Rainbow Ranch Farms

  (Pinon Hills, California)
Organic, free-range, pastured, grass-fed/finished, heritage-breeds,
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How To Grow Wheatgrass- Simple and Cheap

How to grow wheatgrass, simple and cheap!




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10 Good Reasons to Grow Your Own Food

10 Good Reasons to Grow Your Own Food:


1. Great tasting, fresh, and nutritious food right outside your door.


There is no doubt about it, home grown food tastes better and is more nutritious than imported foods. In fact, the nutritional content of fruits and vegetables begins to decline the moment they are harvested. Considering the typical weeks or months it takes for much produce to get form the field to our plate, it is no wonder that both taste and nutritional content have highly declined.


2. Practice good economy.


Both economy and ecology come from the same Greek word oikos meaning “household.” When we grow some of our own food, we are beginning to bring together both the ecology and the economics of our household. Many urban dwellers find that they are able to save a substantial amount of money every year by growing some of their own food. The value of one apple tree producing bushels of fresh, organic apples year after year cannot be underestimated. Such a practice also reduces many of the “hidden” environmental costs (use of fossil fuels, water, pesticides, soil erosion) of the food that we eat. Furthermore, much of the food we import is grown by underpaid workers in difficult conditions on land that is much more needed to sustain their local populations.


3. Nurture your physical, emotional and spiritual health.


The therapeutic benefits of gardening are many. The physical activity involved in regular gardening activities contributes to general health and well-being. The pride and satisfaction that comes from harvesting one’s own produce is hard to match. Growing and consuming our own food, however, goes one step further – it connects us to the earth in a fundamental way that has been lost for most of us. Thomas Berry says that “Gardening connects us to the deepest mysteries of the universe” and many gardeners find that this is so.


4. Create beautiful, aesthetically pleasing spaces.


Gardening is a very creative activity and growing your own food is no exception. Developing a landscape with diverse food producing trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals adds tremendous colour, texture, smells and tastes to the local environment and in turn attracts many insects, birds, butterflies and other creatures. Such a beautiful landscape nourishes both the body and the soul.


5. Conserve wilderness, natural areas, and bio-diversity.


As world population and consumption increases, the pressures on our little remaining wilderness and natural areas builds. When we grow some of our own food, we help to reduce the pressure on yet uncultivated lands. This is particularly critical as the available agricultural land on the planet is finite and is degrading at a very alarming rate. Our own gardens can contribute to supporting bio-diversity both by decreasing pressure on wilderness areas and by providing additional habitat for local flora and fauna.


6. Connect with your own bio-region.


One cannot help but learn about their own ecosystem when actively gardening. Gardeners, and particularly food gardeners, are invariably more attentive to the seasons, the weather, the water cycle, and the local flora and fauna. Our gardens and we ourselves, become active participants in the bio-region in which we live.


7. Learn and preserve endangered wisdom and essential knowledge for living.


While most of us are the descendants of small farmers, there are relatively few people who now know and practice the essential human activity of growing food. With close to half of the world’s population now living in cities, it will become increasingly important for urbanites to play a role in learning and passing on this critical wisdom. From Africa to Asia to Latin America, city dwellers in the Southern hemisphere are leading the way in developing intensive urban agriculture. Many cities in North America are beginning to rise to this challenge.


8. Contribute to world food security.


Most of us depend on others, usually “far away others” for all of our food. When food production is far removed from where we live, we are vulnerable to events or circumstances that could interrupt this flow of food. The inevitable decline in the availability of fossil fuels will spell great changes for world food production and distribution in the coming years. It will be in all of our interests to invest in local food production – from our own yards, to our communities, to the farms that surround our cities.


9. Help to preserve diverse seed stocks.


The diversity of world seed stocks have been rapidly declining over the past 100 years. As more and more agriculture is controlled by transnational corporations whose primary agenda is to exert control over food production for profit, fewer and fewer strains of many fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes are now available. The development of genetically modified crops further threatens the integrity of our food supply. By planting and collecting diverse seeds, you are helping to protect our common heritage created by countless generations of small farmers over the past five thousand years. (For information on seed conservation in Canada go to Seeds of Diversity).


10. Reduce climate change.


Growing our own food is a tremendous way to reduce our impact on climate change (see The Earth Policy Institute). Most large scale, conventional farming uses tremendous inputs of fossil fuel in the form of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, fuel for machinery, and other indirect means. Fruits or vegetables grown thousands of kilometers away must be refrigerated and shipped from the field to our community. Much of the food (some estimates are as high as 50%) never gets eaten as it is lost due to spoilage at various stages of the production and distribution chain.


When we choose to develop a yard lush with fruit trees, shrubs, vines, and diverse annuals and perennials, we are reducing our own use of fossil fuels and are also contributing to the absorption of CO2. This very simple act can be a major step in redirecting our path towards a more sustainable future.




For the original article, please click the link http://www.sodahead.com/living/10-good-reasons-to-grow-your-own-food/blog-273363/



Lavender Plants and Their Uses




http://www.suite101.com/content/lavender-a-plant-with-many-uses-a57053  Click for original article

Lavender Plants and Their Uses

From the Garden to the Kitchen, in Aromatherapy and in Crafts


Lavender plants are so versatile. Lavender buds, flowers, leaves and stems have multiple uses.



Lavender is an attractive plant that bursts into a profusion of beautiful purple-colored blooms. The flowers give off a strong, pleasing aroma when crushed. When dried, lavender retains both its color and scent, which has made it a favorite in centuries past and in modern times.


Lavender plants make a nice addition to the home garden. Low growing varieties form attractive borders; larger plants are used for wonderful, aromatic hedging. Lavender attracts butterflies, too, making it an all-round favorite with gardeners.


Lavender has definitely made a comeback. Lavender farms offer an assortment of lavender products; lavender festivals introduce people to lavender's uses in the home and on the health front. Trendy restaurants use lavender flowers to enhance the look and taste of popular dishes.


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Cooking with Lavender


English lavender has a sweet, exotic flavor and is the variety used most often for cooking.


  • Lavender flowers make an eye-catching addition to salads


  • Lavender butter or lavender sugar can be spread on toast


  • Lavender honey hints of days gone by


  • Lavender jelly makes a pleasing topper for bagels


  • Lavender cookies and lavender ice cream are favorites


  • Lavender vinegar is a nice change to the menu


  • Lavender can be used along with other savory herbs, such as rosemary or basil


Lavender Tea


Soothing lavender tea is a favorite for both its flavor and its healing, stress-relieving properties.


Lavender Aromatherapy


  • Lavender essential oil is used for a number of health conditions: to soothe the skin, for digestion, for headaches and insomnia, for nervousness and anxiety, for depressive feelings, and for stress relief.


  • Soothing lavender essential oil can be added to water and used as an aromatic mist for areas where you spend many hours.


  • Energy practitioners use lavender misting to clear negative energy and clean auras. A lavender spray mister containing lavender essential oil can be used to spritz skin and hair.


Lavender Oil


Oil is extracted from lavender plants and is used for perfume. Lavender oil can be added to bath water for a pleasing aroma. A few drops of the oil can be added to your pillow, to help with a restful night’s sleep.


Read on 


Lavender Toiletries


Lavender is a natural antiseptic cleanser.


  • Lavender soaps are a natural way to clean and heal the skin


  • Lavender shampoo is popular


  • Lavender is used in hand lotions, bath oils, and bath salts


Lavender Uses Around the Home


  • Lavender stems can be dried and tossed into the fireplace for a scented reminder of summer, during cold months.


  • Dried lavender flowers can be hung in closets to counteract musty smells


  • Lavender bags or sachets (containing lavender buds and lavender essential oil) can be added to the dryer to give clothes a wonderful scent.


  • Lavender furniture polishes and air fresheners clean and refresh the home


  • Scented lavender candles add light, fragrance, and ambience


Lavender Crafts


  • Lavender can be made into potpourri


  • Lavender can be woven around/into wreaths


  • Lavender can be added to floral arrangements


  • Lavender brooms make eye-catching wall decorations


Common Types of Lavender


English lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia) is a good all-round plant with multiple uses.


French lavender (Lavandula Dentata) is used mainly for decorative purposes.


Spanish lavender (Lavandula Stoechus) is suitable for garden use.


Lavender is a feast for the eyes and a delight for the senses. Lavender plants offer nature’s bounty in an attractive, aromatic package.


  • How to Press Flowers for Craft Projects


Jun 15, 2008 Melody Rhodes





















Meat Lovers Can Now Grow Their Own Lamb

Meat Lovers Can Now "Grow Their Own Lamb"


by Tanya on  December 01, 2009 at 8:51 AM


Taking cue from growing vegetables for own consumption, a Brit farmer is offering a "Grow Your Own Lamb" service that allows meat lovers to see the animal being conceived, born, butchered and delivered to their door. Brett Varker from Rowhorne Farm in Exeter, Devon, charges customers 176 pounds to be "completely involved" in every stage of the lamb's life.

First they choose the parents of their lamb from six breeds of ewe and four breeds of ram.

The pair are then placed in a field and the buyer can watch them mate and return to witness the ewe giving birth.

And then they are allowed a monthly visit to see the lamb before it is slaughtered at six months old and delivered to their door.

"Many of us grow our own
vegetables but we're going a step further and helping people grow their own meat," the Daily Express quoted Brett, 48, as saying.

"Farming seems like a dark art to people these days, so we want to show them what is involved and how much we care for our animals.

"This is no petting zoo - it's about great quality meat," he added.



For the original article, please click the link http://www.medindia.net/news/Meat-Lovers-Can-Now-Grow-Their-Lamb-Meat-61631-1.htm





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