Category: Medicinal Plants

Hardy Gingers for the Food Forest Understory

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Turmeric (Curcuma longa) can handle 5°F/-15°C. The rhizomes make a great tea and are wonderful shredded into stir-frys or cooked with rice. When I visit tropical and subtropical forest gardens I often see ginger, turmeric, galangal, and cardamom in the understory, beneath and between the fruit trees. In fact, according to P.K. Nair’s fantastic Tropical Homegardens, ginger and turmeric are universally found in tropical homegardens (ancient, traditional food forests) around […]

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Weeds – What Are They Good for? (Victoria, Australia)

The subject of ‘weeds’ has always seemed to me to incite far more controversy than it should. The best description of a weed is, “a plant out of place”. It seems to me that if you have a weed, then you have an available niche in your garden that an unwanted opportunistic plant has taken advantage of. To remove that unwanted, opportunistic plant, you have to perform the act of […]

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Delicious and Nutritious – Moringa is a Miracle Tree!

The uses and health benefits of Moringa are amazing; some even call it miraculous! It is truly a ‘jack of all trades’ tree that can be a food, fuel, medicine, and tonic! Even if you are not a salad lover, by drying and grinding the leaves it can be added to a traditional food like soups, beans or maybe a fancy cream cheese and spinach dip! You can get all […]

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Permaculture Paradise at Val & Eli’s Garden (Jacksonville, Florida)

Val and Eli take us on a tour of their permagarden in Jacksonville FL. They have created a wonderful, natural space filled with self-sustaining fruits, vegetables, herbs, medicines, colors, water, fragrances, and wildlife… at their fingertips. And below, Val and Eli continue to harvest the organic riches of their food forest and now cut back their garden to nourish their fruit trees with natural, free fertilizers. No artificial fertilizers, herbicides, […]

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Wild Garlic (Allium Ursinium) – a Culinary Delight

You will find wild garlic in full bloom and looking its absolute best around March/April in the UK. It’s one of those herbs which is available when there is not much else. Whilst taking a long walk in the peak district I happily stumbled across masses of this beautiful herb and decided to post something regarding its medicinal and culinary uses. When to harvest? Ideally, the leaves should be picked […]

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What Plants Talk About

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7MOe5clOtI In 1973, Lyall Watson, a South African botanist, claimed that plants had emotions that could be recorded on a lie detector test. His research was fiercely dismissed by many in the scientific community. Recently, researchers at The University of Western Australia relaunched the debate by revealing that plants not only respond to sound, but that they also communicate to each other by making "clicking" sounds. (The article was published […]

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Lemon Balm Tea – Uplifting, Relaxing and Memory Enhancing

Having a garden is having your own apothecary. It’s great to be able to walk into your garden and harvest foods and plants which are full of nutrients to help you stay happy and healthy. I love growing herbs which I can use for medicines, tinctures and teas. I tend to dry some and also use the fresh herbs to make tinctures in apple cider vinegar which will keep for […]

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Medicinal Plants

Medicinal plants are more than simply objects with useful chemical and symbolic aspects. They are living organisms that are functionally embedded in the cultural fabric of social groups and institutions. They play an integral role in ideas of balance and cosmological order that often reflect sophisticated medical theories of the human body, the symptoms it experiences and their underlying causes. Many different elements are involved in the complex of ideas […]

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Tough Fruit

A line of thought evolving from the interest in both epigenetics and the Paleo diet has led to an exploration of low cultivated, western European, Asian and North American fruit trees in our Food Forest systems. What does this mean? Well, we all love fruit. A fresh, crispy apple or sweet, fleshy nectarine are hard to beat, but how often do we need to eat such super sweet treats bred […]

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Food from Perennial(ising) Plants in Temperate Climate Australia, for August 2013

Editor’s Note: I want to express my heartfelt thanks to Susan for taking the initiative for this excellent series, and, I’d also like to second Susan’s request for volunteers to continue it! There may also be individuals who would like to start a similar series for other climate zones. Either way, you’re encouraged to contact Susan, as outlined below, to find out how to proceed. This is the late Winter […]

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Food from Perennial(ising) Plants in Temperate Climate Australia for July 2013

This is the mid-Winter post for the ongoing research project about perennial plants and self-perpetuating annual plants providing food in temperate climate Australia. The original article introducing this project, stating its aims, and providing participant instructions, can be found here. Growers are sending me information on a month-by-month basis, then this information is collated and published the following month. All previous posts from this series can be found by clicking […]

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Top Five Edible Shrubs for the Backyard Food Forest Garden (Canberra, Australia)

One of the key concepts of permaculture forest gardening is that we try to use all of the different layers available to us in our forest system. The trees at the top form the canopy, these trees get the most light, water and nutrients and are often the biggest ones in the system. In order to develop highly productive systems in our backyards we need to utilise the space underneath […]

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