Archive for the ‘environment’ Category

Love for the Ebike

Monday, October 5th, 2015

A few months ago I had my bike converted to an ebike. After waiting and saving my money for a number of years, I finally made the jump. I wish I had borrowed the money and done it years ago.

This conversion has changed my bicycling world. It turns out I had a lot more anxiety about biking than I knew. This may have been related to a previously undiagnosed genetic heart defect. I had a great bike, could make it up most hills with some effort, and enjoyed using it as much as possible. But the ease and comfort and hill climbing ability of the converted bike is just stunning. And thrilling. And exciting. And fun. And so very easy.

I have a version with a nice small but effective lithium battery. It is 350 watts, and 10 amp hourly load. Am I saying that right? About a 15 mile range when you are not pedaling, and it can power the bike to just over 20 MPH on a flat with no pedaling. My first charge was after about 35 miles, I did pedal nearly the whole time. And was mostly cruising around at about 14 MPH most times I checked.

The version I have has “pedal assist” technology, which is much more effective and wonderful that I ever imagined possible. When you start to pedal, the motor turns on, and then you can choose a 1-5 level of assist – from a little to a lot. Mostly then I leave the gearing set to pretty hard, and so when I do pedal I’m going much faster than I would be without the assist. The whole assist thing can be turned off, but then you also don’t have access to the throttle.

The throttle is also there, so at any time you can rev up the motor and in a burst or slow gain have more power added to your pedaling or stop pedaling altogether. I was surprised to find out that one of the ways I use the throttle the most is to make my starts smoother. If I am at a full stop, and crank the pedals around so I can start with my right foot (I just can’t do it with the left) a little throttle added makes the transition to get the bike going much easier. Especially when at a full stop going up hill. This maneuver has often caused me to nearly fall over or at least look really awkward.

I hadn’t realized how much space in my brain was being taken up with thinking of hills, planning on hills, preparing to charge hills, and worrying about making it up hills. Maybe because I’m older. Maybe because of the heart condition. But now, all of that is over.

I also have found that the ability to pick up speed makes it safer to ride with traffic. I have more options, and also more maneuverability. That keeps me safer.

Nearly all of my in city small errands or travel trips have now been by bike, so my car sits out even more than before. Once I get my trailer working I’ll need the car even less. Because I can go further, carry more weight, and enjoy the convenience of being on bike. I just need the car for bad weather, if I’m taking the dog, and for awkward purchases. Even though it’s close, carrying home a bale of straw by bike wasn’t doable. But I’ll work on that.

jim heh bike

This is Jim, who owns Human Electric Hybrids and he did the conversion. I found his work to be excellent, he made it convenient for me, followed up when I asked questions, and just provided excellent service in every respect. I love his passion for the bikes, and the extras that he did – putting on my old bike rack, adding a kickstand, and his care in all the wiring and whatnot associated with the conversion.

Everyone who has tried out the bike returns with a smile on their face. I’ve been biking enough extra now that it has become clear I need a new seat. That’s great! I don’t know how much of a winter rider I’ll be – but I hope for many days of riding in the next few months.

I do love my ebike, and can imagine it will be welcomed by aging bikers like myself as well as anyone who wants to make biking safer and more enjoyable. Especially as the price comes down – the only real downside to this adventure. But so far worth every penny.

Talking to Plants

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

About 30 people came to the class tonight titled: “How to Talk to Plants and Avoid Giving the Impression of Lunacy”. Here are the highlights, and one important point I forgot to include.

First, that talking to plants implies lunacy and you might as well give it up.
The communication process takes many forms including visual cues (wilting, leaf discoloration), chemical signals to other plants, taste, smell, visual, how other plants respond, vibrancy, etc.
Plants also ask for what they need by virtue of where they grow, triggering water release if possible (olla irrigation again – the plants trigger additional osmotic release by root growth and pulling water into the roots), and also responding to nutrients in the soil.
How you perceive plant communication is a function of knowledge, observation, possibly synesthesia, and Gladwell’s ideas of Thinslicing also come in to play. As does Neuro Linquistic Programming, although I didn’t mention that by name. So while I may describe an interactions in words, I recognize that the plant does not use words.
Being in relationship with plants is part of our DNA.
We also talked about Findhorn and plant Devas, the suggestion that utilizing that understanding is especially meaningful with psychoactive and other more powerful plants, that synthesis and other potentizing may remove some of that connection.
Finally, I spoke of the Gaia Hypothesis and how seeds are truly awesome and bring us to a state of wonder.
I forgot to mention a simple beginning of relating to plants, starting with trees that have patience. Of course. I would have liked to also talk about the difference between annuals, biennials, and perennials and relating to them.
There is a tree in Wurster park that is a few hundred years old, with a great view from a hill to the city below. I find that just hanging out with that tree, maybe with your back against the trunk, is a very special experience of communicating with plants. Certainly natures wonders – and that tree is one – can inspire thoughts and feelings that are unique in what they communicate.
I loved teaching the class, and am glad so many came from so many places in the world!

Garden Update

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Squash is the plant of this season. On purpose but also with a number of strong volunteers, we have more than 20 squash plants happy and loaded with blossoms. Zucchini, Acorn, Pumpkin, Spaghetti, Butternut, and ?? are all flourishing and winding their way throughout the garden so that each path is a bit difficult to walk through.

The beans are also tall and loaded with flowers. We got the pea pods in late but they ahve producing well, and we may have just had the last of those.

Tomatoes look strong and vigorous, but I am always concerned about them maturing fast enough.

The earlier best achiever was radishes – I’ve never had so many so fast. Radish butter and radish pickles helped ease the load there.

We just froze jalapenos and serrano peppers, as well as some broccoli steamed with garlic scapes. The broccoli was loaded with worms – a few dozen disgusting green worms hidden everywhere. It took a alot of work to get them out – they have ended up in the compost bin. I rinsed, I soaked, I used a fork to comb through them. Yuk. I feel confident that I got them all. Soaking worked the best.

My garden at home got in very late but I am planting late crops of chard, kale, collards, some cilantro, and most recently radishes spinach and I’ll look for some turnip seeds. TOm get some scraggly plants for a couple cents a piece and we’ll try them – Kohlrabi being the one most likely to succeed. I have green tomatoes here, they are in a pretty sunny spot.

Two more beds to clear and plant, they may go to kale and other greens but also turnips and onions.

The Ollas are working well, and we have another whole bunch in place and providing stady water – although the rain has been plentiful. Great for the seeds I just started.

We will have a well stocked winter! But also continuous food for the rest fo the summer and well into the fall, especially if these squash do as well as it looks like. I only got two pumpkins in and they weren’t the type I wanted. The volunteer is a pie pumpkin – I think – that was really tasty, but didn’t last as long as I had hoped. So I may have dozens of pumpkins to eat all fall and winter as well. Time to perfect my pumpkin pie recipe!

The Thrill of a Bidet

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

In-toilet bidets are cheap and very easy to install. They start at about $50 more or less, and if your plumbing is already in good order (shut off valve works, nut to the tank is hand-tightened only) about 10 minutes or less to install. Here is a link to the one I got from Amazon.

That is for a cold water version. If you need heat or other features, expect to pay hundreds for the unit and even more to install.

But the cold isn’t as bad as it sounds. Especially in the summer. All winter I get a few moments of warmth as my cold water line runs near the radiator pipes. I also ignored the instructions to cut the tubing from the bidet control to the toilet short – so that is warmed by contact with the rooms warmth. A friend who installed it in his home with a slab and no heat nearby – yow. That is a shock in the winter.

The advantages? Much of the rest of the world uses water to cleanse after toileting. They consider toilet paper a poor choice. They’re right. It is an odd and far less efficient and effective method. Environmentally, toilet paper use plummets. I’m already using recycled non-chlorine bleached paper, but it still eliminates most of that use.

It is fabulous for anyone sensitive down there – post birth, episodes of hemorrhoids, vulva sensitivity brought on by allergies or menopause, or most any other irritation. Water soothes, toilet paper scrubs and abrades.

On my advice, a person (who will remain anonymous) bought the in toilet bidet and loved it. But he bought one with a lift up sort of switch – not a flat dial one. Guests to his house didn’t know what it was and apparently there was some strange funny and also embarrassing accidents. He had to take it out. So if there are people using your toilet who you can’t pre-brief (pun intended) stick with a dial control rather than the fancier lever option.

I really hope these catch on.

Yellow Soup and Ann Arbor Pedestrian Safety Task Force

Monday, February 24th, 2014

I arranged a social gathering for the newly appointed Pedestrian Safety and Access Task Force. Our first Meeting will not take place until the end of March, and that seemed to long to wait to get to know some of the people I’ll be working with. And a social event seemed to be a great way to break the ice (Ann Arbor is very much in need of ice breaking in every way possible, especially the ice on the sidewalks to help pedestrians be safer). Social events are also allowed under the Open Meetings Act, so I didn’t have to invite the whole city to join us.
Five task force members were able to make it, as well as two spouses/partners and one of the young kids of a member.
I planned a simple meal – soup and bread. Here is the soup recipe which turned out better than I expected. It is an idea adapted from A book written by Francis Moore Lappe’s daughter, I can’t recall her name or the book though.

The original recipe called for canned or fresh tomatoes, I didn’t have any so I successfully substituted canned coconut milk.

In a large soup pot saute 2 large onions, chopped, in olive oil.
Let the onions cook for at least 15-20 minutes, so they are just beginning to brown.

Add to the pot about 4-5 potatoes cubed, 2 carrots chopped, about 2 cups of red lentils well rinsed, and about a half gallon of water. Let cook for about 30 minutes. Add more water if needed, the mixture should be thick but still very liquid. After about 30 minutes add some greens -fresh or frozen – about 1 to 1 1/2 cups cut into smallish pieces.

After it is well cooked – about 30-45 minutes – season with about 2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp crushed cumin seeds, 2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, other mild chilis as desired.

If I had had celery I would have added that with the other veggies.

After about 45 minutes, and once the potatoes are soft, add two cans of coconut milk. Heat thoroughly, about 10-15 minutes, and you are ready to serve.

Freezes well, or eat leftovers for 4-5 days.

The key to making this a great soup is using so many onions, and cooking them thoroughly at the beginning.Everything else can be changed – but not that.

It was a very nice introduction for the group and I look forward to a very productive and interesting year!

I served it with cornbread, a good whole wheat sourdough loaf would have been even more perfect.

Not Happy with Macy’s

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

It has been awhile, but Macy’s has resumed perfume ads in the newspaper. Which is only twice a week. Thankfully they fell out before I brought the paper in, but that little exposure brings on instant headache, an elevation of anxiety, and brain confusion. Add a slight bit of dizziness as well, and I’m pissed.

The perfume can’t possibly smell that bad in real life – why is this a good advertising strategy?

An email to Macy’s and AnnArbor.com is next. When the paper was The Ann Arbor News we had an agreement that they would deliver a “clean” non perfumed paper when Macy’s did this. Many years later, I’ll see what can be done.

And now I’m caught up on back tweets…

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Follow my tips and ideas on foraging and medicinal foods twitter.com/wildcrafting
And with this post, I’m caught up – next post will be the current tweets.

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Harvested about 30 pounds of Jerusalem Artichokes. They are kind of wild – they grow where I don’t want them and come back every year. 5:15 PM Nov 5th, 2009
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If you have greens that are tasty but bedraggled make them into herbal vinegars. http://www.holisticwisdom.org/hwpages/herbalvinegars.htm 12:33 AM Nov 4th, 2009 *****
Found what I believe is garlic mustard. Right place, right shape, more mustard than garlic taste, didn’t know it would grow 3 times in 1 yr. 5:00 PM Nov 3rd, 2009
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On my walk I found bee balm just beginning to regrow. It was very fragrant so easy to ID. Picked some to season dinner. Similar to oregano. 4:59 PM Nov 3rd, 2009
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Hickory nuts. Plenty of trees in and around Ann Arbor. Gather, crack with a hammer of shoe, pick out the meat, enjoy. They also freeze well. 9:03 PM Nov 2nd, 2009
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Also made it through my first frozen gallon of maple tree SAP. That worked really well. Took freezer space but otherwise very easy. 8:08 PM Nov 1st, 2009
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I label things with date, name, and place so I can remember picking. Today black rasp. July 7, from The Big Playground. So long ago now… 7:41 PM Nov 1st, 2009
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Already enjoying frozen black raspberries in oatmeal each morning. I add them right at the end of the cooking. Add raisins almonds earlier. 7:38 PM Nov 1st, 2009
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Comfrey leaves help heal cuts, general wounds, AKA “knitbone”. Applied externally or as a homeopathic remedy. Midwives often use for tears. 8:52 AM Oct 31st, 2009
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I’ll want comfrey in a few weeks after surgery. Pick leaves now before frost, infuse for a day, discard leaves, freeze infusion. Healing. 8:32 AM Oct 31st, 2009
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One option for misc. wild roots, leaves, and other is kim chi. Burdock and dandelion root with carrots, greens, wild onion is my best yet. 8:30 AM Oct 31st, 2009
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When the sap runs, maple trees will drip sap. So it is never too late to find a tree to tap. Just have to wait until Feb. or March! 9:44 PM Oct 30th, 2009
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ID those maple trees now – the leaves will soon be gone. I have a hard time figuring out trees in winter. 9:36 PM Oct 30th, 2009
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Ground Cherries seem to be ripening in the window, even in this dark wet weather. 9:33 PM Oct 30th, 2009
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I’m attending Ignite Ann Arbor 2 — http://bit.ly/iquTY and presenting about why I tweet. 15 speakers 5 min each 8:47 AM Oct 29th, 2009
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Tasted some rosehips and they were very bland, Needs more frost. 2:50 AM Oct 29th, 2009
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No dew berries this year so far. They are a pale blue raspberry like fruit that ripens in October. Found them along a creek last year. 2:48 AM Oct 29th, 2009
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Lunch of fried sweet potato, wild garlic greens, found onions, dandelion greens, with tahini and balsamic vinegar on pasta. Lovely. Yummy. 2:46 AM Oct 29th, 2009
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Picked ground cherries, not all of them are ripe. They are considered poisonous until they ripen, so I’ll try a windowsill and hope. 2:45 AM Oct 29th, 2009
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Yellow dock roots can be harvested now, made into oil, used for bruises, scrapes, bone bruises, and more. Oil takes 6 wks to make. 10:07 PM Oct 24th, 2009
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Yellow dock is still hanging in there, so you can make pesto from the leaves. It is OK that there are rusty looking spots. That’s normal. 10:05 PM Oct 24th, 2009
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I have been gifted with quinces. I don’t know yet what I will do to them other than cook and sweeten. Quince paste looks interesting. 10:32 PM Oct 23rd, 2009
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Made chamomile and calendula salves with my med school class. They had fun, enjoyed the hands-on part. Open minded positive group. 3:52 PM Oct 23rd, 2009
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The new issue of the people’s food co-op newsletter has my article on herbs used with cancer and heart disease 2:18 PM Oct 22nd, 2009
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Valerian grows very easily, spreads like crazy, root is used in the tincture for insomnia, muscle spasms, relaxation. It affects me strongly 10:23 PM Oct 21st, 2009
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Having back spasms, will take a little valerian tincture in water and sleep. We made it this week, too soon, so I’ll use last years. 10:22 PM Oct 21st, 2009
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Still time to sign up for Free class on Menopause – Thursday 7 pm Crazy Wisdom thanks to People’s Food Co-op 10:20 PM Oct 21st, 2009
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The last free event I’ll be doing this year is Nov 6 Ignite Ann Arbor on twittering about wild foods. http://igniteannarbor.eventbrite.com/ 1:01 AM Oct 21st, 2009
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Another free class Saturday at the Reskilling Festival, I’ll be helping people brainstorm about building a root cellar. 12:59 AM Oct 21st, 2009
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Free class Thursday on Menopause and Herbal Allies – the good news. Crazy Wisdom Bookstore, 7-8:30, sponsored by The People’s Food Co-op 12:58 AM Oct 21st, 2009
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Dug up Echinacea and Valerian roots, my med school class turned that into tincture, 103 proof vodka. In 6 weeks it will be ready for use. 12:56 AM Oct 21st, 2009
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2nd year wild carrot has turned into Queen Ann’s Lace, tall flower, the root is woody, and beginning to deteriorate. No use at that stage. 11:09 AM Oct 20th, 2009
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It is a great time to harvest wild carrot roots. The first year plants will have a nice solid, pure white root. Smells like carrot. 11:08 AM Oct 20th, 2009
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Was invited to pick buckwheat. A little late, many seeds had fallen, but it was different. Now, to remove the hulls and have flour. 10:16 PM Oct 19th, 2009
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Found a few goldenrod flowers still, picked a few and missed the yellow jacket also enjoying them. She stung me, oww. Apis and baking soda. 10:15 PM Oct 19th, 2009

More Tweets – Just Two more to catch up

Monday, January 18th, 2010

This and another 40 or so will put me up to date on my missing tweets. Follow me on twitter.com/wildcrafting for daily updates.

Harvesting gets more and more scant – but roots are still a great feast. Burdock (look for leaves with no flower stalks), dandelion are 2 9:27 PM Nov 27th, 2009
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When you harvest for bark, take vertical strips. If you gird the tree (go around) it dies. Except cork trees. But that is not a local tree! 6:39 AM Nov 25th, 2009
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we have slippery elms around here, but I’ve never harvested from them. Bark is powdered and used to stop colds, sooth colon, nutritious. 6:38 AM Nov 25th, 2009
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Just sniffed oil drops on surgical gauze. A bit formal – but some concessions can be made for the setting. Totally completely effective. 8:36 PM Nov 22nd, 2009
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Used peppermint oil to control post-surgery nausea. Read studies that said it worked, 1st and only chance to try. Amazing. Would wild mint? 8:31 PM Nov 22nd, 2009
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Using st. john’s wort oil topically to keep shingles at bay. Made from flowering tops gathered in June, farmer’s field. In Olive oil. Works. 8:29 PM Nov 22nd, 2009
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witch hazel grows in clumps of small trees. This must be ornamental var. as friend says he saw only one tree. And it fruits b4 it flowers. 11:40 PM Nov 21st, 2009
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friend walking my dog came back with witch hazel flower. blooms in Nov. fringy thin yellow petals. not edible but tinctured for astringent. 11:36 PM Nov 21st, 2009
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home from hosp day early – oatmeal made with maple sap – not syrup frozen from last season. And black rasp. No hosp. food at all. 12:50 PM Nov 21st, 2009
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No more tweets until Sunday at the earliest. Combining the best of conventional and alternative therapies, to be nourished and heal fast. 9:44 PM Nov 18th, 2009
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Woods today filled with young garlic mustard. Bad. And young strawberry plants – promise of good things in the spring. Good. 9:42 PM Nov 18th, 2009
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catnip is making a go of growing in this warm weather. Herbal tea, dry for cats, add to cooking greens for flavor change. Soothes stomach. 1:24 PM Nov 18th, 2009
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It took about 2 weeks for my root cellar to stop smelling like dead mice. The down side to food storage. Those mice are amazing. Destroyers. 9:50 AM Nov 18th, 2009
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I think I will miss the woods more than anything. Good motivation to get well soon. I just can’t be inside too long.. lots grows in the cold 9:46 PM Nov 17th, 2009
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Hope to be back next week, posting ideas, recipes, philosophy, info on medicinal herbs, and herbs I’m using to nourish and heal. 9:44 PM Nov 17th, 2009
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I will be indoors for a week or two recovering from major abdominal surgery. It may be hard to twitter about wild things for a bit. 9:42 PM Nov 17th, 2009
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Lots of dandelions. Craving tahini. Combines well – recipe http://moonfieldpress.com/pages/samplerecipes.html from my cookbook. 9:41 PM Nov 17th, 2009
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Burdock root infused overnight, strained and used in baths for soothing skin care, for itching and luxurious sensations. Freeze 4 later use 11:30 PM Nov 15th, 2009
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tomorrow – final comfrey leaf harvest. For herbal vinegar 4 minerals, and decoction to preserve by freezing. Wound healing used externally. 11:27 PM Nov 15th, 2009
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Soup made from Jerusalem artichokes, chestnuts, garlic and brussel sprouts. Pureed artichokes, 40 cloves garlic for 3 gallons. Tasty. 11:06 PM Nov 15th, 2009
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Long walk but not much to eat. Comfrey still growing strong. My bees are a bit troubled, warm weather but no flowers. That’s hard for them. 5:00 PM Nov 14th, 2009
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Still avail. roots of dandelion, burdock, chicory, wild carrot; yellow dock leaves (think pesto); apples, crabapples; acorns, black walnuts 9:05 PM Nov 13th, 2009
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Did more talking about wildcrafting than doing it today. Encouraging urban maple syruping, listing wild plants still harvestable. 9:02 PM Nov 13th, 2009
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Tincture of St. John’s Wort oil is ruby red, just beautiful. Used for shingles, nerve pain, anti-viral, and Seasonal Affective Disorder more 9:32 PM Nov 12th, 2009
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Productive day dealing with previous preparations. Decanted St. John’s Wort oil and tincture, vinegars of pine and comfrey, echinacea tinct. 9:30 PM Nov 12th, 2009
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Evidence for Echinacea in small doses all anecdotal. My published article http://www.holisticwisdom.org/hwpages/echinacea.html 8:33 AM Nov 11th, 2009
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Taking home made Echinacea purpurea tincture daily – 10 drops in water – as prevention against misc. viruses. Made from roots, 3 YO plants 8:31 AM Nov 11th, 2009
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Drinking nettle leaf infusion – eating dandelion leaves – enjoying yellow dock leaf pesto – wild pears – ground cherries not ripening 8:29 AM Nov 11th, 2009
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And, sometimes conventional medicine is necessary and profoundly helpful. Best solution? Combine the two. Alt. and Conv. 8:28 AM Nov 11th, 2009
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Health Insurance nightmares interfere with life & happiness, including posting on wild food. Sorry! Do it yourself medicine is more peaceful 8:26 AM Nov 11th, 2009
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Use dried rosehips with other herbs for tea, infuse with lid 20 minutes or a couple hours. Nice color, taste, and vit. C. 9:00 AM Nov 8th, 2009
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Found some rosehips? You can dry them. Dry the flesh, not the seeds, on a tray in any airy warm place. Store in jars with lid. 8:59 AM Nov 8th, 2009
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The Nov. Herbal Wisdom class has been postponed. It will be January 28th, on using herbs for cancer and heart disease. 8:57 AM Nov 8th, 2009
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Rosehips – nibble on the red flesh, avoid the barbed seeds inside. Great source of Vit. C 3:24 PM Nov 7th, 2009
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Canoeing – found a few rosehips to nibble. Not much else, so just enjoyed the warm sunny weather and being on the water. 3:23 PM Nov 7th, 2009
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If they’ve been frosted, it will be too late. Not the right flavor to spend time preserving. 11:42 PM Nov 6th, 2009
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I will be looking for unfrozen garlic greens and chives tomorrow. Forget to dry some for the winter. 200 degree oven, into well sealed jar. 11:41 PM Nov 6th, 2009
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Ignite2 went well, love to talk about wildcrafting with people who never considered it, or who remember their g-mother doing it. 11:40 PM Nov 6th, 2009
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As of this moment, just 32 free tickets left for ignite2 http://igniteannarbor.eventbrite.com/ So about 500 people will be there. Cool. 12:08 AM Nov 6th, 2009
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I am explaining my motivation and passion for this twitter experiment at Ingite2, Friday night, 7 pm. 5 minutes, 20 slides, auto advance 12:06 AM Nov 6th, 2009
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Eat ‘chokes raw like water chestnuts, baked and mashed with potatoes, boiled in soups, stir fried is awesome, very versatile. Nutritious 2 5:18 PM Nov 5th, 2009
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I’ll put some in sand in the root cellar. Last year the mice got to them, this year taking measures against mice so there is hope. 5:17 PM Nov 5th, 2009
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To store Jer. Art. don’t remove the dirt, put in plastic bags in the produce drawer of your refrig, I’ve had some last almost a year. 5:16 PM Nov 5th, 2009 *****
Harvested about 30 pounds of Jerusalem Artichokes. They are kind of wild – they grow where I don’t want them and come back every year. 5:15 PM Nov 5th, 2009

More Tweets Repeated Here

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Follow me on twitter.com/wildcrafting or read here every few days. I’m still catching up form not posting since mid-October.

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white pine needles harvested all year. In winter, white pine infusion good source of Vit. C. Tastes like turpentine though. And diuretic! 9:36 PM Dec 21st, 2009
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reminder – white pine needles in jar, apple cider vinegar to top, non metal lid, wait 6 weeks = white pine flavored vinegar with + minerals. 9:35 PM Dec 21st, 2009
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Comparing balsamic vinegar and homemade white pine needle vinegar. B. is more “oaky” WP the apple cider taste comes thru. WP is surprising. 9:21 PM Dec 21st, 2009
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OK things are covered with snow. U can still ID wild carrot, chicory, burdock, mullein, and so many others, ready for early spring finds. 6:40 PM Dec 19th, 2009
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Foraging is walk outside when something wonderful could happen any moment. Even this time of year. Like High Bush Cranberries! 3:34 PM Dec 19th, 2009
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From “Why Animals Make us Human” by Temple Grandon. Anticipation = pleasure. Being outside and expecting “treats” is reinforcing. And basic. 3:32 PM Dec 19th, 2009
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Temple Grandon writes of primitive “seeking behavior” creating pleasure. My point exactly, why foraging is deeply rooted and makes us happy. 3:31 PM Dec 19th, 2009
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I think the only place that sells SJW oil locally is The People’s Food Co-op. Many people are unfamiliar with the oil, just know tincture. 8:05 AM Dec 17th, 2009
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Made from local flowering tops of Hypericum Perforatum. Look for it in mid June. Cautions with internal use of tincture or pills. Not ext. 8:03 AM Dec 17th, 2009
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Huge difference in pain relief and nerve sensitivity. I love this oil. Fantastic for shingles outbreaks as well. Topical use only… 8:01 AM Dec 17th, 2009
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2 days w/out topical St. John’s Wort oil on incision and discomfort increases. Last 12 hours with, clear improvement. A small experiment. 7:59 AM Dec 17th, 2009
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Still processing tasks to complete from summer and fall. Frozen cattail pollen to sift, acorns to process, buckwheat to hull. Winter work. 11:38 PM Dec 16th, 2009
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Because it is in our nature to gather wild foods. We evolved that way too. When you give in to that deep need, foraging is deeply satisfying 7:27 PM Dec 15th, 2009
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How you feel when you add wild foods to your diet may be a first indicator. My body says YES! A deep primitive response is also satisfied. 7:26 PM Dec 15th, 2009
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If we evolved with certain foods, do we deal with them differently than recently adapted and “improved” foods? May take a while to know. 7:21 PM Dec 15th, 2009
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One theory is that wild foods are more digestible and with better nutrient uptake. Because cells respond slowly to change and hybrid foods. 7:20 PM Dec 15th, 2009
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My foraging friend ground the wild “pepper” with wild mustard seeds, homemade vinegar, made an interesting condiment. Flavorful! 4:17 PM Dec 14th, 2009
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Saw some “Poor Man’s Pepper” seed pods dried by a path. Still has that peppery great flavor, but bit wet tasting as well. A treat on a walk 4:15 PM Dec 14th, 2009
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On hand now I have jams of black raspberry, quince, red raspberry, strawberry, blueberry. Also pear butter, apple butter. All gifts. Yum. 6:34 PM Dec 13th, 2009
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Jam is also an unusual treat stirred into hot tea, herbal or most others. Use it in lots of places you might use honey , sugar, etc. 6:32 PM Dec 13th, 2009
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With all the jam I’ve been gifted with it is time to make thumb print cookies. Buttery nut cookie, make hole with thumb, fill w/ jam, bake 6:30 PM Dec 13th, 2009
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Friends have had freezer failures and are making more jam from berries that thawed. Next year consider drying as another option. Low tech. 6:27 PM Dec 13th, 2009
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Found a confused pussy willow on my walk. Soft fuzzy buds . Even pussy willow has salicin, used for headaches and pain. Extracted from bark 2:40 PM Dec 12th, 2009
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If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his or her wages? … The rare leafy green joke… I collect them no matter how bad. 9:20 AM Dec 12th, 2009
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Interested in hands on learning? Location in Ann Arbor and Chelsea MI, no$$, work exchange only. DM with your e-mail. 2 apprentices needed 9:06 AM Dec 12th, 2009
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Thinking of spring: two gardens to plant, and the wild harvest starts with maple sugaring Feb or March. Seeking 2 people 4 apprenticeship. 9:03 AM Dec 12th, 2009
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Started the day with buckwheat pancakes with black raspberries, picked June 28, and my own maple syrup from last Feb. Memories & great food 9:01 AM Dec 12th, 2009
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Continuing to use St. John’s Wort oil on my incision , numb areas beginning to itch and have more feeling. Facilitates nerve regeneration. 7:04 PM Dec 11th, 2009
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Chenopodium, Lamb’s Quarters, is one plant to save seed to cook as grain or grind for flour. But huge work in preparation. Small return. 3:49 PM Dec 9th, 2009
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Wind is helpful to separate the wheat from the chaff – or any other seed with husks you saved foraging. But 50 MPH today – too much. 3:47 PM Dec 9th, 2009
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This will be my rare plug. Buy directly from me – http://bit.ly/852ANW and I can personally autograph. I’ll twitter recipes this winter. 9:17 AM Dec 8th, 2009
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My cookbook “Spinach and Beyond: Loving Life and Dark Green Leafy Vegetables” includes wild greens and how to use them. http://bit.ly/8x3tvT 9:14 AM Dec 8th, 2009
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My foraging friend stashed his for wine making, mine will mostly go on top of oatmeal. Added at end of cooking. Or cornbread, or pancakes. 7:36 PM Dec 7th, 2009
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Unearthed the large stash of black raspberries from the back of freezer. The color, taste, and even smell at this time of year is heaven. 7:34 PM Dec 7th, 2009
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The job of controlling and eliminating invasives is overwhelming. Eating them is a reasonable part of a needed larger strategy. cooperate 4:57 PM Dec 6th, 2009
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I would hate to see many of them be totally eliminated. For now, we are all working to stop the spread and that is important. Next – ? 4:55 PM Dec 6th, 2009
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Invasives are often powerful herbal healers and good food. Is there a conflict? Mostly I just find where they are trouble and harvest them. 4:53 PM Dec 6th, 2009
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Just now found my direct tweets- so apologies for not responding b4. Not sure what I wasn’t seeing, my other account they showed up. OK now 4:52 PM Dec 6th, 2009
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The hard frost this am knocked out a lot of greens, but even wilted you can eat for a few days. Cook first. Some taste better after a chill. 9:02 PM Dec 5th, 2009
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http://bit.ly/4tQ6g4 links to article on wildcrafting in Sweden. 9:00 PM Dec 5th, 2009
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Cold frames, hoop houses, greenhouses, are good for weeds and wild food not just intentionally planted plants. Extend the season! 8:47 PM Dec 4th, 2009
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You can place ground cover fabric, AKA reemay, over your more tender weeds and extend the season. Also easier to find greens in the snow. 8:46 PM Dec 4th, 2009
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In Dec. any fresh edible green is a great thing. A little added to a recipe goes a long way. Esp. with a strong wonderful garlic taste! 11:15 PM Dec 3rd, 2009
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Saute in oil, mix with sour cream, add to baked potato. Sliver into butter, use garlic butter on bread and bake. Add chopped to marinade. 11:13 PM Dec 3rd, 2009
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Garlic mustard recipes: tear into small pieces, add to salad greens. Add to stir fry. Add to other greens boiled or steamed. …to be cont.. 11:11 PM Dec 3rd, 2009
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If you can pull up the roots with the garlic mustard &discard them, you’ve done a good deed. They create soil environment that hurts trees. 6:12 PM Dec 2nd, 2009
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I was munching on garlic mustard today. Expect it to be around most of the winter, it is a green you can uncover from snow and ice and eat. 6:11 PM Dec 2nd, 2009
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With the ground not yet frozen, you could still ID Echinacea from the stalks with cone like flowers, dig the root, clean, chop. 8:27 PM Dec 1st, 2009
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My Echinacea root was put into 100 proof vodka. 6 weeks later now ready to decant. 10 drops a day in water to stave off flu, colds, and crud 8:25 PM Dec 1st, 2009
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Picked more comfrey leaves today, topical healing for friend – recent childbirth. Soothing and healing for tears, make liquid extract. 10:18 PM Nov 30th, 2009
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Ever made pesto in December? Find a few sheltered leaves from dandelions yellow dock (especially), plantain, and treat like basil. In Dec.! 10:15 PM Nov 30th, 2009
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So happy to be out walking, even if short. Dandelion greens stay edible nearly all winter – I’ve found and eaten in Feb. Flowers even. 11:20 PM Nov 29th, 2009
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A gallon of maple sap makes about 8-9 bowls of oatmeal. So I had a months worth of oatmeal breakfasts frozen in plastic milk jugs. Sweet. 10:10 PM Nov 28th, 2009
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buckwheat pancakes made with maple syrup from the tree next door last Feb. was great way to start the morning. 10:07 PM Nov 28th, 2009

More tweets to catch up with

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

The next batch of un-blogged tweets. I’ll expand them on AnnArbor.com tonight or tomorrow.

Had some bread made by a friend, Lamb’s Quarter’s seeds mixed in. Sort of like poppy seeds, gentle flavor, nice texture, slight earthiness 4:59 PM Jan 4th
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Wild greens are heart healthy – the greener the better. Eat more greens, stay out of the ER. Just my idea for a healthy New Year! 7:35 PM Jan 3rd
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Walk in the woods pre-empted by taking my brother to ER. No wild foods there. Nothing green but scrubs. They didn’t ask about diet or herbs. 7:34 PM Jan 3rd
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Some mushy rotting crab apples on a walk, not much else. Spent more time looking down careful of ice than looking around watching for food. 3:23 PM Jan 2nd
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I’m starting now saving plastic jugs, ID trees, each tap hole is about 10 gallons sap most years = 1 qt syrup. I plan to tap about 6 trees. 6:19 AM Jan 1st
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You can tap any maple, as well as birch and sycamore. Sap can be used as is – or boiled for syrup. More stats http://bit.ly/8z5Llo 6:15 AM Jan 1st
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Mich produces over 90,000 gallons of syrup each year. Multiply by 40 to count sap production. Takes 40 gal sap to make 1 gal syrup. 6:13 AM Jan 1st
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Maple syrup is the first farm crop harvested in MI each year. Hoop houses may change that… but the season usually begins next month! 6:11 AM Jan 1st
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Left over acorn and buckwheat black raspberry pancakes. It has been good year for wild food and learning to tweet! Thanks for following. 7:46 PM Dec 31st, 2009
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1 more reason I like natural unprocessed stuff- I’m more sensitive than many. Blogging bad reaction to cleaning product http://bit.ly/82EmB4 4:30 PM Dec 31st, 2009
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But HBC is a source of vit C mid-winter. This week they were the worst ever. Maybe time and desperation would improve the flavor. 6:50 PM Dec 29th, 2009
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Found and tasted some High Bush Cranberries out in the woods. Oh they tasted really truly awful. They have a flat seed – and red berry. 6:48 PM Dec 29th, 2009
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Back to blogging on annarbor.com. That was some writer’s block, glad it is over. http://bit.ly/5QM0V4 10:19 PM Dec 28th, 2009 from TweetDeck
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Finally heated and strained 5 big jars of honey with lots of comb. Left from rescuing a wild hive this spring. Big mess, sweet reward. 9:31 PM Dec 27th, 2009
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Every bit of maple syrup leaves me counting the days until the sap runs again. Maybe 60 or about. Love these pure simple tastes. All year. 9:23 PM Dec 27th, 2009
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The ultimate in local foraged/gleaned pancakes. Outstanding. Acorns add a very interesting multi level taste. Just not something I’m used to 9:21 PM Dec 27th, 2009
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These will be pancakes with multiple stories. I’ll experiment with my sourdough starter in place of baking soda for next time. 12:42 AM Dec 27th, 2009
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Later today, will combine handpicked buckwheat with acorn flour, homemade butter, last years maple syrup, local eggs, raspberries, for wow! 12:39 AM Dec 27th, 2009
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Gleaned buckwheat in Oct. Winnowed recently, grind in mill with hulls, the hulls are then sifted out easily. Foraged Buckwheat flour! 12:38 AM Dec 27th, 2009
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I have a few spots of garlic mustard I will watch into the winter – how long can it live ? How cold can it get? How durable is this pest? 10:36 AM Dec 26th, 2009
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Under that snow lurks garlic mustard, alive and well and also edible. Add to other pot greens, small bits in a salad, it is tasty still. 10:34 AM Dec 26th, 2009
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Dog Nala found sumac in my pocket and ate it – the Vit. C taste made her wince and lick her lips but she kept nibbling. Wild dog. 8:50 AM Dec 25th, 2009
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Sucked and licked the berries, friend took it to make sumacade – soak fruit in cold water, ideal with sun, but time will have to do. Vit C 8:48 AM Dec 25th, 2009
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Earlier in the week found vibrant staghorn sumac fruit bursting with flavor. Wow! Glad now we picked it as this rain would delete flavor. 8:46 AM Dec 25th, 2009
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Bad weather for dogs. Nala wasn’t interested in freezing rain at all – but nature calls and she had no choice. Back under the blankets now. 8:44 AM Dec 25th, 2009
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The best were less than 1/4 inch, growing by the river. Almost missed them. The yukky hips more profuse, and nearby. Have to taste to know. 8:16 AM Dec 24th, 2009
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Yesterday sampled 3 different rosehips. The smallest was exclaim out loud good. Sweet, lemony, nice texture. Other two bland and bad. 8:14 AM Dec 24th, 2009
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My cookbook “Spinach and Beyond Loving Life and Dark Green leafy vegetables sold over 30 copies this week. Largest sales in over 5 years. 9:23 AM Dec 23rd, 2009
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And the taste difference between old flour and newly milled flour is amazing. Fresh flour still tastes alive, not like dust. 8:31 AM Dec 23rd, 2009
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Seeds store better than flour. The ideal is to have the “berries” of the grain, and grind as needed. Healthy oils and nutty taste are saved. 8:30 AM Dec 23rd, 2009
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Chenopodium (lamb’s quarters) are the green to the left – better as a green than as grain. Greens can be blanched and frozen 4 winter eating 10:24 PM Dec 22nd, 2009
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My foraging friend tried cooking up lamb’s quarter seeds tonight. Result: hard, slightly burned, lots of work not much to be excited about. 10:23 PM Dec 22nd, 2009
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