Category: Medicinal Plants

Magic in Melbourne

There’s alchemy and magic afoot in Melbourne, where we take a look at Bill and Geoff’s PDC and the garden of a certain urban magician called Angelo. Bill Mollison at Trinity College, Melbourne All photographs © Craig Mackintosh I had never been to Melbourne before this week, but from my very short exposure to it over the last few days, I can already sense that it is a very strange […]

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Maldivian Homegardens – A stable farming system in a fragile environment

PIJ #58, Mar – May 1996 By Dr Danny Hunter Editor’s Note: This decade-old article spotlights local indigenous knowledge found in the Maldives – a land today threatened by rising seas. The Maldive Islands have the unfortunate title of having the lowest highest point in the world – only 2.3 metres. The atolls of the Maldives represent a delicate and unique ecosystem that is highly sensitive to changes resulting from […]

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Drumstick Tree

by Isabell Shipard. For more plant info, check out Isabell’s excellent books in our book section. Photo credit: Melanie Brown Also known as Horseradish Tree, Marango Tree, Murunga, Kelor, Shobhanjan, Ben Tree and Moringa Tree. Moringa oleifera syn. M. pterygosperma F. Moringaceae Description: A handsome, multi-purpose, small legume tree, 3-8 metres tall, fast growing and drought hardy, with a shady, leaf canopy of very attractive tripinnate ferny foliage, making its […]

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Chia: Crop Potential and Uses

Editor’s Note: Today we get some practical tips from Isabell Shipard, a lady whose work I featured recently. You’ll hear from Isabell from time to time – helping us get to know a little more about the herbs and other plants whose attributes, uses and benefits are often unknown or ignored. For a lot more info like this, consider purchasing one of Isabell’s really excellent books – you can find […]

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Making the Most of the ‘Ultimate Health Food Shop’ – Your Garden

Isabell Shipard – herbalist/educator One of the best aspects of Permaculture is being able to begin to take control back over our own lives. Rather than being just a captive cog in the huge destructive machine that is our present globalised industrial society (a machine running full speed towards a great yawning precipice), transitioning to Permaculture systems enables us to stand as individuals, making our own choices and, as far […]

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Tamarind Tree

PIJ #48, Sep – Nov 1993 The graceful tamarind tree (Tamarindus indica) is believed to have originated in Africa and is now cultivated in many parts of the tropical world. Although in the legume family, it does not fix nitrogen; however, its many attractive qualities make it a splendid addition to the large permaculture garden. It is one of the most useful of tropical trees – for shelter, shade, food […]

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Weeds or Wild Nature?

Reprinted with permission from the “Permaculture International Journal” (PIJ) (No. 61, Dec-Feb 1997). The world’s striving for racial tolerance doesn’t always extend to plants. A key criticism of permaculture’s approach to building sustainable organic systems has been its perceived willingness to favour the introduction of exotic species. Is it better to build systems that include exotics or should reforestation aim only to replace what has been taken away? Is a […]

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Water Chestnuts

The Water Chestnut, Eleocharis dulcis, is a tropical/sub-tropical sedge that grows in water margins and bogs in many parts of India, South-East Asia, New Guinea, Northern Australia and Polynesia. It is an annual that has erect, narrow, tubular leaves (clums) half a metre to a metre tall. The plant spreads by a creeping rhizome which, through the summer months, produces additional sucker plants. The sweet corms are highly valued as […]

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