By: Laura Killingbeck
Dragonfire tincture is a blend of three special medicinal herbs–turmeric, tulsi, and black pepper– that work in harmony with each other to reduce inflammation and support the immune system.  Turmeric is used widely in western medicine as well as traditional practices, to treat chronic and acute conditions.  Black pepper increases turmeric’s bioavailability exponentially.  Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, has also been used medicinally for thousands of years, and is recognized for its ability to reduce inflammation and help the body adapt to physical and emotional stress.
I began growing turmeric and tulsi eight years as part of an organic agroforestry system at Rancho Mastatal Sustainability Education Center in Costa Rica.  I started growing turmeric because I loved its vibrant color, and tulsi and later black pepper because I felt mesmerized by their fragrance and flavors.  I loved these plants and wanted to be around them.  As the years went by, I read more about their incredible medicinal properties, and started using them in teas, salves, and other medicinal preparations.  Dragonfire tincture became one of my favorite medicinal recipes with these lovely plants.
Dragonfire tincture is a made mostly from herbs that I grow organically in Costa Rica, supplemented with herbs from other organic growers.  I hope to be able to supply all my own hand grown herbs soon for these tinctures.  I dry the herbs in a solar dehydrator and make the tincture in small batches based on standard medicinal ratios.
People take this tincture when they want extra immune support, or to reduce inflammation.  One special benefit of this type of tincture is that its very easy to use and has a longer shelf life than many other types of herbal preparations.  You can keep a bottle in your medicine cabinet and have it there when you need it.

By: Laura Killingbeck

Friendly Dragon Pepper Mixes

Most people stock spicy chile powder in the kitchen.  But what about a mild chile pepper powder?  Peppers come in an array of flavors and colors that make delicious, fragrant, powdered spice.

Red Friendly Dragon Pepper Mix

Use any sweet red peppers, like lunch box peppers or bell peppers.  You can use just one variety, or mix and match.

Wash the peppers and remove the stems and seeds.  Chop into pieces one inch or less.  Spread flat on a tray in a food dehydrator and dehydrate at about 125 F for 12 hours or until brittle.  Remove from the dehydrator and put the pieces in a spice grinder, nutrabullet, or other grinding tool.  Grind until powdered.  To get the finest texture, sift in a flour sifter.  Store the pepper powder in a glass jar.  It should retain its color, flavor, and a beguiling fragrance.

From Westport River Watershed Alliance

Roberta Carvalho, WRWA Science Director
Marketing tactics influencing the fear of bacteria and dirt have driven the demand for antibacterial soaps and products. Consumers are barraged with commercials showing that bacteria is harmful and causes illness. There are typically 40 million bacterial cells in a gram of soil and a million bacterial cells in one ml of fresh water. Only a small number of these “germs” can cause harm to the human body. Most of the bacteria illnesses in the United States are not even from dirt, they are food born.

Sometimes antibacterial products have a negative effect on our bodies and our environment. Triclosan, is a chemical in antibacterial soaps, cleaners, and antiseptic toiletries. In 2016 the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a rule banning the use of triclosan, triclocarban and 17 other chemicals in hand and body washes which are marketed as being more effective than simple soap. Companies have a year to take these ingredients out of their products or remove the products from the market.

Bacteria help to decompose waste in our septic tanks. To achieve proper treatment for germs, a septic system is dependent on millions of naturally occurring bacteria throughout the system. Good bacteria from our bodies and waste are what make a septic system function. Anaerobic bacteria in the tank decompose organic waste. Aerobic bacteria in soil, destroys disease causing pathogens and finish breaking down molecular waste. The accumulative use of antibacterial soaps and cleaners in the home, causes significant and total destruction of both the good and bad bacteria in the septic system. Most antibacterial products are washed or flushed down the drain, however; onsite wastewater systems (septic systems) can’t process these chemicals.

Because septic systems are responsible for the treatment of water that eventually returns back into the environment. Septic maintenance is a vital part of ensuring a healthy and safe environment. Maintaining the bacteria in the septic system is key. 75% of all liquid soaps contain anti-bacterials as well as: shampoos, body wash, mouthwash, toothpaste, tile tub and shower cleaners, drain cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, laundry detergents, bleach and bleach alternative products, kitchen disinfectants, dish soaps and dish washer detergents, and fabric softeners. We live in a world where we surrounded by antibacterials and it is almost impossible to eliminate using them,
however; limiting the use can contain the problem.

To limit antibacterials in your septic:

♦ Never use toilet bowl cleaners that stay in the bowl or work after every flush.
♦ Reduce the use of drain cleaner by using drain traps.
♦ When cleaning, scrub more and use less cleaning product.
♦ Never dispose of grease in a drain, it ultimately stops bacteria from decomposing waste.
♦ Avoid excessive water flushing into the septic system -it stunts bacteria growth.
♦ Use regular soap and avoid products that say antibacterial, sanitizing and disinfectant.
♦ Use white vinegar followed by hydrogen peroxide to clean surfaces, especially in the kitchen.
♦ Avoid bleach and bleach alternatives as much as possible.
♦ Never flush prescriptions or over the counter medications (antibiotics).
♦ Don’t use harsh septic tank cleaners or septic tank additives.
♦ Be aware that while labels that read “won’t harm septic tanks” won’t actually harm the tank itself, but   can harm the bacteria in the tank.

Looking to feed your family some meat that you can trust? Paradox Acres has pigs available for purchase that you can feel good about knowing that they were born and raised in South Dartmouth on pasture and fed a diet of non-GMO feed. Buying whole or half animals is a great way to support a farmer, pick the cuts you want and cut down on trips to the grocery store by buying in bulk.