25 Healthy Foods: RealFarmacy

25 Foods That Help You Lose Weight


BY MAY CHAN realfarmacy.com

apples_measuring_tapeThe tendency to eat one or two large meals per day of all the wrong foods is what eventually leads us to tip the scales. You need to consume more meals, and of the right foods to weigh less.

1. Walnuts
‘Walnuts serve as a delicious-tasting weight loss food. To fully enjoy the benefits of walnuts for weight loss, it is important to remember that these nuts are a high-calorie food that should be eaten in moderation. Make sure to add only 1.5 ounces (about 20 walnut halves) for maximum benefit to your daily menu.’

Eat them on their own or add them to your salads. This is probably the best way to include them. Don’t make your own salads? Just take them out of your bag and sprinkle them over the salad at work or restaurant. You’ll feel fuller for longer and the salad will have a far more interesting texture.

2. Asparagus
When losing weight, it’s important to favor chlorophyll-rich foods, including asparagus. Asparagus is a nutrient-rich vegetable packed with folate, vitamins A, C, and K, and fiber. Asparagus also contains a carbohydrate known as inulin (not to be confused with insulin) that promotes healthy bacteria in the large intestine – which in turn promotes a healthier digestive function which ultimately results in better assimilation of nutrients and weight loss.

3. Almonds *
Loaded with important nutrients like monosaturated fats, vitamin E, folic acid, protein and dietary fibre, almonds are your answer for dipping energy levels and quick healthy snacks. These filling, snackable bites can help keep your blood sugar steady.

A study from the University of Toronto found that people who ate almonds with white bread didn’t experience the same blood sugar surges as those who ate just the slice. And the higher blood sugar levels rise, the lower they fall; that dip leads to hunger, causing people to overeat. Plus, blood sugar changes cause the body to make insulin, which can increase abdominal fat

4. Quinoa
Regarded as a sacred food by the Incas, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) provides a wide range of vitamins and minerals. A complete protein, it has all the essential amino acids needed to build metabolism-revving muscle. Swapping refined grains for whole proteins such as quinoa is not only more nutritious, it can help you lose belly fat. How? Quinoa contain fiber, which makes you feel fuller on less food. One study, published inThe Journal of Nutrition, found that reduced-calorie dieters eating about 115 g of protein daily lost 22 percent more fat after four months than those who ate 70 g per day. Quinoa is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc, and lower in sodium compared with wheat, barley and corn. It the most nutritious gluten-free grain known.

5. Apples *
Apple is one of the best weight loss foods. Apples are a sweet and crunchy snack full of all sorts of nutritional goodness, and they taste good on their own and in salads, desserts, and savory dishes, too.

A study from Penn State University at University Park revelaed that people who chomped an apple before a pasta meal ate fewer calories overall than those who had a different snack.

Research shows that just two apples a day could help protect women against heart disease lowering blood fat levels by almost 25 percent, a claim unattainable by cardiovascular prescription medications.

6. Black beans
Beans have always been the undervalued protein that could work best when used as a substitute for meat. They stay in your digestive system longer and add to the feeling of fullness and a satisfied feeling, aiding weight management. They contain soluble and insoluble fiber, protein, and a type of fat-burning carb called resistant starch. Black beans are really one of the greatest weight loss foods.

According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, bean eaters weigh less and have slimmer middles.

7. Coconut Oil
One of the healthiest cooking oils in the world, coconut oil enjoys one of the highest stabilities of all oils when heated. 50 percent of the fat content in coconut oil is a fat rarely found in nature called lauric acid. Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties. Lauric acid is a powerful virus and gram-negative bacteria destroyer, and coconut oil contains the most lauric acid of any substance on earth! Coconut oil is about 2/3 medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. These types of fatty acids produce a whole host of health benefits. It’s nature’s richest source of these healthy MCFAs.

Researchers at McGill University, in Quebec, Canada are now advocating the use of a MCT treat and prevent obesity. The reason most people are overweight is because they simply don’t eat enough good fats.

8. Cauliflower
The simplest way to prepare cauliflower is to boil it and add pepper and salt. But this flowery vegetable is an enemy for toxic compounds in your body. The cauliflower is rich is indoles, glucosinolates and thiocyanates that bumps off all the toxic waste in your body.

Cauliflower is low in calories while still offering filling fiber. This veggie is also super versatile and can make a great replacement for heavier foods. It is a member of the Cruciferous family of vegetables; other members of this phytonutrient-rich family include broccoli, Bok choy, cabbage, and kale. Eating cauliflower and other Cruciferous vegetables at least three times a week may significantly reduce your risk of developing all types of cancer. Eating cauliflower may also give your immune system and healing mechanisms a natural boost, as cauliflower is naturally rich in real vitamin C.

9. Cinnamon *
Everything is nice about this spice. Just 1/2 teaspoon each day can help control your blood sugar and prevent the postmeal insulin spike that can trigger your body to store fat rather than burn it. You can also use cinnamon to bring out the natural sweetness in foods, rather than adding calories from sugar. All spices help you trim down when used to add flavor to foods instead of oil, butter and calorie-laden condiments.

Valued in ancient times as currency and once considered more precious than gold, cinnamon — one of the world’s oldest known spices — has one of the highest antioxidant values of all foods and its use in medicine treats everything from nausea to menstruation and energy to diabetes.

10. Coffee *
Raise your mug to higher metabolism! The caffeine in coffee can raise your resting metabolic rate by about 15 percent, and the effect can last up to four hours–that adds up to 30 to 50 calories burned per day. Plus, people who sip 3 to 4 cups of regular or decaf coffee per day are 30 percent less prone to type 2 diabetes. Chlorogenic acid, found in coffee, may help prevent insulin resistance, which can lead to obesity and diabetes.

11. Eggs *
Eggs are a good source of vitamins, proteins and minerals. As said by nutrition experts, eggs are not only a great source of nutrition, but also very useful to help lose weight. When combining eggs with other dishes you will limit the consumption of complex carbohydrates in the body. Your hunger and food cravings will occur less frequent. Egg itself is sufficient in helping in weight loss.

The breakfast staple is loaded with choline, a compound known to help block fat absorption. Eating protein-rich eggs for breakfast reduces hunger and decreases calorie consumption at lunch and throughout the day. After eight weeks, dieters who ate two eggs, toast and jelly for breakfast five days a week lost 65 percent more weight than those who had a same-calorie bagel breakfast without eggs, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity.

12. Raddish
Like other types of vegetables, cooked raddish contains approximately 3 grams of fiber per half cup to help you stay full and satisfied. Raddishare considered as starchy vegetables, so it is recommended to be eaten in place of rice, bread or other starchy foods.

13. Garlic
Garlic help prevent various cancers, fight cardiovascular diseases and diabetes and respiratory problems. Garlic also helps fight various infections.

Overweight people who sprinkled their food with the zero-calorie spice lost an average of 30 pounds in six months, compared to only a 2-pound loss in the control group. Strong flavors like garlic may make food more enjoyable so you feel fuller faster.

14. Avocado
Many people are shocked when they first learn that avocados are one of the best foods for weight loss. Avocado is high in monounsaturated fat. Research indicates diets high in monounsaturated fat are more beneficial for weight control because monounsaturated fat exerts beneficial effects on how blood lipid profiles, insulin function and directly affects how the body utilizes blood glucose.

Avocado contains a unique weight loss friendly carbohydrate called mannoheptulose. Mannoheptulose is a rare form of sugar which has been found to lower insulin secretion. Avocados help to reverse the problems that we see with insulin resistance, by virtue of the presence of mannoheptulose and its high content of good fats. Could Guacamole Be The Ultimate Cancer Fighting Food?

15. Lentils
These legumes are rich in resistant starch (RS), a carbohydrate that may encourage fat burning and shrink fat cells. One cup serving of cooked split peas or lentils provides up to twice as much fibre as other fibre-rich foods. When study participants enjoyed a meal with 5 g of RS-about what you get from 3/4 cup cooked lentils-they burned 23 percent more fat over 24 hours than when they had a meal without the starch, researchers at the University of Colorado in Denver say.

People who consume lentils at least three times a week reduce their risk of developing polyps — small growths in the lining of the bowel which can become cancerous — by a third, researchers say.

16. Olive oil (advisory)
Like avocados, olive oil has healthy fat that increases satiety, taming your appetite. But that’s hardly its only slimming feature. Research shows it has anti-inflammatory properties, and chronic inflammation in the body is linked to metabolic syndrome. Drizzle your salad with olive oil and you’ll increase the antioxidant power of your veggies, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition notes. Healthful monounsaturated fats found in olive oil could potentially switch on genes related to fat burning and storage. The only deficiency with olive oil is its lack of polyunsaturated fats, which contains Essential Fatty Acids (EFA). While ounce for ounce, all oils have the same calories, olive oil has a fuller flavor so less is needed for tantalizing taste.

17. Sweet Potato
Yams are packed with antioxidants (like carotenoids), vitamins and minerals. They are quite low on the glycemic scale, meaning you’ll digest them slower and stay full longer. Moreover, nutritionally-dense yams in your diet can trigger the satiety center in the brain quickly, make you feel full faster. If you want to lose some pounds, yams may be one food to include in your diet next year.

These spuds have RS, the same carbs found in lentils that may turn up the body’s fat-scorching furnace. RS may also increase production of peptide hormone compounds that signal the brain to stop eating. After a breakfast and a lunch containing RS, subjects ate about 10 percent fewer calories over the next 24 hours compared with when they had similar meals with a placebo, research from the University of Surrey indicates.

18. Chlorella
A green algae that contains 18 amino acids, magnesium, zinc and other nutrients; over 4,000 studies published in Japan and Taiwan show chlorella helps cut blood pressure and cholesterol numbers down to size, boosts metabolism, and clobbers abnormal cell growth. It’s like a tiny green magician with the power to make you feel and look 20 years younger and help many of your medical concerns simply vanish.

19. Pears *
Pears deliver a dose of fiber (about 5.5 grams per medium-sized fruit), which helps keep you satisfied long after you eat them. But that’s not where their fat-fighting power ends.

A Brazilian research team found that a group of women who included pears in their diet each day lost more weight than the group who included oat cookies–even though the pears and the oat cookies had the same number of calories.

20. Pomegranate
They look like rubies and we believe that they are as precious as them too. Pomegranates reduces arthritis, increase your immunity, and improve fertility. Long known for its antioxidant properties, the humble pomegranate is a heart patient’s best friend. Scientists believe that the superfood has the power to reduce the fat stored round the stomach — the ‘spare tyre’ in men, or ‘muffin top’ in women. While the benefits of drinking pomegranate juice have gained a lot of attention recently, you will be more likely to lose weight by eating the fruit fresh to increase your fiber intake and keep the calories down.

Using pomegranate seeds instead of nuts on salad, or eating on their own, prove to be incredible.

21. Red bell peppers *
This vegetable adds flavour whether it is baked, roasted, cooked or stuffed. Capsicums help to break down waste that is in the blood, hence a prefect veggie for those suffering with kidney disease.

These are sources of vitamin C, and adequate intake of the nutrient has been associated with having a smaller waist. Plus, C has been shown to bolster immunity and prevent cell damage.

22. Hemp
Hemp foods are expanding onto the shelves of grocery and natural food stores across North America. By definition, these are foods containing whole hemp seeds or the oil, nut (hulled seed) and/or flour (ground seed cake) derived from the seeds. Overall, hemp’s main nutritional advantage over other seeds lies in the composition of its oil, i.e. its fatty acid profile, and in its protein which contains all of the essential amino acids in nutritionally significant amounts and in a desirable ratio. This has a significant affect on metabolism allowing the body to shed fat 10% faster than those who don’t consume hemp daily.

23. Tomatoes *
Whenever you munch, your body releases a hormone called cholecystokinin, which tightens the valve between your stomach and your intestine. As a result, CCK boosts feelings of fullness–making you less apt to overeat.

Tomatoes contain oligofructose, a fiber that helps sustain the effects of CCK in your stomach. Bonus: Lycopene, a compound found in tomatoes, has been shown to protect you against sunburn and may help reduce the risk of certain cancers.

24. Millet
Millet is a beneficial and delicious staple of any whole grain diet. This non-glutinous grain is over 10-percent protein, has high amounts of fiber and B-complex vitamins, and because it isn’t an acid forming food, is easy to digest. A research team led by Charles S. Brennan at Lincoln University, New Zealand found that replacing traditional wheat and maize flours in extruded cereals with flours such as millet could lower carbohydrate digestibility, which is linked to the glycemic impact.

Millet and other whole grains are a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the body’s use of glucose and insulin secretion.

25. Blueberries *
Researchers found that blueberries can break down existing fat cells and prevent new ones from forming, making them a potentially powerful weapon in the fight against rising obesity. Essentially, blueberry polyphenols fight adipogenesis, which is the development of fat cells, and induce lipolysis, which is the breakdown of lipids/fat.
Blueberries also have a low concentration of glycemic carbohydrates that mildly and gradually change into sugar. This sugar does not occur in an amount that is high enough to raise insulin levels.

*Signifies sources should be organic to minimize pesticide load and maxmize nutrient content.

Mae Chan holds degrees in both physiology and nutritional sciences. She is also blogger and and technology enthusiast with a passion for disseminating information about health.


Core Exit. Coming Soon to a Coast Near You.

monique hardenWHEN the first tanker spills off the BC coast.

IF the Canadian Coast Guard has some working ships.

Then the clean-up begins.We are told.

How do you clean up millions of litres of dilbit? Nobody really knows.

But certainly the Clark Cabinet will not be out on those boats working the waters. And why not?

Because they will have been warned in advance that the materials used to clean up oil–and they will have nothing to use against a dilbit spill except what has been used against oil–are at least as toxic as oil if not more so.

If you want to know what happens to people who work in these clean-ups, then you need to start following the work of groups, such as the lawyers who formed AEHR:

Here is a sample of what they are finding as thousands of workers and shrimpers and fishermen come down with chronic illness from Corexit and the oil it disperses. Both cleanup and dispersal being toxic ambiguities.

Their site is: http://www.ehumanrights.org/index.html

Here’s a sample of what they are finding.

BP Oil Spill Disaster and Severe ailing Health Problems.
Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 2013-06-18 02:10.

Thank you for your article. I never knew the oil spill could really be the cause of mine and my husbands severe and rapid decline in health. We have both been very ill since the oil spill and getting worse by the day. There are good doctors here on the coast that do their best with what they have to work with or should I say a handful do, the others, well I won’t even comment. To put it plainly the medical care was already sub par here on the gulf coast. Compound that with the additional mysterious ailments and no insurance and most including me and my husband are left to fend for ourselves to find answers or treatment and the doctors are even more baffled at the mysteries presented to them each visit but don’t exactly make the effort to connect the dots. Unless its something a doctor can read test or obtain a report on, they’re not likely to look any further.

I’ll never forget when I became sick nor will I ever forget how quickly it took over my life. I can barely walk most days, my hands are crippled and my fingers stay stuck in a curled position into the palm of my right hand and it is spreading to my other fingers and my other hand, my left knee, my legs and both feet. I wheeze like I’ve never done before and even have a constant nagging cough. The reaction we have to the slightest chemical smell is like our lungs are on fire. I have mysterious blisters that pop up in various places, lumps and bumps under the skin on my elbow, inside of leg, my back etc. in addition to having several bouts of “gastritis and colitis attacks, I won’t even go into the severe abdominal pain. I even spent two days in the hospital as a mystery all to be sent home with no answers. My hands and feet without warning will swell and turn fire hot red. I suffer horrific indescribable constant pain in which I am now on pain management for that is hardly ever under control. My doctors are baffled by the slew of unexplainable mystery symptoms. I’ve been tested and retested for the various diseases that typically present similar symptoms for other various diseases all to no avail.

My husband was in the water building a pier when the oil came in and continued working for the next three weeks in the water, all while they “cleaned up the oil” with Corexit. We live in Biloxi, MS. and at the time were directly across the street from the beach, we didn’t move far and currently live under a mile from the water. When I leave the area I do get some relief. We were trained for the oil spill clean-up so we could voluntarily help clean our beaches. Boy do we ever regret touching the tar balls. Tar balls came in with the tide and for the longest time we were told the beaches and our sea food were just fine, I suppose they still are because they say so huh? Each day for what seemed an eternity we breathed in the sweet smell of crud oil and Corexit and God knows what else was blowing our way. My husband has a severe cough now to the point that he cannot speak two words without an attack that will last for what seems like an eternity and he nearly chokes to death because he cannot breathe. He coughs up blood, has various gastrointestinal problems, he is going blind in both eyes, he cannot sleep without stopping breathing several times per night, he swells, has trouble walking too and blood pressure is through the roof. Oh I forgot his psoriasis that was nearly all but gone but prior to the oil spill immediately flared up within 4-5 days of oil spill and has now completely taken over his body in places he never had before. Neither one of us can work anymore because we’re so sick. My brother lived with us during that time until a few months ago and is also now sick with weird ailments. His feet and the painful blisters in between his toes are the worst for him. He also had to have surgery to remove a very large lipoma that mysteriously grew the size of an orange in only a short time after the spill.

Every day I research online our strange chronic symptoms and this time happened across information about Corexit. It’s all starting to make sense now and as close as I am to giving up, maybe there is hope after all, we’ll to at least find answers. I’m not confident we’ll find a doctor to help us get well again. I thought at least it would be worth posting a comment just in case there is another person like me out there trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with them and there family. Thanks again for the info.


Maybe this might help
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 2013-06-27 16:23.

There is a website called Curezone that has many, many forums on it, for people like yourself who can’t find the answers to their health problems. If you post there and ask for help, there a many kind souls, some of whom have had to become experts because their doctors wouldn’t have anything to do with them, or simply admitted they couldn’t help them.

They helped me years ago, when as a volunteer emt-i / firefighter I became really ill with what was then diagnosed as incurable fibromyalgia…If it hadn’t been for Curezone and some wonderful people, I don’t know what I would have done.

I hope this helps,




Strawberries and old piping.

I need to try this.

Prakticideas:  http://www.prakticideas.com/strawberry-vertical-garden-pvc-tubes/


In general, strawberries are planted from August through November. If you expose the strawberries to sunny days and cool nights they will be more flavorful. Strawberries are well-suited to growth in containers such as strawberry jars, barrels and grow bags, and the plants will adapt to less-conventional planters such as PVC pipes. Such containers are a good option for homes without the space for a garden or with unsuitable soils, such as heavy clay. To build a planter from PVC you will need the following materials:  an electric drill with a hole cutting bit that will cut a 5 – 7cm hole, a 2 or 3mm drillbit for the watering pipe, a length of PVC downpipe 100mm or 150mm diameter, end cap for the downpipe, a narrower diameter (15mm or thereabouts) length of downpipe for watering. Make it about 8 – 10cm longer than the downpipe. If you have a pressurized irrigation system, you can use a length of soak hose instead, a cork, a knife, duct tape, a length of geotextile (or hessian would do) for wrapping the watering pipe, twine for tying the fabric to the watering tube, good fertile soil, 1 liter or so of  gravel, strawberry plant, a few companion plants (nasturtiums or marigolds), a large tub or box (to stand unit in whilst filling), fixing collar or ties.


Decide on length of unit and cut the tower tube and watering tube accordingly. Make the watering tube 8-10cm longer. Drill vents holes in watering tube. If you put holes all the way down the upper planter won’t get quite enough water. Cut the geotextile or hessian to the shape that will cover the holes in the watering pipe. Then carefully with a knife, whittle down the cork til it fits the end of the watering tube. Now seal it off with duct tape. Cut the holes in the tower tub. Place the large container against the wall. Place end cap over the base of the tube. Insert watering tube then fill the bottom 10 cm with coarse gravel. For the lowest hole I recommend planting a companion, less incentive for pests to climb up. If you are using stoloniferous varieties you can leave a few gaps in the lower holes.





What hit Calgary?

“The frequency with which Canada experiences events such as heavy rainfall of a given intensity (known as the return period), is projected to increase such that an event that occurred on average once every 50 years will be likely to occur about once every 35 years by 2050.”Telling the Weather Story, Insurance Bureau of Canada, 2012

My city, a vibrant place that often transcends the province’s narcissistic oil culture, has had a Manhattan moment.

We thought we were big and powerful and beyond humbling just like New York. But as every true cowboy knows, Mother Nature invariably has the last word.

And so Calgarians are now living a chronicle foretold by climate scientists.

Many once worked at federal agencies that the nation’s federal government ruthlessly axed in an ideological assault on science and reason.

My friends and neighbours have also experienced another extreme weather event that Insurance Bureau of Canada reported a year ago, “will likely result in continued flood risk throughout Alberta.”

Alberta, always a geography of maximum weather, is now climate change central in Canada due to exponential growth in human communities and all in the path of increasing floods, droughts, fires and hail storms.

Bad weather once racked up $100 million worth of damages every year about a decade ago. Today unpredictable events now create half a billion dollars in disasters almost every year.

Yet most Albertans still can’t believe the scale of the multi-billion disaster that has dampened Calgary and environs because affluence tends to dull the senses.

Tragedy, too, breeds its own strange brew of incongruities.

In Calgary a citizen can still down a cappuccino on 17th Ave. while watching fire trucks laden with yellow Zodiacs race to flooded homes just blocks away.


So here’s what happened in the semi-arid Bow River basin (four per cent of Alberta) and it was largely predicted by climate scientists and water experts: An “extreme” weather event fell upon us like some Texas belly washer, and left tens of thousands homeless. Damage will total in the billions.

The speed and scale of the event “stunned” Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a climate change skeptic, and it mortified Premier Alison Redford, whose deficit plagued government hasn’t budgeted for disasters, let alone the future. (One 2011 report catalogued Alberta’s reticence on the issue this way: “Leadership on climate change adaptation from senior levels in all departments is weak.”)

The Great Flood, which punched a giant hole in the TransCanada Highway in Canmore, swelled rivers and undermined infrastructure built for, well, a more stable and reliable climate. The flood also exposed some market-driven deceptions about geography and basic hydrology.

It seems that flood plains will fill with water in oil-rich Alberta, a truth most might find evident but one the province’s one-party government has tried to conceal from the public for years.

A 2006 Provincial Flood Mitigation Report even recommended that the province forbid the selling of flood plains to developers. But the one-party state deep sixed the report for five years and not make it public until 2012.

The freak storm, partly the product of the energy of spend carbon emissions, washed away landmarks, towns, homes, memories, roads, pipelines, wells and bridges. It broke precipitation and stream flow records.

First came scattered rainfall, which saturated the ground in the foothills. Then the skies greyed like a sick man with cancer. The air, redolent of water, hung with a heavy menace.

When the skies opened they delivered buckets of rain that seemed oddly tropical in their intensity.

Along the foothills 80 to 340 mL of water fell in a 24-hour period. Calgary alone broke a record and received 45 mL in a day.

Alberta’s sprawling cities suddenly rediscovered that mountain water moves downhill as fast as torrents ripped through Canmore and Bragg Creek first.

And then the Bow and Elbow rivers swelled, spilling their banks with three times more water than the so-called landmark flood of 2005. (Climate change seems to be all about scoring Olympic records in global weather.)

In it together

Many citizens including myself gathered at off-leash dog park above the Elbow River to gawk and stare at rising waters on Friday morning in Calgary.

It was a remarkable day because the force and volume of water in the city’s rivers brought much of Calgary’s oil economy to a standstill.

Due to road closures and flooding, curious cyclists took to the streets in record numbers too.

Save for the odd reconnaissance helicopter and emergency vehicle sirens, the city seemingly lost its vehicular bustle and grew quiet. The sound of flowing water became, for a day at least, Calgary’s loudest radio station.

The suspension bridge by Sandy Beach crumpled and collapsed in a muddy torrent.

The onlookers photographed the chocolate water of the Elbow with their phones like Japanese tourists as it whooshed its way into city neighborhoods inundating thousands of homes and the Stampede grounds.

Meanwhile the Bow River took on the shape of the Mississippi and shut down the downtown core of the city. Canada’s oil capital could be without power for days if not weeks.

Warnings unheeded 

As I watched with a mixture of sadness and horror (the energy of Mother Nature is unlike any mechanical energy) I recalled a long list of dry climate change reports and emotionless forecasts for Alberta.

In 2005 the Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative promised warming temperatures, melting glaciers, variable rainfall, changes in stream flows, accelerated evaporation and more extreme events.

In 2006 climate scientist Dave Sauchyn told a Banff audience that “droughts of longer duration and greater frequency, as well as unusual wet periods and flooding” would be the new forecast. Meanwhile researchers documented a 26-day shift in the onset of spring in Alberta over the past century.

Five years later the Bow River Council concluded that “Our rapidly growing population demands much of the land and water. Our climate is changing and the future of our water supplies is uncertain.”

In 2010 the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy, an agency that the Harper government killed last year because it didn’t like its messages on climate change, reported that changing precipitation patterns were “the most common gradual, long-term risk from a changing climate identified by Canadian companies.”

In particular oil and gas firms “with operations in Alberta expressed the highest level of concern. A number of them described potential water shortages due to decreased precipitation and runoff as the most significant risk from physical impacts of climate change that they are likely to face.”

In 2011 the NREE published more inconvenient truths in a document called Paying the Price. It concluded that annual cost of flooding in Canada due to climate change could total $17 billion a year by 2050.

It added that “economic and population growth, coupled with anticipated effects of climate change, will impact Canada’s freshwater systems and create new pressures on the long-term sustainability of our water resources.”

Moreover rising temperatures will “affect precipitation patterns and evaporation rates, as well as the frequency, intensity, and duration of extreme weather and climate events like droughts, heat waves and storms.”

A building current

The redundancy of the reports is startling. A 2011 document on climate change’s impact on the Bow River warned that events could be far more severe than modern water management has previously experienced.”

And then came the kicker. In 2012 Insurance Bureau of Canada produced a report by Gordon McBean, an expert on catastrophes. It bluntly warned that Alberta “will be greatly affected by drought and water scarcity under changing climate conditions, and can expect potential increases in hail, storm and wildfire events.” Spring rainfall could increase by 10 to 15 per cent in southern Alberta too.

In addition to changing rainfall patterns, “Retreating glaciers and stream flows may create difficulty in providing potable water to Alberta’s rapidly increasing population, and water scarcity may constrain Alberta’s economic development.”

And the list of warnings and chronicles foretold goes on and on like the Bow River itself.

After Hurricane Sandy pulverized Manhattan last year,  New Yorkers realized that they lived at sea level and were extremely vulnerable to climate change. They also learned that placing electrical stations and emergency equipment in basements of buildings or at street level wasn’t smart thinking.

The city’s state of emergency convinced the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, that “anyone who says there hasn’t been a dramatic change in weather patterns is in denial.”


According to a recent Nature commentary by energy analyst Chris Nedler, a Google search now turns up more than one million hits “that mention both ‘Hurricane Sandy’ and ‘renewable energy.’ ”

Calgarians, who are as hardy and distinct as New Yorkers, might react in a similar way after the Great Flood of 2013. They may even reassess their government’s carbon-laden pipeline fantasies as well as the pace and scale of the tar sands.

If nothing else the city’s often arrogant elites have been reminded that province’s Chinese-style economic growth is vulnerable to extreme events. A crowded and overdeveloped province of four million is nowhere near as resilient as a province of one million. (By some estimates the province’s untamed growth could make Alberta a net water and food importer by 2050.)

A Great Summary by Andrew Nikiforuk.


happy-aboriginal-dayCalgary-FloodAlbertans have also learned that climate change delivers two extremes: more water when you don’t need it, and not enough water when you do. The geographically challenged have also become learned, once again, that water travels down hill and even inundates flood plains.

So climate change is not a mirage. Nor is it weird science or tomorrow’s news. It is now part of the flow of daily life.

Moreover there is a steep price to pay for inaction on the destabilizing pollution emitted by our proliferating energy slaves.

Calgary’s moment

Water scientist David Schindler, who has warned repeatedly about the extreme droughts and water scarcity that climate change is bringing to the prairies, summed up the whole messy situation in an email to The Tyee and BBC.

“Costs (from the flooding) will be in the billions, and human error is a good reason why, but for the most part it is due to underestimating and ignoring natural flow patterns, rather than the usual watershed modifications,” wrote Schindler.

“Could the wacky weather be part of what is predicted due to climate warming? Very possibly, but of course it is impossible to say so with any certainty.”

In any case Calgary has had its Manhattan moment.

Medicinal Plants and their Benefits

13 Medicinal Plants Worth Planting

May 13 • Articles, Edible Yards, Grow It Yourself, Herbs • 37021 Views • 10 Comments

I have got to grow more of all of these. Aloe is an inside plant here.

  • Aloe Vera

The aloe vera grows only under the sun with well drained dry or moist soil. Although the plant tastes like turd, it’s still edible. The sap from aloe vera is extremely useful to speed up the healing and reducing the risk of infections for :

  • wounds
  • cuts
  • burns
  • eczema
  • reducing inflammation

Apart from its external use on the skin, aloe vera is also taken internally in the treatment of :

  • ulcerative colitis (drinking aloe vera juice)
  • chronic constipation
  • poor appetite
  • digestive problems
  • Marsh Mallow

The plant of which marshmallows are made of. The root is taken internally to treat :

  • inflammations and irritations of the urinary and respiratory mucus membranes
  • counter excess stomach acid
  • peptic ulceration
  • gastritis

Externally, the root is applied to :

  • bruises
  • sprains
  • aching muscles
  • insect bites
  • skin inflammations
  • splinters

The leaves are very edible, unlike the aloe vera. They can be added to salads, boiled, or fried. It is known to help out in the area of cystitis and frequent urination.

  • Great Burdock

It requires moist soil and can grow shadeless. The great burdock is the pretty famous in the area of detoxification in both Chinese and Western herbal medicine. The root is is used to treat ‘toxic overload’ that result in throat infections and skin diseases like :

  • boils
  • rashes
  • burns
  • bruises
  • herpes
  • eczema
  • acne
  • impetigo
  • ringworm
  • bites

The leaves and seeds can be crushed to poultice it to bruises, burns, ulcers and sores.

  • Pot Marigold

It grows in almost any type of soil condition. It has no problem with nutritionally poor, very acidic or very alkaline soils, just as long as it’s moist. Well known as a remedy for skin problems, the deep-orange flowered pot marigold variety is applied externally to :

Internally it is used to treat fevers and chronic infections.

The tea of the petals tones up circulation and, taken regularly, eases varicose veins.

Applying the crushed stems of the pot marigold to corns and warts will soon have them easily removable.

  • Gotu Kola

The gotu kola acts on various phases of connective tissue development and stimulates healing of :

  • ulcers
  • skin injuries
  • decreasing capillary fragility
  • stimulation of the lipids and protein necessary for healthy skin

Leaves are thought to maintain youthfulness. Crushed leaves are poulticed to treat open sores. The gotu kola can also be used to :

  • treat leprosy
  • revitalize the brain and nervous system
  • increase attention span and concentration
  • treat venous insufficiency
  • Camomile

With a sweet, crisp, fruity and herbaceous fragrance, has long been used medicinally as a remedy for problems regarding the digestive system. It has a soothing and calming effect in the area of aromatherapy, used to end stress and aid in sleep. The entire herb is used to treat common aches like toothache, earache, shoulder pain and neuralgia.

  • Globe Artichoke

A bitter tasting plant that requires a lot of sun, the cardoon has become important as a medicinal herb in recent years following the discovery of cynarin. The cardoon leaves, best harvested before flowering, helps to :

  • improve liver and gall bladder function
  • stimulate the secretion of digestive juices
  • lower blood cholesterol levels
  • treat chronic liver and gall bladder diseases
  • jaundice
  • hepatitis
  • asteriosclerosis
  • early stages of late-onset diabetes
  • Chinese Yam

A type of yam that can be eaten raw, the chinese yam can be easily grown, succeeding in fertile, well drained soil in a sunny position. It is sweet and soothing to the stomach, spleen and has a tonic effect on the lungs and kidneys. It is used internally to treat :

  • tiredness
  • weight loss
  • loss of appetite
  • poor digestion
  • chronic diarrhea
  • asthma
  • dry coughs
  • uncontrollable urination
  • diabetes
  • emotional instability

Externally, it is applied to :

The leaf, on the other hand, is used to treat snakebites and scorpion stings.

  • Echinacea

One of the world’s most important medicinal herbs, the echinacea has the capacity to raise the body’s resistance to bacterial and viral infections by stimulating the immune system. It also has antibiotic properties that helps relieve allergies. Basically, the roots are beneficial in the treatment of sores, wounds and burns. It was once used by Native Americans as an application for insect bites, stings and snakebites. The echinacea grows on any well drained soil, as long as it gets sunlight.

  • Siberian Ginseng

The siberian ginseng has a wide range of health benefits, mostly as a powerful tonic herb that maintains good health. It’s medicinal properties are used for :

  • menopausal problems
  • geriatric debility
  • physical and mental stress
  • treat bone marrow suppression caused by chemotherapy or radiation
  • angina
  • hypercholesterolemia and neurasthenia with headache
  • insomnia
  • poor appetite
  • increasing endurance
  • memory improvement
  • anti-inflammatory purposes
  • immunogenic purposes
  • chemoprotective purposes
  • radiological protection
  • Great Yellow Gentian

The great yellow gentian root is a bitter herb used to treat digestive disorders and states of exhaustion from chronic diseases. It stimulates the liver, gal bladder and digestive system, strengthening the overall human body. Internally, it is taken to treat :

  • liver complaints
  • indigestion
  • gastric infections
  • aneroxia
  • Sea Buckthorn

The sea-buckthorn has been used throughout the centuries in China to relieve cough, aid digestion, invigorate blood circulation and alleviate pain. The branches and leaves are used in Mongolia to treat gastrointestinal distress in humans and animals.

The bark and leaves are used for treating diarrhea, gastrointestinal, dermatological disorders and topical compressions for rheumatoid arthritis. Even the flowers are used as skin softeners.

The berries on the other hand are used together with other medications for pulmonary, gastrointestinal, cardiac, blood and metabolic disorders. Fresh sea buckthorn berry juice is known to be taken in the event of :

  • colds
  • fever
  • exhaustion
  • stomach ulcers
  • cancer
  • metabolic disorders
  • liver diseases
  • inflammation
  • peptic ulcer
  • gastritis
  • eczema
  • canker sores
  • general ulcerative disorders
  • karatitis
  • trachoma
  • Tea Tree

Even the aborigines have been using the tea tree leaves for medicinal purposes, like chewing on young leaves to relieve headaches. The paperbark itself is extremely useful to them as it serves to line coolamons when used as cradles, as a bandage, as a sleeping mat, as material for building humpies, as an aluminum foil, as a disposable rain coat and for tamping holes in canoes.

The leaves and twigs, eventaully made into tea tree oil, is anti fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic and deserves a place in every household medicine box. Tea tree oil can be used to treat :

MORE: 14 More Plants HERE

170 Humewood & 3906 Cadboro Bay Road

woodland trustYesterday evening, I and a few others and the current owner looked at the trees on a lot proposed for subdivision just after the news about the Humewood story broke.  There were a good number of large trees for a lot that’s about .6 acres, but most of them seemed ungainly and distorted. One gorgeous Horse Chestnut sat  in a small meadow of its own,  and looked delighted with the world, but the rest were planted around the perimeter and planted too closely together and were shading one another out now so that branches had fallen and new trunks had started and maple-type  trunk shoots were everyone, even on trees that don’t usually do what large maples and alders do. Somewhat dismaying. Tree turf wars with many victims. And one beautiful tree.

hcestnut tree

Saanich has a program for Heritage Trees and is developing a new policy to increase tree preservation–even as it allows more and more houses and condos to be built. So we looked at which trees would have to be saved under the old bylaw and which additional ones would be saved by the new bylaw.

And it was clear to me that a simple law that said “any Maple with a diameter of over 5 inches has to be saved” was better than nothing, but more or less meaningless in terms of good forestry.

There are many factors that affect the “goodness” of urban trees. One is certainly carbon storage, but there are also others, positive and negative: aesthetics, proportion, shade, screening, privacy, healthiness, blocking of views, nuisances. One person’s beautiful large tree (on the next lot over) may be the owner’s nightmare when all the leaves and chestnuts fall or when the large branch falls on his Smart Car or when the annual care bill by an arborist becomes larger than the annual taxes. Most of these factors are hard to regulate.

This lot had a very large willow which spread over four lots and which, apparently, all four neighbours liked. But another quintet of trees had made one neighbour’s back yard totally useless in terms of views or the ability to grow anything edible except perhaps a few radishes. And the willow itself is so ungainly and distorted that it is unlike anything one would see in nature.

By the terms of the new bylaw most of these trees would need to be preserved for the common good—which would surely lead, over time, to few people wanting to plant any large trees and many longing for the day when their existing trees would sicken and die. Property values for lots like this one would descend and values for lots with a few small “removable” trees would grow.

So a better system is clearly required and logically it needs to be based on some kind of a minimum and some guidelines for  maintenance.

It is reasonable to say that any lot should have a certain amount of greenery and if a municipality wants to encourage homeowners to go beyond that, it needs to do so in a supportive rather than a prescriptive fashion. Just  because your mother planted an arbutus, a chestnut and a Western Maple in the same six foot plot thirty years ago doesn’t mean that those three trees are still healthy or happy and entitled, nay required, to continue their claustrophobic life together until death does them part.

Can Tree Planters Save us? An Ongoing Investigation of Trees and Sequestration

Can household trees save us from the more general ravages of global warming? Not very likely. Not bloody likely may be a more accurate term given the comments following. Emissions are very high now and growing and trees can only do so much. But they can do something.

Measuring carbon stored in trees is tricky. But here’s one researcher’s rules of thumbs, for smaller trees, measured at chest height.

  • Less than 5 cm, stores about 2 kg.
  • Between 5 and 8 cm: between 18 and 15 kg.
  • From 8 to 12 cm: between 24 and 38 kg.


Another way of looking at this is to say that each kg of dried tree contains 1. 65 kg of CO2.

Estimates of how much CO2 a North American generates directly run from 2 metric tonnes up to 10 metric tonnes depending on who is doing the estimating, so let’s take 4 tonnes as a minimum. Average carbon stored by a tree that is at least 15 years old range from 7 to 14 kg of Co2 per year and that is obviously very variable depending on the age, variety and size of the tree.

But whatever the parameters, the disjunction is clear. It takes some two to three hundred trees to recycle the average North American’s direct production of CO2. That’s quite a few trees  for a single house and it assumes there’s only one person is living in the house.

The Woodlands Trust in the UK measures all this  somewhat differently. It states that typical hectare of mature Woodland Trust woods will lock up around 400 tonnes of atmospheric CO2, or 108 tonnes of carbon in a year. Note that their ratio is much higher than the one I quoted above of 1.65 to 1.  http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/en/why-woods-matter/woods-carbon/Pages/sequestration-rate.aspx#.UcXdAilrZ1s

CHECK THIS. Their figures need to be checked. 400 tonnes seems low for a lifetime but high for an annual figure. 

Taking it as annual. If a Municipality such as Saanich has 100,000 inhabitants responsible for an average of 4 tonnes of CO2 each per year, then it would need to support/maintain 1,000 hectares of a Woodlands Trust type forest. Since Saanich is over 100 square kilometres in size, it could possibly do this, although about 8% of that is lakes and a very large proportion is suburban sprawl and the population is over 110,000 already. 1 Sq. Kilometer = 100 Hectares. 10 Sq. Kilometers = 1000 Hectares.

If Saanich wants an Eco-friendly tree policy rather than just taking Green Talk it should consider the following.

  • Rather than specifying which sizes and types of trees need to be preserved, Saanich needs a formula which says that the norm for any lot or development is to have 10% covered in trees that are at least 15 years old and can be seen to store at least 400 kg of CO2  per year.
  • This is 10% of one individual’s emissions.
  • If there is more coverage (and thus more storage) the owner gets an annual carbon credit from the Municipality carbon bank.
  • It there is less, then the owner pays into the municipal carbon bank.
  • Each year the municipality produces a report on its own Woodland Trust type forests and contributions made or paid by the residents.


HUMEWOOD via the Globe and Mail. June 21st, 2013.

Katherine Hartley used to spend a lot of time under the sweeping maple tree in her midtown Toronto backyard, practising yoga and praying to her ancestors.

But the giant, unassuming tree she once revered slowly began to frighten her. Worried it would fall as she meditated, Ms. Hartley sought and received a permit from the city and notified her next-door neighbour in June, 2012, that she planned to cut down the maple.

That kicked off a year-long battle between the residents of 168 and 170 Humewood Dr. – one that would be fought loudly in their driveways and in court, culminating in a recent legal decision that stands to reshape the yards of residents across Ontario.

The Ontario Superior Court verdict in May, which went unnoticed by most anyone not involved in Hartley v. Scharper, not only saved the maple but created some of the most stringent and detailed law on tree preservation in Canada. Cutting down a shared tree or chopping at wayward branches without a neighbour’s approval could now be a criminal act, punishable under the provincial Forestry Act.

Many of the province’s tree-protection bylaws may need to be rewritten.

The Hartley v. Scharper ruling redefined the technical question of what constitutes a tree’s trunk, giving neighbours equal ownership over trunks that stray over property lines both above and below ground.

“There are a huge number of boundary disputes and this adds clarity,” said Clayton Ruby, a lawyer who argued for the new rules. “This decision means that a lot less trees will be cut down because it now requires the consent of both neighbours.”

With the base of the tree only three centimetres from her backyard, Hilary Scharper sought to stop Ms. Hartley from cutting down the giant. Learning of her neighbour’s plan, Ms. Scharper sat a statue of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of the environment, beside the maple’s trunk.

“We were stunned,” said her husband, Stephen Scharper. “It’s a perfectly healthy tree.”

Legal documents filed by Ms. Hartley’s lawyer describe the moving of the statue under the tree. The Scharpers also posted a notice to any would-be lumberjacks that the tree’s ownership was in dispute.

Under Toronto’s Private Tree bylaw, owners are entitled to remove sick trees. Presenting a report that the tree was healthy and its removal unnecessary, the Scharpers offered to install a system of cables to secure the maple to the ground. Ms. Hartley rejected the offer.

Because the large tree sprawls over much of the Scharpers’ backyard, Ms. Hartley sued her neighbours to establish her right to cut down the tree and enter their backyard to do so.

On May 17, Justice J. Patrick Moore ruled that a shared tree under the provincial Forestry Act starts from where its roots join the trunk up to where the trunk branches out. Justice Moore dismissed the idea of defining a trunk at ground level alone as “arbitrary.”

The ruling gave the neighbours on Humewood Drive common ownership of the tree under provincial law.

“This could impact 60 per cent of Toronto’s trees,” Ms. Scharper said.

Phillip van Wassenaer, an arborist who examined the tree, in the Hartley v. Scharper case, was supportive of the ruling. “It’s more in line with how trees grow and what nature gives us,” he said.

The maple of Humewood Drive is uneven and knotted at its base. Because of surveying required by the case, the ground around the tree has been excavated and orange surveyors marks have been driven into the bark where the trunk strays into the Scharpers’ yard.

Looking to appeal the ruling, Ms. Hartley declined comment.

“A tree can now become common property simply because it grows too large,” said John Howlett, Ms. Hartley’s lawyer. “At the same time, the rights of a landowner to cut the branches or roots of a neighbour’s tree that cross over the boundary line face new restrictions.”

According to Mr. Howlett, many of Ontario’s municipal tree-protection bylaws might have to be rewritten due to the ruling.

“Maybe good things come out of nasty neighbour disputes,” Ms. Scharper said.

June 22, 2013.

The comments below illustrate some of the complexities of measuring sequestration in trees, and the costs thereof, and the size of the larger problem.

More Honeybees!!! Please!

honeybeeMonsanto is working hard to kill them all. You can create a home for them.

And live alone in a bee-loud glade, if you like.
What they like is lots of flowering plants: spring, summer and fall.

Select single flower tops such as daisies and marigolds, rather than double flower tops such as double impatiens. Double headed flowers look showy but produce much less nectar and make it much more difficult for bees to access pollen.

Skip the highly hybridized plants, which have been bred not to seed and thus produce very little pollen for bees.

Honey Bees love everything with flowers.  Herbs, wildflowers, berries,  grains, squash. But they have preferences if given a choice.

Bees love fruit trees.  In the vineyard garden we have a very large Ornamental Plum, so we get the benefits of early flowers and a week or two of hi-fi hummmmming.
The best site on all this is probably the

bee conservancy.  http://thehoneybeeconservancy.org/act-today-2/plant-a-bee-garden/

But Berkeley also has a good site.

They note that: “some flowers are more attractive to bees than others. The more of these attractive flowers planted in the same place, the better! One of the most interesting results of our research is that bees have preferences, not only for the flowers they pollinate, but for the gardens they visit. Gardens with 10 or more species of attractive plants attracted the largest number of bees. In these kinds of gardens, even those plants known to be less attractive, received higher levels of visits.”

ver 1–2013–6-20

Barley- Growing Hops and Barley


325 bottles in a US Barrel of beer.

24/25 lbs of malt to make a barrel. Lots of water added.

31 gallons in a us beer barrel. 118 litres.

What is malt?
Malting is a controlled process of seed germination. During malting the seed is soaked in water to raise the moisture content and promote germination. The seed is then allowed to germinate for 4 to 5 days, after which it is dried (kilned). Virtually any seed can be malted, but brewers discovered long ago that barley is easy to malt and produces the best beer. Wheat and rye malts are sometimes used in the production of specialty beers. Today malted barley is also used in the production of ‘coolers’, alcoholic lemonades’ and other ‘flavored alcoholic beverages.

Why is malt used in beer?
Malt is the source of ‘extract’ in brewing. Barley contains about 65% starch. Enzymes that develop during the malting process convert this starch into fermentable sugars during brewing. The yeast, in turn, converts the sugars to alcohol and carbon dioxide during fermentation. Compounds in the malt also contribute to beer color, body, flavor and foam.


Coming from a farm, and having a job in the agriculture industry, I will try to throw some numbers at you.

Malting barley (before malting) usually weighs 48 lbs/bu. In commercial farming, barley will yeild up to 70 bu/acre (Canadian weather, not irrigated).

Let’s cut that down a bit, say 45bu/acre, which would be fairly easy to achieve. 48lbs/bu x 45 bu/acre = 2160 lbs of barley from 1 acre.

Now there will be clean out and sizing for plump and thins. Use a high number here (10%), you are still left with 1950 lbs of barley from the acre plot.

There will be a weight loss from the malting activity, not sure of the exact number here, but let’s use 10% (high end), you still have 1750lbs of malted barley.
Now this is assuming that the quality is there for what you harvested to be malt. Just because you seed a registered malt variety does not mean that you are harvesting malt barley. The weather and any diseases will get you that.

Quality Requirements
The Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute says a good malting barley will have the following characteristics:

Pure lot of an acceptable variety
High per cent germination and vigorous growth 95% or over (3 day test)
Fully mature
Free from disease
Free from frost damage
Not weathered or deeply stained
Less than 5% peeled and broken kernels
Free from heat damage
13.5% moisture or lower is desirable
Not artificially dried
No desiccants
Free of primary insects, large oil bearing seeds, ergot, treated seeds, smut and odour
Plump kernels of uniform size
Low to moderate protein content – 10.5% to 13% dry basis



Winter barley in Ontario: http://eap.mcgill.ca/CPC_12.htm

Beer has four ingredients; hops, yeast, malt and water.

Two of the ingredients, hops and barley, can be grown in most gardens. Hops is a herbaceous perennial vine that can grow up to a foot a day. There are now hops cultivars that are hardy in most growing zones. Malt is made from barley, an annual grain. Barley is classified into two-, four- or six-row barley. The rows refer to the rows of seeds growing on the seed head. Only two- and six-row barley are used to make beer. The hop flower, referred to as a bine, is used to make beer. Hops does not affect the percentage of alcohol in the beer; rather, it is used to improve taste. Does this Spark an idea?

Things You’ll Need

  • Hops vine hardy in your zone
  • Commercial fertilizer or well-rotted manure.
  • Mulch

Show (2) More


  1. Growing Hops

    • 1

      Choose a sunny location with well drained, loamy soil with a soil pH of 6.5 to 8.0. The location chosen will need to accommodate a trellis or other vertical support system.

    • 2

      You will need to plant both male and female plants for bine production. Plant your hops vine after all threat of frost has past. If you are working with a plant, dig a hole the same width and depth as the container the plant is in. If you are working with rhizomes, place the rhizome horizontally, approximately two inches deep, in the soil with the buds pointing upward.

    • Sponsored Links

    • 3

      Fertilize your plants with a commercial fertilizer or well-aged manure. You will need to fertilize every spring after buds have opened.

    • 4

      Once the hops vine has emerged, you will need to mulch heavily around each plant.

    • 5

      Select two or three of the strongest vines and attach to the trellis. Prune the remaining vines to ground level. In July, prune off all lateral branches and leaves to a height of four feet. You can either wrap the vines around the trellis, which is traditional, or attach the vine using plant ties.

    • 6

      Hop flowers are usually harvested in mid- to late July. Expect one to two pounds of dried flowers per plant.

    • 7

      In the North, you can overwinter your hops vine by trimming all vines to ground level and covering the roots with loosely mounded straw or wood mulch.

    Growing Barley

    • 8

      Choose a plot of land in full sun.

    • 9

      Broadcast seed barley in spring after the ground has warmed. Try to distribute the seeds evenly over the ground.

    • 10

      Roll or rake the seeds into the soil.

    • 11

      The barley is harvested in the fall after the seed heads turn gold.

Read more: How to Plant Barley & Hops for Beer Making | eHow http://www.ehow.com/how_4970090_plant-barley-hops-beer-making.html#ixzz2WaQXnwac


BARLEY (Hordeum vulgare)

Requires six hours or more of strong, direct sun per day. Full Sun
Requires six hours or more
of strong, direct sun per day.


Barley (Hordeum vulgare)This grain was one of the first cereals to be cultivated by man, and is grown over a large extent of the world. There are varieties of barley that will even grow in the Arctic Circle. As a feed for livestock, barley compares favorably with corn, and in regions where corn is unadapted, barley is successfully used for fattening cattle and swine.On the average, barley contains 3 percent more protein than corn and can be substituted for corn in feed mixes. Some people prefer the taste of barley-fed beef.

Planting and harvesting barley

Grow barley as you would wheat. Some varieties are spring planted and some are fall planted. Barley ripens sooner than wheat; spring-planted barley ripens in 60 to 70 days, fall-planted barley about 60 days after spring growth begins. Barley thus fits well into a double-cropping scheme and a variety of crop rotations and as a cover crop. Be careful when planting barley with a drill because bearded varieties may cause planting tubes to clog.

Planting barley

To plant barley follow the rules of good soil preparation when preparing a seedbed, then rake, disk or harrow the soil. Broadcast the seeds and lightly rake the surface. That’s all you have to do until harvest time. On a small plot, you can broadcast the seed by hand, but larger plots can be planted more efficiently if some sort of mechanical device is used.Barley should be planted when the moon is in the 2nd Quarter (i.e. waxing) and in one of the following Zodiac Signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces, Libra, Capricorn

Varieties of barley

There are two botanically distinct types of barley: six-row and two-row. The six-row varieties are more common and are divided into three families:

Six row barley

Malting Barley, grown in the upper Midwest, tall, bearded and spring planted; the Coast Group, grown in California and Arizona as a fall crop; and the Tennessee Winter Group, grown east of the Mississippi as livestock feed.

Two row barley

The Two-Row barleys are grown in the Pacific Northwest and on the northern Great Plains, spring planted, and used for feed and for malting.Because of the different purposes of the grain, there are many varieties of barley available and new ones are being constantly developed. Most new varieties are bred to be stiffer strawed to prevent lodging. There are varieties adapted to every area.

Barley types

Barley may have bearded heads or be beardless. Bearded barley has a slender bristle about three inches long, called an “awn,” attached to each seed. Beardless varieties are generally preferred for forage, but the bearded varieties have proven resistant to deer in Pennsylvania.

Barley diseases and pests

Yellow dwarf virus, an aphid-transmitted virus, attacks barley at the seedling stage, and damages older grain, but is not very common.

Fungus diseases of barley

Fungus diseases do bother barley, especially in humid parts of the South. Resistant varieties have been developed, so the best thing to do is to check out which varieties are more resistant to the diseases encountered in your area.

Insect pests that attack barley

Greenbugs and corn leaf aphids both attack barley, but infestations are usually not severe. Even commercial growers do not use chemicals, but rely instead on natural predators for organic insect control.

Harvesting barley

Ripe barley is harvested the same as wheat: cut, bundled and shocked to dry. Wear a shirt when harvesting barley as the awns can irritate your skin. Barley may be stored in the bundle and fed to stock without threshing.

Barley uses

Barley as animal feed

Barley can be stored and used in a bundle for stock feed. Animals like it less than wheat because of the hulls, and will consume more if the barley is ground. You can feed sprouted barley to chickens with good results. The grain can be easily sprouted if the head-end of the whole bundle is soaked in water until the grains sprout. Allow about five days at 60°F. (15.56’C.).You will soon learn how fast the barley sprouts and how many bundles you’ll have to keep soaking in order to have a constant supply of the sprouted grain. The chickens will eat the sprouts right out of the heads, and the straw will provide good bedding.

Beer and barley

Sprouted barley can also be used to make malt for brewing beer.


Barley in the northwest can be planted in the fall (like winter wheat)..

Beer can be made from different types of barley:

Two-row and six-row barley

Two-row and six-row barley

Spikelets are arranged in triplets which alternate along the rachis. In wild barley (and other Old World species of Hordeum), only the central spikelet is fertile, while the other two are reduced. This condition is retained in certain cultivars known as two-row barleys. A pair of mutations (one dominant, the other recessive) result in fertile lateral spikelets to produce six-row barleys.[6] Recent genetic studies have revealed a mutation in one gene, vrs1, is responsible for the transition from two-row to six-row barley.[8]

Two-row barley has a lower protein content than six-row barley, thus more fermentable sugar content. High protein barley is best suited for animal feed. Malting barley is usually lower protein[9] (‘low grain nitrogen’, usually produced without a late fertilizer application) which shows more uniform germination, needs shorter steeping, and has less protein in the extract that can make beer cloudy. Two-row barley is traditionally used in English ale-style beers. Six-row barley is common in some American lager style beers, especially when adjuncts such as corn and rice are used, whereas two-row malted summer barley is preferred for traditional German beers.

This was a local event.

Mount Vernon Winter Barley Field day
June 29, 2010

Photo of person speaking at the winter barley field day
Pat Hayes, a barley breeder from Oregon State University discusses winter barley varieties being trialed at the Mount Vernon REC.

On a cool summer afternoon, around 50 brewers, maltsters, bakers, distillers and current and aspiring barley growers met at the WSU Mount Vernon Research and Extension Center. Participants came to learn about barley varieties that are currently available, to learn about small grain research currently underway at NWREC, and to forge connections with other interested parties. Speakers included barley breeder Pat Hayes from Oregon State University, PhD student Jeffrey Endelman, and experienced small scale maltster and grower, Mike Doehnel from British Columbia. Winter barley seems to be an especially promising crop for Northwestern Washington because it fits well into existing crop rotations.

For more information see results of Mount Vernon winter barley variety trials and an article about the field day by the Skagit Valley Herald.

Jeffrey Endelman, a WSU PhD student, spoke about research he is conducting in spring grains, including barley, wheat and rye.





Research Update: Grains in Western Washington and Oregon
Dr. Karen Hills, King Conservation District & Brook Brouwer, Washington State University
& Brigid Meints, Oregon State University
Systematic research of grain production has been revitalized in western Washington over the last five
years, and research continues in western Oregon. Hear the latest findings concerning agronomic perform-
ance, end
use quality, nutrient management, and economic development.
Craft Distilling: The Washington State Story
David Bauermeister, Northwest Agriculture Business Center & Ryan Hembree, Skip Rock Distillers
Craft distillers have been popping up all over since 2008 when Washington state law was changed to
allow for small
scale distilling.
An overview of the process of craft distilling will be presented, along with
recent market trends, and stories from active craft distillers.
Kicking the Commodity Habit: On Being Grown Out of Place
Dr. Stephen Jones, Washington State University, Mount Vernon
West of the Cascades, grains have an important role in our complex crop rotations and in our local food,
feed and malt systems. How do we add value to crops as mundane as wheat or barley? How do we en-
sure that grains receive a higher status, not just in our meals, but in how we view them in a local field?
Expanding Grain Networks and Infrastructure
George Pearce, Wilco Agronomy & Wayne Carpenter, Skagit Valley Malting & Brewing Company
& Dennis Gilliam, Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods
The regional grain economies west of the Cascades have to contend with a loss of local infrastructure
and the commodification of supply
chain relationships. Learn about three regional efforts to rebuild in-
frastructure and reaffirm grower
buyer relationships to get locally
produced grains to local consumers.
Growing Small Grains West of the Cascades
Dr. Andrew Corbin, Washington State University Extension & Sam McCullough, Nash’s Organic Produce
Wondering how to include small grains in your rotation but don’t know which varieties to try or what
sources to use? Thinking about incorporating livestock into your system and raising your own feed? Get
a firsthand account of western Washington small grain production from research to retail during this ses-
sion and find out how incorporating grains into a diversified vegetable farm has helped farmers realize
the added benefits of diversifying their income stream.
 More alcohol. Different process.

A barley wine typically reaches an alcohol strength of 8 to 12% by volume and is brewed from specific gravities as high as 1.120. It is called a barley wine because it can be as strong as wine; but since it is made from grain rather than fruit, it is, in fact, a beer.

There are two primary styles of barley wine, the American which tends to be more hoppy and thus more bitter with colors ranging from amber to light brown[5] and the English style which tends to be less hoppy and thus less bitter with more variety in color ranging from red-gold to opaque black.[6]

Until the introduction of amber coloured Whitbread Gold Label in the 1950s, British barley wines were always dark in colour.

The Anchor Brewing Company introduced the style to the United States in 1976 with its Old Foghorn Barleywine Style Ale.[7]

Writer Michael Jackson referred to a barley wine by Smithwick’s thus: “This is very distinctive, with an earthy hoppiness, a wineyness, lots of fruit and toffee flavours.” He also noted that its original gravity is 1.062.[8]

Martyn Cornell has been quoted as saying “no historically meaningful difference exists between barley wines and old ales“. He later clarified, “I don’t believe there is actually any such meaningful style as ‘barley wine'”.[9]

Principles of the Transition Network


Principles matter

They matter because the people we deal with on a  day to day basis can hold us accountable to them. They matter because  they’re how we look at problems, devise responses and  interact with people. They matter because the field that we’re operating in can knock us  sideways, and it’s really useful to have something solid to grab hold  of.

These are the principles that Transition Network aspires to as  an organisation, and we hope to model them in such as way that other  transitioners adopt them as well.

Like everything else, they’re  not cast in stone, and if the wider field of transition feels that they  need to change, then we welcome that input. This page is open for comments for that very purpose.

On this page we’ve listed the transition principles, permaculture principles and the characteristics of resilient systems – all of these are part of how transition has come about.


Transition principles

1. Positive Visioning

We can only create what we can first vision

  • If we  can’t imagine a positive future we won’t be able to create it.
  • A  positive message helps people engage with the challenges of these times.
  • Change is happening – our choice is between a future we want and one  which happens to us.
  • Transition Initiatives are based on a dedication to the  creation of tangible, clearly expressed and practical visions of the  community in question beyond its present-day dependence on fossil  fuels.
  • Our primary focus is not campaigning against things, but  rather on positive, empowering possibilities and opportunities.
  • The  generation of new stories and myths are central to this visioning work.

 2. Help People Access Good Information and Trust Them to Make Good  Decisions

  • Transition Initiatives dedicate  themselves, through all aspects of their work, to raising awareness of  peak oil and climate change and related issues such as critiquing  economic growth. In doing so they recognise the responsibility to  present this information in ways which are playful, articulate,  accessible and engaging, and which enable people to feel enthused and  empowered rather than powerless.
  • Transition Initiatives focus on  telling people the closest version of the truth that we know in times  when the information available is deeply contradictory.
  • The  messages are non-directive, respecting each person’s ability to make a  response that is appropriate to their situation.

3. Inclusion  and Openness

  • Successful Transition Initiatives need  an unprecedented coming together of the broad diversity of society. They  dedicate themselves to ensuring that their decision making processes  and their working groups embody principles of openness and inclusion.
  • This  principle also refers to the principle of each initiative reaching the  community in its entirety, and endeavouring, from an early stage, to  engage their local business community, the diversity of community groups  and local authorities.
  • It makes explicit the principle that  there is, in the challenge of energy descent, no room for ‘them and us’  thinking.
  • In a successful transition project every skill is valuable  because there is so much happening.
  • We need good listeners,  gardeners, people who like to make and fix everything, good parties,  discussions, energy engineers, inspiring art and music, builders,  planners, project managers.
  • Bring your passion and make that their  contribution – if there isn’t a project working in the area you are  passionate about, create one!!

4. Enable Sharing and Networking

  • Transition Initiatives dedicate themselves to sharing their  successes, failures, insights and connections at the various scales  across the Transition network, so as to more widely build up a  collective body of experience.

5. Build Resilience

  • This  stresses the fundamental importance of building resilience, that is,  the capacity of our businesses, communities and settlements to deal as  well as possible with shock.
  • Transition initiatives commit to building  resilience across a wide range of areas (food, economics, energy etc)  and also on a range of scales (from the local to the national) as seems  appropriate – and to setting them within an overall context of the need  to do all we can to ensure general environmental resilience.
  • Most communities in the past had – a generation or two ago – the basic  skills needed for life such as growing and preserving food, making  clothes, and building with local materials.

6. Inner and Outer Transition

  • The  challenges we face are not just caused by a mistake in our technologies  but as a direct result of our world view and belief system.
  • The impact  of the information about the state of our planet can generate fear and  grief – which may underlie the state of denial that many people are  caught in.
  • Psychological models can help us understand what is  really happening and avoid unconscious processes sabotaging change, e.g.  addictions models, models for behavioural change.
  • This  principle also honours the fact that Transition thrives because it  enables and supports people to do what they are passionate about, what  they feel called to do. 

7. Transition makes sense – the solution is the same size as the  problem

  • Many films or books who suggest that  changing light bulbs, recycling and driving smaller cars may be enough.  This causes a state called “Cognitive Dissonance” –a trance where you  have been given an answer, but know that it is not going to solve the  problem you’ve just been given.
  • We look at the whole system not  just one issue because we are facing a systems failure not a single  problem failure.
  • We work with complexity, mimicking nature in  solutions based problem solving.

8. Subsidiarity:  self-organisation and decision making at the appropriate level

  • This final principle enshrines the idea that the intention of  the Transition model is not to centralise or control decision making,  but rather to work with everyone so that it is practiced at the most  appropriate, practical and empowering level, and in such a way that it  models the ability of natural systems to self organise.
  • We create ways of working that are easy to copy and spread quickly

Permaculture principles

Permaculture principles provide some critical insights that inform how Transition has, and is, developing. Here’s the list from “Principles  And Pathways Beyond Sustainability” by David Holmgren

We’ve added some suggestions for how this might apply to the early stages of transition projects.

Principle Catch  Phrase An Example (from us)
Observe and interact Beauty is  in the eye of   the beholder Find out what is  already   happening locally before starting any project
Catch and store energy Make hay  while the sun   shines Use the energy that is    inspired by transition model – create lots of ways for people ways to  join   and give support
Obtain a yield You can’t  work on an   empty stomach Harvest ideas at  events   with post-its or flip charts
Apply self regulation and    accept feedback The sins of the fathers   are  visited on the children unto the seventh generation Create  spaces where your   community can let you know what they think; include  evaluation and evolution   in your plans
Use and value renewable    resources and services Let nature take its   course Work with  existing   currents, trends and projects where possible.
Produce no waste A stitch in  time saves   nine.. Waste not, want not Use psychological    awareness to avoid conflict where possible
Design from patterns to    details Can’t see the wood for   the  trees Energy descent planning –    strategic as well as micro
Integrate rather than    segregate Many hands make light   work Partnership  partnership   partnership!
Use small and slow solutions The bigger  they are the   harder they fall. Slow and steady wins the race Allow  groups time to form   and grow before expecting action
Use and  value diversity Don’t put all your eggs   in  one basket “Both.. and” rather than    “either/or” – let’s do it your way and   my way
Use edges  and value the   marginal Don’t think  you are on   the right track just because it is a well beaten path The  boundaries between   systems are interesting places – between existing  and new movements, council   and business, young and old.
Creative  use and respond   to change Vision is  not seeing   things as they are but as they will be Keep the  vision open,   active and creative – don’t tie it down or stop it  evolving.

 Characteristics of Resilient Systems

These are some very valuable pointers from “Resilience Thinking” by David Salter and Brian Walker.

   Characteristic    Description
Tight feedback The system knows   what’s happening inside itself quickly and can respond
Diversity Diversity in all   areas, ecological, social, economic needs to be attended to and supported.
Modularity Sub systems   within the system are independent or not over connected – if one fails they   don’t all fail.
Ecological   variability Eco systems   constantly change. Any attempts to limit or prevent change are generally   disastrous. Understanding the variability of a system is wise.
Understanding   slow variables Slow variables   are often the key to understanding systems. They determine the thresholds in   a system that can lead the system to tip into a new regime.
Social capital A resilient   world would promote trust, well developed social networks, and adaptability.   Resilience is very closely determined by the ability of people to respond and   work together.
Innovation A resilient   system places an emphasis on learning, experimentation, locally developed   rules, and embracing change.
Overlap in   governance Institutions   that include redundancy in their governing structure, and overlap in common   and private ownership with overlapping access rights
Ecosystem   services are valued We have to learn   to value ecosystem ‘services’. The earth is not an unlimited source of   materials and rubbish dump.
Human beings   have diverse connections to each other and all beings. These connections are   seen and unseen; inner and outer. All connection   to our world, ‘hidden’ energetic or inner, are accepted as implicit,   immanent, and integral to all of our understanding and practice. We must   explore and create awareness of our connections both to other people and to   all of creation.


Puglia in the spring

Puglia in the spring