The inner science nerd comes out in me on a fairly regular basis. While I am most at home on our farm, I have said for decades that I could have been a professional full time student (if finances were no object). I think that is one of the things that initially drew me to pharmacy…. there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new at work. It is also one of the things I find so attractive about health and wellness in general. Every pebble you turn over reveals a boulder of information just waiting to be learned and absorbed. If you are a life science junkie (like me), you can lose yourself for hours (if not days) reading studies in Pubmed.gov. Finding this website several years ago was the game changer and light bulb moment for me. It was almost as if I had tumbled down a rabbit hole like Alice, and discovered a whole world that I had vaguely heard about but assumed must be inferior to ‘what I knew‘ from pharmacy school.
Big Pharma subsidizes the education of health professionals in the United States. They take the little fledgling professionals and give them their kool-aid and pat their egos. Well done young Dr/ Pharmacist/ Nurse/ ___________ (fill in the blank). Even today, when I read pharmacy continuing education courses on Natural Medicine, I can barely bear to read them. (Again, subsidized). I can earn 1-2 CE credit hours to learn that alternative medicine really is ‘minimally effective’ at best and/or ‘sham medicine’ at worst. It took me about 15 years post pharmacy school to deprogram my mind and begin thinking for myself. Now, with every new drug or new class of drugs, I listen to what Big Pharma says, and then I dig a little deeper to find the whole truth… not the sugar coated version. Ever wonder why those advertisements speak nice and slowly about the unicorns and puppies the drugs promise, and then speak auctioneer fast (or use 4pt font) to reveal some (but definitely not all) of the possible side effects? Me too.
After I quit drinking the kool-aid (now realizing that said kool-aid is full of high fructose corn syrup and red dye #3), and came to my senses, I simply can’t get enough of what alternative health options has to offer. Yes, there is and always will be a time and a place for modern medicine….. but there is also a time and a place for alternative health options. It behooves us all to be open to both.
If you venture in to Pubmed.gov and begin researching, take note of how many studies revealing the benefits of alternative therapies come from outside the United States. University scholars and scientists from all over the world are digging deeply into holistic care and coming up with astounding truths (with far far far fewer side effects than their pharmaceutical counterparts). The United States is slow on the uptake here. Why? Big Pharma doesn’t benefit from holistic care. Repair and restoration does not always have to come with a pharmaceutical pricetag or health consequence. Frequently, repair and restoration comes in the form of self care and simply understanding how we tick and why we do what we do or our bodies do what they do. Learning how to support our bodies instead of propping them up with pharmaceuticals. It’s a learning curve for sure… and the first step is to look at who is offering up those kool-aid cocktails.
Which brings me back to the original topic of this post. Elizabeth Erickson is a neuroscientist with a focus on applied cognition. Our brains can be our best friend, but they can also be our worst enemy. Tonight (Monday, Oct 30th), Elizabeth will discuss some very basic concepts for you to wrap your mind around. This is a free event, and even if you cannot attend the live class due to a scheduling conflict, I’d encourage you to make some time to watch it in the 24 hours it will be available for viewing. Come with an open mind and be prepared to learn. I will be there too…. learning and gleaning… one of my favorite things to do!
Link to the live Class (7pm CST) can be found here.
About 6 months ago, we got infested with ugly crickets. I am a farm girl and used to all kinds of crickets and grasshoppers, but these guys are just plain ugly and creepy looking…. and for whatever reason, they began migrating to the inside of our home. Cave crickets have super cricket power… and so in addition to being so ugly only their mother could love them, they can jump like nobody’s business. The night one jumped on me IN THE BED…. well, that was it for me.
Herein lay the the problem tho. Our farm is organic. I’ve figured out a way to manage cucumber beetles and other garden pests organically, but none of those ways work well inside our home. I mean, who wants white DE powder scattered everywhere and poultry running freely in the house?? I tried peppermint on cotton balls with limited success. It seems that I just couldn’t get the staying power I needed to consistently keep the bugs out.
So, back in July, I heard an ad on an Organic Gardening program about a company in the Dallas/Ft Worth area called Eco-Safe Pest Control. I was dubious about their being truly safe, but the crickets in the bedroom had put me at my limit. We had our first appointment soon after…. at which time I asked a gazillion questions about product labeling and ingredients. This is no small thing…. allowing someone to come into your home and spray God knows what everywhere….. something that purportedly has staying power of at least three months. I didn’t want to make a colossal mistake. We’ve worked hard to eliminate chemicals from our home so that our turf (both inside and outside) is safe for us, and our pets… including Henri! Lo and behold, they use a great deal of essential oils as ingredients for pest control. Praise God! I knew they worked (after having had the battle of the century with those dang beetles this summer), but couldn’t figure out how to make them work long term. Eco-Safe uses a safe base oil (I believe it is a nut base) that extends the activity to about 90 days.
Fast forward to today. I can honestly say that I’m sold on Eco-Safe. Jeremy came out today to do our quarterly treatment. I haven’t seen a single cave cricket in at least a month or more (we were seeing them daily). It does seem like it took about 2-3 weeks to get the full effect of the first treatment, but after that, we could definitely tell a difference.
Did you know that the life expectancy of a traditional (non-organic) pest control technician is statistically lower than the national average? In speaking with Jeremy and with the owner of Eco-Safe, I found out that the lifespan of a technician is typically about 60-65 years. What in the world does that tell you about the chemicals a standard pest control company is putting in and around your house?
Ya’ll, daily micro exposures add up. It fills that life bucket up, and once it’s full…. well that’s when the overflow makes the appearance in the form of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and other body system dysfunctions. (Attend one of my gut health classes if you’d like to learn more)
Another thing I found out today is that Organic Pest Control companies like Eco-Safe struggle with the same problem that Young Living faces with its oils (I’m seeing them at Wally World, grocery stores, and the truck stop of all places!). You see, as people wake up to the dangers of hazardous chemical exposure and want something safer, other ‘sham companies’ jump on the band wagon and begin calling themselves ‘GREEN’ in order to gain business. In Dallas, a company is legally allowed to call themselves ‘green’ if only 30% of their chemicals are nontoxic and/or organic. Folks, there is a word for this…. it’s called Greenwashing. It’s not fair to consumers, and it’s almost worse than lying in my book. Eco-Safe does NOT greenwash…. they are certified by the Texas Organic Research Center.
They are the real McCoy… legit. In speaking to Greg, I heard the passion about his product in his voice. He walks the talk. He and his company are committed to safely controlling pests in our homes and yards without simply trading the pest for a toxin. Priceless if you ask me.
I’m not receiving any sort of discount or free services for this blog post by the way…. I just think it’s a good idea that when we find the real thing, we should share. Many of you are like me… and are seeking alternatives so that we can make intelligent choices when punting harmful chemicals out of our homes, and this is one more way you can do it!
Blogging reaches all ends of the earth, and of course, Eco-Safe isn’t a world wide company (I wish they were!). That said, I am sure there ARE safe pest control companies in your area provided you do your research well. Ask your pest control people hard questions about the chemicals they use. Listen to them talk. Are they passionate about keeping you healthy? Do they have some sort of organic certification? Will they let you see the labels on their products? Do their employees look healthy to you (That matters!)? If they can’t answer all of these questions with passion, move on. Chances are high that they are greenwashing if they cannot back their claims with proof. This little test applies to every company …. transparency and passion. I love it! …. who knew I could fall in love with a bug company!
If you are local, give them a try :). You won’t regret it, but I think your bugs will.
Eco-Safe: (214) 358-5201
Blessed, healthy, and bug free…. ~liz
Just because he’s so pretty! This is probably one of the most beautiful roosters we’ve had. I believe he is a Blue Orpington…..but we got him as a chick at the feed store, so who knows! Looking for a name for him and for some reason, Conrad seems appropriate to me. Pretty is is pretty does tho…. I hope he stays sweet. We have 4 roosters on location now… which is two too many for our hens. #nofilter #yeshiscombisthatred #prettyroo
Kindergarten: In the midst of the summer, we had 3 healthy calves. Rosie is the oldest (she is in the middle)…she was the tinest little calf you ever saw… not sure if you remember her from a post back in June, but now she looks like a hulk compared to her half brother. Her mama is Mercy. Willie was born in August, and he was a fairly big boy. Clementine is his mama and she is a large Jersey herself… so, like mama like son…. HUGE. He is two months younger than Rosie, but nearly her size. Waylon, our newest is almost two weeks old. His mama is Hershey. Hershey is 1/2 Angus and 1/2 Jersey, and we don’t milk her….. the Angus side of her makes her a little temperamental, and her milk is not A2/A2.
If you see a bit of a trend here on naming, you’ve guessed right. We name our male livestock after country music singers. Right now, our pasture is singin’ the blues with Willie, Waylon, Cash, and Conway. (Our bull’s name is Benny…. it’s the name he came with. As luck would have it, he got to keep his name….. there was a country music singer in the 50’s named Benny Barnes!)
Daisy : Things have settled back down after my mad dash around the country. Homeostasis within the hierarchy. Two weeks ago we agreed to foster a pup named Cole. Cole’s family has some health issues they are working thru, so he came to live with us til they get everything ironed out. Cole is a mini Aussie / Kelpie cross. He is smart as a whip, and he’s only 5 months old. It’s been a LONG time around here since we’ve had a puppy. He is all tiny teeth and endless energy. Interestingly, Daisy immediately took him under paw and began mothering him. She watches out for him, tolerates his sharp teeth, and reprimands him fairly gently when needed. She also plays HARD with him. His presence has really mellowed her demeanor….. either that, or she just seems more mellow compared to her companion! We’ve had no more skirmishes around here, and Lily is getting her courage back. I’d call this a foster win-win this time around :).
Henri : Henri has been a busy winter prepper these last several weeks. When we do see her, she nearly always has a nut in her mouth that she is about to tuck away. She is taking very little time to socialize, although she does stop and chat very briefly. Someone told me today that scientists have found that squirrels store nuts by category…. meaning they put their best nuts in one location, and their worst nuts in another location. I guess that’s akin to not putting all your eggs in one basket if you are a squirrel! I’m having visions of thousands of nuts eventually falling out of our porch ceiling :). Life with a squirrel is never dull. Her babies appear to have moved to the driveway trees. That area is not far from the house, and it’s loaded with acorns. I’m tickled that they vacated on their own, and that I didn’t have to do a trap and release maneuver.
Halloween Farm Style : It’s finally cooling off around here and like everywhere else, the days are getting shorter. I don’t normally mind spiders… they have their place on our farm. That said, I do NOT like walking thru spider webs in the dark!….. especially when you have no idea where said owner of the spider web is at the time of destruction. I have been bitten several times this summer by spiders, and I’m about done with it. You know it’s bad when you walk around at night in a salute so you don’t get a face full of web.
I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful fall weather! I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is a month away.
Be blessed! ~ liz
I hardly know where to begin. I am so far behind on all the wildly magical things going on in our life that this Summer has somehow morphed into Fall. I can hardly recall a year that has gone so quickly in my adult life.
I’ve always said I could be a professional student if only I was independently wealthy. Well, We’re still not independently wealthy, but we have somehow begun building a life that is allowing me to explore my passions and get paid. I pinch myself occasionally. Is this really me, getting to do this?
Pharmacy has been good to me ya’ll, but it’s no walk in the park. There is a reason it’s listed among the Top 10 Professions most likely to commit suicide. It’s a high stress job with long hours and demands 100% perfection. No surprise that the burnout rate is also remarkable. I am tremendously blessed with a husband who enjoys his job and has encouraged me to pursue what pulls at my heart. It is a gift he has given me this year… and a timely one at that!
At the end of September, I was fortunate enough to attend The 2017 Farm & Food Leadership Conference. Blessedly, this national event was held in nearby McKinney, Texas.
FARFA…. Farm & Ranch Freedom Alliance is a national organization supporting independent family farmers. It works to protect a healthy and productive food supply for American consumers. FARFA is an advocate for independent farmers, ranchers, livestock owners, and homesteaders, as well as the consumers who support them.
Ya’ll, you’d hardly think this organization would be necessary. We all need food and farmers. Shouldn’t it be easy to farm enough nutritious food to feed our huddled masses? Let these statistics sink in:
This AMAZING Conference covered so many facets of Farm to Table Education. There were so many education opportunities, but not nearly enough time to attend each session. I settled on those that pertained directly to our farm and the direction we are headed.
I almost forgot… the most amazing Farm to Table dinner too. This was our first, but it won’t be our last. Dinner for about 150 people at Pure Land Organic Farm , catered by the incredible sustainably (and locally) sourced ingredient restaurant in McKinney: Harvest .
Connecting people with a common bond. Farmers, Ranchers, Nutritionists, Chefs, Sociologists and Anthropologists, Beekeepers, Backyard gardeners with a vision, Inner City gardeners with a plan for their community. This event paid no heed to political affiliation, ethnicity, age, or religious beliefs. Our goal is the same. To learn. To provide sustainable nutritious food for the body, mind, and soul to all walks of life. Breaking bread together never tasted so good.
Hey there....thanks for stopping by! This is me (Liz James)... an eclectic mixture of holistic (and organic) farmgirl meets pharmacist. It's a synergy that works well as I speak truths and dissect fact from fiction. If you're looking for healthier living options, you've come to the right place!