This is an actual harvest time pic from home.
“We must become experts at the intellectual management of our mental seeds… From now on, we need to be careful only to plant good new seeds, and never negative ones.”
- excerpt from How Yoga Works by Geshe Michael Roach
Last fall I joined UrbanFarm.org in their online urban farming class to learn new ways to improve and transform my yard, turning it into a more efficient and edible environment. Yes edible.
Back in January, during a break from tour, I was able to put my new knowledge to good use and improve my yard as well as my compost heap and the quality of life for my chickens. I also enjoyed getting properly chased by my new bees while busy upping the diversity in my orchard by planting 30 new fruit trees. I did all of this in little time thanks to the new insights shared by UrbanFarm.org.
Urban farming is about making the most out of a small space. It’s about declaring your yard, your courtyard or windowsill as an actual farm. And then working with the seasons, the sunlight, and local resources like discarded materials and water-runoff to bring it to life as cheaply and conveniently as possible.
It isn’t as daunting as one might think and the payoff is spectacular. Taking control of your food and water supply means reclaiming your power by saving money, saving energy, saving waste and saving fuel believe it or not. It is the foundation for the idea “think globally and act locally.”
In the coming weeks UrbanFarm.org will be hosting a free webinar called “SeedSavingHacked.“ This will be a fascinating class about how to save your own seeds, secure your favorite foods for the future and the interesting events that led up to the patenting and ownership of 78% of our seeds by 3 companies. In the rapidly changing world where the FDA has recently signed off on the Genetically Modified Apple, I feel more encouraged than ever to learn about seeds and seed saving.
To start, it’s important to know the difference between the 3 main types of seeds:
Heirloom – what happens naturally when a plant is left alone for tens of thousands of years; the seed always produces the same variety.
Hybrid, when two sexually compatible plants cross-pollinate to produce a new variety, making interesting food, but sometimes not great new seeds, hence the need for saving. This does occur in nature but is commonly applied by man. A hybrid seed is NOT a GMO.
Genetically Modified(GMO), or transgenic, is when a gene is taken from another species like a fish and transported, typically with a virus, to another species like a tomato. It does not happen in nature and will never qualify as organic. Here is the most current list of GMO foods on the market. http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/issues/311/ge-foods/crops-in-the-pipeline#
Join me in SeedSavingHacked and we’ll expand our horizons together.
Sunrise. As a time zone jumper I sleep when I can and wake up when I don’t want to. But at any hour homecoming is nice and I relish my quiet time at a kitchen table with a snoring cat as a centerpiece, some cinnamon toast, and a turmeric latte.
Try the latte! A little honey and a spoonful of turmeric, stirred in a shot of hot water, under a cup of hot homemade almond milk, or whichever nut-milk you prefer.
I spoil myself with delicious homemade beverages, an addiction that started back in 2008. “Vitamineral Green” smoothies became and still are a daily staple in my diet, but with them came a curiosity for other tasty sippers. To make it easy I travel with a second suitcase exclusively to satisfy my cravings. In this “kitchen case” you will find a water filter, a hand blender, sometimes a milk-frother and a tea kettle, and an assortment or superfood powders, tinctures, teas, and spices. Sometimes I do have to pay an extra-baggage fee when traveling, but that $25-$50 is made up by not having to purchase water, or succumb to franchises’ unhealthy coffee concoctions. I also try to carry a container of hemp-milk and a few San Diego made “Perfect Bars” which stay perfectly chilled when traveling under an airplane. Rarely do my ingredients explode but it does happen. Upon arrival in Bangkok last week, I opened my kitchen case to find everything dusted a deep algae green, but it gave me a reason to unpack and reorganize, which my OCD enjoyed.
My usual morning beverage is a dark roast Maté tea, sweetened with a dark stevia, with a splash of hempmilk, topped with Cinnamon. I started drinking Maté back in 2007 to cut down on coffee, which I still enjoy, but only on special occasions – like egg nog.
On performance evenings my mug holds a super-potent “Calli” mint tea from the Sunrider Brand, with a shot of Chinese Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa for the throat if needed. I highly recommend this blend for singers.
By day it’s all water for me, but I do add flower essences, essential oils, stevia, echinacea, and chlorophyll to keep it interesting. I’ll even add salt if I’m heading to hot yoga. When asked what I’m drinking, it’s fun to just say Organic Unicorn Tears. But sometimes it turns brown, in which case Mona refers to it as poo-juice.
Speaking of juice. The fresh juice industry is booming. Say no more other than Yes Please.
I share this in hopes of broadening your horizons on liquid intake, saving you money and keeping you healthy. For example, you’d think with all the planes, trains, and bus rides I take around the world that I would catch a bug from time to time. But I haven’t had even the sniffles in over a year. And I credit this consistency to keeping hydrated – keeping the blood happy – and avoiding sugar drinks and dairy drinks which break down poorly in the body, causing inflammation which causes allergic reactions and phlegmy cold symptoms. Yes, common colds CAN be avoided.
For more health, travel and lifestyle tips, ask me what you want to know. Good Morning!
The modern world is weird. And there’s plenty of reasons to get bummed out about it. Whether it’s war, famine, poverty, environmental negligence, or afternoon traffic, being human in this age takes courage to keep living, and calls for a lot of heart to care about it.
And, when it seems politicians are already bought and paid for, it will take the courage of our conscious communities to carry us to the polls in 2 weeks to vote on measures that matter.
Here are a few important pieces of legislature that need our support in the upcoming election:
1: Food Labeling laws. The right to know what’s in our food.
In Oregon: Vote “Yes on 92.” http://oregonrighttoknow.org/
Major foods brands who make up The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) actually invest millions of dollars into anti-labeling laws nationwide to prevent consumers from knowing about harmful ingredients and genetically modified organisms known as GMO’s. The GMA has even sued the state of Vermont to overturn a GMO labeling law passed there earlier this year. Super Weird.
If you are a new parent. Do not feed your child anything made of non-organic soy. Many baby formulas are made with GMO Soy, which has led to many new cases of severe food allergies & even autism.
In addition to voting, you can also boycott GMA members.
GMA boycott website
Download your wallet-sized boycott guide.
2: Preserve and Protect our Precious Environment.
No more fracking. No more drilling. No on anything degenerative. We now live in the age of information where we know it’s all about REGENERATIVE actions and products. REGENERATIVE power. REGENERATIVE agriculture and farming. Actions that help us sustain life! Vote against methods that diminish life. Vote against propositions that are degenerative and accumulate waste.
In Santa Barabara, CA – Vote “Yes on P” to protect our water. In a time of drought we need not risk contaminating or further endangering our precious water supply. “Yes on P” will help BAN fracking in the state. This is very very critical. http://www.voteyesonp.org/
3: End the Prohibition on Cannabis.
Today 33 states have opened their minds to medicinal marijuana and 2 states are now legal for recreational use. In those states, citizens now have a choice to combat illnesses with natural cures.
Cannabis is the origin of canvas and as a sustainable-regenerative product it has thousands of uses. Cannabis as a cellulose product has tens of thousands of uses, including bio-fuel and cancer-curing tinctures. In a world where alcohol & tobacco are celebrated, it makes no sense to ban a renewable resources like Cannabis.
For more than 40 years, the war on drugs has proven little to make the world safer against drugs. Each year 700,000 innocent people are arrested on drug charges, most of them young black men. And those arrests make it more difficult to get jobs and often limits their ability to receive an education. The police and the penal system are making a profit by incarcerating these innocent people, and society is losing. Big Time.
Do those drug laws protect us from ourselves? Addicts use drugs to treat pain and/or try to feel connected in society. Drug use is a symptom. The problem is whatever trauma or displacement causes them to need drugs in the first place. Arresting a cannabis user only adds more trauma and pain. Society needs more compassion. Not more prisons.
The time has come to legalize. Are we are the tipping point generation?
For more on this issue, check out The Culture High.
THANK YOU FOR VOTING.
All throughout this tour I’ve had the pleasure of singing and speaking about my love for getting back to the earth, even going so far as jump-starting a few gardens before showtime, and sharing pictures of my own garden onstage. And while I passionately promote the idea of growing your own delicious edible landscape, I get a lot of people asking me how. Well, after doing a little digging, here’s the dirt!
If you seek the knowledge to easily grow your own food, here is a cool FREE opportunity to learn from one of the leaders in the Urban Farming movement. Greg Peterson, founder of the Urban Farm, university professor and author of The Urban Farms Simple Sustainability Series will host a FREE webinar on OCT 2nd & again on OCT 4th, sharing the 6 essential ingredients to growing your own healthy and nutritious food. Whether this is your first garden or you’ve been gardening for years, his unique perspective will shed light on just how simple this process actually is.
CLICK HERE TO ENROLL.
After the free webinar, there will be a chance to dig deeper as Professor Peterson will be offering an online Urban Farming 101 class starting Oct 13th. I enrolled for that too and look forward to learning from the road. Will you be in my class?
My friend Gregory Page released a new album in the Netherlands this week. One Way Journey Home is yet another epic collection of words & melodies strung together by Mr Page, sure to strike a chord on your heartstrings. Check out his hilarious promotional film as he goes door-to-door to tell the world about the new release.
For as long as I can remember, Mr Page’s website has referred to him as “songwriter troubadour filmmaker astronaut.” And in many ways I relate. To tour is to orbit the Earth. We may not travel 17,000 miles per hour like those aboard the ISS (International Space Station), but we do log those miles eventually, on our own time. And we too see the world from many fascinating angles.
Music takes you places. It can guide you through your inner world, making sense of emotion and easing pain, or it can literally take you around the planet, from NYC to San Diego; Antarctica to Outer Space.
I recently had the pleasure of visiting Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX where I got to hang with astronauts on the ground and converse with those in space, all thanks to music. Did you know that we’ve had someone in space for 14 consecutive years? The space-men & women still change shifts every 6 months but plan to extend their stay-cations to an entire year.
The recently retired NASA shuttle program was not the end of our space program at all. Now that the ISS is practically self-sustaining, NASA is refocusing its exploration away from low orbit and looking to soon be exploring nearby asteroids, moons of Mars, and Mars itself; searching for medicines & histories on the frontiers of new technology. Again I see the comparisons between songwriters & astronauts. Troubadours explore new and old worlds to share those worlds’ stories, all the while putting medicine in the music to increase the potency of the message.
On board the ISS, each crew member is required to exercise 2 hours a day in order to preserve their bone mass. They eat processed foods due to the lack of farmer’s markets in space. And they drink recycled pee. Astro-Nutty! We troubadours might eat at gas stations & diners. And we might pee in moving vans if there’s no time to stop before the gig, but the only thing we exercise is our right to free speech. I guess Astronauts have us beat.
I think I’ll keep my feet on the ground and continue to look up to astronauts as I do.
“And I look up” to Mr Page. He gave me my first gig in San Diego in 1999 and we have remained good friends ever since. I invite you to check out his new album, ONE WAY JOURNEY HOME, recorded by me. It’s just lovely.
I’m calling the next generation of farmers to action.
This is a story. It is a beautiful story. It is a story is about you and me. And how we gave up greed, corruption and ignorance. We realized that HUManity, HUMility and HUMus all came “from the earth.” And so, we kneeled and kissed the ground. And the earth spoke to us. And here is what she said: Be a Farmer. Grow food. Build community. Save the planet. #beafarmer #growfood #kisstheground #thesoilstory
The Average age of today’s farmer is between 60 & 70. And they hope to retire soon. We need 4-6 million new farmers just to replace them. And we need good food farmers to make sure our future isn’t fed from factory farms, chemical fertilizers, and GMO seeds. YUCK.
Did you know that organic, regenerative farmers could put an end to the climate crisis? The solution is IN THE SOIL!
New farmers wanted. Change your world with this course: Graeme Sait’s in LA, September 15th-18th. And check out Graeme’s Ted Talk.