Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hemp-based foods a big hit at Farm Show

Hemp-based foods a big hit at Farm Show

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation last summer that will allow hemp to be grown in Pennsylvania for research and development programs at colleges and universities in the commonwealth and the state Department of Agriculture.
Pennsylvania was once the leader in the country in producing industrial hemp, which is used in producing a wide variety of products including building materials and paper.
There are businesses at the Farm Show this week selling products that have hemp in them.
Nick Perna runs Truly Pure & Natural out of Montgomery County. This is his first year as a vendor in Harrisburg. He says that his honey hemp has sold out twice.
“I have to educate some people who think the honey will give them a high feeling,” Perna said. “I tell them there is a big difference between hemp and marijuana.”
Perna says his product is a healthy alternative for people looking for something different.
“Hemp is an option that is high in fiber,” Perna said. “It is high in protein and has all the omega 3’s.”
The hemp research legislation bill’s primary sponsor is Rep. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon).
Americans import hemp products because the federal 1937 Marijuana Tax Act restricted industrial hemp production and the Controlled Substances Act in 1970 declared hemp to be illegal because like marijuana it comes from the cannabis plant.
The 2014 Farm Bill loosened restrictions on the production of industrial hemp and authorizes pilot programs.
Diamond called the new law a boon to the state economy and a triumph over more than 80 years of misinformation about the plant. He said hemp is biologically similar to marijuana but does not contain intoxicating levels of THC, the psychoactive chemical that produces a “high.”

Monday, October 10, 2016

Transitioning to a Shampoo Bar

I've been using our Shampoo & Body Bar for over a year now, and I absolutely love it.  My hair is so soft and shiny, and our shampoo body bar is the only product I use on it.  It just doesn't get simpler than that.

This isn't the first time I've used a shampoo bar; I tried one a long time ago.  I used it once or twice, my hair didn't feel the same as it used to, so I put it aside, saying that it didn't work for me.

What I didn't know is that there's a transition period.  It can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month or more for hair to adapt after using hair products that are full of chemicals.  We don't need all of those products, but skilled advertisers have certainly convinced us that we do!

This time, I knew to expect the transition, which took a couple of weeks.  My transition went smoothly because this time, I transitioned to the shampoo bar from a natural shampoo and conditioner.  I had given up using hair spray, mousse, and gels (even natural ones) a few years earlier, so I didn't have much chemical build-up in my hair.

My biggest complaint at first was that my hair didn't have that silky conditioner-laden feel that I was used to after I got out of the shower.  However, I was surprised that my hair was still easy to comb.

For the first two or three weeks, I had serious fly-away hair, which I combated with the tiniest bit of coconut oil rubbed between my hands.  I then ran my hands very lightly over my hair, paying more attention to the ends.  I also brushed a lot between shampoos to distribute the oils from my scalp throughout my hair.

I made a point of not washing my hair every day.  Instead, I washed it every two or three days.  I used an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse after washing: one tablespoon of ACV to one cup of filtered water.  I left it in for a few minutes while I washed up with our shampoo body bar, and then rinsed.

A couple of weeks later, my hair was gorgeous.  Really.  It still felt different after a shower, like it was going to be difficult to comb out, but nothing could be further from the truth.  My hair was softer than ever before.

I continued to use the ACV Rinse once a week, then every other week, until I eventually stopped using it altogether.  By that point, my hair looked and felt great without it.

My transition period was probably shorter than it will be for people who use a lot of products on their hair.  It will take longer to get rid of the build-up, and, honestly, it may require a bit of patience to get through it.  Trust me, though, it's worth it!  It's been so freeing to use just one product, that also works wonderfully for washing my face and body, knowing that it's completely natural (unlike so many of the so-called natural hair care products on the market).  The packaging is biodegradable and is one step towards reducing the number of toxic plastics in the home.  Win-win!


A couple more thoughts:

Worried that the essential oil scents - especially tea tree oil - may be too strong?  Put it out of your head!  The oils combine to produce a mild scent that doesn't bother people like myself who can't handle the scent of strong essential oils! 

Our Shampoo & Body Bar also makes an excellent shaving lotion, eliminating the need to buy yet another product!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Nick's Asian Fusion Brussels Sprouts

1 lb brussels sprouts
1 Tbsp Truly Pure & Natural Creamed Raw Ginger Honey
2 Tbsp tamari soy sauce
2 Tbsp orange juice
3 shakes chipotle powder
3 shakes garlic powder
2 shakes smoked paprika
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Clean brussels sprouts; cut in half if large.  Set aside to dry.

Preheat oven to 415 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix together Creamed Raw Ginger Honey, tamari, orange juice, chipotle powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, fresh ginger, sea salt, and black pepper.

Add dry brussels sprouts and stir until they're evenly coated.

Turn onto a roasting pan coated with a silicone baking sheet.  Spread out evenly so that they're not overlapping.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.  Stir.  Roast for 10 minutes more.


Friday, December 11, 2015

Sick & Tired!

We make gift packs in different combinations of three jars of honey: Tropical Trio, Tea Lovers, Coffee Lovers, Healthy Trio, Home Sweet Home, Holiday Bliss, Berry Blend, and more.

Creamed Honey Gift Packs

We also have individual jars of honey on display so that our customers can create their own custom combinations.

We recently had a customer create the combination below: Cinnamon Honey Concentrate, Hibiscus, and Coffee.

She named it Sick & Tired.

She said that the Hibiscus helps boost her family's immune system, she uses the Cinnamon Honey Concentrate if the family does get sick with sore throats, and she keeps going after being up with sick kids all night with our Organic Coffee Honey!

We love the name, and are thrilled that she's found something that works for her and her family!

Sick & Tired


Thursday, December 10, 2015

What the Heck is Switzle?

In colonial days, when haying was done by hand, the workers would often get violently ill with nausea and stomach cramps after drinking too much cold water when they were so hot and parched.

So, the old-timers remedied that with a drink called Switzle (or Haymaker's Punch or Switchel) that the women made and had on hand for the workers.  It could be considered the original Gatorade!

Switzle is generally made of water, vinegar, sweetener (sugar, molasses, maple syrup, or honey), and ginger powder.  We make ours with filtered water, organic apple cider vinegar, organic raw honey, fresh organic ginger, organic lemon, organic strawberry, and organic hibiscus flower.

Switzle may be served warmed, chilled, or at room temperature.  Just shake well and enjoy!

Switzle tastes delicious any time, but is especially good after being out in the hot sun.  Kids love the taste, and it’s so good for them after playing sports or just playing hard outside.

The ingredients in Switzle may also help calm an upset stomach, soothe a sore throat, or even hydrate adults who may have indulged in a few too many alcoholic beverages!

While Switzle is delicious on a hot day, it’s equally yummy served warmed in a big mug when the weather is chilly.

No matter how you enjoy it, Switzle is a versatile, delicious drink that can be enjoyed by everyone!

Note: Switzle is currently available at our local events, and will be on our website soon.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Great Smelling Homes - At What Cost?

Advertisers have done an excellent job of convincing us that it's unacceptable for our friends to smell our food cooking or know that we have a pet.  We're told to remove those smells with their products, convincing anyone who sets foot in our homes that we live in a tropical paradise, on a breezy beach, or in the midst of an orange grove!

What this multi-billion dollar industry doesn't tell us is that their products don't eliminate anything; they just overpower the existing spells with stronger smells, produced by chemicals, many of which are toxic to us (especially our children!) and our pets!

I'm not a chemist, but when I googled 'chemicals in air fresheners', I was inundated with information on the chemicals used in air fresheners and how those chemicals affect us.

I'm going to cite the findings of some government agencies about the dangers of the toxic chemicals that the manufacturers portray through advertising as safe, natural, and necessary for us and our families.  The bottom line, though, is that these products are neither safe or natural, and certainly aren't necessary.  The truth is that every time we spray, plug in, light, or set a solid air freshener on the counter, we're harming ourselves, our children, and our pets by breathing in the chemicals in these products.


An even simpler bottom line: 

Don't Use Air Fresheners!


At the forefront, are phthalates.   Phthalates have been shown to cause birth defects and reproductive problems, in addition to attributing to allergic symptoms and asthma.  When we use air fresheners containing phthlates, minute particles enter our noses.  If you think that chemicals entering our bodies that way isn't a big deal, think cocaine, and how that affects the body by way of the nose.  Phthlates can also be absorbed through the skin.

For a detailed report, go to National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and learn more about phthlates and which air freshener brands contain the most.*  You can read that report here:  Protect Your Family From the Hidden Hazards in Air Fresheners.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that there are four basic ingredients in air fresheners: formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, p-dichlorobenzene, and aerosol propellants. 

Formaldehyde: According to the National Cancer Institute, Formaldehyde is classified as a known human carcinogen (simply put, it causes cancer!) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.   

Petroleum Distillates: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Petroleum Distillates can cause irritation to the eyes, nose and throat; dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, and dry cracked skin.

p-Dichlorobenzene: Again, I checked the CDC, which states that this chemical can cause eye irritation, swelling around the eyes, profuse rhinitis (chronic sneezing and a congested or drippy nose), headache, nausea, vomiting, jaundice, cirrhosis, liver and kidney damage in animals, and is a potential carcinogen.

Aerosol Propellants: Studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) from the 1970's stated that Aerosol Propellants are rapidly acting and potent cardiac toxins, calling for further studies.


My go-to source for learning about which products contain toxic chemicals is the Environmental Working Group (EWG).  There, you can see which brands are the most toxic and which chemicals are contained in different brands of air fresheners.  

EWG recommends avoiding air fresheners.  For a list of air fresheners by name and which chemicals each contains, go here.

Here are some thoughts on air fresheners from EWG:

33- Do air fresheners destroy odors?

No, they just cover them up. They also contaminate the air, exposing people to a host of undisclosed, untested and potentially toxic substances, including phthalates, synthetic musks and allergens. Identify, clean up or remove odor sources. Open a window! An open box of baking soda can eliminate odors safely. Investigate persistent odors. They might be caused by inadequate ventilation, mold, mildew, pests or vermin.

34- What about scented candles?

Skip these too. Just like air fresheners, scented candles release mixtures of undisclosed fragrance chemicals into the air to cover up other odors. There’s no evidence to indicate that scented candles are any safer than any other type of air freshener.

One thing to note is that Fragrance, which sounds so innocent and harmless, is a term that encompasses many chemicals.  There is nothing natural about the ingredient Fragrance.  I avoid it in all products, using only products that contain Essential Oils, which are extracted from plants and truly are natural.  Make sure that they're pure Essential Oils, and not Fragrance Oils, which are made from chemicals.

A couple of great sources for Essential Oils are:

Young Living


I will be the first to admit that our houses don't always smell the best.  Certain foods can smell pretty darned bad.  On nice days when my kids are reluctant to go outside, I've been known to steam some broccoli or cook some cabbage.  Before long, there are groans and complaints, and before I know it, they're all outside!  Works every time!

What can you do when the air in your home really doesn't smell the best?

        Open a window!

        Simmer some cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and nutmeg in water on the stove.
       (Keep an eye on it, replenishing water as necessary!)

       Place some baking soda in a bowl and add a few drops of an essential oil. 

       Light a Beeswax Candle (without colors or fragrances) with a lead-free wick.

       You could also put baking soda and oils in a mason jar and punch holes in the lid.

       Place a few drops of our Wholesome in your vacuum cleaner bag or container.

       Use one of our Room Sprays, made with essential oils, distilled water, and alcohol.
       (For sale at local shows; coming soon to our online store.)

       Clean your house.  (Yes, I intentionally put this one last!)

There are so many simple, inexpensive ways to deal with undesirable odors if you don't want to smell them.  Choose the simple route instead of harming the health of your family!

 Our Holiday Essential Oil Room Sprays

Candy Cane Joy: Invigorating, uplifting Mint Essential Oils

Home for the Holidays: Homey Essential Oils of Vanilla, Cloves, and Orange

Peaceful Lavender: Pure Lavender to help with relaxation after a stressful day

*I read that Walgreen's pulled some of their air fresheners in response to that report to have them analyzed.  I don't know what, if any, action they took after that, though.



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