|As we spin forward into 2021 (are we there yet, mom?!?), it’s exciting to reflect on what you—our friends, fans, and phenomenal plant family—went herb-wild for through the seasons.Did you know we serve up a splendid spread of free herbal content on our blog?In 2020, we decked the halls of Blog Castanea with garlands of new articles, and re-polished our most popular blogs from seasons past. We brought in new contributors and the blog officially became a team sport. Are you curious which topics were herbally admired and adored this year? And which plants people felt positively passionate about? Get caught up with our Best of 2020 Roll Call:|
I have received several emails asking me what I think is going on in the world today. With all the things I have uncovered in history, forgive me if I do not believe anything coming from the press, politicians, priests or bankers. Yes, there is a virus. Yes, people are getting sick. Yes, people are dying. This has happened throughout the history of the world. No matter how bad the pandemic or plague was in history, the economy was never shut down. Ever! The number one motto of all religions, governments and press is “Never let a good crisis goto waste”. Time to give them a taste of my venom.
View original post 3,797 more words
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.
View original post 4,212 more words
Fishermen and scientists are working together to cultivate a sustainable solution to ocean food production, known as 3D Ocean Farming, which is designed to restore rather than deplete the oceans.
On Long Island in New York, locals have been tackling overfishing by using 3D Ocean Farming, which is a system that grows a mix of seaweed crops and shellfish – including mussels and oysters – under the water’s surface.
This polyculture vertical farming system requires zero input because the sea plants filter and sequester carbon, making it currently the most sustainable means of food production on the planet.
3D Ocean Farming also sequesters carbon and rebuilds the reef’s ecosystem. The crops and shellfish grown underwater can be used as food, fertiliser, animal feed and even energy. The food itself actually filters the water. In this way, climate change can be tackled while producing food.
One of the most well-known advocates…
View original post 453 more words
Students from Ryerson University in Toronto have converted a green roof on campus into an urban rooftop farm.
Ryerson Urban Farm began as a student initiative with the mission to grow food on campus and create opportunities for people to learn about growing food.
The urban farm aims to build capacity for rooftop farming through production, education and research. It also operates productive growing spaces across the Ryerson University campus using spray-free, ecological methods
The students sell the produce at a farmer’s market, to CSA (community supported agriculture) customers, and they give some to the campus food room, which is a place where students can have access to free food.
Ryerson Urban Farm is designed in the market garden tradition, with over 50 crops and more than 100 cultivars, along with three rooftop bee hives.
In addition to growing food on the rooftop, Ryerson Urban Farm also have a variety of…
View original post 99 more words
As winter wanes and spring approaches, wild foodists all across North America tap into the time-honored tradition of sugar production – mainly, the transformation of maple tree sap into maple syrup and sugar. This process, passed on from the Native Americans to the early settlers, is still quite popular today, and is responsible for one of the few wild foods that can be purchased commercially in most supermarkets.
Most people associate syrup with the maple tree, and although much of today’s syrup does originate from the sugar maple, all species of maple can be tapped. Even better, many other trees from other genera can be tapped to extract sap, which ultimately can be turned into delicious syrup.
In this post, I won’t be discussing the methods involved in tapping for sugar production. If you are unfamiliar with the process, there are a variety of great websites, videos, and books to guide you. Rather, I would like to provide a list of various trees (maples, birches, walnuts, etc.) that you can tap successfully to yield wonderful, sugary products. […]
Read the entire post at its Source: 22 Trees That Can Be Tapped For Sap And Syrup | Wild Foodism
Ever wonder what farmers did hundreds of years ago to fight off crop pests? Long before the invention of harmful chemical pesticides (yes, the kind that is linked to cancerous cellular activity), farmers and householders came up with multiple remedies for removing insect infestations from their garden plants.
The following list will offer some of our favorite, all-natural, inexpensive, organic methods for making bug-busting pesticides for your home garden.
Ancient Indians highly revered neem oil as a powerful, all-natural plant for warding off pests. In fact, neem juice is the most powerful natural pesticide on the planet, holding over 50 natural insecticides. This extremely bitter tree leaf can be made in a spray form or can be bought from a number of reputable companies.
To make your own neem oil spray, simply add 1/2 an ounce of high-quality organic neem oil and ½ teaspoon of a mild organic liquid soap (I use Dr. Bronners Peppermint) to two quarts of warm water. Stir slowly. Add to a spray bottle and use immediately
2. Salt Spray
For treating plants infested with spider mites, mix 2 tablespoons of Himalayan Crystal Salt into one gallon of warm water and spray on infected areas.
3. Mineral oil …
Read the rest at the Source: Homemade Organic Pesticides
My grandparents lived on the farm where my grandmother was born. The original house was log. The inner walls were layers of wallpaper of over layers of newspapers. Many were dated late 1800’s early 1900’s …
Life was hard for our ancestors — much harder than it is for us today. Most of them didn’t have running water and electricity to make their lives easier. These modern conveniences have changed our way of life, to the point where we often forget what people had to do throughout history in order to survive.
We look at survival today as something needed in a time of emergency, but to many of them, survival stared them in the face every day of their lives. That was especially true in the wintertime, when it wasn’t possible to glean what you needed from nature. Basically, if you weren’t ready for winter, you didn’t survive.
So our ancestors all became experts in stockpiling. They’d spend the warmer months preparing, so that when the cold winter months came around, they’d be ready. You could tell a lot about a…
View original post 1,237 more words