Gardener's Grapevine 2013.04.03

Written by David Green.

What a rainy Easter morning this one is. We traveled to East Lansing to spend the day with our son. He was pretty bummed to be away from home on Easter Sunday. It’s hard to be away from home when your whole life you’ve done certain things on certain days and you know your family is at home doing them. Our son is studying at MSU and will be there another one to two years.

As we drove up to MSU I noticed a lot of properties have greened up considerably, but no spring flowers yet. They are poking through in some beds, but no flowers—more than likely because of an early Easter and the cold snap we’ve had lately.

​I’ve discovered a nice new magazine. It took the place of “The Herb Companion” and it’s called “Mother Earth Living Natural Home, Healthy Life." It covers gardening, in-home issues such as having an allergen free home, natural living and preserving your own food.

​The March-April issue had an article about DIY oral care that I found interesting and decided to share the recipes with all of you. The recipe for mint toothpaste is 2 tablespoons baking soda, ½ teaspoon sea salt, 1 tablespoon glycerin and 20 drops of peppermint essential oil. Mix all together and store in an airtight container.

For natural tooth whitener use 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide mixed together. Dip toothbrush in the mixture and brush for three minutes. Rinse thoroughly and brush with toothpaste afterward.

The last recipe is for a healing mouthwash: Combine ¾ cup water, ¼ cup vodka, 2 droppersful calendula tincture, 2 droppersful goldenseal tincture, 1 dropperful myrrh tincture and 1-2 drops of peppermint essential oil. Dilute 3 tablespoons of the rinse in ½ ounce of water and use as a mouthwash. All these ingredients would be available at a natural foods store such as By Nature in Adrian, Whole Foods in Ann Arbor, Claudia’s or Bassets in Toledo.

I think I might try the first two recipes and see how they work. I know that most toothpastes have baking soda in them as the abrasive agent. It is also important to think in terms of vitamins and minerals in conjunction with oral health. Calcium is essential for teeth and bones, vitamin D is essential to make the bones absorb the calcium, CoQ10 is an anti-inflammatory that can help ward off bacterial infections. Vitamin C deficiency is a huge contributor to tooth decay and loss. It’s definitely food for thought.

As many of you know from reading this article, I am a fan of eating and living as pesticide-free as possible and the magazine had an article on organic eating versus non-organic. They noted an interesting fact about organics and small children. It pointed out that small children have rapidly developing small brains, and pesticides can concentrate more rapidly than in an adult and it is theoretically more advantageous to feed children organics if you are able to.

When people think of organics they think of crazy expensive, but in reality it can be very inexpensive if you grow and cook your own food. In our yard we have two apple trees, two cherry trees (one sour, one sweet) and a pear tree. If we can beat the squirrels and birds to it, we have a pretty good harvest and it’s all natural. It’s just food for thought as we start into a new growing season.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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