GIVEAWAY: Herbal Medicine for Children and Babies

Herbal Medicine for Children and Babies
Four Fall Classes at Blazing Star Herbal School

Herbal Medicine for Children and Babies is a series of four classes that will be offered on Fridays this fall in Ashfield, MA at Blazing Star Herbal School by herbalist, Tony(a) Lemos. Deadline to enter for a chance to win is Oct. 13th, 2010.

Hilltown Families and Blazing Star Herbal School (BSHS) in Ashfield, MA have partnered up to offer one lucky participant free registration for Herbal Medicine for Children and Babies, a series of four classes being offered this fall.  Participants will learn how to raise healthy children, how to prevent compromised immune systems, and discuss both common and and some less common childhood diseases. Find out how to win a free registration to this series of four classes below. Deadline to enter to win is Wednesday, 10/13/10 @ 7pm (EST)


Herbal Medicine for Children and Babies will run for four Fridays, October 16th & 23rd and November 5th & 19th, from 9:30am-1 pm in Ashfield, MA.  The class will begin with pre-conceptive health care and continue throughout childhood, covering pathologies and common and uncommon states. The class will discuss methods to help prevent compromised immune systems and ways to strengthen the terrain. Cultures around the world will be compared and contrasted. Clarity will be given on appropriate dosage for children and methods of administration. Participants in the class will explore creative medicine making and making nourishing condiments. Students will leave with a complete Materia Medica for Children’s Health.  For more information contact Tony(a) Lemos at, or call (413) 625-2030.


Dedicated to teaching traditional herbal medicine in a way that supports a more sustainable future and shows respect for the integrity of nature, BSHS offers a unique perspective on herbalism, weaving social and political aspects of health and healing through the study of medicinal herbs and food practices. Serving as a local and national resource for education and networking, BSHS has been in Ashfield for over 25 years on 26 wooded acres of pine trees, rushing brooks, wildflower meadows and gardens. Right here in the Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts, the school offers unique and exciting programs in herbal studies to give both the student and professional an opportunity to delve deeper into the art and science of herbalism. Their courses have been highly acclaimed for inspiring students to find their unique healing path through personal relationship with the plant world. For more information about BSHS visit them on line at


Your chance to win a free registration for Herbal Medicine for Children and Babies, a series of four classes this fall at Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. POST WHY YOU WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THIS CLASS BELOW (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) You must include your town and state to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 10/13/10 @ 7pm (EST)


Burning the Blueberry Bushes

News From the Blueberry Farm
By Benson Place in Heath, MA

Here at Benson Place we had an open winter here until two feet of snow arrived in late February! The sustained lack of plant protection may have been tough on some of the more wind exposed berry bushes, so please cross your fingers with us that plenty of fruit buds are still intact.

Every year we must prune back one third of the berry bushes, to keep growth vigorous and fruit easy to harvest with our hand held scoops. Fire is a traditional way to prune low bush blueberries, and it also adds immediate nutrients to the fields. Yesterday, Farmer Dave black lined the edge of one field in preparation for the coming sweeps of fire that are quite a sight to see. He burnt a swath of vegetation so that when an open fire gets set it will be safely contained. Contact him if you’d like to observe or help with the burn this year. (337-5340) Mowing fields is an ecological alternative to burning where the land is sufficiently flat and free of rocks. We hope to incorporate some mowing into future stewardship practices.

We have also resumed annual brush cutting and weeding, which we spread out over nine months of each year. This is one of our sustainable farm practices of which we are most proud and sometimes most tired from doing!

This year we hope to have enough available berry scoops for our ever growing number of pick your own customers.

We expect that fruit orders will be taken in the same fashion as they have been in years past, while we continue to look at alternative ways to best organize that process. June 15th would be a great time to begin placing your pre-orders. Pick your own will likely be organized the same as last year with appointments being made for weekdays and open season on the weekends.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Our Ninth Annual Wild Blueberry Jubilee will be held on Saturday, August 7th, 2010 from 2-8PM here on the farm in Heath, MA. As per usual, we expect to have great food and music, an interesting educational presentation, and the opportunity to pick fruit, walk the land, and connect with new and old friends.

Photo credits: (c) Sienna Wildfield

Plastics Up to No Good, Again.

How to Stop Plastics from Turning Your Unborn Boy Into a Girl

Of all the charges leveled at plastics: the health risks, the waste creation, the resource-intensive production–this one is definitely the strangest. New research suggests that if women pregnant with boys are exposed to certain plastics, it will alter the brains of their unborn children. And make them girlier.


According to the BBC, researchers have found that pregnant women who were in contact with phthalates, a chemical prominent in many prominent plastic products, subject their child to a bit of unintentional gender-bending… Read more at Planet Green.

Kids Spoon-Fed Marketing and Advertising for Least Healthy Breakfast Cereals

Kids Spoon-Fed Marketing and Advertising for Least Healthy Breakfast Cereals

(Photo credit: Chris James)

The least healthy breakfast cereals are those most frequently and aggressively marketed directly to children as young as age two, finds a new study from Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. The researchers’ evaluation of cereal marketing, the first such study of its kind, shows pervasive targeting of children across all media platforms and in stores. The detailed findings of this study, which was supported in part by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will be presented in Washington today at Obesity 2009, the 27th annual scientific meeting of The Obesity Society.

Researchers studied the nutrient composition and comprehensive marketing efforts of 115 cereal brands and 277 individual cereal varieties. Nineteen brands (comprised of 47 varieties) were identified as “child brands” because their cereals are marketed directly to children on television, the Internet, or through licensed characters, such as Dora the Explorer.

Cereal companies spend nearly $156 million annually marketing to children just on television. They also market extensively using the Internet, social media, packaging, and in-store promotions.

“This research demonstrates just how far cereal companies have gone to target children in almost everything they do. The total amount of breakfast cereal marketing to children on television and computer screens, and at their eye-level in stores, combined with the appalling nutrient profile of the cereals most frequently marketed, is staggering,” said lead researcher Jennifer L. Harris, Ph.D, MBA, director of marketing initiatives at the Rudd Center.

Key marketing exposure findings include: Read the rest of this entry »

First Confirmed Cases of Swine Flu in MA

CDC Confirms Swine Flu in Two School-Aged Massachusetts Residents

The Patrick Administration today announced the first confirmed cases of swine influenza in Massachusetts. According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health DPH, the patients, two school-age residents of Middlesex County, are considered to have a mild case of the disease and are expected to make a complete recovery. Neither child attended school at any point during their illness, and their parents did not go to work during that time. Massachusetts is the sixth state to have confirmed cases of swine flu; there are now a total of 66 confirmed cases in the United States.

Click HERE to read the official statement.

Mother’s Milk Bank of New England

Mother’s Milk Bank of New England Update

Mother’s Milk Bank of New England, located here in Massachusetts, has just published their first e-newsletter to keep supporters of the milk bank up-to-date on their progress and any new developments. In their first newsletter readers can learn about scheduled medical education programs and how the milk bank won $10,000 in a national competition for businesses and social entrepreneurs to earn financial support.

MMBNE is looking for volunteers, including writers for their newsletter, professionals to serve on their planning board, folks to help establish milk collection depots and help with fundraising. For more information email Tanya at

Related Post: Breastmilk Banking in Western Mass

School Snack: Recess BEFORE Lunch?

School Cafeteria’s Serving Up Local Food In MA

Mass Harvest for Mass Students Week Wrap-up

The first ever Massachusetts Harvest for Students Week, organized by the Massachusetts Farm to School Project, was a celebration of locally grown food in schools across the state. The week’s goals were to highlight the work that schools all over Massachusetts are already doing to serve local food to their students, and to help more schools get started. We would like to highlight some of the wonderful, fun ways that cafeteria staffs, students, farmers and school administrators participated in this special, festive week.

Schools across the Commonwealth found new ways to showcase the importance of incorporating local foods into schools throughout the week. Somerville Public School students found themselves shucking corn alongside school administrators in preparation for a school lunch showcasing local corn, pears, melon, apples, tomatoes, and zucchini. In Chicopee, where cafeterias regularly feature potato wedges cut from fresh, local potatoes, the students enjoyed another treat: their food service director, teachers, and administrators dancing around in veggie costumes!

The week gave many districts, like Chicopee and Worchester, the opportunity to get the word out about their ongoing relationships with local farmers, while roughly thirty school districts took advantage of the chance to test the waters of buying locally.

Cafeterias were not the only locations to see some local food action, as a variety of other programs were conducted throughout the week. The Wood School in Plainville, MA held an assembly that featured a performance group called FoodPlay, which had kids dancing and laughing while learning about the importance of eating healthy foods. And at Gateway Regional School, special education students took a field trip to a local orchard where they got to tour the farm and pick their own apples.

Approximately 100 Massachusetts school districts and colleges put local foods on their menus for the Mass Harvest for Students Week. According to Kelly Erwin, Managing Consultant for the Mass Farm to School Project, schools that buy locally often see a financial benefit because more students buy school lunches as the meals become more appetizing. Worcester Public Schools, for example, have seen a fifteen percent increase in school lunch purchases since the district began buying locally. But these benefits aren’t limited to the schools-the 50 farms providing products to local schools in Massachusetts are generating more than $700,000 in additional revenue each year. To date there are more than 85 public school districts and 13 colleges across the state serving local food on a regular basis.

For more information about the Massachusetts Harvest for Students Week or the Massachusetts Farm to School Project, please click here or contact Kelly Erwin at or 413-253-3844.

(c)2007 CISA Farm to School Monthly Newsletter. Reprinted with permission.

Web Review: National School Lunch Week

National School Lunch Week

Website for this mid-October event, which recognizes the importance of school lunches in providing America’s children with access to nutritious meals. Features recipes for five suggested meals (including a wrap with dip, a burger with potatoes, and a rice bowl), and an opportunity to vote for your favorite meal. Includes printable material about health and nutrition aspects of each meal. From the School Nutrition Association. [c.LLI]

Step it Up 2007 in Western Mass

Step it Up 2007 in Western Mass

Step it Up is the largest day of citizen action focusing on global warming in our nation’s history. A truly infectious grassroots movement, organized through word of mouth, email outreach and the online community. It was a nationwide campaign comprised of over 1300 actions held on April 14, 2007 as part of a National Day of Climate Action. Many local Western Mass communities participated in the campaign, including Amherst, Cummington, Easthampton, Greenfield, Heath, Northampton, Pittsfield, and Williamstown .

We gathered a lot of information on resources at the Northampton rally …

Read the rest of this entry »

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