Friday, June 11, 2010

Blue Zones

Albert Lea, MN is a Blue Zone community. My aunt lives there and it's been interesting to hear about the positive changes that are happening. So, I finally went to the website to see what it was all about.

Here you can take an assessment of your own life very similar to where, based on your answers, gives you biological "real age" compared with your actual age. I like the Blue Zone community because it seems to be more doable; more real world. Here are the top tips. The website states that you can add up to 14 good years to your life and stay younger along the way. The idea of adding "good" years strikes a note. Nice!
  1. De-convenience your home – lose the remote, buy a light garage door and lift it yourself, use a shovel instead of a snowblower
  2. Eat Nuts – Have a can of nuts around your office or home, eat a handful daily
  3. Drink Sardinian wineSardinian canonau wine has the world's highest levels of antioxidants. Drink a glass or two a day
  4. Play with your children – this is excellent low intensity exercise and will strenthen a family. Both associated with longer life expectancy
  5. Grow a Garden – This proven stress reducer will put your body through the range of motion and yield fresh vegtables
  6. Hour of Power – Downshift daily with a nap, meditation, prayer or a quiet walk--destressing is a proven way to slow aging
  7. Eat Tofu – Arguably the world's most perfect food, eaten by the world's longest lived women. Contains a plant estrogen that makes skin look younger
  8. Get a Tan – Doctors are rethinking the notion of slathering yourself with sunscreen. Up to half of Americans are Vitamin D deficient--a condition that can double your chance of dying in any given year. A tan not only looks healthy, it is.
  9. Donate your large dinner plates – eat off 9 inch plates as the Okinawans do and reduce calorie consumption at dinner by 20-30%
  10. Write Down your Personal Mission – Know and putting into practice your sense of purpose can give you up to a decade of good life.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Honey Bee Colony Collapse Disorder - Research in SD

There is more buzz about the bees in South Dakota. South Dakota is one of 13 states where the federal government is doing research on the declining bee population.

In Spearfish, I have seen many bees in my garden, particularly on the chive flowers. I wonder, for those bees visiting my chive flowers, does their honey taste like an onion? Actually that sounds delicious! We've had a good number of honey bees and those giant fuzzy bees -- so big, you could pet them. When you are thinking about planting flowers, consider those flowers that bees love in order to attract them to your garden.

South Dakota was second in overall honey production in the US (2008) so this is an important issue. Also, in South Dakota, there is absolutely no reason to buy anything other than LOCAL honey! Search out your local farmer's market or ask your grocery store.

Here's more information on CCD (Honey Bee Colony Collapse Disorder).

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Chives grow so well in the Black Hills and they are an absolute visual delight in the garden. About three years ago, I started with two small chive plants which has now blossomed into A LOT of chives. I am one of those gardeners who loves to let things go to seed hence my plethora of chives. The lavender flowers are not only cute and delicious (a slightly more subtle chive flavor) - they look wonderful in salads.

They also come back happily every year. No garden in the Black Hills should be without chives.