How to Make a No-Dig Bed

Posted by on Nov 23, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on How to Make a No-Dig Bed

One of the most immediately striking ways in terms of practical activity that permaculture gardening differs from common gardening and agricultural practices is that it emphasizes, wherever possible, leaving the soil undisturbed. In most cultivation techniques, tilling, Ploughing or turning the soil is a common practice, but permaculture recognizes that doing so upsets the complex ecosystem that exists in soils, involving the plants that grow in them and the organisms that live within them.

As in many aspects of permaculture design, we can see the template for the no-dig garden in nature. Natural ecosystems rarely feature an element that digs the ground, yet plants still thrive in many systems. Take a deciduous forest, for example. As leaves fall from the trees they form a ‘carpet’ on the ground, disturbed only perhaps by the rooting of animals and the efforts of the wind. Nothing other than plant roots digs down into the ground. Yet seeds germinate and establish new plants and the forest system flourishes – with no digging.

Permaculture gardeners can design to replicate this natural system, by instituting a no-dig garden bed. This is a planting bed that is layered with organic material, rather than soil, in such as way that it does not require digging. Vegetables and fruits are planted into the layered material and are able to access the nutrients they need. The labor required to maintain a no-dig bed is minimal, saving the gardener time and energy. Establishing a no-dig bed is pretty easy and can be done in almost any location.

Select Location
Ideally, you would build a no-dig bed on a piece of earth or grass, but they can also be constructed on concrete, so are feasible growing options for those gardeners with, say, just a courtyard at their disposal. As your no-dig garden bed will typically be used to grow fruit and vegetables, it needs to be sited somewhere that gets a good amount of sunshine, ideally no less than six hours a day. In very hot climates you might prefer partial shade so the plants don’t overheat, but generally the more sun your no-dig bed receives the better. You might also consider orientating your bed north to south, so that the maximum number of plants get the maximum amount of sunshine as the sun moves across the sky during the day. You want to avoid a site that slopes too much as this can cause the bed to ‘creep’ and moisture to run from the higher part to the lower, depriving the plants at the top of moisture and potentially causing waterlogging at the bottom.

Prepare Site
If you prefer you can build your no-dig bed as a raised bed, using recycled materials like boards and bricks to create a frame for the organic material inside. But you can also simple institute the bed directly onto the ground. If you are making your no-dig bed on grass or soil water the surface well before starting to construct it. It you are building on concrete or similarly hard surface it is advisable to place a layer, approximately 4 inches deep, of dry sticks and leaves, in order to assist drainage.

Bottom Layer
The bottom layer (or technically second-bottom layer if constructing on concrete) will comprise newspaper and/or cardboard. Make sure there are no glossy pages in the newspaper you are going to be use, and do not use any cardboard that has a plastic coating. Both these forms contain toxins that you do not want to introduce into your garden bed. If using newspaper, layer sheets to a thickness of around half a centimeter; if using cardboard, a couple of layers will suffice. This layer is primarily there to suppress weed growth, so make sure your sheets overlap to stop the weeds getting through. Water well.

Straw Layer
The next layer should be made from straw. Lucerne straw is a good option if you can source it organically, as it has a night concentration of nitrogen, which is essential for robust plant growth. However, pea straw can also be used as is typically more readily available. Avoid using hay for this layer, as it will likely contain seeds that can germinate in your no-dig bed. Make a layer of around 10 centimeters deep and water the straw well.

Compost Layer
Over the top of the straw layer is where you will place the most organically rich material. Depending on what you have available this could comprise organic compost, a mixture of soil and compost, manure from your chickens, kitchen scraps or worm castings from a worm farm. You could use all of them, if you like.

This layer should be around 5 centimeters deep and, like the previous layers, needs to be well watered when complete. Keep some compost mixture aside for your planting holes. Obviously, using the measurements above might not bring the no-dig bed up to the level you want (for instance, you may want a higher bed to avoid bending over when it comes to harvesting), but rather than making thicker layers, repeat the layers, straw and compost, using the same proportions, until you have the desired height.

Top Layer
However many layers you institute in your no-dig bed, the top layer should always be straw. This acts as a mulch to keep weeds down and to retain moisture within the bed. Again water this layer when it is laid.

Make Planting Holes
Having completed the layering of your garden bed, it’s time to plant. Make holes in the top layer of straw not quite down to the underlying compost layer. Fill the holes with some of your compost mixture, and plant your seeds, seedlings or plants. (Space your holes according to the space required by the mature versions of your preferred species, but consider integrated planting to maximize yield from the bed. Also, think about companion planting to give benefits to your vegetables and fruits, such as shade plants or insect attractors as required.) Water the plantings well.

Over time the layers of the no-dig bed will break down as decomposition takes place. To keep your plants provided with nutrients, add layers of compost and straw as the previous layers break down. You can also add a deeper layer of straw to the top if weeds or moisture retention become a problem. The straw should keep the bed moist, but make regular checks and irrigate if the bed dries out.

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Molecular Biologist Explains How THC Kills Cancer

Posted by on Nov 23, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on Molecular Biologist Explains How THC Kills Cancer

From Compultense University in Madrid, Spain, Dr. Christina Sanchez has been studying the anti-tumor effects of THC, the main psychoactive component of cannabis for over a decade.

She delivers sound information that explains exactly how THC kills cancer cells entirely – without adverse effects to healthy cells.

Her research is an addition to other’s work, such as British scientist, Wai Liu, an oncologist at the University of London’s St. George’s medical school. Liu’s research also reveals how THC has ‘potent anti-cancer activity,’ and can significantly ‘target and switch off’ pathways that allow cancers to grow.

Liu points out that pharmaceutical companies spend billions on drugs that do the very same thing, while the cannabis plant does it naturally.

In the following video, Dr. Sanchez explains exactly how THC does the dirty work of eliminating cancer cells by activating the body’s own cannabinoid receptors, creating endocannabinoids.

What’s more, is cannabis can do this without any psychoactive effects.

“There’s quite a lot of cancers that should respond quite nicely to these cannabis agents,” Liu said. “If you talk about a drug company that spent billions of pounds trying to develop these new drugs that target these pathways, cannabis does exactly the same thing – or certain elements of cannabis compounds do exactly the same thing – so you have something that is naturally produced which impacts the same pathways that these fantastic drugs that cost billions also work on.”

This comes at an important time when states are legalizing medical marijuana and the federal government is receiving pressure to de-list cannabis as an illegal drug – an archaic and erroneous definition of a plant which the Feds say ‘has no medicinal value’, even though they hold numerous patents on the plant. The feds are still fighting marijuana, despite having numerous patents on the plant.

Patent No. 6,630,507, for example, is for cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. Could this be why they are dragging their feet on declassifying this valuable plant?

In fact, three scientists from the Department of Health and Human Services said in the abstract — or summary — of their findings submitted with the patent application:

“The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroproectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke or trauma, or the treatment of neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.”

Surely they knew it could treat cancer too.

In Hindu texts cannabis was known as ‘sacred grass.’ It has also been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Cannabis can replace toxic medications, and drastically reduce pain. Dr. Sanchez’s studies just add to the age-old wisdom surrounding the medicinal use of this phenomenal plant.

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Real Live SpectroChrome Machine

Posted by on Nov 23, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on Real Live SpectroChrome Machine

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Facing the Darkness with Bernhard Guenther

Posted by on Nov 23, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on Facing the Darkness with Bernhard Guenther

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B-12: The Miracle Vitamin

Posted by on Nov 23, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on B-12: The Miracle Vitamin

Vitamin B-12 is one of the more discussed vitamins and for good reason. It is important for your healthoverall as it helps several organs and systems in your body function properly, including the brain, the nervous and skeletal systems, DNA replication and energy creation processes.

Let’s take a look at a few reasons why it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin B-12.

1. Supports Cardiovascular Health

You’ve probably heard that B-12 is good for cardiovascular health. The way that works is this…

Homocysteine is a protein that naturally forms as a byproduct of your body’s processes. When it builds up, it can corrode and inflame arteries and blood vessels, placing strain on the heart and cardiovascular system. Vitamin B-12 helps converts homocysteine to methionine, a protein the body uses for positive, essential activities.

2. Supports Energy Levels

One of the positive, essential activities that methionine is involved with is cellular energy creation.

3. Promotes Normal DNA and RNA Replication

Your body’s genetic material, DNA and RNA, need vitamin B-12 and folate (Vitamin B9) to replicate correctly. Without it, genetic material can be damaged and lead to mutations. Some speculation has even risen that low B-12 levels are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

4. Protects the Nervous System

In addition to converting homocysteine, the methylcobalamin form of B-12 encourages the formation of a protective covering for nerve cells called myelin. This covering protects nerve cells from free radicals and toxins which may be in the blood stream.

5. Protects the Brain, Too

The methylcobalamin form of B12 circulates in the blood stream and can cross the blood-brain barrier to support brain cells just as it protects nerve cells. In one study, 77 patients suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease had significantly lower vitamin B12 levels than individuals in the control group. [1] Other symptoms of low B12 levels include numbness in the hands and feet, memory loss, and disorientation.

6. Encourages a Balanced Mood

Vitamin B-12 plays a role in the creation of serotonin, a chemical that influences brain function and overall mood. In one study researchers examined the effect of B-12 on the brains of diabetic patients who experienced mood imbalances. The diabetic patients with normal levels of B-12 enjoyed better cognitive performance and lower incidence of depression compared to B-12 deficient patients. [2]

7. Essential for Fetal Development

High homocysteine levels in pregnant mothers directly impact fetal growth. Since adequate B-12 contributes to normal homocysteine levels, it can support fetal development. [3]

8. Supports Bone Health

Homocysteine appears to have an impact on skeletal health, too. In recent study 50 patients suffering from osteoporosis were compared to 50 patients with normal bone density levels. Tests showed the osteoporosis patients had high levels of homocysteine and substantially lower levels of vitamin B-12, as well as folate and vitamin B6. [4]

Getting Enough B-12

As essential as B-12 is, it can be tricky to get enough in your diet. Foods that contain B-12 include red meat, organ meats like kidneys and liver, eggs, yogurt, and cheese, and seafood — definitely a problem for vegans or vegetarians. Additionally, many people, especially adults over 50, have trouble absorbing B-12. Commonly prescribed drugs can also cause nutritionally deficiencies, including Vitamin B-12, which have been linked to many health conditions.

One way to fill the gaps between your nutrient intake and nutrient requirements is to supplement. For B-12 supplementation, I like VeganSafe B-12. It contains natural and most bioavailable forms of vitamin B12, methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin in an easily absorbed liquid formula.

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How to Choose your ”FEELINGS and MOODS” using Essentail oils

Posted by on Nov 23, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on How to Choose your ”FEELINGS and MOODS” using Essentail oils

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