Cover Crops

 Organic farming emphasizes creating healthy soils with the use of compost and green manures, rotating crops. A key component of these management practices is the use of cover crops.   There are several reasons to plant cover crops in organic systems. Cover crops can be used to improve soil structure by adding organic matter, reducing erosion, capturing soil nutrients and making them available to new crops. 

In addition to the soil improving benefits, cover crops can also assist many pest management programs.  The cover crops provide pollen, nectar, and a physical location for beneficial insects to live while they search for pesty insects.  




Once thought of as bird food or snack food, sunflower seeds are not "junk food." The sunflower seed, in fact, is very high in many minerals, vitamins, and essential acids. The only drawback is they are high in calories. The nutrients that are of quantity in sunflower seeds include protein, thiamine, Vitamin E, iron, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, and the essential fatty acids Linoleic acid and Oleic acid. The amount of protein in sunflower seed is 24 percent, putting them in the same protein league as beef. They are higher in iron than any other food except egg yolks and liver. The potassium levels are similar to raisins, nuts, and wheat germ, with higher calcium levels than soybeans. This great proportion of nutrients in the seeds is believed to improve cardiovascular health. Their high proportion of potassium, but low sodium content, makes the sunflower seeds act as a diuretic, which helps to lower high blood pressure. The essential Linoleic acid is necessary for growth and prostaglandin production, and tests have shown it to be beneficial in reducing levels of serum cholesterol.  (Originally published by Diane Relf, Extension Specialist, Environmental Horticulture.)

Olive Oil History

Homer called it "liquid gold."  Olive oil has been more than mere food to the peoples of the Mediterranean: it has been medicinal, magical, an endless source of fascination and wonder and the fountain of great wealth and power. 

In the land of the Hebrews, King Solomon and King David placed great importance on the cultivation of olive trees; King David even had guards watching over the olive groves and warehouses, ensuring the safety of the trees and their precious oil.

Italy and Spain are now the most prolific producers of olive oil, although Greece is still very active. There are about thirty varieties of olives growing in Italy today, and each yields a particular oil with its own unique characteristics.

Olive oil is a natural oil which preserves the taste, aroma, vitamins and properties of the olive fruit. Olive oil is the only vegetable oil that can be consumed as it is - freshly pressed from the fruit. The beneficial health effects of olive oil are due to  its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and its high content of antioxidatives. . Studies have shown that olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels while raising HDL (the "good" cholesterol) levels. (1-3) No other naturally produced oil has as large an amount of monounsaturated as olive oil.



Like most vegetables, eggplant is naturally low in calories and has no fat. It is a fair source of potassium, iron and protein. A cup has only 38 calories (without added fat). A main benefit of eggplant is its high fiber content. Eggplant is  low in Saturated Fat, Sodium, and Cholesterol, High in Dietary Fiber, Folate, Potassium, Manganese, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper. 

In addition to featuring a host of vitamins and minerals, eggplant also contains important phytonutrients, many which have antioxidant activity. Phytonutrients contained in eggplant include phenolic compounds, such caffeic and chlorogenic acid, and flavonoids, such as nasunin. Research on eggplant has focused on an anthocyanin phytonutrient found in eggplant skin called nasunin. Nasunin is a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger that has been shown to protect cell membranes from damage.  Researchers at the US Agricultural Service in Beltsville, Maryland, have found that eggplants are rich sources of phenolic compounds that function as antioxidants. Plants form such compounds to protect themselves against oxidative stress from exposure to the elements, as well as from infection by bacteria and fungi. 

Eggplant goes back about 2,000 years in the recorded history of India, and there are actually more than 30 Sanskrit names for the fruit in ancient Indian literature. Thomas Jefferson is credited with bringing the fruit to the United States.

Interesting new facts about Eggplant


The Eggplant Cancer Cure
An Effective, Natural Solution to the Skin Cancer Epidemic- Bill E. Cham, Ph. D.

 Eggplant or aubergine (Solanum melongena) has been examined, and has been shown to contain the exact replica of BEC. This means that a fruit, which is eaten as a vegetable throughout the world, contains BEC. Each eggplant contains 7 to 25 mg of BEC per 100 grams of fruit. Eggplant contain more BEC than Curaderm

The eggplant and vinegar home remedy are apparently the same as the active ingredients in Curaderm, and in fact Curaderm is now derived from eggplants. The good news is that Curaderm claims to be 100% effective against basal and squamous cell carcinomas as well as AKs. Curaderm is also nearly ideal in terms of safety and cosmetic result. There is a lot of supporting scientific work in open literature performed by Bill Cham and colleagues as part of the Curaderm product research and development.  


Healthy Eating

Protein is necessary to maintain healthy skin, bones, muscles, and organs. Vegetarians who eat eggs and dairy products can get protein easily.  Soy products, legumes, lentils, nuts, and whole grains are also great sources of protein.  Iron is also important for building red blood cells.  You can usually get it through dark green leafy greens and dried fruit, as well as dried beans, peas, lentils.   Calcium is vital to overall health and strong bones.  Dark green veggies (spinach, collard greens, kale, broccoli, etc.) are high in calcium.  Foods rich in vitamin C (strawberries, citrus, tomatoes, cabbage, etc.) help you to absorb non-animal sources of calcium.

Your liver is responsible for an number of activities, and you' need a plentiful supply of all nutrients for your liver to be optimally healthy.  Fruits and vegetables would be at the top of the  list in the support category, since they contain such a wide range of nutrients that participate in liver function. Additionally, if you are focused on liver health, it is important to consume foods that are organically grown; the liver is an organ that detoxifies chemicals and therefore with organically grown foods you'll reduce your exposure to agricultural chemicals
There are a couple of food groups that would also be especially helpful in supporting your liver's ability to detoxify chemicals.  Foods rich in sulfur,  (sulphur containing compounds are one of the primary types of molecules used to help the liver detoxify a wide range of prescription medications, pesticides, and other types of environmental toxins).   Vegetables in this category would include onions &  garlic.  Some additional sulfur-containing foods  worth mentioning are the "Cruciferous vegetables". There are some unique sulfur compounds in these foods that may be especially beneficial in liver detoxification processes. Foods in this group include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, and Brussels sprouts
Some culinary spices that have had extensive research with respect to their role in liver support include turmeric, cinnamon, and licorice



There is abundant evidence that eating natural plant foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, etc., significantly decreases the risk of developing cancer.

Apart from being full of precious vitamins and minerals, cruciferous vegetables have been shown to be twice as effective in the battle against cancer. Studies have shown that as cruciferous vegetable intake goes up 20 %, cancer rates in a population drop by 40 %. Here is a list of the most commonly used cruciferous vegetables:

                                           Arugula                                           Kale
Bok Choy
Brussels Sprouts
Collard Greens
Mustard Greens


Cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates, sulphur containing compounds. In different areas of the cell, they also contain an enzyme myrosinase. When we blend, chop or chew   these vegetables, we break up the plant cells, bringing these two compounds into contact.

Their contact initiates a chemical reaction that produces isothiocyanates (ITCs), which are powerful anti- cancer compounds. According to the National Institute of Health, ITCs protect cells from DNA damage, inactivate carcinogens, kill cancer cells, and prevent tumors from growing. They also have antibacterial, antiviral and anti inflammatory effects.

Several observational studies have shown that eating ITC rich cruciferous vegetables protects against cancer. Here are few examples:

One serving per day of cruciferous vegetables reduced the risk of breast cancer by over 50 %.

One or more servings of cabbage per week reduced risk of pancreatic cancer by 38 %.

Just 3 servings of cruciferous vegetables per week decreased prostate cancer by 41%

for more information go to


Make a free website with Yola