By Anna Von Reitz
When a man picks up a hammer, it is impossible to tell if he is going to build a new house for a widow or bash someone’s head in.
By Anna Von Reitz
When a man picks up a hammer, it is impossible to tell if he is going to build a new house for a widow or bash someone’s head in.
By Dr. Mercola
Even if your cupboard is stocked with a few dozen of the most common spices and herbs, chances are marjoram is not one of them. One reason may be that many confuse it with oregano, in part because their botanical names and traditional monikers are similar. As The Spruce explains:
“In the Mediterranean, oregano is also known as wild marjoram, but that doesn’t mean it is marjoram. Marjoram’s botanical name is Origanum majorana, so it is the same genus as oregano but it is a different species. Marjoram’s gentler flavor is sweeter than oregano, which is slightly woodsy with a warm and aromatic taste. And marjoram’s aroma is not quite as pungent as oregano’s.”1
To add to the confusion, both are perennial, their origins are based in the Mediterranean, and they can look very much alike. Marjoram, for its part, usually grows 12 to 20 inches high, depending on the variety, with woody stems and symmetrically placed leaves. Sweet marjoram is Origanum majorana, while oregano’s scientific name is Origanum vulgare. Harvest to Table2 explains that marjoram leaves are oval with a gray-green cast, while oregano leaves are taller and broader as well as oval and dark green.
As mentioned, oregano is also sometimes known as “wild marjoram,” so when looking for a marjoram plant, make sure you know for sure that’s what it is. Varieties include golden marjoram, golden tipped marjoram, dwarf, French and sweet. That explains why some bear flowers that range from white to pink to lavender.
One way to differentiate marjoram is described in one of its earliest names — knotted marjoram — as the very tips of the plant are tangled where the flower buds will appear. Ancient Greeks used marjoram garlands for brides and grooms to wear on their heads.
In cooking, oregano is famous for its use in pizza and pasta dishes, with its strong “piney” taste. Marjoram is both milder and sweeter and can be cooked using different methods, such as roasted in meats or sautéed in vegetables, and adds complexity to soups and marinades.
You may detect marjoram’s distant relationship to the mint family of plants, as well. The milder flavor makes marjoram an herb you can use confidently in both fresh and cooked dishes, pairs well with cheese, eggs and potatoes, and is delicious sprinkled on cold salads and used in dips.
Marjoram is grown as an herb to flavor dishes but, just as importantly, imparts several impressive health advantages. It’s known as an anti-inflammatory that increases digestive enzymes for improving problems with tummy troubles, and benefits your heart due to its ability to maintain normal blood pressure and optimize cholesterol levels.
It also contains compounds that are antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral and antibacterial, which makes adding it to your food good for staving off a number of illnesses, including cold, flu and even food poisoning and staph infections. As an essential oil, marjoram has been identified for its ability to reduce insomnia, stress and anxiety and overall, lift your mood and sense of well-being. Organic Facts3 adds that marjoram is good for improving brain function and may help prevent age-related decline and dementia.
While marjoram is a perennial herb, meaning it comes back year after year, in colder climates it won’t; it doesn’t take kindly to freezing temperatures, so where frost is imminent, marjoram is considered an annual. However, it’s easy to propagate from stem cuttings and can be grown just as easily indoors or out. The “Cliff Notes” on growing marjoram are fairly straightforward, according to Planet Natural:4 It requires full sun or partial shade; rows should be spaced 8 to 12 inches apart with the same distance between plants.
When planting the seeds outdoors, marjoram should germinate in about 10 days and reach maturity in 70 to 90 days. According to the University of Illinois Extension,5 you can also soak your marjoram seeds overnight to speed up the germination process. As it happens, however, marjoram is one of those plants that thrives even in poor soil if the soil is also able to thoroughly dry in between waterings. Marjoram grows fairly quickly and should remain constantly availabile when it’s continually harvested.
It also tends to sprawl, making it an attractive plant to enhance your overall garden theme. This herb also grows well indoors in containers, and it does well on a south-facing window sill.
An alternative to growing marjoram from seeds outdoors is to grow indoors under grow lamps, which you could begin a few months before spring, but unfortunately, only half of them will germinate, according to Mother Earth News. They also grow very slowly compared to outdoors under the sun, so a faster, easier way would be to buy new plants in the spring. In addition:
“Take care not to overwater marjoram, but watch closely for signs of drought stress, too. Plants that wilt for more than a few hours in midday need more water. Cut stems back often to encourage your plant to branch, or wait until just before the flower buds form to harvest them in bulk by shearing the whole plant back by two-thirds its size.”6
Good air circulation is important to discourage pests like aphids and spider mites, especially in areas where high humidity is a problem, so a little wider plant spacing might be necessary. Steps to minimize problems with such pests in your garden usually require forethought and action sooner rather than later, including:
A good, homemade version of seed-starting mix, inspired by Rodale’s Organic Life,7 suggests combining the following items found online or at most garden centers:
To discourage rot, wilting, black spots or other types of plant diseases, water minimally (drip irrigation is a good idea) and use sulfur dust to slow the progression of the disease. On a positive note, in the garden, marjoram draws butterflies and other beneficial insects.
Besides perpetuating your healthy marjoram plants by digging them up and taking them indoors to plant in pots when frost is imminent, Mother Earth News further advises:
“Most marjoram plants are grown from cuttings, so they are well rooted and ready to grow as soon as you transplant them into warm soil. After the last spring frost, set out plants in full sun, in soil that is gritty and fast draining with a near-neutral pH.”8
When cuttings are taken in midsummer in order to root them, marjoram should regroup quickly enough for you to get a second cutting of sprigs by early fall. Three-inch-long stem tips sans flower buds can be perpetuated nearly indefinitely by taking a few easy steps, then repeating the process:
To dry sprigs of marjoram, choosing stems that look as if they might flower soon will help perpetuate the plant so it doesn’t flower and go to seed too quickly. (That’s also when the flavor is considered “peak;” however, even the flower buds are edible and add a lovely, fragrant essence to vinegars and to make olive oil-based dressings.) Line up 3-inch-long marjoram sprigs on a dry baking sheet, place in an oven set at 150 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for two or three hours.
This method retains both the essential oils in the herb as well as the vibrant green color. Store the stems with their leaves intact sitting upright in a jar or similar container in a cool dark place. As an alternative, you can cut small bundles of the herbs, tie them together with twine or burlap, and hang the bouquets upside down in a dark, well-ventilated room, preferably not touching other bundles you may have drying.
When dry, you can also strip the leaves from the stems and store them in a dry glass jar away from sunlight. Unlike some other herbs, the dried version imparts nearly the same essence as the fresh leaves. Whenever you need a little extra flavor, just strip off the leaves in the equivalent of a teaspoon or two, depending on the amount needed. If you have any left over, use it in a fine mesh bag in sachets, potpourri or floral wreaths.
By Dr. Mercola
Long a staple in Asian cuisine and embraced within traditional Chinese medicine, bok choy — also known as bok choi, pak choi or pak choy — is now recognized worldwide. This green leafy vegetable closely related to cabbage is characterized by large lettuce-like leaves on top and creamy, celery-like stalks on the bottom. Bok choy leaves are smooth and tender, with a flavor somewhere between cabbage and chard.
The entire vegetable is edible, and when served raw or lightly blanched, bok choy adds a satisfying crunch to salads, stir-fries and soups. Koreans love to ferment bok choy with daikon radish, garlic, ginger and scallions to make a traditional spicy side dish called kimchi. Others enjoy shredded bok choy as a coleslaw. It is also delicious when sautéed with ginger and garlic.
While you will likely find it and other varieties of Chinese cabbage in your local grocery store, you may want to try growing your own. Because bok choy matures quickly and regrows easily, you won’t regret the time spent cultivating this tasty, nutrient-dense vegetable.
Bok choy (Brassica rapa) is a type of Chinese cabbage related to other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale. Bok choy is characterized by broad green leaves flaring outward from an upright head. Its stalks, which resemble a fatter type of non-string celery, can be either green or white. Bok choy flower stalks emerge from the center of the plant during warm weather and can shoot up to be twice the size of the plant.
Similar to broccoli, bok choy flower stalks are characterized by brilliant yellow clusters resembling the ribs of an umbrella. The appearance of flower stalks may indicate the end of life for this cool-season vegetable. Flowering also signals the arrival of tougher, more fibrous leaves, a bitter aftertaste and, eventually, the end of the leaf harvest.
That said, some find the flower stalks to be tasty, suggesting these tender shoots possess a flavor similar to broccoli rabe. The size of mature bok choy plants depends on the variety grown. Typically, baby bok choy is less than 10 inches tall, with a stalk diameter of about 2 to 4 inches. Standard (or large) bok choy varieties reach 1 to 2 feet tall and have an average stalk diameter of around 6 inches.
Soil: Bok choy will flourish in well-draining soil with lots of rich, organic matter. If your soil is lacking nutrients, use an organic fertilizer high in nitrogen. While bok choy can survive in a soil pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.5, a pH in the 6.5 to 7.0 range is ideal.
Sowing indoors: To get a jump-start on the growing season, start bok choy seeds indoors about four to five weeks before the last expected frost in your area. Plant seeds one-half inch deep, spaced 1 inch apart. Bok choy seeds germinate quickly, usually within four to eight days.
Sowing outdoors: You can direct seed bok choy outdoors, in containers or your garden bed, beginning one to two weeks before the date of your last expected frost. The planting instructions for indoor sowing also apply outdoors.
Sun: While bok choy can handle full sun, it will thrive in partial shade. So, plan for your plants to receive three to five hours of sun daily. In summer, partial shade can prevent your plants from premature bolting.
Thinning: For best results you will want to thin plants when they have a couple of inches of growth. For full-sized bok choy, thin to allow for at least 6 to 8 inches of spacing between plants. The thinned plants are edible and will be tender and delicious, so be sure to eat them!
Transplanting: Bok choy transplants do better when you wait until nighttime temperatures are consistently maintained above 50 degrees F. If you move them outdoors in cooler temperatures, be sure to cover them. When exposed to frost or prolonged cold temperatures, bok choy plants may mistake it for winter and start to bolt as soon as the weather warms up.
Water: When planting bok choy, be sure to water your starter soil and garden bed well both before planting the seeds and immediately after. During the growing season, bok choy requires consistent watering, especially in the fall. Dry conditions will result in less juicy ribs and may also cause premature bolting.
Fortunately, bok choy is not usually affected by the common diseases that damage other members of the brassica (cabbage) family.3 It can, however, be disturbed by many of the insect pests, including cabbage loopers and cabbage worms, common to other cabbages. Use floating row covers to minimize damage from those pests as well as flea beetles, which can riddle the leaves in early spring. Aphids, slugs and white flies can also do harm to bok choy leaves.
According to Rodale’s Organic Life, you have your choice of four basic ways to grow and harvest bok choy:4
1. Baby bok choy: Plant seeds for these fast-maturing dwarf varieties 3 to 4 inches apart in every direction. Slice entire mini-heads off at the soil level when they reach a desirable size or as soon as you see the tip of a flower stalk rising out of the center of the plant. For a continuous supply, you can plant a few dozen seeds every two weeks throughout the spring and, if desired, again in midsummer to fuel your fall harvests.
2. Baby bok choy greens. Ready to harvest in as little as 30 days, baby leaves are the speediest way to grow bok choy. You’ll want to plant about 60 to 100 seeds per square foot in your garden. As soon as the plants reach 4 to 5 inches tall, you can begin harvesting the leaves by cutting about 1 inch above the base of the leaves.
After the initial cutting, your plants should continue to grow more leaves, allowing for at least one or two more harvests. For a continuous supply of fresh greens, be sure to plant new seeds every four to six weeks throughout the growing season.
3. Individual ribs and leaves. For this method, you should cultivate bok choy as you would for whole, mature plants (see below), but start harvesting as soon as the first outer leaves present with fat crisp ribs. This usually happens in about 45 to 60 days after seeding.
For intermittent harvesting (as for individuals and small families), bend individual leaves away from the plant and gently press down on the base of each rib to separate it from the central stem. For a continuous supply, plant a few seeds every four weeks throughout the spring and again in midsummer if you want a fall harvest.
4. Whole mature plants. This method requires the most patience since large bok choy plants can take from 60 to 80 days to fully mature. As mentioned, you can shorten the time in the garden by starting seeds indoors and transplanting when overnight temperatures stabilize around 50 degrees F. For a continuous supply, plant a few seeds every two weeks during springtime and again beginning in midsummer if you want a fall harvest.
Given proper growing conditions, and depending on the variety, weather and climate, the most common types of bok choy reach maturity in about 45 to 60 days. Despite the availability of literally dozens of varieties, seed packets may be generically labeled “bok choy,” without reference to a specific variety name. When identifiable, a few of the varieties you may want to consider planting include:5,6
The best technique for harvesting bok choy is to use a sharp knife to slice the plants off about 1 inch above the ground. (Remember, using the right knife can increase nutrients.) In doing so, bok choy will automatically regrow a second time. The new crop will be characterized by smaller, yet equally tasty, leaves and stalks.
Besides using it in stir-fries, raw bok choy adds a satisfying crunch and loads of nutrition to salads or sandwiches. Feel free to eat it raw as you might celery sticks, or add it to soups and stews. While some steam it and eat it with a little salt and pepper, others enjoy sautéing it with ginger and garlic. In virtually any recipe, you can substitute bok choy for other cabbages — as in coleslaw, for example. As with the Korean specialty kimchi, bok choy can also be fermented. If that sounds appealing, check out my Korean kimchi recipe.
As a dark green leafy vegetable, bok choy is a rich source of vitamins A, C and K, as well as minerals such as calcium and iron. Due to its standing as a nutrient-dense food, bok choy is featured on my Healthiest Vegetables List. Following are some of the health benefits of bok choy:7,8
Builds healthy bones
The calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc in bok choy, as well as its healthy amounts of vitamin K, support your body in building and maintaining healthy bone structure and strength.
Decreases blood pressure
Calcium, magnesium and potassium, all of which are present in bok choy, have been found to decrease your blood pressure naturally. One cup of bok choy contains about 20 percent of your recommended dietary allowance of potassium, which acts as a vasodilator to relieve tension on your blood vessels, thereby reducing the strain on your cardiovascular system.
The vitamin C found in bok choy helps stimulate the production of white blood cells, while selenium also plays a role in fighting infection by stimulating production of your body’s killer T-cells.9
Bok choy is a good source of vitamin A, including the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin — antioxidants known to protect your eyes and lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration. Vitamin A has long been associated with eye health and the prevention of macular degeneration and oxidative stress in the retina.
Possesses anticancer properties
Bok choy and some of its cruciferous cousins are known to possess anticancer properties through the presence of powerful antioxidants like vitamins A and C and phytonutrients such as isothiocyanates, lutein, sulforaphane, thiocyanates and zeaxanthin, which stimulate detoxifying enzymes and may protect against cancers of the breast, colon, lung and prostate. Folate and selenium also play anticancer roles.
Promotes healthy skin
Bok choy’s rich stores of vitamin C support your body’s need for collagen, which is vital for healthy, supple skin. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant useful for preventing skin damage caused by pollution, smoke and sun. Vitamin C also promotes collagen’s ability to reduce wrinkles and the signs of aging by improving the overall texture of your skin. The iron and zinc in bok choy also play a role in collagen production and maturation.
Whether you’ve been enjoying bok choy for years or have yet to try it, it’s a tasty, nutrient-dense vegetable well worth your time. As you make plans for your garden this year, I hope you will consider growing bok choy. If you do grow your own, you might want to try fermenting it, especially given the many benefits of fermented foods.
As always with Dr. Salla’s articles, I’m posting 1/3 of the article, highlighting from the full article, and linking to the original at the end.
“A February 28 report by the New York Times describes how Barbara Streisand paid $50,000 to have two clones made of her favorite pet dog that passed away last year. The story reveals how open source cloning has been quietly developed in scientific laboratories over the last 20 years, and is opening the door to human cloning becoming a reality…
“The first dog was cloned in 2005 by South Korean researchers at Sooam Biotech. This was followed in 2008 by a California company partnering with the South Koreans which successfully cloned three puppies from a group of five dogs.
“The fact that over 600 dogs have been cloned so far by a Korean researcher made infamous for claims about cloning humans, suggests it is only a matter of time before human cloning becomes a reality. However, according to a number of whistleblowers, cloning has been occurring since at least the 1970’s… It is the claims of Michael Wolf that are next worth considering since he says he was involved in the creation of the first human clone in a classified research facility. Chris Stonor wrote an article summarizing an interview with Wolf in October 2000:
“…more recent whistleblowers who have come forward to claim that human cloning has been around for decades in classified projects include William Tompkins, Corey Goode and Emery Smith. It is generally accepted that classified research projects are typically two or three decades ahead of their open sources equivalents. Therefore, the revelations of Beter, Wolf, Tompkins, Goode and Smith concerning the existence of human cloning experiments going as far back as the 1970’s, if not earlier, have just been scientifically vindicated by the New York Times story.
“It’s very likely that the New York Times story on Streisand is preparing the general public for human cloning as a future commercial enterprise, despite the many ethical issues it raises.”
A February 28 report by the New York Times describes how Barbara Streisand paid $50,000 to have two clones made of her favorite pet dog that passed away last year. The story reveals how open source cloning has been quietly developed in scientific laboratories over the last 20 years, and is opening the door to human cloning becoming a reality in the near future. This is not a surprise given multiple whistleblower claims that human cloning was developed by the 1970’s in highly classified military projects.
The New York Times describes how cloning has evolved since “Dolly the Sheep” who was born in 1996. The New York Times tracks how research shifted over years to clone “about two dozen other mammal species, including cattle, deer, horses, rabbits, cats, rats — and yes, dogs.”
The first dog was cloned in 2005 by South Korean researchers at Sooam Biotech. This was followed in 2008 by a California company partnering with the South Koreans which successfully cloned three puppies from a group of five dogs. By 2015, Sooam Biotech, had cloned over 600 dogs according to reports from Business Insider and NPR.
The lead Korean scientist behind the cloning is Hwang Woo Suk, who became infamous for fraudulently claiming he had cloned human embryos in 2004. Despite his fall from scientific grace, no one is doubting that he is successfully cloning dogs.
NPR reports that the cloning process is successful in about one in three attempts, and raises many ethical concerns about the number of miscarriages and the sickly pups that are eventually born.
This did not deter Streisand who used either Sooam Biotech or another Texas based company, her publicist did not reply to the New York Times about which one cloned her dog.
The New York Times summarized an interview Streisand gave with Variety Magazine about her two cloned puppies, which suggested she was satisfied with the results:
In her interview with Variety, Ms. Streisand revealed that two of her three Coton de Tulear dogs were clones. Specifically, the magazine reported that the dogs — Miss Violet and Miss Scarlett — had been cloned from cells taken from the mouth and stomach of Ms. Streisand’s late dog Samantha, who was 14 when she died last year.
Miss Violet and Miss Scarlett “have different personalities,” Ms. Streisand told Variety. “I’m waiting for them to get older so I can see if they have her brown eyes and her seriousness.”
The fact that over 600 dogs have been cloned so far by a Korean researcher made infamous for claims about cloning humans, suggests it is only a matter of time before human cloning becomes a reality.
However, according to a number of whistleblowers, cloning has been occurring since at least the 1970’s. Dr Peter Beter was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to serve as General Counsel for the Export-Import Bank of the United States, a position he held from 1961 to 1967. In an audioletter dated May 28, 1979, Dr. Beter said:…
This short video gives some ideas about where to go, what to do with the YouTube-ban-ocalypse going on right now.