Sustainable Agriculture In Your Own Yard

Sustainable Agriculture In Yuor Own Yard

I keep telling my husband, “Life is going to change soon.” The reason: this summer will mark my half century milestone celebration on planet earth. Reaching the ripe young age of 50 years gives one pause for reflection: reflecting on accomplishments, desires, and unsatisfied goals. As the date grows nearer, I’ve been asking and praying about how to intentionally spend the next 50 years, Lord willing.

As a result of the recent soul searching, one new goal has evolved – transforming the majority our yard into a garden; sustainable agriculture at home. Some of the inspiration we have received to that end comes from the website. Here, you can read, and be inspired too, by the Dervaes who grow the majority of their own food, on a very small plot of land.

The Devraes own a 1/5 acre lot in Pasadena, California and cultivate one half of their property. That means they garden 1/10 an acre. Out of that 1/10 acre they are able to produce 6,000 lbs of produce annually. Their garden is not only their main food source but also their livelihood. Wow! Whoever would have thought that was possible.

Alan and I have started out small: this season we grew lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers and herbs and you can see some of them pictured above. But through studying the Dervaes site, our plans for dinking around with gardening as a hobby, has turned onto a very realistic dream of cultivating the entire yard and turning it into an edible landscape. One day we hope that our yard will provide the majority of our vegan diet.

As we move into and through this process, we promise to keep you posted and hopefully give you encouragement on how you too can become a sustainable farmer in your own back yard…no matter what the size.

Happy gardening,


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Are There Any Truly Natural Skin Care Products?

I have been reading every place on the internet lately about the warnings of using products on our bodies (cosmetics, body washes, lotions etc) that contain certain chemicals. Although the skin is the largest organ of our body, we often think very little about the impact our body care products may have on our overall health.

Yet, think about it, there are many medications nowadays that are in patch form. Why? Because when they are adhered to the skin, the skin absorbs the medication very effectively into the blood stream. Recently I began using an essential oil blend from Nature’s Inventory for my restless legs. It is amazing how quickly the essential oils are absorbed through the skin and into the blood stream to provide the therapeutic effect.

This experience really began to wake me up to the importance of what we put on our skin. It dawned on me that most people were absorbing many things through their skin into their bloodstream that were never intended to be put inside their bodies and likely were not promoting good health. That’s when I started to search for completely natural, safe enough to eat, skin and hair care products. Because the reality is, what you put on your skin is part of your “diet”.

Sadly, so many products on the market that use the words “all natural” and “organic” are far from it. I thought I had found my utopia of skin care products when I found Pure Soap Life products. They advertise that they are made from 100 % certified organic cold-processed extracts. I trusted that. Until I began to look a little closer at the label and found that several chemicals they are using are synthetic and are possibly harmful. Chemicals such as Cocamide MEA (possibly contains DEA a known carcinogen) and DMDM Hydantoine (a preservative) that works by releasing formaldehyde into the product.

I purchased 2 Pure Life Soap products. The Coconut Body lotion, which I love, does appear to be all natural. It makes my skin very soft and I have experienced no dryness as I do with other moisturizers. The other product was the Aloe Hand and Body Wash which I was enjoying until I discovered that they were using some synthetic and possibly harmful ingredients.

Oh well, we will keep you posted on the search for truly 100% organic and safe nutritive body care products. I’m sure they are out there somewhere.

Be in health,


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NuBody Organic Nutritional Supplements

NuBody Organic HealthWe don’t usually recommend many nutritional supplements because we believe you should get your nutrition from food. But we also realize it’s not always possible to get good produce or have enough of it around all the time. Some supplementation is okay, but most of what you will find on the market today, even the ones that claim to be all natural or organic, contain chemical additives such as silicone dioxide or titanium dioxide as anti-caking agents.

Well, we’ve finally located an all natural, truly organic supplement company that doesn’t put those kinds of ingredients in their vitamin and nutritional products. The founder of the company emailed me personally in answering my inquiries to assure me that none of these artificial ingredients are in their products. I don’t know many other companies that will go to that kind of effort.

NuBody Supplements features 5 different herbal and vegetable based products to help you get the nutrition you need for specific functions such as better concentration, energy, appetite control, heart health and a general purpose multi-vitamin.

They’ve also designed several packages of their supplements to help out when you are over worked, trying to lose weight or just trying to stay in great shape. With these packages you can save significantly over the cost of buying each one individually and if you get on a monthly autoship order, you can save even more money.

Their individual supplements are:

Brain Control – For increasing mental activity and improving the thinking process.

Time Release Energy – A non-stimulant supplement for restoring energy.

Organic Health Multi-Vitamin – A general purpose multi-vitamin that contains anti-oxidants and immune enhancing ingredients.

SuperSlim Appetite Suppressant – A safe and natural weight loss solution that helps improve your energy as well.

Omega 3 Fish Oil – To help you maintain a healthy cholesterol level.

I’m ordering the Brain Control supplement later today because that’s where I can use the most help, in my thinking process. I’ll let you know how it works out.

I’m most impressed with these supplements and the company just from the standpoint that the founder related in his email to me that he was working on a degree in Nanotechnology and Biology and knows what ingredients such as titanium dioxide does to the human body. That’s why he refuses to put them in any of his products.

Thankfully there are still a few companies around that think that way.


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Taking Care Of Mind, Body And Spirit

Being healthy means taking care of mind, body and spirit. Every week Alan and I plan an outing to refresh our relationship by reconnecting in a relaxing atmosphere. Last Saturday, as Providence would have it, was his birthday and also, one of our favorite local musicians, Mike Fred, was playing his guitar at the East Coast Coffee and Tea Company on Eau Gallie Blvd, Melbourne. This was a birthday treat.
In addition to the great music, the cozy atmosphere and the sweet fellowship, the tea was delectable. If you’ve read our blog much, you’ve heard me mention Numi Tea before and how absolutely fine this tea is. Well, little did I know that East Coast Coffee and tea Company carries practically the full line of Numi tea including their flowering teas. I thought I was my birthday!
Deciding to live dangerously, I plunged in and tried a new flavor (all of Numi’s teas are natural (they don’t just say natural – they don’t use excitotoxins, aka natural flavors) and organic. Although, caffeine has not been part of my diet for about 1 year, I decided to try the Velvet Garden. This tea really lives up to it’s name. An enchanting blend of rose petals and the tender bud of the tea plant (white tea) makes this a tea that will calm the mind while stimulating the imagination. Give velvet garden a try and enjoy the fragrant rose scent in your nostrils, as you sip and dream, sip and dream.

Enjoy a fun outing and reconnect with your loved ones.


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Grow An Herb Garden Indoors

Indoor Herb GardenWinter is upon us and for most of the nation growing a garden just isn’t an option. Fortunately we live in Florida where the winters are very mild so we have a regular garden and an herb garden my wife tends in several containers on our deck. But what if you live in the frigid north or live in an apartment and would like to have at least an herb garden?

Well, you are in luck! I’ve just run across the indoor herb garden known as the AeroGarden and it’s one of the coolest little garden deals I’ve ever seen. It’s about the size of a breadbox (does anyone have one of those anymore?), it fits right on your countertop and you can grow herbs in it year round. And the best part is that the herb garden is completely dirt free using what’s known as aeroponics. Aeroponics are very similar to hydroponics and it is a system where the roots are suspended in a high oxygen and moisture chamber fed with just the right amounts of nutrients.

The garden comes with its own full spectrum light, has computerized controls that turns the light on and off, regulates nutrient delivery and it alerts you when additional nutrients and water are needed. And don’t worry about the nutrients, because they are 100% certified organic. You can grow all sorts of herbs in it like dill, cilantro, Italian basil, purple basil, parsley, mint and even small vegetables like cherry tomatoes and chili peppers and some lettuce.

The seeds for the garden are enclosed in their own dome-like seed pots that are like mini greenhouses for fast germination and growing. All you do to get started with the AeroGarden is put in your seed pods, add water, put in the nutrient tablets, plug it in and watch it grow into a nice little garden. It’s perfect for apartments, condos, trailers or as I mentioned earlier, those cold northern areas in the dead of winter.

Find out more about the AeroGarden.


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Colon Cleansing

The first Healthy Diet Podcast of 2008 is about having a healthy colon and colon cleansing.

Show notes:

  • January is a great time to cleanse your colon because all the toxic holiday junk food is behind you.
  • The colon is the body’s main elimination organ. If the colon is not working properly, toxins are not eliminated. When toxins build up it results in dis-ease of the body.
  • A healthy colon food moves through it in 24-36 hours.
  • A person should produce 2-3 bowel movements a day, one for each meal consumed. Infrequent bowel movements mean your system is backing up.
  • Some of the possible signs of an unhealthy colon are: Headaches, fatigue, back pain, gas, body odor, bad breath, acne, and allergies.
  • You can view actual pictures at from a colon cleanse (Not for the squeamish).
  • Improve colon health by eating a whole food diet high in fiber. Animal products are hard to digest and contain no fiber.
  • Find a good product like Fiber Cleanse from Hallelujah Acres.
  • Good information on colon health at .
  • Start the New Year right and improve your health by “cleaning house.”

Visit the healthy recipe section of our web site for some delicious and healthy foods so you can stay cleaned out.


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Listen Now:

icon for podpress  Colon Cleansing [12:31m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download (7066)

Raw Food Chronicle

When I was transitioning to a mostly raw, living food diet I always wondered, ‘What are people who say they are raw vegans really eating every day? I mean, I know what they say they are eating, but if I were a fly on the wall, what would I actually see these people eating.’ So, if you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall of the LeStourgeon home to see what we really eat on a day to day basis, read on. Today’s blog entry chronicles what I ate today.

The very first thing I eat everyday is actually not a food but a beverage – 8-16 oz of water is the first thing that goes into my body every day. Next, I ate an orange while checking email. After checking and responding to email, I wrote a blog entry and then watered our vegetable garden, cutting green onions and fresh herbs to use later. Once those chores were done, I ate about ¾ cups raw granola with almond milk and 1 very ripe banana.

As the morning grew late, it was time to make living tomato vegetable soup for our lunch. In addition to the tomato base, added veggies included sliced carrots, sweet potatos, corn, turnip, parsnips, and green onions. We ate the soup with dehydrated garden veggie crackers. Then I went off to the office for afternoon and evening appointments. For a snack a couple handfuls of sweet red grapes held me over until dinner and satisfied my sweet tooth.

After work, dinner was comprised of a large green salad filled with lots of different veggies made by Alan. With the salad I ate one small slice of 100% whole wheat crust veggie pizza and a few packaged tortilla chips. Today’s menu was totally healthy and satisfying.


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How to Peel an Orange

I was talking with a friend recently about our mostly raw food diet and somehow we got on the subject of eating oranges. Oranges are so delicious, but they can be awfully messy. Here in America most kids grow up learning to eat that big navel orange they get in their Christmas stocking by peeling it by hand and then breaking it into sections. This method can make quite a mess. Well folks, there is a better way this Christmas morning to enjoy your navel orange.

As my friend began to tell me how her Spanish friends eat oranges, the light got brighter, I realized that I too had used this method of orange preparation in the past, but had used it only for preparing an orange as an hor d’oeuvres. This morning, rather than juicing my orange, I decided to cut it up as my friend described and voila it was easy as pie! Here are the steps.

First, you need a very sharp, thin paring knife. Second, start at the top of your orange and draw your knife down to the very bottom, cutting through the skin. Make strips, about 1-2 inches wide, all the way around the orange. Then slice off the very top and bottom of the orange. Now, stand the orange up, steady it with a fork, and take your paring knife and slice the skin away from the flesh. Once it is completely peeled, slice the orange into bite size wedges or slices and enjoy.


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Eliminate the White this Christmas

There are so many events this time of year where we will be assaulted with the white stuff – I’m talking white sugar and flour specifically. For those of you who have courageously eliminated this poison from your diet, you may be tempted to indulge (I know I am). So what can a mostly raw vegan do to stay healthy and still enjoy the savory festivities of this time of year?

First and foremost is the number one rule of a healthy lifestyle – plan ahead. I have quite a sweet tooth at times so this is a must for me. Planning special treats that you don’t normally eat on a regular basis is key. Keep sweet fruits around that are already washed and cut up like red grapes, pineapple and Florida strawberries. These delicious fruits from the garden dazzle the eye and delight the senses.

You can also whip up some special beverages that will remind you of the holiday cheer: fresh apple juice with cranberries, almond nog (freshly made almond milk with a dash of nutmeg and vanilla) and peppermint tea – delicious! If you’re still craving that special something that reminds you of the holidays make energy balls (you can leave out the green magma if you want) and decadent dark chocolate truffles.

With all the wonderful fresh and living foods available, there is no reason to feel deprived during the holidays. Eat healthy and enjoy this Christmas season.

In His joy,


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Organic Leafy Greens And Raw Almonds Update

This month’s Healthy Diet Podcast is about news on organic leafy greens and the California raw almonds update.

Show notes:

  • $20 million, 4 year organic produce study coordinated by European Union. Found Up to 40% more antioxidants and mineral content higher. Even milk from organically raised cows had up to 90% more antioxidants than conventional milk.
  • USDA issued an advanced notice of proposed rule making recently, trying to establish uniform growing practices to protect consumer health against ecoli bacteria.
  • Farmers in California asked to take extreme measures that indirectly eliminate biodiversity on farms by destroying hedgerows around farms.
  • Natural vegetation surrounding farm fields actually has many benefits for organic farmers. It’s the bagged leafy greens produced by manufacturing type farms that typically have the ecoli problems. Visit the Cornucopia Institute for more info on these regulations.
  • Unbagged leafy greens have fewer problems and are more likely to come from smaller farms.
  • The prevalence of the virulent E. coli 0157 in our food system is due to the animal industry being allowed to raise cattle in stressful environments on unnatural diets. A grass diet for cattle vs a grain diet reduces ecoli in the stomachs.
  • Government is burdening the small farmers instead of dealing with the root issue.
    Almond farmers who sell 100 Lbs a day are required to pasteurize (aka kill) their almonds.
  • Are these regulations really about protecting consumer health when the regulations result in a decrease in nutritional value?
  • Almond framers using propylene oxide to pasteurize almonds is raising concern for consumers. Propylene oxide is a gas used for fumigation as part of the pasteurization process. Banned by European Union and Canada, the EPA identified it as a probable human carcinogen.
  • There is a war out there on our health and it begins with the farmer and we urge you to continue to support local and organic farmers.


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Listen Now:

icon for podpress  Organic Leafy Greens And Raw Almonds Update [15:03m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download (5853)