“What’s in the Pantry…the Medicine of Olde” Workshop!

“What’s in the Pantry…the Medicine of Olde” is still the primary medicine for the majority of people around the globe. Learn the art and craft of beginning medicine making, and health prevention and nutrition the “Wild Way”, the “Easy Way”, and the truly “Sustainable Way”. Learn about some of the core plants to identify and have on hand to treat a variety of complaints. Learn about your Self, your Body, as a step to make informed decisions, so you know when to seek help and when not to. Come, reclaim the knowledge and deepen your intimacy with the world through your own medicine and nutritional making! We will make herbal infusions, poultices, syrups, salves and so much more!

Date: Saturday, May 26th, 2012
When: 2:00PM-5:00 PM
Where: Vancouver, WA
Cost: $35
What to Bring: A dish to share, as well as your own mug, fork, spoon, plate!

To register, send a message to reserve your space!

(c) 2012, Summer L. Farkas Takacs Michaelson, CH

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To Ferment in Jars, or Not To Ferment In Jars!

To ferment in jars, or not to ferment in jars…that’s the question! Suddenly, it’s the newest topic and most hip thing in the world of fermentive arts, to isolate all variables into a singularity, a point of mutually, scientifically observable focus where all parallel lines of the entire 30,000 years of the fermentative world meet…where the mystery is solved, a thesis given out to the global community to be accepted as an only truth, because a logical argument proves all.

Problems abound! Logical arguments do not end in singularities!!! Logic is a process, that includes the variables presented…so logic is the result of the information presented. Let’s go on!

When one offers a logical proposition, and proves, within their argument, a case, then one has won a logical argument. Then, when one offers it as truth to the whole, well, there’s some problem with that! The problem is not including variables. A + B = C is great when your alphabet has only three letters.

So, the newest controversy to hit the pickling beaches is about the safest, and most healing and regenerative form of pickling. Ay, caramba! Then I found the same sentiments repeated in other blogs and websites. Okay, you got it! The Great Gertrude is gonna play!

To reduce art or health, healing or well-being, locality and roots in land to one process, is to reduce the magnitude of health, nutrition, healing and art that is possible. What is true for one person isn’t necessarily true for others, and if you’ve gotta reduce fermentation to simple quotients of oxygen and organisms in and out, it sounds like fermentation monoculture to me!

I know a minimum of 300 ways to ferment pickles, not because I want to know better than others, but for the simple fact that I live with, on, off and from home-made fermented foods, and I know there is a season for every technique and style on this great earth. I’ve also healed and watched my children heal from severe intestinal distress and autism with simple foods, herbs, ferments and raw milk. Severe, no kidding! And knowing the wisdom of healing, that every body, every one is different and in different seasons themselves, keepin’ an open mind is somethin’ I take a bit seriously! Herbalists have been using pickle healing for thousands of years, and the healing of a community of trillions of intestinal organisms into a functional community is not so black and white.

I would like to take the opportunity here to share many of the ideas about fermenting dangers I am hearing about, and give a few tips, approaches one may use, as well as a larger picture of global fermentation.

One of things that has been brought to my attention, is the burying of fermented foods, and the burying itself keeps fermented food airtight, this being the “scientific” reasoning behind fermented foods must be in airtight containers.

1) Proper fermentation of certain foods require submersion under a brine, and this is “airtight for these purposes”. The definition of “airtight” for industrial food processes has a different meaning for the home fermenter. To make the two meanings the same is to subconsciously make people fear their home-made food, and thus, hinder the healing benefits.

2) Many fermented foods require air to properly ferment, the food, the substrate, the intended product matter.

3) In severe cases of gut inflammation where the mucosa l layer has been destroyed and needs to be rebuilt, the immune system, which primarily resides in the gut, is severely impaired and a short or long time of attention to healing that mucosa l layer often entails a careful preparation of all foods which are entirely cooked, and much bone broth. Since my children have been in this state, I know the steps (sharing them freely in many healing communities while my own children were healing), and they do not all apply to the art of fermenting itself, but rather to certain individuals only. Even so, knowing that one of my sons was slated to have his rectum removed after years of diarrhea, he healed before the marketing of new devices, which in themselves, or no bad thing!

4) The reference to air-tight containers keeps mentioning air-tight methods and containers in the past. There is a huge misunderstanding about fermenting vessels. Prior to these last few generations, glass, any glass, was hard to come by and a privilege to own, and all was used. So the question is, is it unhealthy, knowing our ancestors used many small glasses at times, cloth and hide? How about all these ancient and air-tight fermenting vessels which food was fermented in then buried for storage and aging?

To work with this, and play with these ideas a bit, I look to my own heritage and upbringing. My Hungarian heritage, which is rich is fermentation and pickling, just doesn’t know what air-tight is apart from proper cleanliness, clean fabric, clean crocks and glass, clean string, pickled stained wood, and uneven crocks. Let’s leave this a bit and go somewhere else then.

I spent my time growing up a military brat, living overseas, and learning a thing or two! I hear about buried Korean Kim-chi’s…and yes, and no, it is all right and all wrong. I have heard statements that because Korean’s bury their kimchi, it is airtight. No, while it is possible to buy a really good crock with a good fitting lid, I’m sorry, so many of the pots not only are not air-tight, but not even completely closed or covered! Korean kimchi is completely different in different parts of Korea, as with all fermented food, it is a REGIONAL specialty of the foods available, the season, and proximity to the sea. Many Koreans live in tiny rooms and own no land, and keep their kimchi pots in their living quarters. This becomes even more quirky when one realizes how seasonal kimchi is, and that yes, in winter, it tends to be buried after fermentation as a means for long term storage and the aging of flavors, but the spring, summer and autumn kimchi’s are all produced in different manners, eating in much shorter periods of time, and are not buried, tho’ often stored in the same, non air-tight vessels. Aye caramba! I can’t help myself, I know some deductions in the fermentation community, and the idea of following scientific guidelines sounds appealing with fermentation rules, but one comes back to the fact that life doesn’t work that way.

The peculiar atmosphere of a country, a region, a community, a house, the community of organisms in the air, the kitchen, soaked into the wood of pot weights, the clay of fermentation vessels, the linen of pickle covers, the quality of starter culture, the season, the sun, the plant care, transport and age, the recipe combination, the herbs, the spices, all come together to form a symphony. This symphony is what I AM after. It is the healing, it is the taste, it is the sharing, it can make autistic people speak for the first time in their lives, it can heal that mucosal layer, it is a gift for friends at Christmas or a gift to friends for watching your kids while you spent time at a convention you love. This is Life and Art in action, inseparable! If you want rules and imagined safety to cushion your journey into fermentation, well and good! So many great teachers! There is no substitute, tho’, for your own experience, and for your own body’s messages, which one must follow. A rule for all makes life a formula of exchange only.

Trillions of organisms make up our bodies, to focus on such a small group is limiting. Available on Wikipedia, a study conducted by Seoul National University show that chickens infected with H5N1 virus, recovered after eating food innoculated with the same bacteria and kimchi bacteria. That is food for thought. Perhaps an overly sanitized environment has led to a deficient capacity of our immune systems to properly balance the plethora and variety of microbes found in our own local environments and food. What if the unsanitary fermentation of foods for thousands of years in history actually challenged and kept our immune systems thriving and alive, and the reduction of such exposure due to the standarized and “sanitary” food of the current food system has mono-cultured human intestinal culture? What if we have more people being born, around the world, allergic to local pollens because they do not eat their local food in quantity, fresh anymore?

To assume either that humanity for thousands of years has been making an unsanitary pickling mistake, or that ancient vessels are air-tight, or that what we have now are the effects of a mind-set that will buy anything, any new idea out of safety…in the end, who benefits? People afraid of their food, healing food? Lac to-billi are fascinating and healthful, yes!!! But they are a handful out of trillions of balanced good and bad guys. There are no good and bad guys, only a balance, as in life.

In Korea, people check and eat from the kimchi pot everyday!

Ferment in your glass jars, feel free, and happy, and if you need a bit o’ trouble shootin’ advice, ask someone around you with experience or take a class! There are so many methods, all suitable for particular times of the year, particular people, particular environments, particular air, soil and water.

Many people with intestinal diseases are eating tapeworms and healing. Some are eating their nutritious garden soil in small bites. However your healing comes, it looks diversified, and safe! Happy fermenting! Happy experimenting! Happy art! Happy ancient technology in various forms and actions!!!

Summer Michaelson, CH

(c) 2012, Summer L. Farkas Takacs Michaelson, CH

Red Salmon BLISS Community Order in Progress NOW! :)

We’re gettin’ the same great price as last year, () for our buyers club! We gotta get crackin’, because we must have half of the money for deposit in their hands soon! Our Fisherman and Fisherwoman, live in Portland part of the year, and then go up to Alaska and fish (where their families are from) and in a well known fishperson co-op network. Fishing is done in the freshwater lake of the Illiamna Watershed, and the fish is Marine Stewardship Council certified.

Illiamna watershed is unique in that it is constantly monitored by wildlife biologists, and no fishing is allowed unless the spawning season is successful. Our Fisherfolk have tiny boats, and unlike the larger salmon boats, do not hold mega amounts of fish in cold ice water until getting to shore. They also fish in shallow water, meaning your fish, is caught, bled, immersed in ice water for a maximum of 1-6 hours before being filleted and flash frozen directly on the shore.

Illiamna does not dip fish in preservation chemicals to make them last longer, unlike the industry standard for most fish. And best yet? This ain’t no pink salmon, but red salmon! Read more here:

http://www.redsalmon.com/

We LOVE pink salmon, don’t get me wrong! BUT red salmon is the richest in omegas and antioxidants and I have not tasted salmon equivalent to Illiamna yet, altho’ I bet Lummi’s wild is similar goodness! (more Lummi’s orders comin’ soon!)

Everyone is required to be at the pickup, when the date is set, or to make arrangements with a fellow friend, buddy or family member, as the fish delivery is large!

We have done these group orders for the past two years, and I have never had one non-delighted person show up! Really, fresh salmon does not get better than this! The fillets are vacuumed sealed, frozen, boneless, and so fresh, I eat some of my salmon raw after it comes. If you’re used to fishy tastin’ salmon, you will be in love!

Order as soon as possible, email your order to me (Summer Michaelson), and when I receive your order I will send you back an email with details for sending your deposit, amounts and etc.

Any fish that is not fully paid for by pickup time will be offered to others in the group for purchase. Contact me for prices, local people only or friends of local people.

Summer Michaelson

Raw Life is Dangerous!

Here Ye, Here Ye! Raw life is dangerous! Also, add to this, raw milk! For those who know me well, you know the healing our family has had from switching to raw milk. Lately tho’, there’s been scares, and more scares, and tiny little sustainable farms run by participating, consenting adults, selling to participating, consenting adults under fire! When people choose responsibly and take responsibility for what they consume, what’s the big deal? Let those that have chosen thus, deal with it!

I’m not much of a radio listener, but on a rare occasion three nights ago, I turned it on…and what did I hear? A station commenter, who shall remain nameless, made a comment that they will be reporting a bit later about the “Children in Oregon Sickened by Drinking Raw Milk. Double take…what’s that? Insidious, is it not? The way language can be such an awesome tool for communication, or a device for propaganda. Sometimes, fair and balanced, truthfulness and perspective are greatly lacking in our media, and it behooves us as people, and a nation, and the globe, to take notice!

“Oregon Children Sickened by Drinking Raw Milk”.

Somewhere around 50 million people suffer, from lactose intolerance, in the US alone. Much has to do with the genetic adaptations of races…people from countries that did not rely on dairy as a major food source, do not have an adapted ability of lactase production in the small intestine (an enzyme that breaks down lactose). It’s amazing tho’, that raw milk has its own lactase, it’s own enzymes, similar to human breastmilk, which contains 7% lactase! Otherwise, human infants would not be able to digest human breast milk.

So, following this thinking, if 50 million people are sickened annually from pasturized, homogenized, concentrated factory farmed animal milk full of antibiotics, growth hormones, and chemicals that bump milk production from 3,000 gallons a cow to 26,000 gallons, just imagine who benefits in a food system where a class of food, responsible for less than 1% of food borne illness in the whole country, is blamed and labeled by the FDA and CDC itself as DANGEROUS???

Guess. Statistics SHUT the raw milk debate down. Sensationalist, slanted news reporting and government and industry regulations are unanimous…even tho’ a minimum of 50 million people in this country are lactose intolerant, even tho’ raw milk has lactase, the enzyme that digests lactose, even tho’ we have a revolution from the ground up of the superbugs on us because of a food supply riddled with antibiotics, because the animals in concentrated food operations are so stressed, sick and diseased, the only way they can get through their short life at a level of production the industrial system demands is through artificial props…we look at the less than 1% sickened from raw milk. The homogenization of milk, where milk fats are broken down to small particles, oxidizes the milk fat, making it carcinogenic, causes systematic inflammation, high blood pressure and arterial disease…but that’s a whole ‘nuther issue right there…we’re not going there! Nope! Nothing to do with cancer and inflammation, no!

The largest milk outbreak in the US was from pasteurized, 2% milk, in 1985, with 6,664 cases of food poisoning. Or the 500 people sickened from food poisoned peanut butter in 2009. 50 million Americans lactose intolerant. 2 or 3 people, here or there from raw milk, sickened, most survive, and most have not been conclusively linked to milk (you’d have to eliminate spinach, cantaloupe, tomatoes, bagged leaf lettuce, factory farmed beef and peanut butter just to get in the provin’ door). There are other issues to take into consideration when choosing a raw milk farmer or farming yourself.

Not all raw milk is the same, only grass fed, jersey cows (or other older breeds) on clean pastures would be healthy. And yes, there is danger in life!!! However, one thing we know for sure, superbug infections in livestock animals have come from the concentrated animal farms and their heavy use of antibiotics and torture for our food supply…food at most of your local grocery store chains. This is the normal, and may we not stray away from this, and label all else dangerous. It is only the uninformed who mimic this line, given to us strait from an industrial-lobbyist supported government. Now I said it, I said the bad thing! The thing, this government is not being run by the people who give it power, but by big industrial lobbyists. No, that is not correct! It is run by you and I, and our intelligent, responsible and informed actions. All that conspiracy junk is junk. What we have in this country is the result of choices that people make day to day, what will yours be? Are you responsible for yours?

Choose milk from old breed cows, like jerseys. Holsteins (a newer breed used often in industrial cow operations) has a mutated gene (A-1 Beta Casein) in the milk that is hard for most any human to digest. Wonder where our sky-rocketing dairy allergies are coming from? Think industrial food supply!

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1766638599?bctid=1770660975

Know your farmer, choose honest, conscientious farmers, and partner with them, through everthing. They want to be healthy and want you to be healthy. The true dying breed is the small farmer, and the true sustainable farmer is the small farmer of a family owned, diversified farm. If you are a farmer wanting to move to more sustainable practices, move towards those that eat your produce or product! The future is a food system that, instead of an industrial monopoly, is a series of community partnerships throughout the country and the world. Our air, water, topsoil supply, our health, the health and well-being of animals, the genetics of humans, plants and animals cannot weather much more of this concentrated feed operation junk and their goal.

If you’re drinking milk from the store, you’re drinking oxidized fats, chemical nutrients added back in, no enzymes, and a proliferation of bad bacteria once the jug is opened, because the good bacteria has been killed off, the good bacteria in whole, raw milk which aids digestion in the human body of other foods.

I’m not trying to convince anyone to drink raw milk, or drink older breed cow milk, or drink pastured milk (even tho’ cows can only digest limited grains if any, and they are created to eat grass), nor that drinking milk with no chemicals and growth hormones and added antibiotics is healthier. I am not trying to convince one single person on this planet earth that drinking industrial milk from stores is full of soy, pus and blood, and that pasteurization of feedlot animals is a necessity because we’d probably all die from the microbes in that pus…NO! Just look into this for yourself. Don’t lobby for laws that support monopolies that want to take away my rights so they can make more money!

Raw milk is dangerous? So is livin’ raw, livin’ honestly, livin’ with bumblebees, automobiles, factories, chocolate, wine, lipstick, speedboats, cell phones, feral dog outbreaks, feral guinea pig attacks and small children. I think, I’ll just take my chances, 99% greater health or 1% accidental raw milk outbreak…gosh, I’m just a gamblin’ woman, livin’ dangerously high on the fat of the grass! 🙂

Summer Michaelson, CH

(c) 2012, Summer L. Farkas Takacs Michaelson, CH

Red Salmon Bliss Ordering!

Our Fisherman and our Fisherwoman are goin’ fishin’, and are accepting pre-orders now for the season! If you’re local, contact me for details!!!

Summer Michaelson

 

Kakdugi got you Brian!!!

Dear Brian,

This is for you! Sorry it took so long…my favorite kimchi recipe, and most authentic Korean kimchi I have found. I like shrimp instead, or in addition to oyster. Yummy DIY Korean food. Korea, I love you!!! 🙂

http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/nappa-cabbage-kimchi