Wednesday, April 1, 2015

2015: The International Year of Soils

We will be hosting a free viewing of "Symphony of the Soil" at our holistic center, Grace of Angels, located in Chester, NJ on Wednesday, April 22 at 7:00 PM.  

Come and celebrate Earth Day with a movie and discussion!

From the iMDB Film Summary:
Drawing from ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, Symphony of the Soil is an artistic exploration of the miraculous substance soil. By understanding the elaborate relationships and mutuality between soil, water, the atmosphere, plants and animals, we come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource. The film also examines our human relationship with soil, the use and misuse of soil in agriculture, deforestation and development, and the latest scientific research on soil's key role in ameliorating the most challenging environmental issues of our time. Filmed on four continents, featuring esteemed scientists and working farmers and ranchers, Symphony of the Soil is an intriguing presentation that highlights possibilities of healthy soil creating healthy plants creating healthy humans living on a healthy planet.

About the Year of Soils:
The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils (IYS)!
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has been nominated to implement the IYS 2015, within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership and in collaboration with Governments and the secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
The IYS 2015 aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions.

Additionally, PBS has a wonderful documentary entitled, "SOS:  Save our Soils", which can be viewed here:   http://video.pbs.org/viralplayer/2365301480


However you choose to celebrate Earth Day, remember to be gentle with the Earth and her resources EVERY day!

Green Blessings!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Tree Orienting: Bridging the Human and Botanical Worlds

I had met Jen Frey of Brigid's Way at this year's Mid-Atlantic Women's Herbal Conference in Kempton, PA that was held at the beginning of October.  She spoke about Tree Orienting, and it just completely resonated with me.  So, today I traveled all the way out to Lancaster, PA to participate in a Tree Orienting workshop that she was hosting. Tree Orienting originated as a collaboration between Damanhur, Italy and the Wisdom University in 2011.  From Damanhur's website:

Tree orientation is an initiative that Damanhur has proposed since 2011. The community participates in this project along with many friends worldwide, most of whom are part of the Popolo Spirituale, as part of the Global Tree Network. The purpose of Tree Orientation is to bring the human and plant worlds closer together, as they once were. 

Damanhur's Spiritual Vision gives great importance to communing with the physical and subtle forces of nature that are represented by plants and nature spirits. The trees are large, living antennas of our planet. On the Summer Solstice, the trees launch a signal into the cosmos about the health of our planet, and at the Winter Solstice, they receive a return signal. For many years, their message has been a cry of despair because humans are destroying nature. The community of Damanhur and the many supporters of this initiative around the globe have made a commitment to transform the cries of the trees into songs of joy.


Tree orientation is a huge endeavor, but a tremendously fun adventure. It is a project that anyone can join in by using a simple technique, which involves getting close to a tree while carrying a Selfic pendulum, and walking around the tree as if you were embracing it.


People all around the world are participating in this practice and together, we can help strengthen the tree network while bridging the human and botanical worlds together again. 

More information can be found at :  http://www.globaltreenetwork.com/

It was crisp, cold, windy with a high of about 23 degrees.  Long Park in Lancaster is a beautiful place to work with the trees, and it wasn't long before we had completed orienting the trees in one entire section of the park.  I oriented 283 trees myself - pretty good for a novice!  I purchased the device used to orient them, and intend to return with friends for another workshop in the spring.  If you are interested, please join me in the Spring!

Green Blessings!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Four Benefits of Getting Back to Nature

Source:  http://www.riseearth.com/2014/11/4-benefits-of-getting-back-to-nature.html

From this informative article:

"Author Richard Lou, who published the bestseller “Last Child in the Woods,” wrote about what he called a “nature deficit disorder” in relation to children, but he ultimately became overwhelmed by adults with stories about their own disconnect.
He’s not the only one to come upon this realization. More and more people have noticed a disconnect, which is largely credited to a world that’s constantly surrounded by technology. While communication is easier than ever, the quality of that communication is rapidly decreasing, which is why many are looking to take a step back from technology and reconnect with nature. It’s a good idea for everyone, with numerous benefits, including the following." 


Read the whole article here.

Friday, October 10, 2014

"Symphony of the Soil" Movie!

THIS is an excellent documentary about the need to care for this vital natural resource. I've watched it several times this summer. Look for an upcoming Discussion and film viewing in our Samhain newsletter later this month. Green Blessings!

 


Read the full article here.   

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Keyhole Gardening

Recently, I learned about a relatively simple way to have a raised garden that combines recycling and composting and can be a boon to folks during summer droughts or those who live in arid climates since it requires less water!   From what I have read, they first appeared in Africa in areas with very little water and rather infertile soil.  Villagers used whatever materials they had access to, and the idea for this sustainable gardening style was born.

Since early in September, I have been collecting used bricks with the intent of re-purposing them into a 6' diameter keyhole garden in my backyard.  Based on an idea from fellow herbalist, Shelly Moore, I intend to create a separate keyhole garden for each body system, and plant the corresponding medicinal herbal allies accordingly.  Shelly has done this in her yard, and I totally loved the idea because it is not only a great way to add to my teaching gardens, it also reinforces to my students that many medicinal botanicals can be beneficial to several organs or body systems at the same time - so it can help when creating a client-specific triune formula.

Here is a link to HGTV's description of keyhole gardens:
http://www.hgtvgardens.com/raised-garden/keyhole-gardening-tips

Here is one 'blueprint' for a basic 6' diameter keyhole garden:

http://www.inspirationgreen.com/keyhole-gardens.html

Some pics from the Inspiration Green website:




















I probably won't get this completed before late fall this year, and will post some pictures as the project moves along.  So, which body system shall I plant first?  Heart/circulatory?  Musculo/Skeletal?  Endocrine?  Nervous System? HPA?  Let me know your thoughts!

Green Blessings!
-Donna





Monday, August 18, 2014

Earth Overshoot Day, 2014

Tomorrow is Earth Overshoot Day for 2014. Read more about it below, or on our website: http://willowmoonherbals.com/Environmental-Awareness.html

 


From the website:  Footprint Calculator"How much land area does it take to support YOUR lifestyle? Take this quiz to find out your Ecological Footprint, discover your biggest areas of resource consumption, and learn what you can do to tread more lightly on the earth"

Friday, July 25, 2014

12 Facts About Microwaves That Should Forever Terminate Their Use...

Gave up mine in the divorce and haven't missed it in 15 years! I avoid them like the plague, especially in office kitchenettes where I have repeatedly seen employees stand DIRECTLY in front of the microwave while they warm their food, ...and slowly cook their major internal organs from pelvis to sternum... 

Recycle it, folks!




by Marco Torres
Prevent Disease

Are microwaves a benign bastion of convenience or a sinister contributor to biological and nutritional damage? A growing percentage of people are now heeding the advice of holistic health experts and disposing of their microwaves due to the dangers of microwaved food. Regardless of where you stand, humans are the only animals on the planet who destroy the nutritional value of their food before eating it, and the use of microwaves is no exception.

Microwaves are a source of electromagnetic energy (a form of nonionizing form of radiation) electronically generated. When penetrating the aliments, they trigger an inner rotation of the water molecules inside the food. This rotation triggers a friction between the molecules and the result is a rapid growth in temperature.

Microwaves use super-fast particles to literally radiate the contents of water inside food and bring it to boil. Not only has microwave use been linked to causing infertility in men, but it also denatures many of the essential proteins in the food making them virtually indigestible.  


Read the whole article here:
Source:  www.riseearth.com/2014/07/12-facts-about-microwaves-that-should.html

Monday, June 9, 2014

Top Ways Mushrooms May Help Fight Cancer


The cure for cancer already exists. But it wasn't created in a lab, and it wasn't funded by pink-ribbon products or walkathons. It was created for free by Mother Nature, and it exists as a collection of literally thousands of powerful anti-cancer phytonutrients found in medicinal mushrooms.  Traditional Chinese Medicine has long understood the powerful healing properties of Shiitake, Maitake, Chaga and Reishi, to name just a few.  Read the links below to learn more.


mushrooms

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Happy Birthday, Rachel Carson!

For those who are unaware, she is the Environmental Scientist and author of "Silent Spring" who first raised the clarion call in earnest about environmental toxins in the 1960's. She was way ahead of her time, and sadly, these toxins are what brought her to her grave. Her campaign to bring awareness to toxic dumping and polluting was nearly 50 years ago, and in those years, we have all been exposed to unimaginable combinations of environmental toxins, to say nothing about GMOs.

So, Here's to you, Rachel! You dared to speak out to protect humanity and our environment, and there are many of us who have willingly picked up that baton and continue to speak out and bring awareness to this vital issue.


Photo: Happy Birthday, Rachel Carson!  For those who are unaware, she is the Environmental Scientist and author of "Silent Spring" who first raised the clarion call in earnest about environmental toxins in the 1960's.  She was way ahead of her time, and sadly, these toxins are what brought her to her grave.  Her campaign to bring awareness to toxic dumping and polluting was nearly 50 years ago, and in those years, we have all been exposed to unimaginable combinations of environmental toxins, to say nothing about GMOs.  

So, Here's to you, Rachel!  You dared to speak out to protect humanity and our environment, and there are many of us who have willingly picked up that baton and continue to speak out and bring awareness to this vital issue.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Just Like a Tree

One of the other attendees at the Writing Workshop at Schiff Nature Preserve last Saturday graciously agreed to let me post one of her creations.  She created this poem in a 20-minute writing session, and it just captured my heart and reflects how we both feel about our noble tree friends.

Visit Treesa's website and see her other artistic work and creations: 
http://tjoycreations.com/


Just Like a Tree

Who do you think you are pretending to be so not like me, Silly One.
Are we not both fibrous sinew wrapped in myelin sheath

Don’t we both stand just a little bit taller
When the sun summons us to look up

Don’t we both say, “Ahh” when cool waters
After a long, hot summer’s day swirl around our rooted toes

Do you not smile back at me when my petaled face giggles at you
When I poke out of my frosted jack-in-the-box

Don’t we both cry for silence
When chaos dizzies us with mayhem

Don’t we both want to be covered and protected from our vulnerable nakedness
When winter’s heavy hand strips our mask from its lodged grasp

Do you not like to bend and sway
When the winds of Spirit whisper in your ear
Beckoning you for one last dance before the music slips back into memory

Do you like it when the bird leaves its squashy mess on you?
No, me neither
And yet haven’t we both found a way to use it for good?

Do you see that our green eyes are shimmering together
As we stand smitten in fixed gaze

Do you like my newest garb
It’s kind of growing on me

Yes, we are nearly identical, you and me
However, you have two legs and I but one

You run and jump but I stand here
Waiting for you to return

Hurry back, I miss you