Sunday, 03 June 2012 00:35
By Steve Gabriel
In permaculture, the aim is to design gardens and farms for two things — the provision of human needs and the improvement of ecosystem health. When looking at any individual plant, animal, or structure, permaculturists consider first and foremost how it relates to the bigger picture.
Often I am asked, by those enthusiastic to the ideas of permaculture, "Where to begin?" My answer is always the same: take a class, and pick just a few things that excite you. Plant these the first season and observe, learning their habits and life cycle. Then add some more each new year.
Listed below, in preparation for the upcoming growing season, are a few of the many amazing multipurpose plants that should have a home in every garden. All of these plants are perennials — meaning you plant them once and they return year after year. They're easy to grow and propagate. Finally, they all offer benefits to human health as well as to the ecosystem they inhabit.
Tuesday, 01 May 2012 11:52
By Carrie Stearns, P.D. Hom.
As I write, it is a beautiful, bright spring morning. We are already in the heart of spring here in Ithaca. The daffodils are at their peak and tulips are just around the corner from blooming, with the lilacs not far behind. I have spent my morning drinking tea, reading poetry and periodically checking in (via my computer) on a pair of nesting herons at Sapsucker Woods, all while thinking of writing this article for the GreenLeaf about my work as a homeopath.
Homeopathy and spring actually have a lot in common. Spring is a time of renewal, and homeopathic medicine holds great potential for deep and lasting renewal of health. Spring is full of energy and possibility, born out of a time of darkness and stillness. Homeopathy is energetic medicine made from nature (plants, animals and minerals) that stimulates the body to transform symptoms of illness into health. The darkness and stillness of winter is a very real metaphor for illness. In my work as a homeopath I approach healing with the idea that illness offers us opportunities through which we can discover places in need of change that then can bring about greater health.
Sunday, 01 April 2012 17:37
By Sarah K. Highland
If a fundamental principle of health is that you are what you eat, then the basic premise of healthy homebuilding is that you ought to be able to eat your house. If you have kids or pets, you may know what I'm talking about. For the rest of you, imagine a door viewed through a very powerful microscope. Every time it opens and closes, particles of the door rub off and waft through the air or fall to the floor. If the door is made of real wood, with an edible finish, well and good. If, however, it's covered with paint or made of a plastic composite, those particles floating around the house won't be so good for you, especially if they land on a kitchen cutting board.
Now let's take a microscopic look at a wall. There may not be visible cracks in the surface, but anywhere there's an electrical outlet there is a hole in the wall that may connect directly to the insulation cavity. Any drafts coming through that little hole are going to carry in with them tiny particles of insulation. Therefore, you may want to consider both of these facts when you evaluate or choose the insulation in your walls: some kinds are much more effective than others (fiberglass, though cheap, is actually not a very good insulator); and some are friendlier than others to inhale. I'd sooner eat straw than cellulose, and you couldn't pay me enough to take a mouthful of fiberglass or foam.
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New in Wellness
Detox your mouth with a new locally made toothpaste, or try a new organic mouth rinse to leave your teeth sparkling clean.
If you're doing some spring cleaning this month, why not put your money where your mouth is? We've got a new locally made "detox" toothpaste from Dragonfly Effect out of Oneonta. How can a toothpaste be detoxifying, you ask? A blend of bentonite clay, diotamaceous earth, and other pure ingredients, this paste is meant to be swallowed, functioning as both tooth cleanser and internal cleanser. Vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO, it's available in three fresh flavors. Also for squeaky-clean teeth, we're happy to introduce Essential Oxygen's Organic Brushing Rinse. It can be used as a mouthwash, of course, but it also doubles as a liquid toothpaste. Simply squirt it into your mouth, swish, brush, and spit! The makers recommend using it first thing in the morning to rid yourself of the bad bacteria that builds up in the mouth overnight. It's good not only for your teeth but for your entire immune system.
By Micaela Cook, Citzenre Representitive
Solar power is gaining popularity and attention in mainstream America, but solar technology has reliably producing clean power for decades, in fact, many photovoltaic systems installed in the 70s are still operating today. Todays typical solar cells have conversion efficiencies of 15 to 20%, but research and development programs aim to increase that to greater than 50%. While solar cells are already used for calculators, watches, satellites, remote telecommunications devices, municip...