The Moon Is Not Made Of Cheese


The names have been changed to protect the innocent, I’m taking off some labels again.

“The Moon Is Not Made Of Cheese” In the words of someone we will call Mr. Aerodynamic Farmer.

Maybe you have heard the recent “news” about it being cold in Minnesota.
Maybe you are like me and have developed an aversion to “news”.
As a mid-Minnesota resident, I can say it has indeed been cold. This is not “news”. It has been cold before and I happen to think it will be cold again.

And as far as I can ascertain, the moon is not made of cheese.
Mr. Aerodynamic Farmer and and I were discussing the Minnesota cold colloquialism as
learned when we were youngsters. “The cold is the reason people in Minnesota live longer.”
We disagree because this statement was probably only true in a time period when more people spent more time outdoors in fresh air.

We decided that cold fresh air, or even hot fresh air, is healthier than recycled carbon dioxide mixed with other indoor environmental catastrophes such as dryer sheets.
We also decide that being farmers is advantageous in this type if weather. We must live in balance with nature, so we know how an can take this as an opportunity to adapt. According to science as I understand it, adaptation is built into the DNA. This is how we talk ourselves into going outside because our farming livelihood demands it, even if the windchill is 50 below.

But it is true also that the DNA changes in living beings to adapt. The amazing DNA can and does change minutely within a lifetime and according to environment  then, if I understand this right.  Is adhering to a comfortable chair in a warm room full of recycled stale air evolving? Or does modern technology with all of the high-hifalutin’ ego-driven vanity of modern convenience maladapt in nature?

Let’s go ask someone who studies air flow and is very in tune with environmental concerns.
He knows, Mr. Aerodynamic Farmer does, how to provide a good healthy fresh air form of ventilation to a large barn that does not require extra heat, and is warmer than the closed up house most times.
We need someone else beside me to come along and tell him how scathingly brilliant his idea is instead of some guy we will call Mike (short for mismicromiddlemanagement guy who wants to be like Mike), coming up with more ridiculous ways to waste his time money, and energy on gas-guzzling expensive unnecessary heaters, and in doing so, bites the hand that feeds Mike and 1.5 million others per year, and actually 2 million a year would be a fair annual wage for the difficulty of a small family farm occupation. We like coffee if you’d care to buy us some.
Get all the wings you can for that bowl while the price is too low as their cost will likely go up if folk are unkindly towards the hand that feeds so many. Perhaps just like the plants I spend so much time with I too have become “hardened” in my conclusions. That’s physics baby.
I am documenting a few observations about the effects of this very cold weather. Obviously the 50 below windchill and blizzard days  do not have the makings of  good camping weather,  so I limit my outdoor excursions to 15 minutes at a time or less. Thankfully my hot flashes move through fairly consistently, getting the core temp balanced I suppose. Both extreme hot and cold seems to make me hungry and thirsty for nutritious foods.  The smart socks my Mentor gave me are very helpful in this type of weather, as are fleece lined jeans and sensible low-heeled boots. In small consistent doses I get more than enough exercise trudging through the drifts and shoveling out doorways.  Some people pay a lot of money to be this fit and have such great naturally curly hair too. All in balance, that’s what I say.

So now you probably want to know where my scientific proof is.

Today I will leave you with an excerpt from After The Ice Age by a Woman Canadian Naturalist Scientist, EC Pielou, since I figure she would know about the cold Canadian air flow.
Mr Aerodynamic Farmer is reading pages 100-101 of After the Ice Age on a need to know basis. Below my speech is the expert opinion of Dr. Pielou (University of Chicago Press, 1991).

After this article is said and done,  I’m opening the moderated subject up for educational comments, proofs, debates, news, ideas…

by Jill Annette Johnson
Copyright 2014
All Rights Reserved

“The slow response of vegetation to climatic change has interesting implications. If climate changes continuously, as it appears to, then vegetation may never succeed in catching up with it. In the words of Margaret Davis, (see footnote 23), plant (and also animal) communities are “in disequilibrium, continually adjusting to climate and continually lagging behind and failing to achieve equilibrium before the onset of a new climatic trend.””

This opinion is not universal. The opposing point of view has been advanced By H.E. Wright, Jr. another leader in the field of paleoecology. He assumes that vegetation and climate are at present in equilibrium (see footnote 24), and describes ancient communities that had what appear (to us) to be mismatched mixtures of species  as “disharmonious.”  The implication is that modern mixtures are harmonious. The argument in favor of this view (see footnote 25) is that climate changes in stepwise fashion and the last step was taken a long time ago; therefore, because the climate has not changed appreciably for a long time, vegetation has now had time to come into equilibrium with it.

There is a wealth of evidence,  (see footnote 26) however, showing that climatic change is never ending. Even if major climatic “steps are comparatively quick, it is almost certain that the climate in the intervals between the steps undergoes continual lesser changes. In light of the present knowledge, therefore, Davis’s view, that disequilibrium in ecological communities is much commoner that equilibrium, is the more acceptable.

It should lead, in time, to a much needed change in popular thought. The notion espoused be so many nonprofessional ecologists–that the living world is marvelously” and “delicately” attuned to its environment–is not so much a scientifically reasonable theory as a satisfying dogma. Its abandonment might lead to a useful fresh start in environmental politics.”


23.  M.B Davis, 1984 climatic instability, time lags, and community disequilibrium. In Community ecology, ed. J. Diamond and T.J. Case, 269-84 (New York: Harper & Row).

24. H.E Wright Jr., 1984, Snsitivity and response time of natural systems to climatic change in the late Quaternary, Quaternary Science Reviews 3:91-131.

25. H.E. Wright Jr.,  1976. The dynamic nature of Holocene vegetation. A problem in paleoclimatology, biogeography, and stratographic nomenclature. Quaternary Research 6:581-96.

26. Wright Jr., Sensitivity and response time; see figures 1 to 8 and 11. Also L.B. Brubaker and E.R. Cook, 1983, Tree-ring studies of Holocene environments. In Late Quaternary environments of the United States, vol. 2, The Late Holocene, ed. H.E. Wright Jr., 222-35 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press)


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Grow Thyme For Health and For The Chicken Soup For The Heart

Grow thyme for health this year

If you’d like to buy it instead, welcome to my local harvest of natural goods like essential oils and herbs.

The question is, have I started my garden?
Yes, below the sparkly cold snow and frost I have started the perennial thyme (thymus vulgaris). And thyme has been good to me.
It has become the edging of choice in my flower beds because it spreads in a slowly and densely to create an attractive low, tough border that snuffs out most weeds and prevents erosion of soil.
The fact that it grows in poor soils should be a boon to most folks.
I live in Minnesota. Could you survive out in the open in this minus 20 degree weather? Thyme can!
Every year in the spring my thyme remains productive.
I started a patch of thyme outdoors in the spring from one small plant.
You can start it from seed or just buy a healthy looking plant. Plant it in really good fertile soil and give it lots of room to spread over the summer.
It should at least quadruple in size. Once it begins quadrupling you may part out this plant and distribute it along edges and border.
Just cut through one of the sides of the mother plant with a shovel and get the roots as well.
It is a tough plant and you will notice a sharp edge is need on your shovel to accomplish this task, and don’t worry, the thyme will survive.

Now distribute the thyme to other garden spots as you please. Thyme will grow even in poor soils.
Most plants will need an inch of water a week, and thyme is no exception.
But thyme is neither finicky. Throughout the summers I give my thyme “haircuts” whenever flowers begin developing on them.
I do this so that the plant will send a message to the roots to keep spreading.
But you don’t have to. If you like the flowers, by all means then, leave them be.

If you’ve never grown a garden of any kind, growing thyme is a great place to start getting herb garden experience.
I prefer to have free herbs right at my fingertips in the kitchen, so I take a short walk to my herb garden just outside the door. Nothing beats fresh!

If you are not the outdoorsy type, growing indoors is nice because you can grow year-round and don’t have to worry about pests or the elements.
It’s also nice to have fresh plants in your home and the aromatic fragrance of fresh herbs is soothing and refreshing.
With all the benefits of herbs and the delicious uses for them, why not start using them today?
Grow herbs for your health starting today and stay healthy, happy and well.

The bounty of the harvest can be placed on a sheet on aluminum foil to sun dry, or I dry it on a smoker rack of the grill.
Of course the bounty goes into the spice rack in the kitchen from there.
I would call my stock of thyme at this time years later in the jillions of plants, seriously folks…

The simplest way to use more herbs (amd get more healthy, is to grow your own herb garden.
When you grow herbs for your health, you may notice an improvement in both your physical and mental well-being.
You will likely find benefits beyond physical health by planting and tending an herb garden.
Throughout the ages, people have found herbs to benefit the mind, body and soul.
Throughout history there are documented accounts of herbs curing illness and injury.
Why not take advantage and grow herbs for your health?
This perennial and small shrub grows well in pot or garden.
It has spread into the yard and actually is nice to walk barefoot on.
This next year I am starting the wonderfully aromatic orange thyme to plant in places I walk on.
My gardening feet can hardly wait!
Stepping on a carpet of thyme is a sheer delight, and a this type of ground cover does not mind.
Instead, it releases a fragrance of spice to please your senses.

Not only is it pleasant to walk on between the stepping-stones they withstand the hot sun, drying winds and will thrive in those hard to mow spots where a touch of green is needed.
Of the many thyme, the best two known species are common thyme and mother-of-thyme or creeping thyme.
Common thyme, consisting of little shrubby bushes, is grown for culinary uses.
Creeping thyme, is used for ground cover on banks, between stepping-stones and as turf.
The creeping thyme, sometimes called wild thyme, are favored for their fragrance and gray-green carpet.
Some of the best of these plants grow under two inches high.
Examples are; Woolly thyme, low green foliage with dainty pink blooms.
Golden thyme, purple flowers and low dark green leaves mottled with gold.
Crimson thyme, small, flat, dark green leaves and crimson flowers – White thyme, delicate and slow spreading, with tiny flat, vivid green leaves and white flowers.
Nutmeg thyme is gray and wooly with hairy stems, coarse leaves and pink flowers, and really spreads.

These are sun-loving plants and are easily grown in well-drained soil.
It requires very little clipping, training or transplanting.
Most are hardy over much of the country, but in very cold areas it must be provided with mulch for winter protection.
Propagation is pretty easy, especially with the creeping, stem rooting types, just break off a stem with a root and plant.
One of the most enjoyable pleasures you’ll get from planting creeping thyme is stepping on it.
This living green carpet will surely delight you with its fragrance.
Lovely to look at and
walk on it, and enjoy, and just do it.

And guess what? Thyme is good for toenail fungus, but more about the health properties of thyme in an article to come…
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By Jill Johnson
Copyright 2014 Jill Annette Johnson All Rights Reserved