Sunday, February 28, 2010

GMO Seed

Spring nears and my thoughts turn to seeds and planting. Today at church our pastor, who is also a dedicated farmer, mentioned the high price of soy bean seed. You see soy is one of the most widely grown GMO crops in the US.

Seeds, being part of nature and created by God, not man, remained unpatented for many years. However, that changed several years ago. In today's world a large corporation, known as Monsanto, is allowed not only to alter life by genetically modifying the seed given to us by God, but they are also allowed to patent it. To claim ownership of the genetic components of the seed itself.

For those of you that aren't bothered by eating genetically engineered food, let me explain why this is still a problem. Historically, farmers stored their own seed from this years crop to germinate next years crop. Genetically modified (GMO) seed ended that tradition because the seed from the vegetation is not fertile. In other words, if I grew GMO soy beans, I could not use them to grow more beans next year. You must buy the seed from Monsanto. Furthermore, the soy crops spread to other heirloom crops inbreeding with them.

In time, we will all rely on Monsanto for seed and they will have a corner on the market charging anything they wish for their GMO seed. Not only that, but heirloom (or non-GMO seeds) may not exist any longer exist. It is no surprise to me that the cost of soy bean seed is rising. Soy beans are one of the most widely grown GMO crops in our country.

Give Monsanto time and the rest of the seeds will be equally expensive and we will be at their mercy.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lavender and Sage through the Winter

It has been a harsh winter here in Kansas. We have had more snow and ice than usual. Today, it is mid-February and we finally got some sun and a high temperature in the 50's. I made it out to the garden on the side of the house to dump my compost. I was surprised to see the sage, and lavender are green. I had no idea that they would stay green all winter when I planted them. They are near a retaining wall which blocks the harsh North wind. I was also pleasantly surprised to see my onions left in the ground throughout the winter were sprouting and reminding me that spring is just around the corner. :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Use of Herbs for Medicine

I have written many how-to articles explaining how to use herbs as medicine. For children, herbal syrups work well. For adults an herbal tincture might be more appropriate. Herbs are not generally dangerous unless they are overdone. In fact, the use of herbs in moderation is no more harmful that cooking with them. People tend to get nervous when you start talking about using herbs as medicine. But, it is important to understand that throughout time, before there were doctors, people looked to foods and herbs as a way to cure ailments. They are by no means substitutes for your doctors advice and if you are seriously ill, see a doctor. Herbs are useful as a first measure of prevention for treating your body naturally before resulting to more potent pharmaceuticals.

How to Make Herbal Medicine at Home

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