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REMINERALIZE YOUR GARDEN SOIL
There’s a lot of truth in the phrase “healthy soils create healthy people”.  In our modern world most of soils we use for agriculture are seriously lacking all the minerals that plants and people need for good health.  Poor agricultural practices have had a tremendous toll on our precious soils.  Each year staggering amounts of soil are lost as runoff into our rivers and streams.  As our soils decline in fertility, more and more chemical fertilizers and pesticides are needed to grow crops to feed our population.  The end result – food crops that are nutritionally inferior and laced with chemical residues.  There’s a growing number of concerned farmers and gardeners that are changing the way we work with the soil to grow our food.  We are now returning to a natural approach to “return the gift” of soil fertility to the land.  It’s often referred to as “remineralizing the Earth”.   Here’s some tips on how you can remineralize your garden’s soil for healthy plants and optimal health. 
First on the list – make your own compost fertilizer from organic materials from the kitchen, grass clippings, leaves and certain animal manures from chickens, goats, cows and horses.  When the pile is ready it looks and smells like mountain soil.  Worm composting is another option that gardeners use to produce nutrient rich fertilizer for the plants.
Limestone powder is another valuable addition to your compost and soils.  Dolomite limestone is high in calcium, magnesium and trace minerals. It helps to raise the alkalinity of acidic tropical soils, and it’s found in leading ag-supply stores as carbonato de calcio.
Ashes can be a useful addition which contain potassium and trace minerals.  So save those ashes from the campfire and fireplace to recycle into your garden’s soil.
Ground charcoal has been found to create a matrix for the microbiological community in the soil.  It also purifies the soil and acts to hold nutrients until plants can utilize it.  When straining ashes you can collect and pulverize the charcoal pieces to add to your compost.  Often called biochar or terra preta.
Rock dust is a new product that’s available in most construction supply stores around the country.  Called polvo de piedra, it comes from the large rock crushers that produce gravel.  The strained powder is loaded with trace minerals for your plants.  It’s easy to apply rock dust, limestone and ashes around your trees and ornamentals.  Apply small amounts to your compost and soil periodically, instead of large doses which can actually hinder the growth of plants.
Ocean water can also be a valuable source of micronutrients and microbes that are beneficial for your soil.  Use only 3 oz. of seawater to 1 gallon of water. Apply this to your compost or around your trees and ornaments several times a year.  Collect ocean water in clean coastal areas.
Seaweed extract can be useful as a foliar spray for your plants and contains many important nutrients that plants can absorb through their leaves.  It’s available a leading ag-supply stores as extracto de alga marina. This product is particularly useful for patio and balcony with limited space.
Best wishes to our gardeners in Costa Rica.  


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SEEDS FROM NEW DAWN    

 Our aim is to promote the use of natural seeds which make up part of the rich bio-diversity of tropical food crops. 



Your seed purchase helps to fund our educational work in sustainable agriculture.

Cohombro – hardy squash that tastes like cantaloupe.

Native Sweet Chile Pepper - hardy bush, needs no spraying

Native Pumpkin Squash - Can be eaten young like zucchini 

Basil - good flavor for salads and meals.

Dill- the young leaves of dill are delicious in salads.

Sweet Cherry Tomato - The best tomato for the tropics.

Jamaican Hibiscus - Beautiful flowers which make a flavorful tea. Edible leaves

Gandul or Pigeon pea- a hard bush with pea-like legumes.

Peanuts – Hardy, local Spanish red peanuts.  A very hardy variety with good flavor. 

Our seeds are organically grown, non-hybrid varieties that can be grown year after year in your garden from seeds you collect.  Germination guaranteed under normal germinating conditions.  

PRICE- 1500 colones/packet, postage paid
Books, seeds and products are offered only in Costa Rica.

Call us at 2770-4229
for quick service with electronic banking
for New Dawn books , products and seeds 


Picture


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

 



Pau d'Arco Botanical Formula - An ideal tonic tea for the immune system made from the bark of the famous Pau d'Arco tree, the famous medicine tree of the Incas and Maya. Boosts your natural defenses of the immune system to heal many chronic illnesses, fights infections, eliminates parasites and purifies the blood.

Ground Ginger - Excellent for Chinese cooking and herbal tea. 
Jamaican Curry - A spicy seasoning for many dishes.

1500 colones/30 gm packet, postage paid.

New Dawn Also Offers These Services:

Overnight Accommodations... $15
Healthy Meals from the Garden... $7
Garden Tours... $7/person
Eco-garden Designs for Costa Rican homes and farms... $150
Weekend Workshops (tropical medicinal plants, gardening and permaculture)... $125/person


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NEW DAWN NEWS

FERMENTED VEGETABLES

Making fermented foods at home is a great way to make good use of those home grown vegetables. So often a garden can provide such an abundance of food that it’s hard to figue out what to do with it all.  Fermented foods to the rescue!  In fact, everyone can take advantage of making fermented foods from local produce at the markets. Smart buyers can stock up on produce to make fermented foods that last for months.  But why go to all the fuss?  Well, researchers in nutrition and physiology are uncovering the facts about our digestive tract and the benefits of pro-biotics.  Fermented foods have been around for eons. Our ancestors used fermentation to preserve practically everything, and in the process we became genetically adapted to a group of microbs that work in cooperation with our digestive tract and  immune system.  When these beneficial microbs are present, our health improves in many ways.
Some fermented foods are outstanding sources of essential nutrients, such as vitamin K2 and the B complex.  About 80 percent of your immune system is actually located in your gut. Fermented foods aid in the production of antibodies to fight pathogens, and they are highly potent detoxifiers, capable of drawing out a wide range of toxins and heavy metals. A small amount of fermented foods each day provides you with 100 times more probiotics than supplements. Recent studies have shown fermented foods aid in the treatment of diabetes 2, obesity, autism and depression. Now that we know the why it’s worth the effort.  Here some tips on making fermented vegetables.


 
 
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BUG SOLUTIONS FOR THE GARDEN AND THE GARDENER

 


Citronella     Cymbopogon nardus

Well, it’s that time of the year again in the tropics when the rain and the insects are big time….so here’s a few helpful tips to deal with the bugs.  Outdoors folks are always trading their insect repellant recipes…so here’s a few of our secrets to help you keep the bugs at bay….we favor the natural repellants over the chemical products you find on the market.  When you’re working outside everyday…it’s questionable as to what effects those chemicals may have on your skin…so I prefer to lower the risk factor and use repellants made from natural ingredients.  First, let’s consider what natural ingredients you can grow at home in the garden to cut down on the costs of keeping the bugs away.
One of the easiest bug repelling plants to grow around the home is citronella (Cymbopogon nardus ), which is a relative to lemon grass.  It’s a hardy perennial that needs no special attention and is found in many nurseries around the country, since it also serves as an attractive ornamental.  You can make an alcohol based repellant with citronella leaves to which you can add other herbal ingredients.  Other plants that serve well are rosemary, oregano, and the Costa Rican mint called Menta (Satureja viminea), Cinnamon and bay leaves are useful too.  Aloe vera and the juice of the prickly pear cactus can also be added to the mix to act as a skin rejuvenator and help to disguise those body odors, which attract the bugs.  Remember that the greater the concentration of these herbal essences, the longer the repellant will protect you.  Pack the jar or container you use with finely chopped herbal material, then top it off with vodka or clear rum and seal it well.  Shake the jar once a day and store it in a dark place for a week before you begin to use it.  
If you don’t have these plants in the garden at the moment, you can use herbal essential oils.  Lemon eucalyptus oil has been proven as effective as many commercial insect repellants for mosquitoes, flies, ticks and fleas, cinnamon oil is also highly rated for mosquitos as well as citronella.  Orange oil (fleas), rose geranium (ticks and lice)  and lavander has also been sited as useful in repellants.  Use a total of 10-25 drops of essential oils mixed with a carrier oil.  Castor oil is highly recommended since it also helps to repel the bugs and can be found in most pharmacies across the country. 
And when you do get bitten by the bugs….remember aloe vera will sooth the itch away.
As for the garden plants, try our all purpose safe and natural insecticide recipe that really helps to deal with the bugs.  Mix the following ingredients in a blender.

11/2 tsp.  baking soda, 11/2 tsp  liquid soap, 1 tsp   veg. oil, 1 tsp. vinegar and 5 cups of warm water, blend and spray.  Use it once a week during this season.

Until next time, may you stay warm, dry and bug free.   


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SEEDS FROM NEW DAWN 

     Our aim is to promote the use of natural seeds which make up part of the rich bio-diversity of tropical food crops.  


Your seed purchase helps to fund our educational work in sustainable agriculture. 

Cohombro – hardy squash that tastes like cantaloupe.

Native Sweet Chile Pepper - hardy bush, needs no spraying

Native Pumpkin Squash - Can be eaten young like zucchini 

Basil - good flavor for salads and meals.

Dill- the young leaves of dill are delicious in salads.

Sweet Cherry Tomato - The best tomato for the tropics.

Jamaican Hibiscus - Beautiful flowers which make a flavorful tea. Edible leaves

Gandul or Pigeon pea- a hard bush with pea-like legumes.

Peanuts – Hardy, local Spanish red peanuts.  A very hardy variety with good flavor. 

Our seeds are organically grown, non-hybrid varieties that can be grown year after year in your garden from seeds you collect.  Germination guaranteed under normal germinating conditions.  

PRICE- 1500 colones/packet, postage paid

Books, seeds and products are offered only in Costa Rica.  

Call us at 2770-4229 for electronic banking details.


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PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

 



Pau d'Arco Botanical Formula - An ideal tonic tea for the immune system made from the bark of the famous Pau d'Arco tree, the famous medicine tree of the Incas and Maya. Boosts your natural defenses of the immune system to heal many chronic illnesses, fights infections, eliminates parasites and purifies the blood.

Ground Ginger - Excellent for Chinese cooking and herbal tea. 

Jamaican Curry - A spicy seasoning for many dishes.

1500 colones/30 gm packet, postage paid.

New Dawn Also Offers These Services:

Overnight Accommodations... $15
Healthy Meals from the Garden... $7
Garden Tours... $7/person
Eco-garden Designs for Costa Rican homes and farms... $150
Weekend Workshops (tropical medicinal plants, gardening and permaculture)... $125/person


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NEW DAWN NEWS


We enjoyed the month of June with Caitlyn Davis who studied natural health care therapies and medicinal plants, as well as helping us care for the garden.    Just returned from the Tinamaste Seed Festival, sponsored by Vida Autenica which was a big success with lots of folks and organic food and seeds to exchange.  I gave a talk on reproduction of medicinal plants.  Good to see people making the move toward natural foods and ecological living…until next month…happy gardening...ed

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Next month - 

How to make your own fermented vegetables





For more information on tropical gardening - naturally

Contact us at:  thenewdawncenter@yahoo.com

 
 
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LEMONS
Just talking about lemons makes many a mouth pucker, and given a choice between an orange and a lemon…most would surely pick the orange, but even so, lemons do serve their purpose in our diets, and may benefit us more than we realize.  Lemons (Citrus limonia) and relatives, like the sour mandarin (C. trifoliata), are well liked by the Costa Ricans, and can be found in many backyards across the country, particularly in the coastal and midrange elevations of the country.  In fact, lemon trees produce very well in the coastal regions where orange trees often do poorly.  Lemons, along with other citrus trees reached the New World with the Spanish. Christopher Columbus in his second voyage to the New World in 1493 brought lemon seeds to the New World.  Lisbon and Genoa lemons are two good examples of European stock.  Today, nurseries around the country offer several types of lemons.  The Meyers lemon, named for Frank N. Meyer who first bred it in 1908, is perhaps the most popular, which is a hardy cross between a lemon and an orange.  This yellow, juicy, mildly sour lemon can’t be beat for making lemonade, salad dressings and cherviche.  Although you can usually grow lemon trees from seeds, it may take many years before these trees produce their first harvest of fruit.  For this reason, it is a good idea to pick up a grafted lemon tree at your local nursery.  These grafted trees often produce in the third year after planting.  To make your trees grow vigorously and bear early fruit, be sure to add plenty of organic compost in the planting hole.  Then, you can add small amounts of limestone, ashes and rock phosphate around the tree several times a year to insure your tree has maximum fertility for health and vitality.  Like most citrus, lemon trees also do best, in well drained, fertile soil with full sunlight.  Although lemons are generally compact trees, you can prune the tips of each leading stem to create a low growing bush-like tree, which makes harvesting easy, even for the kids.  Keep an eye peeled for aphids that sometimes attack the new growth of citrus trees, and may cause stunted growth.  This can be controlled naturally by adding several tablespoons of mineral oil to one liter of water.  Shake well and spray the leaves with a hand sprayer.  Repeat once a week until results are obtained.  Keep the area beneath the tree weed free and be careful not to accidentally cut the trunk of the tree with a machete.  Citrus trees are very susceptible to soil pathogens, which infect the injured bark and can cause serious damage to the trees.  Many Tico gardeners like to paint the trunks of their fruit trees with white cement or white wash, which helps to reduce the chance that infections occur.
We all know the story of how the British sailors where named limies when the doctors onboard discovered limes, which are high in vitamin C, prevented scurvy. They made the crews drink lime water each day to prevent this condition while sailing.
Lemons and limes are an excellent source of vitamin C, and one of the most important antioxidants in nature.  100 ml lemon juice contains approximately 50 milligrams of vitamin C and 5 grams citric acid.   Lemons and limes also contain unique flavonoids called flavonol glycosides, including many kaempferol-related compounds that have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties.  Researchers have discovered that lemon and lime juice have a strong protective effect against many pathogenic bacteria, particularly Vibrio cholera or cholera.  In Ayurvedic medicine a cup of hot water with lemon juice is prescribed first thing in the morning to tonify and purify the liver.
One of the most valuable discoveries we have come across for the use of lemon rinds came from our Tico neighbors.  They taught us you can cook the rinds (3 or more lemon rinds per liter of water) for several minutes, strain, and utilize the solution as a cleaning agent.  It works wonderfully for household cleaning.  It’s a disinfectant and eliminates that black mold which is so common in the tropics.  It also leaves a fresh, lemon scent, and we no longer need to use those toxic chemical cleaners!
Finally, but not the least, lemon juice is an ideal natural deodorant.  It stops the bacterial growth that causes body odor.  Of course, it won’t keep you dry for 24 hours like the commercial brands, but you won’t be absorbing so many chemicals either!  Ever read the label on those products…
Lemon tree, oh so pretty, and the flowers, oh so sweet, and the fruit of the lemon, you just can’t beat!


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SEEDS FROM NEW DAWN     

Our aim is to promote the use of natural seeds which make up part of the rich bio-diversity of tropical food crops. 



Your seed purchase helps to fund our educational work in sustainable agriculture.  

Cohombro – hardy squash that tastes like cantaloupe.

Native Sweet Chile Pepper - hardy bush, needs no spraying

Native Pumpkin Squash - Can be eaten young like zucchini 

Basil - good flavor for salads and meals.

Dill- the young leaves of dill are delicious in salads.

Sweet Cherry Tomato - The best tomato for the tropics.

Jamaican Hibiscus - Beautiful flowers which make a flavorful tea. Edible leaves

Gandul or Pigeon pea- a hard bush with pea-like legumes.

Peanuts – Hardy, local Spanish red peanuts.  A very hardy variety with good flavor. 

Jaboticabo or Brazilian grape tree -  a tropical tree that produces grape-like leaves.  Rare fruit delight.

Our seeds are organically grown, non-hybrid varieties that can be grown year after year in your garden from seeds you collect.  Germination guaranteed under normal germinating conditions.  

PRICE- 1500 colones/packet, postage paid  

Books, seeds and products are offered only in Costa Rica.

Call us at 2770-4229

for quick service with electronic banking

for New Dawn books , products and seeds 


Picture


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

 



Pau d'Arco Botanical Formula - An ideal tonic tea for the immune system made from the bark of the famous Pau d'Arco tree, the famous medicine tree of the Incas and Maya. Boosts your natural defenses of the immune system to heal many chronic illnesses, fights infections, eliminates parasites and purifies the blood.

Ground Ginger - Excellent for Chinese cooking and herbal tea. 

Jamaican Curry - A spicy seasoning for many dishes.

1500 colones/30 gm packet, postage paid.

New Dawn Also Offers These Services:

Overnight Accommodations... $15
Healthy Meals from the Garden... $7
Garden Tours... $7/person
Eco-garden Designs for Costa Rican homes and farms... $150
Weekend Workshops (tropical medicinal plants, gardening and permaculture)... $125/person


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NEW DAWN NEWS

 







 




The last few months at New Dawn have been filled with planting our garden and expansion of our herb crops.
We have also working on test trails with peanuts and new ways to grow gotukola and stevia.  
For more information on tropical gardening - naturally

Contact us at: 

thenewdawncenter@yahoo.com
 

 
 
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TARO – TROPICAL SPUDS

       

In most regions of the tropics you’ll find a group of plants known as “elephant ears” or taros.  These exotic plants originated in the Old World tropics, perhaps in India or Southeast Asia, and are believed to be one of the earliest cultivated plants.   Today, they are a major food crop grown for its roots and leaves.  The starchy edible corm is much like a potato and the leaves like spinach.  Taro loves wet conditions, in fact, taro and rice are only a few of the crops that can be grown in flooded conditions.  Many commercial plantings are in flooded paddies to increase production and weed control.  However, taro will thrive in deep, moist or even swampy soils where the annual rainfall exceeds 2,500 mm.  Gardeners will find that taro can be planted in moist areas around the garden or even around the home since they fit into landscaping designs to give that tropical look.  We have a nice plot of them growing over the grey water drain field from the kitchen sink.  Taros mature within six to twelve months after planting in dry-land cultivation and after twelve to fifteen months in wetland cultivation. The crop is harvested when the plant’s leaves turn yellow. The young corms or tubers are clustered around a large “mother” corm.  The smallest “hijos” or corms can be used for planting new garden beds of taro and the larger ones are ready to use in the kitchen.  It’s best to soak the roots overnight and cook them with a pinch of baking soda to release the calcium oxalate, a compound found in several vegetables like chard and kale.  Once they are well cooked you can mash them with milk and butter to make a puree that rivals mashed potatoes.  Our favorite puree recipe:  cook taro roots and pejivajes separately. Then blend equal parts of the two with water or milk to form a rich puree that’s a golden delight!  Add onions, garlic and curry to spice it up.  Costa Ricans also make a popular soup called holla de carne, which includes taro roots cooked whole with other vegetables and meat. Taro provides many vitamins and minerals, particularly B6, E and Magnesium.  The leaves contain high levels of vitamin K.  Taro is an excellent root crop for the home gardeners in the hotter regions of the country. Roots from the market are good for planting. Small tubers are fine. You’ll find 3 varieties: Ñampi, Tiquisqui and Malanga.  Plant them in well-tilled soil with additions of compost. Keep the plants weed free and cultivate the soil up around the plant. Once established, they generally shade out the weeds and little care is needed until harvest. Compost tea as a soil drench increases production. One plant can often produce 1/2 bushel of roots.  Just remember how important it is to cook the leaves and roots to safely eat taro.  Yuca, another local root crop has the same properties.  Good luck with your new year of gardening in Costa Rica.


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SEEDS FROM NEW DAWN  

   Our aim is to promote the use of natural seeds which make up part of the rich bio-diversity of tropical food crops. 



Your seed purchase helps to fund our educational work in sustainable agriculture.

Cohombro – hardy squash that tastes like cantaloupe.

Native Sweet Chile Pepper - hardy bush, needs no spraying

Native Pumpkin Squash - Can be eaten young like zucchini 

Basil - good flavor for salads and meals.

Dill- the young leaves of dill are delicious in salads.

Sweet Cherry Tomato - The best tomato for the tropics.

Jamaican Hibiscus - Beautiful flowers which make a flavorful tea. Edible leaves

Gandul or Pigeon pea- a hard bush with pea-like legumes.

Our seeds are organically grown, non-hybrid varieties that can be grown year after year in your garden from seeds you collect.  Germination guaranteed under normal germinating conditions.  

PRICE- 1500 colones/packet, postage paid

Books, seeds and products are offered only in Costa Rica.

Call us at 2770-4229

for quick service with electronic banking for New Dawn books , products and seeds 


Picture
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

 




Pau d'Arco Botanical Formula - An ideal tonic tea for the immune system made from the bark of the famous Pau d'Arco tree, the famous medicine tree of the Incas and Maya. Boosts your natural defenses of the immune system to heal many chronic illnesses, fights infections, eliminates parasites and purifies the blood.

Ground Ginger - Excellent for Chinese cooking and herbal tea. 

Jamaican Curry - A spicy seasoning for many dishes.

1500 colones/30 gm packet, postage paid.

New Dawn Also Offers These Services:

Overnight Accommodations... $15
Healthy Meals from the Garden... $7
Garden Tours... $7/person
Eco-garden Designs for Costa Rican homes and farms... $150
Weekend Workshops (tropical medicinal plants, gardening and permaculture)... $125/person


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NEW DAWN NEWS
















We past the last month finishing up our greenhouse and new garden design. 


 
 
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Rosemary          Romero (Spanish)
Rosmarinus officinalis
LABIATAE


Geo-distribution:
European colonists introduced this plant to the neotropics. In Costa Rica, it thrives at higher elevations and is also a favorite in home gardens.  Grows well in pots indoors in the hotter regions of the country.

Botanical Description:
Rosemary is a perennial woody-stemmed herb with ash-colored scaly bark and many branches. The herb has opposite, leathery, thin leaves, which are a lustrous dark green above and a downy white underneath.  The pale blue flowers (sometimes white) grow in short, axial racemes.

Medicinal Uses:
The aromatic oil in rosemary promotes digestion, stimulates bile, and improves liver function and circulation. Recent research has shown that rosemary helps to fight off inflamatory conditions while boosting the immune system.  Lightly season salad dressings and vegetable dishes with rosemary to help keep the digestive system functioning smoothly. The essential oil is used as a massage oil to soothe sore muscles, improve lymphatic circulation, and stimulate sweating. An infusion is often used as a rinse to promote a healthy scalp and hair growth.

Antispasmodic, astringent, emmenagogue, stimulant, stomachic, sudorific and tonic.

Preparation:
To make an infusion, steep 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary in 1 L of water for 10 minutes.  Sip a maximum of 1 cup per day. To make a hair rinse, steep a handful of rosemary in 1 L of water. To prepare a tincture to relieve muscular pain and skin infections: Add a handful of rosemary leaves to 250 mL of clear rum or vodka in a glass bottle with a tight seal; shake daily for 7 days before using.

Caution:
Excessive use of rosemary may cause secondary effects such as nausea and vomiting.  Use with caution as a medicinal herb.

Notes:
You can find rosemary at many Costa Rican herb stands. To propagate new plants in your home herb garden, plant fresh cuttings in pots filled with sandy soil.  Water the cuttings regularly until they root; and later, transplant them to large pots or permanent sites in the herb garden.


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SEEDS FROM NEW DAWN   


   Our aim is to promote the use of natural seeds which make up part of the rich bio-diversity of tropical food crops. 

Your seed purchase helps to fund our educational work in sustainable agriculture.

Cohombro – hardy squash that tastes like cantaloupe.

Native Sweet Chile Pepper - hardy bush, needs no spraying

Native Pumpkin Squash - Can be eaten young like zucchini 

Basil - good flavor for salads and meals.

Dill- the young leaves of dill are delicious in salads.

Sweet Cherry Tomato - The best tomato for the tropics.

Jamaican Hibiscus - Beautiful flowers which make a flavorful tea. Edible leaves

Gandul or Pigeon pea- a hard bush with pea-like legumes.

Our seeds are organically grown, non-hybrid varieties that can be grown year after year in your garden from seeds you collect.  Germination guaranteed under normal germinating conditions.  

PRICE- 1500 colones/packet, postage paid

Books, seeds and products are offered only in Costa Rica.


Call us at 2770-4229

for quick service with electronic banking
for New Dawn books , products and seeds 


Picture


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

 



Pau d'Arco Botanical Formula - An ideal tonic tea for the immune system made from the bark of the famous Pau d'Arco tree, the famous medicine tree of the Incas and Maya. Boosts your natural defenses of the immune system to heal many chronic illnesses, fights infections, eliminates parasites and purifies the blood.

Ground Ginger - Excellent for Chinese cooking and herbal tea. 

Jamaican Curry - A spicy seasoning for many dishes.

1500 colones/30 gm packet, postage paid.

New Dawn Also Offers These Services:

Overnight Accommodations... $15
Healthy Meals from the Garden... $7
Garden Tours... $7/person
Eco-garden Designs for Costa Rican homes and farms... $150
Weekend Workshops (tropical medicinal plants, gardening and permaculture)... $125/person


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NEW DAWN NEWS

We enjoyed the month of Feburary 2015 with Diane and Elena Morissette from Montreal, Quebec.  Diane brought her niece with her to study medicinal plants and natural health care therapies.  Their  warm hearted presence was truly a delight.   We continue to treat local neighbors with body work, as well as offering talks and workshops on natural health care. Little by little the seed of our non-profit service project is germinating and growing.


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Our greenhouse salad bar.  Lots of wonderful salad greens and herbs for daily use to keep us healthy and happy.

 




For more information on tropical gardening - naturally

Contact us at:  thenewdawncenter@yahoo.com


 
 
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Scallions and Chives

 Scallions (Cebollina) and Chives (Cebollín) are easy to grow in the tropical garden.

Growing onions naturally in the tropics can be a real challenge, so here’s some tips we’ve learned on how to grow onions.  Onions originated in the arid near East and were introduced into the neotropics by early settlers from Europe.  Like garlic, the onions are not well adapted to hot, humid conditions, which causes them to rot at the bulb.  We’ve worked around the issue by planting bulbing onions in pots or containers around the home or in greenhouse conditions.  By controlling the watering of the soils, so they dry out before the next watering helps them to thrive.  While trying many varieties of onions, we discovered  green bunching onions or bunching scallions.  This variety was originally from the region of the Nile.  Although it doesn’t form a large bulb, it is adapted well to our hot climate, and like chives they form multiple offshoots which can be replanted.  This is a great advantage since we need less seeds and produce more onions!
t’s just a matter of adjusting to fresh onion leaves for the salad instead of a onion bulb.  The slender bulbs of green bunching onions can also be used for making omelets and other vegetable dishes.
If you don’t have access to green bunching onion seeds, here’s another trick that works great for growing quick onion greens from pots or containers. Since every onion bulb has the potential to grow into a new plant, we can take advantage of this by purchasing the smallest dried onions in the market.  Usually they practically give them away to you.  Take your new treasure home and plant 2-3 of the tiny bulbs with the tips up in 10-12” pots with a fertile compost and soil mix.  In no time at all you’ll be harvesting young scallion leaves for your salad. 
Medicinal Uses:  Scallions and onions, just as garlic have been used for centuries as both food and medicine; eating fresh scallions is a good way to prevent health problems. It has been proven effective in reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol, and is known to be a strong antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agent.  Onion juice has been shown to inhibit numerous harmful microbes and fungi, including Candida albicans.  Traditionally fresh onion juice has been used for treating upper respiratory infections, including pneumonia, coughs, sore throats and bronchitis.  Thrush or yeast infections are also treated with onion juice.  Recent research demonstrates that onion juice is beneficial in aiding asthma, arthritis, cancer, circulatory problems, colds, flu, infections, insomnia, liver disease, sinusitis, ulcers, and yeast infections.
For treating coughs, colds and flu blend or extract the juice of several scallions, strain and mix 15-30ml of honey in a clean glass container.  This is an excellent home remedy for treating children, since the honey hides the pungent taste of the onion juice.  Dosage:  1-6 tablespoons per day.  You will also find that blending scallions and orange juice together provides a helpful health drink. 

 

Picture
SEEDS FROM NEW DAWN     

 Our aim is to promote the use of natural seeds which make up part of the rich bio-diversity of tropical food crops. 



Your seed purchase helps to fund our educational work in sustainable agriculture.  

Cohombro – hardy squash that tastes like cantaloupe.

Native Sweet Chile Pepper - hardy bush, needs no spraying

Native Pumpkin Squash - Can be eaten young like zucchini 

Basil - good flavor for salads and meals.

Dill- the young leaves of dill are delicious in salads.

Sweet Cherry Tomato - The best tomato for the tropics.

Jamaican Hibiscus - Beautiful flowers which make a flavorful tea. Edible leaves

Gandul or Pigeon pea- a hard bush with pea-like legumes.

Our seeds are organically grown, non-hybrid varieties that can be grown year after year in your garden from seeds you collect.  Germination guaranteed under normal germinating conditions.  

PRICE- 1200 colones/packet, postage paid

Books, seeds and products are offered only in Costa Rica.

Call us at 2770-4229 for quick service with electronic banking for New Dawn books , products and seeds  


Picture


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

 


Pau d'Arco Botanical Formula - An ideal tonic tea for the immune system made from the bark of the famous Pau d'Arco tree, the famous medicine tree of the Incas and Maya. Boosts your natural defenses of the immune system to heal many chronic illnesses, fights infections, eliminates parasites and purifies the blood.

Ground Ginger - Excellent for Chinese cooking and herbal tea. 

Jamaican Curry - A hot and spicy seasoning for many dishes.

1500 colones/30 gm packet, postage paid.

New Dawn Also Offers These Services:

Overnight Accommodations... $15
Healthy Meals from the Garden... $7
Garden Tours... $7/person

Eco-garden Designs for Costa Rican homes and farms... $150
Weekend Workshops (tropical medicinal plants, gardening and permaculture)... $125/person


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NEW DAWN NEWS


 



We continue to work on our new non-profit, community service project.  Here you see our bamboo cabin that is open to our neighbors as a educational center for natural health care.  We are offering talks and workshops on natural health care. 

Picture


Our new bamboo adobe building for body therapies. 

 



For more information on tropical gardening - naturally

Contact us at: 

thenewdawncenter@yahoo.com


 
 
Picture
TIPS FOR DRY SEASON GARDENING

As we begin one of the hardest dry season ever seen in Costa Rica, I like to remind our readers of the importance of conserving our water resources.  As Costa Rica grows and develops, water is becoming a primary dwindling resource, therefore, it’s the gardener’s challenge to develop a home irrigation system that reduces, reuses or recycles water.  
Here are important tips that can be of help.

Reduce
First, cut your gardening activities back so you don't over stretch yourself - and your water supply. Use a few beds with plenty of diversity. Closer spacing between plants will also shade the soil below to slow evaporation and lower soil temperatures.  Mulching with grass clippings or dried leaves is one of the best water conserving tricks a gardener can use. Each year the Pacific slope and Central Valley of Costa Rica face four months of dry, hot weather, practically without rainfall. A blazing tropical sun can overheat exposed soils, endangering the biotic life in the topsoil. Earthworms, for example, retreat to the depths of the soil and remain there until the rains return. Plants become dehydrated quickly in these dry conditions, and wilt rapidly without constant heavy irrigation. But with mulching, your soil will stay moist and cool, permitting better root growth and greater worm activity in the bioactive zone. Use 15 cm or more of fresh mulch on the beds and walkways. In a short time, this will compact to a 5 to 7 cm protective covering, which gives your garden an attractive carpeted effect. Mulch is also a great cover for dormant planting beds. It keeps the ground moist and weed free, while worms stay busy aerating the soil. As the rains return, this mulch can he incorporated into the soil to increase soil fertility.  Water your garden in the late afternoon or evening. This prevents excessive loss of water due to evaporation by the sun. Watering in the evening helps to condense more dew on the garden during the night. Try to water the soil instead of plant foliage. A greater percent of moisture will then be trapped in the soil under the mulch. Hand watering with a garden hose equipped with a showerhead is the simplest and most efficient method.
Shade Cloth or Saran as it's known commercially is another valuable addition to your summer garden. This helps tremendously to keep your garden cooler and lower evaporation rates. A 50% shade mesh is the best for garden vegetables. However, a bamboo frame constructed over the garden and topped with palm fronds can substitute the costlier shade cloth.

Reuse and Recycle
Many homes can be converted so the plumbing from sinks, showers etc. collects grey water.  If you are careful to use biodegradable soaps, this water is ok for watering your plants around the home.  “Rain catchments are another great way to solve dry season watering.  Roof gutters can be connected to a cistern or tanks to collect and store rainwater for dry season gardening.  Just be sure your water catchments tanks are well covered to prevent dengue mosquitoes from breeding around the home.  Container planting around the home and porches is another way to reduce the amount of water you use to produce food.  And of course, there’s hydroponics, a system of growing vegetables in a liquid substrate that is recycled over and over again.  Some of the results that home gardeners have using hydroponics is truly amazing, and is quickly gaining popularity with urban gardeners. 

Redesign
You may need to redesign some of your landscaping to help reduce your water consumption.   For example, experts say showy lawns use more water and require more maintenance than any other part of the home landscape.  Try to design your home garden and landscaping with a new approach called Xeriscaping.  The term comes from the Greek word, Xeros, which means dry or landscaping for dry areas. The word was coined in Denver, Colorado’s Water Department during the early 80’s and quickly spread to the southwest States, California and Florida.  A xeriscape design consists of 3 important zones.  The oasis zone is located nearest to the house and should contain showy plants and the vegetable garden, which requires frequent irrigation.  The second zone is called the drought tolerant zone where plants need an occasional watering during dry times.  This area may consist of fruit trees and other ornamental plants that are drought resistant.  Next is the natural zone, which ideally needs no watering during the dry season.  This area is usually away from the home with little traffic and visibility and should consist of totally native plants that weather the dry season without water.  For example, the hardy local grass for the lawn called jenjibrillo may turn brown during the dry season, but never needs watering and greens up as the rains return.  


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SEEDS FROM NEW DAWN  

Our aim is to promote the use of natural seeds which make up part of the rich bio-diversity of tropical food crops. 



Your seed purchase helps to fund our educational work in sustainable agriculture.  

Cohombro – hardy squash that tastes like cantaloupe.

Buckwheat – hardy super food grain-like substitute.

Native Sweet Chile Pepper - hardy bush, needs no spraying

Native Pumpkin Squash - Can be eaten young like zucchini 

Basil - good flavor for salads and meals.

Dill- the young leaves of dill are delicious in salads.

Sweet Cherry Tomato - The best tomato for the tropics.

Sesame- grow your own sesame for making tahini.

Jamaican Hibiscus - Beautiful flowers which make a flavorful tea. Edible leaves

Gandul or Pigeon pea- a hard bush with pea-like legumes.

Zinnias - colorful flowers for the garden.

Cosmos - orange variety.

Our seeds are organically grown, non-hybrid varieties that can be grown year after year in your garden from seeds you collect.  Germination guaranteed under normal germinating conditions.  

PRICE- 1200 colones/packet, postage paid

Books, seeds and products are offered only in Costa Rica.

Call us at 2770-4229

for quick service with electronic banking

for New Dawn books , products and seeds 


Picture
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

 





Pau d'Arco Botanical Formula - An ideal tonic tea for the immune system made from the bark of the famous Pau d'Arco tree, the famous medicine tree of the Incas and Maya. Boosts your natural defenses of the immune system to heal many chronic illnesses, fights infections, eliminates parasites and purifies the blood.

Ground Ginger - Excellent for Chinese cooking and herbal tea. 

Jamaican Curry - A hot and spicy seasoning for many dishes.

1500 colones/30 gm packet, postage paid.

New Dawn Also Offers These Services:

Overnight Accommodations... $15
Healthy Meals from the Garden... $7
Garden Tours... $7/person

Eco-garden Designs for Costa Rican homes and farms... $150
Weekend Workshops (tropical medicinal plants, gardening and permaculture)... $125/person


Picture
NEW DAWN NEWS

BEST WISHES FOR 2015







We had a wonderful year here at New Dawn meeting many new people that came here to study or help out with our health center project.  More news to come.  

 
 
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Mammon Chino or Rambutan


 

 


Kids squeal with delight when the mamon chino harvest comes around and the trees are drooping with ripe fruits.

 The mamon chino or rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum L) harvest has been in full swing this year here in Costa Rica, and it’s another chance for tropical gardeners to stock up on new seeds for planting.  This rare fruit tree, originally from Malaysia, was introduced into the country some 40 years ago by the ministry of Agriculture as a new cash crop for small farmers to diversify their farms, instead of relying only on traditional crops, like coffee or sugar cane.  The program was a real success, mainly because this new immigrant to Costa Rica adapted really well to our bioregion.  Rambutan is a relative of the leeche tree, and has a fruit with equal excellence.
The fruits are easy to recognize with their unusual, soft spines of brilliant, yellow or red.  Inside the fruit capsule you’ll find a pearl-like pulp that tastes something like cherry-lemon flavor.  Of course, this is my taste bud’s opinion.  It’s also my opinion that having a few of these trees around the old tropical homestead makes real good sense.  Rambutan is easy to grow and fast to produce, and has few pest problems.  Leading nurseries also stock mamon chino fruit trees in varying sizes and varieties.  Kids squeal with delight when the harvest comes around and the trees are drooping with ripe fruits.  The seeds can be washed and saved or planted in pots or plastic nursery bags with prepared potting soil.  It’s best to plant the seed horizontally and very superficially in the soil.  Keep them well watered in the period before germination and then ease off to once a week.
Before we go any further, it’s best to understand the nature of the rambutan trees.  In botany, they are classified as dieocous trees, which means these trees either have male flowers or female flowers. You’ll never know the sex of the tree until it flowers, so it’s best to have 2 or 3 trees for cross pollination.  Campesinos, however, have a belief that certain fruits can be identified as females.  These seed capsules have a little “pepa” or embryonic seed capsule perched near the stem..perhaps these types are polyembryonic and can shift from male to female…at any rate, researchers have tried to graft trees and start them from cuttings, but with little success.  The fact remains that it’s best to plant 3 or more trees to have a successful crop…however, this tree has become so popular around the country as a patio fruit tree that bees often pollinate trees throughout the neighborhood.  If you have a small garden, rambutan may not be an ideal choice, since rambutan trees reach 15-25 m in height, but for those gardeners with large tracts for orchards, these trees can even produce a nice, extra income during harvest time.  The rambutan flourishes from sea-level to 1,600 or even 1,800 ft (500-600 m), in tropical, humid regions having well-distributed rainfall. The tree does best on deep, clay-loam or rich sandy loam rich in organic matter with good drainage.
It’s best to give plenty of space from other trees when transplanting your new trees to their permanent sites.  Eight to ten meters apart is recommend so the trees do not become entangled and compete for light.  Full sun sites are also preferred, which are also protected from strong winds.  The branches of rambutan trees are brittle and break easily.  Often poles are required to support the branches during the harvest to prevent them from breaking.  Children also have to be restrained from climbing to harvest, which can end in a broken branch or worse a broken bone.  Use a pole equipped with a cord-operated cutter for cutting the stems with the fruits attached.  The fruits last longer this way, and it helps to prune the tree.  Once the kids understand the trees’ rights to grow strong and healthy, as well as how to operate the pole picker, things can go well at harvest time.   Best of luck with your home garden and tropical fruit trees.


Picture
SEEDS FROM NEW DAWN     

 Our aim is to promote the use of natural seeds which make up part of the rich bio-diversity of tropical food crops. 

Your seed purchase helps to fund our educational work in sustainable agriculture.

Cohombro – hardy squash that tastes like cantaloupe.

Buckwheat – hardy super food grain-like substitute.

Native Sweet Chile Pepper - hardy bush, needs no spraying

Native Pumpkin Squash - Can be eaten young like zucchini 

Sweet Basil - good flavor for salads and meals.

Dill- the young leaves of dill are delicious in salads.

Sweet Cherry Tomato - The best tomato for the tropics.

Lettuce- hot weather leaf lettuce for tropical climates.

Sesame- grow your own sesame for making tahini.

Jamaican Hibiscus - Beautiful flowers which make a flavorful tea. Edible leaves

Gandul or Pigeon pea- a hard bush with pea-like legumes.

Zinnias - colorful flowers for the garden.

Cosmos - orange variety.

Our seeds are organically grown, non-hybrid varieties that can be grown year after year in your garden from seeds you collect.  Germination guaranteed under normal germinating conditions.  

PRICE- 1200 colones/packet, postage paid

Books, seeds and products are offered only in Costa Rica.

Call us at 2770-4229

for quick service with electronic banking

for New Dawn books , products and seeds 


Picture


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

 



Pau d'Arco Botanical Formula - An ideal tonic tea for the immune system made from the bark of the famous Pau d'Arco tree, the famous medicine tree of the Incas and Maya. Boosts your natural defenses of the immune system to heal many chronic illnesses, fights infections, eliminates parasites and purifies the blood.

Ground Ginger - Excellent for Chinese cooking and herbal tea. 

Jamaican Curry - A hot and spicy seasoning for many dishes.

1300 colones/30 gm packet, postage paid.

New Dawn Also Offers These Services:

Overnight Accommodations... $10
Healthy Meals from the Garden... $5
Garden Tours... $5/person

Eco-garden Designs for Costa Rican homes and farms... $100
Weekend Workshops (tropical medicinal plants, gardening and permaculture)... $100/person


Picture


NEW DAWN NEWS



 


VOLUNTEERS FROM GLOBAL COLLEGE

Repairs and improvements continue on our greenhouse.  October brings us a nice group of students and volunteers to help us finish this project.  We’ll be glad to have our germination unit back in order again, plus space to grow rain sensitive plants during the heavy rains the last quarter of the year. 
Even with the heavy rains, well drained raised beds help to grow crops out side…here’s a group of beautiful Chinese cabbage and lettuce for our daily salads. 


Picture
Jess and I continue to work on our new non-profit, community service project.  Here you see our yellow, bamboo cabin that will be open in Dec or Jan. to our neighbors as a educational center for natural health care.  We’ll be offering talks and workshops on natural health care as well as movement training and physiotherapy. 


 
 
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PEJIBAYE
Bactris gassipaes
Peach Palm

Visitors to Costa Rica during the green season will come across the pejibaye harvest in local markets.  This unusual “fruit” comes from a tropical palm, often called peach palm in English.  Poorly named, it’s a far cry from a fruit, but more like a miniature coconut or date.  Pejibayes have a starchy, orange mesocarp or mid-section, which is edible when cooked.  The fruit is boiled in salted water and peeled, and the seed is removed before eating. The texture of the cooked pejibaye has been compared to the flavor dry squash. The fruit halves are often filled with mayonnaise, ketchup or sour cream.  Most pejibaye venders offer cooked pejibayes…so give them a try.  These palms have another gourmet harvest – heart of palm.  Pejibayes are called multiple palms because the mother palms produced several, new vegetative offshoot palms, which can be harvested for heart of palm.    It is also an economically important crop in Costa Rica, and a viable sustainable model for  renewable sources of heart of palm, which slows the harvest of overexploited native species in the tropics.
The palm heart is excellent raw or cooked. It is served in salads or prepared with eggs and vegetables in a casserole.
This useful palm is indigenous to Amazonian areas of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, but it has been cultivated and distributed by Indians from ancient times throughout the neotropics.  
The indigenous people highly esteemed pejibaye as a food crop, and today they are considered one of the most nutritional food crops on the planet.  Costa Rica is a major producer of pejibaye palms. New spineless varieties are now replacing the older spiny  palms, which makes them safer to manage and harvest both the fruits and the heart of palm from the young offshoots from the mother palm.  Local gardeners that have plenty of space to plant can take advantage of growing these valuable palms.  The photo this week is from our home grown pejibaye harvest.  Local nurseries often offer spineless pejibaye seedling palms or you can try your luck starting them from seed.  Here’s some tips
Tips on Planting
It is also a favorite with Ticos, although it is not recommended for small home gardens, due to its spiny fronds. Seeds are planted in plastic nursery bags 5cm deep in rich potting soil.  Keep them watered and shaded until they germinate, then slowly move them into the sunlight.
Transplant them to permanent sites before they become root bound (around 6 months).
Pejibayes do well on a wide range of soils, but grow best with applications of manure composts and soil amendments. New varieties are now offered that do not have as many spines and are much easy to manage. The fruits begin in 5-7 years and can be harvested with long bamboo poles.
Creamed pejibaye soup
Some folks love cooked pejibayes and others don’t find them very appealing.  Here’s a way to gourmet pejibaye recipe all the family will enjoy.
Peel a dozen cooked pejibayes and blend them in 2 batches with the following ingredients to your own taste – onions, garlic, curry to taste and about 8 cups good soup stock or milk.  Simmer the finely blended soup  and add finely chopped, fresh cilantro  as a garnish to each bowl.  It’s a wonderful warm meal on a chilly, rainy tropical afternoon.  


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NEW DAWN NEWS


Herbal Workshop in Tinamastes






Last month we had the opportunity to participate in an herbal workshop sponsored by a local community group Vida Auténtica.  We spent the day covering the tropical “super” medicinal plants, as well as making tinctures and salves.  It’s good to see people  returning to herbal health care  and a change in lifestyle.  
Repairs and improvements continue on our greenhouse.  October brings us a nice group of students and volunteers to help us finish this project.  We’ll be glad to have our germination unit back in order again, plus space to grow rain sensitive plants during the heavy rains the last quarter of the year. 
Even with the heavy rains, well drained raised beds help to grow crops out side…here’s a group of beautiful Chinese cabbage and lettuce for our daily salads. 
Jess and I continue to work on our new non-profit, community service project.  Here you see our yellow, bamboo cabin that will be open in Dec or Jan. to our neighbors as a educational center for natural health care.  We’ll be offering talks and workshops on natural health care as well as movement training and physiotherapy.
Our new bamboo adobe unit for body therapies.  We are receiving several health practitioners who plan to volunteer here to help us launch our project.  
 

Picture
SEEDS FROM NEW DAWN    

 Our aim is to promote the use of natural seeds which make up part of the rich bio-diversity of tropical food crops.  



Your seed purchase helps to fund our educational work in sustainable agriculture. 

Buckwheat – hardy super food grain-like substitute. 

Native Sweet Chile Pepper - hardy bush, needs no spraying

Native Pumpkin Squash - Can be eaten young like zucchini  

Sweet Basil - good flavor for salads and meals. 

Dill- the young leaves of dill are delicious in salads.

Sweet Cherry Tomato - The best tomato for the tropics. 

Sesame- grow your own sesame for making tahini.

Jamaican Hibiscus - Beautiful flowers which make a flavorful tea. Edible leaves 

Gandul or Pigeon pea- a hard bush with pea-like legumes.

Zinnias - colorful flowers for the garden. 

Cosmos - orange variety. 

Our seeds are organically grown, non-hybrid varieties that can be grown year after year in your garden from seeds you collect.  Germination guaranteed under normal germinating conditions.   

PRICE- 1200 colones/packet, postage paid 

Books, seeds and products are offered only in Costa Rica. 

Call us at 2770-4229 
for quick service with electronic banking 
for New Dawn books , products and seeds 

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES 

 Pau d'Arco Botanical Formula - An ideal tonic tea for the immune system made from the bark of the famous Pau d'Arco tree, the famous medicine tree of the Incas and Maya. Boosts your natural defenses of the immune system to heal many chronic illnesses, fights infections, eliminates parasites and purifies the blood. 

Ground Ginger - Excellent for Chinese cooking and herbal tea.  

Jamaican Curry - A hot and spicy seasoning for many dishes.

1300 colones/30 gm packet, postage paid. 

New Dawn Also Offers These Services:

Overnight Accommodations... $10
Healthy Meals from the Garden... $5
Garden Tours
... $5/person
Eco-garden Designs for Costa Rican homes and farms... $100
Weekend Workshops (tropical medicinal plants, gardening and permaculture)... $100/person

Picture
NEW VOLUNTEER PROGRAM AT NEW DAWN
We are now accepting volunteers to help us open our Costa Rican alternative health care clinic and educational center for local rural families in our region. We have several areas in which volunteers can help to make our alternative health clinic a reality this year.  We plan to expand our production and distribution of medicinal plants, as well as expanding our ecological health gardens.  We need to create educational classes and videos in Spanish on natural health care, and make preparations for the opening our clinic.
If you are looking for a humanitarian project to help people improve their health with natural alternative health care, our project may interest you.  
We are looking for emotionally mature persons over 21 years of age, who are dedicated to a healthy lifestyle,  free from alcohol, drugs and tobacco. 
Volunteers may participate in this project by the week or month.  We are asking volunteers $100 per week for room and board in our beautiful tropical herb farm.  Each day there will be projects volunteers can help on to bring us closer to our goal of opening our educational program and clinic.  
Other benefits for volunteers include learning about ecological health gardens in the tropics, medicinal plants and natural health care therapies. We also strive to prepare wholesome natural foods much of which comes from our gardens and orchards.  Weekends are also open to volunteers to travel to local beaches and rainforest in the area.
As economic conditions continue to decline in Latin America,  rural families in Costa Rica are hardest hit by the situation.  Often families can not afford the expensive conventional medications or hospitalization.  There is a definite need for preventative health care and natural alternatives.  We hope to fulfill this need by opening our center to rural families, so they may have a better chance to live a healthier and happier life.

For more information contact us at:
thenewdawncenter@yahoo.com

 
 
Picture
Homemade Natural Pest Controls



A healthy endive receives a mist of plant protector spray- a safe way to ward off the bugs-and it’s easy to make in the kitchen.




As the tropical rains increase in the last quarter of the year, so do the bugs, and for the gardener, that can spell trouble.  Most gardeners these days are looking for safe products to use for the garden, so here are a collection of natural insect controls you’ll find useful, and they can also be made right in the kitchen.  Let’s start with one of my favorites.

ALL PURPOSE INSECT SPRAY
11/2 tsp. of baking soda

11/2 tsp. of natural liquid soap (or 1tsp. of Bio-land glycerin soap)

1 tsp. of cooking oil

1 tsp. of vinegar

5 cups of warm water

Blend all ingredients together with the warm water, then use a hand-held spray bottle to mist plants until they are dripping wet. Also spray the walkways and areas around your plants.  This spray seems to have two functions. It makes the leaves of the plants less palatable for the bugs and it penetrates their exoskeleton causing them to become sick.  Can be used weekly as preventive measure.

THE PLANT PROTECTOR SPRAY
1 cup of brown sugar

1 cup of 3% hydrogen  peroxide

1 gallon water

This formula is effective as a plant enhancer and protector. Spray this mixture on your plants, and watch them turn dark green and shinny. The plants absorb the sugar solution into their leaves, while the hydrogen peroxide cleans the leaves of bacteria and fungus, creating healthy plants that bugs don't like to eat. Some researchers speculate that the high levels of sugars in the leaf tissues may cause the bugs to actually become drunk from the fermentation of excess sugars into alcohol in their bodies. It can be sprayed once a week as a preventative measure. The extra bonus this spray provides is tastier fruits and vegetables.

HOMEMADE GARLIC SPRAY
90 g chopped garlic cloves

2 tablespoons of cooking oil

15 g Bio-land’s glycerin soap

500 ml warm water.

Mix garlic and oil together and let is steep for 48 hours. Dissolve grated soap in warm water and then mix the 2 solutions together and then strain. Use 1part mixture to 50 parts water. Spray as usual.  This organic pest control is useful against many insects and some caterpillars. It works best in the greenhouse or around the porch where the plants are protected from the rain.

HOMEMADE ONION AND CHILI SPRAY
2 hot chilies, chopped

2 large onions, chopped

1 bulbs garlic, chopped

1 L Bio-land’s glycerin soap solution

This homemade insecticide and pesticide is very effective against any leaf-eating insects.  Best used in the greenhouse or porches where plants are protected from the rains.  Combine all the ingredients, including the seeds from the chilies. Cover with the soapy water and allow to steep for 24 hours. Strain. Add water to dilute if required and spray. Can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

HOMEMADE SUGAR DRENCH
This organic control is effective against nematodes. Dissolve 2 kg sugar in a bucket of water. Drench the soil to kill nematodes. Molasses can also be used, but don't use honey as this may transmit disease back to the bees.

COFFEE GROUNDS AND LEMON JUICE SPRAY
A agent for repelling ants and other types of pests is made with coffee ground and lemon juice. The mixture is very easy to prepare. Boil old coffee grounds in 1 liter of  water with I diced lemon along with some cinnamon. Strain the mixture and cayenne pepper. Spray the liquid under the leaves and on the roots to keep the pests away from plants. You can usually ward off fire ants by pouring boiling water on their nests.  If several applications don’t work, try this recipe.  The orange or lemon rinds have an oil which dissolves the ant’s skin or exoskeleton.

ANT CONTROL SOLUTION
6-12 Orange or lemon rinds

125ml  feed grade molasses

4 liters of water

Boil the mix for 10 minutes, then apply to the ant nests. 

Finally, remember that fertile soils are the key to healthy plants and people.  Healthy plants usually have less insect attacks, so fortify your soils with healthy organic fertilizers and use the above controls with moderation.  Until next time, enjoy your time in the garden.


Picture
SEEDS FROM NEW DAWN    

 Our aim is to promote the use of natural seeds which make up part of the rich bio-diversity of tropical food crops. 



Your seed purchase helps to fund our educational work in sustainable agriculture. 

Buckwheat – hardy super food grain-like substitute.

Native Sweet Chile Pepper - hardy bush, needs no spraying

Native Pumpkin Squash - Can be eaten young like zucchini 

Sweet Basil - good flavor for salads and meals.

Dill- the young leaves of dill are delicious in salads.

Sweet Cherry Tomato - The best tomato for the tropics.

Sesame- grow your own sesame for making tahini.

Jamaican Hibiscus - Beautiful flowers which make a flavorful tea. Edible leaves

Gandul or Pigeon pea- a hard bush with pea-like legumes.

Zinnias - colorful flowers for the garden.

Cosmos - orange variety.

Our seeds are organically grown, non-hybrid varieties that can be grown year after year in your garden from seeds you collect.  Germination guaranteed under normal germinating conditions.  

PRICE- 1200 colones/packet, postage paid

Books, seeds and products are offered only in Costa Rica.


Call us at 2770-4229

for quick service with electronic banking

for New Dawn books , products and seeds 


Picture

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES


 



Pau d'Arco Botanical Formula - An ideal tonic tea for the immune system made from the bark of the famous Pau d'Arco tree, the famous medicine tree of the Incas and Maya. Boosts your natural defenses of the immune system to heal many chronic illnesses, fights infections, eliminates parasites and purifies the blood.

Ground Ginger - Excellent for Chinese cooking and herbal tea. 

Jamaican Curry - A hot and spicy seasoning for many dishes.

1300 colones/30 gm packet, postage paid.

New Dawn Also Offers These Services:

Overnight Accommodations... $10
Healthy Meals from the Garden... $5
Garden Tours
... $5/person

Eco-garden Designs for Costa Rican homes and farms... $100
Weekend Workshops (tropical medicinal plants, gardening and permaculture)... $100/person


Picture







NEW DAWN NEWS

 

NEW VOLUNTEER PROGRAM AT NEW DAWN
We are now accepting volunteers to help us open our Costa Rican alternative health care clinic and educational center for local rural families in our region. We have several areas in which volunteers can help to make our alternative health clinic a reality this year.  We plan to expand our production and distribution of medicinal plants, as well as expanding our ecological health gardens.  We need to create educational classes and videos in Spanish on natural health care, and make preparations for the opening our clinic.

If you are looking for a humanitarian project to help people improve their health with natural alternative health care, our project may interest you. 

We are looking for emotionally mature persons over 21 years of age, who are dedicated to a healthy lifestyle,  free from alcohol, drugs and tobacco.

Volunteers may participate in this project by the week or month.  We are asking volunteers $100 per week for room and board in our beautiful tropical herb farm.  Each day there will be projects volunteers can help on to bring us closer to our goal of opening our educational program and clinic. 

Other benefits for volunteers include learning about ecological health gardens in the tropics, medicinal plants and natural health care therapies. We also strive to prepare wholesome natural foods much of which comes from our gardens and orchards.  Weekends are also open to volunteers to travel to local beaches and rainforest in the area.

As economic conditions continue to decline in Latin America,  rural families in Costa Rica are hardest hit by the situation.  Often families can not afford the expensive conventional medications or hospitalization.  There is a definite need for preventative health care and natural alternatives.  We hope to fulfill this need by opening our center to rural families, so they may have a better chance to live a healthier and happier life.

For more information contact us at:

thenewdawncenter@yahoo.com


 
    Picture
    THE NEW DAWN NEWSLETTER 
                                       ECO-GARDENS FOR A HEALTHY PLANET


    Author

    Ed Bernhardt, N.D. works with tropical medicinal plants & gardens in Costa Rica. He is the author of 
    The Costa Rican Organic Home Gardening Guide, Medicinal Plants of Costa Rica 
    and 
    Natural Health Care Therapies for Tropical Living.

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    New Dawn Newsletter

    Medicinal Plants of Costa Rica by Ed Bernhardt
    Medicinal Plants of Costa Rica 
    A truly useful guide to tropical medicinal plants. Learn how you can use over 100 tropical plants for your health - naturally. Over 140 pages with color photos. Extraordinary new plant friends await you.  

    $15 (or the equivalent in colones) mailing included 

    Picture
    OUR NEW EDITION   The Costa Rican Organic Home Gardening Guide 
    Includes a bonus reference CD with a color photo album of tropical fruits, vegetables and herbs  and an extensive library on organic  home gardening plus the latest  research on ecological small scale food production with details on 150 fruits, vegetables and herbs. 
      Learn how to:
    design a natural tropical home garden
    make  organic fertilizers
    Prepare bio-dynamic garden beds
    Care for plants and trees naturally
    Control insects with natural methods
    Grow medicinal plants for your health
    Save money growing food at home
    Harvest yearly dividends of healthy
    fruits, vegetables, grains and herbs.

    Ecological gardening is one of the most important issues of our century.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Ecological Health Gardens!

    $25 (or the equivalent in colones) mailing included
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    Natural Health Care Guide for Tropical Living 
    A truly useful guide to holistic natural health care. Learn how to care for your health - naturally - with herbs, diet, massage and hydrotherapy, yoga and mind-spirit work. Over 165 pages with illustrations by the author.

    $25 (or the equivalent in colones) mailing included
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    Huertas Naturales Para Costa Rica 
    the Spanish translation of The Costa Rican Organic Home Gardening Guide.

    An ideal gift for your Tico friends.

    $20 (or the equivalent in colones) mailing included