Monday, January 13, 2014

Thinking Herbal and Concerned About the Absence of Thymol in Commercial Carrots

 I haven't told you just how excited I am about the new place -- today that is. My mind is whirling about the possibilities. I noticed when we were there last week that there was a couple newly planted rose bushes in the backyard which got me to thinking of herbal teas. What could I add to raspberry leaves, and rose hips to create my own infusions that I could grow on the place? Any suggestions for Wyoming? In one of my seed catalogs I just received it recommended a few medical herbs in particular to put in your medicinal herb garden which included mullein and marshmallow root. I've never grown them but I did use a great deal of those two herbs when the kids were little along with a little licorice root as a catalyst. Not sure you can grow licorice root here but I should look into it as it is one thing also occasionally used for my Addison's Disease.

As I age my asthma is growing worse and I'm on meds a couple months in the winter. I wonder if mullein and marshmallow root would eventually eliminate my need for a allergy pill and inhaler meds? They are great for the lungs and what I used on the kids if it sounded like a cold was going to their chest.

Of course I'll need peppermint and chamomile in my herb garden, which I've grown before and then what else do you recommend -- yarrow? The plan is to take these huge wood boxes that large equipment came in at the mine and from one form a raised herbal garden. The largest of which I want to make into a very small greenhouse apparatus to extend the season on a few plants. Financially a large greenhouse is down the road a ways so I'm trying to figure out how to put together small budget size ones.  

We also want to put in a bed of carrots in sand that will keep through the winter. We had a cold frame sunk in the ground with a window top and protected against the weather at this house many years ago and we had carrots all winter. As an experiment I let some of the carrots remain in the sand and produce seed the next season and the next and the next. But eventually the carrot seed produced pale and woody carrots. Why? I've always had in mind since that experiment to  figure out how to grow carrot seed and not have that happen. Anyone know why it does this? 

I also want lots of grapes. Grapes to eat, grapes for juice, and grapes for raisins. I love raisins in cookies and cake in particular but a handful is nice too. My in-laws have kindly agreed to give me slips of their grapes which flourish in our new area. 

Not only is this new place what I've been working for for years but with the new swine virus killing off vasts amount of piglets, the drought lowering our cattle herds by a quarter, and who knows what is in and not in our present food we buy I feel an extra push to raise all I can. The security of our food just isn't there anymore.  I just learned about those nice little bite size carrots sold in the stores. They are kind of handy but I'm not buying them anymore.
 Dr. Aruna Weerasooriya, researcher and professor of agricultural sciences at Prairie View A&M University, says a perhaps larger, less known health concern is how the manipulation of certain vegetables degrades their nutritional value.
“When you look at wild carrots, they have high levels of Thymol, a phyto-chemical that is essential for the body to control bacteria and ward off viral infections,” he said. “Now, when you look at some of these new carrot breeds, this type of phytochemical just isn’t there.”
Weerasooriya believes that carrot companies are trading in nutritional value for increased convenience to the customer – and profit for themselves. “Research should focus on how to retain some of these nutrients, but instead companies are probably more concerned about a longer shelf life.”

This was a big push to return to storing carrots through the winter. With tomatoes, lettuce, and cukes in the house and carrots in the garden protected, we should have pretty good salad fixings all year. Now to figure out how to make it happen.

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