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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

jiovi at Foxgreen Farms - Sea Buckthorn and Reishi Infusion Lotion!

The Age-Defense Lotion Multi-Action Sea Buckthorn Complex is a soothing oil blend full of omega fatty acids, anti-inflammatories, antioxidants and vitamin C

This combination of shea butter, rose hip oil, jojoba oil, mango butter, sea buckthorn oil, meadofoam oil and much more has been very well liked by over 100 customers in the cream or butter form.  I have had requests for a lotion formulation so here it is!  The 2 oz. squeezable container is perfect for keeping with you all the time.  Great for both men and women.    
  • Good product ,love it!
  • Will buy again.
  • Great product. Lovvve this stuff!!!!!!
  • Great Great - description perfect love it
  • Love it
Well, we can't complain when "love" is the chosen work describing this unique and special product.  Great for all skin types.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sea Buckthorn Anti-Aging Study

7 Weeks to younger skin

In December of 2012, three researchers collaborated from two different countries to evaluate the anti-aging effects of Hippoohae rhamoides.  The results were impressive. 
They used a water and oil emulsion made from seabuckthorn fruit and applied it to test subjects for 7 weeks. 
The skin elasticity was evaluated using some fancy scientific equipment.  The most simple to describe - a test where a small round portion of skin was subjected to a specific negative pressure inside a tube.  Basically it was vacuumed into the tube slightly.  The amount of skin deformed was measured after the tube removed, the redness and recovery was also noted. 
In week 1 to 3 there was not a conclusive difference between the Hippophae application and the placebo.  I should mention the placebo was an equivalent water-in-oil cream preparation but lacked the Hippophae extract. 
In weeks 3-7 the differences became significant. The deformation of the skin from the tube test lessened much more than the placebo preparation.  This benefit began to level off approaching week 7 of the study.  
R0 is amount of skin deflection
The scientists attributed this to the free radical scavenging activity of Hippophae rhamnoides.  The natural anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C, Flavonoides, Carotenes, and Tocopherols.

Bottom line is that skin mechanical properties were markedly improved with the addition of Sea Buckthorn to a skin cream.  You can read the full study here -

Craig and I also invite you to try our very popular skin and hair care jiovi product line.  Due to popular demand, we have just added a hand and body lotion.  It is a bit more silky than the "butters" and I expect the rave reviews will keep on coming.  Check it all out by clicking on the jiovi logo below. When you arrive at the site, navigate to "Nutrimedics"
click for

Friday, February 20, 2015

Plant Profile - Siberian Peashrub - (Caragana aborescens)

Siberian Peashrub - One of the most talked about plants in permculture.

This is what the  Agroforestry Reasearch Trust  has to say about the Siberian Peashrub:

"Siberian pea shrub. A large leguminous shrub from Siberia, reaching 6 m (20 ft) high and growing some 40 cm per year. The seeds, produced in numerous pods following yellow flowers, are edible when cooked (having a pea flavour), as are the young pods. A fibre is obtained from the bark. Bees visit the flowers and the species is a good fixer of nitrogen. A very hardy hedging and windbreak tree, hardy to -40°C."

Key benefits to your perennial food forest garden of Siberian Peashrub:
  1. "Peas" when young pods are picked are delicious
  2. Yellow flowers have a pea flavor and can be used in salads.
  3. Mature pods contain 34% protein and are excellent animal fodder.  This is especially useful for your chickens.  They love em. They do not contribute to livestock bloating
  4. This plant is a nitrogen fixer
  5. Perennial and extremely hardy.  (-40 to -50 degrees F)
  6. Very tolerant of poor soils, and drought conditions.
  7. Excellent windbreak, may aid in your micro-climate design 
  8. Wide soil PH tolerance or 5-8.5
  9. Prefers full sun and can tolerate some shade.
  10. Fiber can be obtained from the bark.
  11. Bees love the flowers (nectar plant)
  12. Provides cover and home for native birds
  13. Begins producing in year 2-3 and yield - good data unavailable but large yields can be expected from mature plants.
  14. A blue dye can be obtained from leaves.
  15. Lacewings prefer to lay eggs and parasitic wasps prefer to rest on Siberian Peashrub leaves.
  16. Helps restore and rejuvenate poor soil
  17. Trimmings can be used as a great mulch.

close view of leaves
mature pea pods from Siberian Peashrub

Easy to grow from seed.

I started these about 10 days ago.  It may have been a little early, but I was testing seed viability. Looks like nearly 100% germination.  As the story goes, Siberian peasants used the seeds and pods as fodder for their chickens over winter.  This is a real versatile, useful, and potentially a survival must for your garden.  One note of caution, there is some concern of invasivness.  My general opinion is that it is not.  It can take advantage of disturbed or degraded areas as a pioneer plant and most species are thorny.  Rebuilding soil and the other advantages outweigh evidence of unwanted spread of this plant.  
We have seeds and plants for sale this spring.  Visit for all the choices. 

All the very best to everyone.  I am still confident winter will change into spring this year.  After such a cold and snowy winter, spring is going to feel absolutely wonderful!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Farmers Pioneering Sea Buckthorn Crop in the UK

Are you a would-be grower?

There is growing interest in the UK for the plant, whose berries are used in food and drink products, as well as natural cosmetics and pharmaceutical products in Asian countries and a growing list of other countries.
In 2009, David’s farm business (David is pictured above), JW & FD Eagle, joined the Incrops Enterprise hub, based at the University of East Anglia, on a study trip to the International Sea Buckthorn Conference in Belokurika in Siberia which was hosted by the Lisavenko Research institute for Horticulture for Siberia.
The Lisavenko Institute has been working with sea buckthorn since the 1930s and today has more than 200 varieties under evaluation, with more than 40 released for commercial use.
Following the visit, a collaborative agreement was formed with Lisavenko and since then plants have been imported annually for trials in East Anglia. There are now more than 5000 plants in the ground at Devereux Farm in north east Essex, representing 30 varieties from Germany, Finland, Latvia and Siberia.
Sea buckthorn is a perennial plant that grows wild on the coasts of the UK. It is distributed across Europe, northern and central Asia and is capable of living in extreme climates found more than 3 miles up in the Himalaya, on the steppes of Mongolia and Siberia, and even in arctic areas of Scandinavia.
David and Matt have been to annual international conferences in Siberia, India, Germany, Tibet and Finland to broaden their knowledge of the crop.
David has 5000 plants on about 8.5 acres at his 600 acre arable farm, which runs down to the sea walls next to the Hamford Water national nature reserve.
“Our sea walls are currently in good condition but the future may not be so certain. Developing a high value crop that requires a modest area diversifies but maintains the farm’s core agricultural business in an era when the risks of climate change are still difficult to evaluate,” he explained.
“The other factor that makes developing this new crop easier is that availability of specialist expertise in Europe where sea buckthorn has been grown for several decades.
“The reason for growing sea buckthorn is that the berry is used in a wide variety of product – food, drink, natural cosmetics, and nutraceutical products. It is a new ingredient with a unique taste that is high in vitamins; omega 3,6,7,9 fatty acids; and a complex of polyphenols that provides the health benefits that have been associated with sea buckthorn for centuries.”
There was rising demand for the crop in Europe, he said.
“This presents an enterprise with growth potential whereas our arable income is limited by area and market forces,” he said.
In 2012 the British group sponsored a meta-analysis carried out by the Medical Research Council in Cambridge into studies that show whether sea buckthorn offers benefit for cardio vascular disease,” he said.
“Both of us and members of our families have been taking sea buckthorn daily for since working with sea buckthorn in the form of oil capsules and juice as we notice it keeps winter ailments under control and generally helps to keep us fit and working.”
There are six species and 12 sub-species, meaning the plant is diverse in appearance and character, ranging from a dwarf shrub to an 18m tree. The berries that it produces range in colour but are typically orange and has around 190 different phytochemicals that are believed by some to offer health benefits.
Sea buckthorn is currently being grown commercially in over 30 countries with an established growers’ network across eastern and northern Europe. Berries are used in food and drink products, as well as natural cosmetics and pharmaceutical products in Asian countries.

Permaculture as Soil Farming

At the very root, soil care is at the top of the list in permaculture systems.  In the video, it states over 2000 years is needed to create only 4 inches of soil.  My great Uncle Howard living in Norway, ME took me for a walk in the woods when I was very young.  We went up over a small ridge and on the other side was an expansive downward slope full of very large white pine trees all planted in neat rows.  These trees must have been over 50 years old.  On that walk, I remember two things.  One was that my grandfather an Uncle Howard, as children, planted those trees as seedlings.  The other thing was he told me it took 500 years to create 1 inch of soil.  That conversation happened nearly 50 years ago.  He was a smart man and I was very lucky to be in his company.  I will have to go back to that spot some day and see if those trees still exist.  If they do, they will be nearly 100 years old and I will be walking on a tenth of an inch more soil than the first walk over the hill with Uncle Howard.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Community Lists Requirements It Wants Approved Before Supporting Maine North Woods National Park | National Parks Traveler

Taken in 2009 on a hike to the top of Mount Katahdin

Here in the Central Highlands of Maine and stretching to the North Pole there is mostly vast wilderness with the occasional small town.  These places have been home for generations of local residents.  Change doesn't come along often.  When it does, there is resistance. So it has been for the Maine Woods National Park proposal over the last decade or so.  One of the larger towns in the area has been a leader in the resistance movement.  I think the park would be good for the area and I always have.  But then, I am from "away" as they say here, and can see the advantages of the increased economic activity.

Chimney Pond at the base of 3 peaks in Central Maine

If the wood pulp and paper mills were still a vibrant industry, then maybe continuing to circle the wagons, protecting small town life, as it always has been, would be the best choice.  Without the mills in operation, the population is shrinking and younger people move away to find work.  .

Chimney Pond in the center left of the photo from the near the top

The article outlines the conditions the good people of the area will accept a dialog possibly making what could eventually be the largest National Park and/or National Forest in the country.  Very exciting on many levels.  It just may indicate the beginning of a diversification from the wood economy of the region.

Looking back at the "tableland" from the top of Mt. Katahdin

Both Craig and I welcome the opportunity to participate.  A sustainable, natural infrastructure of food production spreading across the area using permaculture techniques could be something that catches on.  When it does, the advantages economically, of local food would help the area.  For instance, why export money for orange juice when seaberries and an array of other great food can be grown right here!

One of the inspiring parts of the hike
We are challenged by this possibility and, honestly, it is this type of opportunity to make a difference that motivates and feeds our happiness, and propels us to share, and share some more.

No one lives forever, no matter how badly you may want to. The stories they will tell of you will be about the adventures you went through as you lived and breathed. They will recount your moral characteristics and will praise you for the way you treated others.

-Ernest Hemingway

Community Lists Requirements It Wants Approved Before Supporting Maine North Woods National Park | National Parks Traveler

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Kinnikinnick - (Kinny Kin Nick) Say What?

Kinnikinnick - Bear Berry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

Arcto is Greek for bear. Staphyle is Greek for bunch of berries or grapes.  For good measure, uva-ursi also means "berry of bear".  Kinnikinnick is a Algonquian (Delaware Indian) word meaning "mixture." Other names include - chipmunk’s apples, mealberry; tinnick, arbutus, red bear’s grape, black bear’s grapes and  alpine bear grapes.
Watch this short video of Tom from Mountain Men and his need for this plant.

From the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - "Bearberry is a trailing, evergreen shrub with paddle-shaped leaves on flexible branches. The thick, leathery leaves, rolled under at the edges, are yellow-green in spring, dark-green in summer, and reddish-purple in the fall. Nodding clusters of small, bell-shaped, pink or white flowers occur on bright-red stems. Flowers in racemes on short branches. Bright-red berries succeed the flowers and persist into winter. This ground-trailing shrub has the papery, reddish, exfoliating bark typical of woody plants in northern climates."
"Arctostaphylos-uva-ursi" by Sten Porse - Own work. 

Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark described the fruit as mealy and tasteless.  Never-the-less it is a favorite of a large number of animals and birds.  For people the fruit flavor is improved with some simple preparation.  Cooking seems to sweeten the flavor and it can be made into a host of very attractive recipes.

  • Grind the cooked berries in a food mill, sweetening the pulp to taste, and serving as a mock cranberry sauce. 
  • Simmer with honey, cinnamon, and cloves for mock apple sauce. 
  • For a tangy wilderness ‘lemonade’, simmer two cups fruits in two cups water with one–half cup honey for thirty minutes. Let the mixture sit one hour. Then strain, chill, and enjoy.
  • Bearberry Jam - 2 quarts berries, sweeten with sugar, honey, or apples to taste, 3 oz pectin. -- Place washed, ripe berries in a deep saucepan and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and mash fruit with potato masher. Force through a strainer or food mill to remove seeds. Retain as much juice and pulp as possible. Measure juice and pulp into saucepan and add sweetener if needed. Mix well and bring to a boil for 1 minute while stirring constantly. Add 3 oz of liquid pectin and mix well. Boil for 1 minute then pour into hot, sterile jelly jars and seal.
    bearberry cooked with apples - photo

sealed into reused jars- photo 

Bearberry is first documented in ‘The Physicians of Myddfai’ 13th-century Welsh
Herbal. About the same time Marco Polo thought the Chinese were using it as a diuretic.  

Growing this plant in your landscape is a fantastic addition to both your taste choices and backyard medicine cabinet and tool box.  Tool box?  Yes parts of the plant can be used for a dark colored dye historically used to color leather. There are other uses too.  Here is an excerpt from 
Brown’s Song of the Vikings

“Quill pens were cut from swan, goose, or raven feathers (also easily come by in Iceland); left-wing feathers were best for right-handed writers because they bent away from the eye. Ink was made by boiling whole bearberry plants with a clay commonly used to dye wool black. A few shavings of green willow twigs were added to the pot, and the mixture was simmered until it turned sticky. “Let a drop fall onto your fingernail,” says one recipe. “If it remains there like a little ball, then the ink is ready.” A little bit of gum from the first milk of a young ewe or heifer was added to the ink to make it shiny. The result was ink that was black, glossy, and impermeable to water—important to people who often traveled by ship.”

Craig and I have Bearberry Seeds (Kinnikinnick) for sale.  All current offerings are in our jiovi online catalog. 

About Us

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Craig and Tom have become soul-mates of sorts and will be engaged for a long time connecting the wilderness, ourselves, and others in a new pre-oil agroecology. We promise, as we build this newer way of living, to experiment and explore, share and invite, smile and embrace, and support each other, the land, and we invite you to come along with us. Good people, gardens, nature, wilderness, exploration, sailing and art are all #1 with us. "If you want to sing out, sing out. If you want to be free, be free." Learn something new everyday and life is good.