Archive for the ‘Health & Wellness’ Category

My Top 5 World-Changing Gardening Innovations from 2014

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

I garden in Vermont 8 months each year, and then we have a winter garden in Costa Rica.  This leads to very different gardening challenges.  I am always looking for new and better solutions for my garden and so much the better if they help with the big issues I see us wrestling with now and in the future: loss of biodiversity, depletion of soil, water resources and ecosystems, and climate change.

So, here are my current favorite World-Changing Gardening Innovations”…

Groasis works for trees as well as vegetables 

1. Groasis: let the desserts bloom

It is rare to find a gardening innovation that saves water, reduces fertilizer use, builds soil and leads to 90% survival of trees and plants even in the harshest climates and without added irrigation.  That’s what the innovative new Groasis delivers. 

Test Groasis in your own garden, for FREE.  You will be part of a world-wide program of reforesting deserts, feeding a billion hungry people living on degraded lands, and restoring soil and ecosystems.

Our First Steamed Milkweed Greens of the Year (like Spinach, Green Beans)

2. Plant Milkweed to Save the Monarchs (and feed yourself)

In the past decade I learned to view common Milkweed as much more than a weed.  It is a uniquely important plant critical for the survival of the Monarch butterfly. I wrote this piece last year about the importance of milkweed as a food source and breeding habitat for Monarch butterflies when I learned 90% fewer Monarchs made it from the US to Mexico to overwinter. I encourage gardeners to help reverse this Monarch emergency. Just plant some easy-to-grow common milkweed seed.


Help Your Garden Help Others: Donate Excess Produce Locally, with

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Backyard gardeners can help change this shocking number – click image for a running tab of the pounds of food wasted in the U.S. since the beginning of 2014.

How is it that one of out of every six Americans experience food insecurity when there is more than an adequate supply of food potentially available? A broken food system is big part of this issue and one of the many reasons I started the Intervale Center 30 years ago (more on that below.) 

According to both the National Resource Defense Council and the US Department of Agriculture, we throw away a pound of food per person per day in this country, or well over 100 billion pounds of food per year. Some estimate this to be more than enough to totally eliminate hunger in America. You can view a thought provoking image that gives a running tab on the 40% of food wasted since the beginning of 2014.  

Not included in these statistics is the volume of home-grown produce discarded by us, the more than 40 million gardeners across the U.S. Why do we it? Sometimes our plants produce far more fruits and vegetables than we could possibly use, preserve or give away. It is not uncommon for tomato plants to bear 20 to 40 or more fruit each, more than we can use. Many other crops, such as peppers, cucumbers, squash, citrus, apples and peaches, also produce abundant harvest.

And our neighbors and friends can only use so much. Until recently, it's been difficult to find food shelves that would accept fresh harvests due to space and refrigeration issues. But now, thanks to Gary Oppenheimer of, you can harvest your excess and get it into the hands of hungry children and adults who need it. 


Send for your FREE SEED and begin your Milkweed Sanctuary (and food garden!) TODAY

Monday, June 2nd, 2014


Our First Steamed Milkweed Greens of the Year (like Spinach and Green Beans)

 What "weed" feeds Monarchs, bees and you? 

What is a weed?  When I was living in Scotland years ago a very savvy gardener told me weeds are simply good plants growing in the wrong place.  Of course the “wrong place” tends to be defined according to our goals, like food production, landscape beauty and pristine lawns.

Over time I have had to change my understanding of what’s a weed.  One chore I had growing up was plucking Dandelions from our lawn (my father would not use herbicides).  After marrying a wild foods forager I needed to reassess Dandelions as they are now our first steamed greens in spring, plus Lynette uses Dandelion root as one of 20 wild-crafted ingredients to make the most effective anti-cold and anti-flu remedy I know.

In the past decade I also learned to view common Milkweed differently.  Lynette loves Milkweed and it is allowed to thrive in our front garden amidst perennial ornamentals like lilies, peonies, grasses, balloon flowers and shrubs.  Unlike these cultivated garden plants our Milkweed is a “weed” in that it grows and reproduces aggressively, and can dominate a planted area.  It has become 10-20% of our garden plants. 


Grow Your Own Cure for High Blood Pressure

Monday, March 31st, 2014

High blood pressure getting you down?  Sometimes headaches and dizziness are telling signs of high blood pressure but often there are no symptoms and hypertension undermines your long term health.  The “silent killer”.

A good friend learned she had hypertension only with a visit to her doctor.  She discovered a cure in her garden that worked for her.  In Casey’s own words:


“In Nov. 2012, while living part-time in Costa Rica and working on a local, small farm, I noticed a pretty type of hibiscus in the garden that I did not recognize, very much resembling a Christmas tree with bright red balls. I discovered that this is the "flor de Jamaica" and the red balls are, in fact, the calyces that develop after the flower.  I had read that these could be a hypertension reducer and since I had been recently diagnosed with hereditary high blood pressure — my reading was 170/90 — I thought I would give it a try.  Upon returning to the US I found a supply of dried “flor de Jamaica” and began brewing hibiscus tea.  I drank about 1 quart per day of delicious lemon-flavored red tea for one month.  My numbers fell to 120/70, to the amazement of my blood pressure technicians.”