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Friday, February 25, 2011

Everyday Uses for Tea Tree Oil

* Cold sores, Canker sores and Acne– At the first onset, apply oil directly to the affected spot. Use can also add a few drops to your facial wash.
* Dental Hygiene and Mouthwash-Add a couple of drops to a glass of water for a refreshing mouthwash. It can also be used to temporarily relive toothache pain. Make sure not to swallow, a little won’t hurt, but use caution. Can also add one drop directly to toothbrush.
* Cuts, Scrapes, Abrasions and Insect Bites- Rub a few drops of Tea Tree Oil directly on the wound. Tea Tree Oil’s anti-microbial properties will aid in killing the germs.
* Athlete’s foot – You can apply oil directly to the feet {if you are sensitive, add to a carrier oil such as olive oil}, or add into a foot bath and allow your feet to soak. Continue treatment until affected area is gone.
* Dandruff – Add a few drops to your shampoo. This same approach works for killing head lice, as well. For a “bad case” of head lice, apply directly to hair roots.
* Dust mites-Add tea tree oil to a damp cloth and rub over your mattress to ward off dust mites and to keep the mattress fresh.
* Congestion-Add to a vaporizer to loosen chest congestion.
* All-Purpose Disinfecting Cleaner- In a spray bottle combine 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil in 2 cups of water You can use this same solution to help kill mold and germs {perfect for using on kitchen counters and high chairs}.
* Laundry-A few drops added to a load of laundry to disinfect and leave your clothes smelling cleaner.
* Flea/Tick/Insect Repellant– It’s good for treating ear mites in dogs.
* Diaper Rash – Apply 2-3 drops of oil mixed in your palm with a carrier oil such as coconut oil. Apply to affected area as you normally would.
* Sinus & Bronchial Congestion - The vapors may be inhaled by adding five drops of the oil to a bowl of steaming hot water or to a vaporizor.
* Sunburn-Combine one part Tea Tree Oil with ten parts of coconut oil and spread freely over the affected areas. Relieves the pain, and prevents peeling.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bicentennial Celebration and the “Seed Circus”

Comstock Ferre in the 30'sComstock, Ferre & Co., LLC is located in “ ye most ancient town” of Wethersfield in Connecticut, a charming, historic town founded in 1634 on the Connecticut River. Ever since, it’s been known as an agricul­tural community giving birth to the world-fa­mous Wethersfield Red Onion, which served as a major source of income to farmers in this community.

Comstock, Ferre & Co. has stood the test of time, and despite being in the cross-hairs for demolition, has risen again as a vibrant seed house offering heirloom vari­eties to New England and around the world.

Comstock’s was founded in the very bedrock of American agriculture. Joseph Bel­den printed his very first price list of seed vari­eties in an 1811 issue of the Hartford Courant. His brother James Lockwood Beldon later took the helm of the business and sold seeds out of his colonial home, which was built by his father in 1767 and still stands today. He named the company Wethersfield Seed Gardens which was a name that became synonymous with quality throughout his years in business. Comstock’s has been intrusted in the hands of several presidents and owners over two centuries.

In June, 2010 a new chap­ter began in Comstock’s colorful history as Jere andWilliam Comstock, Seedsman Emilee Gettle purchased the company to return it to its heirloom roots, where it all be­gan. The Gettles are working to restore Com­stock, Ferre & Co. to its glorious beginnings as an heirloom seed company. They are working to save what is left of the agricultural heritage passed down to us by searching out and pre­serving seed varieties once included in Bel­den’s and Comstock’s price lists and catalogs.

We plan to repair some of the antique pieces of equipment and return them to working or­der for day-to-day use! The restoration of the grounds and 11 historic buildings, one of which was Patriot Silas Deane’s warehouse in the 1700’s, is an ongoing process. Comstock will be a type of living history museum dedicated to agriculture and our diverse inheritance of heirloom seed varieties that are in danger of extinction, some of which have already passed through the sands of time.

In 2011 we are celebrating 200 years of selling seeds in New England. Come join us for our June 5, 2011, Bicentennial Celebration and the “Seed Circus” hosted by the Greenhorns!

Directions - Come to Wethersfield, CT. (just 5 minutes south of downtown Hartford) We are at 263 Main street in Old Wethersfield.

Open: Sunday- Friday. Closed Saturdays & major holidays. Phone 860-571-6590 or visit us online at www.ComstockFerre.com

If you are interested in receiving a free copy of Comstock, Ferre & Co. 2011 catalog, please contact us at:

Comstock, Ferre & Co., LLC
263 Main Street
Wethersfield, CT 06109

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Banish the winter blues by preparing for spring

Published on The Old Farmer's Almanac (http://www.almanac.com)
Banish the winter blues by preparing for spring
By Doreen G. Howard
Created 2011-02-09 21:04
by Doreen G. Howard

After the blizzards and sub-zero temperatures of the last two months, I’m more than ready for spring. I’m also depressed by the endless gray, cold days filled with intermittent snow storms. So, I’m banishing the blues by doing a few winter chores so I can hit the ground running when the first crocus [5] pop.

You can prune fruit trees any time it’s warm enough to be outdoors. Pruning needs to be done when the trees are dormant [6]to control size and encourage fruit blossoms.

Doing it now means I have to wade through nearly three feet of snow to my miniature apple [7]orchard. I’m burning a lot of calories and pounds. I already saw a five-pound drop on the scales this morning from two pruning sessions.

That’s enough to banish the blues, for me!

Wading through three-feet-deep snow to prune is a great calorie-burner!

While you prune [8], scatter the clippings on the ground or snow away from the trees. Rabbits [9]and other pests will eat these and leave the trees alone.

Grapevines [10] should be pruned during the cold months, too. Cut them back heavily, pruning to the darker, rusty-brown wood to encourage new growth. Grape clusters form on new growth. Don’t worry if a sap drips from the cuts. It’s only water and won’t hurt anything.

See the Almanac's winter pruning guide [2].

While you’re out there in the snow, take a broom and gently brush off any accumulated snow from trees and shrubs. Young branches can easily break from the snow’s weight. The yew hedge in front of my house was half-buried from the last blizzard and required serious sweeping.

After I got the sidewalk shoveled after the last blizzard, sweeping snow off the hedge was the next job. This much snow can break young branches.

Another housekeeping task that can be done on any day you feel like braving the weather is spreading fireplace ashes around lilac bushes [11] and fruit trees. Scatter the ashes around the base of the trees and bushes, on top of the snow, in about a three-foot-diameter circle. As the snow melts and the ground thaws, minerals and other nutrients in wood ash will percolate down to root systems. Any hard wood that is burned in a fireplace supplies numerous trace elements, calcium, zinc, copper and other minerals that fruit trees crave.

Images of spring! Wood ash helps to sweeten the soil around lilacs, which bloom more lavishly in alkaline ground.

Start feeding houseplants [12] again in mid to late February, depending on your latitude. Southern ones, start fertilizing on Valentine’s Day; northern zones, resume feeding at the end of the month. As the sun becomes stronger and days lengthen [13], plants begin to grow again and need nutrition.

Tell us what you do to banish the winter blues, such as any small jobs you do to help your garden during winter.

Doreen Howard has written for The Old Farmer's Almanac All-Seasons Garden Guide for 15 years and is the former garden editor at Woman’s Day as well as a photographer. She has grown more than 300 varieties of heirloom edibles and flowers in the last two decades. Her latest book Heirloom Vegetables, Herbs and Fruits: Savoring the Flavor of the Past (Cool Springs Press) comes out this spring.

* Gardening Blog

Source URL: http://www.almanac.com/blog/gardening-blog/banish-winter-blues-preparing-spring

[1] http://www.almanac.com/image/banish-winter-blues-preparing-spring
[2] http://www.almanac.com/content/winter-pruning-guide-trees-and-shrubs
[3] http://www.almanac.com/user/login?destination=print%2Fblog%2Fgardening-blog%2Fbanish-winter-blues-preparing-spring%3Futm_source%3DAlmanac%2520Companion%26utm_campaign%3Dd6e8c686fd-Almanac%2520Companion_February_17_2011%26utm_medium%3Demail%26mc_cid%3Dd6e8c686fd%26mc_eid%3D2636eb3ef5%2523comment-form
[4] http://www.almanac.com/user/register?destination=print%2Fblog%2Fgardening-blog%2Fbanish-winter-blues-preparing-spring%3Futm_source%3DAlmanac%2520Companion%26utm_campaign%3Dd6e8c686fd-Almanac%2520Companion_February_17_2011%26utm_medium%3Demail%26mc_cid%3Dd6e8c686fd%26mc_eid%3D2636eb3ef5%2523comment-form
[5] http://www.almanac.com/plant/crocuses
[6] http://ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/ag29.html
[7] http://www.almanac.com/plant/apples
[8] http://www.almanac.com/content/pruning-pointers-trees-and-shrubs
[9] http://www.almanac.com/content/rabbits-0
[10] http://www.almanac.com/plant/grapes
[11] http://www.almanac.com/plant/lilacs
[12] http://www.almanac.com/content/houseplants-growing-tips
[13] http://www.almanac.com/astronomy/rise

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LISTEN/CHAT THURS NITE: "Canning Dairy & Meat"

Your Preparation Station with Donna Miller.

TONIGHT'S TOPIC: "Canning Dairy and Meat!."

Donna Miller hosts The Grain Storehouse, Your Preparation Station with tonight’s special guest Cherlynn. She is going to give us some great recipes and inspiration to can meat, cheese and dairy. This will be so vital for keeping a good supply without having to rely on the freezer! Your host is full of questions so come learn along with Donna!

The phone lines and chat room will be open for questions, suggestions and tips too. Come contribute, come ask, come share and perhaps pick up some things you'd not thought of before!

Thursday, February 17th.

7:00-8:00PM ET
6:00-7:00PM CT
5:00-6:00PM MT
4:00-5:00PM PT

Call-in Number to listen or join the discussion: 1 (347) 326-9604
Link to listen live or later if you missed it:

It is ALWAYS so GREAT to be in the chat room with so many 'familiar faces' from APN! Thank you for making it when you can!!!

Archived shows (of "Your Preparation Station with Donna Miller") if you've missed any would like to catch up:

Step-by-Step Prep Tips:http://grainstorehouse.com
Prep Tools and Foods: http://millersgrainhouse.com/store
Learn Prep Skills: http://youtube.com/thewheatguy

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Talk about storms!

Talk about storms!

It seems as if the only area not getting snow, ice and cold weather, or high winds and flood damage is Central Oregon! And we need the snow in the mountains!

The Midwest has been pummeled all winter, with the (hopefully) grand finale last Thursday in Chicago.

Then, Cyclone Yasi hit the coast of Australia, causing widespread wind damage and flooding.

Subsequently, we'll be focusing on urban survival this week with an emphasis on disaster preparedness.

* Learn cyclone and tornado safety skills.
* SurvivalCommonSense.com Radio: Listen to the Feb. 4 interview with Freeze Dry Guy JR as we discuss the Freeze Dry Guy company's charitable efforts.
* How to shut off your utilities during an emergency.
* Finding Water after Cyclone Yasi.
* Worth Reading: Storage Food Cookbook.
* Survival Food: Homemade Energy Bar Recipe.

And here is what is going on this week at
2011 Chicago storm
The 2011 Chicago Snow Storm


* Friday's guests on SurvivalCommonSense.com Radio will include Jan LeBaron, owner of Healthy Harvest, who will be talking about her new storage food cookbook. The program will air at 6 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on the Preparedness Radio Network. Click here for the link to the show. You can download the show and listen whenever it's convenient. (Our broadcasts make a great drive-time show!)
* Questions for the SurvivalCommonSense.com Radio host (that's me) or the guest? Email me at: survivalcommonsense.com@gmail.com.
* Please visit SurvivalCommonSense.com on Facebook, and "Friend" us!
* Support our sponsors - they keep this site free, and allow me to pursue my twin passions of working with kids and providing survival information!

Everybody have a great week! - Leon

Here's the link for the radio show: http://www.bepreparedradio.com/2011/02/03/preparedness-radio-02-04-2011/

Feel free to post this entire email update on your site!

Thanks, Leon
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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dancing in a Field of Tansy: finding a herbal ally

Dancing in a Field of Tansy: finding a herbal ally

I would like to Do this as a field study once spring rolls around. If anyone is interested in joining me on romps through the woods and fields searching out herbs, roots, and shoots. Please let me know on the www.connecticutPreppersNetwork.net
under the new Topic I will begin there. I've been studying herbs faithfully for 25 years and on and off again for 40 or more. I am not saying I have arrived, but like Thomas Jefferson in his famous letter to :

Charles Willson Peale Poplar Forest, August 20, 1811


though an old man, I am but a young gardener.

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Good Time to Start your seeds here in CT

Good Time to Start your seeds here in CT on the 9th , 10th and 11th of this month the Moon will be waxing and in the sign of Taurus! Get your Cabbages , Broccoli, and lettuce going!!

If you miss those dates you can try the 14th and 15th while the Moon is in cancer..

By the 21st 22nd,and 23rd the Moon will be in Libra and Scorpio and it will be time to seed those onions, leeks, and other plants for there root growth! Libra is also a Great Sign to plant flowers and Herbs in!
So for all you flower lovers get out the seed starting flats time to start your carnations,chrysanthemum,columbine,delphinium,foxglove,hollyhock,lupine, lavender,penstemon,poppy,rudbeckia,salvia,statice, and yarrow!
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Good Morning Nutmeggers!

Today I going to talk more about what I am doing to get a jump start on my 2011 vegetable garden. I bought a Gardening By the Moon 2011 Calendar, and I’m using that to determine when to start my seeds and do my gardening stuff. I don’t know yet whether I believe fully in the concept they present, but I like the fact that I can look at the calendar and it gives me a Time to do something. Like a To-do- list that you can turn to that reminds you what you are doing next.


Let the Gardening by the Moon Calendar pull all this information together for you.
By following the suggestions in the calendar, and starting seeds inside, you will be able to extend your season and harvest more abundance from your garden than you ever imagined!

This great garden calendar has these features

  • The best days for planting by the phase and the signs of the moon
  • Garden activities for each month
  • Lists of specific vegetables and flowers that can be started in flats or planted directly
  • Available in three regional versions to match your growing season
  • Lots of valuable gardening advice presented in a clear, easy to read format
  • Available as a digital download for immediate delivery, with customized time zone preferences”

At the new moon, the lunar gravity pulls water up, and causes the seeds to swell and burst. This factor, coupled with the increasing moonlight creates balanced root and leaf growth. This is the best time for planting above ground annual crops that produce their seeds outside the fruit. Examples are lettuce, spinach, celery, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and grain crops. Cucumbers like this phase also, even though they are an exception to that rule.

In the second quarter the gravitational pull is less, but the moonlight is strong, creating strong leaf growth. It is generally a good time for planting, especially two days before the full moon. The types of crops that prefer the second quarter are annuals that produce above ground, but their seeds form inside the fruit, such as beans, melons, peas, peppers, squash, and tomatoes. Mow lawns in the first or second quarter to increase growth.

After the full moon, as the moon wanes, the energy is drawing down. The gravitation pull is high, creating more moisture in the soil, but the moonlight is decreasing, putting energy into the roots. This is a favorable time for planting root crops, including beets, carrots, onions, potatoes, and peanuts. It is also good for perennials, biennials, bulbs and transplanting because of the active root growth. Pruning is best done in the third quarter, in the sign of Scorpio.

In the fourth quarter there is decreased gravitational pull and moonlight, and it is considered a resting period. This is also the best time to cultivate, harvest, transplant and prune. Mow lawns in the third or fourth quarter to retard growth.

The Other aspect of this is Gardening by the signs..

How the astrological signs of the zodiac influence gardening
by the Moon

The Moon moves through the signs of the Zodiac in the heavens every couple of days. Different signs are associated with an element of earth, air, fire or water. When the Moon is in a water sign it is the most fertile time for planting. Different types of plants have favorite signs too, such as leafy plants prefer the water signs.The fertile water signs are Cancer, Pisces, and Scorpio, and are best for planting above ground, leafy annuals.

Planting by the Signs

The Earth signs, Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn, are also very fertile and good for planting. The root is the part of the plant associated with earth signs, so it is especially good for planting root crops, or for transplanting to encourage root development.

Air signs work well for some plants, but are generally barren and dry. Libra is an exception to that rule, and is semi-fertile and good for blooming flowers and herbs. Flowers are the part of the plant associated with air signs. Melons like Gemini, and onions respond well in Aquarius. When the Moon is in an air sign it is a good time to harvest and cultivate.

The fire signs of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are very barren and dry, but may be used for crops grown for their seed. Because it is barren, Leo is a good sign for weeding and cultivation, so seeds won't sprout. It is also good to harvest during a fire sign.

Aries image

Aries- A fire sign. Barren and dry. Harvest root and fruit for storage. Cultivate, destroy weeds and pests.

Taurus image

Taurus- An earth sign. Productive and moist. Second best for planting and transplanting. Good for root crops and potatoes, especially when hardiness is important. Also a good sign for leafy vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage and spinach.

Gemini image

Gemini- An air sign. Barren and dry. Harvest root and fruit for storage. Cultivate, destroy weeds and pests. Melon seeds respond well in this sign.

Cancer image

Cancer- A water sign. Very fruitful and moist. The best sign for all planting and transplanting. Also good for grafting, and irrigation.

Leo image

Leo- A fire sign. Very barren and dry. Cultivate, harvest root and fruit for storage. An excellent time to destroy weeds and pests in the fourth quarter.

Virgo image

Virgo- An earth sign. Barren and moist. Some flowers and vines are favored by it. Cultivate and destroy weeds and pests.

Libra image

Libra- An air signs. Semi-fruitful and moist. Best sign for planting beautiful and fragrant flowers, vines and herbs. Good for planting pulpy stems like kohlrabi, and root crops.

Scorpio image

Scorpio- A water sign. Very fruitful and moist. Best planting sign for sturdy plants and vines. Tomatoes like to be transplanted in Scorpio, and it is a good sign for corn and squash. Graft or prune in the third and fourth quarter to retard growth and promote better fruit. A good sign for irrigation and transplanting.

Sagittarius image

Sagittarius- A fire sign. Barren and dry. Harvest roots and onions for storage, and plant onion sets and fruit trees. A good sign in which to cultivate the soil.

Capricorn image

Capricorn- An earth sign. Productive and dry. Good for planting potatoes and other root crops, and for encouraging strong hardy growth. Good for grafting, and pruning to promote healing, and applying organic fertilizer.

Aquarius image

Aquarius- An air sign. Barren and dry. Harvest root and fruit for storage. Cultivate, destroy weeds and pests. Good for planting onion sets.

Pisces image

Pisces- A water sign. Very productive and moist. Second best sign for planting and transplanting. Especially good for root growth and irrigation.

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