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THE EARTH - Online Monthly Newspaper of the
"Ringing Cedars" movement.

Language Selection:
English | Russian | Deutsch | Turkce





This section is devoted to the information that will be useful in the creation of a Kin's Domains.

Children's Upbringing and Education:

Meaning of Food in Our Lives

Health, Natural Methods of Health Improvement

Ecological Farming, Permaculture

Green Construction, Eco-friendly Technologies

Source of Life Association
Day of Earth Celebration Hosting Project


Exclusive interview with Vladimir Megre for THE EARTH Newspaper PART II.

Mr. Megre talks about his new book and answers important questions.

(Interview by Regina Jensen)

Watch the upcoming issues.


I make no claims at all to the authorship of this somewhat humorous, somewhat life-like fantasy story. Its title and beginning were set down by the readers of the books, participants in the forum, as, it seems to me, providing a worthy answer to scandalmongers about a sect.... I suggest that all who are interested make their own additions and changes. The final version will be published in the next edition of the almanac.

V. Megre

"The Sect in the Name of Me"

The large room of the international press centre could not hold all those who wished to take part in this press conference. Everyone wanted to see and hear this person, the representative of a unique phenomenon occurring in the human community on the threshold of the new millennium.

A smart-looking, smiling young man appeared before the elite of international journalism and said his first words:

"Hello, my name is Batyr."

Just what did this young man do that was so sensational? This is what: he founded a sect called "The Sect in the Name of Me," and put forward a unique programme for the transformation of the planet.
The journalists' first questions were the standard ones: Who leads your sect? What is its membership? The answers staggered everyone present. The young man said:

"My sect is called 'The Sect in the Name of Me,' and I myself exercise its totalitarian leadership. Since admission to my sect is strictly limited, its membership consists of only one person, that is me, but shortly I intend to increase the membership two-fold because of my fiancee Olenka. After she joins my sect, in nine months we shall admit yet another person, a boy, I think. Following this, there are no plans for the admission of new members for two years. After two years, we shall admit yet another person, I think this will be a little girl. In general, my fiancee Olenka and I plan to bring the membership in our sect up to nine persons."

Question from the room:

"What is your sect's agenda?"

The answer:

"To obtain one hectare of land, plant a garden, build a house in this wonderful garden, and create a space of love around the house. All the members of my totalitarian sect must breathe clean air, drink only spring water, eat only fresh, wholesome foods, create divine oases on earth, and be happy."

Question from the room:

"How do you feel about other denominations, parties, teachings?"

The answer:

"All the things you have mentioned belong to sects that are called 'The Sect in the Name of Someone Else.' I do not recognize them at all, since they do not promote the implementation of my totalitarian programme."

Question from the room:

"So, that means that the press has been criticizing you with publications having shocking headlines, such as, for example, in the weekly Sobesednik, 'Save yourself if you can.'"

The answer:

"Yes, those are the ones, well, the sects called 'The Sect in the Name of Someone Else,' that have been criticizing me."

Question from the room:

"You have issued a challenge to the entire world community, to philosophy that has stood for centuries, or, as you yourself have expressed it, to all sects that call themselves 'The Sect in the Name of Someone Else.' Are you sure that you will be able to stand your ground in our time?"

The answer:

"Absolutely sure. And moreover, I am issuing many other challenges. But I do not plan to stay in your time. I am moving forward to my own time."

Question from the room:

"As you know, there are a large number of sects called 'The Sect in the Name of Someone Else,' among them are those with very large memberships. With whom will your small sect be friendly or associate?"


"There are other sects called 'The Sect in the Name of Me,' where other leaders exercise totalitarian leadership. I shall associate with them."

An uneasy whisper spread among the journalists gathered in the room. Someone yelled out a frightened question:

"So, there are other sects called 'The Sect in the Name of Me'? How many?"

The answer:

"At the moment, not many. Somewhere around a million. But new ones are springing up all the time."

For several minutes a deathly silence reigned in the large room of the international press centre. It was broken by the next question, already a timid one:

"Could you please tell me, esteemed leader of the faith with the wonderful name 'The Sect in the Name of Me,' do the other wonderful 'Sects in the Name of Me' faiths have the same types of agendas as yours? Are you supporters of each other, or opponents?"

The answer:

"We are not opponents. But there are elements of secret competition between us. Each leader of a totalitarian 'Sect in the Name of Me' considers that he will be able to create the best space of love. But I definitely know that the best on earth will be mine. Because my fiancee Olenka is the best girl in the world."

The well-known television announcer of ORT's first channel jumped up from his seat and cried out:

"Ladies and gentlemen! Colleagues! Can't you see how the wool has been pulled over our eyes? This isn't any kind of sect! This young man is striving to construct a little corner of paradise for his beloved, create a healthy, happy family. To have sons and daughters with the girl he loves. And he is simply laughing at us, like idiots."

The room was filled simultaneously with an indignant roar and with laughter. Exclamations could be heard:

"Well done! What a laugh! That's just it, he wants to create a happy family. Who gave you the right to make fun of people like that?"

The young man calmly raised his hand, quieting the room, and said:

"Forgive me, ladies and gentlemen, if I offended anyone. I really wanted simply to create a space of love, to lay out a kin's domain, where my children and my beloved Olenka will live happily, and I was not the one to call my activities the agenda of a totalitarian sect. It was, you know, one of your colleagues who spread the rumour that this was sectarianism. And he convinced you. But why should I waste my time and energy in refuting all sorts of gossip? Call my activities whatever you want...."

"Who was it? Who was it? Who was it?" The question was on the lips of those gathered in the room. And under the chorus of questions, crouching down almost to the floor, a sweaty man with beady eyes rushed to the entrance.

The young man stood up, smiled at the excited journalists, who were arguing among themselves, and said:

"Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen, you can argue among yourselves without me. I have too much to do. I am going to create the plan for the future domain of The Sect in the Name of Me."

He was already walking to the edge of the stage when suddenly a woman's ringing voice called out in Russian with an obvious English accent:

"Young man! Please! One minute! Wait!"

He stopped and turned at the sound of the woman's desperate voice. He saw a young journalist from the New York Times who had risen from her seat. The American began to speak to him anxiously:

"I realize that admission to your sect is strictly limited, especially for women. But I also want to live in this space...I want to live in a space of love. But of course you won't admit me, you have Olenka. But I want to, I've decided. I am declaring this in the presence of everyone. I am founding a totalitarian 'Sect in the Name of Me.' I will build a space of love for my sect. Young man, please permit me to build it next to yours. I will be a good neighbor to you."

"Well, in general," the young man answered the American, "I'd have nothing against that, it's just that for the time being you are alone in your sect. It will be difficult alone."

"Yes, I am alone. But I am not afraid when things are difficult. I will build it. Perhaps someone will like my space, and will want to join The Sect in the Name of Me," answered the woman from the New York Times, and blushed.

"Madame," exclaimed a journalist from France, rising from his seat, "I studied architecture, have become really interested in botany. Please, Madame, accept me into your totalitarian sect. I will try my best for The Sect in the Name of Me. Or for your sect, Madame. Or for ours. I don't know how to say it best. But I very much want to be in your sect under your totalitarian leadership and build a space of love. And I want it to be neighbors with an equally good space."

"Guten tag! Guten tag!" A journalist from the Deutsche Express jumped to his feet. "What is this 'accept me' nonsense? Admission should take place only on a competitive basis. I am also claiming admission, I am not only a journalist, but an artist, a designer. What's more, I fell in love with Catherine as long as a year ago, during our meeting at a press conference at the Bulgarian Embassy, I simply have not managed to tell her yet. But now...."

"Ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen." An elderly journalist from the Daily Telegraph rose from his seat. "Of course, my age.... But what is age? I am authorized to make an announcement. I am declaring myself to be the leader of a totalitarian 'Sect in the Name of Me.' I shall also build. Accept me also as one of your good neighbors."

Speaking animatedly with each other, the journalists left the large room of the international press centre.

Once on the street, many of them continued their conversations, breaking into couples. The following conclusion could be drawn about these couples, judging by their joyous, somewhat excited conversations: each couple was a totalitarian sect called "The Sect in the Name of Me." To put it another way, each pair represented a future family that set before itself the goal of constructing its own kin's domain, its own space of love. How to say it more accurately? Sect or family? Who now can figure it out? But is that the main thing in our little story?

Translation copyright


Language Selection:
English | Russian | Deutsch | Turkce


Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

The Anastasia Foundation for Culture and Creative Support of the City of Vladimir along with "Ringing Cedars Ltd." announces that, from 10th of October to 17th of October 2008, it will hold an international readers' conference with the participation of Vladimir Nikolaevich Megre, author of the "Ringing Cedars of Russia" books.

It is planned to hold the eight-day conference in Turkey, city of Antalia - Belek in a five-star hotel "BELCONTI" (Internet-site:


Day 1: 10 October 2008. Arrival, assigning accommodations, registration of arrivals, familiarization with the detailed schedule of events, familiarization with additional information and the grounds of the hotel. Viewing of a television programme on closed-circuit television entitled "Allow me to introduce myself," which talks about the participants in the conference and about villages under construction and in operation.

Day 2: 11 October 2008. Arrival, assigning accommodations, registration of arrivals, familiarization with the detailed schedule of events, collection of additional information, announcements, beginning of the operation of the internal mail service, operation of the close-circuit television system, programme "Allow me to introduce myself." Get-acquainted party.

Day 3: 12 October 2008. Meeting of Vladimir Nikolaevich Megre, the author of the "Ringing Cedars of Russia" books, with readers. From 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.-beginning of the international conference and answers to questions from readers.

Days 4 - 7: For the days of October 13-16 the Ringing Cedars Conference programme includes flexible schedule of events.

Day 8: 17 October 2008. Free interaction day, farewell party.

The organizing committee of the conference will invite professional interpreters from Russian to English, for a synchronized translation of Vladimir Megre's presentation. However, we cannot guarantee that we can provide interpreters for individual personal interactions, so we suggest that groups consisting of individual settlements should select an interpreter from among their participants.

During the entire period, a mail service and information-inquiry service will be operating, through which you will be able to contact any conference participant of interest. In the event you wish to submit your hand-made articles for exhibit, you must inform us prior to 15 September 2008 by e-mail which is listed below.

The schedule of events has been considered put together by us based on financial resources. If you have any suggestions or comments that are within our means, we are prepared to listen to and discuss them.


1. You must have a passport for foreign travel whose validity should not end two months prior to your departure for Turkey (if you do not have one, you have time to obtain one at the passport office of the district where you reside). You must purchase the tour by filling out the following form:
2. The cost of the tour for 3 nights is $250 USD and for 7 nights is $550 USD per person. The cost includes transportation (airport-hotel-airport), insurance, and residence two person suite in a five star hotel. Three meals per day, all inclusive. Single suites and luxury suites are available for additional cost. Travel by air from the closest international airport from your location is not included. In 24 hours a qualified specialist will contact you providing full information regarding booking of tickets. You can get an idea regarding the price of air tickets by the address of the lead tour operator.
3. Organizational fee - $120. For the payment of the organizational fee please use one of the contact addresses listed below.

If you have any questions or suggestions please visit the websites listed below to receive all of the needed information, or contact us in a manner you are most comfortable with.

USA, South Africa, South America:

130 Church Street Suit 366
New York, NY

Customer service and orders
Tel: 646-429-1985
Tel: 1-877-TO-CEDAR (862-3327)
(Toll free within US)
Fax: 1-877-549-6902
(Toll free within US)

Outside USA:
Tel: +1-646-429-1985

Canada, Australia, New Zealand:

1057 Steeles Ave. W.
P.O. Box 81768
Toronto, ON

Customer service and orders
Tel: 416-628-8976
Tel: 1-888-994-6495
(Toll free within Canada)
Fax: 1-888-994-9495
(Toll free within Canada)

Outside Canada:
Tel: +1-416-628-8976


P.O. Box 10 14 18

Customer service and orders
Tel: +49-2361-499639 (German)
Tel: +44-(0)870-068-9694 (English) (German, English) (German, English)

Customer service in ENGLAND
Free Phone: 0800-027-0874
Tel: 0870-068-9694
Fax: 0870-068-9693

Outside UK:

Tel: +44-(0)870-068-9694



The Realm of Berendeevo

The desire to be closer to nature and live in unity with it today is near and dear to many of us. The idea of ecological settlements that arose several years ago in one form or another is already being brought to life in various areas: the Grishino ecovillage 300 km from St. Petersburg, the Novye Lozhki settlement near the Novosibirsk academic village, Kitezh, and many others. Having moved a little further from the cities, people are attempting to carry out natural farming in harmony with nature and devote more time to the upbringing of their children, while preserving the traditions of their ancestors. "Great!" the city dweller will say, imagining an idyllic picture of a wooden house, high cedars, singing birds, a babbling brook, a mug of fresh milk on the table, barefoot happy children running through the yard. Great, but not for long. The stereotypes of the modern way of life will make him look at all this from another point of view: heating by a stove, outside facilities, no hot water or telephone, the television does not get all the programs, no place to go other than the village club, low pay for work, work that you won't even find in the village now. "But, you know, an ecosettlement bears little resemblance to a modern village," reasons Oleg Kazakov, one of the initiators and ideologists involved in the creation of an ecological settlement near Khabarovsk. "The rural way of life has today lost its attractiveness, while the peasant has lost his vital guiding points. He has become very much dependent on the employer, and he considers the work on his parcel of land to be a burdensome, hopeless, and unprofitable venture. Not everyone is capable of becoming a farmer in order to provide for himself and his family, and other work is difficult to find in the countryside. But we are not farmers, we find work for ourselves in other spheres of activity: the organization of ecotourism, the growing of edible taiga plants and medicinal herbs, phytotherapy, beekeeping, the revival of folk trades. In addition, we are advocates of plowless, organic farming."

"We are going out to live in the ecovillage not only for the sake of working on the land," say the future ecovillagers, members of the Belovode non-commercial partnership. "We have other goals, for us material prosperity is not the main thing. The stereotype of the modern person's prosperity is this: an apartment, car, high paying job or one's own business-which are not available to everyone and are acquired in the intensive pace of the city's hustle and bustle, in which stopping is the road to poverty. time to raise your children, your basic form of relaxation is an evening in front of the television. And our children are becoming alienated from us, we are becoming uninteresting and boring to them, they listen more to the advice of their peers than to us, they search for the meaning of life in incoherent talk shows, and respect among them for their elders is a rarity. We do not notice how they are growing up on chips, hamburgers, and beer, how at already 20 years of age they are as callous as older people, speak of money and sex much more often than about love and the family, and the television and cinema films they prefer are overflowing with violence. There is less goodness in the world....

"Do we spend a lot of time with our children? Who, on the whole, takes care of their upbringing? Daycare, school, the street. We believe that the fundamentals of goodness are laid down by bringing up children in the family, and we want to spend more time with them. Our place of work and home should be nearby, and work should bring us joy, be creative, and not steal time from us for interacting with our family."

It is no secret to anyone that, despite the achievements of modern medicine and pharmacology, the number of sick people is not decreasing, but rather the contrary. Where has the saying, "genuine Russian, Siberian health" disappeared to? What does a healthy way of life mean, in the opinion of the ecovillagers?

"We have forgotten that man is a part of nature," they say. "It is precisely in nature where the sources of vital energy and the foundations of our health are stored. Irritability, the furious pace of city life, improper nutrition, inactivity, polluted air and water, other technogenic factors surround us in any city, reducing the immunity of generations for decades. Advertising constantly convinces us that health begins with yogurts, Coca-Cola, Chupa Chups lollipops, dehydrated Maggi cubes, reconstituted milk products and juices, not to mention the advertisements for beer that fill up air time. It's all gibberish.... A person obtains health from freshly picked fruit growing next to his home. There is a good reason that the sales of Chinese vegetables and fruits fall during the summer period: people prefer the local produce. Moreover, Far Eastern flora is made up of 1700 types of edible plants, of which we use less than 5% in our food. All this variety has been created for us by nature, to provide for our existence at this latitude. In its composition, our honey is the food product richest in vitamins and trace elements, and iodine insufficiency is made up for by a common grass-Xanthium-one only has to be sincere in striving to be healthy. The health of any one of us begins not with the achievements of medicine, but with the person, with the habits he formed in childhood of eating, breathing, and moving, and most importantly, of spiritual peace, which in the modern world is catastrophically lacking."

"To build a house of ecologically pure materials, this is not yet everything," says Oleg Kazakov. "We see this approach, by the way, in the new Siberians in the Ecodom programme, there everything revolves around living space. There is economy of energy and heat, it is ecological, but surrounded by the same 20 to 25 ares (an are is one-hundredth of a hectare) of land, which is insufficient in order to develop the necessary biodiversity of plants, for which no less than a hectare is required. After all, grass, trees, and shrubs are not only beautiful landscaping, they are also your bioshield. All plants interact among themselves, help or harm each other, depending on how they are planted, influence growth and fruitfulness, one has to know how to plant them. In addition, they have an influence on man, the cedar, oak, birch, elm, all in a different way. The basic complexity consists precisely in skillfully creating a harmonious ecosystem around one's abode. We get together once a week and invite various specialists, listen to their lectures, we try to pool the knowledge we have obtained. But the ecologically pure house today is not a major problem. Heat conservation, local biological purification of sewage, autonomous electrical power, all these developments exist and are not as expensive as they seem at first glance."

"Many people ask us what we will do. Where will we work? After all, you can't feed a family on the products from your garden, and in addition to our daily bread we also need other things. And we are not prepared to wait until someone comes and gives us work, we know what we are going to do, we regard certain types of activity in a different way. For example, folk trades. Everyone regards them as the production of souvenirs, various pretty knick-knacks, while we are preparing to use them in daily life, because apart from their pretty design, they have another use. A birch basket, for example, is the best container for the preservation of dry products and honey, and a tub made of cedar or juniper is the best container for milk or pickled products. And when we are asked, how is it that we are prepared to cut down cedars, as if we contradict ourselves, we are destroying nature. We grow cedars. Today we grow them at country homes and on window sills, and when we receive land, we shall organize a tree nursery, we shall preserve the collected plantings of precious taiga plants on our land.

"We have to get rid of the feeling that we are here temporarily in the Far East, we have to set down roots, consolidate our family on this land. For that reason we call our future farmsteads 'Kin's domains.' Our children will continue our initiatives, they already help us now. People now like to say that a person should have a choice, so the choice between the city and the country should also be a worthy one. Now the country looks completely unattractive, its prosperity is being constructed on government subsidies. But there will always be too few of them. After all, this is far from being a black earth area, the fertile layer here is thin, here the village must be built another way, other farming must be practised. Fields sown with single crops require enormous expenditures for their cultivation and harvesting, we can't cope on our own. We have other riches-the riches of the taiga, we can grow new agricultural crops, they possess great healing power. Would this not be an occupation for our future generations in Kin's domains?"

Belovode is a Slavic myth about a fairyland. It has been sought for centuries, as has the mysterious Shambhala, but has not been found to this day. But the villagers are not looking, they are building it themselves.

View the Full Gallery
Translation copyright


At a time when prices for real domain in Donetsk are increasing rapidly, young families are finding exceptional solutions to the apartment problem. More and more city dwellers are moving to rural areas, where life is cheaper and, as the advocates of similar steps claim, much more pleasant. Reporters from Donbass spent some time in the settlement of Novogrigorovka, where former residents of Donetsk, Gorlovka, Lugansk, and other large cities of the region have created a real ecovillage and named it "Rassvet [Dawn]."

All land-to the peasants!

All the local "voluntary settlers" moved to this village not far from Debaltsevo in order to take advantage of the Peasant Private Farmstead Act. This law, adopted in 2003, gives each adult citizen of Ukraine the right to receive the ownership, free of charge, of up to two hectares of land, on which one can lay out a garden, build a house, take up animal husbandry or beekeeping-in general, operate a farm. Soon after the adoption of this law, a group of enthusiasts was formed in Donetsk who wanted to take advantage of it. One of them was Vitaliy Krivenda, who now lives in Novogrigorovka.

"The law itself was passed, but there was no mechanism for its implementation," he says. "We fought for this land for a year and a half. The village council looked at us as if we were crazy, they didn't have either a computer or any idea about the new laws. They even suspected that we were taking this land in order to sell it later. But, you know, in Ukraine there is a moratorium on the sale of land, but we don't need that. We heard so many things-there were a lot of skeptics. But in the end, everything worked out."

In one allotment more than twenty parcels of land were assigned for the ecovillage. True, not all the "new landowners" moved here to take up permanent residence-some only periodically drop in from the city. But there are also those who have definitively exchanged the blessings of civilization for the beauties of nature.

The apartment is cramped, and work is boring

Kseniya and Evgeniy Vodopyanov have already been living in the village for four years. In order to move here, the spouses-both graduates of the Gorlovka Institute of Foreign Languages-left brilliant career opportunities in Donetsk. And they have no regrets.

"I had a good job, in half a year I became a department head in an insurance company and was going further," says Kseniya. "Then everyone was surprised: 'How could you turn down such opportunities? This is so sudden!' No, this was not really sudden. At a certain moment, I felt that I could not go on this way any more. I was sitting at work from morning to night, but in fact was doing nothing useful for anyone. I wanted a child, but knew that if I dropped out of that rat race even for a year, I could forget about the progress of my career. What's more, we couldn't find an apartment at a reasonable price for a whole year, we were living with my grandmother. But I didn't really feel like living in an apartment. After the institute, I worked in Germany for eight months in the au pair programme, I lived in a private home. Even after that trip I had a sense of how cramped it is in a city apartment. Abroad it is thought that only poor people live in the city, people who don't have the money to buy their own home."

And then Kseniya came across the books from the "Ringing Cedars of Russia" series by Vladimir Megre-a very popular author among the Russian supporters of life in the open air. His basic idea is that a person can be happy only when he has his own land on which he can build a house and plant a garden.

"Of course I regarded these books simply as literature, but the idea itself seemed beautiful to me," says Kseniya. "And when I shared it with my husband, he suddenly said, 'So let's get ourselves some land.' I was amazed, 'What land? I'm not ready.' But he began to look, read on the Internet about the creation of an ecovillage, then we decided to come and have a look. At the beginning what we saw didn't impress us. You know, everyone immediately wants a woods with a lake and a house with an attic. And here was just a bare steppe, everything was drab. But we thought it over, and nevertheless started registering the documents. In 2004 we moved to the country and rented a house, and in 2005 we finally became the owners of three hectares of land."

Without water, but with the Internet

To do this, Kseniya and her husband had to quit their jobs. It was complicated at the beginning. They planted a garden on their land, but the winter turned out to be very severe, and all the young saplings perished. However the spouses did not give up. Newly planted trees took root, the couple had a little daughter, to whom they gave the old Russian name "Zabava." And last year the family bought a house in Novogrigorovka. It doesn't have running water, but they do have the Internet.

Evgeniy does translations at home. Kseniya got a job as a teacher in the village elementary school, and in addition works part-time at her alma mater. It turned out that, even living far from civilization, you can make not a bad living.

Other founders of Rassvet have also found jobs in the new area. Vitaliy Krivenda created and is developing the Debaltsevo city portal on the Internet, and at the same time is working at the local newspaper. He gets to work by bicycle-the trip takes only ten minutes. To get to Donetsk, he first has to use a regular taxi, then a fixed-route taxi. But this does not trouble the local residents-not long ago Kseniya and Evgeniy even went to the ballet. They say that when they lived in Donetsk, they only got out to the cinema on a couple of occasions, there was no time or inclination to do more.

"It can't be said that our style of life is all that very different from the city," says Kseniya. "It's just that our daughter has somewhere to play, she is healthier than children living in the city. She is three years old, and has not once had to go see doctors. I don't feel at all deprived. On the other hand, I have what many other people do not-a house and garden, and, most important, the goal in life to create beauty on my own land with my own hands."

They have arrived!

The native residents of Novogrigorovka initially gave a hostile reception to the settlers. They simply could not understand why these people were doing such an obviously stupid thing-leaving the city for the country, when all normal people were doing exactly the opposite. In addition, they had an iron-clad argument: "You don't drink vodka, so, something is wrong here. Probably members of a sect."

There was also another problem: although the land assigned to the settlers by law was considered to be unoccupied, the local residents had been grazing their cows on it for a long time. And when the new owners stopped allowing them onto the usual areas, they became enraged. The most dissatisfied even turned to arson attacks-many parcels were severely damaged at the hands of the vengeful villagers.

With time, the villagers became accustomed to their new neighbors and even turned out to be rather pleased. After all, now Novogrigorovka is perhaps the only village in Donetsk Oblast where people come from the cities and restore the abandoned houses and infrastructure.

Internet address

The Rassvet Ecovillage has its own page on the Internet:

The Ukrainian statute, Peasant Private Farmstead Act of 15 May 2003, may be found at the site of the Supreme Council at the address:

Instead of taking three-year-old Zabava around to see doctors, Kseniya Vodopyanova lets her run barefoot through the grass all summer.

The most comfortable, pleasant, and useful means of transportation in the ecovillage is the bicycle. Vitaliy Krivenda uses his bicycle to travel to work in Debaltsevo.

Alisa Sopova

Translation copyright


Poetry, art, music, photography and anything else that flows from the heart.

* * *

Divine words are penned here,
Of radish tops so tender,
Displayed in all there splendour
A body, mind, spirit mender.

Multi-dimensional new world taste
Ills away may all be chased
Cleansing juices beauty laced
To the garden, let's make haste!!

By Joseph at


Space-bright light
Take flight
Embrace your space
Of light

Freedom in my heart
Freedom the art
Find my space of love
Home of the dove

By by Chris at


Please visit the forum at Source of Life Association and share your opinions on the books of Vladimir Megre. Discuss Anastasia's ideas about harmonic life, and how you use them for yourself. Share your impressions.

You can now discuss your ideas on the following topics:

Let's build a strong community together. Support each other with positive thoughts and create a real plan for making our dreams come true.

Visit the Forum.

Forum Talk

Posted by Noor in a topic Doing More to go "GREEN". Join the discussion of this topic here:

I think it's a great idea to help eachother think of 'green' things to do!
Do remember that if you want to recycle you 'byproduct' you have to make sure you have eaten 'clean' food, no pesticides etc., not to much sugars and no other poisonous stuff. And if you are going to compost it, you should realise the reason we don't is because of hygene: we are afraid that if you put human manure on your plants it might spread diseases. So if you are ill, perhaps you should keep your 'manure' off the compost heap, and always make sure it gets really hot during composting (it should do that by it self, if you set up your compostheap properly I think) because that kills the bacteria and other causes of disease.

As for the vegateble oil, we run our car on it already. But there is a very serious issue here: If we use our farmland for fuel production (and we need loads and loads of land to procuce what we now get from petrol and diesel) we loose that land for food production. And at the moment a lot of rainforest is being chopped down to produce palmoil, wich is used for biodiesel.
It should be clear that we have to stop using our cars so much. Produce local food, work locally, walk or cycle whenever you can, and if you do have to travel, share your car, and use vegetable oil, I would say.

So my 'green' tips are as mentioned above and:
*Try and eat food produced without chemicals, and were possible locally produced (organic or, even better, homegrown).
*Always swich your lights off if you go out.
*Compost your vegetable waste, and use it on your garden. (Do be careful of rats, don't put meat on the compostheap)

and ofcourse there are loads more things to do, think of some more yourself.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed on this forum are personal opinions of individuals creating the posts. We are not liable for any information posted on the forum.


This section is devoted to the information that will be useful in the creation of a Kin's Domains.

Homebirth: what are the issues?

Sara Wickham

There is no shortage of evidence to support the fact that home birth is safe, satisfying and empowering for women and their families. It is also a much-neglected option for childbearing women in Western society today, often because women and their partners are unaware of the issues or choices which are available to them. This article seeks to discuss modern-day attitudes to birth and present the arguments for midwifery care and home birth in an accessible format.

It must be stressed that different caregivers have different philosophies in relation to birth. Their philosophies are generally referred to as the 'midwifery'
and 'medical' models, although it is not accurate to say that all doctors believe in the medical model and all midwives in the midwifery model. The medical model sees childbirth as inherently dangerous and suggests that all women should undergo routine interventions to ensure safety and give birth in hospital, and the midwifery model uses a more holistic approach and assesses women on an individual basis - a process which often enables women to give birth in their own homes.

Although the medical model has been the dominant model of birth in our society for a number of years, researchers in all fields are now showing the midwifery model to be more accurate in the way it sees birth. Moreover, more women are seeking to reclaim the spiritual and developmental aspects of birth which have historically led this to be viewed as a 'rite of passage' rather than a potentially dangerous medical event.

Many women approach a 'medical model' practitioner for care during their pregnancy, although this is not necessarily the best option. While family doctors, obstetricians and hospitals have a part to play in the care of women with serious medical conditions, or who develop a problem during pregnancy or labour, research shows that the vast majority of women might be better served by choosing a midwife for their care. Equally, this majority of women would also be well-advised to consider home birth as an option, due to its many advantages over hospital care. Some of the advantages of home birth with a midwife are cited below:


It is well understood that sensations of pain in labour are regulated by hormones released by the woman's body. During the labour, oxytocin - the hormone which causes contractions and helps the baby to be born - works in harmony with endorphins - the body's own pain relieving hormone. During a home birth, the woman's body will release these hormones according to her needs and she will usually cope well with the sensations of labour.

However, when a woman attempts to give birth in another environment, such as a hospital, this process may not work as well. Even if a woman feels rationally that hospitals are 'safer' places in which to give birth, her subconscious mind knows that this is not the case, and she feels insecure. This causes her body to secrete the hormone adrenalin, which causes the levels of both oxytocin and endorphins to drop. She experiences far more pain than she would in her own home and this has several other effects on her labour which are described below.


Copyright - Kathleen Goodwin

There are two main reasons for this. The first concerns the hormones described above. In a hospital environment, women often produce the hormone adrenalin in response to subconscious or conscious fear. This inhibits the release of the hormone oxytocin and labour may well slow down.

Although this slowing of labour is a natural safety mechanism, designed to let the women know she needs to find another environment, it is interpreted by many medical professionals as 'failure (of the woman's body) to progress'. Rather than suggesting that the woman talk about and work through her fears, or finds a different environment, they will turn instead to drugs to 'speed up' the labour. This drug (usually syntocinon or pitocin) can cause distress in the baby, among other effects, and often itself leads to a 'cascade of intervention' which may result in an instrumental delivery or a cesarean section.

The second reason is that hospitals are systems which need to run efficiently. They need to have procedures in place for workers to follow so that chaos does not ensue! Unfortunately, this often means that hospitals have policies where a certain number of interventions are carried out on all women who choose to give birth there. Often there is no evidence to support these interventions, and many of them (eg electronic fetal monitoring) are known to be harmful when used on a routine basis.

Every intervention is useful to a small number of women when used appropriately - but when applied to all women, they often cause far more harm than good. Women's choices are not sought and it is often difficult for staff to offer individualized care, because they feel restricted by the 'hospital policy'. They may not be 'allowed' to walk around and adopt alternative positions which are known to facilitate effective progress in labour.


There is another major difference between giving birth in your own environment or in someone else's - that in your own home you are 'in charge'. You would not feel you needed to ask permission to make a drink in your own home, or visit the bathroom, yet that is exactly how many women feel in hospital. And the effects of feeling as if they need to ask permission to do everyday things can lead to women feeling that they are not in control. This may then have an impact on a woman's labour, because labour is a time when women need to feel very strong and powerful within their own bodies, not as if they were small children who needed to ask if they could pee!

Eating and drinking is another important aspect of this. In your own home, you are free to eat and drink whatever you feel like. Although women often do not feel like eating in strong labour, the choice is there. Many hospitals still refuse women food and drink in labour, even though all of the research evidence shows that this restriction is harmful rather than beneficial. Consequently, women become dehydrated and have low energy levels - at a time when they need lots of energy. Hospital staff may site an iv drip to replace fluids but this is not ideal - it limits the women's movement and adds to the feeling that she is 'sick', rather than experiencing a perfectly normal event.


A recent article in the journal of the Association for Improvements in Maternity Services, cites a number of other risks of hospital births. These are summarized in the following list:

*Midwives may be looking after more than one woman in labour and individual women are not able to receive the support they need. This can also mean they are more likely to be 'tied' to fetal monitors rather than having the midwife listen to the baby's heartbeat intermittently.

*Hospital birth deprives the woman of contact from her family and friends. Being with other support people, particularly female relatives or friends, has been shown to have a very positive effect on labour and birth.

*Continuity of care is rare in hospitals - although you would have the same midwives throughout a home birth, especially if you chose to employ an independent midwife, shift changes in hospitals mean you may see a large number of carers during your birth. Some women report that, as soon as they have built up a rapport or relationship with one carer, she goes off duty and they have to 'start all over'. 'Knowing your midwife' has been shown to have very beneficial effects on labour.

*Levels of medical staff may also be low. It is a common fallacy that being in hospital is safer 'if things go wrong'. In fact, as long as you are not a huge distance from a hospital, you may well be treated more quickly if you are transported from a home birth than if you were in hospital in the first place! The sort of emergencies which need truly immediate action are extremely rare and are almost always preceded by signs which your midwives will pick up and act upon.

*In hospital, decisions about your labour will sometimes be made by very junior medical staff. (You rarely have a choice about which staff care for you in hospital.) These people may have little experience in birth and certainly far less than midwives who specialize in this area. They are also unlikely to trust that your body knows what it is doing!

*Hospital and medical care, as discussed above, takes place in a philosophy where staff are 'looking for problems', rather than ensuring that things are progressing normally. This seemingly small difference actually makes a big difference in the approach that different carers take to the women and her labour and birth. Would you rather have a carer who trusts that your body knows what it is doing and either reassures you that all is going well or helps you if there are any problems, or a carer who is always checking to make sure that your body is 'working', while at the same time doubting your ability to actually give birth? As before, not all hospital midwives or nurses take the latter attitude, but the environment of the hospital itself tends to perpetuate this philosophy.


The proof of this pudding is in the eating, or the asking! Over 99% of women who have experienced both home and hospital birth will tell you that they would choose to have a home birth in the future.

But don't take my word for it - ask some!


If you are thinking of having your baby at home, talk to a midwife! She will be able to tell you what is on offer in your area, and the kind of care she can offer you. She will also be able to help you to make a realistic assessment of whether home birth is right for you. In general, the only women who are truly better off in hospital are those with chronic medical problems, such as insulin-dependent diabetes, or those with a very small baby. But women need to be considered individually, and their unique circumstances taken into account.

Remember that, in our society, there are many people who do not 'trust birth', and some midwives are among these people. If you encounter opposition to your plans, then seek a second opinion. You may have to interview several midwives before you find the one that is right for you. You may also want to seek support from other women who have made this choice.

The final thing that I would like to remind you of is to remember that women have been having babies for millions of years - without the aid of hospitals or medical intervention. And if birth didn't work, then we wouldn't be here now! Women's bodies are designed to have babies. Trust your body. Trust your baby. Trust birth.

Sara Wickham,
Image sources -;;

Children in home schooling face problems

By Liu Wei (China Daily)

Wei Xiaoxi spent one and a half years studying at home under the tutelage of her parents, who believed that formal school education would not help their daughter's all-round development. However, they changed their minds two years ago and Wei returned to school in 2003. The photos were taken in 2001, when Wei had just started her home schooling.

Compared to other children at her age, 9-year-old Li Jingci spends less time in classroom but learns more. Her 62-year-old father, Li Tiejun, teaches her Chinese, math, painting, music and even astrology.

Li Jingci is not alone in today's China.

Although to date there has no accurate statistics of home schoolers in China, the increasing reports of the cases in the media suggest the number is growing.

Why and how at home?

Most parents who home school their children make the decision because they do not believe their children can learn what they really need in school.

"Most courses the school provides are useless for the future of my child," said Li Tiejun. "I would rather teach her something useful myself instead of wasting money on school."

What the father means by "something useful" becomes apparent upon entering his house.

The ceiling and walls are covered with star charts Li Tiejun painted. A classical Chinese musical score hangs on the wall beside the window. The family's most prized possessions are two violins and an electronic keyboard.

Li Tiejun only graduated from primary school, but now he is his daughter's only teacher. He believes he has learned enough to teach a 9-year-old girl, but he will hire tutors when he can no longer handle the courses.

Wei Yuan, a teacher at Guangzhou Baiyun Institute, is also a home schooling father.

He decided to home school his 9-year-old daughter Wei Xiaoxi in 2000 because he felt that school education has too many shortcomings.

"An important reason we did this is that we were disappointed with the teaching methods in primary and middle schools," Wei told a local paper.

"The teaching methods there are stultifying. Kids have to do sums again and again and they are not allowed to openly express themselves in compositions," Wei said.

Wei bought textbooks and began teaching Chinese, English and computing himself. His wife took charge of math, music, art and sports. Armed with a detailed schedule, they embarked on their bold home schooling mission.

Wei Xiaoxi learned fast. Within a year and a half she completed the courses of first year middle school.

"We do not want to create a genius," Wei Yuan said. "We keep her at home because we believe that teaching methods should adapt to children's individual needs."

But Ding Wenjun does hope to foster a genius through home schooling.

Ding Wenjun, once a businessman in Yixing, a small city in East China's Jiangsu Province, became a quasi-celebrity after his 18-year-old son Ding Junhui defeated seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry to take the China Open snooker crown in 2005.

Ding Junhui left school at age 10 because his father believed the boy would be a snooker genius. His father said he should focus on the game.

Ding Senior gave up his hometown business, sold his house and brought his son to Dongguan, Guangdong Province, where snooker flourishes.

They rented a small house and began the eight-year training, which led to Ding Junhui's triumph in April this year.

"Life is a gamble," Ding Wenjun said. "Even if you attend school, it's a gamble. Failure is nothing, as long as you believe what you're doing is worth the effort."

But is every home schooler lucky enough to win the gamble?

Legal or not?

On March 15, Li Ansu, mother of Li Jingci and once girlfriend of Li Tiejun, sued him for violating the Compulsory Education Law of the People's Republic of China and Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Minors.

The case provoked great controversy.

The Compulsory Education Law states that the community, schools and families shall safeguard the right to compulsory education of school-age children and adolescents. When children have reached school age, their parents or guardians shall send them to school to receive a nine-year compulsory education.

"The law of our country has prescribed that the primary and middle school education is a compulsory one," Tan Zongze, associate professor at the Southwest University of Political Science and Law, said in an interview with Chongqing TV.

"Parents and guardians should send children of school age to school. If they do not fulfil the obligations, they should be forced to," he said.

Xu Jiangyong, vice headmaster of Paotongshu Primary School in Chengdu of Sichuan Province, does not agree with Tan.

"The article does say that parents should send children at school age to school," Xu said. "But it mainly concerns those who provide no education for children at all. However, most parents who home school strive for a better education for their children. Both the motivation and practice are different."

On May 27, the court ruled against Li Tiejun, urging him to send Li Jingci to school. He responded by saying he would never send his daughter to school.

The 'S' Problem

In the United States, where home education is legal, home schoolers' parents have something else to worry about socialization.

Their concern is whether their children will be able to function well in the world without regular school experiences.

Referred to as "the S Question" in the field of home education, socialization is also a controversial issue among Chinese home education pioneers.

The parents of Wei Xiaoxi encountered this problem early in their home education experiment.

"Home education lacks communication and competition," Wei's mother said.

The parents played the role of teachers, partners and competitors at the same time.

They tried various ways to give their daughter contact with others. They took her to excursions, bookstores and friends' homes.

But is that enough? Professor Liu Yuquan from Sichuan College of Education would probably say no.

"The simple relationship in the family can hardly stimulate full development of a child's personality," he said. "In school, the interaction between teachers and students and among students, even what the kid sees on the way to school, is part of socialization."

Wei Xiaoxi spent a year and a half learning at home and returned to school in October 2001. She is studying at a senior middle school in Guangzhou.

And Ding Junhui is also thinking of returning to school.

He has applied to Fudan University in Shanghai but was refused. The snooker prodigy and his father will continue their efforts to pursue studies in a regular way.

Although many have returned to the regular schools, some experts advocate an open attitude to the new form of home education.

"It signals the educational advancement of China," Meng Siqing, a scholar in Tianjin Academy of Educational Sciences, wrote in his paper on home schooling.

"From a long-term perspective, it is necessary to establish relevant laws and give support to those involved By this, home-educated children's right to learn and the parents' right to choose how their children are educated can be protected," he said.

Liu Wei (China Daily)

Washington Times Op-ed - California Court Reverses Decision

Krystal Wheeler, 18, right, studying with her tutor, Jennifer Jones, at the Wheelers' home in New York. Krystal's sister is also home-schooled.
Source: NY Times (

by J. Michael Smith
HSLDA President

Across the country, homeschoolers have been celebrating the most significant victory for homeschool freedom in 14 years. On Aug. 8, in a unanimous reversal of its previous ruling, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District in California ruled that parents in California could homeschool legally without being a certified teacher.

Nationwide attention was focused on this case after the same panel of three judges ruled on Feb. 28 that parents could not teach their own children unless they possessed a teaching certificate. Since the overwhelming majority of homeschool parents are not teacher-certified, the ruling effectively banned homeschooling.

The case In Re Rachel L. arose in a confidential juvenile court dependency proceeding involving a homeschooling family. The petition filed against the family, however, did not involve the issue of education. When the juvenile court assumed jurisdiction over the family, the attorneys appointed by the state for the two younger children requested that the juvenile court judge terminate the family's homeschool program and order the children to be enrolled in a public or private school. This was not because of education issues, but to protect the children from potential abuse. The judge refused to order the children into school. In response, the children's lawyers asked the Court of Appeal to order the children into school.

The Court of Appeal did not directly address the attorneys' request, instead ruling on how parents could homeschool in California. Its first ruling denied parents the ability to freely homeschool in California.

The father's attorney requested that the Court of Appeal reconsider its decision. On March 25, the Court of Appeal agreed to rehear the case. Interested organizations on both sides of the issue were urged to file friend-of-court briefs. The governor, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction and the California Department of Education all filed briefs supporting the view that parents could homeschool under the private school exemption in California. Of the 16 briefs that were filed, 14 supported the interpretation of the law that allowed homeschoolers this option.

In the Aug. 8 opinion, the court said its proper role was not to make policy, but to interpret the law. It went on to say its further review of California statutes show homeschooling is legally permissible when conducted as a private school. The decision upholds 30 years of practice in California where homeschooling has been carried out under the private school exemption.

The private school law requires the parent/administrator to annually file an affidavit under penalty of perjury indicating, among other things, the grade level and number of students to be taught that year, an assurance that the courses of study would be the same as those taught in the public schools, maintain an attendance register, and that the teachers providing the instruction are capable of teaching.

Perhaps recognizing that teacher certification is an unreasonable teacher qualification for homeschooling parents, the overall media commentary has been favorable to homeschoolers, but some have called for more oversight from the state. This suggestion is misplaced because research shows no correlation between the degree of regulation imposed by the state and homeschool academic achievement. Research also shows the education level of the parent has very little impact on how well homeschooled students perform on standardized achievement tests.

It is also worth considering that the way California has handled homeschooling for the past 30 years is consistent with at least 10 other states, including Texas, Alabama, Indiana and Illinois.

The court is to be congratulated for being willing to change its initial opinion. Now it's time for parents to refocus on raising the next generation without worrying about the state of California knocking on their door.

Homeschoolers are thriving academically because their teacher loves them and has chosen to give them individualized attention, curriculum and instruction. There's no need for the state to excessively regulate homeschoolers, but the recent experience in California shows we must always remain vigilant in defense of homeschool freedom.
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Find out about legalitiy of home schooling in your area:



Regional and World Wide Homeschooling resources:

The Basics of GMOs

What are the overall risks of GMOs?

In 2003, 7 million farmers in 18 countries grew GMO crops on 167.2 million acres, an increase of over 20 million acres from the previous year. Many health professionals around the world have sounded the alarm on GMOs. The American Public Health Association, for example, has called for mandatory labeling.

The hazards of GMOs include:

Cancer Risks. The majority of genetically engineered crops are designed to withstand unlimited applications of chemicals. Two of the major chemicals, bromoxynil and glyphosate (RoundupTM), have been linked to developmental disorders in fetuses, tumors, carcinomas, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In addition, Monsanto's recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) leads to increased levels of a potent chemical hormone that has been linked to cancer in humans when at elevated levels.

Poisoning the Environment. In an article published December 1999, scientists reported their findings on Bt corn, a plant that has been genetically engineered to produce the Bt toxin and kill insects. It was reported that the toxin persists in the soil for at least 234 days, the longest time studied. The authors concluded that "there is no indication of how soil communities might be affected" and that "non-target insects and organisms...could be affected." Furthermore, research indicates that Bt corn may have dire consequences for such species as the Monarch Butterfly.

The Terminator Gene. Some GMO plants have been engineered to produce sterile or nonviable seeds. This trait, labeled the "terminator" gene, was engineered to force farmers to buy new seeds from agribusiness giants every year. The potential for these traits to spread into the natural environment, or onto organic farms, could have horrific consequences.

Allergens. The novel proteins in GMOs can cause unexpected allergic reactions. For example, in 2000, StarLink corn, a form of genetically engineered corn, was found in the U.S. food supply. StarLink was not approved for human consumption because of its potential for triggering allergic reactions, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and anaphylactic shock. Scientist advisors to the EPA raised concerns that all Bt proteins, meaning over 30% of U.S. corn, could act as "antigenic and allergenic sources."

Creation of "Superweeds" and "Superbugs". Genetically engineered plants are exotic species that can take over a new landscape, creating "superweeds" or "superbugs" that may in turn require even more toxic chemicals. The EPA has recognized this fact, a January 2000 Press release required new measures on farmers, some who have to plant as much as 50% of their field with non-GMO varieties. However, the ultimate safety of this technology is in the hands of industries whose sole concern is making money. As Phil Angell, Monsanto's director of corporate communications said about genetically engineered food, "Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible."

Contamination of Organic Crops. The pollen from GMO plants can drift onto neighboring farms & cross-pollinate with similar crops. This problem has led to the demise of some seed-saving organic farms since organic standards do not allow the use of GMO seeds.

Toxins. Genetic engineering is an imprecise technology. It is impossible to determine where the new gene will position itself in the host DNA. These unpredictable effects can translate into significant health risks, namely increased levels of toxins in food. One FDA scientist noted in an internal memo, "GMO plants could contain unexpected high concentrations of plant toxicants". In a 1999 study, GMO potatoes were found to weaken rats' immune systems and adversely affect their kidneys, thymuses, spleens, guts and brains.

Antibiotic resistance. Because genetic engineering is such an imprecise science, scientists use a marker gene to help them determine if the gene they are trying to insert into the organism has actually made it. Frequently, the marker gene used is one that codes for antibiotic resistance. The World Health Organization warned in September 2001 that humans are building up dangerous levels of resistance to modern antibiotics that could leave them vulnerable to killer diseases.

Nutrition. There is evidence that some GMO foods have reduced nutritional quality. For example, research published in 1999 revealed that GMO soybeans have significantly less phytoestrogens, which research suggests may protect against breast cancer, osteoporosis, and heart disease. In addition, Monsanto's own research shows that their GMO soybeans contain about 28 percent more Kunitz trypsin inhibitor, a known antinutrient and allergen.

Socioeconomic Disparity. To this date, the only real winner in GMO food production has been big agribusiness. From terminator genes to Roundup resistance to built-in pesticides, little or no effort is invested in health or environmental benefits. Furthermore, some family farmers, who save their own seed, have become victim of costly lawsuits over pollen drift from GMO seed. Such was the case in Monsanto Corporation v. Percy Schmeiser when his crop of canola oil was contaminated and Monsanto Corporation was awarded $140,000. Percy Schmeiser spent $230,000 trying to defend himself.

Worsening World Hunger. Finally, the biotech industry claims that this technology is needed to feed the growing world population. Currently there is enough food to provide 4.3 pounds to every person every day, and yet still millions go hungry. The real problems are poverty and inequality. In addition, the National Research Council has reported that alternative farming systems actually use less pesticides and have the same or higher per acre crop yields. In data collected from 1998 for example, farmers growing Roundup Ready soybeans, genetically engineered to be resistant to the chemical Roundup, had a decreased yield of 5.3 percent.

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Watch Feature Film:

GMO Trilogy - Unnatural Selection (part 1 of 5)

Vegan vs Vegetarian: how to make the decision

Reasons why people choose to become vegetarians and how to know if it's right for you.

by Ellie Kuykendall

Vegan Food Images - Vegan Pancakes

So you're thinking about becoming a vegan or a vegetarian. The difference between a vegan and a vegetarian is that true vegans do not eat animal products of any kind - including eggs, dairy products or meat. A true vegan also does not use animal products such as leather, feathers or other animal parts. There are many types of vegetarians, but a true vegetarian does not eat animal products but will wear products that made from animals. Some vegetarians will eat dairy products. Others will eat fish. There are many reasons why people decide to give up eating meat, fish and dairy products. In this article, we'll explore those reasons and give you information to assist you in making this important decision.


Animal Rights

Many people become vegans or vegetarians because they do not support the way the food industry kills animals or pumps the animals up with hormones, antibiotics and other drugs. There are organizations dedicated to informing people about animal rights. One of the most famous organizations is PETA. This group of people will send a video to anyone who requests one. The video is hard to watch, but for some people watching it will make up their minds to stop eating meat, because it depicts the conditions animals are held and killed in food processing plants. To find out more about PETA, just type the name into your favorite search engine.


People practicing certain religions have restrictions on eating meat. Buddhists who are faithful to the rules of Buddhism are vegetarians. Hindus do not generally eat meat and never eat beef. Islamic people are not vegetarians, since they may eat all meat except pork.

Health Reasons Why People Become Vegans Or Vegetarians

Many people become vegetarians because of health concerns. Becoming a vegan or vegetarian for health reasons can be helpful in treating certain diseases and conditions.

High Cholesterol

A person with high cholesterol who becomes a true vegetarian stops adding cholesterol to his/her diet because vegetables and fruits do not have cholesterol in them. When combined with exercise, a vegetarian diet can help lower the cholesterol in someone's blood. Eating meat adds saturated fat to the diet. It also puts stress on the kidneys. Even semi-vegetarians who eat eggs (in moderate amounts) and dairy products (again in moderate amounts and not those with high fat content) are more likely to improve their cholesterol and overall health. So, people who eat vegetarian diets will not suffer heart attacks and strokes caused by excess fat and cholesterol. In short, they live longer. Vegetarian diets may help other conditions as well.

Allergies to Milk and Dairy Products

There are many great substitutes for milk on the market shelves today. Soy and rice milks are quite tasty and perfect for those people with milk allergies. Milk contains protein and to replace that protein, a wide variety of soy products are great choices. Tofu is made from soybeans and replaces meat in stir-fried dishes, for example. Soy products in grocery and health food stores include garden burgers and many other delicious items.

Diabetes and Gall Bladder Problems, including Gallstones

Vegans and vegetarians are less likely to get diabetes or have gall bladder problems and gallstones. Some people become vegetarians if they have a history of diabetes in their families or if their sugar levels are high, so they can ward off a full-blown case of diabetes.

In general, it has been found that people who are vegans or vegetarians enjoy better health than those who eat meat.

The Environment

Many people who are vegetarians or who wish to become vegans or vegetarians are also concerned about the environment. Raising cattle takes a great deal more water than raising vegetables. In addition, if you are concerned about deforestation, you may choose to become a vegetarian because you know that trees are cut down to make room for houses and for pastures. Many fish are close to extinction because so many have been caught that they have not been able to reproduce at a rate fast enough to keep their populations at the same level as before.

Other concerns about the environment influence a decision to become vegetarian. Raising cattle uses fuel in extremely large amounts compared to raising crops of wheat, corn and other grains, for instance. Erosion of topsoil influences the whole balance of nature. Ranchers who provide cattle for beef destroy the topsoil, which is no longer as thick as it once was. Chemical pesticides used to grow the food for cows do not stay in the ground. They run off into the groundwater. The same is true for other chemicals such as fertilizers and herbicides. None of these chemicals helps the environment.

Hunger Around The World

People who become vegetarians sometimes make the decision to change their lifestyles because they know that raising meat costs more than raising grains and the grains that are raised to feed animals destined for being killed for meat could be used to help alleviate hunger around the world.

Becoming a vegan or vegetarian is a life-changing choice. Some people make the choice and then find it difficult to stay a vegetarian because there are so many changes in diet that are involved. Rather than drinking regular milk, for instance, true vegetarians drink soy or rice milk. Some people do not like the taste of the substitute for milk from animals. These types of reasons may be why some people who want to be primarily vegetarian go ahead and allow for certain things in their diets like fish, dairy products and so forth. They may not eat red meat or meat at all, but having some of their favorites makes it easier for them to eat a mostly vegetarian diet.

No matter why people choose to become vegetarian, most people are happy that they made that decision. It is a decision that needs to be made carefully, however. Nobody should rush into making such a major life change without thinking it through carefully.

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More Evidence That
Exercise Prevents Cancer

A growing body of evidence continues to support previous research about the cancer-fighting benefits of exercise and link between physical activity and cancer prevention. Experts are now creating guidelines on diet and exercise, which for the first time puts exercise on an equal footing with nutrition.

"We now believe physical activity is a primary component of preventing cancer," says Abby Bloch, chairwoman of the American Cancer Society's advisory committee on nutrition and physical activity.

Until recently, definitive scientific proof has been elusive. While most of the clear benefits of exercise, such as weight loss, can be seen relatively quickly, its impact on - cancer can take years. And the relationship has never been as clear-cut as that between smoking and lung cancer, for example, or sun exposure and skin cancer.

In recent years, however, scientists have begun to connect the dots between regular sustained workouts and the prevention of several types of cancers, among them intestinal, endometrial, colon, breast and lung.

A survey based on information collected over a 23-year period in a research project called the Copenhagen Male Study found that regular exercise can help prevent intestinal cancer. The study comprised 5,000 men divided into four separate groups ranging from those who exercise very little to those who exercise a lot. Doctors examining the material believe that moderate physical activity strengthens the immune system and therefore helps prevent the cancer from developing.

"My study shows that just by walking or cycling regularly, by taking what one calls regular physical exercise, can prevent this very serious and very common form of cancer. Several other studies have had similar results, and one can now say that any doubt has been dispelled." Said Doctor Inge Haunstrup Clemmensen from the Cancer Foundation to the daily newspaper Politiken. The doctor also stated that the study results indicate that moderate physical activity also reduces the risk of cancer of the oesophagus.

"Another closely related theory is that we know that increased activity increases intestinal function. As a result the harmful contents that could constitute a cancer risk are present in the organism for a much shorter period of time and therefore lessen the risk." Said Clemmensen to Politiken.

A recent study revealed that physical activity prevents endometrial cancer and breast cancer according to a study involving 850 women. The more the study subjects exercised, the less their odds of being diagnosed with cancer, even if they were considered "at risk" for the disease.

The science has gotten to the point where it has attracted a lot of attention, and I predict the next decade (of research in this area) will be a very exciting time, " says Steven N. Blair, an epidemiologist with the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas' Texas, who is studying the relationship between lung cancer and exercise.

Blair is studying the effects of exercise on lung cancer, and his preliminary results suggest that higher fitness levels are associated with a lower risk of developing the disease. In his study, unfit men were about twice as likely to die of lung cancer than fit men, he says.

His research found that moderately fit men had a 20 percent lower risk of dying of lung cancer compared with men who were not fit. And men who were highly fit had a 60 percent lower risk than men who were not fit, he said. This appeared true even after adjusting for smoking habits.

"Fitness protects, whether you are a smoker or not," he says, although he is not exactly sure why. He doubts the reason is that exercise improves lung function. Rather, it is more likely that exercise strengthens the body's immune system, believed to play a significant role in staving off the onset, or worsening, of many types of cancer.

Experts believe that one-third of the annual cancer deaths can be attributed to diet and sedentary habits, with another third due to cigarette smoking; thus, lifestyle choices have become increasingly important. To be sure, genetic inheritance influences cancer risk, too, but most of the variation in cancer risk across populations and among individuals is due to non-inherited factors.

Those who regularly exercise tend to practice other healthful habits. They are less likely to consume saturated fats - especially animal fat - and are more likely to eat increased fiber and to shun cigarettes. They also are leaner than average, which helps, because obesity is a risk factor for many cancers.

The most compelling evidence thus far tying exercise to cancer prevention involves cancers of the colon and breast, although scientists, suspect that exercise also might play a role in lowering the chances of prostate, lung, non Hodgkin's lymphoma, ovarian, testicular and uterine cancers. Unquestionably "there are lower cancer death rates in both men and women" who are physically fit, says Blair, who is the Cooper Institute's director of research. "Active and fit people have less of a chance of dying of cancer."

Colon cancer, one of the nation's leading cancer killers, is the one cancer where the impact of exercise appears indisputable. Numerous studies have shown that exercisers have a substantially lower risk - some studies have shown it to be as much as 50 percent - of developing colon cancer than couch potatoes.

"The epidemiologic evidence for a preventive role for physical activity is strong and consistent for colon cancer," says Aaron Blair, brother of Steven Blair and chief of the occupational epidemiology branch of the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Most experts theorize that the reason for this is that exercise accelerates the movement of material through the colon, and cancer causing substances dont have time to linger - and make trouble - because they leave the body quickly

The fact that exercise is now being shown to prevent cancer is important for one more reason: it proves that cancer is systemic, not local. In other words, cancer is a whole-body failure, not just a specific tumor or lesion that can be surgically removed or targeted with radiation. Because cancer is a systemic failure, it must be treated holistically -- that is, the whole person must be considered: their physical health, immune system function, mental health, spiritual health, and of course their day to day activities such as eating and exercising.
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Physical Activity and Specific Cancers

Recently, an editorial in the British Medical Journal explored the relationship physical activity and cancer. Epidemiologists David Batty from London and Inger Thune from Norway reviewed some of the evidence regarding the wide range of potential cancer-protective effects of exercise. Below are some excerpts and important points from the editorial.

To start, they note that exercise has significant effects on several functions of the human body that may influence cancer risk. These effects include changes in the following:

- cardiovascular capacity
- energy balance
- pulmonary capacity
- immune function
- bowel motility
- antioxidant defence
- hormone levels
- DNA repair

They note that in the past decade alone, over 200 population based studies have linked physical activities to cancer risk. The most researched cancers are those of the:

- Bowel
- Breast
- Endometrium
- Prostate
- Testes
- Lung

Bowel Cancer

Cancer of the large bowel is the most commonly investigated cancer in relation to physical activity (1-4) with physically active men and women experiencing around half the risk of their sedentary counterparts.

Plausible mechanisms of protection include the beneficial effects of exercise on levels of the following substances, which influence the growth and proliferation of cells in the colon:

- Insulin
- Prostaglandins
- Bile acid

In addition, exercise reduces bowel transit time and thereby the duration of contact between fecal carcinogens and the mucosal lining of the colon.

Breast and Endometrial Cancer

Endogenous sex hormones are strongly implicated in the development of breast and endometrial cancer. Physical activity may modulate the production, metabolism, and excretion of these hormones, so an association with these cancers is biologically possible.

Physical activity may also reduce the risk of cancer through its normalising effect on body weight and composition. Evidence from population based studies suggests that occupational, leisure, and household activities are associated with about a 30% reduction in breast cancer rates (5)... Those studies that have explored the link between physical exertion and the risk of endometrial cancer suggest a negative association (1,3).

In September, the American College of Sports Medicine released a Canadian study published in its journal, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, that looked at 1,233 cases of breast cancer and 1,237 "controls" (women who did not have the disease), comparing their lifetime physical activity patterns and other factors, including diet, tobacco and alcohol use and family history.

The study found that the greatest risk reduction for breast cancer occurred among those women who engaged regularly in "moderate intensity" job or household activities, such as farming or household chores.

Such activities appear to be more beneficial than recreational pursuits of any intensity that were performed inconsistently, whether it be an occasional brisk walk or game of tennis.

Earlier research released two years ago from the landmark Nurses Health Study at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston showed that women who exercise an hour a day or more might reduce their risk of breast cancer by 20 percent. Those who work out two to four hours a week experienced a 10 percent reduction in risk.

The study was based on analysis of questionnaires from 121,701 women. Researchers examined 20 years of health and activity data from women ages 30 to 55, from 1976 to 1996.

A smaller 1997 study in Norway found that women who exercised at least four hours a week were about a third less likely to get breast cancer.

Beverly Rockhill, the lead researcher in the Boston study and an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says the connection between exercise and breast cancer might be due, to the fact that ' exercise reduces the level of circulating estrogens in a woman's body. Estrogen stimulates the growth of breast cells, which might-encourage cancer.

"A woman is exposed to circulating hormones her whole life. To prevent breast canceL she has to reduce them over a long period of time," Rockhill says. "What seems to be important is sustained activity. Women need to pick up an activity they can stick with."

In this study, the nurses who demonstrated a lower cancer risk walked briskly, ran, jogged and performed aerobics and calisthenics, Rockhill says. Unlike in the later Canadian study, "we did not count such things as easy walking, gardening or housework," she says.

But Rockhill warns that women shouldn't necessarily overdo it. "They have to tread a fine line between too much and too little exercise, because too little estrogen can increase the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis," she says.

Postmenopausal women taking hormone replacement and who exercised enjoyed the same protective benefits, Rockhill says. One possible explanation is that the production of natural estrogen was probably reduced; after menopause, estrogen is produced in the fat cells, rather than in the ovaries. Women who exercise are typically leaner and would produce less natural estrogen as a result.

Prostate Cancer

Since athletes show lower levels of circulating testosterone than non-athletes, and testosterone influences the development of prostate cancer, this has led to the hypothesis that physical activity may protect against this cancer. Most, but not all, studies suggest a protective effect (3).

Lung Cancer

Although physical activity improves pulmonary ventilation and perfusion, which may reduce both the concentration of carcinogenic agents in the airways and the duration of agent-airway interaction, the association of activity with lung cancer has received relatively little attention. Findings from most, but not all, studies suggest a negative relation...(1,3)

Exercise as a Cancer Treatment

In addition to the apparent role of exercise in the prevention of some cancers, there is growing interest in and evidence of its use in the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with cancer (12, 13). Physical activity may reduce the likelihood of recurrence and enhance survival through its capacity for doing the following:

- Improving bodily movement
- Reducing fatigue
- Enhancing immune function

Since exercise seems to have protective effects against some types of cancers and does not increase the risk of any cancer, it should be more actively encouraged. They state that "in light of the decreasing population prevalence of total physical activity, doctors should advocate moderate endurance-type activity, such as walking and cycling. As well as reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease and non-insulin dependent diabetes, such physical activity does seem to protect against some cancers."
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Small farms

Painting by Christine Thery

Small family farms are the backbone of a community, a nation, and of society as a whole. A landscape of family farms is settled, balanced and stable, and generally sustainable. It's the natural shape of society on the land. Such communities aggregate into strong and secure nations.

But it's difficult to find a government that thinks that way, now or ever: the history of small farms presents a fantastic picture of neglect and abuse. Maybe the family farming landscape just doesn't offer enough opportunity for the rich and powerful, and the greedy.

Compare Rome before the Punic Wars, built on a bedrock of independent yeoman farmers, with Rome after the wars, the small farms swallowed by big estates owned by nobles and worked by slaves, a mighty empire with cancer at its heart, inevitably to fall.

"The original strength of Rome, like that of China, was that of a superior family-agriculture." -- "Restoration of the Peasantries" by G.T. Wrench, Chapter 4 -- The Second Agricultural Path

"If, by some magic, we could transport ourselves back to the days of the early Latin farmers, we should see a picture of a well-populated countryside with the land divided up into a number of small farms, often not exceeding five acres in extent." -- "Reconstruction by Way of the Soil" by G.T. Wrench, Chapter 2 -- Rome

Now it's industrialized agriculture that collapses rural economies, driving the farmers into factories and city slums, fodder for economic growth and a "development" that turns a country from food self-sufficiency to a producer of commodities with massive food import bills, an economic success story that can be wrecked by a run on the foreign exchange market.

The cancer at the heart of today's mighty industrial empire is the ruin that this woefully unbalanced landscape is wreaking upon both the natural and the social environment. It's not sustainable, by any measure, as everybody knows.

Many people see no choice but to abandon technology and revert to the miserable inadequacies of primitive existence, or face life on a ruined planet. But it's not inevitable that our society should follow Rome, and fall. And anyway it turns out that most people in most so-called primitive societies (actually they were very sophisticated at what they did, and still do in many cases) were neither miserable nor inadequate: usually they lived long and healthy lives and died at a sprightly old age with perfect teeth and no sign of arthritis. (Read Weston A. Price, if you want to argue about that.)

In fact we don't need to make such miserable either/or choices, we can have it both ways.

On the one hand, there's growing evidence that the farming industry can change its ways and clean up its act, given the mounting public pressure since 1987 when "the environment" suddenly hit the headlines (for no known reason) and failed to go away again -- it seems we're not all just passive consumers after all, semi-animated lumps of sheer appetite living only for pre-packaged gratification. Now farmers everywhere are abandoning the chemicalized monocrops and livestock factory "farms" of the industrialized paradigm and adopting more sustainable methods.

Another discernible trend, with its roots going even further back, is the back-to-the-land movement. Primarily it's a change in attitude: city dwellers want closer ties with nature, with where their food comes from, with growing things. They're balcony or rooftop gardeners, backyard farmers, community gardeners, high-fliers opting out for simplicity and a more self-reliant life with real quality. And homesteaders, small farmers, family farmers.

In the US, the number of small farms is growing by 2% a year. In the Third World the focus of rural development is shifting from mechanization and the (false) economies of scale to programs that strengthen small farmers and their indigenous traditional methods.

The landscape of the future is a sustainable one of small farms and self-reliant communities, of homeworking and homeschooling and networking, of well-greened cities that are no longer a cancer upon the land, and of an industry and technology that fits, with the community and with the environment.

How O.U.R. Ecovillage Got "Ecovillage Zoning"

By Michael Hale

Author Michael Hale in the 25-acre field where Yarrow Ecovillagers are practicing sustainable farming. Their dairy barn and silo in background.

"What makes you different from any other developer?"

The speaker, a middle-aged man with longish hair, was clearly on the offensive. It was October, 2002, and this was the first of our public meetings in the small, conservative farming community of Yarrow in southwestern British Columbia. We'd purchased a 25-acre former dairy farm right in the middle of town; whatever we did on the property would clearly affect Yarrow residents. We hadn't prepared for this question, though, believing a more likely query would be something like, "Are you a cult?"

We had set so much stock in an open consultation process with the townspeople. Was it all going to go sideways? As I began to stammer out a reply, the man suddenly asked another question:

"How are you going to handle wastewater treatment? Our houses are on septic systems. There won't be enough capacity to handle a whole bunch of new housing."

This was a question we were prepared for. In fact, it was a nice segue to our slide show on wastewater treatment using solar aquatics.

As one of our members, Kim, flashed the first slide up on the wall, I could see that our antagonist was interested.

"What's that in the corner of the picture?" he asked.
"A digester," Kim replied.
"And those tanks?"

Kim explained the photos of a Solar Aquatics greenhouse (a.k.a. a "living machine")-a system using solar energy and aquatic plants and other organisms to convert graywater and even blackwater into potable water.

We all breathed more easily. The public consultation phase of our co-design process was on its way.

Yarrow Ecovillagers on day of spring work party.

Our group had formed in 1999 to consider purchasing a property located in the interior of BC. That purchase didn't happen but some members of the group continued to meet to pursue the idea of creating an ecovillage in the Fraser Valley. After we purchased the dairy farm property our group grew quickly from its original six members, and within four months we had a dozen folks committed.

We recognized that the traditional rural village has largely been eclipsed in North America by the march to urbanization. We knew that living in an ecovillage offered an alternative-attempting to recapture what is special about the village way of life. But a village is not just buildings; rather, it's an intricate fabric of relationships among ecovillage members and between ecovillagers and their neighbors.

So, first we worked hard at establishing a common set of values among ourselves. Following a workshop and extensive group discussions, we developed the vision and principles on which our community would be based.

We formed a legal cooperative, which seemed to be the way of organizing ourselves that best fit our values.

We began our permaculture-influenced design process. That meant living with the land. Permaculture looks at agriculture and human culture from the standpoint of nature. That wasn't easy for many of us, as we'd been socialized to consider ourselves dominant over nature.

Yarrow Ecovillagers sell their organic produce at Trout Lake Farmer's Market.

Seven of our members started farming that first year. We eagerly plowed two acres and planted organic crops. The land was good to us. It had been fallow for 20 years and was fertile.

Our crops flourished-but so did the pests. And we soon found that, although our produce was eagerly bought at farmers' markets, we weren't going to make much money selling it.

We thus began to discover the realities of modern agricultural economics.

Supporting wild nature, increasing biodiversity, and creating a balanced ecosystem became our strategies to control pests, rather than using pesticides. And since farmers on our land in the past had farmed right up to the banks of the little creek running across our property, we decided to try to turn that part of our land back to the way it would have functioned 100 years ago: we re-created a riparian buffer zone along the creek.

Unlike most developers, we had begun a quest to become more ecologically sustainable. We adopted strategies of minimizing ecological impacts and conserving resources. This hasn't been easy. We humans tend to be good at rationalizing our disregard for nature. Our group looked for scientifically based measures of sustainability. Life-cycle analysis, ecological footprint analysis, and The Natural Step framework all proved useful. The Natural Step framework, for example, suggests four criteria for sustainability:

- Reduce dependence upon substances extracted from the Earth's crust (fossil fuels, minerals).
- Reduce dependence upon synthetic chemicals.
- Reduce encroachment upon nature.
- Meet human needs fairly and efficiently.

Such simple principles were helpful to refocus our thinking. As we began to build on the land, we used life-cycle analysis to help us determine the construction materials to use. This allowed us to look at the energy inputs for a particular material in all facets of its use, reuse, recycling, and disposal. It was a way to ensure that we looked at not only economic factors in land development, but at social and ecological ones as well (the "triple bottom line"). As we got into this, we realized that to become, as Robert Gilman's ecovillage definition states, "harmlessly integrated into the natural world," we were committing ourselves to a lifelong process of learning and development.

We knew we were very much a part of the wider society, and thus needed to get the local community's input in our ecovillage design-although we had trepidation about this, too. ("If we ask them what they want, we might not like what we hear!" was a nagging concern for many of us.) Also, any development on the property would be strongly influenced by external forces such as the local real estate market and city ordinances.

So we came up with a fairly novel approach, which we bravely called "co-design." It would consist of three steps, and we intended to repeat the steps as many times as needed. The first was for ecovillage members to brainstorm about what we wanted to do on the land. The second was to run these ideas by Chilliwack city officials (Yarrow is a part of Chilliwack) for their advice and changes. The third step was to hold public meetings with Yarrow residents in order to answer questions and get their input, critiques, and suggestions.

We already had a common vision and strategies. Would City Hall like our ideas? Would the townspeople buy in? We advertised "organic, local, or fairly traded refreshments" to people who dropped by to hear about our plan. And they came in good number: over 60 people attended the second public meeting.

In this meeting we asked the town residents, "What are Yarrow's assets?" "What are its needs?" We got a lively response.

"We need a bakery," said one man.
"A grocery store," said a woman.
"A village square!" said another.

Most of these were similar to ideas we'd thought of ourselves. We relaxed. The public-input process was working.

Community members at a natural building workshop.

While City Hall didn't know what to make of us at first, by our third meeting they were engaged. They knew we'd need a special type of zoning, as none of the existing zoning categories seemed to work. We didn't fit into the "Rural Residential" category, since we were planning cottage industries, businesses, and a learning centre, in addition to the organic farm. Nor did we fit the "Comprehensive" zoning category, as our project was more village-like and rural in character.

While some city planners and Yarrow residents were skeptical at first, there was always a core of support. Some planners were reminded of the planning principles of their university days. And many townspeople resonated with the village idea and the notion of creating a more sustainable form of community.

At the fourth round of consultations, we presented our specific concept plan. We wanted to create a mix of 35-40 individual residences, shared community spaces, cottage industries, and a learning centre. We would cluster the businesses closer to the road (the town's main street) and locate residences and community spaces close to the 20 acres of agricultural land.

After four rounds of the co-design process, we presented our request for rezoning. The Chilliwack City Council unanimously approved our request!

"I really think it's an idea whose time has come," commented Council member Mel Folkman. He said Yarrow Ecovillage would solve some of the difficult problems that continually face suburban developments, including storm water management, and that our project "treated the environment with the utmost respect."

Our rezoning process occurred in two stages. The first, approved in August 2004, created a commercial/residential zone on a small portion of our property along the main road. This would allow a mix of retail businesses on the ground floor and people living in apartments on the second floor. (Later, several Yarrow members bought and now manage a small deli business on the road adjacent to this part of our property.)

The second stage, approved in July, 2006, was for five acres of the property previously zoned "rural residential" to be rezoned as an "ecovillage zone," which increased the land's maximum density from 5 to 40 residences.

Chilliwack Mayor Clint Hames called us "the first ecovillage zone in Canada."

(However, in 2003 O.U.R. Ecovillage in Shawnigan Lake, BC, was granted "sustainability zoning" for their project. -Editor)

The two rezonings created an immediate boon for our project. The density increase alone increased the property value: overnight the land value increased to five times our purchase price. We can use our suddenly more valuable land as collateral for a substantial construction loan from the local credit union, which we'll use to build our homes. We'll pay back the construction loan by selling these housing units to our members-a complete win-win.

All because the City of Chilliwack granted us "ecovillage zoning."

"Rezoning is a gift from the community," is how Victoria land-use planning lawyer Deborah Curran put it at a workshop on cooperatives we had participated in several months earlier.

Some visionaries may wonder why we got so deeply engaged in the realities of local zoning and finance. Yet ecovillage founders must become so engaged, as land use, engineering standards, and financing methods are tightly regulated and controlled in most western countries. And by actively seeking support from city planners, townspeople, professionals in the community, and the local credit union, we have given our own meaning to the term "land developers."

Now . . . where is that fellow who asked what made us different from any other developer? I've finally got an answer for him.

Michael Hale, a long-time environmental and community activist, worked for the Government of Canada for many years. In 2002, tired of lying down in front of bulldozers, he helped found Yarrow Ecovillage.

Watch movie about O.U.R. Village:

Plant Portrait: Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba is one of the most unique trees on the planet today. This fascinateding tree is ddioeciously: male and female flowers grow on different trees. The Ginkgo hasn't been found growing in the wild but it has been preserved as a sacred tree in Chinese temple gardens since ancient times. The Ginkgo tree is also called the Maidenhair Tree because its leaves closely resemble those of the Maidenhair Fern.

Ginkgo tree was discovered in China in 1690 by Kaempfer who wrote the first scientific description of this tree. He suggested the Ginkgo name. This name is derived from the Chinese YIN , silver, and HING , apricot, in reference to appearance of the fruit. Ginkgo trees grow well in the city, being able to tolerate city dust and pollution. It isn't usually vulnerable to fungi, insects or damaged by storms.

The Ginkgo biloba is the world's oldest living tree, a species whose existence can be traced back-over 250 million years! For this reason, the Ginkgo was referred to as living fossil (1859) by Charles Darwin. It appeared at Carboniferous. During the Jurassic, Ginkgo trees were common and widespread in Asia, Europe and America. Ginkgo survived many crises, in particular at the end of the cretaceous where the dinosaurs disappeared. But Ginkgos disappeared from America about 7 million years ago, and from Europe about 3 million years ago.

Ginkgoaceae belong to the class of the Ginkgophytes. This class constituted the link between the ferns and the angiosperms (flowering plants).

The last survivor Ginkgos have taken refuge in the south-east of China. The Buddhist monks venerated it, and undoubtedly them its survival is owed. Regarded as guard to entreat fire, it was planted near the pagodas, in the imperial gardens in China, wood crowned of the temples.


The first mentioned use of Ginkgo biloba appears in China. Ginkgo leaf is first mentioned in Lan Mao's Dian Nan Ben Cao, published in 1436 during the Ming dynasty. Lan Mao notes external use to treat skin and head sores as well as freckles. Internal use of the leaves is first noted in Liu Wen-Tai's Ben Cao Pin Hui Jing Yao , an imperial commissioned work recorded in 1505. Liu Wen Tai notes use of the leaves in the treatment of diarrhea. The leaves of ginkgo are known in Chinese medicine as bai-guo-ye. Recent clinical reports in modern China suggest that the leaves lower serum cholesterol levels and have some clinical value in angina pectoris.

In Traditional Chinese pharmacopeia the seeds (with fleshy rind removed) are considered more important than the leaves. The nut, called Pak Ko, is recommended to expel phlegm, stop wheezing and coughing, urinary incontinence and spermatorrhea. The raw seed is said to help bladder ailments, menorrhea, uterine fluxes, and cardiovascular ailments. The powdered leaf is inhaled for ear, nose, and throat disorders like bronchitis and chronic rhinitis. Locally applied boiled leaves are used for chilblains.. The seeds are used as an astringent for the lung, to stop asthma and enuresis.

Ginkgo leaves are a Chinese herb that has been used much more in the West than in its homeland. Over five hundred scientific studies on the chemistry, pharmacology and clinical effects of gingko leaves have been conducted by European researchers over the last 20 to 30 years. The majority of studies on ginkgo leaf extract have involved a product produced by a German/French consortium.

Bog Myrtle

Voskovnitsa Razyachnenie ("Light on Bog Myrtle")

"If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thru' narrow chinks of his cavern."

---William Blake, english poet

Myrica Gale, known in America as Bog Myrtle and by many other names as it grows all across the world, is an interesting plant for those concerned with spiritual consciousness. Algonquin indigenous peoples use this herb as a tea to give clear dreams, lucid and spiritual dreaming. Bog myrtle has also been used to enhance memory and to relieve depression.

In Asian Herbology these functions are described as 'clearing phlegm that mists the Portals of the Heart.' The five senses are described as the portals or openings of the Heart (Mind/Psyche). These can be misted over by phlegm the way fog can cloud a window pane. Phlegm in herbology is understood not only as a productive cough, but as tough and sticky substances that clog the normal workings of the body. A protein named lipofuscin has been found to coat neurons obstructing their electrical function, corresponding with memory loss, depression and conditions such as Alzheimers. This may be a biological instance of "Phlegm misting the Heart Openings."

Some herbs have this property of being able to clear away this misting or clouding of the senses. This is equivalent to the experience of loss of contact with one's own spirit, so the demeanor loses its brilliance and sparkle, and a person feels dull. Herbs which can clear away the clouding of the sense-openings can restore clear perception.

Other herbs have a similar function. Pine oil has been used in baths to help restore the spirit. An american herb called Field Balsam or Sweet Everlasting has been used in a similar way by stuffing a small pillow with the herb, so it's healing scent surrounds the sleeping body. Sweet Everlasting or Life Everlasting herb has also been associated with communication with spirit beings. When the plant is seen in the wild it is pale and white in contrast to surrounding brush, making it appear almost spectral.

It is interesting all these herbs bear a similar kind of blossom in the form of a cone. And, all these cones bear the mathematical pattern of the golden section, which is an infinite (irrational) number.

Bog Myrtle, even though it is not a kind of evergreen but a shrub, bears small clusters of tiny nutlets along the stems which look like tiny pinecones (see figure 1). Life Everlasting's flowers (figure 2) start out as conical buds, with the petals arranged like a pinecone, before they fully open as a blossom. Like pinecones, Bog Myrtle and Life Everlasting are not just fragrant plants, but sticky with essential sap.

In the human body the equivalent is a 'sap' or hormone exuded by tiny glands such as the pineal gland (named after pine cones, since it is shaped like a pine cone), deep inside the brain at the top of the spine. the Pineal Gland is active in modulating wakefulness and rest through the effects of light on the sleep cycle, and it has many other functions including those not yet well understood.

Respectfully submitted by
Frederick E Steinway
Licensed Acupuncturist
Amherst, Massachusetts


Garden guides often describe composting as "nature's way" of recycling. Not so -- you just don't ever find large amounts of organic matter with the correct carbon-nitrogen ratio, water content and aeration carefully piled up by bears or gorillas working away in the forests with a compost fork and a watering-can, leaving it cooking away at high temperatures and emitting jets of steam. Nature doesn't make compost. Nature mulches.

Composting is indeed a natural way of recycling, harnessing natural processes rather than machinery and man-made chemicals, but it takes people to do it.

You could argue that machinery and man-made chemicals, and indeed Genetically Engineered organisms and nuclear warheads also harness natural processes, and so they do, but you wouldn't claim they were "natural". "Natural" probably means something nature approves of. Does nature approve of compost, or is it a distortion of natural processes?

If you watch carefully to see what nature does as she goes about her daily round of chores, it's quite easy to start believing that the whole thing is a complicated, secretive conspiracy by soil micro-organisms to beget more soil micro-organisms. Nature's first concern is always to build more topsoil, and to protect it. It's easy to see why: no topsoil, not much nature either. The Earth's green carpet of living things is really just the Soil Creature's skin.

A single spade full of rich garden soil contains more species of organisms than can be found above ground in the entire Amazon rain forest.

Healthy plants growing well with plenty of good compost at the Journey to Forever organic garden

Although the soil surface appears solid, air moves freely in and out of it. The air in the upper 8 inches of a well-drained soil is completely renewed about every hour.

-- Soil Factoids, US National Soil Survey Center

It's estimated that a human with a compost fork and a watering-can, carefully piling up organic matter with the correct C/N ratio, water content and aeration so that it cooks away at high temperatures and emits jets of steam, can make as much topsoil in a year as nature can make in a century, and nature definitely approves. You can tell when nature's happy, the plants smile at you. When she's not happy you can tell by all the "side-effects". Try it and see. Any gardener can quickly learn to make compost.

-- "Man's work with Nature that furthers Nature's aims is the work that rewards him the best." (I-Ching)


It's not quite true that nature never makes compost. There's an Australian bird that carefully assembles large piles of organic matter to nest on, mixing it up with droppings -- arguably a compost pile. It even generates warmth, which helps to hatch the eggs. And termites build tiny compost piles deep underground from pulped wood to make the special soil needed for the fungus farms that produce the only food they can eat. Sometimes there are even manure worms in attendance at the compost site. Termites could be the world's most scientific composters.

Compost and organics

Soil maintenance is at the heart of organic growing: don't feed the plants, feed the soil -- the plants will look after themselves. The extremely complex subject of soil maintenance can happily be summed up in one word: composting.

-- "Producing quality compost is the most important job on the organic farm. A lot of the problems I see on farms I visit could be solved by making better compost." -- Elliott Coleman, The New Organic Grower

What lives, eventually dies, and its substance returns to the soil to be recycled into new life. This is nature's law of return. Organic growers greatly enhance the last part of the process by composting crop and other organic "wastes" before the soil receives them. Well-made compost is the ideal soil-food. This is how impoverished, sick soils can be restored and maintained at high levels of fertility.

The cycle of growth and decay is often depicted as a wheel, where birth, growth and maturity take place above ground in the light, and the processes of decay below the surface in the darkness, giving birth to life anew. If growth is faster than decay the wheel is broken, destroying nature's balance. Composting accelerates the decay process while maintaining the balance of the wheel -- growth follows automatically as the wheel spins faster.

-- "Growth has been speeded up, but nothing has been done to accelerate decay. Farming has become unbalanced. The gap between the two halves of the Wheel of Life has been left unbridged, or it has been filled by a substitute in the shape of artificial manures (chemicals). The soils of the world are either being worn out and left in ruins, or are being slowly poisoned. The restoration and maintenance of soil fertility has become a universal problem." -- Sir Albert Howard, Farming and Gardening for Health or Disease (The Soil and Health), Faber and Faber, London, 1945

The best crop of weeds in the valley

"I know it sounds simplistic," says Keith, "but whatever problems you're having, the first solution is compost -- more and better compost. Pests or disease? Compost will fix that. Weeds? Compost will fix that too, along with mulching -- best of all, in permanent raised beds with fertile soil you can plant so close that the crops themselves form a living green mulch, maintaining a humid zone just above the soil. No weeds, no problems at all -- but it needs lots of good compost.

"Not enough water? Drought? Compost will fix that as well -- it greatly increases the soil's water-holding capacity.

"Too much water? I had an old rice field that was so badly clay-panned from years of overashing that it was still waterlogged after four months without rain, only rank grass would grow there. Compost and weeds fixed it. I cleared it and sowed a lot of wild sunnhemp seeds, and compost gave them a start.

Those deep roots went down right through the pan. The villagers thought I was crazy -- I had the best crop of weeds in the valley. But sunnhemp's good fodder for livestock, and good compost material, and it's a legume so it fixed lots of nitrogen in the soil. You could grow anything in that field after that."

What a useful weed!

Sunnhemp -- Crotalaria juncea (James A. Duke, 1983, Handbook of Energy Crops, Purdue)


Meet Ed McAllen of Galesville, Wisconsin

"Nature insists on things being round," Ed McAllen proclaims. "Look around and you'll notice that no animal builds its home square except man." Not wanting to go against nature's intentions, Ed decided his cordwood "DreamCatcher" home would be "within the circle".

Ed first found out about cordwood construction in 1979 upon reading about a homebuilder's experience in Mother Earth News. The idea lingered in the back of his mind to someday build a cordwood structure on his own. "Someday" took on a sense of urgency in 1992 when his wife, Julie, announced their impending parenthood.

Ed researched several cordwood books and built upon the knowledge of others. "I was especially impressed with the circular home philosophy of Jack Henstridge as expressed in his book Building the Cordwood Home. Another source I found helpful was Steve Carlson's book, Your low-tax dream house, which outlined several things to consider in keeping property taxes to a minimum."

The McAllen's dream has proved achievable due to some fortunate circumstances and a diligent savings plan coupled with reasonable sacrifice. They purchased their Trempealeau county property on Wisonsin's Black River in 1987. The land was beautiful and it contained a two room shack which Ed updated to "livable". The couple experienced two years of hauling water from town and improvised without the convenience of indoor plumbing. Julie has benefitted to this day from her eleven years of expreience in the "space program" where she became proficient in orgainizing a 14' x 30' house.

In 1993, Ed cleared a friend's land of his Red, Scotch and Jack pine needed for the house, plus purchased some Northern white cedar from Birnamwood, Wisconsin. He peeled the logs and left them to dry until the following spring. Meanwhile, he bought a tractor to skid out the peeled poles, but left the straightest 25 poles uncut to later be used as floor beams. He cut the rest into 16 inch lengths, splitting most of them, and stacked the pile on his land for another year of drying.

During the drying time, Ed assembled his bottle cylinders and window frames, improved his floor plan several times, and did more research. He cleared the homsite in 1995 and laid an 18 inch thick sand pad from 240 yards of gravel to create the 48 foot diameter base underneath which lie two connecting circles of 4 inch perforated drain tile for a "dry wall footing". Ed was impressed by Frank Lloyd Wright's aversion to basements, sighting them as expensive, damp, and unhealthful space. Therefore, DreamCatcher is built upon a floating slab. In a region of deep cold, it is necessary to keep away all water and moisture from underneath to prevent a building from moving. If no water is there to freeze, the foundation cannot be lifted. Beneath that 4 inch concrete slab lie 2 layers of 1 inch polystyrene insulation with overlapping seams. Nine inches of concrete support the exterior wall and interior support beams. Sixteen inch thick mortar walls provide thermal mass to the home helping to slash heating and cooling costs. The mortar is a mixture of 9 parts screened sand, 3 parts builders lime, 2 parts Portland cement, and 3 parts wet sawdust. Working alone, Ed had about 45 minutes to apply the mortar and another 45 to point or smooth it out around the new logs placed. It was a constant race against the elements (the sun).

The first floor was completed in the fall of 1995 with Ed working on the structure full time. He forsook traditional employment for the construction seasons of 1995 and 1996 to devote exclusive time to the dream. The family lived on savings acquired during their dual income days B.C. (Before Children). After the main beam and floor joists were fully incorporated into the wall, the protruding joists served as a plate to support the 2 x 12 foot temporary roof rafters. He then constructed a temporary roof to protect the slab and wall during the Wisconsin winter and Ed took a temporary factory job to save towards the next spring construction season when he dismantled the roof, cut the joists flush to the outside and continued with the second floor of cordwood.

Now the home boasts a permanent green, corrugated sheet metal roof over a felted 1 inch pine deck which extends 40 inches beyond the walls ensuring a dry foundation and minimal splash back for dry walls. "A tin roof is low tax, low maintenance, and fire-proof." Ed says with satisfaction. The estimated cost for the 1,608 square foot home is $12 per square foot. Inspired by the wisdom of Henry David Thoreau who said, "Most men appear never to have considered what a house is, and are actually though needlessly poor all their lives because they think that they must have such a one as their neighbors have." Ed doesn't view his 4 years of hard work and material sacrifice as too high a payment to live in such an artistic, well-designed, mortgage-free home. He has grown from the experience and expresses himself abundantly within the circular walls adorned with various animal bones, antlers and glass bottles which form the Big Dipper on the west wall and a pine tree and morning sun on the east wall. Ed's brunette pony-tail is even wrapped inside a multi-colored bottle on the south wall.

A wood stove warms the first floor family room where one bedroom, a full bath with laundry, and office are also located. The main living area and kitchen are upstairs taking advantage of rising heat and the river view. Another bedroom, half bath, and large pantry are also included on the upper level. Mainly south-facing 3 x 5 foot windows circle the house and serve as 16 inch deep seats.

The McAllen girls, Cassidy Cheyenne and Cedar Sioux, share a unique bedroom complete with their own loft. Ed and Julie enjoy sharing a private room with their own closets. During the building years, the McAllen family slept in one bed, shared one closet, and bathed the girls in the kitchen sink in their starter cabin. Julie relishes the "space, glorious space!" Ed feels vindicated by the realization of his dreams which many previous co-workers had doubted. "I'm the same guy, but now I've been upgraded from lunatic to eccentric artist." Ed hopes to help other 'lunatics' achieve their dreams of alternative home construction as well.

Watch videos on Cordwood:

Stand-Alone Wind Energy Systems

1. The Power and Potential of the WIND

Palm Spring Windmills

Wind is a very complex process which can be described very simply.

The sun heats the earth at different rates depending on whether an area is below clouds, in direct sunlight, or covered with water. The air above the warmer areas heats up, becomes less dense, and rises. The rising air creates a low pressure area. Cooler air from adjacent higher pressure areas moves to the low pressure areas. This air movement is wind.

People have been capturing the energy contained in the wind's movement for hundreds of years. Dutch-style windmills were first used in the 12th Century, and by the 1700s, had become a major source of power in Europe. In North America, farmers adopted windmill technology to pump water about a hundred years ago.

Today, the turning rotors of a wind energy system can still be used to run pumps, and to run a generator to generate electricity.

The wind is a renewable energy source, continuously generated or replenished by the forces of nature. Renewable energy technologies, such as wind energy systems and solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, which use sunlight, convert renewable resources into usable forms of energy that can complement or replace conventional energy sources.

Canada is a large country with a huge wind energy potential. Tapping into this potential will help decrease the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by conventional sources of energy. Modern large wind energy installations are popping up across the Canadian landscape. These "wind farms" use an array of wind turbines, each generating around 600 kilowatts, and are hooked to the main electrical grid. While this is a promising technology, it would still take 1,500 of these large turbines to match the output of one CANDU reactor. On the other hand, if replacing an oil or coal generator, just one of these turbines could eliminate over 1,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

This guide is aimed at those who are considering a wind energy system to supply energy to their homes, farms, cottages or businesses. In most cases, such small systems have capacities in the 100 watt to 25 kilowatt range.

At the low end of this scale, enough electricity is generated to run a few lights, a communications

radio or entertainment equipment. At the higher end, many of the electrical needs of farm operations or institutional buildings could be met. Somewhat larger systems could also supplement municipal needs and supply power to remote communities. While the tested technology of direct mechanical work, such as pumping water, will be touched upon in this guide, we will focus on electrical generation.

How much energy is in the wind?

One of the first steps in determining if a wind energy system is feasible is finding out how much wind energy is available. To do this, wind speeds are measured over a period of time, making note of the amount of time the wind blows at various speeds. From this, an average annual wind speed is calculated. A wind energy system usually needs an average annual wind speed of at least 15 km/h to be practical. It is also important to know the variation in wind speed. As it turns out, the wind is almost never calm, and rarely exceeds twice the annual average speed, and then only briefly. If you call in an expert to assess the amount of wind energy at your site, one assessment tool will be in the form of a wind speed distribution curve. This is just a chart of the number of hours the wind blows at various speeds. The Rayleigh curve represents a typical distribution. The wind blows most often at the speed correavailsponding to the highest point on the curve. In the Rayleigh distribution, the most frequent wind speed is about 75 percent of the average annual wind speed.

Features on the ground will impact the speed of the wind. Hills, ridges and valleys can block the wind or create undesirable turbulence for a wind energy system. Air movement is also slowed by friction close to the ground. As you move higher, wind speed increases. For most open spaces, wind speed increases 12 percent each time the height is doubled. Locating a wind energy system on a hill, and on a tower will increase the amount of wind energy available. A small increase in wind speed leads to a large increase in the amount of energy available (because volumes of air are being moved, the energy available in the wind is proportional to the cube of the wind speed).

Harnessing the Wind's Energy

A wind energy system is simply a method of extracting the energy from the wind and converting it into useful energy. This conversion can be to mechanical energy, where the wind turns a rotor which drives a mechanical device such as a gear or lever system running a water pump. The conversion can also be to electrical energy, where the rotor runs a generator.

A basic wind energy system consists of a turbine (a propeller-like rotor, a gear box and a generator), a tower, and a Balance of System (BOS) package. Components of a BOS package vary, and will be discussed further in Chapter 3. You cannot rely on the wind, so some applications will require a battery system to store electricity, while some will be supplemented with a diesel, gas or propane powered generator which operates when the wind is not blowing. Typically, wind speeds greater than 15 km/h are needed before a wind energy system can begin to generate electricity. This is known as the "cut-in" speed.

The "cut-out" speed, usually around 70 km/h, is where the system stalls to protect itself from damage. The precise amount of energy that can be extracted from the wind depends on many factors, which are reflected in standard formulae. The formulae are complicated and depend on such factors as the variability and distribution of wind speed, the height of the rotor and the density of the air. The diameter of the area swept by the rotor is also important (see box below and Figure 4).

2. Difference Types of Wind Energy Systems

- You need different types of systems to fill different needs
- Systems range from very small to grid-connected

This guide deals mainly with non grid-connected systems. That is, the wind energy system does not connect to the main electrical grid (such as a municipal electrical system). Changes in the way electrical utilities operate, however, are leading to some innovations which we will touch on briefly at the end of this section.

Non Grid-Connected Systems

Small, non grid-connected systems can be stand-alone systems, which provide power solely from the wind, or hybrid systems, which use a combination of wind and another source of energy when the wind is insufficient to meet demand. Stand-alone systems can generate electrical or mechanical energy and often have a method for storing energy when wind conditions are not good. A generator driven by a wind energy system can produce electricity which can be stored in batteries. Batteries are not necessary if the owner is willing to live with an uncertain supply.

Mechanical systems are relatively simple. They can be used to aerate ponds, pump water for livestock, irrigation or drainage, and to supply water to remote households, farms and small communities. You can think of a water tank as storage in a mechanical system. More than a million mechanical systems are said to be in use today, mostly on farms. Hybrid systems are used in locations where the wind may fluctuate or where users might not want to be totally dependent on the wind. Hybrid systems can include solar energy or diesel generation. These systems can provide a reliable supply of energy regardless of wind conditions, but can also be costly and complex.

Hybrid systems are especially useful where an existing energy technology, such as a generator, is already in use and fuel is expensive. A hybrid system may also be an option if the cost of storage (i.e. batteries) is high due to large loads. Wind energy systems all have a power rating known as the rated output. This is the maximum power output of the system in a strong wind under ideal conditions. For purposes of this guide, we will group systems into the following categories:

Micro Systems: 100 watts or less. They are useful for:
- portable systems for lighting and communications radios at hunting and fishing camps
- small appliances on yachts, recreational vehicles, in cabins and cottages
- electric fences
- remote area lighting
- emergency lighting
- trickle charging
- pond aeration
- navigational beacons and lights
- communications systems
- educational programs and displays

Mini Systems: 100 watts to 10 kilowatts. They are useful for
- small gas or diesel generator set back-up
- pumping water for cattle or for irrigation
- cottage and domestic water pumping
- navigational aids
- telecommunications systems
- area and emergency lighting
- refrigeration and ice making for retaining quality of fish at remote locations
- water and waste treatment
- waste water pumping
- trash rack cleaners (in irrigation systems)
- cathodic protection
- alarm systems

Small Systems: 10 kilowatts to 50 kilowatts. These are large enough to supply the electrical needs of a farm or business, and could serve as an energy supply for remote communities or camps.

Grid-Connected Systems

Canada is entering an era of change with the way in which its utilities are regulated and how they obtain or purchase electrical power from others. New regulations will make electricity more of a tradable commodity. Power markets are now opening up to private suppliers. This means that wind energy will have the opportunity to compete with conventional carbon-emitting fossil fuel and expensive nuclear alternatives. Utilities in various provinces, for example Alberta and Ontario, are already moving in this direction.

Another force at work is concern for the environment. Climate change and Canadian international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have brought attention to the carbon emissions from fossil fuel generation. Future attempts to reduce these emissions may encourage the use of "green" or non-polluting electricity. Natural Resources Canada and Environment Canada are setting an example by purchasing green power for their facilities in Alberta.
Large wind turbines that feed electricity directly into the utility grid are commercially available in sizes ranging from 300 kilowatts (kW) to 1.5 megawatt (MW). These turbines are typically installed in arrays known as wind farms, although installations of single large turbines are not uncommon. Wind farms usually become economically viable only at the megawatt scale.

Another force at work is concern for the environment. Climate change and Canadian international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have brought attention to the carbon emissions from fossil fuel generation. Future attempts to reduce these emissions may encourage the use of "green" or non-polluting electricity. Natural Resources Canada and Environment Canada are setting an example by purchasing green power for their facilities in Alberta.

Large wind turbines that feed electricity directly into the utility grid are commercially available in sizes ranging from 300 kilowatts (kW) to 1.5 megawatt (MW). These turbines are typically installed in arrays known as wind farms, although installations of single large turbines are not uncommon. Wind farms usually become economically viable only at the megawatt scale.

3. System Components

Wind Turbines

System Components

The wind turbine rotor is one of the most visible parts of a wind energy system, but there's more to the turbine than just the rotor. The most familiar turbine is the horizontal axis wind turbine, known as a HAWT. The main propeller-like rotor has an axis that is parallel to the ground, and therefore horizontal to the wind. A vertical axis wind turbine, VAWT, has an axis perpendicular to the flow of the wind. HAWTs are most common in small applications, and can be placed on a tower which does not require a large area. If servicing has to be done to a HAWT, however, the tower either has to come down, or the service technician has to go up.

The generating equipment in a VAWT is at ground level, but VAWTs require a lot more space to be cleared for guy wires. Because any wind turbine may be exposed to high winds, rain, snow, sun, ice, and even salty air, its parts should be made of tough, durable and corrosion-resistant materials. A well-built and well-maintained turbine should have a life expectancy of 20 years or more.

Turbines consist of several sub-components:


The rotor consists of blades with specially shaped, aerodynamic surfaces.
When the wind blows over the blades, the rotor turns, causing the rotation of the drive train and generator. The blades should be light-weight, strong and durable to withstand the elements. They are usually constructed of composites of fibreglass, reinforced plastic or wood. The turbine should also be designed to prevent the rotor from turning too fast during strong winds.
The diameter of the rotor blades determines how much power is generated by the system. There are usually two or three blades. Three blades reduces the mechanical stresses on the system, but increases the cost of the rotor.


Generators and alternators produce electricity from the rotation of the turbine motor. A generator produces Direct Current (DC) power or, as an alternator, it produces Alternating Current (AC) power. Most small wind turbines used for battery charging systems use alternators generating AC power which is converted to DC for the batteries.


Many turbines, particularly those above 10 kW, use a gearbox to match the rotor speed to that of the generator. Most micro and mini systems have the generator/ alternator rotating at the same speed as the rotor and do not need a gearbox.


This is an enclosure which protects the gearbox, generator and other components from the elements. It is removable to allow for maintenance.

Tailvane (Yaw System):

A yaw system aligns the HAWT with the wind. Most micro and mini systems use a simple tail vane that directs the rotor into the wind. In some systems, the rotor is downwind of the generator, so it naturally aligns with the wind. Some yaw systems can be offset from the vertical axis to regulate rotor power and speed. Special release mechanisms can use the yaw system to turn HAWTs out of dangerously high winds.

Control and Protection Systems:

Control systems vary from simple switches, fuses and battery charge regulators to computerized systems for control of yaw systems and brakes. The sophistication of the control and protection system varies depending on the application of the wind turbine and the energy system it supports.

It is important to know some key terms used in descriptions and specifications of wind turbines. On a chart on the next page, we have outlined terms for a typical mini DC generating turbine that might be found in a manufacturer's literature.


The tower holds the turbine in the path of the wind and is therefore an integral part of a wind energy system. Make sure the tower is properly engineered to handle the system. Towers should be able to withstand lightning strikes, extreme winds, hail and icing.

Only towers approved by turbine manufacturers should be used. Otherwise, the warranty on the turbine may be invalid.

Several types of towers are available:

- Guyed towers are economical and very strong when properly installed. The guy wires require space around the base of the tower so they can be properly anchored. The tower's concrete foundation must have its own secure anchor to withstand the maximum pull on the wires. Foundations should be placed below the frost line; sandy and poorly drained areas can be a problem. Buildings, trees, and even lay of the land may not permit guy wires.

- Tilt up towers are often used for smaller systems because they provide for safe maintenance of the turbine. Tilt up towers allow assembly of the wind turbine while the system lies on the ground. The tower is then erected by a winch or heavy vehicle. Tilt up towers can be lowered for maintenance (Figure 7).

- Self supporting towers tend to be more expensive because of the heavier materials necessary in their construction. They do not have guy wires, so the foundation needs to be more substantial. Certain micro system turbines such as those for recreational purposes and cottages, can be mounted on a simple rigid pole.


Wind Energy Systems
Resources Canada

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The Importance of Vegetable Oils in Our Life

Essential Oils of the Siberian Cedar
Siberian Cedar

If you were to look around with the eyes of a physician seeking a medicine, then it can be said that we live in a world of medicines, for there is no substance in nature that would not be suitable for a medicine.
(Ancient Buddhist proverb)

Since prehistoric times people have used various vegetable fats in their food. Vegetable oils improve the taste qualities of food, provide a feeling of satiety, and are a concentrated source of energy in the food allowance and a valuable building material for the cells and tissues. Modern humans often obtain many more calories from their food than they are able to expend in their sedentary way of life and many fewer vitamins and essential fatty acids, which are literally "burned" during the stresses that accompany people throughout their lives. How much fat and which fats should be obtained in a food allowance? Dietitians assert that attention should be paid not only to the quantitative limits of fats in the diet, but also to the quality of the fat products consumed. The best source of the necessary fats for children and adults, for healthy and sick persons, is Cedar Nut Oil (See footnote 1), an ancient Russian product.

The Siberian cedar (Pinus sibirica)-a mighty tree reaching a height of 40 metres, with a trunk diameter from 1.5 to 2 metres-grows slowly, lives up to 500-800 years, its fruitful period begins at 40 to 50 years, the cedar cone takes a long time to ripen, the second year following its flowering. The medicinal properties of the cedar have been well-known for a very long time, the young shoots, needles, bark, and resin are used as raw materials for medicines, but the principal component of value for people are the cedar nuts and products prepared from them.

Applications of Cedar Nut Oil

The medicinal properties of Cedar Nut Oil have been well-known for a long time. As long ago as the reign of Ivan the Terrible, the cedar nut was an item of export-Russia sold up to 5 million kilograms of the nut each year to Sweden, England, Persia, and other countries. "In Switzerland they are used in chemist's shops, they are used to make a milk that is prescribed for chest illnesses... because of their penetrating, delicate, and partly balsamic oil, they were effectively used by people with consumption," wrote the Academician P. S. Pallas at the end of the XVIII century. Comments about the medicinal properties of the Siberian cedar are found in monastery records. The monks grew "cedar orchards" around their monasteries, and outside of Yaroslavl in the XVI century the Tolgskaya Cedar Grove was laid out. Some cedars in that grove have been preserved to our day and are abundantly fruitful.

Russian physicians have used the oil from cedar nuts in the treatment of hypertension, atherosclerosis, stomach ulcers, and have also used it externally-they have treated burns, bruises, and performed inhalations with the oil, as well as baths and massages. In recent years the interest of scientific medicine in the Siberian cedar has grown, fundamental and clinical studies are providing scientific explanations for the beneficial effects of the cedar nut on the health of humans, effects that were well-known from the experience of folk medicine. To date, the chemical structure of cedar nuts has been adequately studied, the richness of this structure is responsible for the broad range of useful effects of cedar products on the human body. Regular use of Cedar Nut Oil enriches the food allowance with essential foodstuffs-polyunsaturated fatty acids, amino acids, fat-soluble vitamins, and macro- and micro-elements.

Cedar Nut Oil is a rich source of natural antioxidants. These properties have been established for vitamins E and A, the carotinoids, nicotinic acid, in mineral substances such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese; in sulphur-containing amino acids. In recent years, the problem of the peroxide oxidation of lipids and the antioxidant status of the organism have attracted active attention. In normal conditions of vital activity, many important metabolic and physiological processes occur with the formation of free radicals. They are involved in the accumulation and biotransformation of energy, provide for the detoxification of certain foreign compounds, participate in the work of the nonspecific immunological protection system of the organism. In the normal situation, the intensity of the processes of free-radical oxidation is maintained at a specified level by a complex antioxidant defence system, which includes a whole series of vitamins, enzymes, micro-elements, amino acids, and certain hormones (thyroxine, the estrogens). In physiological conditions, the peroxide oxidation of lipids and antioxidant defence represent a single system, which is in a state of dynamic equilibrium and capable of self-regulation. The pollution of the external and internal environment of an organism with toxic substances, constant psychological and emotional stress, significant physical loads, the use of a large quantity of refined carbohydrates and animal fats in food lead to the exhaustion of the natural antioxidant defence systems and excessive activation of free-radical oxidation. When free radicals enter into chemical reactions, they damage enzyme systems, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids, and lead to disruptions in the functions of the cells, they are regarded as the causes of many acute and chronic illnesses, including atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases, oncological diseases, premature aging of the organism, and reduction of the life span. Maintaining the antioxidant defence systems of the organism at an optimal level of functioning plays an important role in disease prevention and health. In this respect, great hopes are being placed on antioxidants of plant origin, since they possess great affinities with the tissues of the human organism, exhibit, as a rule, little toxicity, and, with judicious use, do not cause overdoses.

Cedar Nut Oil is an effective natural antioxidant and may be used for the preventive treatment of any illness, as a means for maintaining the antioxidant status of the organism.

The high content and optimal ratio of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, phospholipids, fat-soluble vitamins, and amino acids, which have a lipotropic action, make it possible to recommend the inclusion of Cedar Nut Oil in healthy diets for the prevention of disruptions in lipid metabolism and its use in the alimentary therapy of persons suffering from obesity and atherosclerosis.

Cedar Nut Oil is traditionally used in the treatment of colds, as a general strengthening agent and agent that increases the nonspecific immune defences. It is used in the form of oil inhalations or taken internally. The carotinoids (provitamins A), vitamins E, B, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and micro-elements that make up Cedar Nut Oil display an alleviating and anti-inflammatory effect on the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract, increase the process of regeneration in them, and stimulate the local immune defence system.

The ability of Cedar Nut Oil to hasten the processes of the regeneration (renewal) of mucous membranes is also put to use in the treatment of disorders of the gastro-intestinal tract. Clinical studies carried out at the Tomsk Scientific Research Institute for Health Resort Studies of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation have demonstrated that the inclusion of Cedar Nut Oil in the comprehensive treatment of ulcers of the stomach and duodenum leads to a reduction of the scar formation period of the ulcer. Cedar Nut Oil is well tolerated by patients. When diluted with milk, Cedar Nut Oil displays an anti-inflammatory effect in cases of accompanying cholesystitis and hepatocholecystitis.

Cedar Nut Oil has found wide application in cosmetology. With only Cedar Nut Oil on hand, it is possible to provide proper care of the skin-it can be used to cleanse, nourish, and protect the skin on any part of the body. Cedar Nut Oil dissolves well and removes all dirt, it provides the clean skin with valuable nourishment and vitamins-the antioxidants of Cedar Nut Oil protect the skin from the aggression of oxygen radicals, postpones the aging processes-on the surface of the skin fats form the thinnest film, which retains moisture but does not prevent the skin from breathing. Together with this, it is good to combine the external application of Cedar Nut Oil with its use in food, in order to act on the skin "from the inside."

Importance of lipids for the human body

Don't get carried away, but pay the necessary attention
I. P. Pavlov

Essential Oils of the Siberian Cedar
Cedar Nut Oil

Lipids play an important role in the vital activity of the body. The overall quantity of fat in a healthy person makes up 10-20% of the body mass, in the case of obesity it can reach 50%. Several classes of lipids exist, which differ significantly from each other in structure and biological functions. Strictly speaking, fats (triglycerides) are the esters of higher fatty acids and glycerin. In the body, they serve as the main source of energy and create reserves of energy material. Among the food substances, fats possess the greatest energy value-the combustion of 1 gram of fat produces 9 kcal, the combustion of proteins and carbohydrates produces approximately 4 kcal. In many tissues, even with a balanced diet, fats are used almost exclusively to obtain energy, while glucose is retained for the tissues, especially those that need it (brain, erythrocytes). Fats fulfill protective functions. Fatty capsules are formed around vitally important organs (kidneys, sexual glands, thymus, etc.) that hold them in their normal anatomical position and protect them from shifting and injury. On the surface of the skin, fats form a water-repellent film that protects the tissue both from loss of moisture as well as from over-moisturization, and also has an anti-microbial action. In addition, subcutaneous fat creates a thermo-insulating covering for the body. Fats are poor heat conductors, and protect internal organs from overcooling. Fatty tissue is the site of the formation of the hormone leptine, which has an all-round influence on the human body.

Complex lipids-these are complexes of lipids and proteins (lipoproteins), derived from orthophosphoric acid (phospholipids or phosphatides), with sugars (glycolipids), with polyatomic alcohols (sphingolipids, etc.), and also a whole series of compounds. Complex lipids fulfill plastic functions-together with proteins they serve as the basic structural components of cellular membranes.

Lipids also include compounds that are not derivatives of fatty acids-steroids. Their most common representative is cholesterol, it is included as a structural element as part of cellular membranes, and also serves as the precursor of a series of other steroids-cholic acids, steroid hormones (hormones of the adrenal cortex, sexual hormones), and vitamin D.

The simplest in structure of the lipids are the fatty acids, which serve as the intermediate products of lipid metabolism, and also take part in the biological regulation of cellular functions.

Fatty acids may be saturated and unsaturated. In saturated acids, the bonds between the carbon atoms are maximally saturated, unsaturated fatty acids contain one or more double (unsaturated) bonds, on whose site oxygen may join. Fatty acids with one double bond are called monounsaturated. The most common monounsaturated acid in human fat tissue is oleic acid, among the other fatty acids its proportion is 55%. Oleic acid is involved in the regulation of cholesterol metabolism, it facilitates the increase in blood of the level of high density lipoproteins, which transport cholesterol from the tissues to the liver for utilization. This cholesterol is not atherogenic, or "good," its high level in the blood is an antirisk factor for the development of atherosclerosis.

Fatty acids with two (linoleic acid), three (alpha linolenic acid), four (arachidonic acid), and more double bonds are called polyunsaturated.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids are subdivided into Omega classes depending on the location of the double bond, closer to the methyl or Omega-carbon. Monounsaturated oleic acid and palmitic acid are designated as Omega-9 and Omega-7 respectively, and the polyunsaturated fatty acids linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, as Omega-6 and Omega-3. Two polyunsaturated fatty acids, linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, are indispensable (essential) for humans, since they are not synthesized in the body and must come from the outside, from food products.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids perform a number of important physiological functions in the body: they are part of cellular membranes, they have an influence on the metabolism of other lipids-they stimulate the removal of excess cholesterol from the body, prevent its deposit on the walls of the blood vessels; they participate in the metabolism of several vitamins (thiamine and pyridoxine), they have an immunomodelling action, increase the resistance of the organism to infectious diseases and the action of unfavourable factors from the external environment. In animals that have received a fat-free food allowance, a shortening of the life span has been noted. A deficit of essential polyunsaturated acids has a particularly negative effect on the growing organism, linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid are essential for growth and the normal development of the brain, organ of vision, sexual glands, kidneys, and skin.

Linoleic and alpha-linolenic fatty acids are the forebears of two families of polyunsaturated fatty acids-Omega-6 and Omega-3, including the eicosanoids: prostaglandins, leucotriens, thromboxanes, which are tissue hormones.

The Omega-6 family is represented by linoleic acid, which, in the presence of the necessary enzymes, in the body becomes gamma-linolenic acid. Gamma-linolenic acid is the precursor of dihomogammalinolenic acid, which is the precursor of the first series of prostaglandins and arachidonic acid, the precursor of the second series of prostaglandins.

Alpha-linolenic acid becomes eicosopentenoic acid, the precursor of the third series of prostaglandins, and docosohexenoic acid.

The metabolism of linoleic acid (18 carbon atoms, two double bonds) and alpha-linolenic acid (18 carbon atoms, three double bonds) is linked to additional desaturation, that is, the increase in the number of double bonds and the lengthening of the basic chain made up of carbon atoms. As a result, arachidonic acid has 20 carbon atoms and 4 double bonds, eicosopentenoic acid has 20 carbon atoms and 5 double bonds, docosohexenoic acid has 22 carbon atoms and 6 double bonds. Arachidonic, eicosopentenoic, and docosohexenoic acid are called long-chain fatty acids. They are important structural components of the cellular membranes of all organs and tissues, but their content is especially great in the brain, retina of the eye, and in the reproductive cells.

It should be noted that the metabolism of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids occurs with the involvement of exactly the same enzymes, which elicits the occurrence of competing reactions between the two families. An excess of the fatty acids of one class may slow the transformation of the acids of the other class, lowering their activity and modifying their biological action.

Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids are the precursors of the eicosanoids (prostaglandins, thromboxanes, leucotriens), which fulfill the functions of local tissue hormones, which regulate numerous functions, including tonus of the blood vessels, musculature of the bronchial tubes and uterus, the degree of the inflammatory reaction, the activity level of the cells of the immune system, the processes of blood coagulation, and a number of others. In addition, the direction of the action of the eicosanoids of the Omega-6 and Omega-3 family are directly opposite. Prostaglandins, which form Omega 6 from fatty acids, narrow the apertures of the blood vessels and bronchial tubes, increase inflammation, increase blood coagulation. Prostaglandins-derivatives of the Omega-3 fatty acids-dilate the bronchial tubes and blood vessels, reduce inflammation, reduce the aggregation of blood platelets, and reduce the formation of blood clots in the blood vessels. Sometimes the first are called the "bad" prostaglandins, and the second, the "good" prostaglandins. However, this assessment is incorrect. It is precisely on the principle of opposing actions that the processes of the regulation of tissue homeostasis are based. For that reason it is important not to oppose these two classes of fatty acids, but to observe a balance between them. Since the source of Omega-6 and Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are food products, it is necessary to know their content and ratio in the food allowance.

Because they perform such significant functions in the human body, fats are an important component of the food allowance. In order to maintain optimum health, it is necessary to keep to the general rules of sound nutrition and the consumption of fats in particular. The average physiological requirement of fats for the healthy person is approximately 30% of the overall calorie content, a third of the consumed fats must be made up of vegetable oils. In some special diets, the proportion of vegetable oils is increased to 50% and more (the rest being nuts, fruits, vegetables, eggs, milk). Fats improve the taste of food and cause a feeling of satiety, in the metabolic process they can be formed from carbohydrates and proteins, but they cannot be replaced completely. The food value of fats is determined by their fatty-acid content, the presence of essential nutritional factors, the degree of assimilability and digestibility. The biological activity of alimentary fats is determined by their content of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids. Since the basic source of polyunsaturated fatty acids is vegetable oils, they also possess the greatest biological activity. The degree of assimilability of vegetable oils is also high, on the average this indicator comes to 97-98%.

Fatty oils of plants are a concentrated energy and building reserve, concentrated in the seeds and other organs of plants. The basic role of stored fats in a plant is their use for food during the germination of seeds and the development of the bud; in addition, they play the important role of protective substances, which help the plant endure unfavourable environmental conditions, in particular, low temperatures. Fats of hibernating seeds promote the preservation of the bud in cold conditions. In trees, in the transition to the dormant state, reserve starch becomes fat, which raises the frost-resistance of the trunk. The greatest calorific capability is possessed by unsaturated fats, for that reason the plants of the northern latitudes contain them in the highest quantities. Vegetable fats are essentially made up of triglycerides-esters of glycerin and fatty acids. Approximately 75% of vegetable fats are made up of the glycerides of only three acids-palmitic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid. The fats of some plants contain specific fatty acids that are characteristic only to them. Triglycerides may be monoacids and heteroacids (mixed). The overwhelming majority of fats are a mixture of heteroacidic triglycerides. Fatty acids in vegetable fats may be saturated and unsaturated. The biological value of vegetable oils depends also on their content of accompanying substances-phospholipids, waxes, steroids, fat-soluble vitamins, pigments, photochemical compounds contained in plants and giving the oils a specific direction of action.

Characteristics of Cedar Nut Oil

Cedar Nut Oil is obtained from the purified kernel of the cedar nut by means of cold pressing, which makes it possible to preserve the useful properties of all its components. Unrefined Cedar Nut Oil is light yellow with a greenish hue, a slight nutty aroma, and the highest taste qualities, several orders higher than the best edible oils-olive, almond, peanut.
The fatty-acid component of Cedar Nut Oil is characterized by a high content of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids (Table 1).

Table 1. Content of fatty acids in some of the most common vegetable oils (in % of the total mass)

Type of oil

Saturated fatty acids

fatty acids

Polyunsaturated fatty acids

Oleic (class 9)

Linoleic (class 6)

Linolenic (class 3)

Cedar Nut Oil





Linseed oil





Soya oil





Olive oil





Sunflower oil





Corn oil





Hempseed oil





Grape oil





Sesame oil





In the previous section, mention was made of the necessity to maintain a balance between the various classes of fatty acids. The optimal ratio between the Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids has not yet been definitively established, this problem is actively being discussed in the scientific literature. In the typical diet of a modern person, the ratio of Omega-6/Omega-3 is in the range of 10:1 to 25:1. The World Health Organization recommends an adherence to the ratio from 4:1 to 10:1, while doing so one should strive to increase the proportion of Omega-3 fatty acids, since an excess of Omega-6 fatty acids has even worse consequences for health. Studies on the type of nutrition in the Paleolithic period and features of the nutrition of modern hunter-gatherers make it possible to suppose that, in the food allowance of our ancestors, the ratio between the Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids was more balanced and came to approximately 1:1. The development of new technologies in plant growing and animal husbandry led to the replacement of some types of fats by others. Many cultivated plants contain a significantly smaller quantity of Omega-3 fatty acids in comparison to wild plants, correspondingly also the oil of domestic animals eating feed from cultivated plants is also depleted in Omega-3 fatty acids in comparison to the meat of wild animals, in addition to all this more and more scientists are relating the consumption of meat to the appearance and development in people of such terrible diseases as cancer, atherosclerosis, diseases of the vessels and heart, for that reason one should try to replace meat with natural plant food.

Essential Oils of the Siberian Cedar

In Cedar Nut Oil the ratio of the Omega-6/Omega-3 fatty acids is approximately 2:1. What attracts our attention is the high content of monounsaturated oleic acid, which is necessary for the normal metabolism of cholesterol. The use of polyunsaturated fatty acids in food requires a concomitant increase in the intake of tocopherols, natural antioxidants, which protect fatty acids from free-radical oxidation. It has been determined that for 1 g of polyunsaturated fatty acids, 0.6 mg of tocopherols should be taken, moreover in the most active forms-alpha and gamma tocopherols. This balance has been observed in Cedar Nut Oil, its content of alpha-tocopherol comes to 55 mg.

The kernel of the cedar nut contains a high quantity of phospholipids-6.9% (in Cedar Nut Oil, it is 1.3%), which exceeds its content in all nut and oil crops. The most common phospholipids are the phosphatidylcholines (old name: lecithins), whose constituents are glycerin, unsaturated fatty acids, and the vitamin-like substance choline, related to phosphoric acid. Phosphatidylcholine is an interchangeable substance, it can be synthesized in the organism in the presence of all the necessary elements, including the essential amino acid methionine. Phosphatidylcholine is of fundamental importance in nutrition, it promotes the digestion, absorption, and proper metabolism of fats, increases bile secretion, normalizes the metabolism of cholesterol, reduces the accumulation of fats in the liver. Cedar Nut Oil also contains phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylglycerin, phosphatidylinositol, and phosphatidic acid. What attracts our attention is the presence in Cedar Nut Oil of cerebrosides, sulpholipids, and glycolipids, which are nonspecific for plant substances.

Unrefined vegetable oils always contain associated substances, which are extracted together with fats, dissolve in them, and have an influence on their physico-chemical, organoleptic, and, primarily, their pharmacological properties. These substances make up the so-called nonsaponifiable residue of fat. In Cedar Nut Oil, the associated substances are represented by pigments, phytosterols, triterpine hydrocarbons, and fat-soluble vitamins.

Pigments cause the colouring of natural fats, and are mainly represented by chlorophylls and carotenes. Chlorophyll, which is found in the oil, displays its activity also as a medicinal agent. Chlorophyll has a toning action, increases basic metabolism, stimulates the regeneration of the tissues, and possesses bactericidal properties. Chlorophyll-the green pigment of plants-is related in its chemical construction to the hemoglobin of the human erythrocyte. This makes it possible to explain the fact that chlorophyll taken with food has an influence on the blood system-it promotes an increase in the quantity of leucocytes, erythrocytes, and hemoglobin.

Sterols and esters make up the greater part of the nonsaponifiable residue of oils. A distinction is made between sterols of plant origin (phytosterols) and those of animal origin (zoosterols). The most common phytosterol is sitosterol, of the zoosterols it is cholesterol. Sitosterols, in particular the most studied of them beta-sitosterol, has a hypocholesteremic effect, lowering the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines; it displays estrogen, anti-tumor, fungicidal, and bacteriostatic (reduces the growth and multiplication of bacteria) activity. In recent years it has been determined that phytosterols may be included in lipid formation in humans and animals, for example, in the membranes of erythrocytes.

Cedar Nut Oil contains the steroid squalene, which is an intermediary product in the biosynthesis of cholesterol.

Triterpene carbohydrates form triterpene saponins, and are part of the essential oil, they have bactericidal, anti-inflammatory, and expectorant actions.

Cedar Nut Oil is a rich source of fat-soluble vitamins and some B vitamin groups.

Vitamin D regulates the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus, ensures that these substances are absorbed in the intestines and deposited in growing bones, thus ensuring the strength of bones and teeth. Vitamin D promotes the assimilation of magnesium, which is also necessary for the building of bone tissue. Vitamin D has an influence on the permeability of cellular and subcellular membranes to calcium ions. It is synthesized in the organism as a result of the action of sunlight on the skin. The formation of the biologically active form of the vitamin occurs in the liver and kidneys. Vitamin D insufficiency is widespread among very young children, and plays an important role in the development of rickets. In adults, D vitaminosis occurs rarely, and manifests itself in the form of osteoporosis. Vitamin D is toxic, with the unreasonable use of concentrated preparations, hypervitaminosis may develop, for that reason it is important that it enters the body in a natural form, with food products.

Vitamin PP (niacin, nicotinic acid) participates in reactions involving cellular respiration and intermediate metabolism, since it is incorporated into proteins that carry out oxidation-reduction reactions; it improves carbohydrate metabolism, has a positive effect on mild forms of sugar diabetes; it lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood; it normalizes the secretory and motor functions of the gastro-intestinal tract, it has a positive effect on stomach ulcers; it displays a vasodilatory effect. In avitaminosis, pellagra ("rough skin") develops, typical of which is dermatitis (inflammation of the skin), a disturbance of the functions of the gastro-intestinal tract, lesions of the oral mucous membrane, mental disturbances. Niacin is formed in the body from the amino acid tryptophan, 60 mg of tryptophan makes 1 mg of niacin.

Essential Oils of the Siberian Cedar
Cedar Nut Kernels

A kernel of the cedar nut ripened to the milky stage contains 64 mg of vitamin C.

A kernel of the cedar nut contains a large quantity of mineral substances-2.6%-which represents a collection of macro- and micro-elements.

Significant from a dietary point of view is the content of phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, and iodine. The presence of the listed macro- and micro-elements classifies the kernel of the cedar nut as a natural source of the mineral substances that play an important role in many biochemical processes in the human body.

Cedar Nut Oil contains nitrogenous compounds, represented mainly by free amino acids. Among them are all the essential amino acids-valine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan, phenylalanine-and the nonessential amino acids-arginine, histidine, tyrosine, alanine, glycine, proline, serine, asparagine, glutamine.

The importance of amino acids for the body depends above all on the fact that they are used for the synthesis of proteins. In addition, a large number of substances of a non-peptide nature used in special functions are formed from amino acids. These substances include choline (a constituent of phospholipids), taurine (involved in the metabolism of cholic acids), and heme (a component of hemoglobin). The amino acid tyrosine is the precursor of the hormones of the thyroid gland, the catecholamines-adrenaline and norepinephrine-are constituents of the dark-coloured pigments, the melanins, which determine the colour of the skin and hair. The melanins are also found in the pigmented layer of the retina of the eyes. Derived from histidine is the biogenic amine-histamine-which plays the role of a local hormone. A small quantity of vitamin PP (niacin) is synthesized from tryptophan in the body, in addition, tryptophan is the precursor of the neuromediator serotonin, on which the emotional state of the organism depends, an insufficiency of serotonin is characteristic of depressive conditions.

Some amino acids themselves have a biological activity. The amino acid lysine increases the nonspecific resistance of the body, influences the tone of the cardiac vessels, and lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood. Methionine prevents the deposit of excess fat in the liver, protects liver cells from the influence of toxic substances, and participates in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine. The amino acids alanine and glycine play the role of inhibiting mediators in the brain, while glutamic acid and aspartic acid play the role of stimulating mediators. The amino acid arginine increases the nonspecific resistance of the body, alleviates spasm of the blood vessels, lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood, and is an essential amino acid in the growth period of children. The sulphur-containing amino acid cysteine is a natural antioxidant.

Used by permission
© Copyright


1) Cedar Nut Oil - widely known as Pine Nut Oil in North America.

Back to text

Black Walnut Pesto Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
1 head elephant garlic
1 cup olive oil, plus about 2 Tablespoons for basting
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley leaves
1 cup walnuts
1 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup black walnuts
1/4 cup dark-colored miso
1/4 cup lecithin granules

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a covered, oiled casserole dish, bake the garlic for 40 minutes, basting occasionally with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Let cool and then peel.

Meanwhile, in a food processor or by hand, chop the basil and cilantro or parsley. Add the garlic and process or chop again. Add the walnuts and pine nuts. Process or chop until finely chopped.

Add the miso, lecithin, and remaining cup of olive oil (or Cedar Nut Oil for richer taste) and process until well mixed.

Black Walnut Pesto will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, covered with a thin layer of olive oil (or Cedar Nut Oil).

Serve it on pasta, as a dip, or as a spread for crackers or bread.

Yield: 3 cups

Mixed Salad With Pears and Raisins

Prep Time: 25 minutes
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 pound mixed greens (baby spinach leaves also are good)
2 pears, cored and diced
2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks
3 Tablespoons pine nuts
Salt, to taste
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Extra-virgin olive oil, to taste

Place the raisins in a medium bowl and cover with warm water. Allow to soak at least 20 minutes, or until quite soft.

Toss the greens, pears, and carrots together in a nonreactive large bowl. Sprinkle pine nuts and salt over the salad.

Once the raisins have plumped, drain and gently squeeze to remove excess water. Add the raisins to the top of salad. Sprinkle the balsamic vinegar over the salad, then repeat with olive oil.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

For Educational purposes only
This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
These articles come directly from researchers and are passed on to everybody. The company assumes no liability for any content in these articles.

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The Strength of Siberian Health:


CEDAR NUT OIL - "Buy 3 get 1 free!"

Essential Oils of the Siberian Cedar
Cedar Nut Oil! Buy 3 get 1 free! Make use of this great promotion! Please go to our store for more information.

The oil from cedar nuts is being extracted for a long time in the Ural Mountains and Siberia. Our ancestors ate cedar nut oil and used it for medical purposes since the ancient times. In XIX century cedar nut oil could be bought on any Siberian market. It has been home-made with the use of only the simplest machinery. It has a soft taste, gold-and-amber color, and a wonderful smell of nuts.

In old Russian folk medicine consider that Siberian cedar nut oil eliminates a chronic weakness syndrome, increases overall strength of an organism, physical and brain activities. Siberian cedar nut oil taken regularly improves immune system. Any vegetative oil can be substituted by Siberian cedar nut oil, but nothing can fully substitute cedar nut oil. It can also be used as a facial night cream for returning a natural beauty of the skin.

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Siberian Cedar Resin and Siberian Larch Resin Chewing Gum - Buy 3 get 1 free

Resin of Siberian Cedar
Resin of Siberian Cedar
For a limited time, Buy 3 get 1 free! Click here to go to our online store

Among the people, the resin of the Siberian cedar has acquired the name zhivitsa, related to the Russian word for life (zhizn). With an unbelievable ability to heal wounds and regenerate cells, cedar resin has, since ancient times, been considered to be a very valuable product, and was used by the peoples of Siberia and the Urals in the treatment of various diseases.

Siberian cedar resin contains 30-35% of volatile substances: turpentine and its derivatives, oxygen compounds and succinic acid. The remaining part (65-70%) is represented by resin acids and their derivatives, resinols and resinotannols, rubber (inert substances), plant matter, vitamins C and D.

Siberian cedar resin has a maximum medicinal effect if the tree is not tapped during its collection. It is thought that if harm is done to the tree, then it will not provide the life-giving force that it is capable of providing. For that reason, Siberian cedar resin is collected only from those cedars that exude their resin themselves.

Siberian cedar resin for preparing chewable tablets bearing the Ringing Cedars of Russia trademark is collected exclusively from the surface of cedar trunks without the use of tapping. Flour made from the cedar nut is added to the resin.

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Lloydminster, SK, Canada

Healing Arts and Wellness Centre Inc.

#5 4517 50th Avenue, Lloydminster, SK, S9V0Z9, Canada. Tel: 306-825-3944. E-mail:

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Would like to become a distributor for these products. I see nothing more important than to circluate Anastasia's splendid image to all people of the Earth asap. The faster the image spreads, the faster we will have a splendid paradise to live in!

Tor Fjelldal, Norway

* * *

I want a list of the books after Anastasia. I read it and I am impressed. I want to get the other books in the series and continue. Thanks.

Martha Lee

* * *

Glad te see your website, I am just reading the book of Anastasia. Beautiful!!!

Nelia Aarnoutse


Dear Friends,

I have received my package of Cedar Nut Oils, Spoons and Cedar Pendants, which I will share with my friend. Thank you.

I have already started using the oil externally and internally and have found several benefits. I will send you another email to explain this. I am very happy. I will say, however, that within 15 minutes of applying the oil to my face, chest and throat, my emotional feelings completely changed. I became happier and joyful as though a negative oppression was lifted from off me.

Maria Rainback
Melbourne, Australia

* * *

I am using oil for 7 days. Just 7 days and I want to share my experience. I am drinking every morning just 1 sip. Since then I have no stomach burning. Feeling so enerjetic and healthy. I am a working woman and I had edema at the end of day cause I sit whole day at work. Well, I have none now!!! Also every night I rub my face and neck. My wrinkles began to erase and I have a bright and smooth face. I couldn't believe about my wrinkles. They are beginning to vanish. These are the results of 7 days usage. Thank you.

Beril Sonmez

* * *

I am a teacher of Meditation and I have been wearing the pendant for about 1 month and I have noticed that I am attracting loving persons into my field of experience..I am mentally stimulated and have energy all day untill about 11:30 pm. I feel very connected to the people of Russia. I love what Anastasia and Vladamir are teaching the world. Love and Light and Joy and Laughter,



I am interested in being a distributor

Julie Johnson
United States

* * *


I am impressed with how quick my order got here! Thanks for the prompt delivery.
I look forward to telling all my friends about your companyas well as purchasing more products in the future from you.


Valorie Vogel is the official
literary agent of Vladimir Megre.

This is the official message to publishers and editors.

We are inviting every one who is interested in signing publishing agreements for the books of Vladimir Megre to the International Readers Conference from October 10 to October 17, 2008. All the details are located at

Dear Publisher:

We are inviting you to participate in the interesting project of publishing the books of the writer Vladimir Nikolaevich Megre.

Vladimir Megre's books embody the human striving for harmony with oneself, the nature that surrounds us, and society. His books have been translated into more than 20 of the world's languages, more than 11 million copies have been printed, the books are international bestsellers.

All Vladimir Megre's works were originally written in Russian.

If you are interested in translating the books into one of the available languages and publishing it in the appropriate country, we are prepared to consider your proposal and give you an answer within a period of three days.

Our requirements:

1) The translator from Russian to the selected language must be highly qualified, with wide experience in prose and poetry styles.
2) The fundamental meaning of the works or any part of that meaning may not be changed or abbreviated in the translation.
3) Professional design work.
4) The presence of a distribution network or a professional business plan.

Some of the existing translations of the Ringing Cedars book series can be found on the Ringing Cedars Information page

Sincerely yours,

Rights Department
Official representative of Vladimir Megre contact information.

All services are available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week / 365 days a year! currently has three regional warehouses in Europe, USA and Canada. Our Customer Service department is available to serve you 24 hour a day, 7 days a week including ordering by phone and inquiry assistance. Ringing Cedars of Russia Customer Service Representatives respond to our customers on a timely basis with accurate information. We work hard everyday to improve our customer service to the level of satisfaction our customers deserve and have come to expect. Personalized attention is what we provide. Understanding your questions and solving any problems as quickly as possible is of great importance to us. Our customer service department is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Please feel free to contact us in the manner in which you are most comfortable. We will be happy to get back to you as soon as possible.
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The Anastasia Eco-settlement project has found its home in North America on Sacred Motherland!

Many great thanks to all of you who contributed to this success and to many who have supported this dream and vision with your love from near & far.

Shambhala-Shasta community has taken back 466 acres of prestine motherland.
Free and clear. No debt. No Encumbrances. No liens. Free and clear!!!

To freedom, independance and sovereignty!!!

The community will steadily grow out from here as we are bordered on the east and north by national forests.

More to come soon after our visit to our motherland in the next few days.

We have several settlers who have begun the intake process and purchased their domains. If you are ready and feel the beat in your heart, come and join!!!

Meetings in Ontario, Canada

To all motivated by Anastasia's words, there is a growing group meeting regularly between Toronto and Guelph. All those interested are welcome to join a gathering. Our next meeting will be Sunday afternoon on July 6th. Exact time and location to be determined. If you wish to attend, please call or email Robert 519-829-2281 email:

Kin's Domain Eco-Village Initiative

Message submitted from: Tor Fjelldal

Title: Kin's Domain Eco-Village Initiative
Interested in making difference? Investors needed to start up a kin's domain eco-village concept based on the Anastasia books. Visit - all kinds of input and help is highly appreciated and welcomed! our aim is to purchase land and retunr it to people free of charge to create abundance and diversity and a good place to raise our children. the plan is to start it off in Golden Bay New Zealand and eventually make it a world wide project inspiring others to fulfull our beautiful destiny!
Tor Fjelldal

Green Garden Earth

Message submitted from: Green Garden Earth

Green Garden Earth Almanac (GGEA) is an online periodical discussing the creation of Green Garden Earth with sections such as Green Technologies, Gardening, Hand-made, Traditions, and more:

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This Classifieds column is created specifically for the announcements related to the "Ringing Cedars of Russia" Movement (please view example below). If you wish to submit your message please fill out the form below and click "Submit".

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(Note: The Administration of The Earth online newspaper reserves the right to review all of the announcements. There are no guarantees that your message will be posted.)


Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Earnest request to authors of articles and scientific works to please send your materials to us to the address with a subject "Articles". Upon a separate agreement your works may be published in the internet newspaper "The Earth", in separate collections, in the Resource Library of the Source of Life Association, and on the pages of the websites devoted to the "Ringing Cedars" movement.

Also you can open a tread on a forum devoted to readers of Vladimir Megre, at and publish your works.

We value your work greatly and consider publication activity one of the highest priorities.

Please send your works of art, poems, songs, and paintings, inspired by the books of Vladimir Megre to the following address with a subject "Art". Best ones will be published in "The Earth" Newspaper. Also, you can open a thread in the ART OF SOUL section of the forum devoted to readers of Vladimir Megre, at and publish your works.

For a possible answer to your question we advise you to review with the content of the internet conferences held by Vladimir Megre for the readers of the "Ringing Cedars of Russia" series of books and our Frequently Asked Questions.

You can direct your questions to the Letter Department of website. Your question will be answered within 7 business days.

Thank you for your attention,

The Earth online newspaper.

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