Thursday, May 27, 2010

No right to choose your own food? Pt 2

Recently I wrote about the government's belief that we don't have an inherit right to choose our own food. You can read about that here.  Several of you have asked how to fight this arrogant assault on our rights. There is actually a petition you can sign.  Thanks for the heads up Sasha!  As always, call your representatives in Congress and demand that they quit messing with your rights and trying to control every aspect of your lives.

Here are a couple of videos - for your viewing pleasure.

Remember in November!



Tuesday, May 25, 2010

2010 - The Year of Fruit

This year we've gone a little gardening crazy!  The boys actually have two garden spots!  We have our normal area up near the house and so far it is filled with paste tomatoes, heirloom eating tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, bell peppers, hot peppers, tons of flowers, two kinds of bush beans and lots of lettuces...with more going in all the time!
We're also doing something new!  Some time ago, one of our neighbors, who was raised on this farm, mentioned to my boys that there was an area in a far field with really great dirt - it was where they raised their corn when he was a boy.  He made it sound heavenly - I'm pretty sure I saw Josiah's eyes get wider and wider as he talked...there might even have been some drooling going on.... Before I knew it, this HUGE area was plowed, disc-ed and tilled and then in a blink of the eye it was filled with corn (I may be shucking corn for the rest of my life!), red potatoes, regular potatoes, and peanuts!  There is even an area that is about to be filled with watermelons!  I think we will need a bigger table when the boys go to farmer's market this summer! These boys have certainly taken the initiative to increase production and open new growing areas !
We also had a very kind friend pass along about 50 raspberry canes to us!  He has a beautiful raspberry patch. What a blessing!  The boys have planted about 8  rows of raspberries.  I've wanted raspberries for years!   We'll have fall raspberries..yummy! For those of you just starting out..spend your first year getting your orchard planted, putting in berries and any other takes several years for most of those to produce.
I have another friend who had some beautiful blueberry bushes...these were huge...about 3 feet tall and very bushy.  We now have 4 blueberry bushes, each a different variety for cross pollination, planted and bearing little baby blueberries!  She also gave us wonderful instructions on how to take cuttings and root them to increase our blueberry patch each year!
Josiah planted two long rows of strawberries this spring.  Even though we keep picking the flowers so we don't get fruit this year (you want the plants to be putting their efforts into roots - not fruits), we miss them now and again and Elijah has been picking and eating them as quickly as they produce!  Next year we should have all the berries we need!
A dear friend gave us a gift certificate for Christmas to a local greenhouse/farm stand. Thank you John!!  We decided to save it and use it this spring for trees. They have a sale each spring - buy 5 trees and get one free.  If you go on the right day of the week you also get a 10% discount - what a deal! We picked two peaches, two pears, a plum and a nectarine.  We'll be planting those this week!  These trees are gorgeous, large and healthy looking!  We are on the look out for cherry trees, and another nectarine and plum.
Josiah and I spent an afternoon at a friends house this last week helping him get his packages of bees into his hives.  George was showing us his fruit trees that he planted 4 years ago - they were HUGE - much larger than the trees in our orchard that were planted 8 years ago!  It really showed us what damage neglect can do - until two years ago our trees had really been neglected - not pruned or weeded around etc.  The field was mowed occasionally but the weeds really strangled our little trees.  Josiah and I have been trying to do a better job these last few years.  George's trees showed us what we could have one day.  We'll be better stewards of our new trees and hopefully in a few years they will look like George's trees!  We have plans to put our "orchard" into clover which will help fix nitrogen for the trees and hopefully smother out the weeds - when we start on that huge project we will take lots of pictures to show you how we do it.
Elijah and I have been working hard in my herb border.  I grew quite a bit of comfrey this spring to fill in my comfrey patch.  I use so much comfrey in my salves that I needed to double the size of our patch.  Elijah has turned into one of the best weeders I've ever seen - he doesn't miss a thing!  We had to replant our Horehound, Thyme, Oregano, Tarragon, Stevia and Borage this year - we lost them all during our harsh winter.  Normally our annuals will re-seed themselves but the only one that did and survive was Calendula - I use a lot of it in soaps and salves too so I was glad to see it coming back. It bloomed yesterday for the first time.
Everything is blooming late this year! Normally our Catawba tree blooms each April but it hasn't bloomed yet this year and here we are almost into June!  My Plantain patch has loved all the rain and is HUGE this year - same with my Elecampane.  My Mugwort and Motherwort have gone crazy and both will need to be thinned this year - I'll dry what I thin so I'll have plenty through the winter. Our Lavender patch should double in size this year - we are working towards a Lavender hedge - this is another herb that I use in soaps, salves, for culinary purposes and even to clean with - can't ever have too much lavender!  I'm hoping that this means our Jewelweed will be back with a vengeance this summer - you do know that Jewelweed is our Father's antidote for poison ivy right?

I'm so thankful to our Father for the ability to raise all these varieties of fruit and veggies and His many healing herbs,  I love being in the garden or planting seeds in the greenhouse - what a miracle it is each year to plant a speck of a seeds and receive 10 or 20 pounds of food from that plant - just amazes me each time!  I'm so thankful for generous friends that share their bounty of plants with us - y'all are amazing!  When the fruit comes on, y'all come by and we'll share some cobbler or pie!
So tell does your garden grow this year?

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Brand New Look

Things are happening behind the scenes here at TNfarmgirl!  A very capable designer has been working on my blog to personalize it and give it a fresh new look!  I'm very pleased and excited so far and hope to be able to reveal it to you very soon!

Once the new look is unwrapped, work will begin on my website - a new name, a new look, a better shipping calculator (or so they say!) will be just a part of the change that is coming!

I'll be posting some new, smaller, e-books to help you be more productive in living the simple, self-sufficient life.  A plethora of "how-to" booklets!

Hopefully, you will be able to read my blog on my new website also (or so they say!).  I'll be keeping you informed all along the way.  At some point during the transition, the farm website will be off line for a couple of days while they work on the change in domain name...I'll let you know that before it happens.

I'm very excited about all the wonderful things to come.  I think you will be too when you see the new blog design - in fact, I think you'll be so impressed with this young designer that you'll want her to do something special for you too....ya'll better start getting in line now!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

No right to choose your own food?

According to the Federal Government, you do not have a right, nor have you ever had a right, to choose your own food!  Do you think I've lost my mind?  This case is being argued over that very dangerous food....raw milk.  If you think it will stop there, we need to have a talk.  Read on and perhaps you will be as outraged as I am...

'Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish'

Posted: May 14, 2010
1:00 am Eastern
By Bob Unruh
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

Attorneys for the federal government have argued in a lawsuit pending in federal court in Iowa that individuals have no "fundamental right" to obtain what food they choose.
The brief was filed April 26 in support of a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund over the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's ban on the interstate sale of raw milk.
"There is no 'deeply rooted' historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds," states the document signed by U.S. Attorney Stephanie Rose, assistant Martha Fagg and Roger Gural, trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice.
"Plaintiffs' assertion of a 'fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families' is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish," the government has argued.
"S. 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010, may be the most dangerous bill in the history of the U.S.," critiqued Steve Green on the Food Freedom blog. "It is to our food what the bailout was to our economy, only we can live without money."
The plan is sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., who explains the legislation "is a critical step toward equipping the FDA with the authorities and funding it needs to regulate what is now a global marketplace for food, drugs, devices and cosmetics."
His website explains, "The legislation requires foreign and domestic food facilities to have safety plans in place to prevent food hazards before they occur, increases the frequency of inspections. Additionally, it provides strong, flexible enforcement tools, including mandatory recall. Most importantly, this bill generates the resources to support FDA food-safety activities."
The proposal cleared the U.S. House last year but has been languishing in the Senate because of a full calendar of projects. It creates a long list of new requirements for food-producing entities to meet the demands of the secretary of agriculture. It is expected to be the subject of discussion in coming days.
The Iowa case alleges the federal restrictions on raw milk are a violation of the U.S. Constitution, according to a report at Natural News.
The federal attorneys want the case dismissed.
"The interest claimed by plaintiffs could be framed more narrowly as a right to 'provide themselves and their families with the foods of their own choice,'" the government document states. But the attorneys say that right doesn't exist.
"The FDA essentially believes that nobody has the right to choose what to eat or drink," said the Natural News site, which explains it covers topics that allow individuals to make positive changes in their health, environmental sensitivity and consumer choices.
"You are only 'allowed' to eat or drink what the FDA gives you permission to. There is no inherent right or God-given right to consume any foods from nature without the FDA's consent."
The Natural News report continued, "The state, in other words, may override your food decisions and deny you free access to the foods and beverages you wish to consume. And the state may do this for completely unscientific reasons – even just political reasons – all at their whim."
The report cited an increasing level of frustration on the part of the federal government because of tactics including buying "cow shares" in which a consumer drinks milk from a cow he partly owns, or "buying clubs."
"This arrangement drives the FDA absolutely batty because it bypasses their authority and allows free people to engage in the free sales of raw dairy products produced on small family farms," Natural News said.
The report blames the aggressive campaign against raw milk on large commercial dairy interests, "because it threatens the commercial milk business."
The reason cannot be safety, the report said, since a report from the Weston A. Price Foundation revealed that from 1980 to 2005 there were 10 times more illnesses from pasteurized milk than from raw milk.
The federal government attorneys say the FDA's goal is to prevent disease, and that's why the "ban on the interstate sale of unpasteurized milk" was adopted.
The attorneys conceded that states ordinarily are expected to regulate intrastate activity but noted, "it is within HHS's authority … to institute an intrastate ban as well."
Natural News reported the ban could be seen as violating the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which leaves to states all powers not specifically designated in the Constitution for the federal body.
In fact, according to the Wisconsin State Journal, lawmakers there have adopted a bill, with the governor's support, that would allow farmers to sell raw milk directly to consumers.
The move puts Wisconsin in position to be the 20th state to allow direct sales of raw milk. Another handful of states allow retail sales.
Although the case being argues is about raw milk, this legislation affects far more than that...think gardens.  It has been "promised" that home gardens will be exempt...and we all know how this administration is keeping their promises don't we?

Rep. Dingell has a reputation for introducing legislation that empowers the federal government at the expense of the peoples rights and states rights.  Perhaps you ought to share your thoughts on the subject with his office...I know I will be doing so.

If we don't take a stand - each and every time our liberties are threatened - we will soon find ourselves without liberty.

Oh, and that whole raw milk thing....if you really believe it's a dangerous substance that should be regulated by the government....get in touch with me and I'll be glad to share with you what I learned a long time ago!



Sunday, May 16, 2010


Join me, won’t you? 
Learning to see Him in the little things, the everyday…and to worship with gratitude….

Psalm 26:7 
That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, And tell of all Your wondrous works.
Psalm 116.17
I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the LORD.
Psalm 100:4 
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

So thankful to my Father for.... 

30. His constant protection

31. Dew drops on spider webs

32. Spring breezes

33. The wondrous bond  between a boy and his dog

34. The beauty of storm clouds gathering on the horizon

35. Chickweed

36. Daughters-in-love

37. Talks with teens into the wee hours

38. Lashes on cheeks of sleeping child

39. Hot peppers

40. The gift of music

41. Cleansing rains

42. Gardens

43. Flannel sheets

44. The melody of His wind through the trees

45. His paintbrush of colors on flowers

46. The smell of cookies in the oven

47. Godly men mentoring boys

48. Afternoons filled with laughter

49. Worship music shaking the rafters

50. Sunlight through lace

Won’t you join me….journal your gifts….as you watch your gratitude grow, your trust increases and life becomes an exciting adventure as you anticipate what your Father will do next….He is your source...He never fails....never forsakes......

He keeps me…breathless…..



Saturday, May 15, 2010

An Exciting Mother's Day!

Mother's Day was cold here.  We've had several hard frosts in the last couple of weeks.  On Mother's Day we enjoyed what I hope was our last fire in the fireplace!  We spent the morning at church and enjoyed the afternoon with each other.  My boys fixed dinner for myself and my mother that evening.  I was blessed to have all of my boys here. After dinner, we all played games was a wonderful family time.

The exciting part of my day occurred during the afternoon.  I received a phone call from a young lady wishing me a happy Mother's Day.  I imagine I'll be receiving one of those phone calls from this young lady each year now!  You see, just a few weeks ago my oldest son proposed to this young lady and was accepted!  Can you hear the wedding bells?

I've known Amanda for many years and love her dearly! Finally....a daughter! My only question to Joshua was "what took you so long!". It has been exciting to listen to the chatter of wedding plans.

Of course, if you know me very well at all, you'll know that I will be looking forward to hearing another sound some day in the future...that of a baby cooing...lots of babies cooing!



Tuesday, May 11, 2010

News and classes!

Just a reminder...this Saturday, May 15th, I will be teaching a soap making class here on my farm from 1:00 to 5:30. You can read a general description of this class here.

On May 22nd, I will be teaching a class here on the basics of herbal medicine.  You can read a general description of this class here.

I still have a few spaces left in each class and would love to see one of you join us!

Email me at tnfarmgirl at comcast dot net for more information on how you can take part in the fun!

There are some new classes coming up through the summer!  We will be holding a class while fresh fruit is in season - ever wanted to learn how to make jam?  Cooked jam?  Freezer jam?  Specialty jams?  Stay tuned for more information and for dates!

Join me next time to learn some very exciting my Mother's Day was different this year and will never be the same again!



My Drummer Boy

Last week was very exciting!  Jeremy was asked by our good friends to play with them at a local restaurant!  

Ella really is a fabulous cook.  Years ago, when she had a smaller eatery, I was her "lettuce lady" and "herb lady".  I sold to her each week some of what I was growing in the garden.  Her new restaurant focuses on delicious food as fresh as you can get it and great music.

We arrived at Ella's around 7:00 pm.  In fact, it looked like a lot of our church body arrived around 7:00 pm!  There were only a couple of parking spaces left and once inside we found very few open tables - so glad we had reserved ours!

Our entire family was there including all my boys, Grandma and my "sister" Pam!  The band was already there - they set up during the afternoon and went through all the stuff a band goes through getting ready to play.  

We had a table right down front - better for pictures you know!

Music started at 7:30 pm and except for a couple of short breaks to wet their whistles, they played until 9:30.  We listened to worship music (in a public restaurant!) patriotic music, folk music and even an Irish tune.  They appeared to be wildly popular with the crowd!  Especially when they played Dixie!

Jeremy was a bit nervous before hand but ended up having a wonderful time.  They all did a great job!
What wonderful memories these young people will have...and what a blessing it was for all of us to spend the evening with them!  

You can listen to some samples of their music or pick up a copy of their CD here!



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