Welcome To Florida Herb House!

Whether its organic herbs and spices you seek or are seeking the finest in all natural sea salt, pure undiluted essential oils, ionic liquid minerals, pure beeswax, loose leaf teas, herbal healing tinctures, or one of our home health test kits; Florida Herb House can help you. Shop over 2000 products online at http://www.sharpweblabs.com/ or http://www.floridaherbhouse.com/ or visit our retail store in Port Orange, Florida for all your health and nutrition needs. Shhhh.......Use this online coupon code for an instant 10-20% savings upon checkout. Coupon Code = FLORIDAHERB

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Florida Herb House Bits - Working On The Farm

Without farming and farmers, our Florida Herb House organic and all natural store would not exist. Let's all take our hats off and salute all the hard working men and women who work to maintain the backbone of our agricultural world. After moving to Florida in 2004 the owner of Florida Herb House, Stephen Sharp had the pleasure of becoming friends with a local farmer and got to know first hand what is involved in a hard day's work on the farm. Let's join Stephen now and live a day on a Florida farm.

"Early to Bed and Early to Rise Makes a Man Healthy, Wealthy and Wise." These famous words farmer, Bill, cites could not be closer to the truth for any dedicated farmer. Waking before sunrise is a daily routine for Bill and he simply loves it. He goes on to say "Just like any business the early bird gets the worm. Seeing the sun rise every day brings a new adventure on my farm and the beginning of another great day." See farmer Bill owns a large ninety-acre farm in Florida and makes use of every little bit of it whether it is for hay, crops or animals. Bill stays busy seven days a week during the sowing and harvesting seasons on the farm.

So we started out at about 5 am for a quick feed to some of the smaller animals and horses. After that we visited the portion of the farm where Bill gathers hay. Have you ever drove by a farm and seen all those neat looking rolls of hay that resemble large wagon wheels? This is not an illusion. This is how hay is bundled in modern times and the result of modern day technologies and inventions of amazing machines. These inventions have cut down work loads and increased production for farmers all over the world. It all started in 1837 when a man named John Deere debuted his shiny new steel plow invention for all to marvel at. This one of a kind plow was the only one of its kind that could conquer the dense, mineral rich soil of the western United States. It was the beginning of a new era in farming, and before long came the hay machine that we were about to ride on. This wonderful invention would cut, roll and tie hay into nice neat bundles, without any other equipment needed. It cut the farmers workload down by about 80% over the old conventional horse driven days.

After a quick lunch it was tend to the cows. We spent about two hours herding the cows, feeding them and giving them fresh water to drink. Bill's cows were used to make milk and produce thousands of gallons of milk per year. After this it was time to hit the vegetables and pick the days greens for Bill's produce stand. His roadside stand was a popular place for all locals and a favorite for some of the freshest and tastiest veggies around. We spent about three more hours picking everything from cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, squash, and zucchinis. By now it was about 6pm and we were exhausted. We thanked Bill and he sent us off with a fresh basket of world class veggies to take with us. What a day!

Please stop by and visit us online at www.SharpWebLabs.com or www.FloridaHerbHouse.com to shop some of our world class gourmet culinary cooking spices and herbs for your next recipe. Use the online coupon FLORIDAHERB for 10-20% off your online order. From organic grown artichoke leaf to wild lettuce we have it all in stock and ready for all your culinary or health needs. Now in stock is over fifty of our exclusive natural flavored black and green teas from Sri Lanka. Try our superfood green powders for the ultimate health boost today! Stop by and say hi today. Have a happy and healthy day!

Lawrence K.
Ormond Beach, FL
Florida Herb House

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why Choose Organic Meat?

Happy Wednesday From All Of Us Here At Florida Herb House!

So you are thinking about shelling out the extra cash for organic meat huh? Well we for one say "Way To Go!" Being the leading all natural herb and spice company here in Florida for five years we can confidently say eating organic meat compared to regular meat has many benefits!

Food certified under U.S. Dept. of Agriculture regulations as organic must be produced without most synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Antibiotics, growth hormones, and feed made from animal parts are also banned.

Widespread use of antibiotics and growth hormones is a larger issue for those considering organic meat, poultry, eggs, and milk. Here, the major health benefit to consumers is indirect. Antibiotic use in animals helps promote antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, explains Urvashi Rangan, director of eco-labels.org, a site developed by Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports. And while the U.S. Food & Drug Administration says the growth hormone used in cattle is virtually identical to what cows naturally produce, consumer groups such as Consumers Union argue that milk from treated cows has higher levels of a growth factor linked to increased cancer risk.spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease. The disease spreads when cows ingest animal feed made with parts from dead animals. The human form of the illness, Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease, is believed to be caused by eating contaminated beef. It is always fatal. The risk of contracting the disease, however, is low. The U.S. has had only one confirmed case of mad cow disease, and the only American case of CJD involved a woman who contracted it in Great Britain.

Whether to shell out more for organic beef will depend on your budget -- and how seriously you take the threat of mad cow disease. Other ways to lower the odds include avoiding processed meats such as hot dogs and preground hamburger that might contain bits of brain or spinal cord and eschewing cuts sold with the bone, says Michael Hansen, a senior research associate at Consumers Union.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Simple Tea Buying Guide!

Today we are excited to join CEO and founder of "Florida Herb House" Stephen Sharp for some helpful tips and advice on choosing the right tea for your budget and health needs. Now lets hand it over to Stephen!

It's a pleasure to be here and thanks for having me! At Florida Herb House loose leaf tea is our best seller and it pays to do your research before shelling out $20 for some tea. Any tea in loose leaf form is in it's earliest stage of its life cycle. This means you are getting the best tea your dollar can buy. Supermarket and shelf stock tea just has too much age to compare to loose leaf teas. It can take several months for a pre-packaged tea to make it into your tea cup compared to a few weeks in many cases for tea to be harvested and then delivered in bulk form to our store. White, Green, Oolong, and Black tea taste from a tea bag will always be inferior compared to the taste from whole loose leaves. So when you steep your tea, please make sure it is from whole freshly dried leaves. We guarantee satisfaction at Florida Herb House as quality high grade tea is our trademark.
White, Green, Oolong and Black tea all are produced from the "Camellia sinensis" plant. "Camellia sinensis" is native to China and Asia and grown in many tropical regions throughout the world today. WikiPedia states, "It is an evergreen shrub or small tree that is usually trimmed to below two meters (six feet) when cultivated for its leaves. It has a strong taproot. The flowers are yellow-white, 2.5–4 cm in diameter, with 7 to 8 petals."
The main difference in each one of these teas is when and how they are processed. "Processed" means picked, fermented (or oxidized), dried, etc. etc. Optimal time to pick the tea leaves is April-May with some variations expected. It can take several years for these plants to produce a plentiful harvest. Green and White tea is considered the least processed with the most antioxidants and the least amounts of caffeine. Green tea will have a pleasant grassy taste while White tea will boast a more floral flavor. White tea is actually produced using the plant's flower buds. The buds are picked before they bloom and then baked or steamed to halt any oxidation process. This preserves the high anti-oxidant properties of the tea. Green tea is made in a similar fashion but with the leaves of the plant. The highest quality green tea will contain only leaves while some lesser quality varieties will be leaves and twigs combined.
Next in line is oolong tea. Oolong teas are said to be the hardest of the four to create. Oolong tea is somewhere in between green and black tea. This is because they are only partially fermented "oxidized" during the processing cycle. Oolong tea has less antioxidants than green and white tea but more than black tea. Caffeine levels are in the middle.
Finally the most processed of the teas are black tea as shown on the left side of the screen. Black tea leaves are picked the same way green and oolong tea leaves are picked but these leaves are fermented "oxidized" the longest. The term oxidized refers to how long the leaves are exposed to a set air temperature and humidity. You can compare this to an oak tree leaf falling on the ground and beginning to turn brown. The longer the tea leaf is oxidized the more it is considered "processed". The tea leaves that are most processed have a unique taste that is loved by many but lack the high levels of antioxidants that the green and white teas contain. Black tea contains the highest levels of caffeine also and have a full bodied taste.
Basically there are 3 main things to consider when choosing your tea. You have flavor, nutritional benefits, and price.
White tea is has a light, delicate, flavor with a touch of sweetness. Green tea can have a range of flavors depending on many factors but most all will have a fresh green grassy taste. You will either love or hate green tea but it is a must try. Oolong tea will produce a woody, earthy taste with slight flowery taste and last of all black tea can be compared to your morning cup of coffee. It gives a bold, deep, earthy flavor.
The nutritional benefits of tea are vast and deep. Several studies have revealed the anti-cancer properties of antioxidant poly-phenols found in tea. From cancer fighting properties to health skin support it has been proven that 2-6 cups of tea per day is healthy addition to any diet. Some teas have higher antioxidant levels than others. To reap the amazing anti-oxidant properties choose either white or green tea. These are the least processed and have the highest levels of poly phenols (antioxidants) per ounce as well as the lowest levels of caffeine.
As far as cost goes, well we would have to give white tea the highest prices. A high quality Darjeeling White Tea can cost upwards of $150/lb.! Green and black tea have the most appealing prices as these are the teas which are produced the most. Supply and demand tend to dictate the cost of tea just as with anything else. Oolong teas are second in price after white tea. So in conclusion the cost from high to low is white, oolong, green, and black tea. Sampling different teas is not only fun and relaxing but healthy for you too! May the tea be with you always!

Shop The Finest Tea Here!Stephen Sharp

Florida Herb House

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Where To Buy The Best Saffron?

Born, raised, 20 Min's South of Boston, MA and now living in Florida the herb and spice expert and CEO of "Florida Herb House" Stephen Sharp shares his knowledge of Saffron and how to select the best Saffron for your culinary creations.

Foods Bitz: Where does Saffron come from?

Stephen Sharp: Saffron comes from the crocus sativus plant. We purchase all our Saffron for sale at Florida Herb House direct from 3 different countries, Iran, Spain, and Greece. We choose our location depending on who is yielding the highest quality Saffron threads. Iran and Spain produce about 80% of the world's Saffron supply.

Food Bitz: Why is Saffron so expensive?

Stephen Sharp: That is a great question! Saffron requires huge amounts of work to produce. The best Saffron you can buy is the Saffron Threads. Each Saffron flower only has 3 threads or "Stigmas". On the top of each thread or stigma is an anther. The anther is the head of the thread and can weigh more than the thread itself. Often lesser quality Saffron has the anthers mixed in with the threads as they add weight. It takes over 13,000 individual threads to make just an ounce of Saffron so you can see why it is so expensive. Anywhere from 400,000 stigmas or upwards of 85,000 flowers are required to yield a pound of saffron! Also the intense labor involved in the picking and processing plays a large part in the high costs. We pride ourselves at Florida Herb House by offering the finest Saffron threads without the "Anthers".

Food Bitz: What are the Saffron stamens?

Stephen Sharp: Another great question! The male part of the flower is the stamen. Stamens are half the size of the stigmas. When dried the stamens are yellowish in color. Their appearance in the spice is a giveaway that the saffron being purchased is not top grade and has added dead weight. The lighter the color, the more stamens there are. True saffron powder has a rich vermilion color. The highest quality Saffron should not have any stamens mixed in with the threads as the yellow stamens offer little if any culinary value.

Foods Bitz: What are the Saffron stigmas?

Stephen Sharp: In a good crop, each plant typically produces several flowers. The stigma or female part of the flower is the actual source of saffron. The stigmas are painstakingly picked by hand. Then they are dried or cured and transformed into pure saffron.

Foods Bitz: What about fake and imitation Saffron?

Stephen Sharp: Yes some companies sell another flower called Safflower or "American Saffron". They advertise this as "Saffron" to unsuspecting customers. The color of your Saffron is the first clue to its quality. The general rule of thumb is high quality Saffron should be a uniform red color and the threads should be brittle.

It should have a distinct aroma also not a musty smell. Florida Herb House sells both Safflower and Saffron and advertise our Safflower as "Safflower" so not to confuse any novice spice buyers. We also sell both the mixed Saffron (Saffron Threads Mixed With The Stamens) and also the pure Saffron threads (Saffron Threads With No Stamens Or Anthers) for a great variety of choices for all types of chefs and cuisines. Every ounce of our Saffron ranks highest on the color and aroma scale!

Foods Bitz: What does Saffron taste like?

Stephen Sharp: Saffron has a very light natural favor. Its earthy aroma when used properly helps many chefs look good or even great in many cases. It does take some practice to learn how much Saffron to use in a particular recipe. The flavor from Saffron can not be boiled away which makes it an easy addition to any recipe calling for it.

Foods Bitz: How do you cook with Saffron?

Stephen Sharp: If you use too much Saffron in a recipe, your food will result with a medicine like taste. Use just the right amount and saffron will add a unique pleasant and lightly spicy flavor to a dish. Most recipes will call for a good pinch of the threads. Just a quarter teaspoon will season rice for four or six people. Cookbook authors often recommend soaking the threads in water or milk before adding to a recipe. This also encourages that gorgeous yellow color to shine through.

Foods Bitz: What foods is Saffron used with the most?

Stephen Sharp: Saffron is commonly used in many Asian dishes as well as various fish and rice recipes. It is the backbone to a French Bouillabaisse. Chefs consider it a must for paella, as well as for arr oz con pol lo, chicken with rice. Risotto Milanese is the Italian offering for saffron rice. It also can be used in tomato, potato, and soup recipes.

Special thanks to Florida Herb House and Stephen Sharp for his time and expertise on this
woderful spice. Try some Saffron in your next culinary creation and watch all you friends and family guests Ohhhhhh!! and Ahhhhhh!! you when you mention that one word....SAFFRON!!

Food Bitz - Lee S.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Going...Going...Gone GREEN!

Happy Thursday Blogger Friends!

It is a sunny day here in central Florida. We are excited to find the organic herbs and food industry is growing at a constant rate and more than ever! Organic sales in the United States reached $24.6 billion in sales in 2008. Organic food is the largest segment of organic products, totaling $22.9 billion in sales and accounting for 93% of all organic product sales. The growth rate for food and non-food organic products combined was 17.1% between 2007 and 2008. The growth rate for organic food products in 2008 over 2007 was 15.8%. Organic food now accounts for 3.47% of all food products sold in the U.S. The growth rate for non-food organic products was 39.4%. This non-food category includes personal care products, nutritional supplements, fiber, clothing, household cleaners, flowers, and pet food.

Florida Herb House now offers over 1800 organic and green friendly products for your home or business. We specialize in organic herbs and culinary spices as well as all natural sea salts, pure essential oils, herbal healing alcohol tinctures, loose leaf teas, plenty of organic and all natural superfood drink powders and so much more! You can shop us 24/7 online at either www.FloridaHerbHouse.com or www.SharpWebLabs.com!

So back to the increasing demand for organic products.... OTA reports U.S. organic food sales have grown between 17 and 21 percent each year since 1997, to nearly triple in sales, while total U.S. food sales over this time period have grown in the range of only 2 to 4 percent a year. According to the findings, organic food sales now represent approximately 5 percent of U.S. food sales.

Go organic today and lead a healthier lifestyle!

Stephen A. Sharp