KidsGardening Program Spotlight – The Klamath Food Forest

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

This Gro More Good Grassroots Grant winner created a food forest to help Klamath youth learn about local food, revive traditional sustainable food, and more

Source: KidsGardening Program Spotlight – The Klamath Food Forest

One of the 2019 Gro More Good Grassroots Grant Winners, The Family Resource Center of the Redwoods, is partnering with the Community Food Council for Del Norte and Tribal Lands (DNATL) to help create new and sustainable sources of food for members of their community. Located in the far northwest corner of California, they serve rural areas that are isolated and do not have grocery stores readily available. One of the projects their Grassroots Grant money assisted with was the Au-Minot ‘we-nue-nep-ueh (Klamath Food Forest) at Margaret Keating Elementary School.

The Klamath Food Forest is one of four food forest sites developed in the region. This particular program is located on an elementary school campus…

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The Medicine of Pine

Written and Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor

 

 

My kindergarten school picture is the first evidence of a lifelong love affair with trees, and pine in particular. My dad had planted a little grove of white pines (Pinus strobus, Pinaceae) in our backyard. I spent my afternoons playing in their whorled branches, unwittingly collecting resin in my locks while leaning my head against their sturdy trunks. My mom cut out the sticky parts, resulting in a hairstyle that could only be rivaled by the likes of Pippi Longstocking.

There are over one hundred species of pine worldwide, and most have recorded medicinal uses. Cultures around the globe have used the needles, inner bark, and resin for similar ailments.1,2,3 Internally, pine is a traditional remedy for coughs, colds, allergies, and urinary tract and sinus infections. Topically, pine is used to address skin infections and to lessen joint inflammation in arthritic conditions.4 Native people across the continent—including the Cherokee, Chippewa, Iroquois, Apache, Hopi and countless other groups—have used over twenty species of pine in a similar medicinal fashion.1

Along with its myriad medicinal applications, pine is a source of lumber, food, essential oil production, and incense. There are a few species of pine in North America and a handful of species in Eurasia that yield the familiar edible pine nuts. Pine is essential commercially for its lumber and pulp, which is used to make paper and related products.

Many species of pine are considered cornerstone species, playing a central role in their ecological community. See my article on longleaf pine here. Finally, many species are planted ornamentally for their evergreen foliage and winter beauty.

Read complete article at: Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine ~ The Medicine of Pine

 

A Druid’s Guide to Homestead Bird Flocks and Flock Happiness

The Druid's Garden

On the Druid’s Garden homestead, we have many feathered friends. I think a lot of people see birds just as livestock, but here, we see them a little differently. Thus, I wanted to create a short guide for people who were thinking about cultivating a relationship with a backyard flock of birds but they weren’t sure what kind of birds they might want!  Of course, this is my own druid perspective on homestead bird flocks, which might be a bit different than what you’ll find on more general sites.   In this guide, I’ll talk about a variety of backyard flock breeds, how they might help your garden and homestead, challenges, temperament, and more. I will also note that I haven’t raised birds for meat, so I won’t talk about that much in this guide. I’ll cover four common backyard flock birds: chickens, ducks, geese, and guinea fowl.

 

Entering Into…

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The Herbs and Spices of Thanksgiving! — Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Originally posted on The Herb Society of America Blog: By Susan Leigh Anthony If we are lucky enough, most, if not all, of us have sat down to an annual Thanksgiving feast with our loved ones in late November. The house is filled with familiar aromas of the season that evoke a sense of warmth,…

via The Herbs and Spices of Thanksgiving! — Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

The Bee and the Machine: Moving Beyond Efficiency and towards Nature-Centeredness

The Druid's Garden

Animals have spirit!

Over the course of the last four centuries, the Western World has created a set of “unshakable” principles concerning the natural world: that nature is just another machine, that animals don’t feel and do not have souls, that plants and animals aren’t sentient. Descartes, writing in the 1600s during the early rise of mechanization, was one of the first to make this claim. He posited that animals are mechanical automata, that is, they are beings without souls, feelings, or pain. These same ideas were not limited to non-human life; we see the same kind of thinking being applied to justify slavery, genocide, colonialization, and a list of other atrocities. When we combine this kind of thinking with the economic ideas of “growth at all costs” and “efficiency”, we end up in the dystopian fiction we find ourselves living in right now. I want to take some time…

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Herbal Recipes for Thanksgiving – Urban Moonshine

Good Witches Homestead

It’s the time of year when many of the simple joys of life become the heart and center of this season; spending time with family and friends, the coziness of winter, warm fires, mugs of mulled wine, and lovingly prepared meals.

So much of herbalism is about celebrating the life and benefits of the plants, and the way they support us throughout the seasons. Autumn, especially around Thanksgiving, is our time to enjoy the gifts of this year’s harvest.

Classic holiday meals can be enhanced by adding herbs to support your health. These dishes are sure to be crowd-pleasers with your nearest and dearest.

Enjoy, and cheers to good health!

MEDICINAL HERBAL STUFFING 

A classic holiday stuffing recipe made with rye bread and medicinal herbs and mushrooms.

Servings: fills two casserole dishes, about 15 servings. 

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 loaf of good dark rye bread
  • 1/2 cup sage, minced
  • 1/2 cup rosemary,

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Is It Safe To Forage Frozen Mushrooms?

Greetings!

A wintry cold snap, even during the weeks of mid-autumn, can mean different things to different people.

To mushroom hunters, a cold snap any time of the year equates to one or more of the following:

—No mushrooms (Too cold to even bother checking.)
—Fewer mushrooms (Most of which are inedible.)
—Frozen mushrooms (Some of which are choice edible species.)

All three selections are valid, though it is the last option that I’d like to address in this email and in the following video.

You see, quite a few edible mushrooms survive and reproduce in cold temperatures.  It is therefore not uncommon to find edible fungi frozen solid to their substrates.

Recently, I’ve received numerous questions regarding the practice of foraging frozen mushrooms.

Is it safe to do so?  What if the mushroom has been on a tree for weeks?  Does the freeze/thaw cycle alter its texture?

These are all great questions that I address in the following video.  Additional topics discussed in the video include the ability of fungi to produce anti-freeze agents, the destructive effects of freezing on a cellular level, and lots more!

You can check out the brand new video here.

Also, I was recently invited to speak on the topic of mushrooms and gut health with Peggy Schirmer from Gut Feelings.

Fungi, as it turns out, aren’t just residents of forests, fields, parks, and lawns.  They also reside on and inside each and every one of us.

In this interview, we discuss — among many things — the gut mycobiome.  You can check out the interview here.

Thanks for reading and watching, and as always, thank you for your support!

-Adam Haritan

Wild & Slimy Edible Mushrooms (That Are Surprisingly Tasty!)

As the year draws to a close, the fungal kingdom participates in a kind of grand finale that is best experienced within a conifer forest.

Under dense canopies of pines, troops of ochre-colored mushrooms push their way through the soil.  These particular fungi characteristically wear slimy coats adorned with seasonal debris including pine needles, unlucky insects, and additional forest offerings.

Such a performance is not to be missed, as many of these mushrooms are edible and among the last of the mycorrhizal fungi to appear in temperate climates before temperatures plummet and the ground freezes.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve made several trips to conifer-rich woodlands in order to witness this end-of-the-year fungal grand finale.

And on almost every occasion, slimy mushrooms were in no short supply.

If you’re interested in learning more about these wild edible mushrooms whose golden days are numbered, check out the brand new video!

I was recently invited to speak with the hosts of The Survival Show Podcast on the topic of wild mushrooms.  In this episode, we cover the “foolproof four,” tips on getting started, whether or not mushrooms make great survival food, and lots more.  Here are 3 ways to listen to the interview:

Thanks for reading and watching, and as always, thank you for your support!

-Adam Haritan

Strawberry Tree Crumble Cake…The Magical Forgotten Fruit! — Gather Victoria

The Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo) is an ornamental shrub that grows all over Victoria but its abundant, plush, juicy fruits just end up littering sidewalks. Seems no one remembers we’ve been eating these succulent fruits for thousands of years! Right now in the PNW the fruits are bright red, ripe and sweet (up to 40% sugar!)…

via Strawberry Tree Crumble Cake…The Magical Forgotten Fruit! — Gather Victoria

The Hottest Mushroom In The Forest

Greetings!

An interesting quality about wild mushrooms is that more than a few of them will burn your mouth.

This may come as a surprise to those of us who have only eaten store-bought mushrooms — most of which, while certainly tasty, are rather mild-mannered.

Beyond the grocery store walls and out in a wild forest, however, there are particular wild mushrooms whose flavors range from hot, to really hot, to excruciatingly hot.  Researchers aren’t even entirely clear as to why certain mushrooms demonstrate these qualities while other fungi — even poisonous species — can be flavorless.

In this brand new video, we discuss what many people consider to be thehottest mushroom in the forest, as well as some proposed theories behind such quirks in nature.

If you’re interested in learning more about this very common (and very hot!) wild mushroom, check out the video!

Speaking of store-bought food, here’s a species that commonly inhabits grocery store shelves as well as wild spaces outside the supermarket.  Known to many of us as the Goji Berry, this wild edible nightshade is fruiting in eastern North America this month.  Check out this Instagram post to learn more!

Thanks for reading and watching, and as always, thank you for your support!

-Adam Haritan