Thursday, December 31, 2009

Alpaca Amazon Skirts from Peru

Alpaca Amazon Skirts now available from Peru.

These Amazon patterned skirts have the light weight of silk but the warmth of alpaca. Very versatile and great for spring weather.

The stylish 70% Baby Alpaca/30% Silk blend makes the skirt very soft and comfortable.

Skirts and Bottoms
add your clothing to the Buy Direct Directory

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Smoked Oysters from Anacortes, Washington

Smoked Pacific Oysters now available from Anacortes, Washington.

3-ounce can sold in a seafood sampler gift pack with 3.5-ounce can of creamy smoked salmon pate' and a 3.75-opunce can of wild sockeye salmon.

Seafood and Fish
add your oysters to the Buy Direct Directory

Specialty Foods: Organic Maple Syrup

Organic Maple Syrup now available from Cashton, Wisconsin.

Grade B syrup sold in bulk -- a 3-gallon "bag in box." No refrigeration required.

This product is recommended for two or more people committed to doing the Master Cleanser.

Specialty Foods
add your syrup to the Buy Direct Directory

Monday, December 28, 2009

Open Air Market Profile: DeSoto Farmers Market

DeSoto Farmers Market in DeSoto, Missouri

Sponsored by Get Healthy DeSoto, this is a seasonal open air market fostering sustainable economic development and building stronger tie sbetween local food producers/artisans and consumers.

Saturdays 8am - noon; May - October

Health & Beauty: Opium Incense from Graton, California

Opium Incense now available from Graton, California.

This incense evokes an exotic world remniscent of ancient caravans along the trade route, powerful and timeless.

Natural fiber punk burns clean for a long time. No animal byproducts or vegetable glycerins.

Health & Beauty
add your incense to the Buy Direct Directory

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Seed Growers Sought for Farm Supply

Seeking seed sold direct by the grower for Booth space in Farm Supply at Farmer's Market Online .

Farm Supply
add your seed to Farm Supply

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Open Air: Port Townsend Farmers Market

The Peninsula Daily News reports that the Port Townsend Farmers Market vendors made $887,000 -- up $85,000 from 2008 -- during an extended 2009 season in which it added four Saturday market days.

The market also included more vendors, up from 60 artisans and farmers in 2008 to 75 in 2009.

The market had extended its season after Thanksgiving for its first-ever winter markets each Saturday from November 28 through December 19.

The Saturday market ran from May through December, the Wednesday market from June through September. The market is expected to reopen for the 2010 season on May 1.

In Review: Modern Biotechnology

Modern Biotechnology
Connecting Innovations in Microbiology and Biochemistry to Engineering Fundamentals
by Nathan S. Mosier and Michael R. Ladisch
Wiley, 2009

A unique resource for the next generation of biotech innovators, this book prepares a wide range of readers for the practical application of biotechnology in biopharmaceuticals, biofuels, and other bioproducts.

Enabling everything from the deciphering of the human genome to environmentally friendly biofuels to lifesaving new pharmaceuticals, biotechnology has blossomed as an area of discovery and opportunity. This text connects the latest innovations in this area to key engineering fundamentals.

Sweet Pitcher Plant Seeds from Granger Township, Ohio.

On the Carnivorous Plants page in Plants & Seeds we now have Sweet Pitcher Plant Seeds now available from Granger Township, Ohio.

The Sarracenia alata Red Throat is a green plant with a red interior lid and a red throat. It produces delicate looking yellow to cream colored flowers on tall stems in the early spring, usually before pitcher growth begins.

These carnivores trap their prey by offering them nectar to sip which is secreted around the lip of the plant and also at the base of the lid. Flying and crawling insects will find the nectar and if they take a wrong step, they will tumble into the pitcher. Once inside, they will find that retreat is impossible, due to short stiff hairs pointing downward. The inside of the pitchers are also very slippery. Once the insect reaches the bottom, it is dissolved by enzymes in the bottom of the pitcher and the nutrient value is absorbed by the plant.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Plants & Seeds: Heirloom China Rose Plants

Heirloom China Rose Plants now available from Wauchula, Florida.

Heirloom China Rose plants have perfect curved tea shaped buds, are fragrant and easy to grow. This nice rounded well branched shrub is hardy in Zones 7-10.

Plants and Seeds
add your roses to the Buy Direct Directory

In Review: The Treehouse Book

This is a full-color dream book for everyone who imagines a wondrous playroom high above their backyard.

Tree houses have come of age. The image of a few planks nailed into the branches of a tree has changed into a new generation of specially designed and built structures, suitable as a playhouse, a study, or even a guestroom.

Totally inhabitable and filled with designer furniture, plumbing, and electronic wizardry, the twenty tree houses featured in this book are to be admired, dreamed about, and even built.

The Treehouse Book
Guidebooks and How-to Titles

Baked Goods: Fruit and Nut Cake Ring

Fruit and Nut Cake Rings now available from Littleton, Colorado.

Two pound cake has the taste of fresh raisins, walnuts, pecans, pineapple, rich whole cherries and the rounded warm taste of bonded American bourbon in every bite.

Available year-round.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Seeking Flax Growers and Processors Selling Direct

Seeking flax growers and processors selling direct for listings on the Buy Direct Directory.

Currently listing Certified Organic Omega Golden Flax from Beulah, North Dakota.

Certified Organic Omega Golden Flax
add your flax to Buy Direct Directory

On the Magazine Stand: Sew News

Sew News added to the Craft Magazines section of Magazine Stand.

Published for the seamstress, this bimonthly magazine offers the latest news and information on fashion, how-to, fabrics, books, and new products.

Craft Magazines

Magazine Stand

'Hell's Kitchen' Chef's Jacket

The stylish chef's jacket seen on the hit television show "Hell's Kitchen" is now available on our Cutting Boards page in Handmade Crafts.

Made from durable poly-cotton with hidden snap closures and a handy pocket on the arm for thermometers or pens. Black trim shoulder panel. Easy to embroider for personalization.

Bites: Myrrh May Lower Cholesterol

The myrrh resin of trees native to the Middle East appears to help lower "bad" cholesterol, according to research reports in the International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health.

Nadia Saleh Al-Amoudi of King Abd Al-Aziz University in Saudi Arabia fed myrrh resin, among other plant materials, to albino rats, and found that levels of "bad" cholesterol fell and levels of "good" cholesterol went up while the rodents were on the diet.

An ointment and an ingredient in incense, myrrh is best known as one of the gifts of the Magi (see Three Kings Day), as described in the New Testament. It has long been used as a medicinal treatment for sore throats, congestion, and cuts and burns.

Al-Amoudi's research suggests that myrrh resin might be used in conjunction with other plant materials to boost heart health, although it's not yet clear how people would consume the resin.

Seeking Olive Oil Producers Selling Direct

Seeking olive oil sold direct by the producer for listings on Buy Direct Directory.

Currently offering Extra Virgin Olive Oil Gift Pack from Graton, California.

Olive Oil
Specialty Foods and Beverages
add your olive oil to Buy Direct Directory

Book Stall Review: Christmas in the Old West

Christmas in the Old West: A Historical Scrapbook
by Sam Travers
Mountain Press, 2003

"During the early years of western migration, the first few Christmases for many settlers, especially women, were tinged with loneliness. But as the miles began to close up between isolated stage stations, ranches, and mining camps, they grew into settlements, and settlements grew into towns. When a town, large or small, came together to celebrate Christmas, that's when magic could happen..."

The "Old West" in this book is the 19th century, as it was lived in the Western states and territories of the rapidly expanding United States. It was a time of explorers and trailblazers, cowboys and cavalry, prospectors and outlaws, settlers and homesteaders.

Christmas in the Old West is a collection of heart-warming tales, memories, meals, news accounts, pictures and memorabilia of a time before television and electric lights and gas stoves.

Accounts of lonesome carollers, meals cooked over an open hearth, readings by candlelight, makeshift dances and simple gift exchanges provide a poignant lesson in “keeping Christmas” amidst privation and separation.

Out of the Past: A Right Jolly Old Elf

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 2003 All rights reserved.

"He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself"
-- C. Clement Moore

This Santa Claus is certainly a magical fellow. He flies through the sky, is rarely seen outside of shopping malls, possesses an uncanny intelligence about who has been naughty or nice, and has a seemingly inexhaustible supply of toys.

Some say he is descended -- or evolved -- from Kris Kringle, a legendary figure from Norse folk tales. Or perhaps he's related to Odin, the Lord of the Winds who rode through the stormy nights on an eight-legged flying horse.

In her collection of holiday lore, "Yule: A Celebration of Light and Warmth," author Dorothy Morrison traces the lineage of Santa Claus and other holiday season traditions back to some of mankind's earliest civilizations. Despite differences in language, culture and religion, most peoples celebrate some form of winter holiday.

"Each celebration is a little different, but the main ideas are the same," she points out. "These holidays provide us with a time for reflection, resolution, and renewal. A time for gift-giving, goodwill, and kindness."

Santa Claus, and his generous cousins in other lands, is the perfect expression of that spirit of joy and sharing. In the Netherlands, Sinterklaas arrives by steamboat with his servant, Black Peter, and in Syria the gifts for children are delivered by an immortal camel.

"Santa's sleigh is more than likely a holdover from the Norse myth of Freya," Morrison explains. "Legend has it that every year she spent the twelve days immediately following the Solstice giving gifts to the nice and doling out misery to the naughty. Her mode of transportation? Why, a chariot drawn by stags, of course!"

Like layers of paint on a canvas, the ideas and fantasies of the past both color and give texture to the realities and pretenses of the present. And nowhere is this more evident than in our homes and shops and neighborhoods during the winter holidays:

* Candles, embraced by Christians as a symbol of Christ, were also important fixtures of the winter festivals of ancient Rome.

* Candy canes, invented by an American confectioner, represent Jesus with their "J" form and blood-red stripe.

* Lights have decorated homes and trees for centuries, urging the sun to shine through winter's darkness, but it was an American inventor who hung up the first string of electric holiday lighting in 1895.

* Mistletoe was used in winter celebrations by ancient Greeks and Celts, but kissing beneath a sprig of the plant began as a way to receive the blessings of the Norse goddess Frigg.

* Poinsettia, known for centuries as the Flower of the Holy Night, is the product of a Mexican myth about a young boy who wanted to give the Christ child a special gift.

Santa Claus moved to the North Pole sometime after he started making visits to American homes. And now, from the darkest, coldest place on earth comes the kindest, jolliest man in the world to spread joy and gifts and warmth.

"But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

Winter Solstice: The Sun Stands Still

This is as dark as it gets: fifteen hours of night, give or take a few minutes, at latitudes near the 45th parallel and nine hours of daylight, if you're lucky.

It is the week of the winter "solstice," a word derived from Latin meaning "sun stands still." For two or three days the sun seems to rise and set in the same places on the horizon and at the same times, as if uncertain whether to continue on its southward journey or to start creeping north again.

Ancient peoples once kindled huge bonfires on these nights, designed to urge the sun to burn warmer and longer. Among the Goths and Saxons, this tradition evolved into the Yule Girth Festival. Nightfires still burn for some folks at solstice.

Imagine not knowing how the sun's decline was related to the tilt of the Earth in its orbit. Could the southerly retreat continue until the sun vanishes altogether, as it does during a full eclipse? Or could it get stuck here, in this track across the heavens, locking these lands into eternal winter?

Holidays: Winter Solstice
Rural Delivery: Midwinter Delusions

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Handmade Crafts: Light Clocks

Light Clocks now available direct from the clockmaker in Mukilteo, Washington.

Framed in a stained oak and metal panel, computer controlled LEDS provide the time on this functional art piece for home or office. Available in oak or black stain frame and gold, black, teal blue and silver clock brushed aluminum panels.

Handmade Crafts
add your clocks to the Buy Direct Directory

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Blankets, Baby Covers and Coverings Direct from the Crafter

Seeking makers of blankets, baby covers and comforters for listings on the Buy Direct Directory.

* Blankets, Baby Covers and Comforters

* Handmade Crafts

* Buy Direct Directory

* add your blankets

Today's Market: 32nd Street Farmers Market in Baltimore, Maryland

Also known as the Waverly Farmers' Market, the 32nd Street Farmers Market is going forward today despite the snowstorm.

Founded in 1980, the market is held year-round on Saturdays, 7am - noon, at E. 32nd Street and Barclay Street in Baltimore, Maryland

32nd Street Farmers Market

Maryland Farmers Markets Directory

Open Air

add or update a market listing

Handmade Crafts: Elk Mountain Welcome Sign

Elk Mountain Welcome Signs made upon order in Manitou Springs, Colorado.

Constructed from 14 gauge steel sheet metal, this 18x17 sign has a powder black hammertone coat finish to prevent rusting and fading, making it suitable for indoor and outdoor displays.

Handmade and Customized Signs

Handmade Crafts

add your handmade and customized signs to the Buy Direct Directory

Friday, December 18, 2009

Lemons Direct from the Grower

Seeking lemon growers and processors for listings on the Buy Direct Directory.

In Review: Homesteading

Now in Review:
Homesteading: A Back to Basics Guide to Growing Your Own Food, Canning, Keeping Chickens, Generating Your Own Energy, Crafting, Herbal Medicine, and More by Abigail R. Gehring

A companion to the bestseller Back to Basics for country, urban, and suburban folks

Guidebooks and How-To Titles
Here's How To...

Rug Pads

Premium-Lock Rug Pads now available on the Rugs and Other Floor Coverings page in Handmade Crafts.

Designed for hard floor surfaces, these rug pads will protect your investment in an area rug, increasing its durability and lifetime.

Reversible and resistant to curling, these pads can be cut to size using scissors. They are easilywashable using warm water and soap.

Handmade Crafts: Custom Wood Signs

Custom Wood Signs now available from Sterling, Massachusetts.

Personalized wood signs handmade and hand painted, measuring 20" x 4 1/2" x 3/4". No vinyl. Choose your own color background, font and text.

Handmade and Customized Signs
Handmade Crafts
add your handcrafted signs to Buy Direct Directory

Handmade Crafts: Hand Blown Glass Art Vase

Hand Blown Glass Art Vase now available from Ontario, California.

Each piece starts with a designated shape carefully formed by the artist, who creates various designs of vibrant colors and textures which engulf the surface each piece. Usually several layers of assorted colors and designs are rendered, overlapping one another.

Once the piece nears the end of completion, it is finished with a clear coat of glass to give it an exquisite glimmering shine.

This heavy but delicate glass art piece will brighten up any home or office. Makes a great gift.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Farm Supply: Gear Driven Rotary Tiller

Gear Driven Rotary Tiller now available in Tractors and Tractor Parts at Farm Supply

With 6 tines per flange, this tiller provides maximum soil mix for preparing planting beds, gardens, incorporating fertilizer, landscaping or other jobs.

Available in 4ft., 5ft., and 6 ft. models, the tiller has a 540rpm PTO drive and a heavy-duty cast iron gearbox.

Holidays Calendar: Three Kings Day

Three Kings Day shows up on the calendar on January 6.

Three Kings Day is also called the Twelfth Day as it is the 12th day after Christmas. In Mexico, it´s called El Día de los Tres Reyes Magos.

This is the day, according to Christian legend, that the Three Kings arrived at Jesus' manger with gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Many Latin American exchange gifts on this day rather than Christmas.

Three Kings Day

Handmade Crafts: Table Lamp

Handmade Table Lamp now available from Hicksville, New York
Faux alligator base with Old World gold/silver finish, square shade.
Measures 36" high.

Handmade and Custom-Crafted Lamps
Handmade Crafts
add your lamps to Buy Direct Directory

Specialty Foods: Pure Peppermint Extract

Pure Peppermint Extract from Bethesda, Maryland, added to Flavorings in Specialty Foods.

A wonderful addition to ice cream, excellent for chocolate baked items. Be very exacting in measuring peppermint extract since it is very assertive in flavor.

Sold in 4 oz. bottles.

Specialty Foods
add your flavorings to Buy Direct Directory

Non-Fiction Books: Rural Delivery

Rural Delivery by Michael Hofferber of Sun Valley, Idaho.
Essays on the rural experience.

"Most of nature depends on a steady progression of seasons.

"These cool nights encourage the growth of fat and fur on dogs, cats, horses and most other warm-blooded critters. My beard and waistline, too, seem to grow more readily this time of year. By winter solstice, or late December, we'll be well acclimated to the cold."

from "Cold Hardening"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Health & Beauty: Colored Hand Dipped Incense

Colored Hand Dipped Incense now available from San Ysidro, California.

Fragrances are true and long lasting. Available in bundles of 100ap.

Health and Beauty
add your incense

Handmade Crafts: Buffalo Robes

Tanned winter buffalo robes are now available on the Rugs page in Handmade Craft.

These authentic buffalo skins sold from a Native American trading post in Gainesville, Georgia range in size from 40-45 square feet.

Handmade Crafts
Add your rugs and floor coverings to Buy Direct Directory

Farm Produce: Dried Calimyma Figs

Large, fancy dried Calimyma figs now available from Hollister, California.

Grown in California's fertile San Joaquin Valley. These figs are sweet, plump and moist.

Farm Produce
Add your figs to Buy Direct Directory

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Books and Publications: Kindle Newspapers

Kindle versions of 85 newspapers are now available for automatic wireless delivery, from The New York Times (bestselling) to Diariocritico, the largest online newspaper in Valencia, Spain.

Kindle newspapers (kindling?) are auto-delivered wirelessly when the physical issue hits the newsstand. Readers can buy a single issue or a monthly subscription.

Single issues of The New York Times are 75 cents and a one-month subscription is $13.99.

Other leading Kindle newspapers are:
2. The Wall Street Journal
3. USA Today
4. The Economist
5. The Financial Times
6. The Washington Post
7. The International Herald Tribune
8. Los Angeles Times
9. The Globe and Mail
10. The Times

Home and Garden Center: Lantern Style Hummingbird Feeder

Unique Lantern Style Hummingbird Feeder featured on Birdfeeders, Birdhouses, Bat and Ladybug Houses page.

Made with a durable, weather-resistant copper finish and a clear glass fluid holder, this feeder has multiple feed ports for increased feeding.

Feeder holds approximately 10 oz. of nectar and measures 14 3/4 inches high.

Home and Garden Center
Birdfeeders, Birdhouses, Bat and Ladybug Houses
Add your feeder.

Nuts and Grains: Barley Flakes

Barley Flakes now available direct from the farm in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

This organic rolled barley grain cooks just like rolled oats.

Sold in 1 pound bags.


Nuts and Grains

Dressings, Oils & Marinades: Truffle & Porcini Oil Collection

Truffle & Porcini Oil Collection available direct from a mushroom grower and specialty foods producer in Graton, California.

Made with Extra Virgin Olive Oil infused With the essence of Gourmet Porcini Mushrooms and Truffles.

Can be used in place of fresh mushrooms or other gourmet ingredients as a garnish on hot pasta, potato or vegetable dishes as well as fish and meat dishes.

Dressings, Oils & Marinades
Add your dressing to the Buy Direct Directory

Monday, December 14, 2009

Growth Spurts: Elevated CO2 Boosting Aspen Growth

Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide is doing more than changing climates. It is also making some trees grow like crazy.

In a new study of natural stands of quaking aspen, elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide during the past 50 years boosted aspen growth rates by an astonishing 50 percent.

“Trees are already responding to a relatively nominal increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide over the past 50 years,” says Rick Lindroth, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of entomology and zoology and an expert on plant responses to climate change.

The accelerated growth rates of aspen could have widespread consequences. Aspen is a dominant tree in mountainous and northern forested regions of North America, including 42 million acres of Canadian forest and up to 6.5 million acres in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Aspen and their poplar cousins are considered “foundation species,” meaning they exert a strong influence on the plant and animal communities and dynamics of the forest ecosystems where they reside.

Previously, scientists have shown that plants and trees in growth chambers respond to levels of carbon dioxide well above levels in the atmosphere. The new study is the first to show that aspen in their native forest environments are already growing at accelerated rates due to rising ambient levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

“It’s a change hiding right in front of us,” says biologist Christopher Cole of the University of Minnesota at Morris. “Aspens respond to all sorts of things we had to account for – water, genetics and other factors – but the strong response to carbon dioxide surprised all of us.”

The study measured the growth rates of 919 trees from Wisconsin forests dominated by aspen and birch. Trees ranging in age from 5 to 76 years old were sampled and subjected to tree-ring analysis. Comparing the tree-ring data, a measure of annual tree growth, with records of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the researchers were able to correlate increased rates of growth with changes in the chemistry of the air.

The surprising increase in growth rates for the trees sampled in the study is coupled with moist conditions. By contrast, aspen in the western United States do not seem to grow as fast as those in the American Midwest, most likely due to recent extended periods of drought.

While the researchers found that aspen grow much faster in response to elevated carbon dioxide, similar effects have not been observed in other trees species, notably oak and pine.

The world’s forests, which cover about 30 percent of the Earth’s land surface, play an important role in regulating climate and sequestering greenhouses gases. The forests of the Northern Hemisphere, in particular, act as sinks for carbon dioxide, helping to offset the increase in levels of the greenhouse gas, widely viewed as a threat to global climate stability.

Source: University of Wisconsin College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Out There: Serious Climate Changes Looming Closer

The United States could suffer the effects of abrupt climate changes within decades—sooner than some previously thought-- according to a report authored by experts from the U.S. Geological Survey, Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and other leading institutions.

The researchers say the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s maximum estimate of two feet of sea level rise by 2100 may be exceeded, because new data shows that melting of polar ice sheets is accelerating. Among other things, there is now good evidence that the Antarctic ice cap is losing overall mass.

Handmade Crafts: Floor Lamp

Now available in Handmade and Custom-Crafted Lamps:
Floor Lamp with Marble Base from Harnden, Connecticut

A floor lamp of classic proportions combined with contemporary design. Made from steel finished in polished nickel. The base is hand-crafted from Mongolian black marble and elegantly detailed.


Handmade Crafts

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Kitchen Supply: Knife Sharpener

Now available in the Utensils section of Kitchen Supply.

Rachael Ray Ozitech Diamond Fingers Pro Knife Sharpener.

This unit with diamond-coated "Ozitech fingers" sharpens and hones any knife brand, producing a sharp blade with just a few swipes.

Kitchen Supply

Meats: Organic Grass Fed Lamb

Certified Organic 100% Grass Fed Lamb available direct from a century-old family farm in Ignacio, Colorado.

These grass fed lambs are never fed any grain or corn, just lush green certified organic grass, the way nature intended. The lambs are never administered growth hormones, antibiotics, and are also treated humanely.

Processed at a certified organic processing plant in southwest Colorado, the average age of the lambs is 9 to 12 months old at the time of processing.


Craft Supplies: Beeswax

Now available in Craft Supplies:
Beeswax Pearls from Doylestown, Pennsylvania

A choice ingredient for candle making, fabric batiking, encaustic painting, and furniture and shoe polish recipes, these pure beeswax pearls boast a lush, natural honey scent.

Tamp beeswax pearls down around a pre-waxed wick for a quick-and-easy homemade candle.

Melt point: 145°F - 149°F
Flash point: 490°F - 525°F
Recommended pouring temp: 150°F - 160°F
Recommended dipping temp: 160°F - 170°F

Craft Supplies