Filmed in 2011 in Northern California, Michael was working on his Vibrant Retreat Center, but this project was put on hold and four years later, Vibrant Health Institute was born in Jan. 2015! *WE ARE LOOKING FOR A NEW LOCATION AS OF JULY 2016! IF YOU CAN HELP, PLEASE EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Bergonzi is the founder & director of the Vibrant Health Institute. In this two hour YouTube video, he will explain the VHI program. For more details about our all inclusive program, please call 860-284-4620 or email: info@VibrantHealthInstitute.com
For Michael’s personal bio click here
The Story of VHI:
Hippocrates Health Institute was founded by Ann Wigmore in Boston in 1962. Back in the mid 70’s, Raychel Solomon went to Hippocrates in Boston and had such amazing results that she started Hippocrates West in the San Diego, CA area. Around that same time, a man by the name of Don Haughey also had interest in starting a Hippocrates franchise in Union City, MI, called ‘Hippocrates Mid-West’. The two locations continued using the name ‘Hippocrates’ through the late 80’s and it was at this time, a meeting took place and both Raychel and Don were asked to remove the Hippocrates name from their wellness centers. Raychel changed the name of her location to ‘Optimum Health Institute’ (OHI) and Don also renamed his location to the ‘Creative Health Institute’ (CHI), formerly Hippocrates Mid-West.
In 1987, Moose & Jeanette Bergonzi (Michael’s parents) attended OHI in CA. Raychel Solomon was the grandmother of their son-in-law. After a three week, life changing stay, Moose was asked to continue on as Maintenance Director and General Manager for the next 15 years. Arn Hunsberger, Eydie Mae’s husband, was on the Board of Directors for OHI. Eydie Mae’s book ‘How I Conquered Cancer Naturally’ was the first of its kind to recognize Ann Wigmore’s work and acknowledge the raw food / wheatgrass diet for an alternative option for Cancer. Michael Bergonzi joined OHI in 1990 – 1998, building their state-of-the-art greenhouse growing room. He then joined Hippocrates Health Institute (HHI) in West Palm Beach, FL in 2001 – 2011, when he left to open a new wellness center in CA. After consulting a few other wellness centers, he ended up back in CT. While spending some time in CT and working with Lisa Wilson and The Raw Food Institute (RFI) in 2012, he continued his search for a new location for his Vibrant Health Institute (VHI).
WE ARE LOOKING FOR A NEW LOCATION AND FINANCE PARTNER! PLEASE CONTACT: info@VibrantHealthInstitute.com for more details.
What We Do Now:
The Vibrant Health Institute (VHI) program is for anyone and everyone! We are nondenominational, please feel free to participate in all lectures, yoga, rebounding, infrared sauna, silent day every Wednesday, release ceremony, etc…. or just relax around campus, make a puzzle, even venture outside. It’s up to each guest to choose what they would like to attend or partake in. VHI is a great detox for weight loss, fatigue, food addictions, stress relief and is one of the only programs that works best for people dealing with candida issues, Lyme disease, and various types of cancer.
The concept behind VHI is allowing the body to heal itself with nourishing living foods, green juice, wheatgrass, trace minerals, and structured water (all included with your stay here.) Each of our guests are here to detox, unwind / unplug, and rebuild their bodies. Privacy of all our guests is important to us. We do not focus on teaching how to prepare raw food everyday to become a chef, just once a week. Our mission is to help our guests understand the addiction of food as well as emotional and social eating habits, or adjusting from the S.A.D. After having 4 green drinks and 2 ounces of FRESH wheatgrass twice a day, you have eaten 6 times each day without ever eating lunch or dinner!
Some other programs similar to VHI will focus on finding a supplement (pills) for solving your physical condition. This could cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars each year. We here at VHI, however, will try to help you find out what is actually causing your physical health issue. Many Americans suffer from health issues that are directly related to their diet. We do understand that certain foods will help our body with the healing process, while other foods actually prevent this from happening. Other physical issues have to do with emotional stress caused by many unseen, or unrealized surroundings such as your job or even a person in your life. It may also be that your house is under or near power lines or even the way your bed is positioned. Something very simple could make a huge difference in the way you feel, both mentally and physically.
For additional information on our program, click here
Frequently Asked Questions and Mold Prevention with Michael Bergonzi, from his personal website www.WheatgrassGreenhouse.com:
WHY GRASS? BACK TO BASICS:
Q: What do most mammals eat? I’ve heard that 5% of mammals are carnivores, which makes me wonder… Are most mammals herbivores? (YES, human beings are MAMMALS!)
A: Most animals (roughly 85%) eat plants or their products (such as seeds, fruit, and nectar). Plants are the most readily available food. Animals eat to get energy for reproduction and to maintain life. The Sun provides Earth’s energy. Only plants convert the Sun’s energy directly into sugar and starches, the chemical energy that feeds life. Furthermore, that energy is cheaply available since its raw materials (sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water) are plentiful. Any mammal on the planet, whether it survives on fruits, nuts, berries and greens or if it survived on eating meats, would still be the exact same mammal in the end. Same features, same bone structure, same muscles, same eyes, same arms, paws and legs, same heart, etc… The only difference is (these days, due to lack of nutrient in the EARTH) how healthy that mammal will be in the end.
So, all animals (including all mammals!) must eat plants or plant-eating animals to get food energy. Plants are abundant and, therefore, most animals have developed traits (like a cow’s three stomachs) that help them eat and digest plants in quantity. Actually, almost all animals eat plants to some extent, even carnivores. They have the ability to pull the nutrient out of the fibers of the greens. Humans DO NOT CHEW their food… we engulf, devoir, swallow and enhale our food. When Ann Wigmore founded the Hippocrates concept and Life Change Program, she would actually ‘blend’ your food (raw living foods & sprouts) and then serve them to you that way. Not to get more nutrition from the food, as a blender will do what a microwave will do (if left on for 1 minute), but in order for the body to digest that food faster and get it out the other end. Please research colon cleansing, colonics, colema boards, http://www.bernardjensen.org/ She understood the importance of chewing your foods, but knew that most people will not spend the time to do it, so she did the next best thing and blended up before she served it to you.
Wheatgrass is also a blood purifier, cleanser, detoxifier, and has chlorophyll (the green stuff) which helps to carry oxygen to every cell in your body. Oxygen in your cells will help to fight off diseases, bad bacteria, and cancer (written material available in any book written by Brain Clement or Ann Wigmore, I also suggest the book by Steve Meyerowitz, ‘Wheatgrass, Natures Finest Medicine’ for the most up-to-date information on wheatgrass). A person, on average, will drink 1-2 ounces, daily, on an empty stomach (no more than 2 ounces at any one given time as that is all any person’s body will need). Wheatgrass must be “squeezed” or juiced with a masticating, single auger juicer (My personal choice is the $49.95 Healthy Juicer, sold on this site, see below and the Juicer or Store link above… I am not impressed with any of the twin gear juicers as you will get way too much foam!) in order for our body to assimilate the nutrient. We cannot just put some on our salads as we will not be able to pull the nutrient out of the fibers. If you wanted to mix the wheatgrass juice with something, then be sure to keep the GREENS together!! DO NOT MIX THE WHEATGRASS JUICE WITH ANYTHING THAT IS NOT GREEN!!! Any food combining chart will tell you that. Some people even put a mint leave in with the green juice, or any other green herb is fine to use.
Wheat is an annual seed and will not keep growing back every time it is cut, like your front lawn does. Wheat will actually produce more seed when grown to maturity and wheat is grown all across the United States. Every state and every farmer has a different variety of wheat seed. Wheatgrass seed is Hard Winter Wheat or Hard Spring Wheat. Not ‘white’ wheat and not ‘soft’ wheat. That is why Michael will always test his seeds all year round for the best growing quality. Wheat was the ‘chosen’ seed to grow for grass as it has a more palatable taste than most others. (when you have tried our grass, you have had the best and will taste a difference) Wheatgrass should always have a sweet, smooth and palatable taste. If your wheatgrass juice is bitter or causes you to feel a little sick, then the grass may be too old, under watered or had too much light during its growth.
*Remember: There is NO substitute for LIFE & FRESH wheatgrass juice!!! (powders**, pills**, tablets** and frozen** are not even close to LIFE… frozen is NOT alive and if it’s grown outdoors and then frozen, does not change anything. Frozen grass, indoor grown or outside in the Earth is still ‘dead’ and will NOT be the same as fresh.) With that said, if you can’t get FRESH wheatgrass juice, then the next best thing would be FRESH GREEN juice, using everything that is green, leafy green or a sprouted green. ie: cucumber (skins too if it’s organic), celery, spinach, kale, cabbage, all green sprouts… even a fresh leave of mint would be a nice touch! Just remember to keep the GREENS together and do not mix anything that isn’t green in with your FRESH green juice. A green drink is longer lasting when stored in the fridge. It’s best to drink it right after it’s juiced, however, if you must have it all day, it will store 12-24 hours. Add a bit of lemon for longer lasting juice. Juicers for wheatgrass: Manual HEALTHY JUICER (my favorite), Sampson, Omega, Hurricane, Tornado *BEST stainless: Opti-Fresh and the G160. Juicers NOT to be used for wheatgrass include: Jack Lalane, Jay “the Juice Man”, the centrifugal Omega (round blade), Breville, Norwalk, Champion and The Vita-Mix. **SEE JUICER LINK PAGE for complete details** **Personal note to all internet users: Please do not email me and start with the statement, “Michael, I read on the internet that…”, because guess what, so did I. It’s been since 1990 in this field. I have read it all, seen it all and heard more healing stories than you will ever read on the internet about ‘fresh’ wheatgrass. Trust me!
Q: How long will wheatgrass last in the fridge after it is harvest?
A: One week, or 3 weeks in an ‘Evert Fresh’ bag, now called “GREEN BAGS” and in a cold fridge. These bags work awesome. Just clean them after each use and they will last for up to 5 months. You should be able to find them in your local health food store. *Be sure that your fridge is COLD!! Set it to 36-38 degrees. If your sprouts or grass are not lasting at least one week, your fridge may not be cold enough.
Q: How long do you soak the seeds?
A: 8-12 Hours, or overnight. (never soak any seed longer than 24 hours)
Q: What kind of seed do I use for wheatgrass, sunflower greens, buckwheat lettuce and pea greens?
A: Hard winter (or Spring) wheat for wheatgrass (wheatberries or hard red wheat or even hard spring wheat), Black Oil Sunflower-sunflower greens (black oil bird seed works great!), Whole Buckwheat-buckwheat lettuce, Snow Peas or Peas for “shoots” (speckled pea) -pea greens. Visit the STORE LINK above to order all seeds and have them shipped to your door. *Don’t forget that Michael suggest all 4 of the above seeds to grow in some type of soil / EARTH!! Get connected again!!!
Q: How much light do I need to grow greens and wheatgrass?
A: Always in the shade, never direct sunlight for any greens. If you have to put your wheatgrass in a basement for the winter months and there are now windows, then you would just need to replace the light bulbs in the room with Full or Wide Spectrum lighting. Check out www.ottlite.com for more information on this type of lighting. Keep them on in the room as the sun is shining, and turn them off at night.
Q: Can I grow wheatgrass without soil, hydroponically?
A: I will start with the easy answer first, YES, you can grow wheatgrass without soil. People do it, teach it and prove it can be just as good. What I will now tell you is, try them both and see for yourself the “PROOF” that growing wheatgrass without some sort of soil will never look the same as growing it with soil. Science will teach you they are the same, however, I like to use another method called ‘INSTINCT’ and what my heart feels is the best for my body, not what my head thinks. My heart tells me that it wants and needs LOVE, unconditional love, which comes from ‘Mother’, or the EARTH. That is what we all need NOW more than ever. The connection to Mother Earth, soil is that connection / foundation / vibration that is KEY to good health. So, if you grow wheatgrass without soil, you are taking LOVE (the Heart) away. Try it out and see for yourself. Grow them side by side and you will see what I have seen for 24 years. The one that is grown in soil will grow taller, faster, greener and you will get more juice from it. Anyone that tells you any different is trying to sell you a product. Good luck! =)
Q: What kind of soil do I use?
A: Any basic potting mix or top soil mixed with peat moss will work fine. I don’t suggest an organic soil out of a bag as it might be a bit too acid base and might cause you to have even more problems. Understand, as I wrote in detail on this website, the reason I will always use soil for my wheatgrass is for the “vibration / energy” of EARTH itself. Not for nutrional value, but for the connection within all of us, the unconditional connection. What is nutrient anyway? Vibration, energy, life, love, etc… If you grow wheatgrass without soil, you take away the “love” and connection to EARTH (in my opinion, of course!)
Q: How often do I need to water?
A: Always water ‘heavy’, once a day. First 3 days water twice a day (heavy in the AM and mist seed in the PM) and keep seed covered. (water is very important, seed must not ever dry-out) Don’t concern yourself to much with the type of water being used as you will not affect your seeds in a bad way with whichever water you choose. Check out www.lifesourcewater.com for a good home filter system. Structured water containers coming soon!
Q: When do I harvest my greens? (How long does it take?)
A: To harvest your wheatgrass, it is never about “how tall” or “how many days” it has grown as all wheat seed is very different. Some wheat seeds grow 12 inches tall in 5 days and others grow 4 inches tall in 14 days. They will all eventually ‘joint / split’ from the bottom of the blade at the white base.
Wheatgrass: When a second blade is visible. 7-10 days in the summer and 10-14 days in the winter.
Sunflower Greens: When a second set of leaves start to grow between the first set.
Buckwheat Lettuce: Approx 10-12 days. Pea Greens: Approx 10-12 days.
*Remember it is always better to harvest your greens sooner than later. When you see one blade jointing, you can start to cut the entire tray. Only harvest your wheatgrass ONE time! The second growth has lost up to 75% of it’s value. Don’t just let it grow and harvest as you need it as the grass will die and become very bitter tasting.
Q: What is the ideal Temperature?
A: 60-80 is ideal (72-75 perfect). Always keep it above 50 degrees (below 50 and your grass will stop growing) and if it is 80 degrees or above, increase air circulation to prevent mold.
Q: After I juice the grass, how long will wheatgrass last?
A: Try to drink the juice within the first few minutes for max benefits. More than two hours, start all over again. *Wheatgrass juice cannot be stored after it is juiced no matter how it was grown or how it was juiced. Also, cannot be frozen as you will lose the “LIFE FORCE / VIBRATION” of the juice. Frozen wheatgrass is a “green ice-cube” with some minerals in it.
Q: Can I buy wheatgrass and other sprouts LIVE and have them shipped to me in the U.S.?
A: For all overnight wheatgrass, sunflower or pea greens, please call or Click on the STORE link above.
Q: Are the powdered or frozen grass’ any good?
A: Powdered is better than frozen, but they are just “alternative’s” and there is no substitute for the fresh wheatgrass juice. Powder is a good alternative when traveling and a better choice than frozen wheatgrass. Always keep this in mind, what FRESH wheatgrass does for the body in one week’s time, it will take a powdered grass ONE YEAR to do the same thing. (frozen wheatgrass juice will take two years) *Please do not email regarding what you have read about the frozen juices and powders, I have read it too.
Q: How much seed do I use per tray?
A: Depending on the size of the tray, the seed amount will vary. Just cover the soil completely with seed. This will look like too much seed, but the wheat will grow fine. In the summer, you may plant a bit less to allow for more air movement through your wheatgrass. For the large trays (17″x17″), use one pound of seed per tray (2 cups) and for the small trays (10″x10″), use one half pound of seed per tray (1 cup)
Q: How much wheatgrass should someone drink?
A: 1 – 2 ounces at any one time is all someone should drink. Never more than 2 ounces at one time. The body only needs two FRESH ounces of juice as that is equal to up to 5 pounds of fresh vegetables. More is NOT better. 2 ounces, once in the AM is plenty. If you are detoxing, you can also drink 2 ounces in the PM, always on an empty stomach!
Q: What do I do about those little flies? Fruit flies?
A: There are fruit flies on my wheatgrass! HELP!!! Don’t panic… The flies are there to eat the mold on the grass… WHAT? MOLD on my grass now? Take a deep breath… relax. The flies (eggs) are on everything, everywhere. When something starts to rot / decompose, the eggs hatch and the flies eat the mold. So, to get rid of the flies, just increase the air flow around the wheatgrass / sprouts. The little flies don’t like the air movement and will usually disappear soon. You can also use the fly stick paper traps to help reduce the amount of flies. Another thing to help would be to keep a small amount of wine (I think they prefer white) in a small glass, overnight. They will be having a party in it the next day!
Some other useful hints:
1. Goodbye Fruit Flies: To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2″ with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid, mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!
2. To control fruit flies, mix the following ingredients together in an open jar or other container (the quantities are relative to how many flies you’re trying to get rid of—–½quart water (2 cups) 2 tablespoon sugar 2 tablespoons (white) vinegar couple drops of liquid dish soap Leave the mixture sitting out in the infested area, as long as needed
Mold (Wheatgrass mold, mold wheatgrass, wheatgrass and mold, mold on my wheatgrass) In my opinion, after 20 years as a grower, there are several different “mold” issues. I don’t think you can just say the word mold and understand what people see in their wheatgrass. If you really want more help after reading this page, please take a photo of your problem and email it to me. You don’t even have to write anything and I will be able to help solve your problem. And by the way, YOU CAN GROW WHEATGRASS, INDOORS, IN A TRAY, WITHOUT MOLD!!
A: Spider- webby / Cotton mold that grows up the grass – This is the most common of the what people call “mold” on their wheatgrass. This is the airborne mold and can be rinsed off. It is what we are breathing in on a daily basis. I don’t see that this causes any harm to the human body.
B: Mold on the SEED itself – This type of mold (blue-green fuzz) forms on the ‘cracked’ wheat seed which has been in every wheat seed I have ever purchased in the past 16 years. I have never grew a wheat that did not have this mold on the seed themselves. One reason not to juice the entire product if growing hydroponic wheatgrass. We always harvest above this type of mold, so it too is no harm for us.
C: Brown mold on the root system – This is mainly found int he heat of the summer months and will ‘eat’ the root mat eventually showing up in the surface of the wheatgrass. This is the only “harmful” mold I have ever heard of. However, it will KILL the wheatgrass when it gets into the blades and the person will not be able to harvest it as it will be dead. Many times throughout the year, a person will see the brown spots on the root system, but it is of no harm as it never gets any higher than that. There are two things to do at that point after you harvest the grass.
- Clean the planting tray with bleach (grapefruit seed extract, hydrogen peroxide, whatever you feel safe with using.) and water and let dry out in the sun. (not too long as the sun will dry out the plastic and cause them to crack.)
- Let the tray soak in water that has a product called ‘Pool Perfect’ which can be found at any pool supply store. It is a natural enzyme and will destroy / eat the mold on the tray. 30 minutes soak time is all that is needed.
D: The “spider web” mold on the seed itself in the first few days of growth – This is NOT mold, but it is a good sign that the seed is drying out and needs more water or to be kept covered. This mold is the hairs(villi) of the roots from the seed. Look really close and you will see it. E: Brown spots toward the bottom of the blade of grass – This is caused from heat or too much seed in one spot. Mostly caused in the summer months. Not harmful as the grass still will grow and when you see it, just cut it off from the grass you will be juicing. The thing that makes most people sick when drinking wheatgrass juice, is bad grass. Not because of mold, for the most part, but because of the age of the grass (like people, the older, the more bitter tasting it becomes). One day without water and the grass begins to die. If you don’t harvest when it splits, it ages 40 years each day in the tray. Not visible to the naked eye that the grass has aged that much, but when you taste it and it makes you sick, that is the reason. In 16 years, ONE out of every 500 people get sick from MY wheatgrass. Grown right and harvested at the right time, the grass should never make you feel “bad”. Don’t forget why wheat was chosen in the first place 50 years ago. The animals picked it out because it taste better than most others.
MORE WHEATGRASS MOLD HELP
Moving to CA in 1990 to take a job at the Optimum Health Institute, there were no thoughts of every becoming a wheatgrass grower. After 3 months of changing jobs within this alternative health field, the greenhouse manager position was offered. I took it. There was MOLD everywhere and on every tray of wheatgrass. The grass was running out for the guests who were there to heal. Having to travel to three different growers in the local area to buy the OHI supply of grass was not solving the mold issue. When we talk about mold, we are meaning the ‘spider-webby / cotton’ looking mold that grows up the grass. When the seed is still within it’s first few days of growth and you notice this cotton looking mold, it is NOT mold. Look closer at it and water your seeds. It is actually the root hairs that are reaching for food (water). When the grass is mature, there might also be a greenish type mold on the seeds themselves. Do not be concerned as we always harvest the grass above the seed. Here are the steps I took to solve this, as well as a brown mold on the seeds that were not growing. Please note that there is no “quick fix” to get rid of the mold once it is on your grass. Also, you can still use the grass. Just rinse it off before juicing as this mold is ‘around’ the grass.
- Control the temperature: Always keep it between 60 – 80 degrees. Colder than 60 will not kill your grass, it will slow it down and even stop it’s growth. If it gets above 80, then increase the air movement. Fans work well.
- Create Air Circulation: Air circulation blowing around the grass, especially if the temp. starts to get above 80 degrees. (ceiling fan, osculating fan, air condition, exhaust fan, in front of an open window, etc…) Air movement will prevent 90% of all mold issues. I have grown mold free wheatgrass in 95 degree weather in Florida as well as 110 degree heat in northern California.
- Plant thinner: Plant less seed per tray. This will allow more air to flow through your wheatgrass.
- Change your seed: If you have good air flow, and you are still getting mold, it is time to change your variety of wheat seed you are using. Note that there are approx. 1,500 varieties of wheat grown all across the US.
In my quest for “no mold”, I tried several different brands of soil as well as hydroponics (without soil), no luck. Just choose a very basic potting mix or top soil from a bag. A soil that looks dark, like the earth. Organic soil, out of a bag, might cause more problems with mold issues as that soil can be to acid based. The wheat likes more of an alkaline base soil. Personally, I will always use soil for growing wheatgrass as well as sunflower greens, pea greens and buckwheat lettuce rather than hydroponics. The reason for using soil is NOT for nutrition, however, something more than what science can prove at this time. It’s for the “vibration / energy / life force” that you can see, feel and taste in the greens. When Ann Wigmore healed herself from grass, it was grass grown in the earth. The message she learned was simple: Get the EARTH back into our diets and more Oxygen back in our blood. The farmer that is growing the wheat seed should be using these other products that add to the soil (Ocean Grown, Sea Kelp, etc…), so that the seed itself will have a better immune system. These products added to 7-10 old wheatgrass will not be as effective as once thought. Once a seed becomes a seed, there isn’t anything you can “feed” it within this short cycle that will help with its nutritional value or with mold problems. Use these products where they are needed, in the EARTH, your garden, your back yard fruit trees, etc…
Spraying the grass with Hydrogen Peroxide, grapefruit seed extract, acid base water, etc… These are all nice ideas to get rid of MOLD, but they are not quick fixes. There is no quick fix to get rid of the mold. Once you get it, don’t let it get you down and don’t give up. Just rinse it off.
Change your seed source and this is what worked every time. Throughout the process of changing soil, temperature, watering, planting trays, air circulation, the things that worked the best for the spider web / cotton looking mold was “air movement” and then changing the seed. There are over 1,500 varieties of wheat seed out there these days, and every one of them grow differently. I try to buy my seed from farmers that “summer fowl” and put the nutrient back into the earth before planting their next crop of wheat. So, in turn, I get a seed with a better immune system. This makes all the difference. When all else fails, try a different wheat. I choose “hard winter wheat” however; there is a hard spring wheat that might be good too. Soft wheat or white wheat will not work well at all. Hard wheat is at times referred to as “wheatberries”. However, they are not berries, they are seeds.
*For additional information, visit www.WheatgrassGreenhouse.com or email Michael directly at email@example.com