Everyone meet our newest addition. And her name is- well, actually we don't have a name for her yet but isn't she so precious just the same! You may be wondering why our cow is giving birth in December, that's usually a spring thing right? Yes and no. Most ranchers calve in the spring and a few calve in the fall but if you have dairy cattle you calve all throughout the year in order to keep in milk. .
We choose not to separate the calf from it's mama after birth though this is the norm of big dairy farms. Mama cows never get to see their babies again after giving birth. This way dairies can get more milk and go about milking without the bother of a calf distracting mama cow. I can't imagine taking a baby away from it's mom like that. I don't care if they are cows. Mammals are meant to take care of their own babies.
There are actual benefits to keeping mommy and baby together as well. The mama cow produces antibodies and passes them onto the baby through the milk building the babies immune system. The antibodies can change depending on the environment. If the baby is in a different place than mama cow, even if it is being fed mama cow milk in a bottle, it may not be getting the right antibodies it needs for the environment it is in. The calf has virtually no immune system when it is born so it is very dependent on mama to build one for it. If this isn't reason enough, (oh but it is!) milk replacer is expensive and worst of all filled with GMOs. We certainly don't want to be feeding any of that! .
This does make things a little more tricky for the first week or so. Mama may not want to let down her milk for us. They can actually hold the milk back. They sometimes do this to save the milk for the baby. I'm amazed by this. I don't remember having any control of that when I nursed my babies. When mama cow decides she doesn't want to share we have to bring the calf in and let it start nursing. Mama cow then lets down her milk and we can proceed to milk her. After a week or so we start separating the calf out at night. We milk the mam in the morning then she spends the rest of the day with the calf. The mama spends some time in the calf's pen on the way to the milking stanchion (where she is milked) so she is exposed to anything she may need to make antibodies for to pass on to the baby.
You can see in the picture that Pippy is not getting any grain while she is being milked. Nope. She is 100% grass fed like all of our livestock. She is perfectly happy and perfectly healthy. And look at her butter. Wow that is yellow!
Poultry that have access to grass have brighter yellow yolks and grass fed dairy animals have yellower cream and butter. Why is that? Because they are higher in beta carotene and omega-3 fatty acids, a result from eating all that grass. Grass fed butter is also 5 times higher in CLA ( thats the good cholesterol, conjugated linoleic acid.). CLA reduces body fat by increasing metabolic rates. In a study in Costa Rica, Scientists found that participant who consumed more full fat dairy were 49% less likely to have a heart attack. It turns out we need healthy fats like nuts, avocados, coconut oil, and full fat dairy products. Another interesting thing is that you actually digest full fat milk better than skim or reduced fat milk.
Raw milk has added benefits that pasteurized milk does not. Raw milk is filled with enzymes and probiotics that help in digestion and supports a healthy gut. The process of pasteurizing kills all these enzymes and probiotics. After you that you have dead milk. Leave it on the counter and it turns putrid. Leave raw milk on the counter and it turns into clabber. It doesn't go bad it goes different. It ferments and you can use it to culture cheese or yogurt and make all kinds of goodies with it. The fermenting process increases the amount of good bacteria or probiotics. It use to be a common thing the make clabber and fermented dairy products. If you ask your grandma or grandpa they probably consumed it on a regular basis. It is no wonder that the further away the nation gets from whole, fresh, and raw foods and move to prepackaged and processed dead foods, the nation gets sicker and sicker.
We are blessed to have fresh raw milk daily. Safe, healthy and delicious!
Happy, healthy, clean, eating,
Fall is a very busy time of year for most everyone. Quick dinners are essential. We used our farm fresh eggs, fresh cilantro from the garden, some tomatoes from the greenhouse, and few purple onions also from our garden. MMMMM, it was delish! oh so easy, and fast! and that = perfect.
We got to double yokers. That means that there were two yokes in one egg. Yes, that also means that two chick can hatch out of the egg. However they are usually not as strong and it is not recommended that you hatch double yokers. That's ok, the kids enjoy getting them and finding the two yokes and the eggs are larger than normal as well.
Crack you eggs into the pan and sprinkle with seasonings then flip them when they are ready.
Once they are flipped you want pop the yokes and add the topping so that they can heat up and the cheese can melt by the time the egg is cooked.
I start with chopped onions then I add the cilantro and tomatoes. At this point I suggest adding more seasoning. So that all the toppings get a good dose. Then to top it all off add the cheese.
I am so grateful for that we are still getting some tomatoes from the greenhouse. There is nothing like fresh tomatoes! I think that these rainbow tomatoes are so beautiful sliced. For some reason it just seems to make them more enjoyable to eat then other tomatoes as well.
Tomatoes, onions (preferably purple), and cilantro always go good together. We like to make little quesadillas with them or throw them in with some beans for a bean salad side dish and don't forget the cumin.
Now that you have all of your topping piled on put a lid on your pan to help the cheese melt. If you don't have a lid to fit your favorite frying pan then you can use a baking sheet. We love our cast iron skillets. This one has a lid that can also be used a a shallow frying pan. It is very handy for making tortillas, flat bread or as an extra pan for frying. When the cheese is all melty and dripping down to the pan then your eggs are done.
Now isn't that a quick little meal. Now let me show you how to make clean up a breeze. It is actually my daughter's idea. She likes to cook and help with meal preparation, or just plain does it quite a bit.
As you can see in the picture below, the cutting board is in a cookie sheet. well actually this time it is in a pizza pan, anyways... This way any juices that accumulate, any scrapes from whatever you may be cutting up, like onion skins or tomato stems, are collected on the cookie sheet instead of all over the counter. Take the Cookie sheet to the compost bin to get rid of all your scrapes then to the sink for a quick rinse and you are done! Yeah!
We have not used this trick when cutting large things like winter squash. I would caution against that because they can be difficult to cut to begin with and it may cause the cookie sheet to move around making it dangerous. Otherwise chop and slice away!
Enjoy your quick and easy meal and happy fall!
Wow! I thought my son was playing some trick on me when he brought this worm in. I looked it over and as you can tell from the video and pictures, this is the real thing. It looks so strange moving about, curling itself around. Once we took some pictures and the video we let it go in the yard.
I'm sure we will never find another worm like this again. The funnest thing about it is the kids amazement. My oldest son was surprised that it lived so long to get that big. He couldn't, nor I, figure out how it tunneled through the ground with two heads. Do you think that it tried to go two different directions at once? I guess the strongest head would win but like my son said, that wouldn't leave much time to eat and such so that it could grow and live. I guess it will always be a mystery.
Speaking of amazing creatures the kids found, look what else they found just a few weeks ago. Yep, That's a Praying Mantis. We bought an egg case a couple of years ago but I didn't figure that any would survive the North Dakota winters. I was proved wrong. This seems like a pretty healthy praying mantis, it is quite large. We are praying that it is a female that will lay more eggs.
Such fascinating insects. I think of them as the lions of the garden. They are fierce predators eating all kinds of harmful pests. May this beautiful praying mantis leave a healthy egg case tucked somewhere safe in our garden. She and her relatives are always welcome on our farm!
What kind of interesting insects have you found in your garden?
Happy, healthy, clean living!
We are so grateful to be able to share fresh organically raised heirloom produce with our customers. It is truly a blessing. In doing so we pray that more people will learn about the importance of "clean" food, going non-GMO, and knowing where your food comes from. But it all began to provide our family with all that aforementioned good food, so we would know exactly what we are eating and what went into it. So our children can learn how to raise their own food and the difference between homegrown heirloom produce and commercially raised GMO counterfeit food. So far it looks like we have succeed (thank you LORD). Our kids love gardening and eating the vegetables. Heck, they don't even bother washing the dirt off. A few swipes of the hand is sufficient enough for them. Oh, it's great!
So with this comes canning, drying, freezing and fermenting. That is a lot of work but once again my kids love being a part of it and that helps tremendously. It takes a lot of food to feed this big ol' family!
The sweet peppers did not do the greatest this year but we had an explosion of hot pepper. My daughter just reminded me how I had said that I wanted a lot of hot peppers because we are about out of our red pepper flakes from the previous year. Oh I got it. We have over a gallon of ground red peppers. I think I will concentrate on sweet peppers next year!
After we get 150 plus quarts of purred tomatoes canned we start canning salsa, wings sauce, tomato paste, ketchup, or what ever new thing we find. We are always looking for new recipes. This year my daughter has really taken a liking to canning and has done all the tomatoes so far.
In addition to all the tomatoes we can beans, carrots, peppers and fruit. Also blanch and freeze greens, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. The kids picked about 6 gallons of wild plums and made plum preserves. They also picked bull-berries. They are cleaned and stored in the freezer so we can can them when all the other canning settles down. They are very good at identifying edible fruit and plants in the wild and it is one of their favorite pastimes. There was a time when almost everyone could do such a thing. I'm so grateful my children are learning those skills.
The onions and garlic have already been taken care of and are put away neatly on the shelves. However we still have to harvest the potatoes and carrots and beets. These can be harvested last because the frost isn't going to hurt the root. They store so well in the ground- at least until the ground freezes so we hold off on them while we get the other canning done.
This year we have started fermenting. OH. MY. GOSH. It is SO easy. Just cut up your choice of veggie, put it in a jar, cover it with filtered water and salt if you'd like, put the lid on a wait a week. And that is it! Now you have a jar of super healthy, probiotic filled veggies. One more skill that was almost lost. Fermenting food was an everyday thing for our ancestors. These probiotics are so good for a healthy gut and good digestion. But that is for another post.
So now you see why there was no September newsletter. But I know that you are the understanding type. Thank you and may you have a blessed fall!
Happy, healthy, clean living,
Most likely your great grandparents did it, maybe even you grandparents. They saved seeds. Why? Well there weren't as many options back then for one but more importantly they knew the value in it.
Saved seeds are not the same as purchased seeds. All seeds grow- well, except for the GMO terminator seeds that produce sterile offspring. You know just a little insurance that the farmers have to go to the big ag/chemical companies to buy their seed. Sorry side tracked, but I couldn't help it. Anyways, most seeds grow so what is the difference? Each seed has a genetic make up that helps determine how well it will grow, how much fruit it will produce, and how well it will cope with the pressures of the environment that it is in. Lets take a Rainbow tomato for example. All the seeds collected from a rainbow tomato will produce a rainbow tomato but there are slight differences in each plant. You can capitalize on this with just a little effort.
Did you have several plants that did better than the others? This is where it all begins. In a year of drought like the one we just had there are going to be some plants that do better than others. Some that tolerated the drought better. If you save seeds from these plants and plant them the following year then save seeds from the plants that tolerate less water that year and so on you will soon have a drought tolerant variety.
Maybe it isn't drought tolerance you are after. Perhaps you get plenty of rain where you are but your tomatoes are prone to blight. Then you would select those that are most tolerant to blight. And the same goes for any plant that you grow. Isn't that awesome! You do not need a seed company to plant a garden. Most seeds are very easy to harvest. As simple as letting the plant go to seeds, collecting the seed, then letting them dry and storing them. (I've included a mini seed saving guide below)
Some varieties take a little more but nothing that you can't handle. Lets start with tomatoes. If you slice open a tomato and take a look at the seeds you will see that they are surrounded by a gelatinous sack. We don't want this gelatinous sack but it is very easy to get rid of. First slice your tomatoes down the middle horizontally. Now squeeze the seeds into a small bowl. Do this with all the tomatoes you are wanting to save seeds from being sure not to mix the seeds of different varieties and label each kind. Next add a little water to the bowl and place it somewhere that you will not be able to smell it. It gets a little stinky but it is only for a few days. This is where we get rid of that gelatinous sack around the seeds. Leave the bowl with the added water to sit for about three days. It will ferment and grow a thin layer of mold on top. This is what would happen to the tomato if it were to be left outside. The tomato would rot freeing the seeds and then come spring they would sprout. Once they have grown the mold add a little more water then use your finger or spoon to swirl the contents around. Carefully pour out the floating contents. The fertile seeds will sink to the bottom. You may have to do this several times and you will loose some good seeds so be sure to account for that when you are determining how much to save.
Now all that is left to do is let the seeds dry-make sure they are completely dry, then place them in a plastic zip-lock bag or mini manila envelope and label with the variety and year. You did it and you are on your way to tomatoes that are perfectly accustomed to your growing conditions! Pretty easy right?
*Please not that you can only save seeds from open pollinated varieties. Hybrids will not produce a true to type seeds and may not even be fertile at all. I suggest using heirloom varieties.
Here's a little recap-video form:
Saving other seeds
Beans- let them fully mature on the plant then pick them, let them dry completely, take out the beans and store.
Cucumbers- let the cucumbers grow until they are overly large and turn yellow. Bring them inside and let sit for an additional two weeks. This give a higher fertile rate. Cucumbers general don't produce a lot of fertile seeds so save plenty of cucumbers. Once the two weeks are over scoop out the seeds and process the same as tomato seeds.
Peas- let them grow to full maturity then bring them into dry. Harvest the seeds from the pod then store.
Spinach- allow plant to go to seeds then wait for the seeds to mature and dry. Once it has turned brown pull off the seeds and let it dry completely then store.
Peppers- choose fully ripe peppers. Slice down the middle, extract the seeds then allow to dry before storing. If you are working with spicy peppers be sure to wear gloves or you will have burning hands.
Swiss chard- Much like spinach, allow seeds to turn brown before collecting then bring them in to finish drying before storing.
Squash- Allow the squash to grow until the skin is hard and can't be easily puncture with a finger nail, cut it open, extract the seeds, clean the flesh from them then allow to dry completely before storing.
Herbs- For most herbs is all you need to do is allow the plant to flower and go to seed, wait for the seed to turn brown then carefully remove the seed. Bring it inside and allow the seed to finish drying before storing.
Carrots- Carrots are biennials meaning they only go to seed every other year. That means they have to overwinter then come back up to produce seed. I have had plenty of carrots go to seed the first year which can be handy for the seed saver in zone three where carrots do not regularly overwinter. When the carrot does go to seed collect in the same way as herbs.
Onions- Onions are biennials as well but they don't usually have any problem overwintering. Just leave a few in the ground and the following year they will come up and bloom. Once they have bloomed and begin to dry it might be a good idea to put a paper bag over the bloom to catch the seeds. because they will start to fall while you are waiting for them to dry.
May this encourage you to start saving your seeds and help you grow many successful gardens!
Happy, healthy, clean living,
You all know that we invested in new, breeder quality chickens earlier this spring. We searched the country high and low for birds that were not only breeder quality but also that they have been raised and selected for egg and meat production and fed a non-GMO diet.
Every hatchery feeds their birds GMO feed. They are not selected for quality and all the eggs are injected with vaccines. Every egg. Furthermore, unless it is stated that they are a heritage breed, you are likely getting a Cornish cross. These are considered by most people who are familiar with the subject as GMO chickens. Although they are not genetically modified the same way as say GMO corn, they are absolutely genetically modified through an intensive breeding program in which only to hatcheries in the country have the Frankenstein breeding stock to do so and with very inhumane results.
Cornish cross chickens have been bred in such a way that they reach butchering size in as little as 12 weeks. A healthy heritage or even a normal bird from the hatchery would take 20 weeks to be ready for butcher. They may be a little smaller but I'm sure you would be fine with that once you learn how the Cornish cross lives in their short little lives.
Commercially raised chickens- everything in your run of the line grocery store, are raised in long "houses" . They only receive artificially light and have at most a 1 to 1 1/2 feet of space each. And that is considered "free range" because they are not locked up in a cage. There are thousands of birds in each house and by the way the houses only get cleaned out about once every 4 years. Because of their super charged growth rate they often get broken legs and have heart attacks. As a result of their confined and cramped (literally walking on each other, hurt/sick chickens, and even dead chickens) disease is rampant, including E-coli so they are given vaccines and medicated feed. But still the death rate is high. Every day people come through and pick out the dead ones and then bury them alive! Yes, they are supposed to wring their neck first, like that's much better, but that "takes to long" so they just throw them in a pit then put the lid on and walk away leaving them to starve and suffocate to death. It is a horrible industry. This is not what we want when we sit done to the diner table. This is cruel and unnecessary. And this so called food does not nourish our bodies.
Organic means that they were given organic food but it doesn't mean that they were raised humanely. A lot of big companies have started an organic division so they can get a piece of profit from the organic pie. That doesn't mean they believe in the value of organic and humanely raised animals. There are a few companies out there that are raising their birds humanely and some even organically on a somewhat large scale. You have to research the company and know what to look for. Like I told you earlier "free range" doesn't necessarily mean that they are out wondering the prairie. It is highly unlikely. It is much better to look for pasture raised birds which are moved to new pasture on a consistent basis. The very best option is to KNOW YOUR FARMER. Where ever you live, either near us or across the world, know your farmer. Do a quick search and find local farmers in your area and buy them directly from them. Go to their farm and see how the birds are raised for yourself. If the farmer doesn't want you to visit then they must be hiding something. Our customers are always welcome to visit our farm. This is the best way to buy all your meat.
Now you can see why we were so very excited to find our birds! It has been several years since we purchased any birds from a hatchery and almost 8 years since we have bought any chicken from the store. But breeding hatchery chickens is not the same. We needed top quality birds to start our breeding program. Now that we have them we will be breeding one line for layers and for meat birds so that we can provide more eggs and chicken to our CSA customers. . Our chicken receives a completely non-GMO and organic diet, including fresh greens and they are free ranged-truly free ranged. They literally roam the prairie freely. Ahh, isn't that nice! And of course all this means that our birds are more nutritious too.
Happy, healthy, clean, eating,
I have done much research on this subject. We are deeply concerned with what we feed our family and take it very seriously. I didn't site the facts in this post but the information is easily found all over the internet if you would like to do further research. There is nothing wrong with eating meat but that doesn't mean we don't need to consider the quality of life of the animals that are raised for this purpose.
I'm so excited to finally be doing this project! It has been over a year in the making and now the beginning stages are done!
We would like to get bees. Better pollination rates for our garden and orchard as well as honey!. But I do not want GMO honey. So that means I need to have enough flowers throughout the bees active season to feed them or they might go down the street to some GMO crop and bring that back into the hive. They will travel miles to collect food. IT will also be great to be helping the declining population of bees and pollinators in general. They are so important to our food supply. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, bee alone are responsible for pollinating 1/3 of our food supply. A great reason for anyone, including you, to start a pollinator garden.
No, I am not counting on this little hillside to contain all of their food it is just another site to add to the gardens (including all the herb gardens) and flowers we already have. We are also making a pollinator border around our newest garden. It is important that we have something blooming throughout the entire season-from early spring to fall and that is where we need to do some work. There needs to be more early and late bloomers. We will be accomplishing this with perennial and annual flowers (this works great for our bouquets in theCSA baskets), trees and bushes, And on top of that they will have everything in the gardens (we're nearing two acers now with plans to turn the front yard into a perennial food forest).
Favorite Plants For Pollinators
We already grow everything with a *. A good start but we still have a ways to go. It can be tricky to coordinate blooms for each part of the season, which ones will grow in your climate, and if they are perennial or if they need to be re-planted every year. That is why I'm working on a reading list for this winter. Next spring I want to be prepared. Here is my list and why I chose each book.
In The Bee Friendly Garden you get instruction from both a garden designer and a bee expert. They both believe in organic gardening and apply this to their techniques and instruction. They also go into attracting other beneficial insects. We knowhow important that is too.
Then there is Pollinators of Native Plants. I really like this one because it goes into the importance of genetic diversity of native plants and their benefit to the bees and other pollinators. It is kind of like growing heirloom vegetables. You don't want to loose so many great traits to hybridization.
Pollinator Friendly Gardening takes things a step further and brings less talked about pollinators into the discussion such as ants, wasps and beetles. Although we want bees and honey we think these other pollinators are just as important.
100 Plants To Feed The Bees focuses more on native plants, trees and shrubs of the US. Each plants lists which pollinators will visit the plant and what kind of honey it will produce. It uses annuals, perennials, herbs, trees, and shrubs. I really like the variety as this is key to great garden design.
It took me, with the help of my two oldest, about a day and a half to get all the rocks in place and the steps formed. We aren't sure how we want to finish of the steps yet-another thing to research this winter.
There was one trouble spot. We knew about it before starting but I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. There was a cement something about halfway up the hill. We were not sure what it was. It didn't seem reasonable that it was anything for the house because of it's location. So after doing some digging and finding out the it didn't go very deep (at least on the edges) we decided that perhaps when the retaining wall to the right of the beds was poured they had extra cement they needed to get out of the cement truck and thus dumped it there. So we took a sledge hammer to it. Well, mostly my son. He loves stuff like that. We broke off the outside edges to find that the middle was quite deep and decided they filled in an old fence post hole. After taking off the edges it became something that I could work with, i.e. hide under the dirt and no longer have it in the way of my path. I really didn't want a cement slab in the middle of my path.
I've planted some Echinacea, Anise Hyssop starts, chive starts, fall crops of spinach, lettuce, basil , and cilantro, Sedum and Rock Rose along the edge and some wild flowers. Even though the perennial wildflowers won't have time to get much of any size this year, they will come back next year. It is a Non-gmo mix for pollinators. I just couldn't wait.
Things are starting to come up. The cooler weather has been perfect for the lettuce and spinach. Don't the little black flowers on the corner look cute. That was my daughter's idea.
Next year we will finish the steps and tackle the section you can see in the upper left of the picture with the plastic. The grass will be dead by then and I should have decided if I want to add a couple of fruit trees there or make more terraced beds. It would be nice to have the fruit trees close and would be a great Segway into the perennial food forest we are planning for the front yard. They wouldn't shade the garden because that is the north side but they would provide some shade for the animals in that pasture. So many decisions. I have to see what my husband, who hauled home all these rocks from a jobsite that didn't want them (thank you!) thinks. I'm leaning towards the trees. Do you think I can convince him?
I hope this inspires you to start a pollinator garden. The bees do too.
Happy, healthy, clean eating,
Cut worms (they are actually more like a caterpillar) can reek all sort of havoc on a garden. Most commonly they kill seedlings by chewing their way through the stem or just eating the entire top of the seedling off. leaving only a stem. A stem that will no longer grow. Sad.
We have had problems with cut worms in the past eating our freshly planted starts and our newly emerged seedlings. A simple fix we found to work well is to plant your seeds and starts in a ring of un-perforated drain tile pipe. We use 4" drain tile cut into rings about 4-5" tall. Make sure they are set into the ground about 1". At night, when the cut worms crawl out of the ground looking for something to eat, they run into these rings and find they are not edible and move on leaving your seedlings alone. Cut worms don't seem to bother carrots but they do like peas Cole crops and squash. Another way to battle them is with beneficial nematodes. They actually eat the cut worms. We find the rings to be more effective. Beneficial nematodes have a short life and it would require a whole lot of nematodes to cover all of our gardens. They have to be reapplied every year.
Besides eating seedlings, cutworms also like to chow down on mature plants. And that is what happened in one of our tunnels of cabbage this year. They ate some of the leaves for an appetizer then gorged themselves on the center or heads of the cabbage.
Thankfully we caught it in time and applied diatomaceous earth (DE) to kill the cutworms. DE comes from the fossils of diatoms, a type of hard shelled algae. The remains are ground into a fine powder and is used in multiple applications and it is approved by OMRI for use in organic farming.
Watch our video below to find out how we used it to stop the cutworms from eating our cabbage and how DE works.
No more cutworms in our cabbage. Oh, so looking forward to eating these beautiful cabbages!
Always check your local store first for DE but it can be difficult to find. You do not want the kind that they use in swimming pools. Try one of these if that is all you can find. I do use this brand when I can't get it locally. Like I said early earlier is just sprinkle it on with my hands or some panty hose, but is that seems too messy for you, and it is, you may like to try the duster.
I hope this helps you with any cut worm problems. May your garden be blessed.
Happy, healthy, clean eating,
This week we released ladybugs into the greenhouse to help control aphids. This is a safe and effective alternative to chemicals. Ladybug larvae will consume 400 medium sized aphids during it's development to the pupal stage. An adult ladybug can eat as much as 5,000 aphids during it's lifetime! 5,000 aphids in a year, that's impressive!
It is easy to order ladybugs off the internet and I have provide a link to California-native ladybugs below. It is important that you are purchasing native ladybugs and NOT the Asian variety.
Asian ladybugs were purposely introduced to American in the later half of the 1900's by the Department of Agriculture to help control crop pests such as aphids and scale. Although they did do that is was learned that they are not as friendly as the native version. Asian ladybugs bite for one. They also will overwinter in your house if they can find a way in. Once they are in they may stain your walls and furniture with the sticky yellow fluid they secrete.
This certainly detracts from all those "ooh, aren't they cute" feelings we have when we see a ladybug. Can you imagine being worried about letting a child hold a ladybug because it might bite them? That just isn't right. Please buy only native ladybugs.
If you come across a ladybug an want to be sure it is of the native sort then check for a white spot at the back of it's head. If you find that white spot you may want to pass on picking it up but I will leave that up to you.
Once you receive your ladybugs put them in the fridge until you are ready to use them. It is best to release them in the evening. Before you let them out make sure there is a quick food source for them. You can buy lady bug food along with your ladybugs. This just gives them a boost after their long trip to your house. We use a powder form that you sprinkle on your plants then gently water. After this your ladybugs are all set to chow down on all those unwelcome guests in your garden. Remember that you don't have to release all your ladybugs at once. Save some in the fridge for 2-3 months. The longer they are stored the more likely some will be lost but it is good to have multiple releases to ensure that your pest problem is taken care of.
Like I stated in the video, ladybugs eat nectar when there are no pest around for them to munch on. Having flowering plants and herbs increases your chance of them sticking around for any future pests problems.
If you have an infestation ladybugs are not going to be enough. In this case I would recommend Safer Soap. It is a soap based insecticide that uses potassium fatty acids to kill arthropods and soft bodied insects. It works by breaking down the outer shell of the insect. NO synthetic chemicals involved. It is OMRI listed and compliant for organic horticultural practice. Simply spray it on and by the next day the little aphids are brown and all dried up. Reapply in several days, or anytime you see any new aphids to make sure you get any new hatchlings .
Have you ever used ladybugs before? How about Safer Soap insecticides?
Happy, healthy, clean eating!
We often hear that glyphosate is bad for us, harmful to our health, but what exactly are the health problems that it causes? The majority of crops that are genetically modified are modified in such a way so that they can be sprayed with glyphosate and not be harmed. If glyphosate were to be sprayed on any other plant is would shrivel up and die. It is both an insecticide and herbicide. Not only is it sprayed on GMO crops but it is also sprayed on conventionally grown non-GMO grains and legumes a few weeks before harvest to desiccate or dry out the grain/legume (it kills them) to speed up the harvesting process. It is the most highly used herbicide/insecticide with almost 300 million pounds being sprayed on crops every year. Glyphosate is linked to many health problems but I'm going to focus on eight. Think of them as eight reasons to choose organic in all areas of your life. Not just what you eat but what personal care products you use, the cleaning products you choose and the clothes you wear (96% of the cotton grown in the US in 2016 was genetically modified). Keep in mind that glyphosate was found in 60 to 100% of water and air samples taken over a two year course.[2} It is coming at us in every direction. The most effective way to put an end to this is by making responsible choices with the products we buy and educating the people around us so that they can do the same.
This blog post will be conducted in a four part series. Each post highlighting two health issues starting with cancer and heart disease. Future post in the series will include Celiac disease and gluten intolerance, colitis, Parkinson disease, Autism, birth defects, and reproductive/pregnancy problems. There are many more health issues and diseases the glyphosate has been linked to. Too many to address here but we get the picture, stay away from glyphosate!
In 2015 the research arm of the World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the worlds leading authority on cancer, declared that glyphosate was a probable carcinogen to humans. The fact that they say "probable" blows my mind because study after study show that glyphosate causes tumors and irregular cell growth in lab animals. Take a look at these pictures of the lab rats taken during a study conducted by the Seralini Team. In it they found that after 24 months all the groups being fed GMO corn or glyphosate in the water (at levels under that which is permitted in the drinking water), 50-80% had tumors some had as many as three. And did you look at the pictures? They are large.
The recent release of emails between the EPA and Monsanto have been quite revealing. As reported in the NY Times, one email reveals that a top EPA official, Dan Jenkins, offered to kill a government investigation on glyphosate and it's carcinogenic properties stating "If I can kill this I should get a medal."
Other emails indicated that Monsanto practices "ghost writing." They need a report to go up against some negative finding about glyphosate or one of their other products so they write the report and only "involve experts for less contentious parts of the report". Hmm, how convenient for them,
Then there was the letter from a former EPA Scientist (pathologist), Marion Copley, to Jess Rowland of the EPA. In the letter she pleads with him.
"For once do the right thing and don’t make decisions based on how it affects your bonus...... Peviously, CARC concluded that glyphosate was a “possible human carcinogen”. The kidney pathology in the animal studies would lead to tumors with other mechanisms listed above. Any one of these mechanisms alone listed can cause tumors, but glyphosate causes all of them simultaneously." 
And accusing other scientist in the EPA of taking bribes.
"Is Greg playing your political games as well, incompetent or does he have some conflict of interest of some kind? Your Nebraska colleague took industry funding, he clearly has a conflict of interest. Just promise me not to ever let Anna in the CARC committee, her decisions don’t make rational sense. If anyone in OPP is taking bribes, it is her."
You can find the full letter here.
Currently there is a lawsuit against Monsanto involving more than 500 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients claiming that glyphosate caused their cancer. It is estimated that there will be 2,000 to 3,000 cases by the end of the year.
California has added glyphosate to their list of known carcinogens.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America (cancer is number 2). Is it what Americans are eating? Their lifestyle? Glyphosate? Yes, yes and yes. Glyphosate is on the quite full list of things that contributes to, or causes heart disease. In their review "Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome", Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff go into great detail how glyphosate can be linked to all diet based diseases. That makes since. Glyphosate residue is found in all the common food of the western diet: sugar, corn, soy and wheat. Glyphosate is sytemic. It is taken up by the plant and is thus in every cell off the plant. It can not be washed off, it is in the plant and it's fruit/seed/grain.
In their review they found that glyphosate inhibits certain enzymes called cytochrome P450 (CYP). The main role of CYP is to detoxify xenobiotics. Xenobiotic are classified as any foreign chemical compound in a biological system. For us humans that would be things like drugs, and environmental pollutants such as synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and industrial pollutants that are not found in nature. The Samsel and Seneff review found that the consequences to this "are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s" 
Furthermore the disruption of the enzymes causes lysosomal dysfunction, which is a major factor in cardiovascular disease and heart failure. 
It is estimated that over 75% of the food on grocery store shelves contain GMOs.  Glyphosate is in the food we eat, the air we breath and the water we drink. Our bodies are in overdrive trying to get rid of it and one of our main mechanisms God gave us for cleaning our body of pollutants is actually crippled by the very pollutant it is trying to rid itself of.
1. Center For Food Safety
2. National Center for Biotechnology Imformation,
Occurrence and Fate of the Herbicide Glyphosate and its Degradate Aminomethylphosphonic Acid in the Atmosphere
3. Natural News with Copely letter
4. Entropy Review- Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450
Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut
5. The Free Dictionary
6. Center for Food Safety
7. Eco Watch
Hello, I'm Jaci. I love gardening and being outside in God's amazing creation. I'm passionate about whole foods and clean eating. I hope you enjoy my farm life adventures!