Want To Live A Long, Healthy Life? – for Jul. 23, 2010

Jeanne Calment of Arles, France was born in 1875. She took regular walks, drank two glasses of red wine a

day, learned to fence at age 85, rode her bike every day until she turned 100, lived on her own until 110… And (get this) smoked cigarettes until she was 117 years old! Her mind and memory were sharp to the end and she lived to the ripe old age of 122.

I’m not advocating smoking… not ever. Nor do I smoke! But I do grow wild tobacco from seed (Nicotiana rustica). It’s the chief source of nicotine sulphate, a once-popular base for making homemade insect pest repellent since the 17th century. Nicotine is diluted in water with a bit of soap added to help it adhere to plants. It’s toxic and poisonous on contact.

I REMEMBER

…when I attended my first reflexology and therapeutic touch classes and followup sessions, beginning back in the days while I was still a disc jockey. Our instructors always strongly drove home the following points: Up to 70 per cent of human ills are due to stress, anxiety and tension. Reflexology and therapeutic touch are beneficial in that both modalities can help ease stress, lessen pain and relax tension; plus bring about improved blood flow and circulation and help normalize glands and organs in the body. With everyone’s health and wellness in mind, let me reveal some vital secrets to longevity.

LIVING TO A RIPE OLD AGE

Are you hoping to live to a healthy, ripe old age just like Madame Jeanne?

First let me remind readers I am not a doctor; nor do I prescribe.

Take an apple and cut it in half. Leave one section on the kitchen counter. Dip the other apple piece in lemon juice or vinegar-water, then wrap in plastic or insert in a container with a lid and place in the fridge.

Within a very short time you’ll notice the apple on the counter turning brown. That’s called oxidation — caused by exposure to air and free radical damage. What happens to the apple is the same thing that happens to our cells. With every breath we take our cells are bombarded by free radicals. Our cells can literally “brown out” or rust away — just like the apple on the counter!

It’s antioxidants — like resveratrol — that can quickly neutralize free radicals to prevent the rust, protect our cells, strengthen the heart and even extend cell life! Think of it as coating our cells and keeping them fresh and healthy longer — like the slice of apple that’s still fresh in the fridge!

REASONS TO GROW AND EAT GRAPES

Some current-day researchers have found that naturally occurring compounds found in grapes called phytochemicals contain a myriad of health benefits. Thousands of Canadians with heart disease and Type 2 diabetes didn’t develop these health issues out of the blue. They’re often the result of multiple problems such as high blood pressure, insulin resistance, abdominal fat, poor diet, lack of exercise and yes — even stress.

Scientific information suggests that resveratrol found in grapes, blueberries and red wine can play a key role in preventing and treating eye diseases such as macular degeneration and help stall the downward trend toward ill health in a lot of us. In future, researchers hope to use this new knowledge to develop treatment for eye diseases. Close to a million Canadians have some form of age-related macular degeneration, according to CNIB.

Resveratrol may not be the proverbial Fountain Of Youth, but some scientists are referring to it as a miracle ingredient; a powerful breakthrough in anti-aging (I like that one) and one of the greatest discoveries since antibiotics.

Those of us who grow grapes get quality resveratrol in every serving and — much more. Also revealed in red and blue grape skins and other berries is a sister nutrient called Pterostilbene — pronounced “tare-oh-still-bean.” It’s proving to be a powerful catalyst for health and rejuvenation and works jointly with resveratrol to enhance health benefits.

I’m guessing there are hundreds ofGrainewsreaders who already grow their own grapes and make homemade grape juice; grape jam, jelly — and yes — even grape wine.

Eating grapes and drinking grape juice is not a new drug, but a delicious and enriching dietary path to pursue. Have something that is grape based at least five to seven times weekly. Remember, grapes are but one food in a quality balanced diet that may lessen untimely health burdens and other common conditions.

SUMMER GRAPE PRUNING

…of current-season green wood is a necessity in our climate. It speeds fruit maturity and helps harden off new wood. From about Canada Day onward, remove all suckers that grow at the base of leaves (see photo). It’s very important not to damage the developing bud which is also growing at the same joint. Pinch out the sucker just above the bud and leave one grape leaf nearby. For a good next-year harvest, each vine should retain about 35 to 40 buds.

This task is pretty well identical to pinching out suckers from tomato plants. Such pruning also helps facilitate proper airflow and circulation among maturing grape berry clusters. Later on, the next stage of summer pruning is to remove the ends of canes two or three leaves past the last grape cluster.

Incidentally, if your fingers become coated with sticky yellow-green- black resin from pruning tomato plants; try this. Split open a ripe tomato and rub the juice and inners all over your hands. Say so long to sticky fingers.

ALFALFA CUBES

…are for more than sheep and cattle feed. Way back in June, I heard from Andrew (Andy) B. Moon, 71, of Hartell, Alta., about 30 miles south of Calgary. Andy wrote: “A fewGrainewsback you wrote an article about growing potatoes and it was very informative. We at Hartell have very alkaline soil, so to increase the acidity I added alfalfa bits. We went to an alfalfa-cubing factory in southern Alberta where we picked up five bags (about 55 pounds each) of the smaller spilt dust and other sweepings which we put on the garden. This I rototilled into the garden. The produce, including the potatoes, greatly improved. Also, there was very little to no scab on the potatoes. That was three years ago and there is still an effect of that alfalfa addition on the garden. We really enjoy your interesting column and it is the first one we read whenGrainewsarrives in the mail.”

I, Ted, really chuckled when Andy mentioned one of his cows is 23 years old “and if you don’t believe me, come and see for yourself.” Thanks to Andy for writing and hello to his wife Marina and their five-year-old son Elvin.

FISH AND CHIPS FRIARS

A priest knocks on a monastery door during a rainy Sunday evening and requests shelter for the night. Fortunately, he’s just in time for dinner and was treated to the best fish and chips he’s ever had. After dinner, he goes into the kitchen to thank the chefs. He is met by two Brothers. “Hello, I’m Brother Michael, and this is Brother Francis.”

“I’m very pleased to meet you. I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful dinner. The fish and chips were the best I’ve ever tasted. Out of curiosity, who cooked what?”

Brother Michael replied, “Well, I’m the fish friar.” Father turns to the other Brother and says, “Then you must be….”

“Yes,” said Brother Francis, “I’m afraid I’m the chip monk.”

ThisisTedMeseytontheSingingGardener andGrow-ItPoetfromPortagelaPrairie, Man.It’sOKtoputyourselffirstoncein awhileandsayNO.Evenalarge,porous spongereachesapointofsaturationbeyond capacity.MyGrainewspageforthisissueis full,butmyemailinboxisstillreceivingmail at [email protected]

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Sue Armstrong

Love HearingFrom You

Do you have a story about a farm or home-based business? How about some household management tips? Does someone in the family have a special-diet need? Share some of your recipes and some meal ideas.

Send them to FarmLife, 1666 Dublin Ave., Winnipeg, Manitoba R3H 0H1. Phone 1-800- 665-0502 or email [email protected] Please remember we can no longer return photos or material. — Sue

About the author

Columnist

Ted Meseyton

This is Ted Meseyton the Singing Gardener and Grow-It Poet from Portage la Prairie, Man. I salute all gardeners and farmers who help make our world a little safer and more ecologically balanced, and who toil to provide health-giving produce to others who cannot produce their own. It takes all sorts to make a world. One half of the world doesn’t know how the other half lives. The best physicians are Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet and Dr. Merryman.

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