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Archive for the ‘ecology’ Category

If you are a person who looks to use and purchase products that help to promote the idea of organic farming practices and the idea of sustainability; then I would like to introduce you to Peppermint Jim and his products.

I first met Peppermint Jim back a couple of years ago in person in Michigan.  He’s had an impact in Michigan where he helped to save his family’s heritage mint farm from foreclosure.  He did this through hard work, and with the help of loyal customers.  Jim believes in using organic farming practices that help build up the soil and protect it from poor farming practices that harm the earth with dangerous chemicals and destructive, or careless techniques that don’t look beyond the season’s current harvest.

I have to say that I was impressed with the man’s knowledge not only of those issues; but also, the intensive passion he shares for mint farming and for supporting struggling independent producers who are trying to make a living in a very competitive world.  He’s done this by not compromising his faith or his belief in doing things in such a way as to honor God’s creation.  He does his best to educate others and to provide products that promote health and well-being for the consumer as well as the environment.

In fact, Jim supports Southern Arizona Green Chamber of Commerce and Mrs. Greens World Care to encourage green practices in communities and businesses.  The Tucson Arizona community is familiar with this way of thinking and it is a great place to connect with like- minded people.

In the May edition of Guideposts magazine you will find an article on Peppermint Jim and the story of his legacy from the role that his family’s heritage mint farm played in his professional growth; to the place that he is in now and, the direction that his experiences are leading him to, in the future.  Don’t miss it…get the May 2011 edition of Guidepost’s magazine to learn more about Peppermint Jim and his life partner, wife Lilian and the role that their mint based business will play in the forward thinking communities who are wise to a greener and more sustainable world.

Jim has taken his knowledge, passion and purpose to Arizona and is introducing community members and loyal customers to his new line of products.  His commitment to sustainability is contagious and he educates others to this way of farming.  He is an encouragement to other farmers and independent producers of consumer goods; to do what they know is right and to have an opportunity to provide a living for themselves by bringing products to the marketplace that envelope all that they believe in.

You can see Peppermint Jim’s line of pure mint oils, body care products, farming tools, his handmade candies and goodies as well as his soil rejuvenator which feeds plants from seedling to bloom/harvest.  You can find out more about what’s good for you and your family at Peppermint Jim

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Seed saving is a method of preserving a particular species of vegetable, fruit or flower.   Without families and farmers of yesteryear having the wisdom to save seeds from their own harvest many particular species of favorite fruits, vegetables and flowers would have died out.  Think about how easy it is for people today to run to their local greenhouse or gardening center to pick up the items that they wish to plant.  Our forebearers did not have the luxury of doing that.  They had to work hard planting, nurturing, harvesting and preserving the very food that they put on the table that took care of their families.

Quite often today, many features of specific heirloom plants have been bred right out of plants in the name of hybridisation.  In the world of agriculture, scientists are always looking to improve a particular strain or species of a plant; either by shape, color, size or some other feature deemed to be valuable.  However, in the name of improving a strain…sometimes other things are lost in the process.  What makes a particular fruit, vegetable or flower a favorite is different which is why there are so many variations available today.

If you find one that you love…think about this; will that particular strain of plant that you love be available in the future?  To continue reading: Write Where You Are

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       Breaking news of a horrific nature…Australia has been experiencing some terrible fires, overnight, that has caused major damage to some towns and at least 84 deaths.  Although that number may continue to climb as they gain control of the brush fires.   There are many who were hospitalized with burns and some of them may yet lose their lives because of their injuries.  This is the deadliest wildfire that Australia has ever had.  The areas that have been the most impacted were in the southeastern area of Australia; as well as  towns about 50 miles north and east of the capital, Melbourne.

         People have lost their homes, their livelihoods in some cases and many have lost their loved ones or their own lives.  Some people were killed in the fires as they tried to escape in their vehicles.  This is horrible; it is suspected that some of these fires were deliberately set.   If that is true; it is a crime, the murders of innocent people are on the hands of those who set these fires.  It is unfathamable why anyone would wish to do such harm.  The firefighters are bravely trying to fight the fires, which may take days to control.  I pray that God help the Australians by bringing some rain and helping the firefighters to gain control and help the people of Australia as they cope with their losses.

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      This is interesting news to me; and, not altogether unhappy news, it has come to my attention that as a direct result of the financial crisis in this country…we are all going to be receiving less junk mail in our mail boxes!  Isn’t that wonderful?  It is just sad that it took something of this nature to reduce all of these unwanted solicitations. 

       Now, I have to admit, i hate junk mail.  It piles up and seems to breed when I am not looking, before I can dispose of it.  I could build a miniature high rise building with the stacks of envelopes that I get each week.  It is frustrating, as my shredder is broken; and, many of those envelopes are attempts to get me to sign up for credit cards, home equity loans; and or, other means of putting me further and further in debt. 

       Hello people, where is the common sense here?  I hate getting those pieces of mail; because, if you open them up…they have multiple spots on the applications with personal name & address information.  As I said, without a shredder…i must hand tear them into small pieces so that no one else can activate them if they come across the applications.  That is highly annoying to have to go through all of that extra work because of no fault of my own.  However, it is necessary with all of those warnings that we all hear about on the news programs of identity theft.  It is too easy for someone with ulterior motives to make use of that private, and personal information they find inside of those envelopes that everyone tosses away.

        It also goes against my growing sense of green living.  There is no reason to slaughter thousands of trees a year just to bombard people with mail that they don’t want or need; which only ends up in landfills anyway.  I want to protect the environment and be a good steward of the world that we live in.   Let’s take a moment and compliment those companies that are cutting back on wasting trees and money by curbing the direct marketing sales envelopes that we all receive.  Thank you for cutting back, I want to encourage you to continue this practice even when the economy improves!   I admire your leadership in this area of your business (yes, i know you are mainly doing it to save money…that is ok…we both benefit).

         Of course, we all want the financial world to get back on it’s feet.  Let this small step of reducing unwanted mail be the first positive step in the right direction, as far as using common sense, in the business world.  I believe that the impact is far reaching.  I for one, appreciate the fact that I will get less unwanted mail.  How do you feel about the matter?  Will you respect a company for taking this step?

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        I find things that are the most interesting to me, are often things that are going on right around me; figuratively, in my own backyard.  That is why, when i read an article today about a man who lived less than an hour away from me; and actually at one time in my life, lived less than 10 minutes from my childhood home…i took a major interest in the story of his life and his death.  He was an inspiration to watch and learn from.

         This man’s name was Lewis (Luke) Arends.  He lived in Sparta, Michigan.  You might find by reading this post that you may share a connection with him as well.  Luke was 91 years old when he died on Monday.  But, what i found is that he was the man who “discovered” the Paula Red apple, that many of us know and love.  Paula Reds have a sweet/tart tingle on your tongue and when you taste them, they almost remind you of a ripe strawberry.  When mixed with a couple of other variety of apples…they make a wonderfully, tangy applesauce to feed to your family.  The texture is smooth and cool.  The skins remind me of the old saying, red apple cheeks. 

         It seems that Mr. Arends was an apple grower in the 1950’s.  One day, he noticed an apple tree that was a little bit different than the rest.  He continued to watch this tree grow and eventually, produce apples in time.  He learned that this apple tree was different, in the fact that the apples began to ripen much earlier, in August, than the other apples that he had growing in his orchard.  This new variety of apple tree was good and he decided to name it after his wife, who’s name was Pauline.  The tree is still standing there…a natural tribute to the man; and to the fruit growers who were wise enough to recognize a gift from above.  The tree provided early income needed to bridge the gap from one season to the next…helping fruit producers to ride out the ups and downs that naturally occur due to mother nature’s temperment year- to- year.

         This is when the apple called Paula Red was born.  So, through patenting and propagating the species…everyone gets to enjoy a good tasting, early ripening apple before the first bite of autumn makes it’s presence known.  Thank you Mr. Arends for paying attention to the gift growing in your own backyard.  God bless!

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       I just heard an amazing thing…Google wants to impact the world with fresh new ideas…and what’s more…they are willing to reward those ideas of positive impact with some major money that could turn this world side ways on it’s axis!  This is to celebrate their 10th birthday.  The winning suggestion will come up with an idea that is able to help many people in the world.   Do you have an idea; one that, if it had some major money and some expert guidance behind it, could improve some area of life for a whole lot of people?  Here is what you need to do then…go to:http://www.project10tothe100.com/index.html .

         Tell them your idea…answer their questions and wait to load up the cannon of impact to explode some positivity on the universe.  There is a potential for $10 million dollars to be used to implement the ideas…but you have to hurry…go to: http://www.project10tothe100.com/index.html .  There is $10 million dollars allotted to making this happen…they can divide that amount between up to five different ideas…or they could choose to support one idea.  The funding would be divided accordingly if they went with multiple ideas.

          We live in a world that is filled with need; Google just wants to make the world a better place for as many people as possible.  Do you have an idea that can help make that happen?

          Submit your ideas before October 20th, 2008.  You don’t have to have the skills to implement your idea; whether it be a humanitarian, technological,environmental,agricultural, artistic,economic,medical or any other kind of idea.  Just post your idea…answer their questions and wait and see how it will take shape if your idea is accepted as an idea of promise.  The future impact is only limited by the quality of the ideas submitted.

           Put on your thinking cap and come up with something that will make the world a better place to live in…for the most people; from now, and into infinity!  Good luck…and many blessings to those who will be impacted by the thought, the guidance, and the money.  Thank you Google for shinning a light of opportunity for the recipients of this wonderful project.

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       Tonight, a totally moving and strong speach was given by Sarah Palin, the Republican nominee for the Vice President of the United States.  This woman i believe could very much be good for our country.  She has given a message that the people of the United States have wanted to hear from their leaders…whether they be Republican or Democrats.

       She is down home, grass roots…and very direct.  She exhibits qualities that hit home with real people…who work hard for their money and struggle to keep it for their families.  She believes in cutting down on government control.  She encourages improving the living conditions for special needs children and their families.  She promises that when elected…those families will have a friend in the highest offices of the land.  She has a sense of humor and she knows how to use it.  She asked what the difference was between soccer moms and a pit bull…she said soccer moms wear lipstick…she classifys herself as a soccer mom!

         She illustrates the difficulties that the American middle class families face with job cuts and taxes that burden families; she declares that she and McCain will cut excess government spending.  She has proudly underscored the strength of the hard working people in the country who do not live as the elite in Washinton DC.

        It is powerful to see this speach take place.  It will be interesting to see what happens in the polls now.  Whether in the Vice President position or not…this woman is going to make a huge impact on America.  She is proud of her son in the United States military, her daughters and her husband, as well as her son with Down’s Syndrome.  I applaud her support of those with special needs.     See related website on special needs: http://www.growingupspecial.com/

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        It may just be a bit presumptious to say so…but, i think that there are so many people who are dissatisfied with both the Republican and Democratic parties that we are going to see something that i tagged as a DemoPublican.  That is to say, that people’s value systems lie somewhere in the middle of these two parties that have become so out of touch with their constituents.  Alot of conversations that take a political turn tend to reflect the consensus that people are unhappy with the choices.  The reasons for that statement are varied.  Some don’t like the personality, or the past mistakes, or the perceived lack of experience…on and on.  That is not new to this particular election..that is always the case to a certain degree; people pick the person with who they consider will do the country the least amount of harm and promote the most positive changes possible.

         In this particularily historic Presidential election; people have  been trying to come to terms with issues that have plagued our country and tried to find the alignment within the party that they most closely associate themselves with.  That has become harder and harder to do with the economic reality that faces our nation; not to mention, constantly changing boundaries relating to levels of personal privacy as it has been invaded on the pretext of safeguarding our country in matters of national security.  Add into that mish-mash the polarization of voters applying personal religious belief systems towards determining which candidate to vote for.  Many people are conflicted on that issue; which candidate’s actions most closely reflect their own belief systems. 

          There are so many issues that have not even begun to be addressed by the candidates that it is a little worrisome.  Issues that demand addressing include things such as joblessness, homelessness, health care, education reform, addressing issues that impact the banking systems, transportation systems, homeland security, terrorism, how to provide and manage energy costs and concerns, etc.  These are the issues that people care about and base their votes on…not which celebrity gives them a personal endorsement or what music the candidate listens to; come on…get real and deal with the things that matter!

         Underneath those issues, runs a very heated debate about who should have been the Democratic nominee; experience or the lack of is important.  When Florida and Michigan delegate votes were discounted…this changed the course of the competition between Sen. Barack Obama.  There has been a strong battle between supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama.  The split has been protracted and continues today…going into the Democratic National Convention this weekend.  Even some of the speakers have privately expressed unhappiness with the process; such as Bill Clinton, former President of the United States.  He says after the election he will speak his piece; of that, i have no doubt.  Sen. Hillary Clinton…now, I can’t even imagine how much pressure she is under.  She wanted to be in the place that Sen. Barack Obama is now standing; barring that…she, i am sure would have been happy to be his running mate…that did not happen. 

           How difficult it must be to stand up there and promote unity in the party when i am sure….that has to be the last thing she wants to do is encourage support for Mr. Obama.  Add into the drama, all of the “celebrity” endorsements that Sen. Obama is getting and it is turning into a bit of a 3 ring circus.  Today there was a report on a CNN research poll that said since picking Sen. Joe Biden… the run for the Presidency has become tied at 47% between Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama…compared to percentages that showed Sen. Obama in the lead with 51%, just last month.

         Everyone has an opinion on how this will play out.  Some attempts have been made calling for unity in the Democratic party…but, there is great unhappiness still under the surface.  Those that thought Sen. Hillary Clinton should have been the front runner, then fully expected Sen. Barack Obama should give her due consideration for the position of his running mate.  When it became obvious that she was passed over; and, he chose Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate those who felt slighted have pledged to vote for Sen. Obama’s competitor Sen. John McCain. 

           The Republican party has to get out their position on the issues as well.  We dont need to see a few months of showboating by either of the candidates…we need to get down to the nitty gritty and quit wasting everyone’s time on surface nonsense.

          There is much work to do on both the Republican and the Democratic side to convince voters that the person that they choose to cast their vote for is deserving and capable.  In the meantime, DemoPublicans are going to be the deciding factor in this election…God help us all to make the correct choice, without compromising the things that are most important.

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     Nine years is a relatively short amount of time to change lives, community, and environment.  Luckily, Franklin D. Roosevelt didn’t let that thought stop him when he created the Civilian Conservation Corps through his impactful New Deal which created over 59 agencies that worked to help America get out of the Depression Era.

      The Great Depression was a devastating period of time in America that impacted every facet of family life.  Food was in short supply, jobs were scarce, families were large and hope was wanning. 

       The year 1933 began to change that…the Depression had already dumped four years of hardship on families and the country.  Franklin D. Roosevelt became the President and promised the country a New Deal.  He created many agencies that would ultimately turn the country around…but those things took time. 

         When he created the Civilian Conservation Corps it was intended to take young men out of the city who were on the “help” line or what would today be called welfare.  The CCC did in fact help many young city men to leave the city life and got plenty of young men out of an environment of trouble.   When some of the young men/boys didn’t want to leave the city…boys from the country also went.  If the young men couldn’t work during this time, they were a drain on the family food supply; the CCC provided a solution to that by sending the young men to the camps…not only didn’t their families have to feed them…they could in turn, send home money helping to support their family at home. The requirements were such that the young men were supposed to be 18 years of age, collecting help or welfare benefits, and were willing to leave their families to go to the CCC camps.

         The work was hard.  The environment was sometimes empty lands that the “boys” had to clear and build their own shelters that would eventually become the camp barracks.  The discipline was tough because it had to be.  The camps often were blending boys from city life with boys from country life.  The times were tough…and many men and boys came without much clothing.  The camps provided uniforms to wear, food to eat, a place to stay, and a purpose for the young men and boys during a time when left to their own devices, many were prone to get into trouble.  The uniforms helped to instill pride in the work that they performed…for their families, their communities, and their country.

         The work that the CCC did was varied around the country…but, basically, they built roads, dams, installed telephone lines, paved roads, built state and national parks, built dams, constructed fire breaks to help control fire damage, planted forests and so much more.

          In return for the priviledge of being clothed in uniform and taking pride in the work that they were able to accomplish, the young men had to agree to the payment plan.  That payment included three meals a day, housing, clothing, and $30 dollars a month…the men were allowed to keep $5 dollars of that money and the rest was sent home to help their parents; or, if they were married with dependents, then they sent home the $25 to their spouse to help take care of their responsibilities.  Many of the young men had to not only leave their homes but some even had to go to camps out of their home states.

          This program, the CCC was wonderful at rebuilding a sense of pride in young men who did not want to take help from the government…it allowed them to feel as though they were once again restoring their families by the manual labor that they did.  At the same time, the CCC used the young men to construct projects that impacted the country in ways that; to this day, we are able to reap the rewards from.  The work ethic that the men exibited during this time was to set a standard for generations to learn from.  It was run with a military type environment…not quite a boot camp…but strong discipline and lots of physical labor.  Often, the men went on to join the armed forces and used the skills they learned through the CCC to help the military in other areas around the world. 

          Many of the parks and dams still exist and are enjoyed.  The CCC camps lasted 9 years; this year honored the celebration of its 75 anniversity.  The CCC put over 2.5 million young men and boys to work.  They planted over 200 million trees…my own grandfather was a part of that.  In the area where he worked…they planted pine trees that still stand to this day.  In the area where he worked…those trees were instrumental to helping to stop the progression of a 10 acre parcel of desert which turned into over 1000 acres before the trees were able to do their job.  That gave farming families a chance to regain their farm land which provided their families a place to live and plant their food supply.  

          All of the men who joined the CCC did work to be proud of.  They worked hard, they sacrificed time away from their families and they provided for other members of their families by doing so.  Many formed long lasting friendships with their co-workers and all had stories to tell when their time was done.   It is a legacy that should not be forgotten.  All of the work was important and should be honored. Many of the workers are gone now…some are living still and to them all…we owe a big thank you!   Do you know anyone who worked for the CCC?  How did it impact their life?  How does it affect the environment where you live today?  Should we organize something similar today to help our economy, our youth, and our country?  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/impact-action-team-makes-a-difference-in-the-world-through-boot-camp-training/

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      Here is the skinny on a previously top secret engineering project that is the baby of British billionaire, Sir Richard Branson and aerospace engineer, Burt Rutan.   They have had engineers working on designing a spaceship, that will carry another spaceship which will transport rich tourists into space, above the earth, for a 5-minute weightless experience. 

        The “mothership” is going to be introduced to the public on Monday.  Space Ship Two will carry the passengers.  It isn’t ready yet to be introduced.   Models of the two ships will be shown.  When it goes into service…space ship two, will be capable of carrying two pilots plus six passengers.

       I don’t know about you; but, this whole project sits wrong with me.  In a world that is demanding more and more fuel to support their daily living, getting to and from work…at a high cost i might add; it seems to me to set a new level of irresponsible entrepeneurialship.  Yes, it would be a marvel of invention…but, does their right to have such an experience outweigh the need or demand here on earth for the fuels?  Air travel uses such large amounts of fuel…are we ready to allow jet fuel to be siphoned off to what amounts to space tourism? (more…)

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