Winter’s Coming – Rosemary and Garlic and Butternut – Is it all in?


Today, with Bill’s help we finished prepping the Rosemary cut branches for plugs, distillation, drying Rosemary for culinary uses, and juicing the apples left by the voracious yellow jackets.  Above is the herbs culled for drying and the prepared plugs of Rosemary for growing out.  The Rosemary that looks best, is prepared by taking at least l/3rd of the leaves off a fairly straight stalk, leaving the stalks in willow water for a while and then putting them in soil.

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Whiskers, Bill’s rescued cat perches on the big red box of composted soil which is the winter beds of some of the lavender plugs which are growing out.  I will put some plastic over them Friday as it is predicted that there will be a freeze then.  On the bench in the background, the only herb left still out is the parsley and a crock of Rosemary branches to be used for distillation later.  They too rest in water doctored with willow leaves and twigs.  Willow has aspirin in it and this use to give energy to plugs is one used many many years.  I find it works and get about 75% success in making them into new plants.

Because we are planning to move from La Paix Herb Farm due to the threat of fracking nearby, we are trying to devise methods of keeping plants and plugs so that they are both winter hardy and we can take them with us when we leave.  So the lavender plugs are sunk up to the top of their pots in soil and they will be heated slightly when the weather is below 32 degrees.  So, when we move, we can just pull up the pots, put them in trays and hope they can be planted where we go.  There are about 50 pots in the big red box and 25 more or so in the plastic topped box (see extreme right of 2nd photo  subsequent photos) and about 25 more here and there under lights in the house.  Rosemary will die if kept in a warm dry house.  It thrives in the glass greenhouse covered with plastic in the backyard if it gets a little heat when the temperature is below 20 degrees.


I couldn’t resist taking some of the plugs from the Rosemary and doing this experiment.  First, the Greenhouse, as you saw yesterday, is full, so that’s out as a winter home.  So, I thought there is this small row in the middle of the Plastic Greenhouse in the Kitchen Garden – why can’t I buy window boxes (on sale now) and plant them in the window boxes which Bill will dig in up to their tops in the Plastic Greenhouse.?  So, we’re trying that.  I may have put too many in this box – I usually just do one plug in each 3 inch pot, but this is an experiment done so that if we move we can take the plugs with us!


Here are the Rosemary plugs in one of the two window boxes in the plastic greenhouse.  Lavender plugs in foreground.


You can see all the plugs here – I probably put way too many in the Rosemary plug window box on the left middle.  But it is an experiment!


My son, Bill, who did all the heavy lifting and filling of the window boxes with mostly compost from 7 Springs, thinks it will work!


And to continue on our winter lay away plan, Bill fills 5 more window boxes up to the brim with compost and soil for the garlic.  I usually plant garlic on Halloween but Halloween is going to be quite cold, so he started today and put 4 cloves each in each of the first two boxes.  The cloves are from harvest of this past year and some from the year before.  I just can’t bear to leave La Paix without some garlic planted for our new place which I hope will be nice and even gardened organically too.  Thirty four years of growing organically here – the soil is so rich – it is so friable – well, if the Universe is telling me (and I’m pretty sure it is) that I have to drop some old ways of thinking and being and start a new journey, I guess I can do it again.  But I’m going to take what I can with me.


We will cover the garlic cloves, which will be planted 3 inches deep, with new compost from this year, leaves and wire fencing to keep the leaves from blowing.  We have three more boxes to plant tomorrow – that’s 4 cloves in each box for a total of only 20 bulbs – but we can grow from there.

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We harvested the butternut squash which I hadn’t known I planted and look forward to that wonderful butternut squash soup this winter (and saving the seeds – we already saved the pumpkin seeds last weekend) and I finally got to steal the fallen apples from the yellow jackets early this morning because they had been rained on and it was still raining a little.  I will now go down and cut them up for apple juice.  It is the Allegheny Black Twig Apple – delicious but pretty funny looking – they have fire blight and squirrels and birds and bees to contend with.


I guess I look like an old apple too – no bites out of me though – so far……

I wish you all a fine and healthy harvest – not only of food for the table but food for thought and memories of the smells and feel and look of the earth, its plants and trees.  Aren’t we blessed?

If anyone would like a Rosemary plug please message me here or on the La Paix Herb Farm Facebook page.

Joy!  Myra

La Paix’s Wood Walk – Magical and Ephemeral with Angels

On October 26th and 27th I was privileged to walk in the fall of La Paix Herb Farm’s woods with first, my son and granddaughter and on the 27th with two wise women – Goddesses in fact, from Charleston West Virginia

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My son, William Hale (Bill) and his daughter, my granddaughter Aijah  walked with me in the woods – the last of Fall.  It was a lovely walk, celebrating all God’s wisdom and beauty – all the Gods and all the Prophets –


Aijah and Bill admire the oak tree which was struck by lightening separating its trunk about 20 years ago.  I think the oak looks quite grounded!


They scraped leaves from the bridge to make my path safer.


The woods at the first level where there are benches to sit on and ponder nature were quite stunning.


Aijah found some mushrooms on a rotting log.


It was a truly lovely day at La Paix.  So peaceful and serene.

Then on Sunday Ashley Wiley and Nikki Hoffman, Goddesses from Charleston, WV came to stroll the woods, seek its magic, commune with nature and me – we had dinner (pesto pasta) later with wine and then told each others runes.  We all learned something – alot of somethings actually.


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Nikki brought her stones to clarify in La Paix’s magical woods.  Torma seems to be trying to comfort Nikki.  She has a special way with animals.  Ashley looks on.


Torma seems to be saying, “You’ve placed your special items, not its time for me.”


Nikki meditates on the forest before her while Torma and Bill’s cat Whiskers accompany her.



Ashley comforts Whiskers, the cat, who certainly enjoyed the journey.


At the end of the journey Ashley and Nikki discovered an elf or fairy house in the path.  What or Who  do you think lives there?

Thank you all for such a blessed day with such wonderful exciting and meditative people (and dog, and cat).  Love, Myra

It was certainly in the woods yesterday – Love, Peace and Joy.  Know it when you see it, Take a photo if just in your mind, and Remember it always.

WVU Journalism Student JimCat Scott to do 7 week Story on Fracking Here and There and a Letter to the Editor


JimCat Scott, Journalism student at WVU came for his first interview yesterday for a story which he is investigating for the next seven weeks.  I hope to have alot of my friends, supporters, environmentalists and neighbors involved.

In the Meantime, my letter to the Editor of the local Paper, the Weston Democrat was published in the Wed., October 22nd newspaper.  It is in response to a letter to the Editor the week before wherein I was accused of being a luddite among other less than complimentary things.  Here it is.  Peace, Joy and Love, Myra

Letter to the Editor Weston Democrat            October 19, 2014 submission.


To the Editor:


In the Letter to the Editor section of The Weston Democrat newspaper of October 15th, a proponent of Marcellus Shale Drilling in Lewis County sought to defend his position by impugning the integrity of my presentation at the Lewis County Commission on October 6th.  Rather than launching a personal attack on one person as he has done, I will state the facts about fracking from known experts and news reports.  A “fact is something that truly exists or happens; something that has actual existence” according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary.  So here are the Facts of Fracking.


Frack Fact # 1:  Water Quantity and Quality in Fracking:  Each drill site requires between 3 and 5 million gallons of water per frack. (Penn State Public Broadcasting project). The water brought in is mixed with sand and chemicals to create fracking fluid.  Approximately 40,000 gallons of chemicals are used per fracturing (Hydrolic Fracking 101).  Up to 600 chemicals are used in fracking including lead, uranium, mercury, methanol, formalahyde (op.cit.).  During this process, methane gas and toxic chemicals may leach out from the system and contaminate nearby groundwater.

Methane concentrations are 17x higher in drinking-water wells near fracturing. There have been over 1,000 documented cases of water contamination next to areas of gas drilling as well as cases of sensory, respiratory, and neurological damage due to ingested contaminated water. (op.cit).   In Doddridge County, Water Buffaloes were provided (large water storage containers), when a well drilling incident could have released methane gas into 12 personal wells. (Marcellus Drilling News)

“Legislators and federal regulators are increasingly looking at hydraulic fracturing as more than the isolated act of breaking apart the gas-bearing rock; they see it as part of an interconnected series of often hazardous steps, from trucking and storing toxic chemicals on a well site to disposing of the fluid laced with salt, metals and radiation that comes back out of the wells.

In March, the Environmental Protection Agency announced plans for a study of hydraulic fracturing that would consider all of those factors – the whole life-cycle of a well.”  (The Times Tribune).

PARIS — France’s highest court on Friday upheld a government ban on a controversial drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, in a defeat for a method that has revolutionized the oil and natural gas industry in the United States.  (The NY Times)

In addition to France, Bulgaria has banned fracking. Britain has allowed modest experiments, though those have met with public discontent. Industry hopes that Germany, which decided to end its atomic power after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan, would be receptive to fracking have also met with disappointment.

On Wednesday, the European Parliament voted to tighten the rules on fracking, giving initial approval to a measure to require in-depth environmental impact studies on all such projects.  (The NY Times)

Germany has also banned fracking.

Frack Fact #2:  The Social Costs of Fracking – a Pennsylvania Case Study: “First, the residents often say, there’s the traffic.  Communities have been unexpectedly flooded with heavy tractor trailers that locals say turn 10 minute-commutes into hour-long ordeals, choke back roads and decimate pavement….. A “wild west” atmosphere brings with it increased crime and public health problems.  A new report by Food and Water Watch examines the social impacts of fracking in rural Pa. counties:  transient workers, disorderly conduct arrests.   The Most-fracked Pa. communities have experienced steep upticks in drunken driving, traffic violations and bar fights – researchers calculated the financial burden imposed on rural counties by traffic accidents alone, $28 million.

Frack Fact #3:   According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Lewis county has a total area of 390 square miles, of which 387 square miles) is land and 2.7 square miles (0.7%) is water.  According to WV NPR radio, 288 wells are scheduled to be drilled in the western part of Lewis County.  Over 300 wells in all are predicted to be drilled.  There are three to five wells on each pad.  That would change Lewis County from a rural area of farms, woods and homes to an industrial site.  I put it succinctly “You can have fracking or you can have homes and farming – you can’t have both.”

In my presentation to the Lewis County Commission, I used the green flags of Respect, Resist and Re-New.  Respect to those who are impacted by fracking is needed, we can Resist by clarifying and informing and involving our residents and neighbors in the questions that are raised and getting answers.  We could Re-New by looking at educating and training our workers in renewable energy projects, which help the environment, and increase employment of local people.  Respect, Resist, Renew.

Frack Fact #4:  My name is Myra Bonhage-Hale.

Would you like to tell me your fracking story?  After being called a Luddite by a person who works in the oil/gas industry, I looked up what it meant.  When the Industrial Revolution began, a man named Luddite in England organized other mill workers to destroy the new machines which they thought were going to take their jobs, their livelihoods and their lives as they knew them.  I’m not sure the Luddites weren’t right in the light of fracking here.  What do you think?  Let me know – but please keep out the personal vindictive aspersions.  We’re all grown up here – and we keep growing.


Painting Labyrinth at La Paix



There’s a Hole in the Heart of West Virginia (It’s called multifracking)

 The Global Frackdown Day at La Paix October 11th, 2014


Fracking Poster #1            Fracking Poster #2

Fracking Poster #3

Frackdown Day at La Paix Herb Farm – Saturday, October 11th, 2014  Media represented by Michael Barrick, Appalachian Chronicle, WBOY-TV Marisa Matyola, WDTV – Wesley Uhler



People did so enjoy talking with one another that I didn’t get too many people to sign the eraser board. But I did and said, “West Virginia,Almost Hell. Ban Fracking!” I do not think I can stay here and see what will happen – La Paix is for sale. La Paix means peace. Peace is for sale! — at La Paix Herb Farm.




Tom Bond, born and raised in Lewis County, and a retired professor of chemistry, relates that his farm in Jane Lew, too, is threatened. He wonders how the State Road personnel are allowing seismograph readings and considers it an invasion of privacy to his home and farm on which he does not own mineral rights. The separation of mineral rights from surface rights, legislated long ago in West Virginia, has caused huge problems for those who live on the land. It is being taken away from residents who are left with nothing but regret. and some anger too! — at La Paix Herb Farm.





Tom Berlin, a friend of many years – I worked with his wife Becky, at the old Weston Hospital speaks up – and tells of his concern for the woods and forests that are now so plentiful and beautiful here in Lewis County, but will soon be decimated by fracking plans – over 300 wells on 382 sq. miles in ten years. The birds, the trees, the wonderful plants that have so many uses – all destroyed through the greed of the few and bringing misery to many. Can it be stopped? — at La Paix Herb Farm.


John Cobb, Eve Von Deck and my son Bill Hale, savored the pot luck contributions of those who came – Eve’s salad was a work of art and very good to eat too – the Smith Island 7 layer chocolate cake from Maryland was savored by all – rolls, garlic butter, my lavender chicken, pesto and Mary’s crackers, wine, coffee, tea, cake, and tortilla chips – it was all very good and it was lovely to dine and talk with so many caring people.  I have made many friends and have many supporters in West Virginia – I shall miss them so much – it has been a wonderful journey full of fantastic, wise and caring people – perhaps they can visit me when I leave.  When I leave.  Oh, it is so hard to leave.  Almost as difficult as it was when my first husband, Kathleen’s father, died of bone cancer when I was holding his hand.  This is so hard for so many people, many of whom were in this room yesterday – all with stories of hard work, lost dreams and pain .





Two very personable, caring reporters, Marisa and Wesley Uhler, – I hope I have their names right. If not please make a comment below – they deserve the credit! See WBOY-TV’s coverage on their website and on the 11 p.m. news last night.  WDTV’s coverage was posted on the website too.     This is 3:46 a.m. – I am having trouble sleeping lately. — at La Paix Herb Farm.



Barbara Volk, whose farm and horses over the hill from me on Laurel Run discusses the pipe lines to be placed all over Lewis County – with Diane Gooding who states that a 36 inch pipeline is slated for Rt. 33, the road to Weston that goes past so many homes and the Alum Bridge School. Pipelines have been leaking, blowing up and causing great harm to the surroundings and the people thereof from Alaska through the midwest and now, here. Compressor Stations go along with pipe lines creating a cacophony of constaint noise, the decibel level very high. — at La Paix Herb Farm.




Eve Von Deck, my good friend for many years, and now newly elected President of the WV Herb Association, talks with Diane Gooding. Both have homes and farms threatened by fracking nearby – and are not sure what can be done about it. All care for not only their own homes but what is happening to West Virginia, which is rapidly being overrun with huge trucks, property taken over by others, noise, air, water and soil pollution – and to me the worst, the danger to children, who are effected sooner and very badly with health problems when they are near fracking activity.— at La Paix Herb Farm.



John Cobb did a wonderful summation of the problems of fracking and living in West Virginia – see WDTV for his story. A very wise man. Rockefeller’s office yesterday and asked Senator Rockefeller, (Wes Holden is who I talked with – asked that Senator Rockefeller would ask Obama to ban fracking – the carbon/methane release is astronomical and will lead to the certain death of much of our environment within 20 years if it isn’t stopped. As the good Senator, who has many times stepped in to support the environment, could do this on his way to retirement – what a way to leave – because it isn’t going to happen with WV legislators – we need to ban fracking from the top – I voted for Obama – couldn’t he do this one great thing? Couldn’t he? Will he? We need superheros right now – there is so much money in so few hands (the Koch brothers for instance) that our democracy is failing as our environment is wrecked – for money for a few and agony for many. and that includes the birds, the wild life, the plants, the trees and me and thee.


April Keating speaks on the terrible effects on water as a result of fracking – and predicts the next wars will be over water. And I add, you can’t drink gas! Diane Gooding looks on.

— at La Paix Herb Farm.





My son’s friend, Paul Lamb’s mother Ruth Lamb speaks out – and asks that the don’t know they don’t know residents be aware that fracking will ruin the air, the water, the soil and their very lives – some of her concerns were part of the WBOY-TV story last night. — at La Paix Herb Farm.


Diane Gooding expressed distress and alarm – she has worked with various scientists on the effects of fracking – and is concerned that her farm, a labor of love, will be lost to the machinations of the fracking business – a dirty business, I might add. When I spoke to the Lewis County Commission last Monday I talked about the 3 R’s – Respect, Resist Renew. That those in charge of fracking have little or no respect for those whose life they are threatening – that we must resist and that sustainable energy, green business could bring us not only more and better jobs, but a cleaner environment. They are taking water from the Ohio fRiver to frack the wells – 5 to 7 million gallons a well – the Ohio River is down one inch already and they are trucking the water from the Ohio to frack in Lewis County (a neighbor tells me) – The water is being jeopardized in people’s water wells all over this country. Cattle are dying and having stillborn calves, wildlife die from drinking the contaminated water. We could do much better than this. Guess I’m on a rant – its 4 a.m. and I can’t sleep.



— at La Paix Herb Farm.  Granddaughter Aijah in the Sanctuary Garden at La Paix.  The pollution from fracking- air, earth, water effects children’s health before and often worse than adults.  The 625 chemicals, benzene, etc. many cancer causing in fracking water which is first dispersed through the earth and then taken and put somewhere ????? – a thinking man from Clarksburg nearby asked at the Lewis County Commission meeting why dye couldn’t be put in the fracking water so that when it spilled on streets and roads and otherwise people would know it was dangerous.  But that hasn’t been done either by the frackers.  Oh if just for the children, we could ban fracking.  If just for the children.

The following are photos of La Paix’s Gardens, Woods:

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Painting La Paix Woods in Winter

La Paix’s Woods in winter –  Painting by Steward Myra Bonhage-Hale from a photo I had taken one winter’s walk in the woods.  I shall miss them so.  Do you think – speaking of Quantum Physics, that the beauty that is here could be living on another plane somewhere – somewhere where it cannot be destroyed.

We need help.  We need Soul.  We need People.  We need Love.  We need Hope.  We need Peace.  We Need Joy.  We need Courage.

Global Frackdown Meeting at La Paix Sat., Oct. 11th, 2014

Come to La Paix on Saturday Oct. 11th, Bring your love, your wisdom, your hopes and your spirit. We are all connected.
Please come to the Global Frackdown at La Paix on Saturday the 11th at 2p.m.It starts at 2 p.m. – we are going to do several things: writing on eraser board what we think of fracking etc. and taking photos to be immediately put on FAcebook and the international Global Frackdown website. also free give away of lovely African blue basil for anyone who wants some – a wood walk and the movie Gasland II – its a potluck so far we organic green salad, Smith Island 7 layer chocolate cake and about 7 or 8 Lavender Chicken breasts. Let me know if you are coming and what you can bring. Love,Myra ps to get here Take 33 west from Weston about 20 miles to Crooked Run Rd. on left (sign on rt). Turn left on Crooked Run and continue for about 2 miles to first real left (will see back of a Stop sign) turn left and continue to end of road…..Hope to see you here.
Photo: Please come to the Global Frackdown at La Paix on Saturday the 11th at 2p.m.It starts at 2 p.m. - we are going to do several things:  writing on eraser board what we think of fracking etc. and taking photos to be immediately put on FAcebook and the international Global Frackdown website.  also free give away of lovely African blue basil for anyone who wants some - a wood walk and the movie Gasland II - its a potluck so far we organic green salad, Smith Island 7 layer chocolate cake and about 7 or 8 Lavender Chicken breasts.  Let me know if you are coming and what you can bring.  Love,Myra  ps to get here  Take 33 west from Weston about 20 miles to Crooked Run Rd. on left (sign on rt).  Turn left on Crooked Run and continue for about 2 miles to first real left (will see back of a Stop sign) turn left and continue to end of road.....Hope to see you here.
See The Appalachian Chronicle on the website for article on La Paix – From Heaven to Hell West Virginia in 34 years.


Presentation to Lewis County Commission 10-6-2014 re: Fracking in Lewis County, W.V.

Presentation to Lewis County Commissioners, West Virginia Date:  Monday, Oct.  6th, 2014 by Myra Bonhage-Hale, Steward, La Paix Herb Farm, Alum Bridge, WV 26321, Lewis County. (304) 269-7681, Commissioners:
Agnes G. Queen, President
Patrick D. Boyle, Commissioner
Thomas V. Fealy, Commissioner

Staff Cindy Whetsell, Administrator
Phyllis Corathers, Assistant Administrator 110 Center Avenue, 2nd Floor
PO Box 466 Weston, WV 26452  304-269-8200

Good Morning Commissioners Queen, Boyle and Fealy.  Thank you for giving me this opportunity to tell you of my concerns for La Paix Herb Farm and Lewis County and West Virginia and the world.

When I came to West Virginia as a single parent to the abandoned farm now known as La Paix I thought of it as “Almost Heaven”.  In the thirty-four years I have been here, I have worked hard to make La Paix – its beautiful gardens, woods, wild life, 1890 Victorian Farmhouse with attached Log Cabin (circa 1850) what it could always be – the bones of fantastic beauty were there – but I was able to put my blood, sweat, tears, laughter, Joy, Love and Peace into what it is today – having apprentices from WV colleges earn credits in Environmental Studies, apprentices from Japan, India and elsewhere, a Lavender Fair for nine years, workshops, and serene surroundings.  It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006.

Until just recently, I planned to live here for my forever and be able to give its beauty to my children, Bill and Kathleen, and my granddaughter, Aijah.

It all began when rumors started circulating about fracking moving into Lewis County, culminating in a very uninforming, disrespectful “open house” given by Consol Energy.  I took these signs to that meeting:  Show  3 signs:  1.  Obligation to National Historic Landmark, 2.  How many wells do you plan to drill and 3.  How much water does it take to drill a Marcellus shale well?  There and later, the answers seem to be:  1.   No obligation to National Historic Landmark evident – just log into WV EPA for a notice of intent to drill which will be there and in the local

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 Fracking Green Flags #3

newspaper (subscribe to the Weston Democrat) about 30 days before the permit is granted.



Fracking Poster #1            Fracking Poster #2Fracking Poster #3




Then I can tell them this is a National Historic Landmark.  2.  How many wells?  288 mile to mile wells in Western Lewis County where La Paix lives.  Over 300 to be drilled in Lewis County “making it change from a rural area to an industrial site” a/c to the WV EPA advocate.  3.  How much water and where does it come from?  Approximately 5 million gallons a water a well purportedly coming from Lewis Co. water supplies but rumor has it that the water is coming from the Ohio River which has already gone down an inch from the vast amounts of water taken from it.  Where does the contaminated water go?  In open pits – the water containing over 265 different chemicals, some of them carcinogenic.

Litte red flags dot Crooked Run Rd. – the 2.5 miles to my home at La Paix.  They denote, I am told by an employee of the surveying company, SIS, where the seisomograph machine will test whether there is Marcellus shale gas under the earth.  There is one way in and one way out Crooked Run.  This means if drilling is done here it will be difficult for children to get to school, others to get to work and in medical emergencies.

So I have here some Green Flags – green for the earth, green for sustainability, green for Love that grows.  I have a little information on each subject to disperse today and I will give a brief outline of what the various issues mean.

The first flag is Respect.  We little people, who only own the surface rights, who are here to enjoy nature, our families and each other – we don’t get much respect.  Flag says:  Respect Obligations to National Historic Registered Properties Like La Paix?

Handout:  Poster Why Not Frack Farmland  – Millions of gallons of fracking fluid contains 632 chemicals:  25% affect hormones 40-50% affect kidneys and nervous, immune and cardiovascular systems.  75% affect sensory organs and respiratory and gastrointestinal systems.  Methane gas is 17 times higher near fracking sites.  60% of wells leak over a 30 year period.  Toxic wastewater, often radioactive is   stored in open pits before being trucked away. Other posters in this handout show

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more disrespect for the land and those near it.

2nd Green Flag:  Resist (how fracking pollutes water wells) France May Ban Fracking, cites US disasters “Recent reports indicate fracking may indeed be more dangerous for the environment and lead to global warming at rates much higher than previously thought. Pollutes water supplies, kills wild life and destroys the quality of life in communities where it takes place.”

The Third Flag is Resist.  Fracking:  The New Global Water Crisis.”Projections Show Entire Ohio River Watershed to be Damaged by Fracking by Duane Nichols on Oct. 1, 2014.  Press Release   Ohioans are beginning to realize that unconventional shale drilling uses a great deal of water, permanently ruining it for other uses.  But what they may not know is fracked gas and oil wells in Ohio are turning out to be less productive over time, with more water needed so the effects of water usage are rising.  Now, each time a Utica well is fracked in Ohio, over 7 million gallons of water is needed on average per well….cumulative effects are being seen…..water loss expected to be 18.5 billion gallons in the next 5 years.

The fourth flag is Resist:  Fire in Well in West Virginia Burning Out of ControlThe next handout is The WV Dept of EPA has issued a notice of violation to Antero resources for a well drilling incident that could have released methane gas into 12 personal water wells…..Three water wells closest in proximity to the Primm Pad have been disconnected.  Antero provided water buffaloes, which are large water storage containers…..Nine additional wells could be impacted.  In the unincorporated community of Joy.

The fifth flag is Respect:  The Social Costs of Fracking – A Pennsylvania Case Study:  Report Exposes Social Costs of Fracking on Rural America by Sharon Kelly  First,

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 Fracking Green Flags #2

residents often say, there’s the traffic.  Communities have been unexpectedly flooded with heavy tractor trailers that locals say turn 10 minute-commutes into hour-long ordeals, choke back roads and decimate pavement… A “wild west” atmosphere that brings with it increased crime and public health problems.  A new report by Food and Water Watch examines the social impacts of fracking in rural Pa. counties.: transient workers, Disorderly conduct arrests. The Most-fracked Pa. communities have experienced steep upticks in drunken driving, traffic violations

and bar fights – researchers calculated the financial burden imposed on rural counties by traffic accidents alone, $28. Million.

And The Human Story: PA. Bradford County.  On the Water and More blog, well water contaminated with heavy metals, found barium, arsenic and volatile organic chemicals in Carl’s blood, Strontium, uranium and radim were found in their water radiation level in home is 13.7 or 7 times that set by EPA as standard not to b exceeded.  Carl died of intestinal cancer.  Kim McE:  Butler Co., PA water contaminated with arsenic and methyl chloride.  Arsenic poisoning – Haney famil.  Natural gas in Medina County well water is potentially explosive.

The Sixth Flag is RENEW:  This is what we could be doing instead – for clean energy, for eco tourism for a sustainable economy.  Ecowatch Solar Energy Could be Largest Source of Global Electricity by 2050.  Ahead of fossil fuels, wind, hydro and nuclear, according to two new reports by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The Green Market Oracle Various applications of solar energy.

Ecotourism – there will be no ecotourism in Lewis County – and it is the 2nd largest source of revenue in West Virginia.  We are destroying our landscape in the name of quick profits for a few people.  Ecotourism is a viable business for small scale


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practitioners like La Paix.  Nobody wants to tour a fracking site – oh maybe some diehards, but it will not bring fame to WV, infamy perhaps.

And again, The Green Oracle – Divesting from Fossil Fuels will soon be a Fiduciary Duty – There is a powerful argument that can be made suggesting that fiduciaries for endowments will soon have a legal responsibility to divest from fossil fuels, whether they are for universities, colleges, foundations or other institutions, they are charged with the “duty of care”.

The last flag I shall Wave as I say Goodbye is Respect:  The sign on this flag is a replica of a church sign which says “Dear GOD, Oh Lord Please save our Town I

love my earthly home (1) 6 “ pipeline leak 1 Diesel Fuel Spill 1 Hydraulic Fluid Spill 2 Broken Hearts Home of Our Grandchildren Please help, I ask in Jesus name, Collins Rd., ….Okic Acre Farm Bruce D. Kennedy.

New Yorkers Against Fracking Fracking Causes Health Impacts PA. Fracking Victims Come to Albany to Detail Serious Health Issues.  As the State rapidly approaches the deadline to decide whether to allow fracking to go forward in NY, residents from across Pa. came forward to tell legislators their stories.  Highlighting stories of dead cows and poisoned water, contaminated groundwater, air pollution, illness, death and reproductive problems in cows, horses and wildlife; and human health problems.  See more on handouts.

West Virginia Surface Owner Rights Organization  information for surface owners.

And –  Fracking the American Dream Drilling Decreases Property Values.  Increasingly, as oil and gas development is butting up against, and often trampling, the bedrock American principles of property rights and the value of one’s home.  Map shows all shale gas in play in North America.  The clash of large-scale industrial activity and communities has surfaced a deep rift in the American landscape, where the legal doctrine of split estates allows one party to own mineral

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 Fracking Poster #4 Ecotourism Not EcoterrorismbetterFracking Poster #1

rights and someone else to hold the rights to soil and surface.  With the oil and gas industry showing little self-restraint in where drilling happens and almost no regulatory or legal precedents to protect them from having industrial activity in their back yards, communities are fighting back.  Increased truck traffic, chemicals, lights, noise, heavy equipment, noxious air emissions and water contamination are liabilities for landowners, to point that communities in Colorado, New York and other states have taken matters into their own hands.

Property Values.

In the Catskills, fracking fears have already impacted the real estate market even though the state has yet make a determination on whether to allow drilling.  …..”spooked potential buyers” in upstate NY.

A study at Duke Univ. found risks and potential liabilities of drilling outweigh economic benefits like lease payments and potential economic development….possibility of contaminated water decreases property value by an average of 24%…… A 2010 study of the Texas real estate market in heavily drilled

suburban Dallas concluded that homes valued at more than $250,000 within 1000 feet of a drilling pad saw values decrease by 3 to 14 %.

In N. Texas appraisal review board knocked down the appraised value of one family’s home and 10 acre ranchette from $257,000 to $75,000 – a decrease of more than 70 %.  Board agreed to the extraordinary reduction as a result of numerous environmental problems related to fracking – just one year after the first drilling rig went up on the property.

I am asking the Commissioners:  “Have you leased your property in Lewis County or elsewhere in WV for Marcellus shale drilling or other related gas projects?”

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As I leave West Virginia, with my 34 years of hard work and love and Joy and friendship at La Paix behind me, I think of West Virginia as “Almost Hell”.  La Paix is for sale.  La Paix means peace.  I plan to take it with me.  The powers that be will not let me keep it here.  www.lapaixherbfarm.comFracking Poster #4 Ecotourism Not Ecoterrorismbetter Fracking Green Flags #2 Fracking Green Flags #3

Letter to the Editor Published Today

in the local weekly newspaper:

This letter is written with love.

I just got some bad news here at La Paix Herb Farm on Crooked Run Rd. in Alum Bridge, WV (Lewis County).  Neighbors tell me some men have been up here to test the presence of Marcellus shale by using a seismograph – a wire is placed on the property and a truck with a big steel hammer hammers on the wire – and the result shows whether there is gas there.  Crooked Run is a one lane rock based road – La Paix is the home of the Lavender Fair and an example of organic farming, herbs and essential oil distillation – an environmentally friendly business.  I don’t think it can exist if one has to travel over a fracking pad to get here.

Fracking Poster #1

     La Paix Herb Farm has been my life, my mission, my love for thirty-four years.  It has grown from an abandoned farm to a National Registered Historic Homestead, from fallow fields to rich organic soil in five different gardens, to home of the Lavender Fair, where research has been done and grants awarded by the USDA Sustainable Agriculture program, where apprentices have come from WV, other states, India and Japan to live and learn.  It has been the home of the Lavender Fair for 9 years.

Painting Bathtub in the Garden #10

      I was told by the EPA advocate several weeks ago that what is happening in Lewis County now is “Just the tip of the iceberg.  Within 10 years there will be 200 fracking pads in Lewis County and it will no longer be a rural county but an industrial site.”

Fracking Poster #2

      I have read that banks will not finance mortgages for properties within 2.5 miles of a fracking pad – I have friends who have fracking pads on or near their properties and they cannot sell them and they have no way to leave.

What can we do

Fracking Poster #2

    I have been looking into moving to Garrett and Allegheny Counties because they are no further from my granddaughter than we are are here – for possible relocation.  The O’Malley Commission has made a report which leaves open the possibility of fracking in those counties.



Painting Morning Light in Big Fragrant GardenPainting Labyrinth at La Paix

     I feel like I’m in that old Woody Allen movie, where the woman says “What to do?  What to do?”  If 1% of the people in the U.S. own 40% of the money, what to do what to do?

I will do an intention that when the wire is on the ground on Crooked Run and the truck strikes it, they will encounter a solid steel thick barrier and will hear nothing.  I will do everything with love – calling on all the love in the world to protect this beautiful farm and all the God Given land in West Virginia.

La Paix means Peace.  Myra Bonhage-Hale, La Paix Herb Farm, on Facebook,, and on a blog at Word Press.  3052 Crooked Run Rd., Alum Bridge, WV 26321  (304) 269-7681Fracking Poster #1Over 300 mostly in my part of the county.

Shall I Go or Shall I Stay?

Paintings are of the gardens at La Paix Herb Farm by Steward Myra Bonhage-Hale

Big Fragrant Garden landscape for shopping cart