The Gifts Of September

A great way to welcome each new month is by reflecting on the out-going one and counting the many blessings for that month.

August has been a month of wonderment for me - kinda like a mid-life crisis...only that happened years ago ~ and one is enough.

I've come to the knowing that life just stinks sometimes, and if one is at all tuned in, we just pick up, dust off, and return to the gardens.

September is an awesome month in the gardens. Things are slowing down enough to really stop and smell the roses, enjoy the late bloomers, or sit under your favorite tree and just contemplate.

Some things to tend to during this month are:

Stop fertilizing trees, shrubs, and most all plants....this allows them to harden off any new growth before winter sets in.

Divide and move perennials that have become over-grown in their space.

Scatter seeds of perennials in a row or in an open bed, young seedlings will be ready to plant in their permanent location in early spring.

Plant Mums, flowering cabbage and kale for a beautiful autumn color display.

September's flower is the stately Aster-

September's herb is Stevia....the sweet herb.

Stevia is a slender, perennial herb with semi-woody, weak stems. In cultivation, the plants are much more vigorous than natural populations and may exceed 3 feet in height. In its native area, purple and white flowers are produced in December and January. Shoots usually die after maturing, or are killed by frost, with new growth arising by tilling at the base of the plant. It is indigenous to the highland regions of northeastern Paraguay.

Because it is a member of the “Aster” family, once flowering has begun, not a single normal leaf will be produced. Removing flower heads is not effective. Failure to harvest plants before several flowers have opened, will allow these flowers to impart a bitter/dirty flavor to the leaves. Harvesting is done by cutting the entire plant at the base. With a rubber band or pipe cleaner tie loose branches together and hang upside down to dry under warm, dark, drafty conditions for 2-4 days. Avoid using food dehydrators as this will also tend to cause a bitter flavor. “Rake” fingers through branches to remove crisp or dry leaves. Remove any small branches and grind leaves into powder using an electric coffee grinder for 25-30 seconds. Food processors are not as effective because of their slow RPMs. Store green powder in “Mason” jars, or tins with tight fitting lids. Dried green stevia powder will last almost indefinitely or at least until the next harvest.

Interesting Facts: Stevia usage is even more widespread with nearly every industrialized country now consuming a portion of the world’s Stevia crop. It is estimated that 650-700 tons of dried Stevia rebaudiana plants were used in 1981 to make Stevia side extracts. The largest user remains Japan which began cultivating Stevia plants in hothouses in 1954. When the Japanese government banned certain artificial sweeteners due to health concerns in the late sixties, the use of Stevia as a natural alternative increased dramatically. Stevia’s usage has also increased due to the health concerns of Japanese consumers toward sucrose, related to dental caries, obesity and diabetes. By 1987, a total of 1700 metric tons of Stevia leaves were harvested to yield an estimated 190 tons of Stevioside extract. By 1988, extracts of Stevia had captured 41%, by value, of the Japanese high-potency sweetener market. Most of this material was processed through eleven major Stevia manufacturers who have collectively formed the Stevia Association of Japan. Japanese food processors use Stevia in a wide variety of applications. Stevia is common to the Japanese diet in such foods as pickled vegetables, dried sea foods, soy sauce and miso products.


A Recipe To Enjoy~

Hot Breakfast Bowl:
Serves 2 to 4 depending on serving size

2 cups water
1 cup quinoa flakes
¼ tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
12 drops stevia liquid concentrate
1 Tbs. real butter or coconut oil
2 tsp. vanilla flavoring
1 tsp. flax seed oil (optional but very healthy)

Bring water to boil in a 1-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add next five ingredients. Cover and reduce heat to very low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before adding vanilla flavoring and flax seed oil.


Must Reads-and Do Share~

"9 Steps To Keep The Doctor Away" by DR. Rashid A. Buttar
(Medical Director for Advanced Medicine)

This is not just another self help book on things we already know.

Hands down, this is the most honest, easy to grasp, and eye opening book I have ever read.

If you are at all concerned about the why and why not of your personal health, this is a must read.

"Life On Your Terms" by Shann Vander Leek

I was honored to be interviewed and included in Shanns book, I feel very blessed and quite delighted!

Life On Your Terms was written specifically to help you follow your passion and create your life on your terms.

You can connect with Shann at: www.lifeonyourtermsbook.net

I just finished reading this book and will read it again and again...it is a keeper for sure.


Places and People We Know and Love~

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://www.healthierskinnaturally.com

http://www.yourgardenshow.com

http://professionalbusinessalliance.com

And...a brand new site I am loving!

If you have a business or just looking for a great place to relax and enjoy friendly connections, this is the up and coming place to be. http://www.tobri.com

Tip of the Month:

To make an unusual and very aromatic scent for the autumn months....A mix of different colored peppercorns and coffee beans in a old wooden bowl. Yummy~

Whether it's Autumn or Fall to you...embrace and enjoy~

Bea Kunz