Living and thriving through regenerative practices and a sustainable worldview.

Archive for December, 2011

Process Books: Self-Reliance series

I have not read any of these, but they look like an interesting series of books. The Preparedness Now! series looks like it has a lot of basic homesteading skills wrapped up for urban and suburban-ites, and others who may not be familiar with the topic. Will have to check it out.
http://processmediainc.com/store/books/selfreliance/

Depression 2.0

Creative Strategies for Tough Economic Times

Cletus Nelson

Depression 2.0 is a practical, empowering, hands-on guide to persevering and even thriving in the event of an economic crisis. Placing particular emphasis on self-sufficiency, community-building, and personal resilience, this timely, informative book offers a hopeful way forward in a time of great uncertainty. Bankruptcy, barter, and survival investing are just a few of the important topics explored.

Getting Out

Getting Out

Your Guide to Leaving America

by Mark Ehrman

View the Getting Out website.

Getting Out walks you through the world of the expat: the reasons, the rules, the resources, the tricks of the trade, along with compelling stories and expertise from expatriate Americans on every continent.

The Natural Kitchen

Your Guide to the Sustainable Food Revolution

Deborah Eden Tull

A simple, revolutionary guide to mindful, sustainable food shopping, planning, preparation, cooking, and eating in the city.

Preparedness Now!

An Emergency Survival Guide
Expanded and Revised Edition

By Aton Edwards

View the Preparedness Now! website

PREPAREDNESS NOW! is the first comprehensive planning and action guide for urbanites and suburbanites who want to live more self-sufficiently and learn how best to provide for themselves and their loved ones in the face of any emergency or disaster. “Aton’s work is tremendously important. What we need to do for the next round is to get ourselves prepared.” — Chuck D., author, musician, and host of “On the Real”

The Urban Homestead

Self-Sufficient Living in the City (Expanded and Revised Edition)

By Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen

This celebrated, essential handbook for the urban homesteading movement shows how to grow and preserve your own food, clean your house without toxins, raise chickens, gain energy independence, and more. Step-by-step projects, tips, and anecdotes will help get you started…

When There Is No Doctor

Preventive and Emergency Healthcare in Uncertain Times

By Gerard S. Doyle, MD

The fifth title in Process’ Self-Reliance series demystifies medical practices with a practical approach to 21st Century health and home medicine, particularly helpful for stressful moments in a financial downturn. When There Is No Doctor is smartly designed and full…


FREE Permaculture eBooks!

http://www.green-shopping.co.uk/books/ebooks/free-ebooks.html

“Permaculture is all about one part of a system trying to help another, so this is our attempt to help replicate that, by sharing permaculture knowledge as freely and as widely as we can.

In this section you’ll find a selection of completely free eBook downloads on permaculture and wider environmental topics…”

 


Brain Wave States & How To Access Them

(DIY meditation! We need to learn how to RELAX…)

http://synthesislearning.com/article/brwav.htm

The brain produces four main types of brain wave which are shown by EEG readings. Each type of brain wave produces the listed effects at specific frequencies:

Beta Brain Waves (13-30 cycles per second). The fastest, representing the most intense state of alertness. The result of heightened mental activity. Maximum mind power. All five external senses, logical mind, memory from the five senses & logical thinking.

Alpha Brain Waves (8 to 12 cycles per second) This brain wave indicates a relaxed state of mind.. State of relaxed alertness, good for inspiration and learning facts fast. A meditative mind. In this state tap into internal “antenna” like qualities. Visions, powerful ideas, mindless creation of the incredible. Internal feeling & sensations.

Theta Brain Waves (4 to 8 cycles per second) Deep meditation. Deep inward thought. This is associated with life-like imagination. High state of mental concentration. A magical mind. Internal pictures / visualisation. Intuition, inner guidance. Access to unconscious material. Dreaming.

Delta Brain Waves (0.5 to 4 cycles per second) Deep dreamless sleep. Deep relaxation. State of oneness, whole body feeling. Pure being & will.

Studies have shown that learning in Alpha State enhances the performance of students. It also develops the interest of studies in students more than they have ever learned in tense environment. Frequent gaps of 2 to 3 minutes after every 30 minute study period relaxes their minds and the alpha state will prove its efficiency with great ease and fun. But learning is more than just absorbing information, so changing the state of mind to operate Beta, Alpha and Theta is most likely to produce the best learning, cognition and creativity, while also staying in a relaxed state.
Exercises to access the brain wave states

I have developed the exercises below to attain the separate specific brain waves which can then be added together as you desire. All four at once is quite an experience!

Beta brain wave — Become hyper aware of your 5 senses, notice what you can smell, the taste in your mouth, what your hands are touching, become acutely aware of what you hear and see. Having done this you will know that you are in beta due to the intense external input and the total lack of awareness of your body, feelings or sensations.

Alpha brain wave — Try the following exercise first with your eyes open & then repeat it with your eyes closed. Take a deep breath, hold it and notice the sensations as your heart beats three times, relax & breath out — repeat 3X. Breathe in and out slowly to a count of 4, as you do so notice how your body feels —relaxed & warm.

Theta brain wave — do this after the alpha brain wave exercise. Close your eyes and visualise a sacred cup where your heart is (or another object of your choice) hold this picture for several minutes. Breathe in and out slowly.

Delta brain waves — do this after the other exercises, become aware & notice a warm sensation in your heart, now this sensation flow down and then spread out until it fills all of your body — one sensation.
Using CDs to access the brainwave states and improve learning

There several companies who produce CDs for different states normally in combination or for specific purposes e.g. concentration, relaxation, creativity, “Einsteinian like thinking”, etc. These are useful to obtain the desired states when you need to do something but cannot get yourself in the desired state and also to train the brain and body so you can whenever you want to.

The slower the brain frequency the faster the learning. In theta learning can be 1 time and in alpha as much as 20 times to absorb information (see below).
Brain Waves and Age

The table below tells the patterns of brain wave activity across different ages and states of awareness with the number of repetitions required to learn new behaviour patterns.
Age Brain wave Cycles/sec. Usual state for adults No. of repetitions required for new behaviour
14+ Beta 14 – 21 Normal awake Thousands
7 – 14 Alpha 7 – 14 Light sleep, meditation 21 (approx.)
4 – 7 Theta 4 – 7 Sleep, ‘fight or flight’ 1 or 2
0 – 4 Delta 0.5 – 4 Deep sleep -

NB. the repetitions are for new behaviour not information but information is also absorbed quicker in lower brain wave patterns.

From birth to four, babies’ brains operate in the delta state, with brain waves running below 4 cycles per second. In adults, this level of brain wave activity is experienced in the deepest levels of sleep.

From four to seven, children operate in theta state, with brain waves running between four and seven cycles per second. In adults, this level of brain wave activity is experienced during sleep and also during states of fear when the body goes into a ‘fight or flight’ response. This is a powerful level from which to initiate change. In this state, we only need one or two experiences of learning to change behaviour.

From the ages seven to fourteen, we live in the alpha state of seven to fourteen cycles per second. In adults, this is associated with light sleep, meditation, or eyes closed relaxation. At this level effective learning can take place after about 21 repetitions. Practice a new behaviour for 21 consecutive days and that behaviour becomes a habit. Research has shown that strong levels of physical healing can take place when the brain is at 10 cycles per second.

From puberty through adulthood the brain operates in the beta state, 14 – 21 cycles per second. This is experienced in the normal state of eyes open, awake and alert. In this state it may take many thousands of repetitions to learn a new behaviour. To create significant change in our lives at this level takes extensive deal of time and effort. (This section on age comes from www.nlplearningsystems.com )
Brain waves and health

Delta & Theta brain waves are very good for health in general and are normally obtained by sleep but for students or others who work too hard, accessing them at the same time as other brain waves is rejuvenating.

An excess of Delta usually indicates depression, either physical or emotional and sleep problems.

Many researchers have noted a discrepancy between the EEG of subjects with learning disabilities or ADD and normal subjects. Typically, the ADD subjects were characterized by brain activity on the slower end of the frequency spectrum “The most important characteristic is either an excessive amount of theta activity, a lack of beta activity or a combination of these” Lubar, J. F. (1985). EEG biofeedback and learning disabilities. Theory into Practice, 24(2), 106-111
Important Medical Warning

One manufacturer (Brain Sound Studio TM) recommends that the studio and therefore by inference the binaural sounds should not be used by pregnant women, those using a pacemaker, and those who have had or are prone to seizures or are epileptic.

Therefore I recommend that if you have a medical condition or are on medication please print this out and see a Medical Doctor to check if you are at risk before you use any binaural type music.
Specific Brain Frequencies

The information below shows the effects of specific frequencies within each brain wave frequency range:
Delta Brain Waves ( O.5 to 4Hz)

0.5 Hz – Relaxation, helps soothe headaches
0.5 – 1.5 Hz – Pain relief. Endorphin release
0.9 Hz – Euphoric feeling
1 Hz – Well being. Harmony and balance
2.5 Hz – Production of endogenous opiates (pain killers, reduce anxiety)
2.5 Hz – Relieves migraine pain. Produces endogenous opiates
3.4 Hz – Helps achieve restful sleep
3.5 Hz – Feeling of unity with everything. Whole being regeneration
3.9 Hz – Self renewal, enhanced inner awareness
4.0 Hz – Enkephalin release for reduced stress
4.0 Hz – Allows brain to produce enkaphalins, all natural pain killer
4.0 Hz – Full memory scanning. Releases enkephalins
4.0 Hz – Vital for memory and learning. Problem solving, object naming
1 – 3 Hz – Profound relaxation, restorative sleep. Tranquillity and peace
Theta Brain Waves ( 4 to 8 Hz)

4.5 Hz – Brings about Shamanic/Tibetan state of consciousness, Tibetan chants.
4.9 Hz – Induce relaxation and deeper sleep
4.9 Hz – Introspection. Relaxation, meditation
5 Hz – Reduces sleep required. Theta replaces need for extensive dreaming
5.35 Hz – Allows relaxing breathing, free and efficient
5.5 Hz – Inner guidance, intuition
6.5 Hz – Centre of Theta frequency. Activates creative frontal lobe
7.5 Hz – Activates creative thought for art, invention, music. Problem solving
7.5 Hz – Ease of overcoming troublesome issues
7.83 Hz – Schumann earth resonance. Grounding, meditative, Leaves you revitalized
3 – 8 Hz – Deep relaxation, meditation. Lucid dreaming
3 – 8 Hz – Increased memory, focus, creativity
4 – 7 Hz – Profound inner peace, emotional healing. Lowers mental fatigue
4 – 7 Hz – Deep meditation, near-sleep brainwaves.
Alpha brain waves ( 8 to 12Hz)

8- 10 Hz Super-learning new information, memorisation, not comprehension.
8.22 Hz – Associated with the mouth. Brings creativity
10 Hz – Enhanced serotonin release. Mood elevation, arousal, stimulant
10 Hz – Provides relief from lost sleep, improves general mood
10 Hz – Mood elevator. Used to dramatically reduce headaches
10 Hz – Clarity, subconscious correlation. Releases serotonin
11 Hz – Relaxed yet awake state
12 Hz – Centering, mental stability.
11 – 14 Hz – Increased focus and awareness
12 – 14 Hz – Learning frequency, good for absorbing information passively
Beta brain waves ( 13 to 30Hz)

14 Hz – Awakeness, alert. Concentration on tasks, Focusing, vitality.
16 Hz – Bottom of hearing range. Releases oxygen/calcium into cells
12 – 15 Hz – Relaxed focus, improved attentive abilities
13 – 27 Hz – Promotes focused attention toward external stimuli
13 – 30 Hz – Problem solving, conscious thinking
18-24 Hz — Euphoria, can result in headaches, anxiety.

NB. Frequencies in italics cover more than one brain wave frequency range.

The release of endorphins by the delta brainwave can also be achieved by meditation, runners high, breathing exercises, etc

In my opinion the brain waves and the specific frequencies could be used to help explain how many healing techniques work with more research, case studies and relation to other scientific disciplines.
References:

www.Binaural-Beats.com and Brain Sound Studio TM
Another site for CDs is www.prohypnosis.com
For those who like a challenge the Tibetan Exercise of Paradox creates all four states at once — Cynthia Rose Young Schlosser


Mother Trees Connect the Forest

http://www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=2764


Secondary Edible Parts of Vegetables

From:
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/newsletters/vpmnews/apr02/art4apr.html

This article by M. J. Stephens, University of Florida, Department of Horticulture, appeared in “Vegetarian,” 98-05.

The culinary reputation of most vegetables is based primarily on the edible qualities of one or sometimes two primary parts of the plant. For example, the tomato is the leading garden vegetable, due to the popular appeal of its fruit, while the turnip contributes both its root and its leaves as table fare. For home gardeners who grow and have the entire vegetable plant at their disposal, other plant parts may be edible, although perhaps not so tasty as the main product. For non-gardeners, however, there is little option for eating parts other than those offered for sale.

The following is a list of ordinary garden vegetables with both commonly-eaten parts and less-frequently eaten parts. Obviously, in a list such as this, there may be quite a few omissions.

Although many of the secondary plant parts are edible, their popularity as food items is diminished by lack of proper flavor or unfavorable texture. For example, the leaves of practically all the cabbage family are edible, but the strong flavors of some species are disagreeable or too strong for most people’s taste.

The edible leaves and stem tips of sweet potato vines are well known in many parts of the world. Often considered a poor man’s food, sweet potato foliage has a rich protein content that helps supplement the nutritional value of the roots.

As for all vegetable parts, there is a great deal of variation within varieties in flavor and culinary characteristics of these secondary parts. For example, some sweet-potato stem tips in certain varieties are bitter, with a resinous flavor that is too strong.

Quite often, cooking is necessary to make the parts edible. Raw leaves eaten fresh may even be slightly poisonous in some cases.

Vegetable Common Edible Parts Other Edible Parts
Beans, snap pod with seeds leaves
Beans, lima seeds pods, leaves
Beets root leaves
Broccoli flower leaves, flower stem
Carrot root leaves
Cauliflower immature flower flower stem, leaves
Celery leaf stems leaves, seeds
Corn, sweet seeds young ears, unfurled tassel, young leaves
Cucumber fruit with seeds stem tips and young leaves
Eggplant fruit with seeds leaves edible but not flavorful
Kohlrabi swollen stem leaves
Okra pods with seeds leaves
Onions root young leaves
Parsley tops roots
Peas, English seeds pods, leaves
Peas, Southern seeds, pods young leaves
Pepper pods leaves after cooking, immature seeds
Potatoes, Sweet roots leaves and stem shoots
Radish roots leaves
Squash fruit with seeds seeds, flowers, young leaves
Tomato fruits with seeds leaves contain alkaloids
Turnip roots, leaves ———-
Watermelon fruit — interior pulp and seeds rind of fruit

A Municipal Bank In San Francisco? City Explores Revolutionary New Model

From:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/03/municipal-bank-san-francisco_n_1074600.html

San Francisco Municipal Bank

First Posted: 11/ 4/11 04:45 PM ET Updated: 11/ 7/11 02:17 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO — On a typically foggy San Francisco morning, a few hundred protesters stood on the sidewalk in front of the Federal Reserve Bank of California’s Market Street location in an effort to bring the wheels of high-finance capitalism to a grinding halt.

At their front, liberal city supervisor and mayoral hopeful John Avalos stepped up to the makeshift podium, a beat-up red megaphone pressed to his salt-and-pepper beard, to give one of the trademark rabble-rousing stem-winders that have earned him his status as the de facto progressive candidate in this month’s contest.

If Avalos knows one thing, it’s how to work a sympathetic crowd. Ringing up one applause line after another, the candidate hammered easy targets like the Wall Street bailout and tax cuts for the wealthy.

But one line in particular stood out. “San Francisco needs to look into starting its own municipal bank,” he said. “We need to stop doing banking with the very people who wrecked the economy.”

The assembled crowd, a motley assortment of union workers, mask-wearing anarchists and everyday people feeling trapped by high unemployment and a dour economy, erupted in a rapturous roar of support.

For the creation of a local government commission.

To study an obscure form of banking.

That a politician could so easily get an angry mob to instantly rally around an idea so inherently complicated is indicative of either his oratorical skill or the timeliness of the idea, or both.

As a rallying cry, “off with their heads” it’s not; but a municipal bank may be just the thing to kick-start San Francisco’s economy out of the doldrums. Or it could become a black hole sucking millions of dollars from the budget at a time when the city can least afford it.

The idea of creating a local municipal bank has been around for a long time. It was a demand of the 1975 San Francisco Community Congress, and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors commissioned a Legislative Analyst Report at the bequest of supervisor Matt Gonzalez on the issue in 2001.

Only two totally government-owned banks exist in the United States, neither of which are under the jurisdiction of an individual city. Around the world, a handful of cities (Berlin and Jakarta, for example) have been …

Read entire article…


Splitting Wood With A Tire


Making butter

From:
http://herbanhomestead.blogspot.com/2010/04/making-butter.html

Thursday, April 8, 2010

lately we have been enjoying the taste and experience of making our own butter. since we live in the year 2010, butter making is super easy. easier than loading up the kids and heading to the store. trust me!

we use raw milk from a local source. i buy a gallon specifically for butter/yogurt making. see in the picture below the distinction between the cream and the milk? typically, if i were going to drink it, i would shake it up to mix it all together. but for butter, i need that cream.

1) i slowly pour the cream off into a jar. i let the jar sit out to warm up a bit (room temperature is nice, but not necessary).

2) after the cream is a nice temperature, i pour half of the quart jar into my blender and set it on a medium speed. on my vita-mix it is set on 4. by the way, you don’t have to use a fancy blender to do this- any will do.

3) pretty soon (about 5-8 minutes) the butter begins to separate from the milk. it looks kind of clotted (see picture below).
4) in the above picture you can see the solid separated from the liquid. i stop at this point and pour off the liquid into another jar. this is buttermilk. do not pour it down the sink! i use it for corn bread or pancakes. yum!
5)after the liquid is poured off, i give it another spin on the blender on a low speed. by this point it looks nice and smooth. a little more buttermilk will have seeped out, so i add that to my jar. next, i add cool water and pour it off. i do this over and over until the water runs clear. the less buttermilk that is left in the butter, the longer it will last.
6) after the water runs clear i put it in some cheese cloth to drain a bit more. while this is draining i start on the other half of my cream. i just do the whole process over again!
you’ll notice that the butter is yellow. that’s because it is from nutrient dense, grass fed, raw milk! no food coloring used here!
7) when i’m all done, i spoon it into a little glass bowl that has a lid and place it in the refrigerator.

that’s it! super yummy butter, with little effort!
if you’d like to read up on the benefits of raw butter check here.

Hamburg Parsley Turnip – Versatile and yummy!

http://eatdrinkbetter.com/2008/10/23/its-a-parsnip-its-a-carrot-no-its-parsley-root/

It’s a Parsnip, it’s a Carrot – No, it’s Parsley Root

October 23, 2008 By

Parsley RootMy choice for this weeks unusual vegetable is Parsley Root (Petroselinum crispum variety tuberosum), also known as Rooted parsley, Turnip-Rooted Parsley, Dutch Parsley, Hamburg Parsley or Heimischer. It’s a winter root that has been used for centuries for soups and stews in the “Old World” but is fairly unknown and underutilized everywhere else – at least in the culinary community.

Parsley root extract has been shown to be useful for chronic liver and gallbladder diseases. It is a diuretic, blood purifier, carminative, and hepatic.

The parsnip-like root is white, dry and has a flavor somewhat like celery, turnips, and, of course, parsley. It’s usually available August through April, being at it’s peak in November through February. Use it like you would a parsnip, carrot, celery root or turnip. Think aromatic, a little aggressive, herbal and pungent.

It pairs beautifully with other roots in dishes like:

Caramelized Assorted Root Vegetables
Roasting vegetables is an age-old technique that releases natural sugars. By combining several vegetables and cooking them slowly until they are caramelized and sweet, I take that method one step further and achieve an enticing medley of flavors and textures. You could serve these humble root vegetables alone or with almost any roasted meat, game or poultry. Add a salad of tossed greens to your menu to round out the meal. The recipe can be doubled or tripled if necessary, but divide the mixture between several pans so the cooking process is not affected.

For the Roasted Root Vegetables
4 ounces pearl onions
1 head garlic
4 carrots
2 parsnips
2 turnips
2 parsley roots
2 Yukon Gold, 6 fingerling or other waxy potatoes
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive, plus more if needed
kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

To Prepare the Roasted Root Vegetables: Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Fill a medium-sized saucepan two-thirds full with water and set over high heat. Bring water to a boil. Add onions and boil one minute or slightly longer to loosen skins. Remove onions with a slotted spoon and let cool. When onions are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to loosen skins, then slip off the skins and discard. Set onions aside.

Separate the head of garlic into cloves and lightly smash each clove using the side of a large knife to loosen the skin. Remove the skin and set garlic cloves aside. Peel carrots, parsnips, and parsley root then cut into pieces about 2-inches long. Peel turnips and potatoes, halve lengthwise, then cut each half into 1-inch thick slices. Set all vegetables aside.

In a large, heavy roasting pan or in a large, ovenproof sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add the vegetables and sauté, stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and season vegetables with salt and pepper.

Transfer pan with vegetables to oven. Roast, stirring every 5 minutes, until vegetables are lightly browned and tender when pierced with a knife, 30 to 35 minutes. If the vegetables start to stick to the bottom of the pan while roasting, add 1 to 2 tablespoons additional oil and toss again.

Remove pan from oven and taste and adjust seasoning.

Advance Preparation: These vegetables are best served immediately after they come out of the oven, but if you prefer, you can roast them ahead and reheat them just before serving.

Substitutions and Options: Any root vegetables will work; you may omit or add vegetables to suite your tastes and what is available in the market.

Makes 4 side dish servings