Businesswoman grows vegetables in shipping containers in Nigerian capital


ANA / Maxwell Hall of the World Economic Forum interviews Oluwayimika Angel Adelaja, founder and CEO of Fresh Direct Produce and Agro-Allied Services at WEF Africa 2017 in Durban.

Meet The New Way To Farm!

This young Nigerian, a winner of the World Economic Forum’s Top Women Innovators Award, has turned adversity and a modern city’s hunger for imported vegetables into a thriving business.

In this age of Eat Local campaigns, one might be a little alarmed to encounter vegetables called rucola, petite-this and mange-that, on a plate in the Nigerian capital, but fear not, Oluwayimika Angel Adelaja told a briefing at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Africa meetings on Friday, these micro greens are not just grown near Abuja, they are grown within the teeming metropolis.

This young Nigerian, a winner of the World Economic Forum’s Top Women Innovators Award, has turned adversity and a modern city’s hunger for imported vegetables into a thriving business. Her business is growing micro greens in shipping containers in town, allowing her to add “hyper local” to the tag.

The founder and chief executive of Fresh Direct Produce and Agro-Allied Services in Nigeria said her business started with a regular farm, but making a success of that proved so challenging that she was forced to innovate.

How did it all Start?

The business started with 10 greenhouses on a leased 300 hectare farm. The green houses took up only a small part of the land, with the rest covered with trees. Beside the cost of clearing, which would have been exorbitant, Angel said, she had a problem with the idea of displacing forest.

An additional problem was that the farm was three hours from market

As any farmer will confirm, this business is not for the faint-hearted. Angel told the briefing on the last day of the WEF Africa meetings in Durban that small farmers like herself could expect to lose up to 50 percent of their crop before harvest. Lack of funds compounds problems around a shortage of information and lack of inputs and tools.

Access to finance would be a game changer for farmers, but bank loans are usually available only to landowners in Nigeria.

“First I need to be rich before I can get a loan,” Angel said.

Transporting often-delicate, perishable goods along bad roads and a lack of storage facilities added to problems which meant that, she added, another 25 percent of produce could be lost from farm to market.

Another challenge that forced a rethink of the business was when the fuel price increased from 87 Naira a litre to above 200 Naira in a short period of time.

It was these and other challenges that forced Fresh Direct to innovate and “pivot”, as she described it, and develop their genius plan to grow vegetables in town. The business now grows micro greens in containers stacked five high at two sites in Abuja.

Each 20-foot shipping container would fit a car – instead they take 4 000 plants per cycle, with a cycle lasting from seven days to a month.

The vegetables are produced using a hydroponic method where plants are grown in nutrient-filled water, rather than soil. The business is moving into aquaponics too, where fish are added to the system to enhance the cycle.

This is a long way away from fast food, but the vegetables can be delivered to customers 15 minutes after they are harvested and washed.

Fresh Direct’s customers are restaurants, hotels and grocery stores. “The nice thing with corporate customers is that they are consistent,” Angel said.

An outlet in Lagos will soon be added to the two already operating in Abuja. In Lagos, Angel said she expects to tap into an ever bigger demand for micro greens, niche foods that are a favourite of modern chefs, foodies and other hipster types.

Fresh Direct currently employs 10 people full-time and another 59 part-time, many of whom would find it hard to secure good jobs elsewhere. Angel told the WEF briefing that not one of her staff had gone to secondary school and just one has previous agricultural experience.

She said her staff call themselves “tech farmers” in a country where farming is sometimes looked down on as a less-than-dignified career.

Angel clearly doesn’t look down on traditional farming. In fact, she seemed pleased and relieved to say that doing the fancy vegetables, rather than staple foods, meant she was not competing with traditional rural farmers, rather they are providing vegetables that are otherwise imported.



Got Low Back Pain? Massage Therapy May Rub It Out

Peggy O’Brien-Murphy receives a massage from therapist Loretta Lanz. O’Brien-Murphy was among the participants in a study that found both relaxation and deep tissue massage are effective treatments for lower back pain.

/Group Health Research Institute

Low back pain is second only to cold symptoms when it comes to complaints that send people to the doctor. Sooner or later, back pain seems to get most of us.

Summary For Patients

Read a summary of the findings and their implications from the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Now, a study in the July 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that massage is an effective treatment for lower back pain. In some cases, researchers report, the benefits of massage lasted for six months or longer.

Researchers headed by epidemiologist Daniel Cherkin, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, enrolled 401 people with chronic low back pain and no identifiable reason for the pain.

Study participants were randomly assigned to one of three treatments. One group received full-body relaxation massage. A second received targeted deep tissue massage. The third group got the usual care — medication and physical therapy.

In relaxation massage, often referred to as Swedish massage, a variety of maneuvers are used to promote a feeling of relaxation throughout the body and muscles. Structural massage, commonly referred to as deep tissue massage, targets specific pain related tissues, ligaments and joints.

After 10 weeks, the results were dramatic: Nearly two-thirds of the patients who received either type of weekly massage said their back pain was significantly improved or gone altogether. Only about one-third of patients receiving the usual care experienced similar relief.

“We found that both types of massage were equally effective in helping people improve their function and diminish their symptoms,” Cherkin says. He says massage relieved the pain for six months or more.

Prior studies of massage for back pain had tested only structural forms of massage, not relaxation massage. But relaxation massage is more widely available, and it’s often less costly.

‘I’m So Very Lucky’

Peggy O’Brien-Murphy was among the study participants. In her late 60s, a retired state employee, O’Brien Murphy tried just about everything to get rid of the pain in her lower back. The massage therapy finally seemed to do the trick.

“I’m so very lucky,” she says.

Prior to the study, O’Brien-Murphy says she had found herself increasingly debilitated by back pain. At one point, she says she could hardly get out of a chair.

“It was really bad,” she says. “In fact, I was pulling myself up the stairs by the banister.” It was difficult getting into the car. And she could no longer walk the hills where she lives. For an active person, this was devastating.

So when she came upon an ad in her HMO’s newsletter, Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, she jumped at the chance to take part in the massage study.

After just two or three sessions with massage therapist Loretta Lanz, O’Brien-Murphy said she felt better. After each session she walked around the block, standing straighter and walking further each time. By the end, she felt “back to normal,” with a “spring to my walk and some energy in it!”

For O’Brien-Murphy, the massage-therapy experience has been life-changing: She has traveled to China, where she walked all over without problems, and she’s already planning her next trips.

No one knows exactly how massage works to relieve pain, says Dr. Richard Deyo of Oregon Health Sciences University, who also took part in the study.

“It may be that it helps with relaxation of muscles that are tense,” Deyo says. “But it may also be there are simply more generalized effects of relaxation — in the caring and attention and someone laying hands on — that may all be important.”

Researchers say future studies should look more closely at the benefits of massage and focus on cost-benefit analysis.

As for O’Brien-Murphy, she remains free of back pain, but not without some effort on her part. Other studies have shown that building strong and flexible muscles can help prevent back pain. O’Brien-Murphy never exercised before. But now she does weight training, muscle stretches and aerobic exercise — activities all shown to help prevent recurrence of lower back pain.

Contact Natural Healing Care Center (click) for more information on Massage Therapy for pain relief, or for any other questions,
call 520-323-0069

For Veterans With PTSD, Medical Marijuana Can Mean a Good Night’s Sleep

Too many American veterans face a new enemy, encountered months or many years after leaving active duty: sleeplessness.

David Bass, a US Army officer who served for 20 years, describes how insomnia can begin for soldiers.

‘In the combat zone, sleeping is extremely difficult. You’re adrenalized all the time.’

David Bass, 20-year Army veteran

“In the combat zone,” Bass says, “sleeping is extremely difficult. You’re adrenalized all the time, under tremendous pressure all the time to accomplish the mission. So you’re operating on extreme lack of sleep. My experience in Iraq was that medical personnel gave us Ambien. I personally became addicted to Ambien so I could sleep. Some of my friends who were also officers were also using it when we were there.”

But Ambien-induced sleep is different from regular sleep. “[Ambien] has some side effects,” said Bass. (Ambien is notorious for these known side effects). “I’ve seen people sleepwalking. That’s not a good thing to do in a combat zone—doing things and having no memory of it.” Continue reading “For Veterans With PTSD, Medical Marijuana Can Mean a Good Night’s Sleep”

Friday Fun: 10 Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Flavors That Sound Cannabis-Infused But Aren’t



Recently, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the founders of stoner-friendly Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, announced that if when cannabis becomes fully legal, they would definitely consider selling a cannabis-infused flavor of ice cream. Most of you are probably unsurprised by this revelation, although we’re guessing that some folks are scratching their heads and thinking, “Wait, how much more stoner can the guys who created ‘Bonnaroo Buzz’ get?” To that I say you have a point, fine sir (or ma’am). Here’s a list of 10 completely real Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors that, despite their 4/20-friendly moniker, aren’t already cannabis-infused:

Late Night Snack

In 2011, the duo created a new flavor of ice cream in honor of then-Late Night talk show host Jimmy Fallon (who has since moved on to hosting The Tonight Show). Despite the immediate association with 11th hour munchies, this frozen treat is cannabis-free, instead consisting of a vanilla bean ice cream with a salty caramel swirl and fudge-covered potato chip chunks. (Again, no cannabis. I swear.)

Continue reading “Friday Fun: 10 Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Flavors That Sound Cannabis-Infused But Aren’t”

To save your kids from a lifetime of unhealthy takeout, teach them how to cook

At the end of every school year, I am awed by how much my children have learned, the extent to which they have matured and the inches they have grown. The beginning of summer is a milestone worthy of pause.

On the flip side, I also mull over the things I had intended to personally teach my kids during the past year, goals that generally remain little more than a hope or dream.

kids cooking

Teaching them to cook is still on my bucket list. I also mean to teach them money management, meditation, how to resist technology (the toughest challenge of all!) and, once they can drive, how to change a tire. These are pretty basic ambitions, but honestly, I haven’t fully accomplished any of them.

Tackling these tasks seems impossible during the school year, when the kids have long days, piles of homework and weekend sports and therefore not a wink of free time. But a happy byproduct of summer is that we might have the time to knock one goal off my list.

So I hereby vow to conclusively teach my kids to cook. Here is my 11-step plan:

1. Start with the shopping. Successful cooking begins at the store. Teens should learn how to stock a pantry, plan meals for the week ahead, make a comprehensive and organized grocery list and stick to a monthly budget. I constantly encourage my kids to eat whole foods, but that doesn’t mean they have to shop at Whole Foods — their budget, when they’re on their own for the first time, will surely be small.

Continue reading “To save your kids from a lifetime of unhealthy takeout, teach them how to cook”

This 5-Minute Yoga Sequence Will Boost Your Energy ASAP

Ditch the coffee cup and grab your yoga mat instead.

In the Udaya video above, yoga instructor Caley Alyssa demonstrates a super-short sequence designed to help reenergize your body and mind. The moves are perfect if you’re slouched over a desk from nine to five. Each posture helps you stretch out your spine, release your back and open your chest.

Give the routine a try at the end of a long workday. You’ll be surprised at how invigorating it’ll be — no java required.

Find more teachings at

AZ State Laws and Regulations on Medical Marijuana – Know Your Facts

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding obtaining your medical marijuana card in Tucson, AZ. Our knowledgeable staff are more than willing to answer any questions or concerns you may have. dotcor

Call to schedule an appointment with one of our compassionate doctors today! Natural Healing Care Center 520-323-0069

Learn about about the latest AZ State Laws and Regulations on Medical Marijuana here:

5 Simple (But Powerful) Tools For Fighting Stress

We may not be able to avoid stress, but we can influence how it affects us. Learn the four factors that drive our response to stress and simple—but effective—tools for changing how you experience it.


Most people living in the modern world experience continuous stress in the form of daily hassles, relationship troubles, problems at work, chronic illness, or other external life events.

Have you ever wondered why some people are devastated by this stress, while others are relatively unaffected? Or why some people thrive in high-pressure, driven work environments while others self-destruct?

The reason different people respond so differently to the same stressors is that our response to stress is largely defined by perception.

In other words, although there are certain events that virtually all people experience as stressful (such as the death of a loved one), it is our subjective perception of the event—and the meaning that we assign to it—that determines how we respond.
Continue reading “5 Simple (But Powerful) Tools For Fighting Stress”

Yoga, Cannabis, and You: 6 Best Practices for Pairing Yoga with Marijuana

Yoga, Cannabis, and You: 6 Best Practices for Pairing Yoga with Marijuana


As a yogi and someone who enjoys cannabis, I am interested in the benefits of using it as a way to enhance my yoga practice. It is exciting and exhilarating to develop and explore yoga as a practice, and I’ve been happily surprised to discover that cannabis can enhance this exploration. My hope in sharing my thoughts about combining cannabis and yoga is not to encourage you to go off the deep end, but rather to help you refine both your practice and your cannabis use.

Combining cannabis with yoga is a fairly controversial subject within the wildly diverse community of yogis. While there is basic agreement that yogis seek to find freedom from suffering, still the mind, and find enlightenment by unifying the body, mind, and spirit, the means by which one may strive to achieve one or more of these will vary from practice to practice. There are those who may argue that developing your focus and physical purity could be hindered by consuming cannabis. Others may find that its use enables them to explore their practice more deeply and with fewer mental and physical barriers.

Continue reading “Yoga, Cannabis, and You: 6 Best Practices for Pairing Yoga with Marijuana”