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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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