Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Goodbye January: This week! Kicking off the semester the right way!

Thank you for voting for the open work hours on Facebook.  It looks like Mon 4-6 and Thurs 4-6 won! But, we also got lots of votes for Sat. So, let's do open work hours on Thurs 4-6 each week, and while the weather is still crummy have a "weather-rain-cold-date" on Mon 4-6.
Since Sat was so popular, as well as some other days, we would like to propose that people who are already signed up with the garden can come and garden when they like.  If you are interested in gardening at
times other than designated garden hours (Mon 4-6 and Thurs 4-6), let us know (publichealthgarden@gmail.com).  We will provide you with the shed codes and you can spend time on your own or with a friend.  We will create a task board and sign in sheet so that you can know what to do in the garden even if there isn't a big group. 

Thoughts?  Everyone like this idea?

Work hours start this Thursday 4-6 (after we hang out at the Wellness Expo at Stamp from 11-2).  Hope to see you out there. 

Also, check out today's Diamondback article about this semester in the Public Health Garden.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Terp Wellness Expo 2012

Come hang with the Public Health Garden gang and other University of Maryland student organizations and departments committed to promoting health and wellness on campus at the 2012 Terp Wellness Expo.

Thursday, February 2nd from 11:00am - 2:00pm

Atrium of the Stamp Student Union

Live music, games, raffles and a photo booth


Think about yourself this semester

As the semester gets started, please make time in your schedule for YOU!  PHG volunteer & yoga/wellness expert, Ilona, reminds us to set aside just three hours to yourself!  Some great ways include yoga, meditation, and gardening! 

Yoga Opportunities
Meditation Opportunities
Gardening Opportunities

Stay relaxed and healthy this spring.  Please be in touch with us if you know of other opportunities at UMD and near College Park.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Welcome to the Spring 2012 Semester in the Public Health Garden

New year, new semester in the Public Health Garden! 

Email/communications-logistics: We are going to be updating our email list and moving to a google-group.  Our apologies if you have asked to be removed from the email list and we haven't gotten to it yet.  If you would like to continue to receive messages from the Public Health Garden, please go to our google group page and "request membership".  If you would like to stop receiving messages, sit tight since we sent the last one out today. Reminder: the best ways to receive information about the garden is through the blog and facebook page.

Scheduling: We are thrilled to kick off the semester!  Please respond to the facebook poll a couple posts down on Facebook to help us schedule work hours this semester. It looks like Thurs 4-6 is winning.  Also, please let us know if you are interested in leading a work day (opening the shed, greeting new faces, helping organize tasks)! Email publichealthgarden@gmail.com if you are interested. We will try to start work days next week (weather permitting).

Upcoming Events: Please let us know if you would like to come help represent the garden at the Terp Wellness Expo in the Stamp Union on Feb 2.  Please see the calendar for details. We are looking for volunteers each hour for one hour to man our table and talk with students about the garden. Email publichealthgarden@gmail.com if you want to come by and what hours you are interested in. 

Get More Involved: If you want to come volunteer with us, or are looking at getting more involved, check out our How to Get Involved page on the blog. We are looking for people to help coordinate volunteer days, manage our social media, contribute to the blog, and more. Email us!  Let us know your ideas! 

We are exciting for the semester and can't wait to see you in the garden.  Good luck UMD with your first week of classes.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tea Tree Oil: And its benefits to oral health

Tea tree oil is an old yet effective remedy that is growing in popularity as people discover its unique properties. The "tea tree" is native to Australia and is believed to have been named by Captain James Cook, during one of his expeditions. He noted that the local Aboriginal tribes made tea from the twigs, bark and leaves of the tree. He further noted that the leaves were often used as poultices for wounds, and that they were quite effective.

It wasn't until 1920, when Australian chemist
A. R. Penefold began researching and documenting the many uses of tea tree oil that it was realized how unique this plant truly was. Its antibacterial and antifungal properties were discovered and tea tree oil was soon being used commercially in the fields of surgery and dentistry.

Because tea tree oil was inexpensive and easy to come by, it was used in many household applications as well, including:

-- Remedies for fungal infections
-- Treatments for skin conditions, including acne and eczema
-- Remedies for lice
-- General disinfecting

Some of the properties that make tea tree oil available for such wide use include the fact that it can be used directly on the skin and mucus membranes without irritation. It can be used to treat colds and chest conditions by adding a small amount to a steam bath. Combing a small amount through the hair effectively treats dandruff and prevents lice and nits.

Tea tree oil is also an effective agent for good oral health. A dab of tea tree oil can help prevent a cold sore from developing and can take the sting out of a canker sore. A rinse made up of a few drops of tea tree oil and 2 ounces of water can be used as a mouthwash to prevent and treat gingivitis. This same rinse can also be used to treat thrush, a fungal infection of the tongue and throat that can often be found in people who have compromised immune systems.

People who wear dentures are prone to mouth ulcers and other sores. Dabbing tea tree oil onto the sores with a cotton swab can help the sores heal and prevent infection. Many local MD and DC dentist offices often prescribe these herbal remedies to treat the minor issue at home and saving a trip to the office.

Starting the Semester and Introducting Natural Allie

Classes start on Thursday!  We are thrilled and ready for the spring semester.  There is much to plan for the spring -- construction, planting, activities and fun!  Please check out the facebook poll to tell us when you are available for open work hours. Right now, it looks like we might be sticking with Mon and Thurs evenings -- but lets us know what you think. Also, if you are interested in taking classes in the garden through the Institute of Applied Agriculture, contact Professor Ellen Polishuk at epolishu@umd.edu
We are happy to introduce a new member of the blog team: Natural Allie.  She will be sharing with us information about the benefits of holistic oral health and overall natural well-being.

Allie's bio: My name is Allison Brooks and I am a recent graduate of the University of Mississippi. I earned my B.S. in Biomedical Anthropology and have continued my research to work towards a completed ethnography. I mainly focus on the effects of biomedicalization on different cultures, but I do branch off into other fields of anthropology. This is why I  LOVE to talk about the benefits of certain natural herbs and plants in the treatment/prevention of certain ailments.

Are you interested in getting more involved?  Please let us know by contacting us at publichealthgarden@gmail.com

Friday, January 6, 2012

Green Matters: Urban Farming Pioneers

This just in: Montgomery Parks is now accepting scholarships applications from current students and recent grads who are interested in attending the Green Matters: Urban Farming Pioneers symposium at Brookside Gardens on Friday February 24th, 2012 from 8:30am-4:00pm!

The third and final food-focused symposiums will highlight innovative approaches to feeding the world's population and feature the following (incredibly inspirational) speakers:

Interested applicants are encouraged to submit their application, along with a 200-word statement of interest, and a copy of their resume and transcripts (unofficial accepted), to Adult Education Programs Manager Mark Richardson at mark.richardson@mncppc-mc.org by January 16, 2012.

For application and further information about the event, visit Brookside Gardens: Green Matters

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Here's another one of interest

Here is a great (and free) opportunity to learn more about composting and urban agriculture:
DC Master Composter Course 2012
February 7th- March 6th                                                              
Wednesday’s  6:30-8:30pm
Columbia Heights Recreation Center: 1480 Girard Street, Northwest           
For more information or to register contact: Kelly.melsted@dc.gov             

Happy New Year: Opportunities in 2012

Happy New Year everyone!  We are eager to get back in the garden with the start of the Spring 2012 semester at the end of Jan.  In the mean time, we have come across some exciting opportunities that are worth checking out.
  • CASA 13th ANNUAL CONFERENCE Farm to Institution: Making Local Food Economies a Reality (Jan 13-14)
  • Annie’s Project - Farm Management Classes for Women at Eight Sites in Maryland and Delaware
  • Support Rooting DC 2012 with Thursdays Nonprofits Profit at Madam's Organ: January 12th, 2012 from 5-8 pm at Madam's Organ, 2461 18th St NW in Adams Morgan
  • Rooting DC (Feb 18)
  • Maryland Master Gardening Program: The class starts on March 5 and runs every Monday and Wednesday evening until May 9.  For more info, contact Esther Mitchell at estherm@umd.edu
Enjoy the winter break everyone!  Stay tuned for updates about the Public Health Garden, ways to get involved this semester, and opportunities for leadership roles in the PHG!