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Shipards Herb Farm - Newsletter Feb 2012

Herbs in Full Bloom

Put together by Aleisha and Isabell

Download printable PDF version of this newsletter.

Welcome to our Summer Time Newsletter. Via this Newsletter we connect to many thousands of people all over the globe who know the benefits of herbs and are eager to learn more. Growing our own food and herbs is a basic requirement to good health, and I encourage readers to do this, as much as space and ability provides.

On the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, we have had an extremely mild summer, so no high temperatures, humidity or heavy rains as yet, but then statistics show that February, March, and April can be the months of wet weather and humidity.

Self-Sufficiency  and  Survival Foods...
are you prepared?

Poverty, starvation and death is  the way of life now in many third world countries. How much food and non-perishable food does your family have on hand, if all shops shut tomorrow?

Recently on TV, the Queensland Government was bringing to the attention of people the importance of being prepared for emergencies. No doubt, the Government considers that it is an appropriate time to stress the importance of emergency kits, as it is 12 months since the disastrous floods and cyclones in Queensland that left many people homeless.

Natural disasters can cause major disruptions to essential services. So it's important to prepare, and also to maintain a household emergency kit. Your emergency kit should contain essential items to keep you in the event of a disaster, and enough supplies and food, for everyone in your household to survive for three days, without outside contact or help.

For details of what the kit could include refer to "How can I be prepared with Self-sufficiency and Survival Foods?"

SELF SUFFICIENCY BOOK Towards becoming as self-sufficient as possible, I encourage every person to grow an edible garden now, of vegetables, fruit bearing trees, salad greens and herbs.

Plants that have survival food potential, should meet 1 or more of the following criteria...

1. Plants that have proven to be hardy and adapt to a range of soils and low rainfall.
2. Plants that can be harvested throughout the year, or have a long cropping period.
3. Produce that have a long shelf life when picked, or has potential for storing for later use, or can be dried or used in some other form.
4. Plants that are little known as a food source and are unusual, as, if times get tough, and jobs and food scarce, then food will be a high price in the shops, our gardens may be raided and food stolen. So, grow some obscure food supply.

* Food plants not commonly known...

Salad Mallow
salad mallow
salad mallow  20.4% protein
sweet leaf bush  34 to 39% protein
drumstick tree  38% protein
Queensland greens  29% protein
fenugreek  32.6% protein
comfrey  22-36% protein
kang kong  31% protein
amaranth  20% protein
alfalfa  34% protein

When these plants are plentiful in the garden, the leaves can be dried, crushed finely and stored, to provide a protein source for the future, by adding to soups, stews, casseroles, etc.

The following plants or seeds would be practical for you to consider growing as survival foods.

* Hardy root crops, as these can usually be dug over many months of the year, eg sweet potato, cassava, sweet fruit root, taro, arrowroot, oca.

* Hardy vegetables; eg pumpkins, flour gourds (these can store when picked over 12 months), potatoes, choko, African cucumbers.

* Salad greens are vital to health. The chlorophyll in greens, when we eat them, go to work to purify and regenerate red blood cells. Grow a variety of greens, and this, can even be done in a very limited-space garden, or even in some pots on a verandah or balcony; eg Lebanese cress, salad mallow, watercress, sweet leaf bush, sheep sorrel, rocket, parsley, nasturtiums, chives, purslane, salad burnet, to name a few.

* Plant some natural sweeteners, like stevia, licorice, Aztec sweet herb.

* Herbs for stress, pain, immune boosting and sleeplessness, eg lemon balm, chamomile, mother of herbs, rosemary; and herbs for healing, building energy and endurance; eg gotu kola, herb robert, licorice, nettle, chia, fenugreek, yerba mate and aloe vera. Herbs have properties that strengthen the immune system and are alkalizing to the body. Many herbs have strong antioxidant properties, and other actions like: blood cleansing, tonic, antibacterial, antibiotic and digestive benefits.

* Plan to store other food items that have a long shelf life as Survival Foods; eg rice, pasta, nuts, honey, dried vegetables and fruit, pea and bean seeds and grains.

* Save non-hybrid, organic seeds of the basic vegetables you grow like corn, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, peas and beans, etc.

* Also, get to know edible weeds in your garden. The Self-sufficiency Book will help you get started. Get to know edible weeds in your area. Nutritious weeds like chickweed, purslane and dandelion can be added to salads.

A venture in cutting costs of living, if your backyard is suitable, is to keep a few hens, for providing eggs for your table, and manure for your garden, and after a couple years, when hens have finished laying, they can be made into a tasty pot of soup.

chicken tractor
Hens do need to be fed daily and housed well, and a book that sets this out is "Backyard poultry naturally" by Alanna Moore.

Portable chicken tractors are ideal for small back yards, and will protect chickens from predators.

At 3 months we have young chooks.
At 3 months we have young chooks.
Levi's chickens at 1 week old
Levi's chickens at  1  week old

Tom Thumb Tomatoes and Salad Mallow leaves
Tom Thumb Tomatoes and Salad Mallow leaves
Note: tomato leaves, stems, and green unripe tomatoes are toxic as they contain the alkaloid toma-tine. The toxic alkaloids in the leaves of Nightshade family plants, such as tomato, potatoes and tobacco, have had a use as a garden spray,

blended to make a nutritious smoothie
blended to make a nutritious smoothie
when soaked in water and strained, can be sprayed on plants to protect plants from aphids, and other small insects. But, note the spray, may cause some people to suffer with contact dermatitis, if they are allergic to the nightshade family.

Salad Mallow bush
Salad Mallow bush
Salad Mallow (Corchorus olitorius) is a hardy annual. Plant the seeds spring, summer and early autumn. A friend who lived in the tropics, said, in her area, it will grow even in the winter. The chlorophyll rich leaves are over 20% protein and extremely rich in potassium (3068 mg per 100 grams of leaf), and also the minerals calcium, magnesium, iron, silica, zinc, and sulphur. Leaves are eaten raw or cooked; or dried and then crushed fine and stored to use with other foods as a protein source. Leaves may also be made as tea, from fresh and dried leaves. Adding other herbs like lemon myrtle or peppermint to give the tea more flavour.
Rau om
Rau om
Rau om (Limnophila aromatic) is a perennial clumping herb to 10cm high, and a traditional Asian / Thai / Vietnamese herb used to flavour vegetables, meats, curries, sweet and sour dishes. This herb is a real favourite with many people. Leaves are pleasantly aromatic and have a wonderfully refreshing flavor. A sprig on a meal makes a wonderful garnish and aids the digestion. The plant is best grown in a good sized pot, and fed regularly to promote leaf growth, and as the cold weather of winter approaches, then to place the pot in a warm, sheltered position. I just wish, via this Newsletter, I could give you a leaf to crush and inhale the special aroma, and then taste the leaf. Rau om is Isabell s favourite herb.

Pictures taken recently at the Herb Farm

Butterfly Peas
Butterfly Pea
Butterfly Pea (Clitoria ternatea) a hardy legume creeper, with beautiful heavenly blue pea flowers that are used to dye food blue, eg rice, tapioca.

Acerola Cherry
Acerola Cherry
Acerola Cherry (Malphigia glabra) a hardy small tree 2  4 metres high; producing red fruit over many months of the year, and high in Vitamin C (research has found fruit from 1000mg to over 3000mg per 100 grams of fruit). Fruit can be eaten fresh, juiced, and made into wine, jam, etc.

Chinese Sacred Lotus
Chinese Sacred Lotus
Chinese Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is an aquatic plant that goes deciduous in winter in temperate to sub-tropical climates, and can be grown in ponds, dams, or large containers that hold water. Magnificent flowers, seed pods for crafts and floral art work. Every part of plant can be eaten, including the tasty root, in stir-fries, etc.

New Zealand Christmas Bells
New Zealand Christmas Bells
New Zealand Christmas Bells variegated (Alstroemeria pulchelia variegata) 1m, attractive white and green leaves, which keep well when cut in floral art; striking red/green flowers at Christmas time, followed by attractive seed capsules for floral art and crafts.

Giant Garlic
Giant Garlic
Giant Garlic (Allium ampeloprasum) to 1m high, very hardy, grows well in our sub-tropical climate on the Sunshine Coast, and will do well also in cold climates. I originally got my first bulbs from my mother in South Australia over 40 years ago. A good companion plant; also used as a spray to deter garden pests. Culinary uses of the bulbs (called cloves) and young leaves, include to flavour meat and savory dishes, and in marinades, garlic butter, etc. After eating garlic, the smell on the breath can be masked a little by taking a drink of honey, lemon juice and water, or eating a spring of mint, or parsley, basil or fennel; in fact any chlorophyll rich herb can help.

The plant has many medicinal actions, eg antiseptic, antibiotic, expectorant, digestive, antibiotic, and may help to relieve coughs, colds, etc. Garlic has stood supreme as a home remedy in many cultures of the world, with practical uses handed down through generations. The belief that garlic can play a significant role in preserving and restoring health, dates back many centuries. Recent studies carried out by scientists indicate that garlic can be a useful addition to the daily diet to prevent and alleviate disease.

Flour Gourd
Flour Gourd
Flour Gourd also called Wax Gourd (Benincasa hispida) is a hardy ground-cover sprawler, similar in growth to a pumpkin plant (to which it is related). Seed can be planted spring, summer and early autumn, and in tropical areas all year around. The flour gourd (by this, I am now referring to the vegetable that grows on the plant) which can be from 2 kg to over 10 kg in weight, and as they mature, are covered with fine hairs and a white flour-like coating, providing a protective shield over the skin of the gourds. The flour gourd when picked and stored in a cool ventilated spot, will keep well (we have had them for over 12 months at the Herb Farm); thus providing a vegetable source all through the year. It is a practical survival food. The white flesh of the flour gourds has a flavor similar to zucchini. It is ideal as a bulking food; add to stir-fries, stews, casseroles, soups, roasts, grated in salads, smoothies, and to give bulk in pickles and jams.

The vegetable has had traditional medicinal uses, which have included: as a tonic, and for diarrhea, fevers, fluid retention, weight loss, cystitis, urinary tract infections, kidney stones, to aid digestion, to reduce body heat and body acidity, for semen quality and quantity, erectile dysfunction, etc.
Levi with the flour gourds
Levi with the flour gourds
In Ayurvedic medicine the seeds and the flesh of the vegetable, are highly esteemed. The vegetable is valued as a rejuvenating food, said to enhance intellect and physical strength, and benefiting the lungs, heart, nervous system, pancreas; and also, as an antidote for poisoning, from food, mercury and alcohol.

Here we have Levi showing how bountiful the flour gourd plant produced this season. One plant yielded over 40 gourds, and the plant is still flowering.


Culinary uses The whole plant can be utilised. I use nasturtium leaves and flowers on bread and butter, with breakfast cereals, in salads, added to soups, and flowers as a garnish. Leaves and seeds have a pungent peppery taste, while the flowers are a little milder. If flowers and leaves are chopped up finely and added to other greens and vegetables, they are not as hot in flavour. I encourage every herb lover to grow this valuable herb, learn to like it, and use it daily for its natural antibiotic and high vitamin C antioxidant benefits, and blood purifying and general tonic action.

Add flowers to dips, spreads and cream cheese. Use the leaves as wraps (like vine or cabbage leaves) for fillings of rice, meat or vegetables. Use leaves and flowers in salads, sandwiches, coleslaw, soups, bean dishes, cucumber salad, and omelets. Try chopped nasturtium flowers, blended with soft butter on crackers and bread. Decorate a fruit salad with flowers. Mature seeds, when dried, can be ground in a pepper mill for use as seasoning like pepper. One favourite treat, a number of people have shared with me from memories of their childhood, was to pick the flowers, bite off the tip of the spur, and suck out the sweet nectar. Flower buds are pickled, to taste like capers.

Recipe: Pickled Nasturtium Buds
Pick flower buds and place in a jar. Cover with vinegar, and tuck in 5 bay leaves and 2 crushed cloves of garlic. Cap the jar. Shake the jar several times a day. After 3 weeks the buds will be soft, the flavor of the herbs and vinegar will have penetrated them thoroughly, releasing the characteristic smell and flavor, much like capers. This recipe can also be made with young nasturtium seeds instead of flower buds. However, the Medical Research Foundation of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, found nasturtium seeds contain oxalic acid in a relatively high amount, considering their small size; which means it could be harmful to eat such pickles in large quantities made from the seeds. Note, the Research Foundation did not find even microscopic quantities of oxalic acid in the leaves or flowers of nasturtiums.

Wax Jambu fruit
Wax Jambu fruit
Wax Jambu fruit, also called Bell Fruit, which every year bears buckets and buckets of bright pink crisp fruit, in December and January, that can be eaten fresh, juiced, made into smoothies, grated and eaten with yogurt or icecream, and dehydrated. The fruit flavour is a little like granny smith apples.
Wax Jambu fruit juice
Wax Jambu fruit juice
If the fruit is dried, the taste is a little like dried apples. We have been drying slices of fruit after marinating the slices in a liquid made by blending fresh stevia leaves together with cinnamon powder and water, and the end result is a very tasty snack.

Answers to commonly asked questions:

Trouble with sprouting fenugreek seeds?

When beginning with sprouts, some people have trouble with their seeds going moldy in the first few days, especially fenugreek seeds.

This may be caused by not sufficient drainage, after rinsing with water 2 to 3 times a day. The jar needs to be up-ended after rinsing to stand on an angle. I put the sprout jars on about a 45 degree angle, as this allows all excess water to drain away and the seeds are not sitting in water. I make more fenugreek sprouts than any other seeds, into sprouts, as I find that they germinate so well, and are ready in a couple of days, and I have them with cereal or toast for breakfast, and with other meals of the day.

Plant identification

Some people contact us as they would like plants identified; but please understand, for starters, there are many look a like plants, as well as many different species in a genus that may have a similar appearance. Herbs can also look a little different grown in different areas, due to different growing conditions, eg soil, water, sun, shade and climatic temperatures.

Pictures, sometimes, aren't enough to recognise a plant. To ascertain a plant's name, it is often important to see the plant in real life with stem, leaves, flowers and seeds, as all these factors may need to be examined and taken into account.

Possibly, you may be able to take your plant sample for identification, with stem, leaves, flowers and seeds, to a Botanical Garden in your area.


From the mail box, and feed back from people...

This segment in the Newsletter, gives snippets and experiences, from other people, as it is these very 'down to earth' uses, which have given people better health. These experiences can encourage other people, to give herbs a go.

G'day lovely people, and a very happy, healthy and successful 2012 to you all. I need some more dried herbs please to continue treating our Danny dog .  He is improving daily and his vet was very happy with him when he visited for his annual jabs before Christmas. He has regained the 7 kilos that he had lost, is back enjoying life again, and his eyes are once again bright as buttons. He really needs younger parents, as we can't keep up at playtime! For a 12 year old he is fantastic. Still has the occasional "off" day but they are becoming less frequent. Another win for Mother nature!    
Cherry   1/1/2012
(We had added Cherry s previous email in the December Newsletter, with Cherry saying how she was treating Danny, their kelpie, for tumour of the liver.)

Dear Isabell,
                    just a short message to let you know that we have had success with treating a 15 year old dog diagnosed with liver cancer that was given 6 months to live in April. She has been on a daily dose of 30 drops of Essiac tincture mixed with her evening meal and also a sprinkling of Herb Robert. In April she was beginning to become picky with her food and was also drinking substantially more. Almost 8 months later she has heaps of energy and a huge appetite. Her water intake has returned to normal. Approximately 2 months ago, while having a couple of teeth removed, the vet performed another ultra sound, for his benefit. This confirmed that the tumour had become denser and reduced in size. He previously recommended another herbal remedy for animals with cancer but now has the information on Herb Robert and Essiac.
Warm regards.


DVD Review:

The Gerson Miracle
The Gerson Miracle

The Gerson Therapy is a non-specific treatment that effectively treats many different conditions by healing the body as a whole, rather than selectively targeting a specific condition or symptom.

watch The Gerson Miracle trailer

Throughout our lives our bodies are being filled with a variety of disease and cancer causing pollutants. These toxins reach us through the air we breathe, the food we eat, the medicines we take and the water we drink. As more of these poisons are used every day and cancer rates continue to climb, being able to turn to a proven, natural, detoxifying treatment like the Gerson Therapy is not only reassuring, but necessary.

The Gerson Therapy is a safe, natural treatment developed by Dr. Max Gerson in the 1920s.The Therapy activates the body's extraordinary ability to heal itself through an organic, vegetarian diet, raw juices, coffee enemas and natural supplements. The Gerson Therapy treats the underlying causes of disease: toxicity and nutritional deficiency.

Watch the inspiring testimonies of Gerson patients as relate there stories of recovery from cancer.

     Ask for this dvd at your local video library.
Or it can be ordered here online.

Herb Farm SPECIALS...

During February and March 2012 Shipards Herb Farm will have specials on some herbs, self-sufficiency and survival food plants, and seeds.
click here to find out more...

Place a Postal Order for any of Isabell Shipard's Books or DVDs and receive a free pkt of seeds for each book or DVD ordered during February and March 2012 - select between - salad mallow seed, chia seed, or fenugreek seed for growing in your garden.
(SPECIAL does not include "Absolutely Delicious Licorice!" booklet)
This Specials can only be ordered directly from Shipards Herb Farm, click here to find out more...


Visit the Herb Farm and purchase any of Isabell Shipard's Books or DVDs and for each item, receive 1 free arrowroot tuber, or turmeric rhizome, or candelabra cutting to plant.
(SPECIAL does not include "Absolutely Delicious Licorice!" booklet)
This Specials can only be ordered directly from Shipards Herb Farm, click here to find out more...

Book SPECIAL available online only

Only for the month of February
Buy any 2 to 4 of the following and get 10% discount
     Coupon Code: feb2012

How can I use HERBS in my daily life?
How can I grow and use Sprouts as living food?
How can I be prepared with Self-Sufficiency and Survival Foods?
Wonderful World of Herbs! (2 DVD set)
Living Food at its Best! (2 DVD set)

This Special can only be ordered online.
To get this 10% discount, go to our Books & DVDs page and click on the buy buttons of Isabell's books and / or dvds and purchase 2 or more of any combination.
Then at the bottom of the checkout page where you put your personal details, input the above coupon number where it asks for Coupon or Discount Number.

If you have any difficulties with this Coupon Code please email

A few things to share...

Words for Today

There is nothing wrong with having nothing to say, as long as you don t say it out loud.

Frogs have it easy. They can eat what bugs them.

A Link to Share

A video that women might like see, that shares information on herbs and supplements to help balance hormones.

if video does not work go to

Laughter Medicine for Today

and to make us more mindful and aware of food labeling tactics: learn about, total cereal with blueberries and pomegranate

if video does not work go to

Joke for today

A woman phoned her dentist when she received a huge bill.
"I'm shocked!" she complained. "This is three times what you normally charge."
"Yes, I know," said the dentist. "But you yelled so loud, you scared away two other patients."

And in signing off...

Feel free to print out the newsletter (please think of the environment first), or forward it on the family and friends, and, they are most welcome to subscribe and become part of our wonderful "herbal family" all around the globe, who enjoy using herbs.

By sharing information about herbs and their special properties, we hold a torch to light another's pathway, and we also illuminate our own way.

Shipards Herb Farm Catalogue for Feb 2012 is now available,
please click on the following link
Shipards Herb Farm catalogue
We will update the catalogue 2 times a year, usually early January and July.

To view the Catalogue you may need Adobe Reader 8 or higher.
Visit the following link to download the latest free version of Adobe Reader.

May your garden bring much joy, satisfaction and be a beautiful and interesting place, providing mental and physical therapy and a bountiful harvest for health and vitality.

Until next newsletter, Isabell Shipard

For any further information

on herbs and edible plants do have a look at this website, and Isabell's books. You are welcome to contact Isabell Shipard by email

or phone 07 54411101 during Shipards Herb Farm open hours - Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sat, from 10 am to 2 pm.


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