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‘Must raise voice against forced organ harvesting’

Rasika Bhale MUMBAI
NOVEMBER 04, 2019 01:35 IST
UPDATED: NOVEMBER 04, 2019 01:35 IST

Dr. Torsten Trey at the Mother Teresa Memorial Awards for Social Justice in Mumbai on Sunday.  

Winner of social justice award asks world to take a stand

An organisation that has been fearlessly highlighting the forced organ harvesting in China has been conferred with this year’s Mother Teresa Memorial Awards for Social Justice. The award was presented to Dr. Torsten Trey, founder, Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH), in Mumbai on Sunday.

Other winners of the award included Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, founder of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan; Hasina Khabhih, founder of a non-profit organisation called Impulse; and Rob Williams, CEO of an NGO called War Child, U.K.

DAFOH has been working to create awareness on organ trafficking, primarily about mass killings for organ harvesting. Founded in 2006, DAFOH is a network of independent doctors across the globe. It has been raising its voice against the brutal practice of forced organ harvesting in China, which targets a religious minority called Falun Gong. The community follows the teachings of Master Li Hongzhi, who emphasised on meditation and self-cultivation for spiritual perfection.

‘Tortured minority’

“The Chinese government has been involved in mass persecution of the members of Falun Gong for over two decades. It has deemed them as a superstitious foreign-driven dangerous group of people and sent them to labour camps where they are starved, tortured, brainwashed and made targets of organ harvesting,” Dr. Trey told The Hindu.

Speaking about the origin of DAFOH, he said, “It was in 2006 that I came across the organ trafficking in the Falun Gong community. It was horrible. I was shaken and felt the need to do something. It was then that I came up with DAFOH. I received tremendous support from the medical community.”

DAFOH has a strong network of doctors in Taiwan from where it garners statistical information on forced organ harvesting in China. “The government says that around 10,000-15,000 organ transplants occur every year. However, according to a team of on-field researchers, the number is as high as 60,000. Meanwhile, the estimate for legal organ donations in the country is as less as 130 in six years,” he said.

‘Raise a voice’

Dr. Trey believes that people across the world should raise a voice against this. “It should concern you as a citizen of the world. If we just sit and watch it happen, saying it’s not my country, we are all being complicit in the crime. We need a shift in our thinking. We should discuss it and create awareness to bring about a change.”

A letter from the Editor


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From diseased to transgenders there are several people with interest in organs. In the midst of a pandemic where many people’s loved one have died in the hospital alone, gives organ harvesting, theft and over all black market a close look. How can minority communities be protected? How does organ harvesting happen right here in the United States?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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‘Netflix for solar’: Virginia finalizing rules for solar subscription program

Solar Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
WRITTEN BY Elizabeth McGowan
December 17, 2020
Source: Energy News

State regulators are expected to release final rules soon for a new shared solar program expected to launch in 2023.

During a summer 2019 visit to his vacation house in New York’s Adirondack Mountains, Scott Surovell clicked on an ad for community solar. He signed up in five minutes. Soon after, he learned that tapping into an off-property array would about cover his entire electric bill.

“We need this in Virginia yesterday,” the Democratic state senator who represents a district near Washington, D.C. noted in a social media post that autumn. Then, he set about deploying his legislative chops to create a bill heavy on accessibility and equity.

Fast forward to today. Virginia utility regulators are on the verge of releasing their final version of a shared solar program outlined in a bill Surovell shepherded through the General Assembly earlier this year. 

The State Corporation Commission published its proposed regulations on Sept. 21. The deadline for the release of the final rules is Jan. 1.

In a nutshell, Senate Bill 629 calls for establishing a program allowing customers in Dominion Energy territory to buy solar power via subscription from a shared power facility owned by a third-party entity. It’s identical to HB 1634.

Initially, the program will be capped at 150 megawatts. Both solar and environmental justice advocates are lauding a measure requiring that at least 30% of the enrolled customers qualify as low-income. If that subscriber bar is met, the program could add 50 more megawatts.

No single project can be larger than 5 MW. That is likely a model for a series of small-scale distributed generation projects starting at roughly 1 MW and rolled out in increments.

Rachel Smucker said the new regulation — set to debut in 2023 — opens an opportunity for Virginia to lead on delivering solar to low-income communities.

She is the Virginia policy and development manager for the solar trade association that also serves Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. Her group recently changed its name to the Chesapeake Solar & Storage Association.

“I think there’s a lot of interest from the industry to dig into this program,” Smucker said. “They have even said the 150-megawatt cap is too small. Solar developers are interested in taking the shackles off of the program on the capacity side. The onus is on all of us to make sure we get this set up right.”

Surovell, in his second Senate term serving Fairfax, Prince William and Stafford counties, discussed SB 629 as a panelist at Solar Focus, the association’s virtual conference in mid-November.

The idea of growing solar gardens in his home state had intrigued him since 2010 when, as a newly elected House delegate, he learned about such endeavors in Colorado. In a July letter to the State Corporation Commission, he said his legislation would enable people and businesses to purchase solar power and net the energy against their home meters.

Access to non-rooftop solar, he wrote, was especially crucial to people in neighborhoods with heavy tree cover, those subject to homeowner association restrictions and residents in apartments or condominiums.

In that same letter, he emphasized ensuring that shared solar didn’t solely benefit the wealthy.

“Creating a program that is easy for low and moderate income consumers to participate [in] will be essential to the success of this initial phase,” he wrote. “The legislation was intended to provide equal and equitable access to renewable energy and critical cost savings to Virginia consumers who have faced barriers to accessing the green economy.”

Del. Lashrecse Aird, D-Petersburg, sat on the same Solar Focus digital panel with Surovell. Last year, she spearheaded separate legislation (HB2741) designed to expand solar access to those with fewer resources. It called for the creation of a Clean Energy Advisory Board, tasked with setting up a solar financing platform for households with low to moderate incomes.

“Ultimately, this is about people,” Aird said about the crux of Surovell’s legislation. “What’s critical to me is pushing regulators to get this right.”

Advocates: ‘Like Netflix for solar’

Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam revised SB 629 to define low-income customers as households whose income is no more than 80% of the median income in that particular locality. Some advocates have suggested that figure be adjusted to take into account Virginia’s broad economic differences as well as differences in housing types.

Setting income limits matters, Smucker said, but it’s equally crucial that regulators figure out how to connect poorer households to solar gardens. That requires linking with existing affordable housing programs and having continued conversations with community leaders via a stakeholder working group.

“This should be like Netflix for solar,” she said about ease of enrollment. “We want to maximize its reach to communities that could really benefit.”

Ideally, she explained, that means that households would have multiple pathways to verify their income, would be able to register online and wouldn’t be penalized for unsubscribing.

Advocates also want the State Corporation Commission to revisit two other parts of the regulation commissioners rolled out in draft form. One is the annual reset of the minimum charge solar customers would be required to pay and the other is how customers will be credited on their monthly bills for the solar energy they use. 

During the legislative session, some lawmakers threatened to withdraw support from Surovell’s measure unless he included a minimum bill charge to cover the cost of serving customers and administering the program.

“The minimum bill was a sore point,” Surovell told Solar Focus attendees about claims that solar customers are unfairly exempt from basic utility infrastructure and upkeep costs.

“They claim there’s a cost shift that happens and non-solar customers bear more of that burden than solar customers,” Smucker said. “But we haven’t seen any data for that claim, so we don’t subscribe to that notion.”

However, because the requirement is built into the legislation, she said a charge of $8 to $10 would be reasonable.

“The [State Corporation Commission] makes the final ruling,” she said. “But if it’s $40, that’s restrictive and you won’t find subscribers. Investor interest won’t be there if it’s astronomically high and that will quickly erode the potential of the program.”

The state Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy didn’t counter that argument. It classified as “inappropriate” any infrastructure fee because “there will be no change in the infrastructure required to service the customer’s location.”

The department “recommends that the operational reality of the shared solar program is reflected in the regulations to prevent inappropriate costs from being included in the minimum bill,” the agency wrote in Nov. 2 testimony submitted to the commission. “The lack of detail on the content of the minimum bill combined with the intention to hold an annual proceeding wherein the amount of the minimum bill could be altered could create uncertainty for developers and consumers.”

In addition, the department joined solar advocates in prodding utility regulators to remove restrictions on bill credits for shared solar customers.

Appalachian Voices and the Southern Environmental Law Center called for customers to be permitted to roll over their bill credit, month to month, as long as the bill credits don’t exceed a customer’s average annual bill.

All backers of the shared solar program are hopeful that preliminary groundwork can begin next year so the program is ready to launch by 2023.

“Interconnection can take up to a year in Virginia and permitting can also take a long time,” Smucker said. “That’s why we’ve been pushing for projects to be allowed to attract customers to the program in 2021.” 

Other community solar program fizzled out earlier 

Industry veteran Myles Burnsed of Charlottesville said in an interview that his company, EDF Renewables Distributed Solutions, is interested in the prospect of developing, owning and operating the third-party projects envisioned in Surovell’s law. EDF would likely connect with a separate company to manage and subscribe customers. 

Burnsed, vice president of strategic development, said he’s watched similar solar programs launch in other states with varied levels of success. Like others in the industry, he noted that it can take years to smooth the kinks and unexpected challenges that arise.  

“It will be challenging, but it will attract people,” he said, adding that eventually quadrupling the size of the Virginia program to 600 MW would generate “a lot more interest and competition.”

EDF, an international company with a three-decade presence in North America, is already partnering with a Virginia rural electric cooperative to develop a 3.1 MW community solar project in Shenandoah County. That’s enough energy to power 570 homes annually.

Plans call for breaking ground for the array on 32 acres of farmland early next year and signing up customers by year’s end.

“We’re still super early on in the process,” said Morgan Messer, spokesperson for Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative, a distributor for Old Dominion Electric Cooperative. “This is still a pilot, so what the subscription process looks like we don’t know yet. We haven’t yet outlined any of the qualifications.”

Other co-ops in the state also have succeeded with community solar projects — unlike Virginia’s investor-owned utilities. A program the legislature rolled out several years ago geared for customers at Dominion and Appalachian Power never gained a foothold. It required utilities, not third parties, to own the solar projects.

“On that first go-round, there weren’t any projects,” Burnsed said. “It seems to have fizzled out.”

Senior attorney Will Cleveland, who specializes in utility issues for the Southern Environmental Law Center, wants to avoid a repeat of that debacle. 

“Presumably, [shared solar] will work better than the thing that never happened at all,” Cleveland said. “Before, neither utility ever rolled out a program. By that measure, it was a complete failure.”

<a href="https://energynews.us/author/emcgowan/">ELIZABETH MCGOWAN</a>
ELIZABETH MCGOWAN

Elizabeth is a longtime energy and environment reporter who has worked for InsideClimate News, Energy Intelligence and Crain Communications. Her groundbreaking dispatches for InsideClimate News from Kalamazoo, Michigan, “The Dilbit Disaster: Inside the Biggest Oil Spill You Never Heard Of” won a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2013. Elizabeth covers the state of Virginia. Her book, “Outpedaling ‘The Big C’: My Healing Cycle Across America” will be published by Bancroft Press in September 2020.

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Snow Harvesting

Snow Water Harvesting On Our Urban Site

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Does it snow where you live? Have you considered harvesting snow? Why? Why not?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Jasminum Nudiflorum – Winter Jasmine

Source: Wikipedia

Jasminum nudiflorum, the winter jasmine, is a slender, deciduous shrub native to China (GansuShaanxiSichuanXizang (Tibet), Yunnan). The flower’s blossoming peaks right after winter, which is why it is also named Yingchun (迎春) in Chinese, which means “the flower that welcomes Spring”. It is widely cultivated as an ornamental and is reportedly naturalized in France and in scattered locations in the United States (TexasOklahomaGeorgiaTennesseeMaryland and New Jersey).[2][3][4]

Leaves

It grows to 3 m (10 ft) tall and wide,[5] with arching green shoots and opposite, pinnate, dark green leaves. Each leaf is divided into three oval-oblong leaflets which are about 3 cm long.[4][6]

As its name suggests, in the Northern Hemisphere winter jasmine flowers from November to March. The solitary flowers, often appearing on the bare stems (hence the Latin nudiflorum, literally “naked flower”)[7] have six petals and are bright yellow, or white, about 1 cm across, appearing in the leaf axils.

Jasminum nudiflorum is valued by gardeners as one of the few plants that are in flower during the winter months. It is frequently trained against a wall to provide extra warmth and shelter,[11] but also lends itself to groundcover.[5] It tolerates hard pruning and should be pruned in spring immediately after flowering; regular pruning will help to prevent bare patches. It can also be grown as a bonsai and is very tolerant of the wiring methods. It likes full sun or partial shade and is hardy.

What can you grow in the winter? What region are you in? What grows best in your region?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Harvesting Tomatoes

We hate to disappoint. But, this will not be a detailed presentation on harvesting tomatoes. Nothing could be simpler than plucking this red globes from the vein, cleansing them and preparing them to eat. Our early girl plant has delivered time and time again. We are often asked: how is the garden. Consequently, we wanted to share some recent harvest that were give to a garden cohort to cook up. Many of you have been growing your own plants in your kitchens as well as yards. Share your updates with the community.

Tomato plants can grow tall. They are definitely doable in an urban garden. Which herbs and vegetables do you eat often? Which ones would you like to start to grow? Where do you get the most light? Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Eliot Coleman: Four Season Harvest

Four Season Harvest: Eliot Coleman speaks to Maddy Harland

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Eliot Coleman – Four Season Harvest
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

We understand why people all over the world want to talk to Eliot. We wish we could interview him ourselves! He is truly a master at growing wholesome and delicious organic good for you foods. When we began our journey in gardening, which stemmed from a need to be in better health, Eliot Coleman was the stand out grower, farmer and gardener. He has set what we consider to be today’s gold standard in True organic growing. I lieu of our own interview, below is his book The Four Season Farm, Gardener’s Cookbook, which we love because if you do not grow you Do likely cook. So, it is the best of both worlds. If you decide to go from the table to a garden, you already have the book. Eliot crystallized what organic means in definition and in practice. We are growing from Norfolk, VA, USA and enjoy his books and think you will too.

How can a recipe get you started on growing your own foods? What do you wish you knew about gardening? Do you wish you could ask someone who knew? Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Oregano Health Benefits & Cooking

Oregano Plant Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

The wonderful thing about growing your own plants and maintaining plants is that they are gifts that keep on giving. Several plants can be feed and harvested time and time again. Many plants will last 2 years are more like this. Your savings will quickly add up with a herbal kitchen plant of your own. Many people simply do not buy fresh herbs because of the cost. After a couple of uses, a kitchen gardener will soon get their money back and then some.

Health Benefits and Uses of Oregano w/ Oregano Pesto Recipe

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Health Benefits of Oregano
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

We have grown this beautiful Oregano Plant Organically without any chemicals. While her seeds were not organic, she was grown organically. She has harvested well and stood the test of time. Furthermore, she has a deep as well as rich flavor and is ready to be taken home. You can pick her up locally (Norfolk, VA) and take her home for a $10 donation to Shidonna Raven Garden & Cook’s Garden. When you get her home start outside from your porch and then slowly acclimate her to your kitchen window seal over a 3 – 5 day period. Water her, giver her sun light, refresh her soil periodically and fertilize her with organic fertilizers every week or every other week to continue to feed her the nutrients she needs. Most importantly enjoy! Harvest about a third of the leaves at a time from the outside of the plant. Allow her leaves to grow back and continue to harvest. Should you have any questions, just post a comment or send us an email. Time is always of the essence so please do not wait or hesitate to ask us. Thank you for your generous donation. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

Update! This plant is no longer available and is now in a new home. We will share any updates with you. Want to get your own plant? Shop our plants.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Harvesting Dill

Dill Plant Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Dill was one of the plants we began early in February in our mini greenhouse aka our garage. She struggled for a while and was re-sown a few times. Eventually, dill was put outside away from the other greenhouse plants because she, along with several other plants, showed risk of disease. To prevent disease from spreading to other plants in the greenhouse we placed dill outside on the back porch in the fresh air where disease would be discouraged more given the limitations of our particular greenhouse.

She started to show some promise by sporting a couple of leaves. We then repotted her and moved her to the front porch where we could keep a closer eye on her and further away from insects. She began to flourished. She just loved being outdoors on the porch. Dill seems to be a perfect container, urban or kitchen plant. She has done very well in her pot. So, much so we could not resist harvesting a few leaves for a shrimp and lemon cream sauce dish. We used a few leaves as garnish.

Scroll up and down…learn more about greenhouses. We read this book. It helped us turn our struggling greenhouse plants around.

We learned a few lessons while harvesting. Because herbs like dill can only be harvested at about a third at a time, it is best to plant several plants or 3 times as much as you would want to harvest at one time. The plant needs the remaining leaves to photosynthesize and continue the growing process. What do you need to start your own container plant? Just want to pick up a plant all ready to go? Shop our plants. What are the benefits of having fresh herbs on demand? Share your comments with the community by posting below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Cooking with Parsley

The wonderful thing about growing your own plants and maintaining plants is that they are gifts that keep on giving. Several plants can be feed and harvested time and time again. Many plants will last 2 years are more like this. Your savings will quickly add up with a herbal kitchen plant of your own. Many people simply do not buy fresh herbs because of the cost. After a couple of uses, a kitchen gardener will soon get their money back and then some.

Healthy Simple Italian Home Style Parsley Garlic and Olive Oil Recipe Straight from the Garden

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Growing and Cooking with Parsley
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

We have grown this beautiful Parsley Plant Organically without any chemicals. While her seeds were not organic, she was grown organically. She has harvested well and stood the test of time. Furthermore, she has a deep as well as rich flavor and is ready to be taken home. You can pick her up locally (Norfolk, VA) and take her home for a $10 donation to Shidonna Raven Garden & Cook’s Garden. When you get her home start outside from your porch and then slowly acclimate her to your kitchen window seal over a 3 – 5 day period. Water her, giver her sun light, refresh her soil periodically and fertilize her with organic fertilizers every week or every other week to continue to feed her the nutrients she needs. Most importantly enjoy! Harvest about a third of the leaves at a time from the outside of the plant. Allow her leaves to grow back and continue to harvest. Should you have any questions, just post a comment or send us an email. Time is always of the essence so please do not wait or hesitate to ask us. Thank you for your generous donation. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Harvesting, Cooking & Eating Swiss Chard

Growing and harvesting Swiss Chard is a tremendous joy. But, eating the fruit of one’s labor must be the best part. Today we clipped some Swiss Chard fresh from the garden and made a lamb and swiss chard warp with it the same day. It does not get fresher than that! We harvested Swiss Chard by clipping a third of its leaves and clipping from the outside. Plants such as lettuces tend to grow from the inside leaving the mature leaves on the outside. Also one should leave leaves on the plant such as these (also herbs) so they can continue to photosynthesize and grow more leaves.

I harvested these leaves which were used in a lamb, salmon and vegetable wrap. We hear that the harvest was delicious. What are the benefits of eating fresh foods? What are the benefits of growing your foods organically? How can you and yours benefit from growing and harvesting your own foods? Share your comments with the community. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.