Sunday, July 13, 2008

Herbs...the spice of life!

Basil, Sage, Thyme, Mint sprouting after 10 days from planting seeds


Sometimes it's the little things that can bring so much joy. I'm happy and surprised they sprouted so fast. While waiting for Wade to build our greenhouse, I decided to plant some herbs on the patio under the blazing desert sun. That was one week ago. These photos were taken this morning (before the flashflood!). The basil, sage and thyme have sprouted. The mint hasn't made a showing yet. All four of these herbs deter most insect pests.

We use basil to season our pasta dishes, in soups and salads, and it tastes so good! Even better, basil has many healing benefits and nutrients. Check out the benefits of sage, thyme and mint. Using these and other fresh and dried herbs for cooking regularly helps keep your body in a healthy state. Growing them yourself gives you optimum potency.

In these uncertain times of rising gas and food prices, along with just about everything else increasing, growing an organic vegetable garden and a small herb garden will do much to save you money and give you quality foods. And the benefits of growing things with your own hands and nurturing them along is enjoyable and good for mental health.

It's easy, inexpensive and fun!

Sweet Sorghum: an alternative energy and food fuel?

Last year, a strange cornstalk-looking plant appeared in our backyard. The birds and squirrels were eating the soft grains from this plant daily. This plant turned out to be Sorghum, a possible energy alternative and a highly nutritious grain. Sorghum is gluten-free, high in antioxidants, is a great substitute for wheat flour, is drought-tolerant and can be grown easily in the desert.

Because the protein and starch in this grain is more slowly digested than other cereals, it is particularly beneficial for diabetics. The antioxidants offer high levels of tannins and phenols which are linked to cancer prevention and cardiovascular performance. There are so many benefits of sorghum too numerous to mention here.

I think it's time to explore this new (to me), exciting plant. And to think the seeds blew into my yard or were transplanted by bird droppings.

Nature talks to us...if we listen and observe.

Hell in the desert

Just when I was getting used to the smoke from the Piute fire, a flashflood ripped through our desert community yesterday bringing hail, lightening, downpours, power outages...and rainbows. Mind you, this is unusual weather here. When we bought our home several years ago, we were told "it never rains in this desert city." The temperature rapidly went from 112 deg. to 80 deg. With smoke from the fire still thick in the air, winds and the flashflooding, it felt like hell had come to the desert.

Today is a repeat performance. In less than one hour, temps dropped from 110 deg. to 86 deg. Erring on the side of caution, I'll enjoy the rainstorm from indoors.

Note to self: turn off a/c, computer and no dancing outdoors around a tree waiting for lightening to strike!

Welcome to my blog

I used to think of the desert as a hot, dry and downright miserable place to live. That is, until I moved here from the cool, wet coastal towns of Southern California about four years ago.

Yes, we have HOT days here. It was 125.3 degrees on July 10. (Gotta put that .3 degrees in there.) And it's downright miserable if you are unprepared for the extreme weather.

But learning to have a healthy respect for this environment has its pluses: sunny most of the year, excellent air quality, low humidity, beautiful desert plants and animals, and a sense of peace and serenity not found in the city jungles.

So, if you're looking for eclectic thoughts, on sustainable living, food, health, economy, musings on desert life, with a few rants thrown in for good measure, you've come to the right place. Come back often to refresh your batteries for thoughts from the desert...