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.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • 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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