Sunday, October 9, 2011

Should I Buy Mini Donkeys From A Sale Barn?

I went to the sale barn in Montgomery City Missouri yesterday with a friend that was selling some of her surplus chickens and ducks. I went with the hopes of finding some peafowl but none were brought in. I am also looking into mini donkeys but have been repelled by the $400 price tag I have found during my searches on the internet. Before the sale we went into the barn and viewed the livestock in the pens. We saw lots of cattle, a few gorgeous horses and several mini donkeys. Yay! this gave me an opportunity to get a good look as it's been a while since I've seen a mini donkey. I talked to one of the workers and he told me I could probably get one or more real cheap. So I looked as best as I could from my disadvantaged place outside the pen. The trio I liked were a pair and their colt. They looked real nice but I am very worried about buying from a sale barn. I didn't check their teeth or see them move since I was not going to be buying anything on that day. But this really got me to thinking.

We went back outside since the birds were being sold in the parking lot due to it being such a nice day. So, before we left we went back into the barn. Well, the trio I was looking at was now just the adult pair and they no longer wanted to interact with me or anyone else for that matter. Can't blame them, their colt was taken from them and they were no doubt, pissed! We asked the guy we talked to earlier how much these donkeys had gone for the night before and he told us between 15 and 50 dollars each. WOW! I need to do more research before the next sale because I intend to be there. I am absolutely in favor of rescuing a pair or a few mini donkeys from a sale barn, but I'm feeling a bit concerned about buying a pig at a poke, so to speak. So here's my question. If the owner isn't available, what exactly do I need to check for when buying pet mini donkeys at a sale barn? I sure hope someone will leave a comment and help me with this question as mini donkeys and sale barns are not my area of expertise.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Honey, Lemon, Ginger Tea

Years ago when I first became a student of Herb Mentor, the owner John Gallager gave a recipe for his Special Tea. Of course this tea can be used anytime, but it is an extra special treat when drank at times when your body needs the nourishing components of honey, lemon and ginger, such as when cold or the flu rears its ugly head. Now, it’s pretty common knowledge that lemons have loads of vitamin C, but did you know that the flavonoids in lemons also have anti oxidant and antibiotic properties? They can also stop the cell division in some types of cancer cells. Good stuff! Lemons are also a blood cleanser and they help the body expel toxins. Lemons are also a rich source of vitamins B and C, they have antifungal, antacid and antiseptic properties, and they assist in the process of digestion.
Not to be outdone, honey also has antibiotic and anti fungal properties if it is in its raw and unpasteurized form. And having trace amounts of vitamins and minerals, honey is also nutritious.
Ginger is used widely for its therapeutic properties when dealing with colds and flu symptoms. Ginger has antiseptic properties, eases nausea and coughing and promotes sweating.  Ginger is very warming and good for chills and poor circulation.
So, enough talk about how good it is; here is the recipe for this delicious tea.
Add 2 tablespoons of grated ginger, 3 tablespoons of honey, 4 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice into a 1 quart thermos. Then add 1 quart of boiling water and let steep for about 20 minutes. Then strain the tea into your mug, sit on the couch with a good book and drink.
This recipe can be altered if the lemon or ginger is too strong for you. And, of course if it isn’t sweet enough, add more honey. I add about 1 teaspoon astragalus root slices to my tea mixture, as it is great nourishment for the immune system and it doesn’t alter the yummy flavor. You can also add boneset for fever reduction or perhaps echinacea to stimulate your immune system.  Drink, enjoy and be well !

The Raw Brownie


2 cups whole walnuts
2 ½ cups Medjool dates, pitted
1 cup raw cacao
1 cup raw unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
¼ tsp. Sea salt


1. Place walnuts in food processor and blend on high until the nuts are finely ground.
2. Add the cacao and salt. Pulse to combine.
3. Add the dates one at a time through the feed tube of the food processor while it is running. What you should end up with is a mix that appears rather like cake crumbs, but that when pressed, will easily stick together (if the mixture does not hold together well, add more dates).
4. In a large bowl (or the pan you plan on putting the brownies in), combine the walnut-cacao mix with the chopped almonds. Press into a lined cake pan or mold. Place in freezer of fridge until ready to serve (it is also easier to cut these when they are cold). Store in an airtight container.

These are incredibly delicious and o' so easy to make. And believe it, these are actually good for you! When I found this recipe on Sarah Britton's site and since they sounded so good, I made them immediately. I think they took all of 5 minutes to whip up and maybe 10 minutes to make into the balls (see picture). It would probably take less time to press this mixture into a casserole dish to make traditional looking brownies, but I wanted to give them my own twist and so I made them into balls. I took them to work and since they were in small bite size portions, they were very easy to pass out to my coworkers. Unsurprisingly, they went pretty fast!
I like knowing that when I whip these up I am going to eat a treat that is much healthier than eating store bought, highly refined, processed and possibly contaminated brownies or candies from the store. Also, since they are fresh and raw, their nutrition hasn't been lost in lengthy storage or over processing. Both walnuts and Almonds are very nutritious, both containing loads of B complex vitamins. Those are great for giving you energy, nourishing your nervous system as well as your skin, nails and hair. If you have an issue with sluggish digestion, walnuts and almonds can provide you the necessary b- complex vitamins so your body can make the required acids in your stomach needed for digestion of fats, protein and carbohydrates. In addition, both of these nuts contain omega 3 fatty acids that if eaten regularly can actually reduce your risk of developing some types of cancer. Cool huh? Omega 3 fatty acids also help to lower the bad LDL cholesterol and raise the good HDL cholesterol in your blood.
 So, what about cacao? Simply stated, cacao is unprocessed cocoa. The processed cacao becomes cocoa which is used in the production of chocolate. Unlike the heavily processed chocolate bar, raw cacao contains loads more flavonoids, a chemical found in plants that have anti viral, anti-inflammatory and anti allergic properties.  By the way, cacao tastes like a richer version of cocoa. More good news is that cacao also contains a rich supply of the minerals calcium, zinc, copper and potassium as well as vitamins A, C and E. Another interesting fact is that cacao stimulates the body’s own antidepressant chemicals, serotonin and endorphins and it contains two chemicals - phenylethylalamine and anandamide that enhance mood and help you focus. Processed chocolate may not have the same quantities of these chemicals as raw cacao, but you still get some, and that explains why you feel so good after you eat chocolate, in any form.