The Best Home for Horses - The Blue Spruce Farm

Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Blue Spruce farm located in Redmond, WA has a rich historical heritage spanning over years spent in providing housing, veterinary care and thoroughbred breeding. Owned by the Nicholls family as of now the farm was originally started by Henry and Elizabeth Busscher during the 1920's. Later in 1930 they sold the farm to Helen Turcotte who used the 40 acres farm as a boarding for young ladies and also organized summer and winter camps on the farm. She made the stay on the farm very interesting for the ladies by including a milking parlor, chicken house, pig barn and horse stables as a part of their farm experience.

Helen Turcotte sold the farm to the current owners Max and Mary Nicholls in 1958. The new owners transformed the farm and used it for thoroughbred breeding and as a veterinary hospital. Later in 2001 after the demise of max Nicholls the farm was converted into a boarding stable.

The farm has an impressible array of facilities for riders and horses of all ages and breeds. The farm has twenty six stalls of 12'x12' in 3 barns, 8 large paddocks with shelter, one sand footing round pen, one sand footing lighted all weather arena, three locked tack rooms with saddle and bridle racks and shelves and 2 homes on the farm for the 24 hour caretakers. The farm also has an impressive 26 acres of cross fenced green pastures.

The farm has a historic lower barn that has a large tack room, seven stalls, hay and grain storage, blanket and lovely wooden flooring on the aisles. The outdoor sand arena is completely conditioned for water run off. It is equipped with dressage letters and jumping equipment and can also be lighted for riding in the evenings.

Other than the lush grass pastures the farm also caters to the horses on diet or those that have been injured by providing dry paddocks. These paddocks are 12'X12' and have rubber mats for feeding. These rubber mats reach up to the shelter for easy access for the horses. These dry paddocks are specially built to stay dry during winters.

The owners of the Blue Spruce Farm strongly believe in the well being and health of the horses that stay at their boarding and allow them to be out in the open and grow healthy naturally. The horses are let out in small groups for easy management. For their safety and to avoid any mishap the farm has a safety mesh and metal pipe fencing. The pastures are cross fenced too for complete safety.

Blue Spruce Farm is a one-stop boarding centre for horses with utmost care given to the horses their. They have an experienced staff that takes care of the feeding, grooming and overall care of the horse. The stay there is inclusive of the 2-3 hay feedings, fresh drinking water, grains and minerals twice a day. It is easily the best boarding facility for horses you would ever find.

Farm Tractors

Friday, June 15, 2012
A farm tractor is a very efficient way of managing your farm. Regardless of the type of crops you plant on it, if you have farm tractors with you, you job will be easier and simpler. There are different ways on how farm tractors can help you carry out basic farm activities. One way or another, the success of the crop yields are partly dependent on the efficiency of farm vehicle you have. However, there are some things that we have to consider with regards to the proper care and maintenance of your tractor.

You have to bear in mind the things that you have to consider after getting your farm vehicle. For longer use, it should be cared and maintained accordingly. If we exploit our farm tractor, we might end up regretting it in the future since we did not use it in a proper way. This article will deal more about the common constraints in maintaining and caring of farm vehicle.

Fuel maintenance is one of the constraints. You might end up buying a lot of fuel for emergency use. There are a lot of farm tractors that are not too costly in terms of fuel. However, most of the brands and types of farm vehicle consume a lot of fuel. You might end up purchasing bulks of fuel and whether it used or not being used. We have to make sure that our gain is proportional to our expenses. What will happen if there is less gain than expenses? I think your business is near bankruptcy. There should be profit regardless of the total expenses. Even though fuel maintenance is costly, make sure that there is still a profit.

Another thing that should be considered is the part replacement. There are some issues that may arise like the parts are busted and substandard that it needed a replacement. Mind you, the parts of a farm vehicle are costly and difficult to find. Most of the time, you will end up finding the right part in some distant stores and shops. So take note that you clean the farm vehicle as often as you can and inspect the parts for good standing to ensure safety and proper maintenance.

Another thing is the wheels. If the wheels are bald, the farm tractor is prone to accidents that might harm your workers. Make sure to inspect the wheels. There are times when you really have to be careful in inspecting the wheels since the quality and efficiency of the workload greatly depends on the ability of the wheels to carry out the job and navigate back and forth.

There are some things that you can do to prevent future issues with your farm tractor like checking all the crucial parts especially the wheels to check the condition, making sure that the controls are fully functional, and estimate the workload for the day to make sure that there will be enough fuel for it.

These are some of the constraints that you need to consider for your farm tractor's maintenance. This information is to educate farm operators and those who are on the verge of purchasing one for preparedness and added knowledge.

Top 10 Reasons to Buy Organic Skin Care Products That Will Keep You Healthy

Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Organic and natural skin care products claim to be beneficial for your skin. Free of harmful preservatives and additives, organic and natural skin care products is an industry that has created some fantastic products that can feed your body and not harm it. With sales rapidly expanding due to the industry taking a more proactive role in being responsible with labeling laws and with some countries regulating the industry, more and more companies are now joining the move to offer non-toxic products for your skin. So what is all the fuss about? Here are 10 reasons why we need to consider buying organic and natural skin care products to keep you healthy.

1. Q. Is Organic Skin care Safe and How is it labeled?

A. Yes, Organic skin care is safe to use because the ingredients are from natural plant based materials and leave out the synthetic chemicals. A label on any product like moisturizer, face masks, essential oils, rubs, and creams that are for sale declaring the product is organic can mean different things depending on the type of certification the product has. This will vary from country to country.

100 Percent Organic: Skin care products that display this label can only be used on products that contain 100% organic ingredients.

Organic: Skin care products that display this label can only be used on products that contain at least 95 % organic ingredients or components. Products with this label may contain some ingredients that are not organic.

Made With Organic Ingredients: Skin care products that display this label can only be used on items that contain at least 70 % organic ingredients. This certification means that although the majority of ingredients used in the product are indeed organic, there may also be a high concentration of conventionally produced ingredients.

2. Q. What does Organic Skin Care Mean?

A. Organic skin care means we are getting a product that is free from or has dramatically reduced amounts of chemicals in the products. From the farming process of growing the botanical ingredients to the factory processes there should be no chemicals or genetically modified botanical plant material in any of the products.

Q. How long do Organic products last for?

A.Organic skin care products are beneficial for the health of your skin, but if they are truly organic, their shelf life is cut in half from synthetic chemical based products, because it's the synthetic chemicals that are used as preservatives to prolong the shelf life of a product for several years. Anything organic and natural is fresher and it only lasts a short shelf life. There are natural preservative they can use but they don't last very long as well. This is one way to check the authenticity of organic products, by the expiration date. Only synthetic chemical ingredients prolong the shelf life.

3. Q. What does Organic Mean?

A. There is more than one classification of organic certification, but the broad term organic refers to an item that has minimal to no chemical residue in the growing and processing of botanical materials and is not modified genetically or use with potential toxins.

4. Q. What does Certified Organic mean?

A. Organic certification labels indicate the concentration of organic botanical materials within a product, but what does organic mean, really? The terms listed here are used to describe skin care products that are produced in a way that conforms to certain standards:

No Harmful Toxins:Conventionally produced crops are routinely sprayed with chemicals and otherwise exposed to potentially harmful compounds, some of which have been proven to be harmful to people and animals in certain concentrations. Plants that are sprayed with pesticides, or that are grown in chemically treated soil, can potentially pass the same toxins along to the person or animal eating the food or applying it to their skin. Organic skin care products do not contain these chemicals and are produced with minimal processing.

No Synthetic or Artificial Ingredients:While conventionally produced items commonly contain artificial colors and ingredients, organic items are not allowed to contain anything artificial. Any dyes used in organic items will be natural, organic dyes and there will not be artificial preservatives.

No Genetically Modified Organisms: GMO's are not allowed in any organic skin care product. A genetically modified organism is an item that has been genetically altered to change something about the item. For example, a tomato that is genetically modified to grow larger or a wheat crop genetically modified to better sustain cool weather are both GMOs. You will not find GMOs in organic skin care.

Agricultural Sustainability: Organic items are produced with the environment in mind. Packaging is minimal; meaningless waste after the item has been used. Recycled materials are used during the production and packaging of organic items. Organic farming can be more costly and time consuming than conventional farming, which accounts for the higher prices associated with organic items.

Cruelty Free: Most organic products, especially skin and hair care products, can boast the claim of not being tested on animals. Even though cruelty free has nothing to do with the ingredients they use to make skin care. But it's worth noting that if an ingredient like lanolin is to be used to as an ingredient in making skin care products the sheep's wool and pastures they are eating and husbandry management all need to be chemical free enabling the by-products to be certified organic.

It is important to note that in order for us to avoid any items that contain chemical toxins, GMOs or any other undesirable components, online shoppers should look for organic items that are labeled 100 % organic.

5. Q. How do I know if a Skin care product is Organic and Natural?

A. Look for evidence on the packaging like:

Is the use- by- date shorter than synthetic chemical products
Certified Organic logo on the product
Labeling - 100% Organic or not
Natural ingredients are in the title of the product synthetic ones just put natural and not the real ingredients, e.g. banana and avocado mask vs natural face mask
Natural ingredients are listed - some chemical sounding and looking ingredient names are actually natural products. To find out more details about natural ingredients there is a great website called Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. Eg Hyladroilic acid sounds bad but it is OK to use.

6. Q. Why do we need to use Organic Skin care

A. Organic and natural skin care is a safe and heather way of looking after your skin and treating any skin problems. At the same time you are helping to conserve and protect the environment and to safe guard it against further decay and corporate greed.

7. Q. Why do we need to Buy Organic Skin care?

A. By buying organic and natural products we are helping to lower the impact on the earth and the environment. Organic farmers have the potential to use less energy, less water resources, and NO pesticides. Organic farmers don't have to apply the same farming commercial farming practice, because their soil stays rich in content, moisture and nutrients due to careful management of land and using only natural organic matter to cultivate and grow their crops. With commercialized agriculture arriving in farming communities, many organic farmers are forced out of business. Great expanses of farm land are cleared of trees and are swallowed up and a way of life that has sustained humans for centuries vanishes. Each year dozens of new pesticides, cleaners, fertilizers show up in local supermarkets and stores. These products that are heavily advertised with little regard to environmental impacts are purchased and used and thus the pollution and destruction of the earth continues at a slow and steady pace. Organic farmers, live clean, free of pesticides and chemicals lives. They do not subject the soils and farming practices with chemicals leaving toxic waste and residue or subject their bodies to unhealthy products. It is a conscious choice that we should all be thankful for, without organic farming we wouldn't have any organic and natural skin care products to use. Otherwise we would be forced to use synthetic chemical laden ones. A choice they make so we all can survive with nature and enhance the planet that sustains us all.

8. Q. Where can you get Organic Skin care products from

A.There are lots of natural and organic shops that stock natural skin care and hair care and cosmetic products now. Everywhere you go there seems to be another online shop and website popped up around the corner. How do you make sense of all this information that is available? Best thing to do is find a website that you can trust the information they are telling you. If it sounds reasonable to you then its probably OK, but if you are doubtful and doesn't sound very ethical chances are its not trust worthy.

9. Q. When can you use Organic Skin care?

A. Natural and organic skin care products are available for you to use when ever you like. There are no restrictions as to when you can use natural and organic products. They will have a shorter shelf life due to fresh ingredients being used. However this should only be a good reason as it demonstrates a quality product.

10. Q. How does Organic Skin care products benefit my skin and health?

A. Organic versus Healthy Organic and natural skin care, hair care and cosmetics is arguably healthier than its synthetic counterparts. Conventionally produced skin care is commonly exposed to toxic pesticides, herbicides and preservatives as well as artificial colors and flavors. Genetically modified organisms are also sometimes found in conventional skin care. In this sense, organic skin care is gentler and healthier for our bodies than the conventionally produced counterparts.

On the other hand, a label of "organic" does not automatically mean "healthier." An organic skin care cream may not have artificial flavors and may not contain the same toxins as a conventional skin care cream, but the organic skin care can still contain non-organic ingredients if they are using only partially organically grown ingredients.

The label of organic means the skin care is composed of organic ingredients but does not guarantee the product to be totally free of chemicals thus making it only a bit healthier than its counter parts, which has to be better than totally using the chemical laden creams. So is organic better for you than chemical laden products? Yes, of course it has to be, who would want to subject their bodies to more chemicals when we can't avoid the chemicals in the air we breathe but we can make a conscious choice about what we put on our skin. So make the change and feel the difference. You will thank yourself for it in the long run. As an increasing awareness of damage to the planet and how we treat our bodies becomes more and more prevalent there needs to be an urgent shift towards us all using organic products. We all find the idea attractive that organic products are free of chemicals, which can be harmful to our bodies. And along with the belief that organic methods of farming are better for the resources of the planet and far less a contributor to the greenhouse effect (as opposed to conventional farming) we all should help make the change toward using origin products. Various regulated governing bodies around the world play a huge part in ensuring that organic products are regulated so that people are receiving healthier products. Despite the shift of attitudes towards organic products it still has its fair share of critics such as those who claim organic is actually unsafe due to a reduced protection against diseases and infection.

What Exactly is Organic Farming

Tuesday, June 12, 2012
It is a term that has been grossly misrepresented. It is not just a form of agricultural practice that uses compost, crop rotation and shuns manufactured chemicals and artificial hormones. Farming organically is more than that. It is a highly structured practice, conforming to very detailed production standards.

First and foremost, Organic Farming is monitored by an international body set up in 1972 - The International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movement (IFOAM). And I quote from their website: "The role of organic agriculture, whether in farming, processing, distribution, or consumption, is to sustain and enhance the health of ecosystems and organisms from the smallest in the soil to human beings."

Therefore, what we are talking about Eco-Agriculture and the key word here is health. Organic Farming does not entertain genetically modified foods, battery-raised animals, additives to animal feed, or anything that is artificial in any way in agricultural practices.

There are 4 main principles of Organic Farming as laid down by IFOAM:

Organic agriculture is based on:

The principle of health

The principle of ecology

The principle of fairness

The principle of care

The Principle of Health

It stands to reason that if we grow food and raise animals on healthy soil then we will grow healthy crops and have healthy animals. The consequence of this is that we then eat healthy food, and, as a result have a healthy body. It is the sequential chain of reactions that relies totally on where it all starts: the soil.

People are concerned about food safety, particularly in light of the fact that there is serious concern that modern Agri-Farming practices that are not organic, have caused food allergies, asthma, and heart disease through artificial additives and chemical fertilizers that we ingest. Worse still there are diseases directly linked to irresponsible farming practices that ignore common sense. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy appears to have been caused by feeding cows, that are naturally herbivores, the remains of other cattle and bone meal in order to increase weight and early slaughter.

The Principle of Ecology

We need to go back to what nature intended and that is what Organic Farming is all about. It is to grow crops and raise animals on land that is enriched with compost and mulches that are well rotted because this is the most paramount of stages in organic farming. The aim is to get as much humus into the land as possible, and this includes manure, compost, seaweed, leaf-mould, spoiled hay, and anything of vegetable or animal origin, including blood and bone, that can go into making a compost heap. The keyword here is recycling. There is the old adage; "Waste not, want not" and never so true in farming organically.

Any left over crops or wood should never be burnt on a property. This is an absolute waste of potential compost, and it is also a pollution contributor. Why burn it when you could use it and it isn't costing you anything? Why burn those vine cuttings and those orchard prunings? Invest in a chipper to reduce the bulk and add these to your compost heap.

What happens to your soil when it is healthy? It is filled with micro-organisms and those beautiful earthworms that delight the heart of those who care. Once you have earthworms in your soil you know that you are doing something right.

Remember too that you need to rest your soil and to use crop-rotation effectively. When you have a field at rest plant a cover crop, such as rye grass as a temporary planting in autumn. This protects the soil from wind and water erosion and adds organic matter. You can also grow crops such as legumes for soil improvement, called green manure crops, and are often left in place for six months to a year. Legumes are especially efficient because they "fix" nitrogen from the air into the soil.

In England more and more farmers are replanting hedgegrows on their farms as they now realize how important they are. Many animals and insects use these hedges as part of their ecosystem, therefore when the hedgegrows were removed, these little animals and insects then lost their natural shelters and an imbalance on the ecosystem resulted in an influx on insects that were unwelcome. They are also excellent wind-breakers and hold the soil in place to prevent soil erosion.

The Principle of Fairness

Organic farming believes in fairness in that the land, its people and its animals should be respected and treated with care and justice. We are custodians of this land, and as such, the custodianship should be taken seriously. We should ensure that we never harm or damage the environment in any way. That our aim should be to ensure that we are doing everything in our power to produce healthy food for everyone, and that nothing that we do when we work the land is harmful in any respect to the soil and water that we use, the animals that we rear and those that consume the end product.

Animal rearing has always been controversial with the implementation of factory farming. Factory farming is inhumane where animals are kept in confined and overcrowded spaces, and in poor conditions where they maim each other just to fight for space and life. Animals have to be reared justly, and given open spaces to live. It acknowledges that there has to be a link between the animal and the soil and that their welfare and veterinary care is vital.

The Principle of Care

Although this is last on this list of principles, I feel that it is probably the most important one. Because if one did not care about the environment, the situation of where we are at the moment and the importance of providing healthy food for a healthy lifestyle, then we would not embark on any of the above