thought that all organic food, each head of lettuce or bunch of carrots, has been inspected.  That is just not true. If we knew some of the circumstances that most of our food is raised and processed with, we would not eat it. Go visit a big, commercial chicken ranch and you won't eat store bought eggs. I buy mine, when I don't have my own chickens, from someone local. I visit with them, see the way they keep their animals, and I know the eggs are healthy.  

In March we have 10 ducks coming.  We love duck eggs and then we won't have to buy eggs. We will have our own again. Soon their will be a blog on the benefits of ducks and duck eggs versus chickens. We had both in Nevada, but this time, we may only keep ducks. We really want both again but chickens are harder to keep out of your garden.  We believe you need to do anything you can, to raise your own food. This has always been my belief.

But We Have Laws To Protect Us From Unsafe Food! 

Laws may be in place, but everyday many companies do not abide by those rules. They bend the rules or forget to apply them at times. Even the companies who do try their level best to adhere to the rules fail. Too many rules and their operations are too large to really watch every worker and every step that is involved in the food process. Your are fooling yourself if you think that our food here does not have problems at times. If this was not true, there would not be recalls of different foods during the year from melons, to spinach, and this week meat. 


 Go to the article on the meat recall and read it for yourself  here

Ways to Get Around Big Farm Food: 
Buy product or meat from a local farm or farmer's market.
Raise your own meat and veggies 
Buy local organic or local grown  ( many local farms produce organic food but cannot afford the money and paperwork to have that status)

It does not matter if you live in the city or in the country. You can all raise a little of your own food or get it from a local source.  Veggies can be raised on porches, patios, and  in the house with a grow light.  In many cities you are now allowed to own up to four hens for fresh eggs.  If you go on Craig's list there are people with meat animals and meat rabbits for sale locally.  It might take some work to find the resources but they are around.  It is up to you to make the effort to provide better quality meats and vegetables for yourself and your family.  If you live in an apartment, there are farmer's markets to buy better quality food.  Give it some effort.  

I don't have the money to eat better food!  ( I hear this all too often)

If most people looked at their budget, they would find gaps where they are wasting money or putting it in places that are less important than quality food. Eat out less and grow your own.  Cut out the junk food, the chips, the sodas, the processed snacks, the empty calories and improve your nutrition.   Most people love Starbucks but the high price and calories are not really a necessity. I see people in the store all the time who have little money but often are buying sugar soaked cereals, chips, sodas, and junk food. My husband works at Walmart as a cashier and he sees it daily. People constantly use their money on poor food choices. This is why many Americans are overweight or obese. This is why diabetes is a huge medical problem in this country.  The size of our waist tells the story of both our eating habits and lack of exercise for the majority of Americans. We have kids with heart disease and high blood pressure.  I said 'NO' when my kids wanted the sugar cereal. I said 'NO' to the junk food. We didn't have much in those days and it went to food that was actually good for them. They whined and cried. I was a mean mom. They got over it and thanked me later. It was hard, but I did not give in to them. You need to say 'NO' MORE OFTEN!   I have been there, even though my kids are grown. 

This is all for tonight. Blessings to all of you. Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin

Buy USDA Organic Certified Moringa Powder, Tea, and Capsules from Ecuador. The products are tested and shipped from a US/GMP compliant lab in Connecticut. 

Visit Nature's Sunshine Herbs, Essential Oils, Flower Remedies, and so much more here

Thanks, Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin


Friday, February 7, 2014

Germinating Moringa Seeds on Coir Fiber? What is Coir?

Last years seed germination tests

Over the past several years I have experimented with several different methods to germinate the Moringa seeds including: peat pots, in sandwich bags, and under a cake carrier.  I have not been completely happy with these methods because the seeds tend to mold.  I also have to say that Nevada was one of the worst places for them to grow period. Humidity, temperature, altitude, and severity of climate are all important factors for success in sprouting the seeds and growing the trees. Even the trees raised in the house did not grow as tall as they should have. The only real seeds I germinated the past three years in Nevada were to test the germination rate of the seeds I was selling online. So this year now living back in San Diego, I thought I would experiment again. The method you choose also depends on the number of seeds you are germinating.  Many of you just want to grow a couple of trees for your family. Most of my readers would not want to buy a coir block to germinate a handful of  seeds. One of our goals in moving back to San Diego was to get our nursery license again and sell trees locally as we did in the beginning of our business. This whole aspect of our business started out with a few seeds sent to me by my youngest daughter who lives in Florida. I germinated them and fell in love. Those few seeds changed the direction of our business and life.   I will begin by growing 20 to 40 trees a month, then expand as sales increase. There is a private owned nursery less than 4 blocks away ready to buy a few trees once I get them up and going. We put up our first of several small green houses this week.

What are Coir bricks and where do you buy them?

Coir is the waste product from the coconut’s outer husk. Germinating seeds in coir or coconut fiber is less familiar to most readers. You will not find coir blocks easily at Home Depot or Lowes. You can buy them online on Amazon or at your local green house supply company. It is used more commercially than by the average gardener. I think in one of the past columns, I told you we bought some over compressed coir bricks several years ago that were discounted. I worked with them then and I could not get them to decompress. I kept them determined to find a way to use them sooner or later. We brought them down with us in this move and decided to try and use them once more. They were nearly 100 bucks discounted.  We soaked them for a week, before they finally got soft enough to break apart. Marty still had to take a shovel and break them in pieces. It was much more work then they should have been, but we are using them up. Coir fiber should easily fluff up when water is applied. This method is used by many of the big nursery companies in their greenhouse operations. When we were living in Nevada I did not sell trees and the coir fiber was not available where we lived. Shipping on the coir bricks is expensive. It is much better to buy it locally without the nasty shipping cost.

Germinating Moringa seeds in coir (coconut) fiber: 

Coir fiber bricks are disease resistant and a pH balanced growing medium that provides excellent air space and holding capacity.The compressed coir fiber brick expands up to 7 times the original size of the brick. The coarseness of the fiber is also important. Finer coir is better for seeds. The bricks come in different sizes from 1 pound to 5 pounds.  Put the brick in a wheel barrel or large tub with a half gallon of warm water for every half pound of fiber. Soak the block for at least 30 min and watch it expand in size. Stir it up along the way. Break it up with a trowel or your hands. When it is fully expanded, squeeze the excess water out. Keep breaking it up until it is a course mix. The link below with pictures is great and has many tips in the article for this method. Please go through that link below first.
Click here for a complete guide on the process. This man is quite experienced in its use.

Using this method, you make a bed of coir or coconut fiber, then lay the Moringa seeds in the coir, after soaking the seeds in water for several hours and draining off the excess water. They were not buried in the coir, just sitting on top of it. I used a plastic tray with a dome as pictured.  So far none have molded and they are sprouting well in that environment. This experiment was a plastic container left over from a deli meal lined with moistened coir fiber. After the sprouts get about 2 inched high, I transplant them into either one gallon pots or larger pots of one sort or another.  You will notice the seeds cracking on many of these seeds pictured. I also used a heated seed mat  under the container as well.  The moisture generated from the moist coir and the dome over it, keeps it moist but not soggy.   I think this method is the one I will use for my seedlings this year.  This tray was an experiment that is working quite well. 40 seedlings have germinated from this one tray. Unless you are going into this with the goal of selling large numbers of trees to people planting acres of them, you do not need a huge operation with expensive green houses and equipment. It depends on your overall goals in your business plan. At 62 with my husband being 67, our goal on this is more humble. Selling the trees is just part of the business, not all of it. We love the smile on people's faces when they see the Moringa trees that they grew up with in the Philippines or India. They look at the tree like a long lost friend.  It warms the heart. If you grew up in the Philippines, you would know the tree. It is known by Mulungaay in some countries. Moringa is called by a different name in each place it grows. In those countries, they pick the leaves off their own trees or buy the fresh leaves at their local market. Here is the US, you generally only find the fresh leaves in Asian markets in areas such as Southern California, Florida, and Hawaii where the people demand culture-based produce and foods.  Moringa is becoming more well known, so in the future, you may find the fresh leaves more commonly in your local supermarket or health food market.

I feel if you can, it is important for you to grow your own trees for your family. Several trees will give your family fresh leaves for salads, teas, and to top other dishes.  It is as organic as you can get. It is a joy to watch them grow and to pick the fresh leaves. If you can, grow your own veggies or a few of is good for your nutrition and your pocketbook. You don't have to worry about where those leaves came know!

Notice the various stages of seed germination. As they get 2 inches tall, I take them out and plant them in larger containers.

We have our first greenhouse up.  It is not one of those expensive ones that costs thousands of dollars. Ours is 10 feet wide by 14 feet.  We will put up two more next. I am sharing this with you so that some of you realize you don't need to start with thousands of dollars and a professional $10.000 green house. You can start humble, then expand as you make money. I am advertising the trees on Craig's list and getting pre-orders already.  I have a nursery that is interested in buying the seedling once I receive my nursery license. On that subject, if you have a small operation, the license is pretty reasonable. The price goes up with the number of acres you plant and the complexity of the operation. One factor is also what you are selling as well and where. Shipping the trees over state lines involves agricultural inspections and layers of paperwork and inspections, which is why I am not doing that for the near future. I do sell seeds as well.  It is important, you look into the law regarding your goals and plans before you begin.  The paperwork required to ship plants is very complex. Is it worth it to do all that? That is a question only you can answer. If you do these things without doing it lawfully, the fines can really be nasty.  Things you should think about. I have people call me often in regard to selling trees and what it takes. Research the laws that apply to your goals in the business. Each state and county is different.

Well this is all for now.  Kate Freer, the Herbladyisin
Update: We now live in Indian Mound, TN as of 1-15-2015


I do not sell Moringa products as of Sept, 2016. I am working on a project that demands an unbiased viewpoint. 

If you want to buy from my favorite herb, vitamins, and supplement companies. visit my store here

 Kate Freer, the herbladyisin