The Plant Report- Every Plant Has A Story
Learn about the botanical world one plant at a time. The Plant Report is a new educational resource about plants, herbal medicine, ethnobotany and the human/plant relationship.  The Plant Report is a project of Sustainable World Radio.

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Syndication

Episode 22: Imagine leaving your regular life behind and traveling for a year in search of a ripening fruit. This is what Lindsay Gasik did and it changed her life. The fruit she was searching for is Durian. One of the largest tropical fruits, Durian are renowned for their unusual taste and aroma and have the reputation of "smelling like hell and tasting like heaven." In fact, their strong odor is so pungent, Durians have been banned from the Singapore Rapid Mass Transit System. Durians are high in fat and sugar, covered in thorns, can weigh up to 22 pounds, and fall off the tree when ripe. Be sure to look out for this falling fruit!

In 2012, Lindsay set off on a twelve month sojourn around Southeast Asia to follow the Durian season. In this podcast interview we learn about her travels on the Durian Trail, how to eat and prepare Durian, the parallels between wine and Durian, and what happens when you follow a fruit to explore other cultures. Lindsay also tells us how she became a Durian Travel Agent and why she still loves this thorny, aromatic King of Fruit!

To learn more about Lindsay and Durian, visit her website: Year of the Durian.com

Direct download: _urian-_King_of_Fruits.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:48pm PST

Episode 21: Lemon Balm, Melissa officinalis, is an easy to grow herb with many uses. To learn about  Lemon Balm, I spoke with Kami McBride. Kami is an herbalist, herbal medicine instructor, and creator of the Living Awareness Institute.  Kami has 27 years of experience in inspiring people to use herbs in their daily lives and in this episode, she shares her knowledge about this wonderful plant.

Lemon balm makes a pleasant tasting tea, lemonade, and infusion. Palatable to children, Lemon Balm fights colds and flus, is antispasmodic, and carminative. Kami talks about how and when to harvest and use lemon balm and why she calls it a "confetti herb." Kami describes Lemon Balm as the "crowd-pleasing herb" because it elevates mood and is soothing and calming.

A favorite of bees, Lemon Balm is a great addition to your garden.

Kami advises people to "let yourself fall in love" with a plant and Lemon Balm is an easy herb to fall for.

To hear a 2009 interview with Kami McBride on Sustainable World Radio, click here.

Direct download: Soothe_and_Calm_with_Lemon_Balm.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:18pm PST

Episode 20: Have you heard about Pulses? The edible seeds of legumes, Pulses are, in the words of my guest Dan Jason, a "simple, beautiful, nutritious, and versatile crop". Easily grown without herbicides or pesticides, pulses are resilient, need little water, and increase soil fertility. They contain protein, are highly nutritious, and easy to grow and prepare. 

Dan Jason is an organic farmer, seed saver, and author based on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. Dan is the author of the new book The Power of Pulses: Saving the World with Peas, Beans, Chickpeas, Favas, and Lentils. Farming organically for over thirty years, Dan is the owner and founder of the heritage and heirloom seed company, Salt Spring Seeds. An advocate for untreated, open-pollinated, and non-GMO seeds, Dan believes that pulses can help renew the health of our planet.

2016 is the International Year of Pulses. Make this the year that you incorporate the incredible family of pulses into your diet and, if you have the space, into your garden.

Direct download: The_Power_of_Pulses.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:39pm PST

Episode 19: Have you ever eaten a paw paw? If you haven't, you'll probably want to, after hearing this interview with Andrew Moore, author of the book, Paw Paw In Search of America's Forgotten Fruit.  

Paw Paws are North America's largest, edible, native fruit. Growing wild in 26 states, paw paws have been immortalized in folk songs, like Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch. In modern times, paw paws have largely been forgotten. To learn why, I speak with Andrew Moore about this delicious and highly medicinal plant. Andrew takes us on a journey through the Paw Paw Belt and shares why he is excited about the future of this tropical tasting plant. 

To read more about Andrew, click here.

 

 

Direct download: Andrew_Moore_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:47pm PST

Episode 18: Our plant for this episode is the Rose. Roses are edible, medicinal, and therapeutic. To learn about this beautiful plant, I spoke with Linda Buzzell Saltzman, an Eco-Therapist and Rosarian who grows roses in and around her backyard food forest.

Linda talks about the history of roses, the benefits of growing heritage roses, and why the concept of "right rose, right place" is important. Linda also shares recipes and gardening tips.

After hearing about Roses, you may be tempted to become a rose rustler. To learn more about heritage roses, visit Linda's blog by clicking here.

Direct download: The_Beautiful_Rose_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:01pm PST

Amazing Yeast- Tiny, Ubiquitous, and Invaluable

Episode 17: Our plant for this episode is not a plant. It's yeast. Tiny in size, huge in utility, yeast is all around us. Found in the Ecuadorian Rainforests, the Arctic, and on our skin, this single-celled member of the Fungi Kingdom is part of Nature's Recycling Team and has been on the planet for millions of years. Used for brewing and baking, humans have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with yeast.

In this episode, Dr. Ian Roberts of the National Collection of Yeast Cultures (NCYC) talks about yeast: its history, what it needs to survive, its role in the ecosystem, and the process of fermentation. 

Dr. Roberts is the curator of more than 4,000 strains of yeast collected over 65 years at the NCYC.

To learn more about the NCYC and its heritage collection of UK brewing yeast visit their website.

Direct download: Yeast-_Tiny_and_Useful.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:59pm PST

Kalo- An Important Hawaiian Plant

Episode 16: In this episode we talk about Kalo or Taro, Colocasia esculenta. To learn about this staple of the Hawaiian diet, we visit the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens located in Kahului on the island of Maui.

At Maui Nui, we speak with Tamara Sherrill and John Aquino. Former Plant Collections Manager, Tamara is now Maui Nui's Executive Director. Tamara describes several old Hawaiian varieties of Kalo, Kalo propagation, and Native and Canoe Plants. 

 

We also talk with farmer and Hawaiian Plant Expert John Aquino about what parts of the Kalo are edible, how it's grown, his farm on Maui, and traditional Hawaiian farming methods. 

 

To learn more about the Maui Nui Botanic Gardens, visit their website at MNBG.org.

Direct download: Kalo_at_Maui_Nui.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:24pm PST

The Magic of Mulberries

Loren Luyendyk has been working with Mulberry Trees for over 15 years. In this episode Loren talks about why he thinks more people should be growing this incredibly versatile plant.

Did you know that Mulberry Trees can adapt to almost any soil type? That they are hardy to drought and temperature extremes? Learn the best way to propagate Mulberries and the medicinal uses of Mulberry leaves and root bark. The Mulberries themselves are delicious and high in Vitamins A and C. 

Loren Luyendyk is a Permaculture teacher, designer, and owner of Santa Barbara Organics.

Direct download: Mulberries.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:03pm PST

The Winter Squash Fan Club

Episode 14: Are you a winter squash fan? If not, you may become one after hearing organic farmer and seedsman Justin Huhn talk about one of his favorite crops- Winter Squash or Cucurbita. In this episode, Justin gives us his tips on growing this beautiful and productive plant. He also talks about how to save squash seeds and shares his favorite recipe. Delicious and nutritious, winter squash is a great plant for home gardens. 

Justin is the founder of The Seedkeepers, an educational company dedicated to teaching people how to grow food and save seeds. To learn more about Justin's work, visit The Seedkeepers.com.

 

 

Direct download: Winter_Squash_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:04pm PST

Thistles- The Prickly Plant With An Important Job

Episode 13: Ecological Designer and Permaculture Instructor Larry Santoyo talks about thistles. More interesting than you might think, thistles play an important role in soil restoration. 

Larry tells us about the intrinsic characteristics of thistles, why the Earth calls them in, and what effect they have on the landscape. 

After listening you may gain a new appreciation for this prickly, unpopular plant!

To learn more about Larry Santoyo visit his website at: The Permaculture Academy.com

To read an interview with him click here.  To listen to an interview, click here. 

Direct download: The_Parable_of_the_Thistle_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:10pm PST