The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we create them

— Albert Einstein
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Organic Essential Oil blends & Botanicals

A variety of aromatherapy blends for your health care self care needs .

Blend under full moon, and stired with love. 


Best Selling Products

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Birch Cornucopia Treasures

Birch Cornucopia Treasures

Creative bundles , of many sizes. These hand made one of a kind Eco art pieces are designed to plant suculants in or use as a loving space from our Monashee mountains. Moss and lichen are fused in with feathers, crystals and seashells.

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Michelle over years

Michelle over  years

portrait sketch by Robin le drewmichelle head garden amaranthJOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAherbs w michelle23casscade fallsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

oregon grape

Oregon Grape


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAgardeningalex grey theologueshell at monashee 2007collage michelle


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Posture Plus

Posture Plus

Did you know poor postural habits effect the whole body. The rib cage is 1/5 of the body. When it is challenged with poor postural habits which effect tone and tensions in key postural muscle a cascade of negative effects can be felt over a period of time. The old saying we may have heard from our mother’s and grandmother ” stand up straight” is excellent advise.


An architect has to take these same laws of gravity and weight distribution into account when he or she designs a building. And like a building with a poor foundation a body with poor posture is less resistant to the strains and stresses we experience over the months, years and decades of life.


Common Posture Problems

Uneven hips
Activities such as twisting to lift children out of cars, and frequent carrying of babies or young children on the hips, can cause your hips and shoulders to become uneven. Learn more about Uneven Hips >

Forward Head Posture
As a woman’s body adapts to her changing weight and shape during pregnancy, the spine and pelvis realign to serve as a counter-balance . One of the issues that can arise from this is Forward Head Posture (FHP). Learn more about Forward Head Posture >

Dowager’s Hump (or increased kyphosis)
Dowager’s hump (or increased kyphosis) is another postural issue that can occur during pregnancy. It is a condition that increases the natural curve of the upper back. Learn more about Dowager’s Hump >

Pelvis Forward
The increased weight from carrying a child can pull your pelvis forward, increasing the curve to your lower back (or increased lordosis). Learn more about Pelvis Forward >

In severe cases, long term bad posture can lead to Scoliosis, a condition that results in the spine twisting from left to right, instead of running in a straight line from top to bottom. Depending on the severity, scoliosis of the spine can have a detrimental impact on vital organs, such as your heart, liver and

Understanding the WHY to stand up straight is a little detailed , but picture are worth 1000 words.great posture image for spec. m.JPGfocused


The flexors on the front of the body are the work horses of life. We reach with our arm to access all our needs. The back extensor muscles weaken over time if they are not uses. The rhomboids are the key muscles to retract the shoulders.Rhomboid muscle

When they are strong the whole upper body is in a great alignment.

While the antagonistic muscle to the rhomboids,the pectoralis major and minor allow the shoulders to be more rounded if they are short. So understanding the balance between lengthening the pecs. and strengthening the rhomboids allows you to address a primary correction effecting the head neck and shoulders.


pec minor w nerve blood supplysitting posturechart of effects for bipelalnessforwad head muscle

An interesting FACT! For every inch our heads are too far forward the head carries an extra 10 lbs. per inch too far forward, so the muscles of the mid back can burn or spasm to compensate for post

The quadratus lumborium muscle is what I call the parenting muscle. Parents know about this muscle well ,they hold children on the hip and this muscle is often overly contracted on one side . More than one child this muscle repeats a holding pattern for years till the youngest is about 4 years old. This muscle is key to helping the pelvis come back to a balanced state. lengthening it on the contracted side truly allows the hips to square off and a normal gait can be regained.


Pregnancy and all it’s body changes effect posture in many ways.pregnant womanLearning to strengthen the erector spinal muscles and keep the pelvis in balance can save one much pain. The siatic nerve is often the primary reason posture in pregnancy triggers one to seek care for low back pain.   link to this to learn more about pregnancy and posture.

Sciatic nerve

For any mother or caregiver who has stopped counting how many times she  daily lifts, bends down, or carries her children and their assorted paraphernalia, physical therapists can offer tips on proper postural techniques and methods to accomplish these daily feats without aches and pains.  Mothers can avoid muscular strains to the neck, back and leg muscles by adjusting the way they go about their daily tasks.  It may be as simple as remembering to do a ‘half-kneel lift’ when picking up a child or holding them close to the body when carrying him/her.

Mothers-to-be should focus on arm and abdominal strengthening such as crunches and      pilates-based, core stability exercises, even before getting pregnant, since repetitive squatting, bending and pushing go hand-in-hand with motherhood.  Moms who are physically well-prepared will have a much easier time with these daily physical requirements.

Various programs can recommend simple exercises to help improve back posture such as:  stand up straight with your back against a wall, making sure that your heels, buttocks, upper back, head and arms are touching the wall.  Slowly raise your arms along the wall, going as high as you can while still keeping your elbows and shoulders touching the wall.  This exercise will help strengthen the muscles in the upper back.  Others include pelvic tilts, bridging/hip extension, upper back/shoulder and upper extremity exercises, mini squats and heel raises to improve overall strength.  Of course proper precautions should be followed including specific considerations from the patient’s physician.

It is particularly important for new mothers who are 40 years of age and older to be fit before pregnancy.  Because of the changes in hormonal concentration that accompanies pregnancy, laxity in ligaments and joints occur, so older prospective mothers tend to develop musculoskeletal injuries more often than their younger counterparts.  That’s why it is crucial that they follow a workout program featuring extension and postural exercises during pregnancy.

Various programs can also target more and more grandparents who are taking an active role in raising their grandchildren.  Education on increasing strength and flexibility, cardiovascular exercises and proper nutrition and hydration is important, as these older caregivers play an integral role in their grandchildren’s upbringing.  It has become increasingly important to educate them on how best to get physically stronger in order to prevent injury.’s-everyday-tasks


posture various types manPoor Posture
There are many signs you may have bad posture. Some of the most common are when you have rounded shoulders and a rounded upper back. If your head juts forward, that’s another sign. People with poor posture can also have an arched lower back and protruding backside. Simple back pain can also be a warning sign.

Proper Posture
A person with proper posture will have three natural curves in the back. Marshall says look for the line between your shoulders to be level, not tilted. Your head should be held straight; again no tilting or turning to one side. Another sign of good posture is when the little bumps on your spine are in a straight line down the center of your back.

Scoliosis is most common in adolescent females. It’s usually detected by either a doctor, coach or gym teacher, who will see that the spine is curved. You can spot it by looking in the mirror – if you see that the spine is curved, it could be scoliosis. Also, when people with scoliosis bend over, the curve looks worse.

Heavy Backpacks 
Poor posture in children who carry heavy backpacks is commonly known as backpack syndrome. You know a backpack is too heavy if the child leans forward or has rounded shoulders while wearing one. But, Marshall says there are ways to avoid backpack syndrome. A bag should be no heavier than 10 percent of your child’s body weight. For children under 10, the bag should be closer to five percent of their body weight. Also, encourage your child to wear both straps of the backpack.

Tips To Help Maintain Good Posture


  • Check Your Child: Poor posture, as can be seen with backpack syndrome, can begin in childhood. At your child’s next appointment with the pediatrician, ask the doctor to do the scoliosis test. Marshall says steps can be taken to correct alignment problems.
  • Keep Weight Down: Extra weight, especially a spare tire, puts excess pressure on your back and weakens the stomach muscles.
  • Exercise Regularly: If you exercise, you are more flexible and your muscles are stronger, which helps support proper posture.
  • Buy Proper Bedding: Marshall says to make sure your mattress is firm, but not too firm. This helps support your spine even while you sleep.
  • Examine Work Space: Many people spend their day at a computer. Marshall says if you are one of them, you need to make sure that your chair is high enough so that your hands are over the keyboard. Also, if you have short legs, you may want to consider buying a footrest, which will help take pressure off the legs.


spinal sublaxation re vert.

whip lash


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A.I.S. STRETCHING aka smart stretching

A.I.S. STRETCHING aka smart stretching


A. I. S. classes

Registration required. No classes at this time.

Preparing the body for movement keeps one supple and strong, it teaches the left and the right nuero information which allows grace & agility to be part of your well being.

Michelle endorses  &

During her massage therapy training she took a fantastic class from Aaron Mattes

Active Isolated stretching is a game changer when you want to lengthen muscle and correct posture.


” The Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) method of muscle lengthening and fascial release is a type of Athletic Stretching Technique that provides effective, dynamic, facilitated stretching of major muscle groups, but more importantly, AIS provides functional and physiological restoration of superficial and deep fascial planes.

Over the past few decades many experts have advocated that stretching should last up to 60 seconds. For years, this prolonged static stretching technique was the gold standard. However, prolonged static stretching actually decreases the blood flow within the tissue creating localized ischemia and lactic acid buildup. This can potentially cause irritation or injury of local muscular, tendinous, lymphatic, as well as neural tissues, similar to the effects and consequences of trauma and overuse syndromes. ”

Michelle’s training  of the osteopathic model allows  AIS technique in her treatments sessions to aid recovery of injury as well as structurally align posture thus reducing pain.Treating the casing around muscle and not just the muscle is the key to long term lengthening.When the fascial casing learns a new size the muscle it houses can fire with greater ease.


Active Isolated Stretching article for Lumby Valley Times Oct. 30 2013

By Michelle Saurette
“The fascia forms the largest system in the body as it is the system that touches all the other systems” James L Oschman, PhD
Active Isolated Stretch (A.I.S.) classes ia a game changer to gain knowledge of the myo-fascial system and how your body can reduce pain through specific stretches. This form of stretching reprograms your brain and your body to remember new ranges, so you see rapid improvements in flexibility. Gain body awareness and flexibility to shift your health into increased movement. Learn how the antagonistic muscle works hand in hand to allow your posture to be reestablished. For example the biceps and the triceps are opposing to each other. When one understands how to apply A.I.S. techniques to any muscle one realizes the whole body is connected in a remarkable manner.Weather you are recovering from an injury or wishing to invest in your personal health,  A.I.S. will open your mind up to how your body needs to move. Bring a blanket or mat, wear loose clothing and bring water to re-hydrate in this interactive class.  Preparing the body for movement keeps one supple and strong, it teaches the left and the right nuero information which allows grace & agility to be part of your well being.


During her massage therapy training she took a fantastic class from Aaron Mattes “Active Isolated stretching is a game changer when you want to lengthen muscle and correct posture.”

 Michelle has been practicing as a health care provider for over 20 years and brings a unique teaching style to all students. Visit her web page at to find out more about how she can help you on your road to well choices.
 Reconnect with yourself and take back control of your health one stretch at a time. Please arrive 10 minutes early to be fully prepared to invest in yourself .
Below are some images of AIS methodology.
Active stretching refers to a physical activity in which an individual gets in to a particular position where the muscles are stretched and maintains that position without support. Active stretching usually increases active flexibility while strengthening the agonistic muscles.


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Oil Pulling an ancient model of cleaning the mouth

Oil Pulling an ancient  model of cleaning the mouth


(NaturalNews) Oil pulling is said to be a powerful means of maintaining good health as well as an effective cure for a variety of ills. This is an ancient technique, first described in 5,000-year-old Ayurvedic texts. The practice is simple. Soon after waking, before eating or brushing your teeth, swish your mouth with a spoonful of high quality oil in order to “pull” bacteria, parasites and other toxins from your teeth and mucus membranes.

Deepak Chopra promotes the practice in his 2001 book, Perfect Health. Chopra notes that oil pulling is one of many Ayurvedic techniques valuable for purifying and strengthening the body. According to Ayurveda, organ meridians are present in the tongue just as they are in key points such as the hands, feet and ears. That makes the tongue integral for diagnosis, and care of the tongue important in preventing and treating illness.

The ancient practice of oil pulling makes sense in another way. As oil is swished back and forth before being spit out, the mouth`s mucous membranes and large veins on the underside of the tongue are likely to absorb vital nutrients from the oil. Sesame oil, one of the oils traditionally recommended for this practice, has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Plus it offers iron, calcium, magnesium, copper and phosphorus and vitamins A, B and E.

The practice of oil pulling has been shown effective at removing bacteria in the mouth. A two-week study at Meenakshi Ammal Dental College and Hospital in Chennai, India found that two weeks of oil pulling caused a significant reduction in Streptococcus mutans count, reduced plaque and modified gingival index scores.

Adherents of oil pulling claim that the practice does more than improve dental health. There`s anecdotal evidence for improvements in joint pain and arthritis, migraines and sinus infections, skin disorders such as eczema and persistent rashes, allergies, digestive problems, and more.

Oil Pulling Instructions

Soon after waking (before eating, drinking or brushing your teeth) take up to a tablespoon of oil. Tradition prescribes cold pressed sesame or sunflower oil. Many people have found good results with other high quality cold pressed oils such as coconut oil, flaxseed oil, walnut oil, olive oil or grapeseed oil. You may want to experiment to find the right one for you.

Swish the oil back and forth, pulling it through your teeth and around all surfaces of your mouth. Ideally you should do this for 10 to 20 minutes. Chances are good that it will take a few days to adjust to this procedure. You may need to spit the oil out after only a few minutes when you start. The oil will mix with your saliva, becoming thin and white. It`s said that when it becomes white, this is an indicator that it has “pulled” toxins, and you can spit it out.

Don`t swallow the oil. It`s best to avoid spitting the oil in your sink on a regular basis. Flush it down the toilet. Or you might develop the habit of spitting in a container where you collect compost.

After spitting, some say it`s best to rinse your mouth well with warm salt water. Others suggest brushing your teeth with baking soda or natural toothpaste. It`s generally agreed that you need to drink a glass or two of water after clearing your mouth by one or other of these methods.

Learn more:

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Humming Birds

Humming Birds

We love  humming birds.

soon I will post the details & facts about humming birds

Over the past 14 years the numbers have been growing

here are some of the photos we captured enjoy!

We expect about 200 humming birds each year, they are so sweet  filling the yard with life.


one day the brightest rainbow graced its glow in front of the house after a hail storm


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Jerusalem Artichoke

Jerusalem Artichoke

If you are planning on planting the JA this Fall this is the time of year to do so.

Presentation will cover seed tuber sales to new growers, off season alcohol production at winery facilities , JA flour processing , non GMO crystalline fructose production , inulin extraction , non GMO feed silage  and of course , ethanol processing , BIO Methane production and non GMO DDGs for animal feeds. As most orchards have drip irrigation  the tuber  harvests will be higher than usual . JA production is so abundant that even 10 acres could provide a living.

I have received the paperwork for the USA  Renewable Fuel Standards , RFS2 ,  to have the crop declared as an Advanced Bio-fuel  Crop. Sweet Sorghum  was recently given that status in the US and will be replacing corn and grains crops  now used for ethanol processing. Many ethanol plants have been shuttered in the US because of drought conditions  and the high cost of corn. I see the time when Greenfield and other Canadian ethanol producers will need alternative Canadian grown biomass crops to replace corn and grains.  Jerusalem artichoke crops , carbohydrate biomass , will have its place in the sun…   Larry Whetstone.

Jerusalem artichokes are native to the central regions of North America. The plant is technically an evergreen perennial, but cultivated as annual crop. Once established, it grows vigorously with multiple branches, reaching about 5-10 feet height, slightly taller than sunflower plant, and bears many golden-yellow color flower heads at the terminal end of branches.

The plant bears numerous starchy edible rhizomes firmly attached to stem below the ground surface. The tubers feature grey, purple, or pink color skin externally and sweet delicate textured ice-white flesh inside. Some roots have quite bumpy and extremely knobby surface making them cleaning a tougher task. Each tuber weighs about 75 to 200 g.


Health benefits of Jerusalem artichoke

  • Jerusalem artichoke is moderately high in calories; provides about 73 calories per 100 g, roughly equivalent to that of potatoes. The root has negligible amounts of fat and contains zero cholesterol. Nevertheless, it’s high-quality phyto-nutrition profile comprises of dietary fiber (non-starch carbohydrates), and antioxidants, in addition to small proportions of minerals, and vitamins.
  • It is one of the finest source dietary fibers, especially high in oligo-fructose inulin, which is a soluble non-starch polysaccharide. Inulin should not be confused for insulin, which is a hormone. The root flesh provides 1.6 mg or 4% of fiber. Inulin is a zero calorie, saccharine, and inert carbohydrate, which does not metabolize inside the human body, and thereby; make this tuber an ideal sweetener for diabetics and dieters.
  • Soluble as well as insoluble fibers in it add up to the bulk of food by retaining moisture in the gut. Studies suggest that adequate roughage in the diet help reduce constipation problem, and offer some protection against colon cancers by eliminating toxic compounds from the gut.
  • The tuber contains small amounts of anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E. These vitamins together with flavonoid compound like carotenes helps scavenge harmful free radicals, and thereby offers protection from cancers, inflammation and viral cough and cold.
  • Further, Jerusalem artichokes are a very good source of minerals and electrolytes, especially potassium,iron, and copper. 100 g of fresh root contains 429 mg or 9% of daily-required levels of potassium. Potassium is a heart friendly electrolyte; aids reduce blood pressure and heart rates by countering pressing effects of sodium.
  • 100 g of fresh sunchoke contains 3.4 mg or 42.5% of iron, probably the highest amount of iron among the common edible roots and tubers.
  • It also contains small levels of some of valuable B-complex group of vitamins such as folates, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and thiamin.Have you ever wanted the joyful flavour of potatoes without the guilt? The solution is sunchokes!Also called Jerusalem artichokes, sunchokes are a root vegetable with a tough dark skin, white and starchy-tasting inside and a flavour that closely matches potato. Sunchokes are superstars when it comes to intestinal health. These little roots are packed with inulin, a non-digestible dietary fibre with strong prebiotic properties. Inulin contains fructans, which are food for beneficial bacteria in the gut. By feeding the good intestinal soldiers, it’s possible to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. Sunchokes also play a role in the prevention of colon cancer. Studies show that the byproducts created during the fermentation process of the dietary fibre inulin, suppress and block cancerous tumour cell growth in the colon.



Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), Fresh, raw,
Nutrition Value per 100 g,
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 73 Kcal 3.7%
Carbohydrates 17.44 g 13%
Protein 2 g 4%
Total Fat 0.01 g <1%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g 4%
Folates 13 µg 3%
Niacin 1.3 mg 8%
Pantothenic acid 0.397 mg 8%
Pyridoxine 0.077 mg 6%
Riboflavin 0.060 mg 4.5%
Thiamin 0.200 mg 17%
Vitamin A 20 IU <1%
Vitamin C 4 mg 7%
Vitamin E 0.19 mg 1%
Vitamin K 0.1 µg <1%
Sodium 4 mg <1%
Potassium 429 mg 9%
Calcium 14 mg 1.4%
Copper 0.140 mg 15%
Iron 3.40 mg 42.5%
Magnesium 17 mg 4%
Manganese 0.060 mg 2%
Selenium 0.7 µg 1%
Zinc 0.12 mg 1%
Carotene-ß 12 µg
Carotene-α 0 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 0 µg

Selection and storage

Cleaned sunchokes.
Photo courtesy: mlinksva

Sunchokes are commonly found in the US markets year-round. Fresh farm harvest hit the markets from October and last until winter and spring seasons. In the stores, buy smooth surfaced tubers as they pose less difficulty in the preparation. Look for average sized, clean, firm tubers. Avoid any sprouted, diseased, bruised roots.

Once at home, they should be stored in the refrigerator set at 33 to 35 degree F, and at very high relative humidity.


Preparation and serving methods

Wash the tubers thoroughly in cold water with gentle scrub. Although peel is fine to eat, it is generally discarded using a vegetable-peeler. The root artichokes are high in iron contents, and cut ends turn brown soon on exposure to air, as in apples. To prevent this, drop cut pieces into a bowl of cold acidulated water

Jerusalem artichokes are very versatile vegetables. The tubers can be used in various ways in cooking. They can be eaten raw like parsnips in salads, or boiled and mashed, roasted, or sautéed like potato. Do not overcook, as they turn soft and mushy rather quickly.

Here are five more reasons to fall in love with sunchokes:

1. Sunchokes can help to lower blood pressure. High levels of inulin bypasses digestion and reaches the lower gut to feed the good bacteria that resides there. Studies show that feeding the indigenous micro flora and warding off bad bacteria is an important part of the treatment and prevention of hypertension.

2. Sunchokes are high in potassium. A one cup serving of sunchokes contains 643 mg of potassium, which is essential for overall health and can help to reduce heart disease. Increasing your dietary potassium, in addition to reducing excess sodium, is especially beneficial for people at risk for high blood pressure.

3. Eating sunchokes can decrease blood cholesterol. Along with normalizing blood triglyceride levels, these small vegetables affect the way that the body metabolizes fats thanks to their high levels of probiotics.

4. One cup of sunchokes provides you with a quarter of your daily ironYou would have to eat three ounces of red

meat to get the same amount of iron. The sunchoke is a great way to increase your iron intake especially since it has no fat and only 109 calories per cup. Iron is an essential component of the proteins involved in the delivery of oxygen to each and every cell in your body. A deficiency of iron limits the delivery of oxygen to the cells resulting in fatigue and decreased immunity.

5. Sunchokes are high in protein. Not only does this wonderful root contain more protein than most other root vegetables, it’s particularly high in the sulfur-containingessential amino acids taurine, methionine, homocysteine and cysteine. These sulfur-containing amino acids are essential for maintaining the flexibility of connective tissue as well as allowing the liver carry out detoxification. Try this homemade stew to add these healthy benefits of sunchokes to your life.

source :


Includes Recipe Below


When a favored member of the vegetable family sports a name that has no connection to its origin or genus, it makes one just a little curious. How did the Jerusalem artichoke earn its name? We know it didn’t come from Jerusalem, but where did it come from? Was it brought to Jerusalem by some famous explorer? Does this plant have a religious connection to Jerusalem? How is its name connected to the artichoke family? Our private investigators tracked down all of these leads and came up with some fascinating chronicles about the Jerusalem artichoke, also called sunchoke.

The Jerusalem artichoke has no relatives in the artichoke family but is actually a member of the sunflower family. A native of North America, it grew in the wild along the eastern seaboard from Georgia to Nova Scotia. The explorer Samuel de Champlain first encountered sunchokes growing in an American Indian vegetable garden in Cape Cod, Massachusetts in 1605. In his opinion they tasted like artichokes, a name that he carried back to France. The American Indians called them sun roots and introduced these perennial tubers to the pilgrims who adopted them as a staple food.

Our detectives continued their search. Apparently the French began growing these tubers successfully because they were sold by Parisian street vendors who named them topinambours, the French word for tuber. Six Brazillian Indians from the Topinambours tribe were brought back to the curious French in 1613 after an expedition, and the street hawkers adopted this name for their prized tubers from the Americas.

There is a record of Champlain sending some of the tubers to his native France after tasting them a second time in Canada. It’s very likely he sent them home from Massachusetts, too, because a book called Histoire de la Nouvelle France ,published in 1609, makes mention of this vegetable before Champlain’s exploration in Canada.

Our sleuths have surmised that when Jerusalem artichokes arrived in Italy sometime before 1633, the Italian word for sunflower, “girasole” which means “turning to the sun,” was somehow later corrupted into the word “Jerusalem.” This corruption combined with Champlain’s likening the taste of the vegetable to an artichoke brings our mystery to a close.

Jerusalem artichokes made their way across Europe, reaching England in 1617 and Germany by 1632. An early edition of the Oxford English Dictionary mentioned “Artichocks of Jerusalem” in 1620.

As in all trends, there is a rise in popularity, and then a fall into obscurity. France readily accepted the Jerusalem artichoke in the early 1600s, possibly because of the name artichoke. The potato, on the other hand, was regarded with suspicion and rejected. When the potato was finally accepted, the Jerusalem artichoke fell into rejection because people thought it caused leprosy. This belief was attributed to the irregular shape and brown mottled skin that resembled the deformed fingers of those with leprosy.

In times of desperation, the Jerusalem artichoke became sustenance. It was during a famine that occurred throughout Europe in 1772 that the Jerusalem artichoke could be quickly and easily grown to provide nourishment. During World War II the tubers regained some recognition in several countries because they were a food that could be bought without a ration card. The explorers Lewis and Clark were fortified by Jerusalem artichokes during a time when it was difficult to find ample food on their expedition.

The Jerusalem artichoke is a tuber that grows underground like the potato but is harder to harvest because the tubers cling to the roots and become entwined. Cultivated varieties of sunchokes grow in clumps close to the main root or rhizome while wild ones grow at the end of root. Like their family members of sunflowers, they can grow from 3 to 12 feet high with large leaves and flowers that are 1 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter. They grow well in almost all soil with the exception of very heavy clay soil, but do best in alkaline soil.

Sunchokes are easy to grow from tubers that weigh about 2 oz. and have 2 or 3 sprouts emerging. Plant them deep, about 3 to 4 inches underground. They do best when planted in little hills for better water retention and to make harvesting easier. Plant them in the spring through early summer, and harvest them fall through early winter. Be aware that any tubers left in the ground that were not harvested will reseed themselves. Many farmers are reluctant to go into heavy production of the sunchokes because of their ability to take over and become a serious weed problem.

Sunchokes are often called a starchy plant, but the starch is in the form of inulin, a polysaccharide from which fructose can be produced. Because this starch, or inulin, is not easily digestible by everyone, it may be best to introduce the vegetable in small amounts. John Goodyer, one of England’s pioneer planters of the early 1600’s wrote,

“But in my judgement, which way soever they be drest and eaten they stir up and cause a filthie loathesome stinking winde with the bodie, thereby causing the belly to bee much pained and tormented, and are a meat more fit for swine, than men.”

We find their delicate sweetness and nutty flavor so refreshing we include them in our repertoire of vegetables regularly. They have a crispness that resembles water chestnuts and can even stand in for water chestnuts in salads and stir fries.

Nutritionally, the sunchoke’s most outstanding benefits lie in the 327 mg. of potassium for a half-cup serving. That same half-cup serving has 57 calories, 1.5. gr. protein, 1.2 gr. fiber, 10.5 mg. calcium, 10 mcg. folacin along with smaller amounts of niacin and thiamine.

SHOPPING: Jerusalem artichokes are usually packaged in plastic and found in the produce department of most supermarkets. Since they are not in great demand, it’s important to examine them carefully. Fresh vegetables look plump and vibrant. Inspect carefully to avoid those that have a greenish tinge. Make sure they are not sprouting, or are shriveled or moldy.

SunchokeSTORAGE: Keep the tubers wrapped in plastic and refrigerate. They will keep up to two weeks, but it’s always best eat them as fresh as possible for the best flavor and nutrition. Their sweetness is known to increase when refrigerated after harvesting. If you grow your own, refrigerate them for a day or two before consuming.

PREPARATION: Scrub the sunchokes clean with a vegetable brush. Since much of their nutrients are stored just under the skin, it’s best not to peel them. Once cut, sunchokes discolor quickly, so it’s best to cut them close to serving time, or cut and immerse them in water with lemon or vinegar to prevent oxidation. Cooking them with the skins on may cause a darkening of the skins because of their high iron content.

Slice sunchokes and enjoy the crunch they add to your salad.
Slice and serve them along with crudites and dips.
Shred them into a slaw. Dice them into a chopped salad.
Slice, dice, or shred and marinate in a little extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice or rice vinegar
Coarsely chop sunchokes and add to the blender when preparing raw soups.

STIR FRY: Slice, dice, or shred and stir fry along with other fresh vegetables in a little extra virgin olive oil. They will become softened in about 4 to 6 minutes. For a tender crisp texture, stir fry about 2 to 4 minutes.

BAKED: Sunchokes can be baked whole or sliced. Toss them in a bowl with a little extra virgin olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Set the oven temperature at 375 and bake 30 to 45 minutes for whole, and 20 to 25 minutes for sliced, turning them half way through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

STEAMED: Coarsely chop the Jerusalem artichokes and put them into a steamer basket. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Continue at high heat and steam for 5 to 8 minutes. Test for softness. Remove and season to taste or mash like potatoes.

BOILED: Sunchokes can be boiled whole or cut as desired. Bring a covered saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add sunchokes and boil for 10 to 15 minutes for whole, and 5 to 8 minutes for cut up. Season as desired or mash like potatoes.

As you can see, Jerusalem artichokes can be enjoyed with any meal, adding a special taste and texture to the palate. Below is a recipe that is as unique as the plant itself:


Raw sunchokes, sometimes called Jerusalem artichokes, are spotlighted as the featured ingredient in this unique sandwich. Crunchy pecans and a smooth creamy avocado sauce pair up in supporting roles. Serve the sandwich with a salad and fruit for a tasty light meal.

Sunchoke Pecan Sandwich is one of the delicious recipes in Zel Allen’s cookbook The Nut Gourmet: Nourishing Nuts for Every Occasion published by Book Publishing Company in 2006.

Yield: 3 to 4 sandwiches


1 ripe avocado 


1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 


1/4 teaspoon salt 


Dash cayenne 


1/4 to 1/2 cup (60 to 120 ml) organic canola oil

2 cups (480 ml) coarsely shredded sunchokes
1/2 cup (120 ml) raw or toasted pecans, coarsely chopped or coarsely ground
1/4 red bell pepper, finely diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

6 to 8 slices whole grain bread
12 to 16 large basil leaves
3 ripe tomatoes, sliced
3 to 4 butter lettuce leaves


  1. To make the avocado sauce, wash the avocado, cut it in half, scoop out the flesh, and place it in the blender. Add the lemon juice, salt, and cayenne and blend briefly. With the machine running, slowly add the canola oil, using just enough to create a thick, creamy sauce. Stop the machine occasionally to scrape down the sides of the blender jar and stir the mixture.
  2. To make the sunchoke filling, combine the sunchokes, pecans, and red bell pepper in a medium bowl. Add enough of the avocado sauce to moisten and hold the mixture together. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
  3. Spread a thin coating of the avocado sauce over one side of each of the bread slices. Spread the sunchoke mixture over half the bread slices and top with the basil leaves, tomato slices, and lettuce. Place the remaining bread slices over the filling and cut the sandwiches in half.
Biodiesel breaking point
Report says increased mandate for fuel in U.S. will impact already tight vegetable oil supplies, Sept. 18, 2012
by Susan Reidy

With the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) planning to mandate the use of 1.28 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel in 2013, use of vegetable oils is expected to skyrocket, increasing competition among end users.

Because commercial production of cellulose ethanol has yet to materialize, biomass-based diesel has to provide a larger percentage of the advanced fuels mandate, Rabobank said in a report released in May. About 96% of the biomass-based diesel is biodiesel, which is mostly made from vegetable oil feedstocks.

U.S. soy oil use in the 2011-12 crop year is estimated at 4 billion pounds, an increase from the 2.55 billion pounds used in 2010-11. Soy oil use for biodiesel is increasing in other regions including South America and Europe, Rabobank said. Additionally, increasing demand for processed food in developing nations is increasing demand for vegetable oils.

This comes at a time when world vegetable oil stocks-to-use ratio is at its lowest level in the last 40 years. U.S. corn acres are expected to increase 4% this year, but the soybean planted area is expected to drop 1%, further tightening world supplies, Rabobank said.

“There simply is not enough vegetable oil in the world to feed the U.S. advanced biofuels mandate,” Rabobank said in its report. “Something’s got to give.”

Growing production

U.S. biodiesel production has increased dramatically in the last several years but has fluctuated with changing tax policies. The $1-per-gallon tax credit, first enacted in 2004, spurred production. When it lapsed at the end of 2009, production plummeted to about 300 million gallons.

With the tax credit reinstated in 2011, production jumped to a record 1.1 billion gallons, 300 million gallons higher than the mandated 800 million gallons. Production through May of this year has reached 445.9 million gallons, according to the EPA.

Capacity will not constrain production, Rabobank said, since the industry has had idle capacity for years. Total capacity in the U.S. is estimated at 2.9 billion gallons.

Feedstock availability will be the most important issue for future biodiesel production, according to the report. A mandate of 1.28 billion gallons of fuel will require an oil input of 9.73 billion pounds, assuming use of 7.6 pounds per gallon. That amounts to a 1.4-billion-pound increase from 2011 levels.

The EPA breaks down the total oil requirement by type with virgin vegetable oil providing 47%, or 4.56 billion pounds; yellow grease and rendered fats providing 30% or 2.888 billion pounds; and corn oil (mostly from ethanol) providing 23% or 2.28 billion pounds.

The breakdown is in line with historical averages, Rabobank said, but the report noted that the history of biodiesel production is relatively short and 1.28 billion gallons of fuel represents a significant increase over average production in the last several years.

“The volume increases required from each individual feedstock in future years will inevitably cause dislocations affecting other consumers of oils and fats,” the report said.

Oil impact

U.S. biodiesel producers are demanding more soy oil at a time when crush margins are falling. Distillers grains production that is replacing soy meal, a gain in market share by Argentina, China’s demand for unprocessed soybean imports and over-capacity have hurt crush margins, Rabobank said. Three U.S. soy crush plants have shut down since 2010.

According to a U.S. EPA and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) analysis, increased soy oil use for biodiesel will be offset by reduced exports. Rabobank said. However, the magnitude of the shift will tighten global vegetable oil balance sheets that are already at their lowest levels since 1976-77.

“To increase production, the biodiesel industry will have to compete with growing emerging market countries for soy oil,” Rabobank said in its report.

To meet increasing soy oil demands, there is little that can be done on the supply side. With the exception of one region in Brazil, there are few other areas to increase soybean acreage, the report said. While there is excess crush capacity in the U.S. and China, increasing the crush will exacerbate the glut in protein meal created by distillers grains, Rabobank said.

Canola could be one source of relief for increasing vegetable oil demand. Increased end-user demand and favorable economics have led to record canola production in Canada. The USDA estimates the 2011-12 crop at 14.165 million tonnes, an increase of 182% over 2001-02.

Oil yields are higher from canola at between 42% and 44%, compared to soy at 19%. Thus, incremental production increases add more to the oil supply than incremental increases of soy production. This could push U.S. wheat growers toward a canola rotation.

Canola is approved by the EPA as a feedstock for biodiesel, but because of its higher price compared to soy, it is not a biodiesel producer’s first choice, Rabobank said.

Corn oil, extracted by dry mill ethanol producers, will be another source of oil for biodiesel. Rabobank said U.S. dry mills are now producing 1 billion pounds of corn oil, a rate that could increase to 2.2 billion pounds by 2013. At that amount, corn oil could account for 280 million gallons of biodiesel production.

It’s uncertain what rate of corn oil extraction producers will want in order to maximize profit from both distiller’s grains and the corn oil, the report said. Currently, de-oiled distiller’s grains are not selling at a significantly discounted price and corn oil is selling at a discount of 10¢ per pound to edible corn oil.

Another feedstock option are rendered fats, produced at a rate of about 10 billion pounds per year. Roughly 20% to 30% of biodiesel is made from rendered fats and oils. However, unlike other feedstocks, rendered fats cannot be increased in response to increasing demand for biodiesel.

Rendering production volumes are driven by animal protein production, which has been on a downward trend since 2006, Rabobank said. Biodiesel producers will have to compete with other end users such as the pet food and livestock industries, if it wants to increase the use of rendered fats.

“Use of rendered fats and oils in biodiesel is complicated by the fact rendered products have a higher cloud point than soy, corn or canola oils, meaning that it does not flow as well at cold temperatures,” Rabobank said. “Players in the rendering industry say that biodiesel is unlikely to be maintained at greater than 30% of production for an extended period of time, while the U.S. EPA places the figure at 50%.”


Finding feedstock to produce 1.28 billion gallons of biodiesel will be tricky. With 95% of dry mill ethanol plants implementing corn extraction, that market will tap out at 300 million gallons of biodiesel production. The rendering industry estimates it will only supply about 400 million gallons of biodiesel production. The remainder will have to be derived primarily from soy oil, Rabobank said.

Other possibilities including canola oil, but its price premium to soy oil is a limiting factor. Palm oil can be a biodiesel feedstock, but the EPA has rejected it, eliminating it from the renewable fuels program.

Increased biodiesel production will absorb an incremental 635,000 tonnes of vegetable oil supply from 2011 to 2013. At the same time, global overall vegetable oil supply and demand are growing at around 5 million tonnes per year. Rabobank concludes there is not enough vegetable oil to supply the growing biodiesel production mandate.


BioMethane from Jerusalem Artichoke Tops

JA as Crop of the Future Country Life AdFree 02 13

Here is a link to JA harvester video

If you wish to be growing this crop I can arrange seed to come to you.


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