Scientific research has for years produced evidence that many ingredients in personal and home care products can pose serious long term health risks such as cancers, skin disorders, allergies and asthma.

Not only do a lot of the cleaning agents we use hurt our health they hurt the earth.

to be continued

“The classic permaculture model sounds like this: permaculture practiced on the land leads to an abundance of material resources which can nourish and cultivate community.

Social permaculture implies a second narrative possibility that sounds like this: permaculture practiced in the community leads to an abundance of material resources which can nourish and cultivate the land.”  ~

Eden Heights Garden

Social and Ecological Permaculture Design Certification Course

March 7th-19th 2016 – Mon. to Fri.

The course is being designed and delivered by Jeff “Papillon” Ribier of the ButterSide and Mike Wird of Regenerative Lifestyles, Colorado, and is based on the classic Permaculture curriculum as inspired by the work of Bill Mollison and David Holmgren.

It will take place in the Castle Bruce area at Eden Heights and Beyond Vitality plus various other sites across the island.

This certification course will expose participants to a wide variety of subjects in the form of lectures, demonstrations and hands-on workshops.  You will be studying in some of Dominica’s most beautiful gardens as well as in devastated and urbanized areas.  Residing on the design sites at Beyond Vitality and Eden Heights, looking through the lens of Permaculture, you will develop a deeper understanding of social and ecological patterns, principles and appropriate strategies.  And most importantly, the quality of the relationships between them.  There will be a series of presentations by local community organizers, farmers, botanists, builders too.

One thing you know when you visit Dominica whether you have an intricately planned itinerary or not there will be something more …

… because Dominica is such a spontaneous natural environment there is always more to enjoy then what is planned – a beautiful rainbow; the visit of an iguana;  a ripe fruit; the heavenly scent of flowers; the call of a bird.

The organizers are going out of their way to have both Dominican and International Students be able to participate. In my opinion this is essential for a truly eco sustainable educational tourism program.

This will enable the rare blending of those from Dominica interested in organic farming with those interested in organic farming throughout the world – I am sure a lifetime of friendships will evolve!

International Students:

You can choose to take a one week or two week program.

Early-bird rates end on December 15th, 2015.

Dominican Students:

Scholarships are available to a limited number of people – checkout who complete the PDC scholarship application form and return it to Sian at Eden Heights by January.

The program is available for people who can only attend a couple of days of workshops, as well as those interested in completing the whole course. Exact dates and topics for the 2 day packages will be confirmed in January.

There is a limited number of spots for this course, don’t wait too long.

Final sign-up deadline is February 1st, 2016 (no refunds are available beyond this date).

If you miss the deadline or wished there were a possibility for a payment plan, don’t give up!  We’ll work it out.

Contact us to see what can be arranged.  If you are choosing a payment plan, a non-refundable $300 deposit is required upon registration. Your registration will be handled with care and you will be on our standby list for the first available opening.

Accommodation is organized on a first registered/first served basis.

The link below gives you an overview of the itinerary; the topics covered during the training as well s the credentials of the teachers.

I have written about pesticides and the detrimental effect on humans for over 20 years.

We are all at risk for DEMENTIA; CANCER; OBESITY; INFERTILITY if we don’t start farming mindfully.

I have been shunned and laughed at by co-workers; family and friends but ……

I knew it would take a few years but someone with more influence then me would have to do an article – and perhaps people would sit up and pay attention!

Than you MSN

This is a copy of an MSN article

What’s Poisoning the Men of Martinique!

From the outside, the French Caribbean island of Martinique looks like a paradise: turquoise waters beneath colorful wooden homes that climb up lush green slopes of banana leaves. Life seems pretty laid-back — no one expects Martinique to lead the world in any rankings. But this Caribbean island does lead the world in one dark, tragic metric: prostate cancer rates. According to the World Cancer Research Fund International, in Martinique:

For every 100,000 men, 227 have prostate cancer.

That number is almost twice the rate of the second country on the list: Norway (129). The United States, by comparison, comes in at No. 14, with 98 incidents per 100,000. And Martinique’s is an outlier result that looks even more eyebrow-raising when you run comparisons to figure out why.

Maybe it’s the geography? Maybe something about this little pocket of the Caribbean causes the cancer rates to spike? If so, the neighboring islands of Dominica, or even Puerto Rico, should also show those rates. They don’t. While Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados are also in the top five, Martinique’s rates are still double. Maybe it’s the genetics? The island is a French colony, but if French genetics are the problem, then the French should have just as high rates. They don’t. Though their rates are the third-highest on the list, they are still half that of Martinique’s. And as a 2009 paper from theInternational Journal of Oncology found, “the growth curves of incidence rates” for Martinique and metropolitan France have been “significantly diverging since 1983.”

But some doctors have come up with a damning diagnosis: those green slopes of banana leaves. Turns out, they’re a little too green. The high cancer rate in Martinique is being linked to pesticides, primarily used in banana plantations to combat weevils. According to the 2009 paper, researchers found that the islanders’ connective tissue was being contaminated by “extremely high levels” of a nasty cocktail of “DDT, DDE, alpha, beta and gamma HCH, aldrin and dieldrin.” The paper concludes that environmental factors such as the “intensive and prolonged exposure to carcinogenic, mutagenic and reproductive toxin pesticides” may be the culprit.

One of the lead authors of that paper, Dr. Dominique Belpomme, professor in clinical oncology at the Paris University René Descartes, was asked in 2007 by politicians in Martinique to give advice on the health effects of chlordecone pollution — also called kepone, a colorless pesticide related to DDT. It is so toxic that in 2011, it was banned globally by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. “But today, unfortunately, chlordecone was replaced by the use of other toxic pesticides,” he tells OZY, “so there is no end to pollution.” Now, concerned citizens of Martinique believe the chemicals have poisoned their entire food chain, plus their rivers and coasts.

For its part, the government of Martinique, which declined to comment to OZY, has launched an investigation into the issue, through the country’s public-health prosecutors. Indeed, the rate has drawn some attention, with locals protesting and mainland France contributing aid to research and monitoring. But the results of these changes may not be evident for years. And that’s got not just the young men of Martinique worried. As Dr. Belpomme points out, the pesticides might also be linked to “women with breast cancer and children with congenital malformations.”

When I visited Canada a year ago I was amazed at the number of ‘solar farms’ that have been established over the last 10 years – I am so glad we are travelling that route too!

The Kalinago Territory will soon be home to a US $400,000 solar-based energy system guided and supported by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre and funded by the European Union.

The 125 kilowatt solar farm will also provide electricity to seven public facilities: two health centers, the Kalinago Barana Auté, two resource centers, the Council office and the library besides around 150 homes..

The output is projected to exceed the needs of the area so DOMLEC could purchase extra electricity generated – that is what Canada does – purchases extra energy produced by micro energy producing projects.

My favourite part of this project is the local community will be part of the installation process.

According to Minister responsible for Kalinago Affairs, Casius Darroux: “Fifteen young persons will receive training from this project. Five certified electricians from the Kalinago Territory will be working with the engineer for the installation. After the engineer leaves we will still have people on the ground who will man the project in terms of maintenance,”.

A renewable energy project training local people in the newest technologies – well spent funding in my humble opinion.

An upsetting video of a plastic straw being removed from the nostril of a sea turtle shows the grim reality of how plastic litter impacts marine life.

Straws are a fine example of the way we have been brainwashed into consuming. Since when did we need a straw to drink? Since companies started making them for profit! The drink does not stay cleaner or taste better.

Sometimes a small move can have huge effects. In my 20’s I decided to stop using straws. If you consider an average person uses at least 1 straw a day then throws it away – that means I have stopped with that 1 small move the release of 14,600 straws into the environment. I still have years left to continue this joyful move – clean up your environment – one small policy at a time.

I also saved 14,600 paper straw covers.

I have less BPA in my system from drinking liquids through a straw – BPA has all kinds of ramifications including obesity as this is one of the chemicals in our environment that causes the storage of unhealthy fat.

An upsetting video of a plastic straw being removed from the nostril of a sea turtle shows the grim reality of how plastic litter impacts marine life.

GENET is a European network of non-governmental non-profit organisations engaged in the critical debate of genetic engineering, founded in 1995. GENET‘s mission  is to provide information on genetic engineering to its member organisations and the interested public and to support their activities and campaigns. At the moment, GENET has 51 member organisations in 27 European countries. GENET is an international non-profit association under Swiss law.

The purpose of GENET is to exchange information on genetic engineering and campaigns focussing on:

  • plant and animal breeding
  • human health
  • agriculture
  • animal welfare
  • food production

and its implications on

  • biological diversity
  • human genetics and medicine
  • the environment
  • the socioeconomic development

By informing interested organisations and individuals GENET facilitates the citizens’ involvement in decision-making processes which have to guide the development of this technology.

List of GMO-Free Regions

Dominica is listed as GMO Free on this website.

GM Crop report relating to: Dominica


Children's yoga aI grew up in a country where you wanted curls. all the little girls with straight hair could hardly wait to get a  perm. Not sure who wanted me to have curls – mom or I but I clearly remember the chemical smell and the burning of the perms I got as a child. I did not have many as I decided early on I did not want to perm my hair and I was lucky to have a mom who let me more or less decide what hair to have.

As a teen growing up I worked part time in a store that had a beauty parlour attached. That was when I realized just how dangerous they perms could be. In more than one incident I remember a person’s scalp was burnt and I also heard of other people’s hair falling out. This just reinforced my urge to have natural hair.

During my year sabbatical in 1980 studying herbal medicine and vegetarian cooking in the Caribbean I was amazed to find the reverse of Canada. Most of the women I met wanted to get rid of their curls. Often they had started straightening their hair as children.

Generally it seemed to me that those who permed OR straightened often had very damaged hair that kept breaking off.

Over my lifetime what I realized was harmful intuitively as a child started to be scientifically proven – I was not surprised to hear that studies have shown that Hairdressers have a higher incidence of Cancer and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has labelled these occupations as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

A really recent study has shown the chemicals in these hair products can cause fibroids.

People have also started to speak out about the twisted marketing that makes us want to be different then our beautiful natural selves. There are natural hair groups all over facebook and it is the focus of many blogs. Articles such as the ones below are sharing peoples experiences with the damaging effects of perms and straighteners and sharing the joy of their natural hair.

I spent £18,000 on straightening treatments …until my hair fell out

At last after a lifetime of observing mega corporations earning millions by talking people into using harmful chemicals to alter the beauty of their natural hair; natural hair is in vogue and has become the norm. Oh joy!

In the 80’s when I decided my natural hairstyle was going to be locks I was amazed at the reaction, in Canada and in the Caribbean. People found it truly hard to believe that I loved my hair in this natural style shaped and formed by nature and life.

Over the years I have grown to love my locks a little more each year. My hair has been a great conversation piece wherever I have visited or lived.

One thing I absolutely love is the camadarie of people with locks. On my last visit to Toronto on one of the most busy corners near Young and Bloor I saw a young man with locks and we greeted each other in passing.

Here in Dominica my daughters were told that in any publicly funded school children with locks were accepted and they were welcomed into the schools nearby. It was only at the Catholic school we were told locks were not allowed and by then my daughter had decided to cut her hair. A few years later I heard even the Catholic Schools were accepting students with locks.

Locks are very common now and my research shows locks have historically existed in many different cultures.

A recent article online was a shock – I had thought we were past this. This article talked about how a little 7 year old in Oklahoma had been expelled from school for her locks. How archaic! I absolutely love how this woman sent love and support to this little girl online through an E book called For Tiana: A Care Package FILLED with Locs of LOVE. I enjoyed Alice Walker’s talk at the end too!

Here’s to having the freedom to choose natural hair for our children; mohawk; afro; locs; combed; braided and the celebration of our differences.



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