With the attention now on the Coronavirus a particularly virulent and some are saying lab created pneumonia that is coming out of China, people are asking themselves what can I do to prevent or fight it if it comes here.

The first and best way is to prevent being infected. Keep your hands away from your face, your eyes, your nostrils, or putting them in your mouth. Teach your children this particularly as they are more vulnerable.

Wash your hands often with ordinary soap and water, not antibiotic soap or that gel that is everywhere. Soap works much better. Keep clean, wear clean clothes, wash your food, especially fresh produce with vinegar water, and boil your water making tea. Do not use a microwave to cook any food or heat water – the radiation in a microwave actually turns anything it heats into something that burdens the immune system since it reverses the polarity of the substance thus irradiated and now the body doesn’t recognize it as food but as an invader. This came from an experiment done by the Navy a number of years ago. Cook on a stove or oven, slow cooker, or other non-radiating cooking tool.

If you are to prevent illness, you must put extra attention on strengthening your immune system and preventing infection.

Antibiotics don’t handle virus. A virus isn’t a living organism. It is more like a parasitic mechanism that insinuates itself into the DNA of a living cell, takes over, and uses it as a host. It doesn’t itself have life but it uses the life of the cell to infect and replicate.

Antibiotics kill bacteria. Sometimes the beneficial bacteria in the gut actually fights virus and so taking an antibiotic when you have a virus can actually inhibit the natural immune system in the gut that would help fight a virus. So, if you don’t know if it’s a bacterial infection when you get sick, don’t automatically take an antibiotic.

There are medicines coming from the plant family that inhibit or prevent either the infiltration of virus into the cell or the prevention of the replication process to spread it. And some just keep it from harming the body. Not all is known about this process. But virus affects the immune system, the body’s response to an invasion, by the creation of substances called cytokines that draw white blood cells to an area and this causes inflammation.

If too many cytokines enter a given area it actually over-does it and strangles the area with too much liquid or white blood cells and this can actually cause more damage than the virus. This is called a cytokine storm.* So, it’s important to know which herbs can increase the cytokine activity so you don’t over-do it.

But in formal and informal herbalism there are many beneficial plants and foods which fight the effects of virus on the body and this is the subject of this article. Because growing, making remedies and keeping them on hand can come in very handy in simple home remedies, or to fight and protect against really aggressive virus like the corona virus (or Hepatitus A,B,C, Herpes, HIV, AIDS, pneumonia, meningitis, malaria, shingles (a kind of herpes), and various influenzas, some nastier than others).

In the case of an epidemic, there may not be space in a hospital or the ability to get outside help so knowing this might one day be life saving. Keeping on hand tinctures which last a long time, often over 12 years, dried herbs for teas and infusions, and other preparations can save vital time as well. The list below is quite thorough, but you don’t have to have all of them, just as many as you have time for and space. Or that you can grow in your garden.

Many of these plant medicines can be grown in a home garden, harvested, made into tea, infusions, oils, steam for inhalation, washes, syrups, tinctures using alcohol, vinegar, or glycerine, powders encapsulated to pill form, or eating them directly. I personally grow most of these herbs in my garden and make many forms of them for my own use. It’s fairly easy to do, and fun. If you can get hold of a dehydrator, that’s one of the easiest ways to preserve herbs by drying them. Or put some of the herb in a jar and add alcohol to cover it which is a ‘tincture’.

Probably my favorite go-to anti-viral is Elderberry as a tincture in alcohol or as a syrup. This is particularly good for upper respiratory virus that causes colds or the flu, but also can be used for harsher virus.

The other favorite is Olive Leaf Extract taken either as a tincture or extract in powder in capsule form. You can purchase this in many health food stores. I take a tablespoon of the elderberry syrup first thing and maybe 2 or 3 times more a day. The olive leaf extract I take 3 capsules immediately feeling out of sorts, and one per waking hour thereafter. For a common cold or flu, I rarely need to take these two for more than 2 days before I’m well.

I also make sure to drink lots of pure water during this process to wash out the waste the virus causes in the cells because it’s this waste that makes you feel so terrible, sore and miserable.

And if possible, I take a detox bath at least once in a week or more often if possible.

Detox Bath – fill a tub with as hot a water as is tolerable. Add some form of calcium if it’s city water with fluoride to neutralize the fluoride as this is highly toxic in itself. To the hot water add 1 cup Epsom Salt, ½ cup Hydrogen peroxide (the oxygen in this helps the body fight the infection and aids the immune system), and ¼ cup baking soda (which alkanizes the body to help the immune system work better – an acidic body has a harder time fighting it). You may add a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil (relaxing), and some bubble bath for pleasure. Stay in it for about 40 minutes and let the water cool down naturally. As it cools, these ingredients draw out the toxins from your body. To speed the detoxing process, you might like to rub your skin with a rough wash cloth or a loofa sponge which opens the skin pores and lets the toxins out easier. Drink plenty of pure water while you’re in the tub because you need to replace the moisture you sweat out during the bath.

Warning or considerations:

Note these herbs are not always appropriate for your particular body. If you feel worse taking them after a few hours, go to another of the below herbs as Elderberry can increase the cytokine presence in your body, especially if you are pregnant and the make you feel worse after a few hours.

Also, Echinacea can be over-done. Never take it more than 2 to 3 weeks. Take a week break before continuing its use. This is a particularly strong immune booster but it can foster cytokine production or mess up the normal immune system operation if not given a rest. I put a dropper full of the tincture in my coffee in the morning and another at night when I’m taking it. Then quit altogether for at least a week before continuing.

They can be taken in many forms so go over the websites listed at the end to be sure you are using them correctly. I have provided a lot of information to go over. This article is just hitting the high lights.

Virus Fighting Herbs and Immune Boosters: (with the forms they work as)

Astragalus root – powdered capsule, tincture

Black Currant – juice, tincture, powdered in capsule

Basil – Sweet – tea, tincture, essential oil

Basil – Holy – aka Tulsi – tea, tincture

Calendula flower petals – oil, tea, tincture, infused oil

Cats Claw bark and root – powdered capsule, tincture

Dandelion flower – tea, tincture, oil, essential oil

Echinacea – tincture, essential oil

Elderberry –  (aka Sombucus) tincture, syrup

Fennel – powdered capsule, tincture, tea

Garlic – raw, oil, tincture, vinegar, powdered capsule

Ginger – powdered capsule, tea, lozenges, elixir

Ginseng (Red) – powdered capsule, tincture, tea, infusion

Green Tea – extract, tea, tincture, powdered capsule

Horehound – cough drop, lozenge, or powdered in capsule. Especially good for coughs.

Lemon Balm – tea, tincture, essential oil, infusion

Licorice – powdered capsule, tincture, tea, infusion

Olive Leaf extract – powdered capsule, tincture

Oregano – essential oil in carrier oil such as olive, tea

Peppermint – essential oil, tea, infusion

Pau D’Arco – tincture, infusion

Rosemary – essential oil, tea, oil, infusion, tincture

Sage – EO (essential oil), tea, infusion

St. John’s Wort – tincture, tea

(Best to use 2 or three of these together – Green Tea, Pau d’Arco, St. John’s rot and Colloidal silver – for best results)

Nepeta nuda (Russian herb)

Non-plant substances:

Colloidal Silver



Vitamin C (or vitamin C foods)

Vitamin D3

How to use:

Tea – 1 Tablespoon of herb in 8 oz. of boiling pure water – steep 5 to 15 minutes.

Infusion – 1 Cup herb in 1 quart boiling water, steep covered 7 hours, strain, refrigerate or drink warm no more than 1 cup in a day.

Infused Oil – wilt fresh herbs or use dehydrated herbs ½ cup in 2 cups carrier oil such as Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Jojoba Oil in double boiler, raise heat till oil is simmering but never boiling for several hours, strain, keep in refrigerator.

Use topically or few drops on the back of your hand and lick off.

If using the essential oil form, add about 20 drops to 1 oz. carrier oil

Tincture – in a quart mason jar, fill half way to filling up to inch below the rim and fill with at least 80 proof (40%) vodka – let stand for 4 weeks, strain, keep in dark glass jar or bottle (I like using repurposed dark wine bottles tightly stoppered).

Vinegar – a kind of tincture – fill jar with herb, leave tightly lidded for a month, strain, place in dark bottle as tincture, add tablespoon to liquid of choice and drink.

Powdered Capsule – place fresh herbs in a dehydrator and leave till crisply dry, powder in hand held coffee grinder or mortar and pestle, fill empty gelatin capsules, keep in tightly lidded glass jar well labeled.

Lozenge or cough drop follow directions.

Essential oils can be purchased thru various reputable companies. I like Bulk Apothecary myself.

Syrups – Infuse herb of choice – 1 cup per quart of water 7 hours overnight (see above), strain. You can simmer this infusion further and reduce the amount of liquid to 2 cups. Add equal amounts of local honey when warm, till fully dissolved. To prolong shelf life, add an ounce or so of Brandy. Label and keep in dark jar or in the refrigerator.

Colloidal silver comes as a suspension. Purchase from a reputable dealer and follow directions.

Probiotics can be taken in supplement form or make your own water kefir, kombucha tea, fermented vegetables, kimchi, sauerkraut, kvass, kefir, yun, or other fermented foods. Be sure to increase the amount of fiber foods such as fresh fruit, beets or beet powder, or other prebiotic to feed the beneficial microbes in the probiotics.

Some of these substances will resonate with you more than others. Some of these herbs can be purchased in bulk from Bulk Apothecary, Mountain Rose Herb Company, I Herb, Pure Bulk and other reputable botanical providers. Search ‘bulk herbs’.

But for best most fresh and nutritious herbs, grow as many of these as you can in your own organic soil in your own garden, harvest fresh and immediately use or preserve, because that way you know exactly what you are putting in your body. A large number of these herbs are also culinary herbs but I prefer not to use ‘spice’ herbs from the grocery store as you don’t know how long they have been sitting in a warehouse loosing their power to heal. If you can’t grow your own, purchase them from one of the above herb suppliers. Or get them from a local grower.

The immune system is a powerful part of our bodies residing 85% in the gut microbes, another large percentage in the lymph system which requires physical activity and motion to move the ‘lymph’ a thick liquid  that touches every cell in the body, but moves by muscle contraction thru a series of valves, and by the use of several kinds of blood cells such as T-cells and white blood cells. So, if you are sick, don’t just lay down. Get up and bounce or walk or do mild exercise several times a day (having someone keep you steady if you feel weak or use a rebounder bouncing little trampoline) to keep your lymph circulating and detoxing the metabolic waste produced by virus. Drink lots of good water, with a bit of Himilayan or high mineral natural salt (not sea salt which often is now contaminated with micro particles of plastic – better mined sale from ancient sites).

Do not take anything with sugar as this depresses the immune system and often feeds the pathogenic (disease causing) microbes which help the viruses. That means no sweets, no sugary soft drinks or fruit juices, no candy. Sorry but that stuff feeds the infection.

Here are the references which can help you further understand how to protect yourself, and more about the herbs above and their actions in the body. Look up any words you don’t understand or are unsure of their meaning.

15 Impressive Herbs with Antiviral Activity

Use Antiviral Herbs to Boost Immune System & Fight Infection

Top Ten Natural Anti-Viral Agents

5 All-Natural Flu Remedies That Actually Work

When Not to Use Elderberry: Using a Little DiscernmentAnthocyanins from blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries  *This is the article that talks about cytokines and what they do.

Stay well and share this with people you love.

Diann Dirks    2-16-2020


Posted in anti-viral herbs and substances, Antiinflammatory herb, Coronavirus, detoxification, Emergency Preparedness, Herb gardening, Immune booster, organic gardening, Self-Sustainability, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are You a Seed Romantic? 2-7-2020

Ever since I was 3 years old, when my pioneer stock mom gave me my first 3’x3’ bed of my very own to plant, I’ve been in love with seeds. She helped me prepare the soil (love dirty hands), pick what I wanted to grow (really her choice, what did I know?), and showed me how to take this tiny little speck and make a plant from it. That experience has stuck with me all these years with a great deal of fondness.

s I recall it was radishes, hollyhocks and something green (I was 3 remember). Every day she would take my hand, and we’d go out to my little baby bed and watch for them to come up. When they poked out of the soil, I couldn’t believe it. And as they grew, it became more and more exciting to me. Later she made little dolls from the flowers with tooth picks. I was hooked.

So, over the years even when I had no place to plant anything I’ve grown plants. In little apartments in L.A. with only window sills for them, but always I made room.

Seeds are my friends.

People give them to me. I collect them from everywhere. I buy them, trade them, swap them, save them, and in general surround myself with unbelieveable bio-diversity. Because this is our future. We’ve lost 90% of the edible varieties of food on this planet in the last 100 years. There is a war against seeds by globalist agriculture and this is DANGEROUS to humanity (and animal kind as well).

If you wanted to control the world, you would have to control food. As our planetary population grows and we keep doing things to ruin or loose top soil, poison the water, and otherwise mess with the natural cycles of rain, if you were in some corporate board room, this spells opportunity. Control what we grow, where we grow it, control how much it costs, how it is distributed, and which areas it’s legal to grow on, and you have the people of the world by the short hairs. It’s the ultimate control point of a society – for profit and power.

So, big corporations like Monsanto, Bayer, General Food, and a host of others you probably wouldn’t recognize, have been buying up the little seed companies family run or localized, and limiting what is available. They also control the huge seed production for mono-cropping agri-biz especially corn, soy, cotton (for seed oil), potatoes, etc. down to about 5 kinds that are hybridized and used. When you alter the natural process of plant propagation by lab genetic alteration, so a plant can’t have a pure future and its wisdom and knowledge are lost or betrayed, we put survival on the line. This madness is a recipe for famine and human depopulation (all well planned).

Meanwhile weather has become weaponized, using geo-environmental engineering, chemical and nano-particle metals like aluminum, barium and strontium stratospheric spraying to create weather or suppress it. Some of it is called geo-engineering by the climate control people. It’s called ‘chem trails’ by people watching the sky fill up with feathering lines of jet exhaust (which isn’t the same as regular exhaust, which dissipates a few minutes after spraying). Chem. trails stay in the sky for many hours, feather out, and blend together eventually turning a blue sky into murky grey. Those particles ride in the stratosphere for long periods of time raining down and polluting the soil and the water for years. The aluminum in chem. trails when living in the soil slow or inhibit the germination process of seeds as well as toxify the food grown from them.

But enough ranting about the evils of chem. trails.

My point is that our food, soil, water are slowly being contaminated and lost to these bad practices. But instead of curling up into a ball at the effect of this evil, I look at how we can do something constructive about it.

How to ensure our earth can support life even if these unethical and harmful practices continue. How can you and I do something effective against what is intended by people doing them.

I am a big fan of Gandhi. He successfully fought the British and their suppression of India’s cotton industry – David and Goliath. When the Brits took over India, it was the source of the finest cotton in the world – quality, beauty, strength – at a time when cotton was not a common fabric and was hard to produce. It was one of India’s survival exchanges with the rest of the world. As was so often true, Britain hit a country at their key and critical survival points in order to steal the profits for the Crown and aristocracy. He won that struggle by the way. But he didn’t do it with big impressive PR moves.

Once when asked why didn’t his movement bring all its resources together and have a huge demonstration which the press could take up and forward. He said that then all their resources would be just one news cycle and be lost to time. Instead by demonstrating to his people that one person acting peacefully by growing and processing small crops of cotton, spinning the fiber, and weaving it for his own clothing teaches them that thousands or millions of housewives can do that quietly in the privacy of their own homes, thus undercutting the British Empire’s political movement to steal India’s cotton industry. At that time it was illegal to grow and process your own cotton or make your own cloth – that all the fiber must be sent to England to be spun and woven, thus to be brought back and sold in India at huge profit to the English cotton industry, skimming the cream for themselves. But hand spinning and weaving behind closed doors was a huge act of revolt and protest done non-violently. That by showing them you can do this yourself the British couldn’t control, arrest, or suppress all those little households of women.

The same goes for the millions of gardeners around the country passing their family’s heirloom varieties forward to the next generation, sharing them, trading them, swapping seeds with neighbors and clubs, we keep these varieties alive, which would be eliminated and removed from the biome * of the planet by the seed companies. (* Biome – The genetic reservoir (as a single element) in the overall genetic collection of life on planet earth, one variety at a time.)

There are some wonderful heirloom seed companies around that have resisted the pressure to sell out. Bakers Creek Heirloom Seed Company, Seed Savers Exchange, and a collection of companies (there are many others on the internet, to name just a few) –  which are keeping bio-diversity alive.

But no way can this handful of little companies do it all. That red cabbage out there in your garden your grandmother grew, saved since pioneer times, is a treasure. That little club of neighbors you belong to that have a seed swap in the spring is fighting back. Support the seed companies, but save the seeds of your local varieties just as daringly.

In Japan after WWII, a very educated man named Masanobu Fukuoka *, who worked for the Japanese Government as an agricultural inspector and other related jobs watched as Western agricultural practices destroyed the delicate farming land around the island of Shikoku in southern Japan. His father had a Mandarin Orange orchard on hilly land, and a rice paddy. Then his father died leaving him the orchard and rice growing land. So, because land is about the most valuable thing in the tiny islands of Japan, he quit his job and went to live on the farm. For 4 years he observed and used the existing technology being used in his area and watched it fail, but figured out how to do everything with a minimum of work, resources, and loss of topsoil.

But around him people were abandoning their land because it became so non-productive people couldn’t support themselves, so the area depopulated. He took on that land as people left, and started using some techniques which later were published in his book “The One Straw Revolution”.

In it, he restored the earth and fertility of the land around him by taking all the straw from his rice production and returning all of it to the beds, with no tilling, plowing, weeding, or any chemicals at all, and he got 22% more yield as a result of all he changed.

And here’s why I brought this up. He realized he could do all his sowing in one sowing a year for both summer and winter crops by making something called “seed balls”. He mixed dry clay powder, rice flour, seeds, compost finely sifted and a bit of water. By using his hands in a circular motion, the mixture formed little marble sized balls. These were then dried in the sun, and later dissiminated around the abandoned fields and along the road margins.

The seeds he used germinated under specific conditions and by careful timing and keeping careful records he found just the right sweet spot in the schedule when he could sow the balls into the fields and cover them with 8” to 10” of dry rice straw thrown out onto the field covering the seed balls. The kinds of seeds in the mix would be determined by the needs of that field – plants that would produce food, flowers for the bees, nitrogen gathering plants like clover, and plants that might protect against erosion like a grass or a succulent.

By doing it that way, the birds didn’t eat the seeds because they were covered with straw and hidden in little balls of clay and soil, waiting for just the right moment to germinate. It’s a brilliant but simple means of delivery – the compost feeds the germinating seeds, the clay holds in the moisture and provides minerals, the rice flour acts like a glue to hold it in a ball until the seeds germinate, and the moisture is only in the seed ball just long enough to hold it together until it hardens by drying. Lying in the field, the ball with its seeds doesn’t come to life until rain is absorbed by the clay and compost, holding the moisture which awakens the germ in the seed, (germination), and as the seedling comes to life, it is fed by the nutrients in the compost until its little roots can establish in surrounding soil. Meanwhile the straw covering it protects it against wind and hungry birds. By the time the nutrients in the seed are diminished by the germination process, the roots are able to sustain and feed the plant and the plant is established, protected by the overhead straw. The straw breaks down thru the growing season, giving nutrition to the surrounding soil, holding in the moisture and improving the top soil.

He’d put these dried seed balls in a fabric shoulder bag and walk down the roads throwing the seed balls into the margins and onto the barely viable and poor soiled fields, nobody the wiser. Then after a rain, a completely dead field would suddenly burst with seedlings and later produce food plants and pollinator attractors, nitrogen capturing clover (self-fertilizing), and moisture holding aerial plants (the top above the soil parts of plants that thru shade keep in moisture). The natural grasses hide the fact of productive fields, only showing green at first, while the clover fertilizes it, the dead organic matter from the dying annual plants rots down adding to the top soil, and the clover, being perennial, holds in moisture and nitrogen.

He successfully took over about 27 acres of abandoned land doing this technique and it became so successful people came first from all over Japan, later the world. He managed to produce on land that had been abandoned, doing so basically by himself, in an area when most agriculture is very labor intensive and community based. But because most of the people had left the area, he figured out how to do it alone. The rice he switched to only needs to be flooded for 4 days and is planted not by first seedlings, in a base of worked soil as mud, and hand transplanted (the traditional way) but by seed ball, no plowing or any special preparation of the soil.

He grows both summer and winter using different grains and clover, and has the added yield of white clover seeds as another product. By carefully choosing grain seeds that only germinate at the right season and time, not all together, he could put all the seeds in one seed ball, but which hold off germinating until the right season for that grain. So, he put summer rice and winter grain in the same seed ball, disseminating only one time in a year for both seasons. This in itself is revolutionary practice.

He didn’t need any money for fertilizers or sprays because he didn’t use any of them. All needs were met by the components of the seed ball. The native predatory insects and spiders took care of the prey pests, and the fact that the clover took up any unused space between the crops crowding out the weeds making herbicides unnecessary as well with no need to weed. Everything he did used less time and energy and work, money, and attention, as well as restoring the soil. When he started, the top soil was almost gone. Many years later, it was reported to be over 6” deep without adding outside soil.

So, back to my love of seeds.

I have e-massed a lot of extra seeds over the years. I have about 40 beds and containers where I grow annual plants – vegetables, herbs, flowers – and I never could grow them all. I share a lot, I swap a lot, I sell some of them (rare kinds), but there are only so many square feet of growing space. So, the seeds I don’t use and don’t give away or swap for (which also comes from the fact that I grow only heirloom seeds and save all I can every season) pile up.

Here is this resource of abundance which in the 3rd ethic of Permaculture is ‘equitable and fair use of abundance created by the first two ethics – which are 1. care of the earth, 2. care of people. It means that there is more that can be used by myself, and can be set aside to trade for things I can’t myself produce. Or which I can use for charitable causes and teaching.

What better way of using those seeds which have gone out of their usual high germination rate because of their age, than making seed balls?! (How to make them and use them.)

In Permaculture there is the concept called ‘Guerilla Gardening’. This is the beautifully sneaky practice of taking otherwise unused land and making it yield production. Mr. Fukuokoa did this with abandoned fields and road margins. In England permaculturists have been taking over vacant spots around towns and where only weeds survived. In New York, permaculturists have taken the space between the streets and sidewalks which only yielded hard pounded dirt and weeds, and make beautiful productive gardens from them. In Los Angeles, a whole area in the warehouse and truck distribution center has been turned into a food production area. This area had been a ‘food desert’ from lack of available fresh produce. Guerilla Gardening in E. L.A. Ron Findlay gardener TED talk

This practice has taken hold of the consciousness of certain people all across the planet turning unused land into ways to feed people and restore the earth thru Permaculture Design techniques.

Guerilla gardening starts with identifying spaces that can be turned from junky refuse dumping spaces to little pockets of beauty and reward. Then the collection of abundances of unused seeds are transformed into little bombs of life making gardens where only wasteland existed before. This has had the added benefit of upgrading property values, improving the community spirit of neighborhoods, teaching children where food comes from, and in some cases even turned gangland kids into gardeners.  It has made former dangerous areas safe and attractive.

Flinging that handful of little clay marbles onto a spot along the road or trail or in a park, or abandoned block in the city is an act of faith in the future, and in the generosity of life. Who knows what magic that little bundle of seeds will bring to a human or animal as the seeds are given the chance to do their life’s work.

And who knows how doing that may save a kind of plant once placed into a space that one day will see it blend with other plants compatible and companionable and give bio diversity to a little corner of the world otherwise abandoned and unnoticed.

Meanwhile, the things we do to preserve heirloom open pollinated heritage plant varieties is critical at this time. That one kind of bean or lettuce or other food or herb plant thru your loving work can get it to produce seeds, then you can process and save the seeds and label the. Now it’s possible to share and spread the plant, and it may make the difference between it living beyond your lifetime or being lost. A few minutes used now can have long term implications and effects. Think of the years and years of care that were spent by careful people to ensure that plant still exists. It’s kindness passed forward and survival ensured by taking responsibility and loving into the future.

Taking space in your garden to grow that plant for next year likewise is an investment not everyone can make – availability and care are critical elements in that plant being passed forward. That little plant and her seeds may be all that stands between it being grown in a hundred years or turning to dust never to be seen again. It’s an act of love. Much like planting a tree you will never really see the benefits from yourself, but having faith in a future that is beneficial for your children’s children. In Permaculture Design we design for effects into the 7th generation beyond our own. It’s how futures are made.

Diann Dirks


Auburn, Ga.






Posted in Bee haven gardens, Flowering plants', food forest management, Food protection, Gardening, Life's Lessons, Living a happier life, organic gardening, Permaculture, pest management, Planet restoration, Planetary management using Permaculture, Recycle, repurpose, reuse, Saving seeds and cultivars, Seasonal gardening plants, Seed propagation, Self-Sustainability, Soil fertility and yield, Sustainable and safe seed companies, Uncategorized, winter gardening | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rainwater Using and Collecting – Easy 2-5-2020

Rainwater – We are having one heck of a storm front move in here in Barrow County, Ga. with flood warnings.

So, I put out my clean big aluminum roasting pans on the deck to catch rainwater. But you can put them out on a driveway or walkway, but not where it comes off a roof or plants.

If you grow house plants or are starting seeds for your garden, rainwater, especially if it has fallen during a thunder and lightening storm, is the best. The lightening separates the nitrogen out of the atmosphere and the rain picks it up. So, you are watering with nitrogen in the water. Ever notice how the lawn greens up after a thunderstorm? This is why.

Also, the energy from the lightening energizes the water which the plants love.

You can save this water for quite some time. I save the big containers from cat litter for this. Just rinse them out when they are empty and pour in the rainwater. You don’t need a rain barrel to collect this luscious water.

To easily get the rainwater in the container, I cut off the top of a liter plastic bottle from soda or vodka (from making tincture) as a handy repurposed funnel. And the bottom of the bottle to dip it up from the roaster.

After collecting it, you can use a water filter that is gravity fed (I like “Zero” water filter as a pitcher or counter top unit best but use whatever you have as you only want to get particles up, no chlorine in this) to drink – as it is naturally distilled.

Did you know rain catches star dust as it falls? so it also has minerals in it.

If you have noticed a lot of chem trails in the sky wait a few hours from when it starts raining before collecting the water.

This water when filtered makes great tea or coffee water or for soup or infusions. Just rinse your roaster pans out after collecting and saving the water, let them dry, and set them where they don’t collect dust. Once filtered and put in clean containers, it makes good survival storage.

No chlorine, fluoride, chloramide, or any other nasty chemical is present. Also, the energizing of the water neutralizes (wipes away) any signature of unwanted frequencies imprinted on the water from earlier exposure. If you know how homeopathics works, where the frequency of an unwanted, toxic or poisonous, or pathogenic substance has imprinted (water has an amazing capacity of holding onto those frequencies for years), these frequencies stay in the field of the water molecule which can have the same effect energetically as having the actual chemical in the water. Rainwater has been purified in a way no filter can effect.

If you are camping you can string up a tarp between trees to collect rain, collect it in a collapsible bucket or 5 gal. pail with a lid, and use it for washing up, laundry, dishes, or washing your hair. Boy does it make your hair shine! Just have one side of the tarp lower to channel the flow into any container.

You can also keep this water to kill off your fire before leaving the campsite.

Isn’t it amazing how our planet takes care of us? We are blessed.

Diann Dirks 2-5-2020



Posted in Emergency Preparedness, organic gardening, Permaculture, Recycle, repurpose, reuse, Self-Sustainability, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Free Survival PDFs, Manuals, and Downloads (2020 Update)

Friends, for those of you who love researching, reading and learning, here is the most amazing site of every imaginable reference on every aspect of Free Survival PDFs, Manuals, and Downloads (2020 Update). Just reading the sections was mind blowing. But when you need information, here’s one place to look: Free Survival PDFs, Manuals, and Downloads (2020 Update).

A friend/client sent it to me today and I just had to share it.

Good hunting. Di

Posted in Bees, Emergency Preparedness, Gardening, Herb gardening, organic gardening, Permaculture, Planetary management using Permaculture, Self-Sustainability, Uncategorized, Wild crafting and wild plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tetanus Prevention – To Get The Shot or Not 1-22-2020

Recently a post came out on Facebook about whether to get a Tetanus shot or not after stepping on a nail or glass. I was asked by another FB friend if I would post my response on my blog because they thought it was valuable information and had printed it out for their own use. So, this blog is my response.

Tetanus is a nasty bacteria that causes some effects like an inability to open the mouth, the old name for it being ‘lock jaw’. It also can damage the heart and other bad things. Here is key information about tetanus that is helpful to know when you step on a nail or a piece of glass:


Tetanus bacteria, or Clostridium tetani (c.tetani), is an anaerobic bacteria, meaning it can’t survive in oxygenated environments. Sometimes a deep wound cannot get oxygen and may be more prone to allowing c. tetani to multiply.

A very deep wound or a cut on rusty metal doesn’t automatically mean you have been exposed. Tetanus is primarily found in soil or manure and rarely around the home. In the days before automobiles were invented, horses in the streets and around our homes increased the likelihood of coming into contact with manure. This is no longer the case unless we live in a farm environment.

If the wound being treated bleeds, there is also less likelihood of an infection. Blood carries oxygen, but, as stated above, c. tetani can only thrive in an anaerobic environment.

Even if a deep puncture wound that does not bleed was caused by an object that had the bacteria on it, the act of giving a vaccination AFTER the exposure is of no value. The vaccine does not instantly kill the bacteria; the vaccine takes about two weeks for seroconversion to take place. Seroconversion is the production of measurable antibodies the body develops to a pathogen (harmful germ). Giving a tetanus shot after an injury provides no benefit.

If a deep non-bleeding wound in a farm-like environment with a lot of exposure to manure is sustained, the ONLY thing that could help (in addition to allowing the wound to bleed, and cleaning the wound with soap and water or hydrogen peroxide) would be the TiG (tetanus immunoglobulin) shot. Tetanus immunoglobulin is an anti-toxin, as opposed to a vaccine.

Currently there is no ‘tetanus only’ vaccine available in the United States. When you are offered this shot in an emergency room or by the doctor, they will administer either the DTaP or TDaP, depending on your age. These are both a combination vaccine consisting of Diphtheria, Tetanus & Pertussis (whooping cough) bacteria. Please be aware that the DTaP also contains up to 625 mcg of aluminum as well as other excipients (an additional substance that helps the medicine’s effictiveness), which can be viewed by following this link.

Homeoprophylaxis is available to educate your immune system if you come into contact with c.tetani in a kit with other diseases or in an individually designed program. For more information contact


As a gardener I have walked on a number of nails and other debris on my journey and though when I was a kid if that had happened my mother would send me off for a tetanus shot, what that is has changed since those many years ago (over 60). I have since changed my mind and treat those puncture wounds or cuts myself. Here is why. The ‘booster vaccine’ has so many bad effects including death, and I know so many other good things that would treat a wound, I wouldn’t get a vaccine. I’d certainly treat the wound though and do what I could to prevent a tetanus infection. You will see below exactly how I do that.

(But remember, I am a knowledgeable herbalist and I grow most of my own organic medicinal herbs. So, consider the facts and information below and decide for yourself. I’m not a doctor and I can’t be responsible for your decisions, but I can share what I know and have researched in the hopes that it will benefit others.)

Here is a recent post about all the common side effects of the vaccine: Tetanus (tetanus toxoid) “Booster Injection is a vaccine used to prevent tetanus. Common side effects of the tetanus booster include:

Tell the doctor if you experience rare but serious side effects of tetanus booster including tingling of the hands or feet, hearing problems, trouble swallowing, muscle weakness, or seizures.”


Sooooo, side effect or effect, here’s why I pay attention to published side effects from medical sources:

Personally it is my opinion that there are no ‘side effects’. There are only EFFECTS. If you take something into your body or onto your body and it creates an effect other than the one intended, it’s an effect and not some weird something that happens coincidently. If it’s predictable from observation in the medical community, it is another effect of the drug or material. When most of the other effects are negative, personally I avoid them and attempt to find alternative processes or solutions. There are so many in the plant world, to me it’s foolish to expose the body to something with known negative effects, particularly in the case of the tetanus vaccines (called boosters) including death. (See ‘stats’ below)

Vaccines don’t work for a wound. In the article listed here:  ,     “Even if a deep puncture wound that does not bleed was caused by an object that had the bacteria on it the act of giving a vaccination AFTER the exposure is of no value. The vaccine does not instantly kill the bacteria; the vaccine takes about two weeks for seroconversion to take place. Seroconversion is the production of measurable antibodies the body develops to a pathogen. Giving a tetanus shot after an injury provides no benefit.”

Tetanus immunoglobin only thing that helps. “If a deep non-bleeding wound in a farm-like environment with a lot of exposure to manure is sustained, the ONLY thing that could help (in addition to allowing the wound to bleed, and cleaning the wound with soap and water or hydrogen peroxide) would be the TiG (tetanus immunoglobulin) shot. Tetanus immunoglobulin is an anti-toxin, as opposed to a vaccine.”

“Currently there is no ‘tetanus only’ vaccine available in the United States. When you are offered this shot in an emergency room or by the doctor, they will administer either the DTaP or TDaP, depending on your age. These are both a combination vaccine consisting of Diphtheria, Tetanus & Pertussis (whooping cough) bacteria. Please be aware that the DTaP also contains up to 625 mcg of aluminum as well as other excipients, which can be viewed by following this link.” Pharmaceutical excipients are basically everything other than the active pharmaceutical ingredient. They are part of the delivery system of the drug they are partnered with. Ideally, excipients should be inert, however, recent reports of adverse reactions have suggested otherwise.” (Australian Prescriber)

A ‘booster’ is a vaccine. It isn’t the “Tetanus immunoglobulin” as above.

So, if you go to an ER, your doctor, or a neighborhood primary care center with such a wound, they will offer you a ‘tetanus shot’. If it’s the vaccine, not the tetanus immunoglobulin, you know it isn’t going to do you any good. If it’s a child, and they try to insist, say you are going to go to your pediatrician and thank you very much. The greatest group of people who have died from the vaccine are young children. (see ‘stats’ below) Let them clean the wound, then leave. What is being offered – the Vaccine(s) – is not just for tetanus, there are the 3 combined vaccines that are only available together. There is no individual tetanus vaccine on the market.

Recently a FB post from a man asked about if he did the right thing by refusing the vaccine. I responded by saying “You may have saved your life. I won’t have one.”


What to do if you do get one of these wounds.

Since the bacteria is anaerobic (i.e. only survives where there is no oxygen), exposing the wound to oxygen – particularly by getting it to bleed since blood carries oxygen – you can help keep the wound safe by getting oxygen in there. I like using hydrogen peroxide since it works its way into a wound and bubbles oxygen madly. So, see below how I would handle this. And again, this is only my advice that you take responsibility for following.

Firstly – If you are handling the wound, start by washing your hands with soap and water, not anti-bacterial soap. Plain soap is more effective. Use clean cloths, towels, clean water around a wound to keep from further contaminating it.

If you step on a nail or glass, particularly if it’s dirty, rusty, was in the soil or a dirty environment this is the advice from several websites: Get the wound to bleed! This brings oxygen to the area and flushes it out. Sometimes puncture wounds won’t easily bleed, but if you can, squeeze it a bit to get the blood flowing. Sometimes it won’t. Just proceed.

Then clean the wound with soap and water – not antibacterial soap! Get any splinters or objects out of there carefully. Make sure no dirt or other debris stays. Use a tweezers or if it’s particularly stuck, dry it a bit, put a spot of crazy glue on it and attach a tooth pick or wood stick or something to help you pull it out. Don’t worry if it’s bleeding. Then wash the area with soap and water.

Make a wound wash. There are many plants and herbal preparations that will help keep the bacteria infection from infecting the wound. Here are a few. I keep witch hazel on hand I make from my own witch hazel bush, I always have aloe vera leaves on hand from the plant, and keep a number of essential oils around just for first aid purposes. I always have a big bottle of hydrogen peroxide available too. It wouldn’t hurt to have a little home apothecary of your own for just such situations. You can make a wound wash in advance and preserve it with some vodka. Just label it ‘For external use only’.

If you have access to fresh or dried herbs, you can make a wash of antiseptic herbs such as golden rod, oregano, yarrow, calendula flowers. Put some tea tree essential oil, or grapefruit seed extract, or wild or regular oregano essential oil and plantain leaves smashed up till gooey into a warm, not too hot, foot bath with about half a cup of hydrogen peroxide and soak the foot (or hand etc.) for half an hour or so. Other plant based things you can use are aloe vera gel, witch hazel, lemon balk tea, shepherd’s purse tea, lavender blossom tea or essential oil, or tea tree oil essential oil. Use what you have on hand or can get quickly. If you make a tea wash, make sure it is room temperature before using it on the wound.

Here are some sites with further information on what plants to use, how to prepare them, and wound care:,, the wash has done it’s job, use a poultice (see below).

You can use hydrogen peroxide directly on the wound by setting the foot or body part in a bowl with this, but it tends to be a bit harsh on skin so I prefer to add it into some water. If it’s on the bottom of the foot, have the injured person lay on their stomach and drop a few drops of hydrogen peroxide on the wound site and let it bubble. This cleans out the wound and is antibiotic. It also brings oxygen directly to the wound area and particularly kills the tetanus bacteria.

Once the wash has done it’s job, use a poultice. A poultice, also called a cataplasm, is a soft moist mass, often heated and medicated, that is spread on cloth and placed over the skin to treat an aching, inflamed or painful part of the body. It can be used on wounds such as cuts.

Make up a poultice of herbs such as chick weed, which should be crushed so the cell walls are broken (highly astringent, draws out debris and bacteria) and you can add powdered charcoal into a paste,  held in place with some wrapped gauze or muslin fabric (make sure it’s very clean). Leave this on for an hour or so. You can leave it on overnight too.

Charcoal poultice preparation: Page 8

Remove the gauze and the plant material once it has drawn for some time, and compost the plant matter. Then rinse with warm water with a bit of hydrogen peroxide in it. You can also use a wound wash again too.

Another way to use the wound wash liquid you made is to soak some cloth in it, lay it over the wound, cover it with plastic wrap, secure it with tape or string, and leave it for an hour or more. This is called a ‘fomentation’ and it’s a word for a liquid rather than a paste kind of poultice. Replace it as often as you wish.

Dry the area. Inspect it.

Then put some antibiotic cream on the entrance to the wound and bandage. You can make your own antibiotic cream (ointment, salve) with plantain herb leaf, oregano essential oil, EVOO, bees wax. (Tea tree oil, thyme oil, etc. all work in the recipe, it’s not a strict thing, only use herbs that particularly draw or kill bacterial). Here is a video on how to make an ointment:

  See my ointments available only on this blog, below.

After cleaning and treatment, and spreading salve, keep the wound covered with bandages, gauze, or fabric, and if it’s on the foot, cover the foot with a sock that keeps out dirt. You might want to use a cane or crutches to keep weight and pressure off for a few days to help it heal. Change the bandage every day.

Watch for signs of infection like pain, redness around the wound, discharge. Soak the wound every day with the above and especially the hydrogen peroxide for a couple of days until the wound is closed and healed. The plantain in the poultice and cream above also helps with pain and is very soothing. Calendula flowers used in an ointment or wash is also very soothing and healing to the skin. I wouldn’t use yarrow in the ointment because you don’t want the mouth of the wound to close before the pathway of the wound is healed on the inside. Just as a note.


The above is just what I would do and have done. I’m not a doctor. But I have used herbs and plant medicine for over a decade with very good results. I hope this helps.


As to the use of a tetanus vaccine, I personally stay away from vaccines. They contain adjuvents also called excepients – definition below (what supposedly makes the vaccine work) which are almost always aluminum. Injecting aluminum into the body, with the research coming out now about how it causes Alzheimers and many other health problems isn’t a good idea, because all the usual ways the body has of protecting itself from toxic elements is bypassed by the injection.

Things to consider before getting a tetanus vaccine:

Tetanus Vaccines – Are they dangerous? – here are the stats:

“Information from the NVIC about tetanus vaccines – that they have caused death and many problems. “As of September 1, 2015, there had been 5,277 claims filed in the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) for injuries and deaths following vaccination with tetanus or tetanus-containing vaccines combined with diphtheria vaccine, including 842 deaths and 4,344 serious injuries.

Using the MedAlerts search engine, as of August 31, 2018 there had been 26,834 serious adverse events reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) in connection with tetanus and tetanus-containing vaccines combined with diphtheria vaccine since 1990. Over 70% of

those serious tetanus vaccine-related adverse events occurring in children six years old and under. Of

these tetanus-vaccine related adverse event reports to VAERS, 3,031 were deaths, with over 90% of the deaths occurring in children under 6.”

“In 1948 there were 601 cases of tetanus reported in the U.S., the highest number of cases reported in one year.
In 1994 the Institute of Medicine concluded that there is compelling scientific evidence to conclude that tetanus, DT and Td vaccines can cause Guillain-Barre syndrome including death; brachial neuritis; and death from anaphylaxis (shock).
In 2002 there were 25 cases of tetanus and 3 deaths reported in the U.S. Tetanus is a much more serious problem in underdeveloped countries, especially among newborn babies born in unsanitary conditions whose umbilical cords can become infected with tetanus.
In 2009 there were 19 tetanus cases reported with two related deaths. Neonatal death from tetanus, which occurs in underdeveloped countries where newborns are exposed to tetanus in unsanitary conditions during the birth process, especially when the umbilical cord is cut, is virtually nonexistent in the U.S.”

Elizabeth Meder”

Here’s the other side of the picture from people who profit from selling vaccines: The science about the tetanus bacteria is true. Their solution is questionable per the above.

The info from the vaccine people:

Tetanus: The Disease

Tetanus (lockjaw) disease is caused by Clostridium tetani (C. tetani), an anerobic, gram-positive, bacteria with the ability to develop into a spore. Tetanus spores can be found in soil, manure, and in the digestive tracts of animals and humans. Additionally, tetanus has also been reportedly found in contaminated heroin and on skin surfaces.1  Tetanus bacteria do not survive in the presence of oxygen, however, are quite resistant to most chemicals and even heat.2 Puncture wounds, which do not bleed very much and are protected by tissue and skin from direct exposure to oxygen, can be the perfect environment for tetanus bacteria to multiply and cause infection.3

The incubation period for tetanus infection, from time of exposure to appearance of the first symptoms, ranges from three days to three weeks.4 Initial symptoms include muscular stiffness of the jaw and neck, headache, seizures, changes in heart rate and blood pressure, fever, and chills. Complications include fractures, vocal cord spasms, impaired breathing, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia, infections acquired in the hospital during the course of treatment, and death.5 Learn more about Tetanus

Tetanus Vaccine

In the U.S. today, tetanus vaccine is administered only in a combination shot (DTaP, DT, Tdap, Td) that contains vaccines for tetanus (T), diphtheria (D) and possibly pertussis (whooping cough) (P). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved twelve different combination vaccines that include tetanus toxoid vaccine. There are different rules for use of these vaccines by different aged groups. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) currently recommends administration of a tetanus containing vaccine (DTaP) at two, four, and six months old; between 15 and 18 months old; and between four and six years old. Another booster dose is recommended at 11-12 years of age (Tdap).

After a booster dose of Tdap vaccine, booster doses with tetanus – diphtheria toxoid vaccine (Td) are recommended every ten years throughout a person’s life.6  While the ACIP also recommends that pregnant women receive a dose of Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy, between 27 and 36 weeks gestation, regardless of a previous history of Tdap vaccine,7 this recommendation contradicts the information provided by the vaccine manufacturers. Learn more about Tetanus vaccine

Tetanus Quick Facts


  • Tetanus, often referred to as lockjaw, is caused by the Clostridium tetani bacteria and can be found in soil, manure, and even in the digestive tracts of animals and humans. Tetanus has also been reported in contaminated heroin as well as on skin surfaces.8 Tetanus is not contagious and cannot be transmitted from person to person.9 Tetanus bacteria can enter the body when a person sustains a deep cut, or even a burn10 and can also occur following abortions, elective surgeries, ear infections, pregnancy, dental infections, animal bites, and crush wounds.11
  • The incubation period for tetanus infection, from time of exposure to appearance of the first symptoms, ranges from three days to three weeks.12 Initial symptoms include muscular stiffness of the jaw and neck, headache, seizures, changes in heart rate and blood pressure, fever, and chills. Complications include fractures, vocal cord spasms, impaired breathing, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia, infections acquired in the hospital during the course of treatment, and death.13 Continue reading quick facts

Tetanus Vaccine

  • There are 12 different tetanus-containing vaccines licensed for use in the United States with 8 tetanus combination vaccines available for use in infants and children. These combination vaccines may contain one or more of the following vaccines: pertussis, diphtheria, hepatitis B, Hib, polio, and/ or polio. For adults, there are 4 tetanus combination vaccines available with 2 vaccines containing both tetanus and diphtheria toxoids approved for use in adults and children ages 7 years and older and 2 vaccines containing tetanus and diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis approved for use in children and adults ages 10 years and older.14
  • According to the CDC, common tetanus vaccine reactions include injection-site redness, pain, and swelling at the site of the injection. Sometimes, however, the pain and swelling is significant and extends from the shoulder to the elbow. If this occurs, the CDC warns that additional tetanus toxoid vaccine doses should not be administered more frequently than every 10 years.15 Additional serious reported side effects following tetanus toxoid vaccination include anaphylaxis,16 17 brachial neuritis,18 Guillain-Barre Syndrome,19 20 acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM),21 arthritis22 23and myocarditis.24 Continue reading quick facts

Tetanus Disease & Vaccine Information

Find the Information You Need to Make an Informed Vaccine Decision

Tetanus: The Disease

Learn More About Tetanus and Tetanus Vaccine

NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about Tetanus and the Tetanus vaccine by reading all sections in the Table of Contents below, which contain many links and resources such as the manufacturer product information inserts, and to speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.


In summary, working the land, working with one’s hands, walking in debris filled areas, growing a garden, homesteading, raising chickens or livestock, farming, or working around construction sites, we are especially exposed to the dangers of puncture wounds or deep wounds from sharp objects. Children especially can have this happen. So, knowing how to handle the wounds immediately keep the tetanus bacteria from being able to take over a wound and causing its big effects. Tetanus isn’t the problem it was a hundred years ago because we live in much more controlled environments and basically have better hygiene, but it’s out there. So, having a few things on hand for the inevitable cuts or puncture wounds is just a good idea. If you are in a survival mode, have a bug out bag, live off the grid, or live far from regular medical treatment, it’s especially good to know what to do and have some things on hand to treat such a thing immediately.

I have formulated a couple of especially good ointments for skin troubles, wounds, and after surgery which can be purchased on my sale page which can be kept on hand to treat these kinds of wounds:

Super Boo Boo Cream for anything related to skin – $18 per tin

Super Healing Herbal Salve for Dr. Borja for after surgery or recovery from wounds $20 per tin

Plus s&h

Both are anti-inflammatory helping with swelling and pain, are antibiotic and anti-microbial (germs), and help with the soft tissues around wounds and traumas. Boo Boo cream is especially good for the ordinary surface cuts and bruises, rashes, minor infections, and ‘owies’. The healing salve is super powered for deep healing as well as for pain, swelling, and cell regeneration.

PM me for ingredients. FB Georgia Dirks

Thank you for visiting my blog. Visit the sites listed for further information.

Diann Dirks 1-22-2020


Here is more information from the vaccine people.

« Return to Vaccines & Diseases Table of Contents


(NOTE: Notice how many of the below references are about the ‘side effects’ from these vaccines. DD)

1 CDC Tetanus – Clostridium tetani Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (The Pink Book). 13th ed. 2015.

2 Ibid

3 CDC Tetanus – Pathogenesis Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (The Pink Book). 13th ed. 2015.

4 CDC Tetanus – Clinical Features Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (The Pink Book). 13th ed. 2015.

5 CDC Symptoms and Complications Feb. 28, 2019

6 CDC Prevention of Pertussis, Tetanus, and Diphtheria with Vaccines in the United States: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) MMWR Apr. 27, 2018 / 67(2);1–44

7 Ibid

8 CDC Tetanus – Clostridium tetani Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (The Pink Book). 13th ed. 2015.

9 CDC Tetanus – Epidemiology Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (The Pink Book). 13th ed. 2015.

10 MedlinePlus Tetanus – Summary May 23, 2018

11 CDC Tetanus – Epidemiology Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (The Pink Book). 13th ed. 2015.

12 CDC Tetanus – Clinical Features Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (The Pink Book). 13th ed. 2015.

13 CDC Symptoms and Complications Feb. 28, 2019

14 FDA Vaccines Licensed for Use in the United States Mar. 18, 2019

15 CDC Tetanus – Adverse Reactions Following Vaccination Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (The Pink Book). 13th ed. 2015.

16 Mayorga C, Torres MJ, Corzo JL et al. Immediate allergy to tetanus toxoid vaccine: determination of immunoglobulin E and immunoglobulin G antibodies to allergenic proteins. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2003 Feb;90(2):238-43.

17 Martín-Muñoz MF, Pereira MJ, Posadas S et al. Anaphylactic reaction to diphtheria-tetanus vaccine in a child: specific IgE/IgG determinations and cross-reactivity studies. Vaccine. 2002 Sep 10;20(27-28):3409-12.

18 Hamati-Haddad A, Fenichel GM. Brachial neuritis following routine childhood immunization for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP): report of two cases and review of the literature. Pediatrics. 1997 Apr;99(4):602-3.

19 Bakshi R, Graves MC. Guillain-Barré syndrome after combined tetanus-diphtheria toxoid vaccination. J Neurol Sci. 1997 Apr 15;147(2):201-2.

20 Newton N Jr, Janati A. Guillain-Barré syndrome after vaccination with purified tetanus toxoid. South Med J. 1987 Aug;80(8):1053-4.

21 Hamidon BB, Raymond AA. Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) presenting with seizures secondary to anti-tetanus toxin vaccination. Med J Malaysia. 2003 Dec;58(5):780-2.

22 Jawad AS, Scott DG Immunisation triggering rheumatoid arthritis? Ann Rheum Dis. 1989 Feb; 48(2): 174.

23 Kaul A, Adler M, Alokaily F, Jawad A Recurrence of reactive arthritis after a booster dose of tetanus toxoid Ann Rheum Dis. 2002 Feb; 61(2): 185.

24 Amsel SG, Hanukoglu A, Fried D, Wolyvovics M Myocarditis after triple immunisation. Arch Dis Child. 1986 Apr; 61(4): 403–405.

Click here to view, download, or print all sections below as one document or webpage.


Posted in Antibiotic herbal, Antiinflammatory herb, Emergency Preparedness, Self-Sustainability, Skin diseases, Uncategorized, Wound care | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making a cotton mattress pad from scratch – craft, gardening, sustainability 1-21-19

Once in awhile someone posts something on FB that so resonates with me. This video shows a beautiful young Chinese woman planting, transplanting, harvesting, processing, and making a mattress out of cotton she grew herself. It’s loaded with wonderful techniques useful for many other things, but inspiring. I recommend watching it.
Here is the translation offered on the site, no need for words really though:
” Play Cotton ~ Playing Cotton ~ half a kilo of cotton has become eight or eight. Old Cotton popped into new cotton, and the quilt girl is getting married……”

“The married girl is not, but I have a cute old man.
Last year planted cotton that we haven’t been raced for years!
Not much planted, and the harvest is not good!
Just enough to make her bed new cotton!”

Notice the way she plants the seeds, then lifts them in perfect little squares, transplants them, trims the plants just so, harvests them while cleaning them, how she uses small carding combs to remove the seeds while retaining the fiber, processes the fiber, prepares the frame and loads it for the padding, and uses it for several things. I loved this video. It reminds me that craft often expresses love for people, respect for the land and media, and creativity. We could do this in Georgia, we’d just need to copy the wood and bamboo frame she makes, and her tools. But it’s all hand made.
In Georgia because of the bole weevil problem we aren’t supposed to grow it without  permission. However, in small amounts, and careful watching, I would grow about this amount in the video given enough land. But I’d check with your local Extension Officer in your county.
Now that Hemp is legal in the country, we could use hemp for making the thread and fabric to go along with this if someone had the seeds and land.
Let me know if you do this and how it works for you.
Diann Dirks, CPD (Certified Permaculture Designer)
Visit our shop. I’m hoping to get some help seeds for fiber. It may take awhile. Also seeds for cotton. PM me if you would like to be on the waiting list.
Posted in Cording, fiber and ripe plant, Gardening, Living a happier life, organic gardening, Permaculture, Recycle, repurpose, reuse, Saving seeds and cultivars, Seasonal gardening plants, Self-Sustainability, Uncategorized, Yarn, hand spinning, yarn processing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Christmas this year (2019) 12-14-19

It has been a very unusual year for me and the garden.

In the garden we’ve had to struggle against constant big changes in the weather making the production varied and unpredictable. We had great production of winter squash but only one zucchini made it. We got 3 huge sunflowers, the first in many years. The heat then the big rains, then drought, then unusual cold at odd times so confused the poor plants they didn’t know whether to grow or make seeds. I had fruit trees flowering in the middle of the winter and this fall. Poor little trees. The bok choy that self seeded in the fall last year have been going nuts whereas former years it was tough to even get it to germinate. So, we kept planting and hoping, putting a multitude of cultivars in in the hopes that enough would do well to have production. The cool weather seeds were planted 3 times and only when it was close to freezing did they not melt in the soil.

Our internship program has been in its 10th year and we graduated two interns, while having 3 more joining thru the summer into fall, now winter. These people are so inspirational to me. They are hard working, enthusiastic, and fun. And they seem to like me too. J We have covered many subjects including liquid fertilizer teas; compost, manure, and weed teas. We’ve done a lot with composting, sheet mulching and composting in place, and the soil is amazing. We’ve done a lot of mulching techniques including chipping dried garden matter, and now autumn leaves saved for next year.

The bees have been amazing coming from wild and domesticated sources. One of my favorite have been the big bumble bees falling asleep in the beautiful passion flowers growing in the beds, all covered in yellow pollen, snoozing away. We kept things flowering all year, and the zinnias particularly attracted a ton of butterflies. Usually they like milkweed, but that didn’t come up this year. But boy, we had zinnias everywhere, many of them self-seeding.

The comfrey took hold in the hugelkulture berm at the bottom of the annual beds area, and we are looking forward to using it to fertilize the fruit trees next year. We had corn growing there as well as winter squash, stinging nettle in big pots, motherwort herbs, perilla, and other herbs and plants. All those years of throwing organic matter on the long pile is now paying off. Even the witch hazel bush flowered abundantly this fall for the first time. I even make my own witch hazel tincture for wounds, and skin care.

My tincture making has gotten completely crazy. I almost have to move out of my living room for the collection of bottles at the south end of the room for the variety and abundance of them. I use them personally a lot but occasionally I share them.

We’ve been making a couple of very effective ointments which I do sell, but I use a lot as well – Super Boo Boo Cream for all things skin, and Super Healing Herbal Salve II for Dr. Borja (my friend and chiropractor) I formulated for him after he had shoulder surgery. This one has turned out to be very effective for joints, pain, healing deeply, and after surgery for me and several friends. One of my oldest dearest friends kept having her knee go out of joint with unbearably pain an inflammation, so I sent her a tin. She got it and started using it, rubbing it in. She didn’t notice anything but then she realized her knee hasn’t gone out of joint since she’s been using it. When she quit for a couple of days, it went out again, so using again it stopped doing that. I say this only because it brings me great joy to know I helped a friend.

So, the year has been eventful in many more ways than I am mentioning above. Life goes on. I keep creating it the best way I know how. People have given me so much joy. My research has been so fascinating – that knowledge goes into my medicine making with the herbs I grow. And I keep trying new plants and save seeds. They are so interesting to me. The treasures that grow here in the Piedmont of the Appalachian (foot hills) Mtns, are continuously amazing me at how many things they do to help people if we only know how to use them, and honor them.

But as for Christmas, my goodness, is it almost a week away already? Yikes? We have a little potted pine tree I rescued out of the garden, planted no doubt by one of our industrious little squirrels, and has done us as a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree for about 5 years now. We put a little string of fairy lights on it, a few bulbs, and a topper, and call it good. The mantle gets some holly and lights, a few little cute things get put around – I love snowmen – to make it festive. I have a few friends I send home made gifts to around the country or locally, and a few cards go out – sadly none so far though, but I’m trying.

My Ladies Homestead Gathering had our party on Thurs night with a feast of good food from all the ladies, and a hilarious gift giving ‘dirty Santa’ gift exchange. I came home with a lovely wooden box with narcissus bulbs, and a little box of samples of home made soap. I brought a special bag of immune tea from my garden, a boa scarf I knitted, and 3 milk thistle plants for someone’s herb garden. All the presents were so creative and imaginative. This is a fun group. I laughed so hard! OMG.

My intern Rebecca has been taking pictures in the garden since last spring with her phone. So at the party she presented me with a book done so beautifully and professionally with remarkable photographs (this girl has the ‘eye’ of a true artist), and quotes. She made me cry! No one has ever given me such a gift. It was made by a company that takes what you send it and makes a hard back glossy coffee table book that will be my treasure forever. Thank you Becca. OMG.

My husband is doing somewhat better after his heart attack 2 years ago, and has been working part time doing skilled handyman work. And he’s back in his wood shop in the basement. He has been taking 100 + old year wood and making it into shelves, hook hanging shelves, and unique things. He’s also getting some long overdue dental work done and is seeing an orthopedist for his neck and lower back. I’m so proud of him for keeping up with life and moving forward.

I’ve overcome some physical problems myself. My mobility is greatly improved with some help with my ankle from another orthopedist, and some other breakthroughs. So, I’m able to do so much more. I turned 74 mid Nov. and although I do feel my age sometimes, my mind keeps presenting me with delicious ideas for my research, my garden, my history interests, friends, garden, herbalism, and the planet.

BTW, if you want to intern with me in the spring, PM or email me at Georgia Dirks, and we can talk about it. I only take 5 interns at a time, so it fills up fast. It’s the only internship program on the East Coast as far as I know, focusing on Permaculture, Korean Natural Farming techniques, and organic growing. It’s one 4 hour session a week. We’re in Barrow County, NE Georgia, Auburn unincorporated area.

Although I am not a Christian religiously, I am a kind of Buddhist, but was raised by a Christian mom, and we always made a big deal about Christmas. I love it all. I just usually don’t have much time or energy to bake my former 40 dozen cookies, many cakes, tarts and other goodies, or decorate my house like my mom did. I have all the stuff to do that, a basement room half full of boxes, but I do try to be festive.

Though we’re off sugar, and my husband is on a very low salt diet, I will find a way to make some goodies. I’m looking into making a sour cream apple, raisin, and walnut coffee cake for Christmas morning by the fireplace, to open presents. And I will still make our traditional from scratch oyster stew for Christmas even dinner. I serve that with fresh French bread and a fresh salad, and if I can, some kind of goodie for desert.

We will have some presents under the tree, and will probably go to a movie or play a DVD in the afternoon to kick back and enjoy the fire in the fireplace, cats on our laps, and the company of each other. One thing about being mostly retired, is our sweet time together. We may go up into the mountains and enjoy a little village or see snow if we have any by that time between Christmas and New Years. The Appalachian Mountains are so beautiful.

I see my friends busily dashing around making themselves exhausted trying to fulfill everyone else’s wishes, please all the relatives, make the big piles of presents under the tree, making the huge feasts, using up their credit cards, and in general ‘doing Christmas’. I used to do that. It was fun. I gained 10 lbs. eating the sweet cookies which usually never came off again. I gave everyone I knew a present, and sent out over 400 cards.

Now I think – everything I take out of those boxes has to go back in, and I just take what really touches my sense of beauty and fun. I gather some special Christmas plates, bowls, little dishes, and cups, some little snowmen decorations and a wreath or two. A few strings of lights go up and around. I clip some greens from the holly bushes and bay leaves for color. I wrap a few gifts, and call it good. Then I take my time to call old friends, write cards, or visit here and there. I make things from the garden and provide herbs and some of my products to who need them and will use them.

Today is our Living History Society’s “Thanksmas” feast, combining Christmas and Thanksgiving parties. This year we are including the personnel from the park – Fort Yargo is a state park and they help us all year in our re-enacting. And the “Friends of the Park” who help so much funding us and providing things we need to do our living history. So we’re expecting about 60 people. I’m bringing little baby turkey sandwiches from a turkey I roasted on Thursday. And I’ll make a giant salad some of which will come from my garden. I dress out in Scottish 1790 attire. This means tartan skirt and shawl, embroidered vest, white apron and mob cap, and a specially embroidered outside pocket that holds all my things I’d otherwise put in a little purse – an accessory unique to that era. Women didn’t have attached pockets in that era. But it will be cold so under it all will be a number of layers of clothing period correct. And on top of it a full length bright red cape with hood. We go in style.

All the accoutrements of the holidays are the beauty of our culture, beautiful, meaningful, and the bright spot at the beginning of winter. However you celebrate the turning of the year, the winter solstice, the Christian miracle, or other religious beliefs, I wish you good cheer, miracles, beauty, full tummies, good health and the love of everyone around you. That seems to me to be the best part.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2019

Diann Dirks

“Georgia Dirks’ on FB

Posted in 1700's living history, Gardening, Herb gardening, Living a happier life, organic gardening, Permaculture, Self-Sustainability, Soil fertility and yield, Uncategorized, winter gardening | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments