Plant Beings

Let’s reconnect with our relatives in nature In 2013. The plant beings. Here’s how: A group of First Nations People in Saskatchewan Canada are reclaiming their Indigenous organic and natural agricultural heritage, reconnecting with Nature, learning and observing her natural laws, and getting back on the road to self-reliance. Many thanks to Director Noah Erenberg for making this great documentary, presented here courtesy of Muskoday Organic Growers Co-op Ltd:…. If you want to purchase a copy of this video please contact the producers through this link:

Busy bees

wow,its been a long time.

What a busy year.

We have missed our emails for almost an entire year.  We meant to send a newsletter  but time has been flying by.  We hope that this finds all our friends well. We wanted to let you know what we have been up to. First,  we are still here, doing well, recovering from some major life changes and looking forward to an exciting future. Also, we acquired a soap company and spent the past 7 months or so learning how to create unique handcrafted soaps.
Then, we had to learn about selling soaps and find out what works and what doesn’t.  For instance, plain unscented white soap should not go to events with wind or dirt.  Learned that the hard way.  Its been a learning curve but soap is incredibly fascinating and complimentary to our herbal products.  We now can make lip balm like peppermint then we can offer a peppermint shea butter soap, a mint hand lotion. We like how things are “coming together”. If you have a favorite flavor or scent we can now offer it in many forms. We still make the lip balms, lip glosses (new) , solid lotion bars ( new), soaps, handcrafted Shea butter lotions, massage oils, seasonings and of course we still have honey! Lastly, we have had a dry honey year. You might notice the limited amount of honey and pollen at the markets. We have had a mediocre production this year because we didn’t get enough rain in 2012.  We still have sage honey and this past year we made some beautiful eucalyptus honey, buckwheat honey, avocado honey, wildflower honeys.
One important lesson we have had to learn this past year is the importance of staying focused, with too much going on, needless to say it has been very challenging. Continue reading “Busy bees”

Chumash Position

There is a fair amount of research available concerning offshore Native American Sacred Sites and NCTC wants to make sure that our voice pointing out these very important pre-historical Californian Native American Sacred Sites is heard loud and clear, NCTC does not give anyone, including Corporations, Agencies or Governments the right to disturb our offshore California Native American Chumash Sacred Sites. Complete Letter: Coastal Commission Additional information PG&E ST 110712

Seventh Generation Fund would like to again extend our full support of the Chumash Peoples’ in opposition of the 3D Geophysical Seismic Testing that Pacific Gas and Electric is proposing as a means for seismic mapping off the coast of southern California. Seventh Generation Fund supports the Chumash and their endeavors to protect and preserve the oceans and all living things from harm inflicted upon them by practices such as seismic testing. Full letter: sevengenerationseismic2.doc

Arroyo Willow

Salix lasiolepis: commonly known as the arroyo willow, is a member of the family Salicaceae. Originally from California, this deciduous shrub or tree can be seen in bed ‘Q’ in the Preview Garden. It grows from 9 to 15 feet high and a little wider. It is a fast grower and has yellow catkin flowers about 2.5 inches long during the winter. Its leaves are light green and grow to about 4 inches long. It grows naturally along streams like other willows, so dry streams are its natural setting. Arroyo Willows are separated into male and female plants. Ours is female, as shown in the close-up of the catkins with their black- tipped pistils. It is a good soil stabilizer. It is essential for food and cover, but can’t survive deer. It attracts butterflies and butterfly larvae. It needs well drained soil and tolerates sandy soil but not clay soil or rock. It likes water and should be planted in full sun or some shade. It is not too ‘garden tolerant’ and prefers a natural setting with no human influence. It grows along streams even if they dry up in the summer.

The Chumash trimmed and used branches as poles to build huts. They used the bark for rope and chewed the bark to relieve toothaches (it contains salicylic acid which is found in aspirin). They also used the willow to make bows, tools and cradle boards to carry babies.

Salix lasiopis BENTH [Arroyo Willow]

The Spanish refer to it as Saus or Sauz.

In Northern Chumash language [Obispeno] the Arroyo Willow is known as tsa’, in the Central Chumash language [Barbareno, Ineseno {Samala}, and Purisimeno] it is known as shtayit, and in the Southern and Island Chumash language [Ventureno and Cruzeno] it is known as khaw.