I love the name of this farm!

I have watched them from their opening and it is so inspiring to see their dedication to educating and informing all – about organic farming.

They visit the local schools to talk about Organic Farming. As a teacher I would definitely include them in my programmes no matter what level I was teaching at. This is one of the most effective ways of ensuring we have a future generation of young adults informed about the benefits of Organic Farming and the environmental and health ramifications of Farming with Chemicals.

school presentation

They give farm tours with hands on activities for children of all ages. this is just an amazing outing for youth of all ages. They get to see with their own eyes that Organic Small Farms are a fun viable occupation that provides healthy nutritious food for the nation; lowers imports and protects the earth for future generations.

rolling compost

Their tours include fun and educational activities such as rolling compost games.

compost video

Multi media presentations.

story telling

and story telling.

They tailor their tours to all ages.

Visiting the island?

Their Organic Farm Tour is a wonderful introduction to Dominica’s traditional foods and methods of farming. it is child friendly and interesting to the entire family. You get to savour our local foods with more than one sense knowing that you are contributing to the development of a strong and vibrant Agro Eco Tourism Sector on island. This is  Responsible Tourism at its finest.

You can camp there if you want a Farm Vacation.

Studying Tropical Agriculture or Organic Agriculture?

seedlings 2

Students from all over the world visit this thriving organic farm in a tropical  environment to study with their trained and experienced Organic Agriculturist – Dawn.

Living on the island? 

D-Smart offers Educational Programmes for children of all ages. This is a great way to enhance their environmental awareness; keep them active; foster a love of gardening and immerse them in nature. Children who have a chance to get excited about the foods they eat  in an experience such as this are inspired to eat more healthy. This program strengthens the children’s appreciation and respect for their culture, organic farming, eco living and local foods.

 Dawn Francis is a trained permaculturist…focusing on the areas of sustainability and organic farming. Her training was done in Trinidad in 2011; there she obtained a certificate  in Permaculture at Wasamaki Ecosystems. She also trained with Al Casimir of the Dominica Ministry of Agriculture – Organic Division. Dawn continues to increase her knowledge through self study and on site experience.

Check out their Road Side Booth as you pass by Corona/Corona Estate between Pond Case and Sylvania on the Trans Insular Road newly renamed the .

Contact them at D-Smart Farms on Facebook. They can also be contacted at 767) 449-0581; farm.dsmart@facebook.com

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“It was good for the skin to touch the earth, and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth….The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing, and healing.” … Chief Luther Standing Bear TETON SIOUX

 

 

I love to lay on the ground and look at the night sky or the day sky and the clouds. I also absolutely love laying on rocks and practicing yoga in direct connection with these natural surfaces is a favourite activity of mine.

I have always enjoyed sleeping; resting; sitting and walking on the earth. As my children grew up we camped a lot not only to get in nature but to be able to sleep in direct connection with the earth. For me it was a deeply rejuvenating and healing experience.

Recently the value of direct contact with the earth has become more and more recognized.

According to the Earthing Institute:

“The surface of the Earth resonates with natural, subtle energies. Ongoing scientific research is discovering the details as to why people feel significantly better when they connect with these omnipresent energy fields. Earthing refers to the process of connecting by walking barefoot outside, as humans have done throughout history, or sitting, working, or sleeping grounded indoors. For more than a decade, thousands of people around the world—men, women, children, and athletes—have incorporated Earthing into their daily routines and report that they sleep better, have less pain and stress, and faster recovery from trauma. Earthing immediately equalizes your body to the same energy level, or potential, as the Earth. This results in synchronizing your internal biological clocks, hormonal cycles, and physiological rhythms, and suffusing your body with healing, negatively charged free electrons abundantly present on the surface of the Earth.”

“Throughout time, we humans have strolled, sat, stood, and slept on the ground—the skin of our bodies touching the skin of the Earth—oblivious to the fact that such physical contact transfers natural electrical energy to the body.

Modern lifestyle has disconnected us from the Earth’s energy, making us more vulnerable to stress and illness.

Earthing is the landmark discovery that this energy upholds the electrical stability of our bodies and serves as a foundation for vitality and health.

In an age of rampant chronic disease, reconnecting with the Earth’s energy beneath our very feet provides a way back to better health.

We are bioelectrical beings living on an electrical planet.”

For more information on Earthing check out Understanding Earthing.

Recently released studies are showing Native Indians were absolutely right in their belief that walking on the ground was healing.

The most recent study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine July 2012 shows that Earthing or Grounding the body reduces blood viscosity.

Subjects were grounded with conductive patches on the soles of their feet and palms of their hands. Wires connected the patches to a stainless-steel rod inserted in the earth outdoors. Small fingertip pinprick blood samples were placed on microscope slides and an electric field was applied to them. Electrophoretic mobility of the RBCs was determined by measuring terminal velocities of the cells in video recordings taken through a microscope. RBC aggregation was measured by counting the numbers of clustered cells in each sample. Settings/location: Each subject sat in a comfortable reclining chair in a soundproof experiment room with the lights dimmed or off. Subjects: Ten (10) healthy adult subjects were recruited by word-of-mouth. Results: Earthing or grounding increased zeta potentials in all samples by an average of 2.70 and significantly reduced RBC aggregation. Conclusions: Grounding increases the surface charge on RBCs and thereby reduces blood viscosity and clumping. Grounding appears to be one of the simplest and yet most profound interventions for helping reduce cardiovascular risk and cardiovascular events.

In March 2012 The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine published an article describing the interaction of the Earth’s mass-electrolytic conductor on the electrical environment of human organism-aqueous environment and skeleton released by Department of Ambulatory Cardiology, Military Clinical Hospital, Bydgoszcz, Poland.

They found results indicate that up-and-down movement and the elimination of potentials in the electrical environment of the human organism by the Earth’s mass may play a fundamental role in regulation of bioelectrical and bioenergetical processes. The Earth’s electromagnetohydrodynamic potential is responsible for this phenomenon.

In January of 2012 The Journal of Environmental Health published ‘Earthing: health implications of reconnecting the human body to the Earth’s surface electrons’; the source was the Developmental and Cell Biology Department of the University of California. This paper reviews the earthing research and the potential of earthing as a simple and easily accessed global modality of significant clinical importance.

Their conclusion: Emerging evidence shows that contact with the Earth—whether being outside barefoot or indoors connected to grounded conductive systems—may be a simple, natural, and yet profoundly effective environmental strategy against chronic stress, ANS dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV, hypercoagulable blood, and many common health disorders, including cardiovascular disease. The research done to date supports the concept that grounding or earthing the human body may be an essential element in the health equation along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food, and physical activity.

Seems like Earthing is among the most natural and safest things we can do to live healthier! Oh joy!

Dominica is the perfect place to hike barefoot or practice yoga in nature and take advantage of those healing energies.

We are putting chemicals originally developed as neuro toxins in the second world war on our food and therefore in our food, our rivers, our soil and our oceans. This affects those who apply the chemicals, and those who consume them as well as those who are nearby when the application is happening or afterwards.

The following information is a copy and paste from Medscape, I have highlighted a few sentences

Authors:

Frances M Dyro, MD  Associate Professor of Neurology, New York Medical College; Neuromuscular Section, Department of Neurology, Westchester Medical Center

Organophosphates (OPs) are chemical substances originally produced by the reaction of alcohols and phosphoric acid. In the 1930s, organophosphates were used as insecticides, but the German military developed these substances as neurotoxins in World War II. They function as cholinesterase inhibitors, thereby affecting neuromuscular transmission.

Organophosphate insecticides, such as diazinon, chlorpyrifos, disulfoton, azinphos-methyl, and fonofos, have been used widely in agriculture and in household applications as pesticides. Over 25,000 brands of pesticides are available in the United States, and their use is monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Diazinon was sold in the United States for 48 years with 14.7 million pounds sold annually. It was the most widely used ingredient in lawn and garden sprays in the United States. Diazinon was found under the brand names Real Kill, Ortho, and Spectracide. In the past decade, the EPA reached an agreement with the pesticide industry to end the production of diazinon by March 2001 for indoor use and June 2003 for lawn and garden use. Chlorpyrifos (Dursban) was involved in a negotiated phaseout in June 2000. These phaseouts resulted from recognition of the special risk that these substances posed for children. Four percent of patients presenting to poison control centers report pesticide exposure. Of those patients, 34% are children younger than 6 years.

Toxic nerve agents used by the military are often of the organophosphate group; an example is sarin, the nerve gas used in a terrorist action in Tokyo in 1995. In anticipation of military use of OP neurotoxins during the Gulf War, the US military was given prophylactic agents which some believe caused some of the symptoms of Gulf War syndrome.

With the emergence of the West Nile virus in the northeastern United States, programs of spraying have been implemented in large urban areas, in particular New York’s Central Park.

Controversy exists regarding the long-term effects of exposure to low levels of potentially neurotoxic substances.

Therapeutic uses of organophosphates

Several organophosphate agents are being tried therapeutically. Cholinesterase inhibition, which in large doses makes these agents effective pesticides, also may be useful in other doses for treating dementia. Metrifonate has been used to treat schistosomiasis and is undergoing trials for the treatment of primary degenerative dementia.

The organophosphates pyridostigmine and physostigmine are carbamate anticholinesterases that have been used for many years for the treatment of myasthenia gravis. Although the short-duration anticholinesterases are generally safe, reports of their abuse are associated with a picture similar to pesticide intoxication.

One of the author’s patients had been diagnosed erroneously as a myasthenic. Long-term “therapeutic” doses of physostigmine chemically altered her neuromuscular junctions to the point where she had to be slowly weaned from the drug.

Sung and others have reported on the ability of these substances to induce nicotinic receptor modulation. This explains the action of these drugs and may result in development of more effective agents.

Historic and new uses of organophosphates

The first organophosphate was synthesized in 1850. Physostigmine was used to treat glaucoma in the 1870s. By the 1930s, synthetic cholinesterase inhibitors were being used for skeletal muscle and autonomic disorders. Some organophosphates were tried in the treatment of parkinsonism.

In 1986, testing began for tacrine, the first cholinesterase inhibitor to be tried for Alzheimer disease; it was released for clinical use in 1993. It is no longer in use. The blood-brain barrier has been the limiting factor in developing a cholinesterase inhibitor for use in dementia. Drugs such as rivastigmine are now widely used. Reported adverse effects are nausea and vomiting, with resultant weight loss because of the increase in cholinergic activity. It has been shown to be useful in mild to moderately severe Alzheimer disease.

Pyridostigmine has been tried for the fatigue of postpolio syndrome but showed no benefit.

 

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1175139-overview

“How could intelligent beings seek to control a few unwanted species by a method that contaminated the entire environment and brought the threat of disease and death even to their own kind ” ~ A Silent Spring; Rachel Carson 1962

“Pesticides are substances or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest. According to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, 9 of the 12 most dangerous and persistent organic chemicals are pesticides. Pesticides are categorized into four main substituent chemicals: herbicides; fungicides; insecticides and bactericides.” – Wikipedia

On the left an organic farm whose main crop is citrus. This farm is shipping to other islands where the demand for organic produce is steadily growing. On the right a citrus farm using pesticides to kill everything at ground level. Considering that those who eat organic have much lower levels of chemical toxins in their body which do you want to eat?

From the first time I saw the results of gramaxone I was blown away that people were applying something that killed the foliage of plants almost immediately to the very soil they grew their food in. Even more shocking they were applying it around the food they were growing and soon eating.

I started researching this chemical – a chemical local people were told was “safe” – I talked to one farmer who remembered representatives of the agricultural companies coming out to the farmers fields in lab coats to tell them how “safe” it was.  A friend of mine remembers a UNESCO calendar advertising how easy life would be with gramoxone.

In Canada and around the world the same information was being disseminated about other pesticides and the results have been disastorous.

In the past only a few spoke out against this deluge of basically unproven chemicals being poured on our soil; those who did were soon silenced.

It was the 1990’s when I realized that a chemical pesticide known as agent orange caused a lot of sickness in Vietnam Vets – I began to feel it was my duty to inform. I realized that the chemicals in the lethal blend used in the Vietnam War were used on the food we eat too.

AFTER YEARS OF DENYING ANY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AGRICULTURAL CHEMICALS AND DISEASE IN HUMANS; unrefutable evidence is showing that there is undeniable proof that agricultural chemicals do cause disease. Study after study is showing the links. Class action suits are gathering all over the world. If you or I caused this many people to get sick or die we would be jailed for life!

Some of our agricultural chemicals are neuro toxins first used in the second world war.

Farmers here are still using these dangerous chemicals many of them as in the case of gramoxone are illegal in other parts of the world.

Where ever I travel I find that farmers often say “Oh I don’t use those chemicals for the food I eat; just the food I sell!”

One way to encourage local farmers to grow organic is to request it; pay a little more for quality organic food and the farmers will address the need.

Nobody can deny the connections to disease now:

Canada

Pesticide exposure linked to lower birth weights and earlier birth Lower birth weights and premature births are linked to respiratory problems and problems with learning and behaviour.

Canadian Hydro Sprayed Agent Orange to Clear Corridors “The Toronto Star interviewed former Hydro employees, including summer students and senior managers, who were assured the chemicals were harmless. The illnesses they’ve been dealing with the past few decades tell a different story.”

Agent Orange Soaked Ontario Teens – Forestry use of Agent Orange

The Agent Orange Association of Canada – this small group got an immediate compensation package of $20,000 CDN because agent orange (gramoxone) was sprayed in this army base.

UK

Inquiry into sheep dip ‘sickness’.  Hundreds of Scottish farmers allege that organophosphate dips have caused serious physical and psychological damage.

Denmark

Pesticides and Non Hodgkins Lymphoma

United States

Rotenone and Paraquat Linked to Parkinson’s Disease. Participants with Parkinsons Disease were 2.5 times more likely than controls to have reported  use of rotenone or paraquat (gramoxone).

Birth Defects from agricultural chemicals. The coalition testified pregnant women and developing fetuses are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of pesticides, which can cause spontaneous abortion, growth retardation, structural birth defects, or functional deficits.

The Veterans Association – Veterans exposed to Herbicides Vietnam Veterans who contract any of the diseases listed on this page are able to get financial assistance.

The national birth defects registry shows the effects of agent orange on the next generation!

Study Links Pesticides to Parkinson’s Studies all over the world link pesticides to Parkinson’s; I just heard of a person in their mid 20’s with the start of this disease.

Elevated serum levels of pesticides linked to Parkinson’s Disease

Atrazine in well waters in agricultural areas Concentrations as low as 0.1 ppb have been shown to alter the development of sex characteristics in male frogs.

France

France’s highest court has ruled that US agrochemical giant Monsanto had not told the truth about the safety of its best-selling weed-killer, Roundup.

Argentina

Monsanto is being brought to court by dozens of Argentinean tobacco farmers who say that the biotech giant knowingly poisoned them with herbicides and pesticides and subsequently caused ”devastating birth defects” in their children.

Nicaraugua

Amvac Chemical of Newport Beach will pay 13 Nicaraguan workers exposed to DBCP on banana plantations nearly 30 years ago.

“A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.”  — Paul Dudley White

 Join us for Hike Fest 2012! Walk in the footsteps of the ancestors. Take this unique opportunity to experience the healing energies of Dominica’s natural areas.

Hiking is a traditional way of life in Dominica. Only 100 years ago these same trails were our main method of getting around. In those days if you were from Grandbay, Castle Bruce or La Plaine and you wanted to sell your eggs, milk, or fresh produce in Roseau market you carried it over the paths often during the night cause if you left at dawn you could not get there early enough.

The Carib Indians paved their major paths with stones, you will see an example of this on the first hike of the fest. I love the thoughts of tredding on the same stones as those amazing people, who were so closely attuned to nature and such great navigators.

The Maroons, freedom fighters from the days of slavery, mapped the whole island out in trails joining all their villages, at one place called Jaco Flats there was a pulley system built to get big loads down the mountainside. These freedom fighters knew their paths and forest so well, foreigners thought they appeared and disappeared in the forest at will.

To this day our school trips are often “Belle Marches”, a much healthier and environment friendly school trip with many educatonal opportunities.

The Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association are an amazing example of what people can achieve working together to create a dream.

One part of the many ways DHTA promotes tourism here is their yearly Hike Fest.

As a visitor or resident this is a lovely opportunity to immerse in nature, explore the trails of Dominica and learn about the island while meeting a mix of people of many ages from Dominica and all over the world.

This year DHTA has partnered with the Waitukubuli National Trail, Discover Dominica Authority and various other Hiking Committees and Tourism Stakeholders to plan Hike Fest 2012.

This year’s itinerary:

Saturday May 05th

Waitikubuli National Trail Segment 5 (River Hike)

Pond Casse to Castle Bruce, ending at Castle Bruce playing field.

This trail nestled within the Morne Trois Pitons World Heritage Site traverses the Old Carib Trace – a Kalinago stone pathway that leads through the Emerald Pool and Fond Melle areas. It features the long standing contributions of our indigenous people, the struggles of a resilient people and the value of our forest and water resources.

Vegetation Type: Rain Forest, Cultivation & Coastal Forest

Distance: 12 km or 7.5 miles

Estimated Walking Time: 6 hrs

Climb: 533 miles or 1,750 ft

Type of Hike: Moderate, family hike

Areas of interest:

Old road (Carib trace)

Emerald Pool

Castle Bruce Swamp

Forest Station & Nursery

Neg Maron Headquarters

Savanne David

Castle Bruce Village

Jaco Cave

Morne Turner (Morne Neg Maron)

Creole Gardens

Spanny Falls (optional)

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Saturday May 19th

Segment 10 and part of 11 (Cross Country Hike)

Starting Colihaut Heights and ending in Picard, Portsmouth.

This trail traverses old and abandoned farm and estate roads, heavily forested areas and sections of the Northern Forest Preserve. It provides an excellent opportunity to sight the rare Jaco or Sisserou Parrots in their natural habitat. While walking this trail, one can learn about our farmers, about our many trees and listen to the merry sound of our birds. Morne Diablotin National Park is the most popular spot on island for bird watching. Maroons used this trail in the 19th Century!

Vegetation Type: Rainforest; Secondary Rainforest; Cultivated

Distance (km): 6.4

Estimated Walking time (hrs): 4

Type of hike: Easy hike, family hike

Climb: 610 metres or 2000 ft

Areas of interest:

Morne Diablotin

Secondary forest

Agricultural farming

Parrot habitat

Syndicate Nature Trail & Welcome Center (optional)

Lookout points

Morne Diablotin National Park

Rain forest

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Saturday May 26th Beach Hike

Eden by the Sea, Wesley to Londonderry, ending at Cabana Beach

This beach hike with dramatic views of the Atlantic Coastline will commence at Eden on the Sea in Wesley and will end at Cabana on the Londonderry beach.

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The health benefits of these hikes are amazing.

Walking in nature is a proven stress management technique; it releases hormones that fight depression and strengthens our bones and muscles. Hike for Health.

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I love to meet people, and these hikes are a great way to get to know other people who love nature and being active while exploring Dominica’s nature spots.

After each hike there will be a celebration in a nearby village where you can purchase food and drinks.

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Price:

EC$40 for 1 hike

Ec$ 70 for 2 hikes

EC$90 for 3 hikes (DHTA Members)

EC$100 for 3 hikes (Non-DHTA Members)

Price includes: Transportation, Water and a Hike Fest 2012 t-shirt!

Waitikubuli National Trail

Hike Fest on Facebook

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm235002.htm

 ‎”If a woman doesn’t look like a goddess in birth, someone isn’t treating her right.” – Ina May Gaskin

 

I had wonderful natural births. One was a planned home birth that ended up in hospital and one was in a rural area where there were no midwifes so I had to birth in the hospital.

Home birth was illegal in Canada at that time but there were a few brave midwifes who helped women to have the birth of their dreams at home. Times have changed and now there is a University Degree in Midwifery and Natural Birthing available in more than one university.

I feel my healthy lifestyle contributed greatly to my easy uncomplicated births. I utilized yoga techniques such as the 3 part breath; progressive muscle relaxation; creative visualization and guided relaxation to calm me during the birthing process. I also did a lot of research and joined birthing classes. I had birth plans in both cases and the staff in both hospitals did their best to follow them. I went home immediately after the births. My recovery was quick and uneventful.

I believe whenever possible women need to have the option to birth where they wish and how they wish. I believe in most cases birthing where they feel the most comfortable can increase the chances of a positive outcome.

Statistics show that birthing at home is just as safe as birthing in the hospital.

Below I provide some links to articles and videos that I have enjoyed on natural birthing.

Beautiful peaceful natural birth in hospital in water. The woman is smiling.

A trailer about a new movie on Organic Birthing.

Hypnobirthing Part 1    Hypnobirthing Part 2

I was lucky when I was pregnant to have an amazing sister named Jane Jordan who told me positive birthing stories.

Mothering Magazine and the Compleat Mother provided up to date information on natural birthing and parneting.

Natural Childbirth of Twins and Triplets

More links and natural birthing topics coming!