This is not a genetic hybrid, but created with the age-old method of grafting by hand the top of a cherry tomato plant to the roots of a white potato plant, so that a single plant produces both tomatoes and potatoes at the same time.
UK Horticulture company Thompson and Morgan states that the Brix (sugar content) of the TomTato’s fruit is higher than most supermarket tomatoes, and the potatoes are fine for boiling, mashing, or roasting. At this time the TomTato is only available in the UK, but the BBC reports that another such plant has been released in New Zealand, made by the company Incredible Edibles, and known as the Potato Tom.
Can’t wait for the US to develop such a plant – I’ve always had good luck with cherry tomatoes, but never with potatoes. Maybe if I had a plant like this I could easily grow both on my little city lot – or better yet in a pot?
Back in December 2012 I wrote about Dr. Dean Clark, a chiropractor who was in the process of developing a new pain relief/healing modality called Bolt Tape. Well, it’s on the market now! It’s been clinically proven as a pain and inflammation reducer, it works with cellular energy, it’s effective in seconds, and it’s non-toxic. It was used by athletes at the 2012 London Olympics…and now regular people can use it, too. Dr. Clark even found an adhesive for Bolt Tape that doesn’t cause me to break out in a rash (like it seems most bandages do) so I really appreciate the healing energy, as well as the pain free adhesive. Here’s some other testimonials. Check out Bolt Tape here.
With electricity becoming more expensive, here’s a way to save resources and get free lighting. The Moser Lamp, invented by Alfredo Moser, is simply a clean empty plastic bottle filled with water and a little bleach. Using the natural science of refraction, the lamp puts out the energy of a 40-60 watt bulb depending on how strong the sun is. In areas where power outages are common and in areas of poverty, Moser Lamps are becoming a great way to provide light to homes cheaply and efficiently.
How much energy do Moser Lamps save? Since plastic bottles are recycled/up-cycled from local communities, there’s no energy needed to gather, manufacture, or ship new bottles, whereas it takes 0.45 kg of CO2 to manufacture one incandescent bulb. Plus, a 50-watt light bulb running for 14 yours a day for a year has a carbon footprint of nearly 200kg of CO2…whereas Moser lamps emit no CO2 at all! Even in first world countries, this would be a fun idea for playhouses, garden sheds, pump houses, etc.
We’ve all seen it happen: the kind, patient person suddenly flares up and bites someone’s head off for no reason. Could the reason ‘nice’ people lash out for no apparent reason be related to their immune system? Take for instance, if you get a tickle in your throat: your body/immune system – without engaging your mind – will try to cough it out automatically. So what if that same subconscious nervous system immune response also works in other ways to expel things from the mind that are deemed by our nervous system as ‘irritants’ as well?
Aronia Berries, also known as Choke Cherries, are a native American fruit. They are full of antioxidents and make great juice. So why don’t more people grow them? Well, for one, they taste puckery/mealy if you eat them fresh. The juice stains your skin. They don’t cook down all that well because of the tiny bitter seeds and skin, and they are terrible dried.
So what do you do with them? I enjoy them two ways:
1. I wash the berries, take off the stems, and put berries in the blender with about 1 part berries to 3/4 parts water. Then I strain and keep the juice, composting the remaining seed/skin sludge. After the juice settles I strain it again to get the second smaller wave of sludge off. I do this over the sink wearing an apron so I don’t stain anything (the stains scrub out of the sink and off your hands eventually). I put the juice in bottles in the fridge and Continue reading →
This idea was the thesis project of Syracuse University Industrial Design graduate Amanda Savitsky. Measuring cups and bowls that are numbered, different colors, and different shapes, so those with autism spectrum disorders (and those just who like artsy cool measuring tools) can more easily follow recipe instructions. The Match Prep Cooking System design teaches linear left to right layout and employs workstations that create structure and routine, two powerful ways to encourage learning for people with autism. There’s even an iPad app that takes cooking preparation tasks and breaks them down into small steps – basically an online cookbook to complement these measuring tools. It doesn’t look like this idea has been manufactured yet, but this video shows the concept in use.
The Chinese name for Schisandra is wu-wei-zi, which means “five taste-fruits” or “five flavor herb” because the fruits contain all five flavors: sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and salty. Sucking on a dry fruit is an interesting experience because of its many flavors. Chomping into a fresh one you don’t quite get the ending sweet note, so are left with a funny look on your face due to the mouth gymnastics. But the after effect is a zing of energy, at least for me. Maybe it’s just because my taste buds get a good work out.
Since I’m working towards an edible landscape, and this is a berry/vine that grows in the shade, I’ve got it growing next the north side of the house in full shade on a wooden trellis. It’s an easy-care vine, and likes well-drained soil with Continue reading →
Here’s a tarp that can be set up that provides a hassle-free way to collect pure drinking water when camping. The surface can be used not only as a backpacking tarp to add weather protection for your hammock, but it also has a rainwater retention system made up of rain gutters and a suspension system to siphon water out towards the four corners where bottles are attached. When the bottles are full, they pull down the tarp, providing even better protection for the people below. The fabric includes both waterproofing and a heat reflective coating, so if it’s cold and stormy, the tarp can be set up with the reflective side on the bottom, and the dark rain retention side on the top to collect water. If it’s warm and sunny, the tarp can be set up with the reflective side out to help shed some of the heat from the sun. The total system is now available through Kammok.
Humans only use a small percentage of our brains. That’s because 7% of our brain goes to conscious thought, and 93% to subconscious. Our subconscious is our processing hardware used for things like breathing, heartbeat, blood, walking, digesting, etc. It also processes our dreams, and includes our memory banks and experience – which can include phobias, bad habits, and other things we find hard for our conscious mind to control.
I’ve found a business that is working to help re-wire the subconscious hardware so we can change some of the ingrained habits at the core level. Rose Ludwig, RN CHt, is the founder of Heartwise Hypnotherapy in Vancouver Washington. As a licensed Consulting Hypnotist, she also has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, is a Registered Nurse, a former professional bodywork practitioner, and has trained in several other healing modalities. Rose works with her clients in areas such as stress management, enhancing creativity and imagination, management of physical problems (morning sickness, snoring, preparation for surgery, more energy), ego strengthening (self image, exam confidence, improving self-esteem), habit and behavior changes (smoking cessation, weight control, nail biting, motivation to exercise) and phobias/fears (fear of dentists, spiders, public speaking, dogs, needles, etc.). Rose first of all LISTENS to find out Continue reading →
This urban farm in LA shows how one couple is growing their own fresh vegetables and fruit trees, raising chickens, and composting. They also have a solar food dryer, show how to make your own outdoor emergency toilet using a milk crate, and how to make a stove. Since they live in earthquake territory, these items have been used in the past when the city systems have been down. Many of these ideas can also be used when camping.
Maria Elena Grimmett, a 14 year old who is a noted research scientist, has won awards, published articles and more on the subject of removing ground water contaminants. As she watched pesticides being sprayed on the golf course grounds next to her house, she wondered if the contaminants could possibly get into the water system due to Florida’s shallow water table. Her research tenacity paid off with a little help from her parents, teachers, and mentors in the scientific community (including Russian scientist Dr. Vadim Davankov, whom she’s corresponded with about his invention of hypercrosslinked adsorbents).
Maria Elena Grimmett’s dream is that “water engineers will be able to remove sulfamethazine from water around the world” using her research. Read more about her work here.
There’s a new way to approach the healing of trauma. Collective trauma happens to groups of people through war, disease, terrorist attack, natural disasters, mass shootings, and attempted genocide. Transgenerational trauma takes place in groups historically over generations – such as those whose relatives suffered during the holocaust. Effects are specific: fear, rage, depression, survivor guilt, and physical responses in the brain and body that can lead to illness and a sense of disconnection or detachment. Collective trauma can be transmitted down generations and throughout communities in such possible ways as poverty, alcoholism, depression, sexual abuse, etc.
French Bio Chemist Pierre Calleja discovered that Micro Algae eats CO2 – i.e. car exhaust – and then uses that energy power to create light. This technology was recently tested in a parking lot to clean air – it can capture and filter one ton of CO2 per year – and used the pollution as an energy source to create light. This technology is currently being used to light and filter the air in an underground parking garage, but this would work great in urban areas, and revolutionize cityscapes.
Wolfberry or Goji berry is a yummy anti-oxidant berry on an easy to grow vine. We’ve got our vine bungee-corded to a metal pole with a curved plant hanger on each side, but you can run this vine up anything from an arbor to a dead tree. The first year it just kinda sat there and looked sad, the second year it had a few berries, but after the third year it’s been healthy and happy and keeps producing more berries as I pick off the ripe ones. They’ve got a definite juicy honey-sweet flavor to them. I’ve found that it’s not a good idea to let them dry on the vine, because they get so sweet they attract ants. Maybe in a few years when the vine is totally full of fruit we might think about picking them fresh to dry, but at this point in time they are so good none get past the picking-fresh-and-popping-in-the-mouth stage.
(Lycium barbarum) Also known as Matrimony Vine, is an attractive Chinese Continue reading →
Many books are written on how to put your extroverted self out there to be better, stronger, faster! so it’s great to find a book with a different take on how to help give voice to those on the more introverted side. The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D, is a book that focuses on pointing out the unique thinking patterns and skills that introverts bring to problem solving and life. An introvert is someone who gets their recharge energy from being alone, whereas an extrovert is someone who gets their recharge energy from being out in the excitement with other people. An example might be going to a dinner party: an extrovert will be revved up after all the Continue reading →
Why have brown grass when you can be feeding people? This gentleman planted a food forest in the parking strip in front of his house. Neighbors come by to walk the paths. What a great community builder, sharing food, peace, and care. Here’s Ron Finley talking about the Food Forest in his yard:
A new business model – Beast Fit Nation – offers free grueling workouts with one catch – you have to promise you’ll do three random acts of kindness after you leave. Local sponsors pay for the gym. If you’re not from Portland, they’ve got free workout videos on their web site, music playlists, sports news, and more for you to enjoy.
When our kids were upper grade school they squirreled all over the place – including climbing up the doorway frames and doing flips onto the couch. My sister suggested these were gymnastic moves. So we signed the kids up for a gymnastics class and the rest was history: both kids LOVED it. The kids had dabbled in the usual kids sports, but neither of them liked the competition/stress felt in traditional sports. The gymnastics classes were held in a place called The Children’s Gym, and focused on learning, not competition. Both kids developed self-confidence, body awareness, and no fear when having their head below their body (such as Continue reading →
Last mid-week I visited my sister in a small rural town for a few days. We enjoyed visiting with her women friends at her house for a potluck dinner. My sister and I walked through a local forest munching a snack of woodland sorrel and the first ripe salmon berries as we smelled the fresh ferns, and viewed the straggly moss hanging off the vibrant green trees and crumbling nurse logs. We took her small perky dog to a field and my sister combed out copious amounts of the dogs winter undercoat to take off the weight/warmth for spring, allowing the fur to blow through the field to be picked up by birds for their nests. We went to a local teashop for sandwiches, tea and brainstorming. When my sister was at work I journaled, read, and took a hot bath in the quiet privacy of her home. It was bliss. One thing I didn’t do was go online, as my sister’s home has no Continue reading →
Voice Talent and co-owner of the Hughes/Taylor audio production company.
Encouraging thought leaders (those with innovative and sometimes odd, simple, practical ideas) through Better Ideas Now.
Creating Free fashion, frugal fun through Swap Positive.