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.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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