Updated! Now open: Gardner’s Tiny CSA. We are trying this out small scale this year with 5 shares. Just opened it up today and we already have 2 sold. Hot dog!
I’m so excited for this!!!
Gonna put this on my scalp for seborrheic dermatitis :)
Arctium, Rosemarinus, Equisetum in apple cider vinegar.
I hear it works for dandruff, too.
It seems Geoff Lawton is currently in the middle of releasing a series of free Permaculture videos covering practical application and some things like considerations to make before purchasing a property, which haven’t been widely covered in a video like this before. So far there are 4 videos total…
It’s a Spanish Needle Spring!
Spring is in full effect here in Florida. Driving through the back country roads near my parents home, familiar smells of childhood are carried by the breeze. The honey aroma of orange blossoms, jasmine, and honey suckle can turn an ordinary drive with the windows down into an intoxicating affair. The trees are getting in on the action too. Bursting with new bright green growth, mirroring the grasses and setting the backdrop for pops of yellow, pink and purple wildflowers.
One of my favorite flowers to see growing on the roadside is a common herb we call here in the South, Spanish Needle. An incredibly humble herb who grows so prolifically its often overlooked and (gasp!) even called a weed. Floridians know this plant well, even if they aren’t attuned to its healing properties. Spanish needle (Bidens pilosa/ B. alba) is the #3 nectar producing species in the state coming behind saw palmetto and orange blossom.
Some would say its a pioneer species, often being the first herb that pops up after the soil has been disturbed. Its a plant that’s hard to miss, since most of the year, little white daisy-like flowers are scattered along the roadsides, tucked in cracks of the sidewalk or popping up in abandoned urban lots.
The latin name Bidens means “two teeth,” describing its seed that resembles a two pronged fork that sticks to just about everything. But plants are smarter than we give them credit for. Having a toothed seed allows for easy spreading by animals of all kinds, especially humans.
My love affair with Bidens began when I learned of its medicinal properties and when I was shown what good “daisy chains” they make. Traditionally, its been used as medicine throughout China, Africa and Central America. People have used this plant to expel pathogens from the surface of the body, clear up heat, remove toxins, and eliminate stagnancy, just to name a few uses. On the more intense side of its healing properties, studies are finding that the chemical constituent polyacetylenes have shown to inhibit the malaria parasite Plasmodium faliciparum, which makes sense why its been used in the Amazon where malaria is a real cause for concern.
Personally, I feel really called to work with Spanish Needle medicine because of its affinity for the urinary mucosa and its ability to tone and strengthen the tissue. The revered South West herbalist, Michael Moore first turned me on to how powerful this plant truly is. Perhaps Bidens does not just work on the physical needs of the urinary system, but also the emotional needs that imbalance in an area, often sheds light upon. The urinary system is part of the Sacral Chakra, which governs our sense of safety and well being. So, if we are having feelings of not being nurtured, either by ourselves or others, or not feeling safe, Bidens is a plant that can help on these levels by filtering out emotional toxins that are no longer serving our being.
In his book, Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West, Moore says that Bidens also helps to remove environmental pollution which goes in line with the traditional uses of removing toxins and eliminating stagnancy. Living in the city, I often wonder, if Bidens are growing in such abundance for more of a reason that just loving disturbed sandy soil, but perhaps, its the medicine of the city, growing everywhere to help us with the constant bombarding of pollution in urban areas.
Most times, when we are in tune and paying attention, its easy to notice that what we need the most is right in front of us. Especially in the case of using Bidens this spring. Its like the Earth is exploding with its flowers, so that everywhere we look, this medicine is right there, ready to heal and ready to teach us if we are willing to listen.
- make sure plants are at least 50 ft away from the roadway
- check to see that it isn’t growing near any plants that could be toxic
- ask the plant for permission to harvest (offering loose tobacco or a piece of your hair is also a respectful practice)
- only take what you need
- Colds/sore throat: hot infusion of fresh plant
- Urinary/Bladder issues: overnight infusion in a quart jar
- Toss in fresh flowers to add a little bite to your salad
May we all find the nurturing we need this season,
Photos by: Sarah Benjamin & Summer Singletary
grafting… great info and methods…
New Orleans is a food desert.
It’s weird, I know, because we have a huge reputation for our food—but our soil can’t grow it, not after the storm. Everything comes through the port, down the river, on the highway. Other people bring food to New Orleans to sell. They build grocery stores in Metairie, downtown, Uptown, on Magazine.
But they don’t build in the Lower 9th Ward.
There’s no grocery store there. There hasn’t been one since Katrina in 2005. It’s an extreme low-income neighborhood that depends on a problematic inconvenient public transit systems to cross the city to get any fresh food.
They’re reaching out to local universities and institutions and offering fresh fruit and vegetables to the community—but they’re also offering hope.
OSBG serves as a school, a service institution, and a place of employment for teenagers and young adults from the Lower 9th who want to give back and get more for their community.
But that’s all going to go away without help.
The New Orleans City Council recently passed through new zoning ordinances, and this landmark of the Lower 9th (built by a married couple in 1955 by hand with cypress wood) has to be rebuilt to code. The renovations cost $100,000.
They can’t afford this. They’re a nonprofit barely scraping by. They put together an IndieGoGo campaign, but it’s stagnating at just under $3,000—$97,000 short of their goal.
If they don’t open their building before the summer, the community could lose this resource for good. No garden, no produce, no program, no building.
Please help them in any way you can. Donate a dollar, signal boost, share this post, their link, anything anywhere you can do it. This is important, and soon it could be gone.
GUYS THERE ARE SIX DAYS LEFT AND I CARE SO MUCH ABOUT THIS MAKE IT HAPPEN.
It is intended to hold the straw bale gardens at bay while they decompose.
I chose red dogwood (cornus) branches because they grow in abundance in the nearby wetland area, so I I could coppice some 3-4 year old, 2 metre long shoots in the area without harming the ecosystem. I also chose them for their amazing fiery colour gradations, from a brilliant greenish yellow, to a lush scarlet red.
I am very proud of this area of the garden, because last year I laid the bricks myself as well, which I dug up in the yard. It’s finally coming together. Now all that remains in this zone is to finish the brickwork at the end of the path, and create a plateau for the planned cob oven.
Abstract: Varroa destructor is an ectoparasitic mite that affects colonies of honey bee Apis mellifera worldwide. In the last years, substances of botanical origin have emerged as natural alternative acaricides to diminish the population levels of the mite. In the present work, the bioactivity of propolis from different geographical locations of Pampean region from Argentina on V. destructor was evaluated. Fourteen propolis samples were organoleptic and physicochemically characterized and, by means topical applications, their activity was tested on mites. All propolis had a homogeneous composition and the bioactivity levels against mites were comparable among the different propolis samples. The percentage of mites killed by the treatments ranged between 60.5% and 90% after 30 s of exposure. Thus, V. destructor was highly susceptible to propolis. Moreover, the mites remained anesthetized during the first hours after topical treatment. The results suggest that propolis from Argentinean pampas could be incorporated in honey bee colonies as acaricidal treatment by spraying.