Archaeologists recreate Elixir of Long Life recipe from unearthed bottle

Archaeologists recreate Elixir of Long Life recipe from unearthed bottle

Beneath a construction site for a glassy, 22-story hotel in New York, archaeologists unearthed a history of drinking, eating and lodging, along with a tradition of consuming cure-alls and potions for good health, according to a report in DNA Info . The discovery included a two hundred-year-old glass bottle that once contained the “Elixir of Long Life”. Now the research team have tracked down the original German recipe used to create the elixir for fending off death.

“We decided to engage in our own brand of experimental archaeology,” said Alyssa Loorya, the president of Chrysalis, a company regularly hired by the city to oversee excavation projects. Loorya enlisted researchers in Germany to track down the recipe in an old medical guide, which revealed that the potion contained ingredients such as aloe, which is anti-inflammatory, gentian root, which aids digestion, as well as rhubarb, zedoary, and Spanish saffron – ingredients still used by herbalists today.

The raw ingredients for an ‘Elixir of Long Life’. Photo credit: DNAinfo/Irene Plagianos

In addition to the Elixir of Long Life, archaeologists also discovered two bottles of Dr Hostetters Stomach Bitters, a once-popular 19 th century medicine, which contained a complex mixture of ingredients including Peruvian bark, which has malaria-fighting properties, and gum kino, a kind of tree sap that is antibacterial. Loorya and her team are have recreated both types of elixir, which they say taste very bitter.

The search for the Elixir of Life has been the supreme quest for many. In medieval times, there are accounts of the alchemists looking for the philosopher’s stone, believed to be required to create the elixir but also to convert lead to gold. Bernard Trevisan, an alchemist of the 15th century said that dropping the philosopher’s stone into mercurial water would create the elixir, and we have multiple cases of alchemists who claim to have found the Elixir of Life, including the infamous Cagliostro or Saint Germain.

Images depicting the Elixir of Long Life

Ancient references to immortality, or extremely long life spans, can be traced back thousands of years. The 4,000-year-old Sumerian King’s List , for example, refer to rulers who reigned for tens of thousands of years. Even the Bible refers to individuals who lived for hundreds of years, prior to the ‘Great Flood’.

Ancient myths and legends from numerous cultures around the world refer to special food or drink that were reserved for the ‘gods’ and kept them immortal. For the Greek gods it was ambrosia and nectar, in Zoroastrian and Vedic mythologies, we can see reference to a special drink known as Soma and Haoma respectively. In Egyptian mythology, Thoth and Hermes drank ‘white drops’ and ‘liquid gold’, which were said to keep them immortal. In Sumerian texts, we have references to the Ninhursag’s milk, which was drunk by the kings of ancient Sumer. In the Hindu religion, the gods would harness a milk called Amrita, a nectar that was collected and drunk by the gods to give them immortality, but forbidden for humans to drink. In Chinese mythology, we have the ‘peaches of immortality’. Are all these references simply the imagination of our ancient ancestors? Or were their cultures that really achieved significant longevity? Perhaps there is at least some truth behind the Elixir of Long Life…


Archaeologists Have Recreated Beer From the 1800s and it Tastes Minty

EAST VILLAGE &mdash Archaeologists who recently recreated a recipe for centuries-old beer have brewed up a limited 5-gallon supply &mdash which they're offering on an upcoming historic pub crawl.

The team at Chrysalis Archaeology discovered a glass bottle embossed with the label "California Pop Beer" dating back to the 1800s during an excavation beneath a hotel site at 50 Bowery earlier this year. They then researched the recipe for the drink and brewed up a limited-edition supply, which they're going to share during their tour through the East Village Sept. 6.

&ldquoIt&rsquos actually pretty refreshing,&rdquo said Alyssa Loorya, president of Chrysalis. &ldquoYou add some wintergreen, spruce oil, ginger root and sassafras to brew with hops, and even though it sounds really weird, it tastes rather good.&rdquo

The archaeologists' dig also unearthed hundreds of liquor and &ldquomedicinal" bottles, including ones labeled the &ldquoElixir of Long Life." Loorya and her team first recreated the Elixir of Long Life recipe, and then they decided to continue their "experimental archaeology" by making the beer as well.

&ldquoThe elixir was so bitter, [but the beer] sounded like it might actually taste OK, so we figured, let&rsquos try it out,&rdquo Loorya said. &ldquoIt took a couple of weeks to brew, but it turned out pretty well.&rdquo

MORE DNAINFO STORIES:

California Pop Beer was originally made more than 150 years ago in a brewery in Newark, New Jersey, according to the archaeologists. They believe it was served in the Atlantic Tavern, a German beer hall that opened at 50 Bowery around 1860. The venue was a fashionable spot to eat German food, listen to music and drink beer, Loorya said.

Loorya's team will offer sips of California Pop Beer to attendees of next month's pub crawl, which they will host in conjunction with the Historic Districts Council.

The walking and drinking tour will stop at some of the city's oldest bars, including McSorley&rsquos and Pete&rsquos Tavern, Loorya said.

Tickets for the 2 1/2-hour tour are $10 and include the historic beer, but not other drinks purchased at the bars. The crawl will end at the Old Town Bar, with snacks and conversation with Loorya and the historians. The tour will likely be capped at 20 people. You can reserve a spot on the Historic Districts Council's website.

If you'd like to try your hand at brewing the beer yourself, here's the recipe:

California Pop Beer Recipe

Makes about 5 gallons of beer

For the yeast:

3 1/2 teaspoons of wheat flour

4 1/2 ounces of cold water

2 teaspoons of ground malt

1/2 teaspoon of grain alcohol

For the &ldquoessence&rdquo:

1 1/2 teaspoons of grain alcohol

1/4 teaspoon of wintergreen oil

1/8 teaspoon of sassafras oil

1/8 teaspoon of spruce oil

Additional ingredients for final step:

4 teaspoons of cream of tartar

To make the yeast, steep the hops in 3 ounces of water for an hour and strain. Dissolve the flour into 1 1/2 ounces of cold water and add the strained hops. After 30 minutes, add the malt and the alcohol and let it sit for 12 hours.

Separately, mix the essence together: combine alcohol, wintergreen, sassafras and spruce oil and set aside.

For the final mixture, combine the 2 1/2 ounces of hops, cream of tartar and ginger root and set aside. Combine 1/2 gallon of water and sugar in a separate container and add the hops, cream of tartar and ginger-root mixture. Then, add the "essence" and heat up the combined mixture until it hits 90 degrees. Add the yeast mixture, and let it sit for four hours. Then, place the mixture in a bottle and let it sit for three days.


Green (Living) Review

Archaeologists have dug up a 19th-century recipe for fending off death.

During a recent excavation beneath a hotel site at 50 Bowery, Chrysalis Archaeology discovered a tiny, greenish glass bottle that once contained the "Elixir of Long Life."

The bottle found amid a cache of 150-year-old liquor bottles beneath what was once a German beer garden sparked the archaeologists' curiosity, and they decided to hunt down the original recipe so they could try the elixir themselves.

“We decided to engage in our own brand of experimental archaeology,” said Alyssa Loorya, the president of Chrysalis, a company regularly hired by the city to oversee excavation projects. “We wanted to know what this stuff actually tasted like.”

Loorya enlisted colleagues in Germany to help her track down the recipe in a 19th-century medical guide. After they translated it for her, she discovered it contained ingredients still used by modern-day herbalists: aloe, which is anti-inflammatory, and gentian root, which aids digestion. Mostly, though, the elixir was made of alcohol.

“These types of cure-alls were pretty ubiquitous in the 19th century, and always available at bars,” Loorya said. “Similar bitters and ingredients are still used today, in cocktails, and in health stores, but I guess we don’t know if it was the copious amounts of alcohol or the herbs that perhaps made people feel better.”

Loorya and her team are gathering the ingredients for the elixir and plan to try making it within the next couple of weeks.

They also plan to recreate Dr. Hostetters Stomach Bitters, a once-popular 19th-century medicine, after finding two of those bottles at the 50 Bowery site and seeking out that recipe as well.

The Hostetters recipe is a bit more complex, containing Peruvian bark, also known as cinchona, which is used for its malaria-fighting properties and is still used to make bitters for cocktails, and gum kino, a kind of tree sap that is antibacterial. It also contains more common ingredients, including cinnamon and cardamom seeds, which are known to help prevent gas.

When DNAinfo New York showed the recipes to herbalist Lata Kennedy, who's owned the East Village herb shop Flower Power for 19 years, she said many are still used to naturally treat ailments.

“All those ingredients are about your digestive health, and that’s really a key to good health in general,” Kennedy said of both the Elixir of Life and Hostetters recipes. “Those ingredients make a liver tonic, one that soothes your stomach, and also helps you poop — get out the toxins.”

Using alcohol to extract the beneficial properties of herbs and roots is still a common practice used by herbalists today, Kennedy said. She sells many of the ingredients used in the recipes, both in raw form and alcohol-based tinctures, and she believes they improve people's health — and could even prolong their life.


The Hermetic Library Blog

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together &hellip Omnium Gatherum for July 2nd, 2014


Endangered Site: Chinguetti, Mauritania: The rapidly expanding Sahara Desert threatens a medieval trading center that also carries importance for Sunni Muslims — Jeanne Maglaty, Smithsonian

    — Brandy Williams, Star and Snake

“Many Witches are unaware how deeply involved Gerald Gardner was with Ordo Templi Orientis. How Gardner came to think of himself of head of the O.T.O. in Europe, however briefly, shines a light on Gardner’s wide contacts in the esoteric communities, the last days of Aleister Crowley’s life, and the chaos caused by the Second World War.”

“Many sociopaths wreak havoc in a covert way, so that their underlying condition remains hidden for years. They can possess a superficial charm, and this diverts attention from disturbing aspects of their nature.”

The following case history illustrates how people can be systematically targeted until they feel they can barely trust their own sense of reality – what we call ‘gaslighting’. Sociopathic abuse is targeted abuse. It can wreck lives. Victims can become survivors, but at huge cost.”

“Let’s look at what we term the Socio-Empath-Apath Triad, or Seat. Unremitting abuse of other people is an activity of the sociopath that stands out. To win their games, sociopaths enlist the help of hangers-on: apaths.”

“If I were to ask you what the average male pagan looked like, you’d probably have him down as a bearded, middle-aged, cloak-wearing, tree-hugging, mead-swigging, part-time nudist who’s a bit paunchy around the middle and whose favourite film is The Wicker Man.

And you’d be right.”

“Last spring Vincent Brady sold most of his belongings, moved out of his apartment and struck out on the road to document the night sky. But instead of taking your typical long-exposure shots, Brady designed himself a custom camera rig that’s allowed him to capture stunning 360 panoramic images of the stars and Milky Way moving in concert.”

“Include as much of life as you possibly can: Fall in love. Break your heart. Risk. Open. Seek justice. Create. Dance. Listen. Fuck. Desire. Will. Act. Live.”

“Overall, [Peter Dodds, et al., of the Computational Story Lab at the University of Vermont in Burlington] collected 50 ratings per word resulting in an impressive database of around 5 million individual assessments. Finally, they plotted the distribution of perceived word happiness for each language.

The results bring plenty of glad tidings. All of the languages show a clear bias towards positive words with Spanish topping the list, followed by Portuguese and then English. Chinese props up the rankings as the least happy. ‘Words—the atoms of human language — present an emotional spectrum with a universal positive bias,’ they say.”

“The poet Sylvia Plath’s work is full of the moon, and this is just the beginning of her nod to the occult. Her 1956 marriage to the poet Ted Hughes added astrology, tarot, Ouija boards, hypnosis, meditation, folk-magic, witchcraft, and crystal ball scrying to her repertoire of extra-curricular spiritual activities.

The facts have been out there all along on Sylvia Plath, but until now no one had thought to view them seriously and collectively.”

“Often I find that, when I am facing a new challenge, perhaps one that I find daunting for some reason, the simplest solution is to apply basic principles. This is especially true in magick. In the Golden Dawn the most important rule of thumb is referred to as ‘invoke the highest first,’ which is a reference to one of the clauses of the Adeptus Minor obligation: ‘I furthermore solemnly pledge myself never to work at any important symbol without first invocating the highest Divine Names connected therewith.'”

“Every body wants to taste
a little something carbon-based
Sex is proof the Holy Ghost
crawls around in stuff that’s gross
Yeah

There’s a serpent in my body
right below my belly
When I crave an apple
you are redder than an orchard”

“In the period following Crowley’s death the state of organized Thelema largely fell to nothing. In his excellent The Unknown God Martin P. Starr provides an excellent account of Crowley’s O.T.O. heir, Karl Germer’s attempt to hold together the existing Thelemites with little effect. As a result of there being no centralized Thelemic authority quasi-Thelemic groups would form.”

“The discovery included a two hundred-year-old glass bottle that once contained the ‘Elixir of Long Life’. Now the research team have tracked down the original German recipe used to create the elixir for fending off death. […] the potion contained ingredients such as aloe, which is anti-inflammatory, gentian root, which aids digestion, as well as rhubarb, zedoary, and Spanish saffron – ingredients still used by herbalists today.”

“After the untimely death of Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke back in 2012 […] there has been much speculation about what would happen with the Exeter Centre for the Study of Esotericism (EXESESO) that he ran at the University of Exeter. Since 2005, EXESESO has offered one of the three official university programs for the academic study of esotericism in Europe (the others being in Amsterdam and Paris), and produced a steady stream of MAs through its distance learning program. After an internal evaluation process at Exeter University, in dialogue with the Theosophically oriented Blavatsky Trust who funded the centre, a final decision has now been made to shut EXESESO down.”

“Overall, the story of Zeppelin was like something out of an X-rated version of the Bible with Plant as the messianic, bare-chested prophet from Wolverhampton and Page as the Aleister Crowley devotee who sold his soul to the devil for magic chords to the Delta blues.”

“The sands of the Sahara have all but swallowed Chinguetti, a near ghost town found at the end of a harsh desert road in Mauritania, West Africa. Its majority of abandoned houses are open to the elements, lost to the dunes of a desert aggressively expanding southward at a rate of 30 miles per year. While predictions suggest this isolated town will be buried without a trace within generations, Chinguetti is probably the last place on Earth you would look for a library of rare books.”

“While it might not seem an obvious pairing, reading [Gary] Lachman’s book as a biography of Crowley (rather than an analysis of his importance) alongside Hughes-Hallett’s Gabriele d’Annunzio provides an opportunity to both compare and contrast these two controversial figures who reportedly were acquainted with one another in their lifetimes (d’Annunzio was 12 years older than Crowley and died nine years before him). It also gives the reader an opportunity to consider what’s truly bad or evil, and think about the quest for pleasure or power. Few figures in the last century will inspire you to ponder those ideas like the figures profiled in these two books.”

If you’d like to participate in the next Omnium Gatherum, head on over to the Gatherum discussions at the Hrmtc Underground BBS.


Irene Plagianos

LOWER EAST SIDE &mdash Archaeologists have dug up a 19th-century recipe for fending off death.

During a recent excavation beneath a hotel site at 50 Bowery, Chrysalis Archaeology discovered a tiny, greenish glass bottle that once contained the "Elixir of Long Life."

The bottle found amid a cache of 150-year-old liquor bottles beneath what was once a German beer garden sparked the archaeologists' curiosity, and they decided to hunt down the original recipe so they could try the elixir themselves.

IRENE PLAGIANOS - DNA INFO

Mystery Artifact Unearthed at City Hall Is 19th-Century Feminine Device

CITY HALL &mdash An excavation at the city&rsquos political center has unearthed a 3-inch artifact that initially baffled archaeologists &mdash until they realized it was one of the earliest documented feminine hygiene products in New York.

&ldquoAt first we thought it was maybe a spice-grinder or needle case,&rdquo said Alyssa Loorya, president of Chrysalis Archaeology, the firm that oversaw the dig, part of a Department of Design and Construction rehabilitation project at City Hall. &ldquoWe were stumped.&rdquo

IRENE PLAGIANOS - DNA INFO

City Probes Hornblower Relationship With Aggressive Ferry Ticket Sellers

IRENE PLAGIANOS - DNA INFO

LOWER MANHATTAN &mdash The Department of Investigation is reviewing ferry operator Hornblower Inc., and its connection to a sometimes violent and illegal ticket trade at The Battery, DNAinfo New York has learned.

The DOI investigation was launched after a May DNAinfo story detailed Hornblower's practice of hiring questionable companies that were helping to fuel a network of aggressive ticket sellers &mdash boat ticket hawkers who were tricking tourists hoping to sail to the Statue of Liberty, sources said.

City's Small Biz Agency Has Only Given $2.5M of $42M in Federal Sandy Cash

SOUTH STREET SEAPORT &mdash Hundreds of city business owners whose storefronts &mdash and livelihoods &mdash were devastated by Hurricane Sandy more than a year ago are still waiting for federal money meant to help them recover.

More than 330 small businesses have applied for the federally funded NYC Hurricane Sandy Loan & Grant, a $42 million program that offers loans of up to $150,000 at a 1 percent interest rate, along with grants of up to $60,000.

IRENE PLAGIANOS - DNA INFO

Downtown School Starts Reciting Pledge of Allegiance, Sparking Tensions

IRENE PLAGIANOS - DNA INFO

SOUTH STREET SEAPORT &mdash Students at a Downtown elementary school began reciting the Pledge of Allegiance for the first time last week, sparking tensions among families over an oath that &mdash while required by state law &mdash has quietly fallen out of favor at many schools across the city.

The Peck Slip School &mdash which opened on cobblestoned Peck Slip in 2015, after being temporarily located in makeshift classrooms at the Department of Education headquarters since 2012 &mdash had never made the oath part of its daily routine, according to parents at the school.

New York May Stop Charging All 16- and 17-Year-Olds as Adults

IRENE PLAGIANOS - DNA INFO

NEW YORK CITY &mdash When you're 16 years old, you're too young to vote, to buy alcohol or a lotto ticket, or even see an R-rated movie without a parent &mdash but in New York, you're old enough to be locked up in Rikers Island, a place Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently called "savage, inhumane and revolting."

New York remains one of two states &mdash the other being North Carolina &mdash that prosecutes all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, no matter what the crime.


Common-Sense Archaeology: Fact-Checking Breathless Headlines About Archaeological Discoveries

The mythical potion that grants its drinkers eternal life, the recipe that alchemists have sought for THOUSANDS of years, has finally been discovered. This is literally the most important discovery of human history, and poises us on the cusp of a brand new era in human evolution. Look at that bottle – tiny but ornate! The legends were true it must only take only a few sips of the “white drops” to be effective!

“Archaeologists have dug up a 19th-century recipe for fending off death.”

Okay, yes, well…hmm. That’s a lot more recent than I was expecting. The 19th century is definitely not in “sands of time” territory. That’s not even “mists of time” territory. That’s like…”veils of time” territory. Very wispy and translucent veils. Even if this elixir turned out to be the one from the lesser versions of the legend – extending life to an unnatural extent rather than banishing death completely – it seems to me that we might have *noticed* these near-immortals walking among us. On the other hand, these proto-immortals certainly would have taken great pains to disguise themselves, and there’s always the possibility of a Bilderberg Group/Illuminati/Ordo Templi Orientis conspiracy to hide it. But onward, the answers will surely reveal themselves.

“During a recent excavation beneath a hotel site at 50 Bowery, Chrysalis Archaeology discovered a tiny, greenish glass bottle that once contained the “Elixir of Long Life.”

So the bottle is empty, which is disappointing, but perhaps to be expected. After all, if you’d dedicated most of your life to uncovering the secret to even NEAR immortality, you’d certainly would have drained the dregs from that bottle. I don’t even leave drops left in cans of soda, and those basically contain the opposite of eternal life. But perhaps a crack team of brilliant chemists, backed by an international consortium, can use what ever trace residue still remains in the bottle to *begin* to reconstruct the elixir. This could be our first handhold we need to scale the unscalable wall of death and take hold of immortality with both hands. Not an end to death, then, but the beginning of the end.

“The bottle found amid a cache of 150-year-old liquor bottles beneath what was once a German beer garden sparked the archaeologists’ curiosity, and they decided to hunt down the original recipe so they could try the elixir themselves.”

Okay, let’s take this one damning sentence fragment at a time. They found a bottle labeled “the elixir of life,” along with a bunch of alcohol, in the ruins of a beer garden? You might take that title at face value if it was found in what was once an alchemist’s grotto, or the catacombs, or under a monastery. In that context, yes, it might be reasonable to assume that the name The Elixir of Life is to be taken literally and sincerely. In a beer garden, mixed in with assorted bottles of alcohol? THAT bottle?

Look at that bottle. I swear I’ve got a novelty shot glass that looks exactly like that.

This bottle didn’t contain the elixir of life. Probably the most interesting thing that this bottle contained is an old hangover cure playfully named “the elixir of life.” Seeing this bottle and thinking it’s actually the elixir of life makes you worse than one of those guys who responds to a woman’s Twitter joke as if it were 100% serious. But it gets worse.

After finding this bottle, these archaeologists, who undoubtedly spent years of their lives tirelessly studying to learn how to coax secrets from the shadows and whispers of the past, decided that their next step would apparently be to consult some German librarians and ask them if they had any old recipes for “elixir of life.” I mean, for one, the idea that archaeologists needed to find an old bottle named “the elixir of life” to have their interest piqued about what is the most sought after legendary historical artifact in the world is sort of bizarre and unbelievable. Even if you’re a very serious and realistic archaeologist doesn’t believe that the elixir of life exists, you have to at least have *heard* of it before. This is like being a historian specializing in Ancient Greece and suddenly getting interested in Atlantis after visiting Las Vegas, or being a astronomer and having your interest in UFOs piqued by watching Ancient Aliens on the History Channel. But setting that aside, why ON EARTH would you think an arbitrary recipe picked from the undoubted dozens and dozens of recipes ineffectual “elixir of life” would have anything at all to do with a novelty hangover cure you found in a beer garden?

In any case, the conclusion to the story is that Chrysalis Archaeology is going to, I kid you not, sell the chance to taste the fake elixir of life at a pub crawl in New York. Which I guess I can’t really get mad about.


These Ancient Magic Potions will keep you Young and Beautiful

Traditional healing is perhaps one of the most talked about methods in healthcare in recent years. There has been a lot of research and studies done that produced elixirs and so-called ‘magic potions’ which can cure some of the world’s deadliest diseases but did you know that some of these ‘potions’ are actually in your home? If you want to stay young and beautiful, you should try the following potions which have been practiced for generations.

The east elixir of youth – This potion requires you to use about 200gms of honey, 50ml of olive oil and 100ml of lemon juice. Mix the ingredients together and take one tablespoon. Do this each day and you will notice clearer and brighter skin, better complex and you will look younger.

The Tibetan potion – Use a jar and put crystals in like amethyst, carnelian, agate and pink quartz. Then, pour boiling water in and leave it for about 10 hours under the sun. After that, the liquid can be consumed. Drink 2 to 3 cups daily or you can even use it as a lotion to improve your appearance. This is among the few methods that can help to clear your wrinkles.

The Egyptian Tea – This elixir has been passed down for centuries. Called the Sudanese Rose Tea, you are using hibiscus to protect your skin from aging. In the long term, it keeps your skin radiating and younger. Hibiscus contain a lot of antioxidants which will allow your skin to combat the effects of aging.

The Caucasian Drink – What you need is about 25gms of fennel root. Boil it in 1 litre of water for 3 to 4 minutes. Then leave the water for 15 minutes and then drink 3 cups of this each day. After a few weeks, you will notice better skin health in general and even smoother texture.


The Historical Count of Saint-Germaine: Elusive, Enigmatic and Eternal

The Count of Saint-Germaine is undoubtedly one of the most enigmatic characters from history. Considered by many to be either immortal or continuously reincarnated, he survives in all accounts as a great mind, an alchemist, and a Rosicrucian—a member of a secret society that believed the world is built on mysterious truths from the past which are hidden from the average man. The pattern of his life, however, is one that is surrounded in mystery, and much of his background is questionable to say the least.

Born in 1710, there are two explanations for Saint-Germaine’s parentage. The first, circulated by himself as he lay on his deathbed, is that he was the third son of Prince Ferenc Rokoczy II of Hungary and an unknown woman. Further to this theory, he is believed to have been raised and tutored by the wealthy Medici banking family of Italy, explaining his astounding intellect as an adult. The second possibility of his birth is that he was born to an unnamed Portuguese Jew. However, neither version of his origins can be known for certain, as there are no birth or funeral records of the count, and the count’s real name is unknown. “Saint-Germaine” was a pseudonym he derived for himself.

The famous and extremely powerful and influential Medici family of Italy, is believed to have raised and tutored Saint-Germaine, Photo from ( toptenz.net)

The Count of Saint-Germaine (Comte de Saint Germain) shows up in numerous places throughout his lifetime, making friends and enemies all over Europe. He was well-known for his intellect, talents, and royal affiliations, and is considered to have dressed well, with a ring on every finger, and a constantly powdered wig. Such dressing denoted a wealthy upbringing, and the former consideration that he was the son of a prince, boded well for his political affiliations. Saint-Germaine was considered a charming man, adept at painting and music, able to speak up to ten languages—most of the prominent ones of Europe—fluently.

Saint-Germaine created a stir of curiosity during his lifetime in numerous ways, most evidently because he is recorded as never having been seen eating or drinking in public, yet still remaining in absolutely perfect health. He told the infamous Giacomo Girolamo Casanova of Italy that he only ate a secret type of food (considered by some to be an age-defying elixir) which had allegedly kept him alive for over three hundred years, so contemporary food was not necessary. He was also a curious figure because he had no apparent means of wealth, but was never wanting, making friends with high-status aristocrats and royals through undefinable means. In fact, Saint-Germaine’s closest confidante was Prince Karl of Hesse-Cassel in the province of Schleswig-Holstein, the only man to whom he admitted his parentage and in whose home Saint-Germaine chose to die.

Painting of Prince Karl of Hesse-Cassel, painting by Anton Wilhelm Tischbein (1730-1804). ( Wikipedia.org)

Among Saint-Germaine’s other closest supporters were some of history’s favorite figures. He was arrested in London, around 1743, for being a highly wanted Jacobite spy. Catherine the Great was purportedly aided by Saint-Germaine in her becoming the Empress of Russia in 1762. Louis XV of France trusted Saint-Germaine so completely during his reign that he was the only one, save the king himself, allowed inside the rooms of Louis’ favored mistress Madame de Pompadour. Furthermore, Louis XV had initially met Saint-Germaine because the king had requested his aid in diplomatic affairs. Saint-Germaine then purportedly went on to attempt to create peace between France and Britain during the Seven Years’ War, failing to do so only because he was considered a suspicious figure by Charles Louis Auguste Fouquet, Duke of Belle-Isle. The aforementioned Casanova was also an acquaintance of Saint-Germaine, and considered himself to be a fellow alchemist and Rosicrucian. He also considered himself most clever until meeting Saint-Germaine, whose confession about being three hundred years old suggested he had far surpassed Casanova’s skill in alchemy.

Saint-Germaine was said to have aided Catherine the Great in becoming the Empress of Russia, by F.Rokotov after Roslin (1780s, Hermitage). ( Wikimedia Commons )

King Louis XV of France, trusted Saint Germaine completely. Painting by Maurice Quentin de La Tour (1748). ( en.wikipedia.com)

Although Saint-Germaine’s origins are not very well documented, the connections he made throughout his lifetime were such that they propelled him to the front of the historical records. A mysterious man of such accomplished talent and intelligence, Saint-Germaine could not be ignored by his contemporaries in Europe, nor can he be by modern scholars and researchers. The tale of the fantastical elements of Comte de Saint-Germaine continues in part two of this article, as a fascinating look into the secret society he believed in and the mystery behind his supposed immortality.

The Count of Saint-Germaine claimed many times to be immortal, apparently already three hundred years old by the time of his appearance in the 1700s. However, there is another more peculiar version of the story of Saint-Germaine revealed in historical records. It is believed by many that Saint-Germaine was an Ascended Master of Ancient Wisdom, the head of a theosophical belief system which thought people could be reincarnated to acquire wisdom that would eventually unify the spiritual and material aspects of the universe. These Masters supposedly achieved the same kind of ascension as did Jesus of Nazareth in the Bible. This theosophical faith continues to this day, and Saint-Germaine is still considered to be one of its masters. His followers think that the historical man was actually reincarnated over and over again before his birth as Saint-Germaine, as various prominent figures in the historical timeline. These figures were all people of supreme importance, and all had a resounding, lasting effect on the history of the world.

The first supposed incarnation of the Count of Saint-Germaine is that of a High Priest of the Violet Flame temple, over fifty thousand years ago. It is said that he brought enlightenment to the people of that culture, bringing to them the concept of the cosmic consciousness, but that they abandoned that path for worldly delights instead. When this happened, the man who would be Saint-Germaine then left the tribe to succumb to their sins. He is recorded next as the prophet Samuel from the Old Testament, who chose Saul to be king of the Israelites only to have Saul deny him. Then, Saint-Germaine was supposedly born as Joseph, Mary’s husband and Jesus of Nazareth’s earthly father. One of his most intriguing supposed incarnations, however, is that of the counselor, and possible wizard, Merlin of the court of King Arthur. Evidently, there was a thin line between science and magic for certain followers of Saint-Germaine.

Some believe Merlin the Magician was an incarnation of Saint Germaine ( Andy / flickr)

The most widely accepted previous incarnations of Saint-Germaine began in the third century AD. He is considered to have been Saint Alban, the first British martyr for the Christian faith, who was beheaded for not giving away the position of the monk Amphibalus to Emperor Diocletian. He was viciously tortured before being killed, and is highly respected for enduring his torments patiently.

The martyrdom of St Alban, from a 13th-century manuscript, now in the Trinity College Library, Dublin ( Wikimedia Commons )

Shortly after his time as Alban, Saint-Germaine was reputed to have become Proclus Lycaeus, head of Plato’s Academy in Athens. He began his adulthood as a successful lawyer before becoming disillusioned and traveling to Athens seeking philosophical tutelage. He next came to be known as Roger Bacon, a Franciscan and philosopher born in the thirteenth century. Roger Bacon was a firm believer in the Philosopher’s Stone and an elixir of life, he amassed large groups of followers based on his passion and intellect alone.

Roger Bacon’s circular diagrams relating to the scientific study of optics. By Roger Bacon also Saint Germaine, late 13 th Century. ( Wikimedia Commons )

His place of study became a pilgrimage site after his death, and legend spread that he was more than just a philosopher, but also some sort of wizard who had tricked the devil. By the nineteenth century, however, he came to be considered an eccentric scientist more than anything else.

Saint-Germaine’s final and most powerful form was said to be that of Sir Francis Bacon, a member of Queen Elizabeth I’s court. Francis Bacon is now considered as the father of empirical science, as well as the possible true author of most of William Shakespeare’s play, although this is hotly contested. Most interestingly, however, some followers of Saint-Germaine believe that Francis Bacon faked his death on Easter Sunday in 1626, and then traveled in secret to Transylvania where he made his home until he ascended to Master on May 1, 1684.

Frans Pourbus the younger, Sir Francis Bacon is also said to be an incarnation of Saint Germaine. By Artist Paul Van Somer, 1616. Held at the National Portrait Gallery. ( Wikimedia Commons )

It was after this alleged ascension that Bacon requested one final form and returned to the world as the elusive Count of Saint-Germaine until his “death” in the eighteenth century.


An Elixir From the French Alps, Frozen in Time

GRENOBLE, France — When the world went into lockdowns this year, the monks of Chartreuse simply added another tick to their 900-year record of self-imposed isolation.

The Chartreux, also known as Carthusians, embrace a deeply ascetic existence in the western French Alps, observing customs that have barely changed since their order, one of Christianity’s oldest, was founded. They pass the days alone, praying for humanity and listening for God in the silence that surrounds them.

Frugal meals of bread, cheese, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish arrive through a cubby in their individual cells. With few exceptions, the monks do not enter one another’s quarters, and they rarely interact — save for midnight and daytime church services, where no musical instruments are allowed. And once a week, they stroll in pairs through the forests fortifying the monastery.

This internal lifestyle has survived centuries of external turmoil — avalanches, landslides, terrible fires, religious wars, pillaging, evictions and exile, military occupation, the French Revolution and, yes, plagues. Through times of earthly chaos, the Chartreux thrive in accordance with their Middle Ages-era motto: Stat crux dum volvitur orbis (“The cross is steady while the world turns”).

“This order has lasted because they know how to live beyond time, and they know how to live, also, in the present,” said Nadège Druzkowski, an artist and a journalist who spent almost five years putting together a documentary project on the monastery and its surrounding landscapes. “It’s humbling.”

In 2020, the Chartreux philosophy worked in reverse: As Covid-19 ground the world a halt, the Carthusian way of life went on, unchanged.

The Carthusians sustain this isolated lifestyle largely through the production and sale of Chartreuse, a liqueur the monks developed centuries ago. Like its mountainous namesake and the hue named after it, Chartreuse is sharp, bright, profoundly herbal.

In Evelyn Waugh’s novel “Brideshead Revisited,” Anthony Blanche compares it to ingesting the rainbow: “It’s like swallowing a sp-spectrum.” A Baltimore bartender and Chartreuse superfan, Brendan Finnerty, says it tastes “like Christmas in a glass,” or “grassy Jägermeister.” To me, it has the color and flavor of summer sunlight striking a canopy of leaves — impossibly vibrant, sparkling with life, green beyond belief.

When France went into pandemic confinement in mid-March and again this fall, little changed at the Chartreuse monastery or its production site — even as the country’s winemakers and producers of other liquors, such as Cognac, Cointreau and Armagnac, struggled.

France’s shutdowns, along with shelter-in-place orders across the United States and Europe, did, however, close the bars and restaurants that usually function as the secular conduit for the monastic liqueur. Chartreuse sales dropped to two-thirds their usual level, according to a press officer for the distilling company, Chartreuse Diffusion.

“That world sank in a dramatic way,” said Philippe Rochez, the brand’s export director, “so we turned to what was open.” This year, the enterprise has pivoted from the service industry to wine merchants and liquor stores, hoping to place Chartreuse in household cabinets and bar carts.

The enterprise has also upheld its founding mission of good will and benevolence throughout the pandemic, donating a portion of sales to a bartender relief program and gifting 10,000 liters of pure alcohol to Grenoble’s hospital for much-needed sanitizer. The monks also sacrificed their weekly social walks, in solidarity with the outside world.

“We’re separated from all but participate through our prayer,” said Michael Holleran, a Catholic priest in New York City and a former Carthusian who was at the Grande Chartreuse, the order’s head monastery, during other world-shaping moments, including the Challenger space shuttle explosion and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

For now, the liqueur company has to follow the path of its founders and remain patient. “We have to learn to live with the virus,” Mr. Rochez said, and that will take time. At Chartreuse, luckily, there’s nothing but.

“The Carthusians have a wonderful perspective,” Father Holleran said. “The days pass very quickly when you’re immersed in the shadow of eternity.”


Green (Living) Review

A new, better and fairer society and world is possible but we have to create it and give it life. No one can do it for us, and capitalism and the power-that-be certainly have no interest in doing such a thing. In fact they will do their darnedest to prevent us from doing so.

Only we, ourselves, together, in small steps, can create and make this new, better and fairer world and society by getting, to start with, off the perpetual growth economy bandwagon and the pursuit of more, and ever more more money, more possessions, the latter which often means more debt, which means more work and less time for ourselves, our families and our friends.

The perpetual growth economy and the race for more, more, and then still more, never being satisfied with what we have, is not sustainable and does not make for happiness either.

People who are lucky enough to have employment work more and more and ever longer hours – or two jobs – to satisfy the constant cravings for ever more and “keeping up with the Joneses” in fact has become a race to always be one better than the Joneses. This must change for the sake of our sanity and for the sake of the Planet.

Capitalism is geared to the exploitation of man by man and of Nature by man and it cannot be reformed. Therefore it must be consigned to the dustbin of history, and the sooner the better, and a new system applied. The so-called communism that we have seen under Stalin, et al, also was but a different form of capitalism where the state was the owner and slave master. Thus something different still is needed true communism.

This brings me to the point of the state (we will come back to the replacement for capitalism later).

The very state itself must be abolished and replaced, though not with another kind of state. The people must govern themselves true democracy, out of the village, the demos.

The state is not of benefit and neither it is needed. If fact, the state is one of the problems, if not indeed the problem, for the new society and world that we must create to be created.

People often like to say that the state is a necessary evil. But that would also mean that evil is necessary and that really is an oxymoron. The fact is that the state is evil and thus must be abolished.

The replacement for this is the village. Yes, we have had that one once before, the village, I mean, and to the village we must return and so must democracy for from the village it came.

We have to imagine it to make it happen.

Imagine that there truly was equality for all? It can be made to happen but it is up to us to make it so.

Imagine that the corrupt minority did not exist and were actually genuinely interested seeing true equality for all! Well, the problem is, presently, that they still do exist but we can make a change and we must imagine a new way.

Imagine a world not based on money and the exchange of money? It is possible and it is being done already. While, presently, it may not be global and maybe global is something we also must get away from and look entirely at the local, the village, level. However, new ways, and some are actually old ways, of exchange are already in existence and local currencies have been in use in many places for years already and they are, by no means, new. Thus, it can be done.

Imagine a life where everyone is taught to work together and in return receive a life where they are always well fed, cared for, free to study and learn and develop right through their life from cradle to grave! This was the way it was intended in true socialism though, alas, that system got corrupted by power crazy individuals. The idea was for work to be a duty as well as an honor and that all work was equal in value. Can it become reality? Yes, it can, if we can but imagine it and create it.

Imagine there was no such thing as the elite? All we have to do is take away their pedestal upon which they have placed themselves. They are no better than us. There are no “betters” despite the fact that still some people – a great many of them – seem to believe that because they have been indoctrinated almost from birth that this is so. That there are some that are better than the majority of the people.

Imagine that not one single soul had to suffer or worry, ever! It is possible.

And while there may be some, quite a few, in fact, no doubt, who will dismiss this as utopian who says that utopia cannot be imagined and created. This utopia is, in fact, called true socialism and it is possible.

Poverty Is Not Inevitable: What We Can Do Now to Turn Things Around

Having poor people in the richest country in the world is a choice. We have the money to solve this. But do we have the will?

Inequality and poverty are suddenly hot topics, not only in the United States but also across the globe. Since the early 1980s, there has been a growing underclass in America. At the same time a much smaller class, now called the superrich, built its wealth to levels of opulence not seen since France’s Louis XVI. Despite this, the resulting inequality went mostly unnoticed. When the Great Recession of 2008 hit, and the division between the very wealthy and the rest of us came starkly into focus, various people and groups, including the Occupy movement, began insisting more publicly that we tax wealth. But still, helping the poor has been mostly a discussion on the fringes. At last, the terms of public debate have changed, because inequality and poverty now are debated regularly in the mainstream media and across the political spectrum, not solely by labor, by the left, and by others imagining a new economy.

Inserting such a controversial topic into mainstream discourse is French economist Thomas Piketty. His 700-page tome, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, shocked everyone this year when it made The New York Timesbestseller list and bookstores found themselves backordering an economicsbook for legions of eager readers. Piketty did exhaustive searches of tax records from Great Britain, France, and the United States, going as far back as the late 18th century in France. Using sophisticated computer modeling and analyses, the professor from the Paris School of Economics debunks a long-held assumption—that income from wages will tend to grow at roughly the same rate as wealth—and instead makes a compelling case that, over time, the apparatus of capitalism grows wealth faster than wages. Result: Inequality between the wealthy and everyone else will widen faster and faster and, without progressive taxation, his data show we’ll return to levels of inequality not seen since America’s Gilded Age.

Piketty, no Marxist, says a solution lies in a “confiscatory” tax on wealth: Tax salaries over $500,000 at 80 percent worldwide, and tax wealth at 15 percent worldwide. Every year.

4 Reasons to Plant a Vegetable Garden in the Front Yard

One of the first landscaping changes we made upon moving into our new house last year was getting rid of several sprawling, weed-ridden mounds of winter jasmine that were choking the life out of all the plants in our front yard. We covered the dirt with mulch and then turned our attention to planning a vegetable and herb garden for the backyard.

As we were getting ready to break ground for the new beds, inspiration struck. Why not put the garden out front, in the area we had just cleared?

My husband, who is not known for his sense of adventure, balked. What would people think? Cornstalks and watermelon vines in the front yard aren’t exactly de rigueur in our new neighborhood. I’m no rebel myself but had come to realize that our new backyard was not ideal for the mini-farm of our dreams. All those gorgeous trees we fell in love with at the open house provide excellent shade and privacy, but would compete with vegetables for water and sunlight. Then there is the matter of the slope, which makes for excellent sledding but not such great plant growing. Our front yard, on the other hand, is flat and wide open. There is no ordinance where we live that prohibits growing food in front yards, so why let all that glorious sunshine go to waste? And well, that front bed is fully irrigated.

Six months later, our front yard garden is a blooming success, and we’re planning another for next year. Here’s why you may want to try one, too.

1. Aesthetics

While traditionalists may give you the stink-eye for deviating from the standard front yard fare of boxwoods and azaleas, there’s no denying that a thoughtfully arranged array of blooming squash plants, tasselling corn and purple basil are a feast for the eyes. And then there are all those gorgeous smells. In our garden, the basil, thyme and cilantro are situated right next to where I park my car. I don’t encourage my children to trample the plants while wrestling backpacks and skateboards out of the back seat, but the tumult often releases a heavenly fragrance.

2. No more “out of sight, out of mind” mentality

With the vegetables physically located in your daily line of sight, garden chores are less likely to accumulate into overwhelming, weekend-killers. On the way to and from the mailbox, it’s a simple matter of yanking a few weeds or straightening out those seedlings that the neighbor’s free-range cat knocked over.

The 10 Quickest Ways to Boost Your Happiness

Articles with titles like this usually offer up simple platitudes for being happy, such as “accept everyone,” or “live a balanced life.” While those ideas are true, such platitudes are so general that they don’t really give you anything that impacts your daily life. This article offers what scientific research found to be the top 10 things you can quickly do to boost your level of happiness. By doing any one of the 10 items below, you will almost surely feel dramatically better in under three minutes. In addition, by combining items from the list below, you can increase their effectiveness even more…

10. Look at pictures of people and animals you love on your smartphone or computer. As you look at each picture, remember an enjoyable time you had with them, and send them a silent wish that they live a happy and productive life.

9. Exercise-even if only for 3 minutes. Take a quick brisk walk, do some jumping jacks, whatever gets your heart going and your lungs breathing more deeply. In even a minute you’ll start to feel better. Hallelujah for such a simple thing.

8. Give someone money. Research shows that when we give to a needy person money, we immediately feel better about ourselves. It helps another person too, so it’s a win-win.

7. Get cooler. By going from a hot or warm environment to a cooler one, our mood and sense of happiness tends to go up. Hooray for air conditioning!

6. Work towards an important goal. Whether it be cleaning your desk or selling more widgets, when you feel like you’re making progress towards a specific and important goal, you invariably feel better. Just by reading all the way through this article, you’ll have achieved something-so you’ll feel good.

What’s More Important… Economic Growth or Sustainability?

“The world has physical limits that we are already encountering, but our economy operates as if no physical limits exist.” -Christopher Martenson

What will the earth look like in 50 to 100 years from now? To some of us that may sound like a long time, but in reality it will be here before we know it and even if we are gone, the children, grand-children, and great-grandchildren of billions of people living now will still be here.

Think of today, think about the lack of opportunities available to people trying to live free, happy and healthy lives and how many are struggling in various ways to achieve this basic standard of living, leaving millions homeless and begging for decent paying jobs or assistance. Think about the challenges the planet earth and all of its inhabitants have faced since the growth of modern human civilization. Entire species have been eliminated or are currently endangered, entire ecosystems are being destroyed, 75% of our rainforests have been cut down, oil prices are rising as fossil fuels become more dangerous and cost more to extract, and fresh wateraquifers lose more and more water everyday.

Now think for a moment what life will be like for future generations as this continues to get worse. Have you ever thought about the change you have seen since your childhood? Think of the places where you grew up that were still vacant and natural areas, now turned into shopping malls, highways and office buildings. I believe most of us can easily say A LOT has CHANGED and is still changing every year. In some ways we can say these changes have been positive, in other ways not so much.

With economic growth comes destruction of one world and the development of another. But is this development sustainable meaning will it last? Will the future be left with collapsing buildings, crumbled roads and massive landfills? Will the shelves still be stocked in our stores, will businesses even be able to stay in business under a system entirely based on economic growth and profit margins? What’s more important… Economic Growth or Sustainability?

Why Vandana Shiva is so right and yet so wrong

Romantic environmentalists tend to get the big-picture problems right, while fudging the details. Rationalists nail the details, but sometimes become so immersed in the minutiae that they lose sight of the big picture.

Michael Specter’s New Yorker profile of Vandana Shiva, the environmentalist and crusader against globalization and Big Agriculture, is a portrait of someone who understands the big-picture concerns of green-inclined young people with great clarity. Specter quotes a few key lines from a speech she gave in Florence, in which she describes two great trends sweeping the world.

“One: a trend of diversity, democracy, freedom, joy, culture — people celebrating their lives.” She paused to let silence fill the square. “And the other: monocultures, deadness. Everyone depressed. Everyone on Prozac. More and more young people unemployed. We don’t want that world of death.”

This, to me, seems like a perfect framing of the ultimate preoccupations of many greens, myself included. Even larger than the threat of climate change (or the thing that makes climate change a threat) is the threat of deadening uniformity and the loss of diversity, beauty, and enchantment. These are the same problems of modernity that Allen Ginsberg was grappling with in Howl.

The problem is that, when Shiva gets to the details (what’s really driving these trends? What are the best solutions?), she frequently gets her facts very wrong. Then she repeats these myths, over and over again. Here are a few that Specter calls out:

Shiva said last year that Bt-[genetically engineered] cotton-seed costs had risen by eight thousand per cent in India since 2002. In fact, the prices of modified seeds, which are regulated by the government, have fallen steadily.

Shiva has accused the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation of “attempting to impose ‘food totalitarianism’ on the world.” That’s certainly not the case in the foundation’s current incarnation — I looked closely at this issue here.

Shiva also says that Monsanto’s patents prevent poor people from saving seeds. That is not the case in India. The Farmers’ Rights Act of 2001 guarantees every person the right to “save, use, sow, resow, exchange, share, or sell’’ his seeds.

And then, of course, there’s Shiva’s most widespread claim: That farmers are killing themselves because GMO seeds mire them in debt. If this were the case, we’d expect to see an increase in the number of suicides as GMOs were introduced and became widespread. But the suicide rate among farmers in India remained level (here’s where I looked at this before). Check out this graph from Nature:

Pets Aplenty – Book Review

Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Pets Aplenty
by Malcolm D. Welshman
Published by Austin Macauley Publishers
310 pages Paperback
ISBN: 9781849639965
Price: ٥.99

Join novice vet, Paul Mitchell, in a further six months of hilarious escapades he experiences while working at Prospect House Veterinary Hospital. He's confronted by a ravenous pig while sunbathing naked in a cornfield. He locks jaws with a caiman with scale rot and battles with Doug, a vicious miniature donkey that's always sinking his teeth into him. It ends with a Christmas pet blessing which erupts into pandemonium as frightened pets and owners scatter through the pews. Throughout his adventures, Paul is loyally supported by the team at the hospital - in particular Beryl, the elderly one-eyed receptionist, and, Lucy the junior nurse - together with whom he shares this merry-go-round of mayhem. It's a gripping, fast page-turner that's guaranteed to keep animal lovers entranced.

The author has an uncanny ability to paint human as well as animal characters in his books and this will enable anyone with a little imagination to actually visualize the people and animals he is writing about.

Pets Aplenty should carry a health warning such as “You could die laughing”. For me it was already in the first chapter and it was the hens that did it. Being a keeper of hens – well keeper is really not the right word with hens – I know just what they can be like.

However, this is but one chapter. The reader will be laughing all the way through and let me issue another serious warning do not read this book on public transport of any kind unless you don't mind laughing out real loud and long on a bus or train and have people question your sanity.

I laughed a great deal with the first book that I reviewed by this author, namely “Pets in a Pickle” but this one has topped it. The problem is that I love puns and there are puns aplenty, as much, if not more, than pets aplenty in this book that will make you fall about laughing.

Any animal lover will adore this book, of that I am certain.

Malcolm Welshman is a retired vet who was a consultant dealing with exotics. He has written for The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail and magazines such as The Lady. He was the My Weekly vet for fifteen years. He is a BBC Radio panelist and a guest speaker worldwide on cruise ships.

1/2 Of Our Food Is Going To Feed Our Food. Wait. What?

Yea, And That´s Not All: Food Conundrums of the 21st Century

One half of all the non-animal foods produced in the United States today is used to feed the animals we eat. In other words, the animals we feed upon eat half of the crops we produce in this country. As if that´s not surprising enough, people do not consume the entire other half of the food crops we produce. That is because -- as a result of the petroleum shortage -- a large portion goes to bio-fuels.

How large a portion? Well, consider this: in 2000, 90% of the U.S. corn crop went to feed people and livestock. 45% is used to feed livestock, 40% is used to produce ethanol and only 15% is produced for human consumption (1).

Crop and Food Production: Two Different Animals. Er, Plants

In its simplest form, crop production requires little more than photosynthesis and human cultivation. Organic foods can almost net a 100% energy return. Processed foods, on the other hand, require a great deal of energy to manufacture.

In fact, the production of one calorie of processed food requires five calories of energy. This is so because of the energy required to fuel agricultural and processing plant machinery. In other words, food that grows naturally from the sun´s energy and nutrients in the ground gross only a 1:5 return when processed.

Wait a Second Organic Foods Can Feed the World?

While it is true that in industrial areas, organic foods only produce 92% of the yield produced by industrial foods. However, in developing countries, organic foods produce 182% of the yield produced by industrial foods -- those produced using chemical fertilizers, hydroponics and artificial light. Simply stated, organic foods yield far more than industrial foods.

Just How "Legal" Are Seed Libraries?

After the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture cracked down on a community seed library, hundreds of seed libraries in the U.S. are suddenly wondering if they are breaking the law. According to PA regulators, in order to give out member-donated seeds, the Simpson Seed Library in Cumberland County would have to put around 400 seeds of each variety through prohibitively impractical seed testing procedures in order to determine quality, rate of germinability, and so on. The result of the PA crackdown is that the library can no longer give out seeds other than those which are commercially packaged.

Quite ironically, this is in the name of “protecting and maintaining the food sources of America.” In this news article that went viral, regulators cited, among other things, that “agri-terrorism is a very, very real scenario.” In reality, seed libraries have emerged in an effort to protect our food sources and to ensure access to locally adapted and heirloom varieties. The public’s access to seeds has been narrowing ever since 1980, when the Supreme Court ruled that a life-form could be patented. Since then, large seed companies have shifted away from open-pollinated seeds to patented hybridized and genetically-engineered varieties. The companies generally prohibit farmers from saving and replanting the seeds, requiring that farmers buy new seed each year. In response to this trend, seed libraries give members free seeds and request that members later harvest seed and give back to the library in the future, thereby growing the pool of seeds available to everyone.

It’s important to set the record straight about the legalities of seed libraries. Let’s begin with the basics: In every state, there are laws requiring seed companies to be licensed, test seeds, and properly label them. At the federal level, there is a comparable law governing seed companies that sell seeds in interstate commerce. All of these laws exist for good reason: If a tomato grower buys 10,000 tomato seeds, the grower’s livelihood is on the line if the seeds turn out to be of poor quality or the wrong variety. Seed laws, like other truth-in-labeling laws, keep seed companies accountable, prevent unfair competition in the seed industry, and protect farmers whose livelihoods depend on access to quality seeds. The testing and labeling of the seeds also helps to prevent noxious weeds and invasive species from getting into the mix.

In some states, the licensing, labeling, and testing laws only apply if you sell seed. In other states, such as California, the laws apply if you even offer seeds forbarter, exchange, or trade. How do you define words like sell, barter, exchange, and trade? And how do they apply to seed libraries? Read on if you are ready to venture into interesting legal grey areas.

In at least one state (yup, Pennsylvania), even supplying seeds make you subject to at least some regulation. But the Pennsylvania seed law is about to be put to the test, and we think that regulators should have read their law more carefully.

Move over, landfills — food scraps give Massachusetts biogas

The state of Massachusetts is cracking down on food waste in a big way. Come Oct 1, any institution producing more than a ton of leftovers a week — think grocery stores, hotels, universities, nursing homes, and the like — won’t be able to send their discarded food to the landfill anymore. Their only options: donate any usable food, ship the remaining scraps to a composting facility or as farm animal feed, or turn the food waste into clean energy at an anaerobic digestion facility, where microbes in enclosed chambers break it down. The resulting biogas can then be used to create heat and electricity, or converted to compressed natural gas to fuel buses and trucks.

Some 1,700 business are set to be affected by the ban — part of the state’s ultimate plan to reduce its waste stream 30 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. NPR reports:

99-year-old Woman Sews a Dress for an African Child Every Single Day

In a senior living community in Davenport, Iowa, a group of residents meet weekly to sew dresses for a charitable organization. But for Lillian Weber the hobby has turned into a mission: In her Bettendorf farm house she makes a dress for a small girl in Africa every single day.

By next May 6, when she celebrates her 100th birthday, her tally will reach 1,000 handmade dresses donated. In the past two years she’s finished more than 840 of them.

She may use just a single pattern but adorns each one with special decoration, ribbon or ruffle that make the dress one-of-a-kind.

“When I get to that thousand, if I’m able to, I won’t quit,” she told WQAD-TV. “I’ll go at it again.”

She simply loves what she does. She also said she needs to stay busy.

David Jenkins celebrates 43 years at IOG SALTEX as the show leaves Windsor

DAVID JENKINS, managing director of DJ Turfcare, will celebrate 43 years of attending IOG SALTEX with the last show at Windsor Racecourse before it moves to the NEC.

His first SALTEX was at Motspur Park in 1971 and he has attended almost every show since, many of them with Charterhouse Turf Machinery Ltd - the company which he founded in 1981.

David began his career in publishing working with The Groundsman, the IOG's flagship magazine, and Parks and Sportsgrounds magazine.

This experience provided a springboard into the machinery side of the industry and he joined Marshalls Concessionaires, importing Jacobsen machinery into the UK.

Then came the founding of Charterhouse Turf Machinery Ltd and the dramatic introduction of the Verti-Drain into the UK - a machine which revolutionised pitch aeration.

Since founding DJ Turfcare Equipment Ltd in 2002 David has introduced Plugger Aerators from the US, Bushranger Edgers from Australia and Viano fertilisers from Belgium.

"It is sad to see SALTEX moving indoors," says David, "but I have seen a lot of changes in this industry and wish the IOG every success.

"SALTEX has always been a place for colleagues to meet and it is very much a social event where old friends catch up.

"I look forward to meeting many of my colleagues at Windsor this year and they will get a warm welcome to the stand."

David will be on stand K55 with wife Liz and office manager Barbara Jarman.

AT SALTEX this year DJ Turfcare will have Viano organic lawn fertilisers, including the award-winning MO BACTER.

Machines on show will include the PLUGGER PL855 Pro HD aerator, the highly-rated BUSHRANGER EDGER, and second-generation ATOM EDGERS, both professional and domestic, with new Mitsubishi engines,

Also on the stand for golf greenkeepers will be the proven ATOM BUNKER EDGER.

DJ TURFCARE: Stand K55. Contact: 01483 200976 www.djturfcare.co.uk

Urban Gardening – Thoughts from a Soil Scientist

Along with the trends of buying local food, buying organic, etc., there seems to be an increase in (or perhaps more accurately, a return to) gardening – especially in urban areas. Urban gardening is a great way to save money on food, a great source for fresh vegetables, and an easy way to introduce kids to where the food on their plate comes from. In fact, working with the soil has been proven to make you happier! However, there are a couple potential obstacles you should consider first before starting your urban garden.

First, in urban environments the possibility that soil could have been contaminated with heavy metals, petrochemicals, etc. is pretty high. Lead (which was once a common additive to gasoline and paint) is common in urban soils and can be adsorbed by the roots of the vegetables you grow. Because of this, that lead can eventually end up in the food on your plate. Most lead poisoning comes from ingesting lead (like eating lead paint chips…), so it’s important to know that the soil you’re using for your garden is safe. You should take some soil samples and send them to a lab in your state that can test for heavy metals like lead. Usually the “land grant” university in your state (in the US) will have a soil testing lab where these tests can be performed for a nominal cost. Other forms of contamination are possible as well, such as chemicals from cars, asphalt , laundry-mats, etc. These chemicals are more difficult to test for, so your best bet is to find out the history of your garden plot. These records should be available from your local city government, perhaps even online.

Second, urban soils are often compacted from foot, car, or perhaps machinery traffic. Compacted soils make it difficult for plants to grow, mainly because the plant roots are not strong enough to penetrate the compacted soil, and thus cannot gather enough water or nutrients for the plant to survive, let alone grow and produce vegetables. Compacted soils are especially common in newer housing developments where entire blocks of houses were built around the same time. The construction companies often remove all of the topsoil prior to building the houses. The soils are then driven over by construction machinery and compacted. Then sod is laid directly on top of the subsoil. This makes for soils with very poor growing conditions for both lawns and gardens.

'Elixir of Long Life' Recreated From 1800s Bottle Unearthed on Bowery

Archaeologists have dug up a 19th-century recipe for fending off death.

During a recent excavation beneath a hotel site at 50 Bowery, Chrysalis Archaeology discovered a tiny, greenish glass bottle that once contained the "Elixir of Long Life."

The bottle found amid a cache of 150-year-old liquor bottles beneath what was once a German beer garden sparked the archaeologists' curiosity, and they decided to hunt down the original recipe so they could try the elixir themselves.

“We decided to engage in our own brand of experimental archaeology,” said Alyssa Loorya, the president of Chrysalis, a company regularly hired by the city to oversee excavation projects. “We wanted to know what this stuff actually tasted like.”

Loorya enlisted colleagues in Germany to help her track down the recipe in a 19th-century medical guide. After they translated it for her, she discovered it contained ingredients still used by modern-day herbalists: aloe, which is anti-inflammatory, and gentian root, which aids digestion. Mostly, though, the elixir was made of alcohol.

“These types of cure-alls were pretty ubiquitous in the 19th century, and always available at bars,” Loorya said. “Similar bitters and ingredients are still used today, in cocktails, and in health stores, but I guess we don’t know if it was the copious amounts of alcohol or the herbs that perhaps made people feel better.”

Loorya and her team are gathering the ingredients for the elixir and plan to try making it within the next couple of weeks.

They also plan to recreate Dr. Hostetters Stomach Bitters, a once-popular 19th-century medicine, after finding two of those bottles at the 50 Bowery site and seeking out that recipe as well.

The Hostetters recipe is a bit more complex, containing Peruvian bark, also known as cinchona, which is used for its malaria-fighting properties and is still used to make bitters for cocktails, and gum kino, a kind of tree sap that is antibacterial. It also contains more common ingredients, including cinnamon and cardamom seeds, which are known to help prevent gas.

When DNAinfo New York showed the recipes to herbalist Lata Kennedy, who's owned the East Village herb shop Flower Power for 19 years, she said many are still used to naturally treat ailments.

“All those ingredients are about your digestive health, and that’s really a key to good health in general,” Kennedy said of both the Elixir of Life and Hostetters recipes. “Those ingredients make a liver tonic, one that soothes your stomach, and also helps you poop — get out the toxins.”

Using alcohol to extract the beneficial properties of herbs and roots is still a common practice used by herbalists today, Kennedy said. She sells many of the ingredients used in the recipes, both in raw form and alcohol-based tinctures, and she believes they improve people's health — and could even prolong their life.

Pope’s Top 10 Happiness Tips: Focus on Leisure, Family and Being Positive

In the July 27 issue of “Viva”, an Argentinian weekly publication, Pope Francis revealed his Top 10 guidelines for achieving happiness. He advocated for playing more, especially with others and children, and toning down the negativity. He placed importance on caring for our environment and working for peace. Most surprising was #9, an admonishment against religious proselytizing.

His advice to Argentinians for finding happiness was translated into English by the Catholic News Service.

1. Live and let live. As they say in Rome, “Move forward and let others do the same.”

2. Be giving of yourself to others. If you withdraw into yourself the ego may isolate you. “Stagnant water becomes putrid,” he said.

3. “Proceed calmly” in life. Strive for the ability to move with kindness and humility, along with that calmness.

4. A healthy sense of leisure. 40 percent of Americans don’t take vacations because they don’t want to get behind in their work. The same fear goads us into checking our phones constantly. Studies show that taking real vacations and leisurely weekends prepare you better for problem-solving and creativity. It leads to happiness too. The pope said parents must set aside time to play with their children, even if schedules are full, and turn off the TV during dinner so you can talk to one another.

5. Sundays should be holidays. “Sunday is for family,” said the Pontiff, who wants a day-off for all workers.

6. Young people should be able to work. “We need to be creative with young people. If they have no opportunities they will get into drugs,” he said. “It’s not enough to give them food.” Dignity becomes a bonus whenever they get rewarded for their own labor.

From Garbage To Garden: Regrow These 5 Food Scraps You’d Just Throw Away

I’ve been a gardener almost my entire life, and I love the idea of regrowing your food scraps. It’s free, frugal, environmentally wise and a lot of fun! Instead of sending your scraps to the trash can, try planting them and reaping the rewards! Plus, did you know that we throw away over 133 billion pounds of food every year, and still people go hungry? That’s insane!

Here are 5 foods that are easy to grow. As always, source from organic, non-GMO plants if you can.

1. Green onions are one of the easiest vegetables to regrow. Instead of throwing out their root ends, plant them in some soil and give plenty of water and sunshine. In no time at all, you’ll have your own delicious homegrown green onions. Sounds delicious!

2. Celery is another incredibly easy vegetable to grow from its base. Simply stick the base you’d usually discard in some soil, give plenty of water and sun, and in a few weeks, you’ll be harvesting fresh celery. If you have the space for enough celery plants, you’ll never have to buy the vegetable again! Better for you and more delicious to boot. Awesome!

3. Carrot tops are another easy one to regrow. By simply placing the tops in soil and covering lightly, you’ll get your carrots regrowing over and over and over again. In a matter of days you’ll start seeing the carrot greens poking up through the soil, growing a new plant. And be sure to buy whole carrots. Baby carrots are like the fast food burgers of the vegetable world. Beets and turnips can be grown in the same way.

These folks feed their family with a garden in their swimming pool — and you can, too

When Dennis and Danielle McClung bought a foreclosed home in Mesa, Ariz., in 2009, their new yard featured a broken, empty swimming pool. Instead of spending a small fortune to repair and fill it, Dennis had a far more prescient idea: He built a plastic cap over it and started growing things inside.

Thus, with help from family and friends and a ton of internet research, Garden Pool was born. What was once a yawning cement hole was transformed into an incredibly prolific closed-loop ecosystem, growing everything from broccoli and sweet potatoes to sorghum and wheat, with chickens, tilapia, algae, and duckweed all interacting symbiotically to provide enough food to feed a family of five.

Within a year, Garden Pool had slashed up to three-quarters of the McClungs’ monthly grocery bill (they still buy things like cooking oil and coffee and, well, one can’t eat tilapia every day). Within five years, it’d spawned an active community of Garden Pool advocates – and Garden Pools – across the country and the world.

What began as a family experiment and blog is now a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a small staff. Garden Pool has been voted the Best Backyard Farm in Phoenix, gotten press fromNational Geographic TV and Wired and Make, and formed a Phoenix-area Meetup group that has nearly a thousand members. It’s attracted hundreds of local volunteers, students, and gardeners who’ve helped build a dozen more Garden Pool systems in and around Phoenix.

Sugru lets you fix, improve and avoid clutter

A few weeks ago I wrote to Erin and said, “I’d like to review Sugru for Unclutterer.” She was intrigued, so I ordered a set, and after weeks of using the product I wanted to share the results of my test-drive with you.

Sugru is a “self-setting rubber” invented by Ireland’s Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh. It feels like Play-Doh when initially removed from its package and then hardens, yet remains flexible, after being exposed to air for about a day. People are doing all sorts of creative and useful things with it, and that’s why I wanted to review it.

For me, part of being an unclutterer means a commitment to frugality, and I use the New England definition of frugal: nothing is wasted. Since Sugru lets you repair or improve on a huge number of devices in and around your home, it prevents those things from becoming clutter.

Packaging

The Sugru packaging includes a list you can populate with future projects, instructions, many photos, use ideas, and a super handy color chart. I received four colors (other combinations are available), and the chart explains how to combine them to produce a variety of hues, so that you can match whatever you’re trying to fix or improve. The Sugru itself comes in sliver, 0.17-ounce packages that resemble the condiment packs you might find at a fast food restaurant.

RIGBY TAYLOR AND TOP GREEN SPONSOR IOG YOUNG GROUNDSMEN’S CONFERENCE

The inaugural IOG Young Groundsmen’s Conference being held at this year’s SALTEX (Sports, Amenities, Landscaping Trade Exhibition) is being sponsored by Rigby Taylor in association with its seed breeding partner, Top Green.

The two companies are at the forefront of supplying innovative products for the successful management and maintenance of turf surfaces, and are committed to promoting excellence across all aspect of sports grounds management.

The ‘Our Career, Your Future’ Conference – on Tuesday September 2 at Windsor Racecourse – is a major educational initiative designed to enlighten young people about the benefits of a career in groundscare. The event will also bring head groundsmen up to date with advice on how to attract youngsters into the industry by offering expert advice on apprenticeships.

Young people will gain invaluable career-shaping advice from head groundsmen at high profile, international sports venues. They will also learn about the benefits of working in the industry from young groundsmen who are currently progressing their careers across a wide range of sports facilities.

Commenting on the sponsorship announcement, Rigby Taylor’s marketing director Richard Fry, stated: “It’s not often that an opportunity arises to promote education and development to the next generation of groundsmen, and we are very excited about becoming involved with the IOG Young Groundsmen’s Conference.

“Rigby Taylor has a long history of supporting industry association initiatives, particularly in the area of education and development. We are a long-term sponsor of the IOG Young Groundsman of the Year Award and were a founder Golden Key member of the BIGGA Education and Development Fund.

“Most recently, the company has also sponsored a full set of ‘technology tools’ for each of the 10 newly appointed IOG regional pitch advisors to advance the development of grassroots playing surface groundsmanship.”

Geoff Webb, IOG chief executive, added: “Developing opportunities for young people in grounds management is a key aim of the IOG and I am very pleased that such significant industry names have stepped up to sponsor this inaugural event. Rigby Taylor and Top Green must be applauded for their proactive support.”

Chaired by 28-year-old John Ledwidge, head groundsman at Leicester City FC, the Conference will include a question and answer session with Keith Kent from Twickenham Stadium and England & Wales Cricket Board pitches consultant Chris Wood, as well as Neil Stubley from the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club.

IOG representatives will take questions and discuss the numerous training pathways available before 27-year-old Ryan Golding from Leeds Rugby, takes to the stage to provide first-hand advice on how he has travelled the industry career path to become head groundsman at one of the country’s leading rugby stadia.

In addition, there will also be a question and answer session with the IOG Young Board of Directors (who programmed the event), a group of young groundsmen who are continually ‘spreading the industry word’ in schools and colleges, as well as to young people at public events up and down the country.

SALTEX (www.iogsaltex.com), the Sports Amenities Landscaping Trade Exhibition organised by the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) and managed by Brintex Events, will be held on 2-4 September 2014 at Windsor Racecourse, Berks. Founded in 1938, the exhibition is attended by open space professionals and volunteers who design, construct, manage and maintain the UK's outdoor facilities - from sports grounds of every type to motorway service stations, and from stately homes to local council parks and schools.

They visit SALTEX to meet suppliers of the machinery, tools, vehicles, turf, soils, seeds, aggregates, artificial or natural surfaces, playgrounds, landscaping equipment, street furniture, arboriculture, horticulture, safety, security, training and education services designed to help them do their jobs as effectively as possible.

Organised by the Institute of Groundsmanship – and managed by Brintex Events - the first IOG exhibition was staged in 1938, the forerunner to today’s SALTEX Sports, Amenities Landscaping Trade Exhibition. Held annually at Windsor Racecourse, SALTEX is the annual extravaganza for everyone who cares for and/or manages open spaces – including groundsmen, greenkeepers, contractors, local authority and leisure facility managers. The Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) is the leading membership organisation representing grounds managers, groundsmen, grounds maintenance managers, greenkeepers and all others involved in the management of sports pitches, landscape and amenity facilities in the UK. As well as maintaining the IOG Performance Quality Standards and providing a consultancy service for sports grounds, lawn maintenance and amenity horticulture, the IOG’s extensive Training and Education programme includes cricket, football, tennis, horseracing, bowls, artificial surfaces, turf science and many other specialist subjects. For more information visit www.iog.org

Good news doesn’t just cheer us up

Studies have shown how we are more likely to remember negative events than good ones, which may be a factor in the media’s focus on bad news. But good news does more than simply cheer us up new research shows how it also affects behaviour and benefits society

While reciting the epitaph of Julius Caesar in an intense moment of the Shakespearean play, Anthony says: “…the evil that men do lives after them The good is oft interred with their bones”. This statement could be just a brilliant theatrical example of Roman public speaking, however, what Anthony says seems to be true for a lot of us.

In fact, several studies show that the majority of people are more likely to remember being hurt or unfairly treated by others rather than remember when they have experienced kindness and generosity.

This could be one of the explanations behind a bias in much news reporting. The status quo in journalism is to consider bad news such as terrorism, murder or natural disasters more newsworthy and attractive to readers than positive stories. Although it may be true that negative stories have a greater power in human memories than the good ones, there is no scientific evidence showing that people prefer bad news.

On the contrary, several studies show that good news has a strong positive psychological and social impact on people. According to research published by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, when people are experiencing acts of extraordinary moral goodness they can experience ‘moral elevation’, a psychological condition that contributes to the development of positive thoughts and emotions such as admiration, affection, and love. It can even cause physical reactions that cause a lasting influence on people’s future actions.

Meet Vladimir Putin, a new convert to the locavore movement

Who needs Italian wine, English cheddar, and German sausages? Obviously not Russia.

Vladimir Putin is forcing Russians to become locavores, whether they like it or not. Last Thursday, his government issued a list of imported foods that will be banned for one year. This is an act of retaliation against those countries that placed sanctions on Russia following the attack on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine. This includes the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Norway, Poland, Latvia, and the European Union.

It is an odd decision to make on behalf of a northern country that imports 40 percent of its food and is unable to boast about being “the breadbasket of Europe,” as it once was. That agricultural infrastructure is gone now, and it would take a long time and a rocky transition before local growers could fill that void.

Growth in domestic food production appears to be what the Kremlin ultimately wants and fits in well with its insistence on not needing the West to survive. Indeed, one acerbic Putinist seems to think it’s now or never for local growers. @EduardBagirov tweeted: “Our food producers now have the opportunity of a lifetime. If they screw it up now, they should stop complaining that no one buys their crap.” (Obscenities have been removed.)

12 Fruits and Vegetables That Last for Months

Sick of throwing money away on food? Change the food you buy.

Do you routinely throw $5 bills away just for kicks? Probably not. And very few of us light candles with dollar bills, no matter how much we may have loved Scrooge McDuck.

But that’s basically what you’re doing whenever you go grocery shopping. According to a recent report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, 40 percent of the food that’s grown and sold in the United States is wasted—if we cut food waste by just a third, we could feed every hungry person in the country. That waste comes to the staggering cost of $2,275 per year, for a family of four. The biggest loss category? Fresh produce. Just 48 percent of what’s produced is eaten. The rest heads to landfills (or the compost pile).

Another report from the United Nations pointed the finger, in developed countries at least, squarely at grocery stores and consumers, in part because the former pushes “great bargains” that encourage the latter to buy more than they need.

The solution, though, isn’t cutting back on your fresh produce purchases. It’s getting smarter about how you shop. Rather than load up on bags and bags of spinach that will wilt before you get home, for instance, buy cabbage, which will keep in your fridge for months. Instead of buying grapes and kiwis and other delicate fruits that turn brown in days, buy apples, which will last for weeks.

We’ve compiled a list of the healthiest produce that lasts virtually forever, so you can cut down on waste and yet always have fresh veggies handy for a healthy dinner.

Markets for Homegrown Produce

How to earn a financial harvest from your garden

More customers than you might imagine are eager to buy that wonderful organic produce growing in your back yard. You don’t need to be a full-time farmer to find buyers who will pay enough to make selling worthwhile. Here are some ways for home gardeners to sell their extra harvest.

Farmers’ markets. At the Palafox Market in Pensacola, Florida, vendors range from those who sell every week to others who appear only once a year, and they are all different sizes, from the backyard gardener to commercial farmers.

Farmers’ markets vary in the fees they collect from sellers fees may be reduced for low-volume sellers. Alternatively, markets may encourage individual gardeners to share space and costs with other sellers.

“Some farmers’ markets have community tables or tents where you don’t have to pay a booth fee to sell,” says Weston Miller, community and urban horticulturist for the Oregon State University Extension. “That would be the easiest for a very small-scale gardener.” To find out if a particular market is a cost-effective venue for selling your produce, talk to the market’s manager.

Markets may require vendors to have insurance. Timothy A. Woods, Ph.D., agricultural economics extension professor at the University of Kentucky, says that some markets have an umbrella policy that covers all sellers. Smaller farmers’ markets are less likely to have insurance and fee requirements, Woods says. For those that do, homeowner insurance policies may provide the needed coverage. In some circumstances, a food handler certificate may also be required.

Roadside stands. In some communities, you can start selling as quickly as it takes to move a few baskets of vegetables to the front yard. Other cities have regulations that prohibit selling in residential neighborhoods. Rules may allow selling only on private property or in commercial zones. Churches, businesses, or shopping centers may permit individuals to sell vegetables from a vehicle at the far edge of a parking lot.

With the increasing demand for locally grown food, many communities are reconsidering their zoning laws. “Portland, Oregon, just changed its zoning to make it easier for people to sell produce at roadside stands,” Miller says. Before setting up a roadside stand, ask about pertinent ordinances in your community.

Häuser können eigene Kraftwerke zur Stromerzeugung sein

Eigene Energie vom Dach des Hauses zur Eigenversorgung

Industrie erzeugt eigenen Strom

Mit dem Anstieg der Energiepreise erhöhen sich meist auch Ihre Energie-, Strom- und Lebenshaltungskosten. Mit einer Investition in Solar und Photovoltaik haben Sie ein höheres Maß an Kontrolle über Ihre Energiekosten, da Sie Ihre eigene, saubere Energie auf Ihrem Dach erzeugen. Zusätzlich wollen Sie mit Ihrem durch Photovoltaik erzeugten Sonnenstrom speichern. Wichtig dabei: Sie möchten sich von steigenden Strompreisen unabhängig machen. Sie möchten die Stromnetze entlasten und die Energiewende Realität werden lassen. Mit einem Sonnenspeicher macht die PV-Anlage heute richtig Sinn. Sie produzieren nicht nur selber Ihren Strom, sondern können ihn auch selbst nutzen. Sie werden unabhängig von den immer mehr steigenden Stromkosten. Ohne Stromspeicher produzieren Sie schnell mehr eigenen Strom als Sie verbrauchen können. Sie müssen ihn dann verkaufen oder ins öffentliche Netz abgeben. Denn meist sind Sie tagsüber nicht zuhause und verbrauchen da natürlich auch weniger Strom.

Abends, nach der Arbeit, laufen meistens Haushaltsgeräte, Fernseher, Computer, dann müssten Sie zukaufen. Und das wird zunehmend teuer. Mit Stromspeicher können Sie Ihren selbst erzeugten Strom dann nutzen, wenn Sie ihn brauchen und minimieren den zusätzlichen Verbrauch aus dem öffentlichen Netz. Das lohnt sich nicht nur für Ihren Geldbeutel, sondern auch für die Umwelt. Es gibt bereits heute Speichersysteme mit Intelligenz, weil er den Eigenbedarf optimiert und möglichen Fremdbedarf auf das erreichbare Minimum reduziert. Er koppelt Ihr eigenes Selbstversorger-Netz komplett vom öffentlichen Netz ab und bei wirklichen Bedarf macht er die Tür wieder auf. Ein wichtiger Vorteil ist auch die einfache Installation. Er muss nur mit Photovoltaik und Stromnetz verbunden werden. Und schon ist er betriebsbereit. Dabei ist es egal ob Sie ein Einfamilienhaus, Landwirtschaft oder Gewerbebetrieb haben. Eine weitere Kombination ist auch der Anschluss einer Warmwasser- oder Heizungswärmepumpe, so kann der kostbar erzeugte Strom optimal genutzt und natürlich auch gespeichert werden.

iKratos aus Weissenohe führt derzeit in der Metropolregion Nürnberg Fürth und Erlagen eine Kennenlern Aktion durch. Die 1 KWp PV Anlage knapp unter 2000 Euro kann 900 KWh pro Jahr erzeugen, genug um 1/4 der Rechnung des Stromversorgers zu kürzen. EU-Beschluss: Gebäude müssen ab 2019 ihre Energie selbst produzieren.

Um den Klimawandel nachhaltig zu bekämpfen, will die EU bis 2020 die Treibhausgase um 20 Prozent senken, ebenso den Energieverbrauch. In der Verbesserung der Energieeffizienz von Gebäuden sieht das Europäische Parlament enormes Potential und hat deshalb am Donnerstag eine novellierte Richtlinie für Energieeffizienz in Gebäuden verabschiedet. Alle Gebäude die nach 2018 gebaut werden, sollen dabei ihre eigene Energie produzieren. Die EU-Mitgliedsstaaten müssen nach der neuen Verordnung bis zum 31. Dezember 2018 sicherstellen, dass alle neu gebauten Gebäude so viel Energie erzeugen wie sie gleichzeitig verbrauchen, etwa mittels Sonnenkollektoren oder Wärmepumpen. Schon jetzt sollten die Mitgliedsstaaten nationale Pläne entwickeln, um die Zahl der “Netto-Nullenergiegebäude” zu erhöhen. Zudem sollen die Regierungen festlegen, wie hoch der Anteil der Null-Energiehäuser bei bestehenden Gebäuden für die Jahre 2015 bis 2020 sein soll. Hierbei sollen vor allem öffentliche Einrichtungen eine Vorreiterrolle einnehmen.

Bei Gebäuden, die einer größeren Renovierung unterzogen werden – wenn die Renovierungskosten 20 Prozent des Gebäudewertes übersteigen -, müssen die neuen Gebäudeteile wie Fenster oder Energieversorgungssysteme mindestens den bestehenden Anforderungen der Energieeffizienzbestimmungen entsprechen. Dafür sollten auch entsprechende Fördermaßnahmen zur Verfügung stehen, beispielsweise für den Einbau Erneuerbarer-Energie-Systeme. So soll bis spätestens 2014 ein Energieeffizienz-Fonds eingerichtet werden, der private und öffentliche Investitionen zur Erhöhung der Energieeffizienz von Gebäuden unterstützt.

Zudem sollen die Beihilfen zur Förderung der Energieeffizienz aus dem Fond für regionale Entwicklung “signifikant” angehoben werden. Das EP fordert die Europäische Kommission zudem auf, eine gemeinsame Methode zur Berechnung der Gesamtenergieeffizienz von Gebäuden bis zum 31. März 2010 zu erstellen. Um einen besseren Überblick zu gewährleisten, soll eine gemeinsame europäische Website mit allen geltenden Rechtsvorschriften eingerichtet werden.


Watch the video: Choose the bottle challenge