Home & Health Blogs

July 7, 2017

Why do onions make you cry when you cut them? Are leftover onions poisonous?  Enjoy these onion facts—and some folklore. Why DO Onions Make You Cry? To put it simply, fumes from onions trigger a reaction in your eyes’ glands that starts the flow of tears. When you cut the onions, you are damaging their cell walls and causing naturally occurring amino acid sulfoxides to get released, mix with other compounds in the onion, and turn into a gas that wafts into your eyes, causing irritation. Your... more

June 24, 2017

The good news is never quite as good as you wish. However, recent research suggests that eating a little chocolate a few times a week may deliver a cascade of health benefits. Though most of the confirmed benefits are relatively modest, it may help prevent or control obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. Chocolate may lower the risk of stroke and some cancers, improve athletic performance, protect brain function, and slow declines in cognitive function, help protect the skin... more

June 22, 2017

Raising chickens for eggs? Let’s talk about how to collect, clean, store, and hatch chicken eggs in the fifth installment of our Raising Chickens 101 series. Once you’ve eaten farm-fresh eggs, it’s hard to go back to grocery store eggs. Fresh farm eggs, free-range or not, are delicious, with bright yolks and firm whites. Give your hens ground oyster shell or a similar calcium supplement, available at farm suppliers, for strong eggshells. Collecting Eggs You’ll want to collect eggs every morning... more

June 9, 2017

The final chapter in our Raising Chickens series is what to do when your chicken stops laying eggs or suffers from illness and pain. Yes, this is the cycle of life and an unfortunate responsibility that comes with the job of raising chickens. If you are wondering how to get started with chickens, click here for the full 6-part Raising Chickens 101 series. How Long Do Chickens Lay Eggs? Egg laying is largely dependent on the length of the day, and most hens will stop laying when they receive... more

June 8, 2017

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of headlines about essential oils in connection to health. What are they, and why the big deal?  What Are Essential Oils? An essential oil is the liquid distilled from a plant that contains the phytochemicals that give the plant its characteristic aroma and flavor. They get their name because they represent the aromatic “essence“ of the plant they came from.   Age-Old Practice They may be trendy, but they’re not new. Chances are you or someone in your family... more

May 26, 2017

Oats are good for more than just breakfast. Read on to learn about the health benefits of oatmeal and oats, as well as what else they can do! Use Oats for Summer Relief The humble oat (Avena sativa) has a long history of medicinal uses use that continues to this day. Modern research suggests that oats or extracts of oats may reduces cholesterol, lower blood pressure, help prevent atherosclerosis, promote wound healing, and slow the proliferation of colon cancer cells. For at least 4,000 years,... more

May 18, 2017

What are invasive plants? How do you keep invasive plants from spreading? Let’s dig in! Have you ever stopped along a country roadside and dug up a flowering plant near the edge of a drainage ditch, thinking it would make a lovely addition to your garden? Or made a fall wreath from a climbing vine with gorgeous orange berries, then later tossed the wreath into the bushes out behind the garage? Or maybe you’ve decided to let a piece of the lawn go wild to reduce mowing, or bought a piece of... more

May 15, 2017

Most of us are used to thinking of “exercise” as something to do in a gym, but we’re over looking common ways to get our hearts and lungs pumping, strengthen our muscles, and stretch everything out in the ordinary activities of everyday life. Ironically, a lot of these opportunities fall under the heading of tasks, often ones we dread or put off doing! Why should you care? Almost daily, some new study reveals another health benefit of regular exercise (e.g.,This Is Your Brain on Exercise.... more

May 10, 2017

So, you’d like to get started raising chickens? Be sure you’re ready to commit! Here’s the first post of a six-part beginner’s guide to raising chickens. Let’s “start from scratch,” so to speak. There’s a lot to like about raising chickens. The eggs are a real temptation—tastier and fresher than any store eggs and better for baking, too. The shells, along with the chicken poop, can be tossed right into the compost pile. Much of the day, the birds entertain themselves, picking at grass, worms,... more

May 9, 2017

Want to learn how to raise baby chicks? Here’s a beginner’s guide to bringing up baby! (This is the fourth post in our Raising Chickens 101 series.) You can purchase chickens at several stages of development—it all depends on how long you’re willing to wait for eggs. Day-old chicks are available from hatcheries. Most farm suppliers do one or two chick orders a year, so you can get your chickens where you plan to get your feed. They’re usually under $3 each. You’ll have to wait about 6 months... more

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