Category Archives: Nature

Edible Weeds Forage Walk with Sparkles of Odd Fodder Cook Book 06/06/16

Edible Weeds Forage Walk with Sparkles of Odd Fodder Cook Book 6th June 2016 Notes:
– WARNING: Please do your own research as I will be doing on each plant as I was taking as many notes, in the short time, as I could.
– Please also read this article on why weeds are not bad, very nutritious and good for our soil – 3 Important Things I Have Learned About Weeds
– Sparkles gave us a card with a weed so if we spotted one we’d read out it’s stats. Like baseball cards for weeds. She also forages for a living to provide nutrient rich greens to local restaurants.
– In summer when making energy they lose water.
– 8 plant families make up average Oz diet.
– Our soils are deficient of selenium and copper.
– So Cape gooseberry is considered a weed here but when it’s sold at high prices in organic food shops it’s packaged as inca berry from South America.

Amaranth – is better than spinach. The red colour is anti tumour cancer etc
Sunflower – I didn’t know it was a weed!
Storksbill – Remember if it’s by the streets it will have dogs pee so pick them away from the streets
Purslane – Good source of omega 3 and supplement for type 2 diabetes
Nasturtiums – one of the best circulation and immune stimulant. Yummy flowers and leaves!
Pig face – can be used like aloe Vera, fruit is similar to figs and leaves are edible too
Chickweed – anti-inflammatory & more than enough Vitamin C
Sow thistle – pest attractant. Maoris call it puha and use it with pork, the sap is regenerative. May come with yellow flowers or the white puffs of dandelion
Groundsel – The whole plant is medicinal
Petty spurge – NOT EDIBLE! The sap is used for medicinal purposes and mostly for skin issues
Brazilian cherries – We picked some of these on the way and they were very tasty
Wild lettuce / Milk thistle – origin of all lettuce
Warrigal greens – quite salty, has a lot of oxalic acid which binds with calcium so go easy as we produce our own
Honey locust – good fodder, tasted good, soak overnight and then boil to make a drink. Paras update: I did the soak and boil and have to say apart from the honey/toffee sweetness it does have a very strong taste so maybe try it in small amounts.
Borage – good bee food, flowers are edible
Comfrey – make good wraps and compresses. Blend it
Sour grass – it’s Vitamin C. Clovers look similar but red and white clovers are safe. Taste like the ‘khatamitha’ we used to eat from the school playground and hear stories or how they were tangy because of pee.
Cats ears – little hairy and they hyper accumulate heavy metals so be careful
Black Nightshade – Oz ones are not deadly. Leaves and berries are edible. Forefather of the tomato family. Highest nutrient dense leaves, never eat green berries unprocessed. Eat the black berries.
Prickly pear – fruit is edible cooked or raw. All of it is edible. Don’t harvest from above or windy day for safety.
Mallow – totally edible, mucilage thing, Vitamin C and A, raw or cooked, root too
Dandelion – very nutritious, botanists dedicated just to this plant, very edible
Nettles – good for tonics, the sting is used for arthritic treatment, stingers are silica, natural antidepressants blend it. Paras note: Before I ate one I rubbed it on my face for the sting, didn’t get much
Goosefoot / Fat hen – highest calcium, gets big and lives in 42 degree heat, spinach substitute

 

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Juliette of the Herbs – Herbalist and natural healer … thanks Charles

Juliette of the Herbs – Herbalist and natural healer … thanks Charles

Click to watch

From Amazon (click to buy) – Beautifully filmed lyrical portrait of the life and work of Juliette de Bairacli Levy: herbalist, author, breeder of Afghan hounds, friend of the Gypsies, traveller in search of herbal wisdom and a pioneer of holistic veterinary medicine. Juliette’s well-loved and now classic herbals for animals and for children have been a vital inspiration for the present day herbal renaissance and holistic animal care community.

For more than 60 years Juliette has lived with the Gypsies, nomads and peasants of the world. learning the healing arts of these people who live close to nature, and listening to nature herself. Now 85 years of age, Juliette’s life story is as colourful and exciting as her tremendous wealth of herbal knowledge.

Filmed on location in Greece, Spain, France, Portugal, Switzerland, England and America, and interwoven with Juliette’s vast collection of archival photographs together with scenes of Gypsies dancing and Bedouins with their herds.

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3 Important Things I Have Learned About Weeds

Edible Weeds and Foraging in Perth by Terra Perma Design
Click to download the free booklet

1 – Weeds are not only edible but good for health as they are nutrient dense and mineral rich.

2 – From the Gardenwise Workshop I recently attended – Weeds should not be pulled out and thrown away because they bring to the surface valuable things like copper. So imagine the weed has done the beautiful work of bring up all that great stuff for the soil and plants but then we throw it away. What a waste!

3 – From Edible Weeds and Foraging in Perth by Terra Perma Design – Nature does not have weeds (it does not do weeding). Weeds are natures pioneers they are deliberately prolific, opportunistic, vigorous and short life cycled. To do them justice permies call weeds Pioneer plants (and dynamic accumulators). They are the first plant species to move into a damaged area of soil to ‘fix’ it for more complicated, sensitive plants and eventual succession to forests.

Shallow mat rooted weeds are for bare soil stabilization and shading bear ground. They stop the top soil blowing or washing away and allow time for deep rooted weeds and other dynamic accumulators to bring up minerals and trace elements deficient in the top soil (initial germination and growing zone). Once a few generations of weeds have grown, seeded, died, composted and provided habitat for a accumulating little ecosystem, more advanced but sensitive plants can start to germinate.

If you are interested click on the image to get the free booklet.

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Plants Do Talk, Feel and Hear Themselves Being Eaten

Plants Do Talk, Feel and Hear Themselves Being Eaten
I never fell for ‘Eating veg = non-violence’…. here you’ll see why ;oP
Short vids, articles and a full documentary at the bottom.

Article: Plants talk to each other using an internet of fungus

Article: Bad news for vegetarians! Plants can ‘hear’ themselves being eaten – and become defensive when attacked

Article: Plants can see, hear and smell – and respond … thanks Greening Australia

Sound Of Munching Caterpillars Puts Plants In Defense Mode

Plants have feelings (primary perception)

What Plants Talk About – Documentary

Bonus: Do trees communicate … thanks Sam de Kock

Suzanne Simard: How Trees Talk To Each Other | TED Talk

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Antidepressant Microbes In Soil: How Dirt Makes You Happy

Soil.Prozac may not be the only way to get rid of your serious blues. Soil microbes have been found to have similar effects on the brain and are without side effects and chemical dependency potential. Learn how to harness the natural antidepressant in soil and make yourself happier and healthier. Read on to see how dirt makes you happy.

Natural remedies have been around for untold centuries. These natural remedies included cures for almost any physical ailment as well as mental and emotional afflictions. Ancient healers may not have known why something worked but simply that it did. Modern scientists have unraveled the why of many medicinal plants and practices but only recently are they finding remedies that were previously unknown and yet, still a part of the natural life cycle. Soil microbes and human health now have a positive link which has been studied and found to be verifiable.

Soil Microbes and Human Health

Did you know that there’s a natural antidepressant in soil? It’s true. Mycobacterium vaccae is the substance under study and has indeed been found to mirror the effect on neurons that drugs like Prozac provide. The bacterium is found in soil and may stimulate serotonin production, which makes you relaxed and happier. Studies were conducted on cancer patients and they reported a better quality of life and less stress.

Lack of serotonin has been linked to depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar problems. The bacterium appears to be a natural antidepressant in soil and has no adverse health effects. These antidepressant microbes in soil may be as easy to use as just playing in the dirt.

Most avid gardeners will tell you that their landscape is their “happy place” and the actual physical act of gardening is a stress reducer and mood lifter. The fact that there is some science behind it adds additional credibility to these garden addicts’ claims. The presence of a soil bacteria antidepressant is not a surprise to many of us who have experienced the phenomenon ourselves. Backing it up with science is fascinating, but not shocking, to the happy gardener.

Mycrobacterium antidepressant microbes in soil are also being investigated for improving cognitive function, Crohn’s disease and even rheumatoid arthritis.

How Dirt Makes You Happy

Antidepressant microbes in soil cause cytokine levels to rise, which results in the production of higher levels of serotonin. The bacterium was tested both by injection and ingestion on rats and the results were increased cognitive ability, lower stress and better concentration to tasks than a control group.

Gardeners inhale the bacteria, have topical contact with it and get it into their bloodstreams when there is a cut or other pathway for infection. The natural effects of the soil bacteria antidepressant can be felt for up to 3 weeks if the experiments with rats are any indication. So get out and play in the dirt and improve your mood and your life.

Watch this video about how gardening makes you happy:

Resources:
“Identification of an Immune-Responsive Mesolimbocortical Serotonergic System: Potential Role in Regulation of Emotional Behavior,” by Christopher Lowry et al., published online on March 28, 2007 inNeuroscience.
http://www.sage.edu/newsevents/news/?story_id=240785
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/lane/sites/default/files/images/gg607.pdf (pg 12)

Mind & Brain/Depression and Happiness – Raw Data “Is Dirt the New Prozac?” by Josie Glausiusz, Discover Magazine, July 2007 Issue.

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