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.









November 2017
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Episode 26: Learn about native Appalachian herbs in this interview with educator, designer, and farmer Trevor Piersol. Co- founder of the Shenandoah Permaculture Institute, Trevor grows perennial fruits and medicinal herbs, with a focus on easy-care native plants, in his home state of Virginia. 

Appalachia, a vast mountain region of the United States, is rich in botanical diversity and herbal lore. In this episode, Trevor talks about American Ginseng, Goldenseal, Blue Cohosh, Black Cohosh, and two of the many fungi that grow in this region, Reishi and Chaga. Trevor shares with us the type of medicine these plants provide,  how to use them, how to ensure that the plants you buy are ethically harvested,  and how you can grow them at home or in a nearby woodland. 

Threatened by habitat loss, climate breakdown, poaching, and over-harvesting, these living treasures need to be protected. 

For more information about Trevor and his work, visit the Shenandoah Permaculture

Direct download: Appalachan_Herbs_with_Trevor_Piersol_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:49pm PST

Episode 25: Have you heard of Hawthorn? Herbalist Bonnie Rose Weaver is a big fan and in this episode fills you in on why she loves this plant!

Hawthorn, Latin name Crataegus, is a heart tonic extraordinaire. A member of the Rose family, (like Bonnie), Hawthorn is also known as May Apple, Mayblossom, and the May Tree. Edible parts of the plant include the young leaves and flowers and the fruits or berries. Medicinally, Hawthorn has been used to prevent and treat heart problems, to regulate blood pressure, and to increase vein health. 

Hawthorn berries are rich in antioxidants and can be made into jams and incorporated into a medicinal honey. The flowers and leaves can be made into tinctures.

Hawthorn has a rich folklore and history. Fairies are said to hang out with Hawthorn and in Welsh lore, the Goddess Olwen walked an empty universe and left a trail of Mayblossoms which became the Milky Way. 

Hawthorn also provides shelter and food for a biodiverse group of small mammals, insects, and birds. According to Bonnie, Hawthorn is also a valuable plant ally for those times when you are dealing with heartbreak or heartache.  

Bonnie Rose Weaver is an urban farmer, community herbalist, artist and educator in San Francisco, CA.  In 2014, Bonnie launched the seed to bottle apothecary - 1849 Medicine Garden, a project that teaches urbanites about the benefits of locally grown plant medicine. Bonnie is the author of the book, Deeply Rooted: Medicinal Plant Cultivation in Techtropolis

Direct download: Hawthorn_for_the_Heart.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:48pm PST

Episode 24: Thistles! To many of us, they are those annoying, prickly plants that "bite." Classified as a noxious weed in many areas, thistles are the topic of this podcast with Thistle admirer Katrina Blair, author of the book The Wild Wisdom of Weeds, 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival. 

What does Katrina do for Thistle weed control? She eats them!  

In this episode Katrina Blair talks about the many uses of this weedy plant. Thistles regenerate liver cells, are full of minerals, and their leaves make an alkaline drink.  You can make flour out of thistle seeds, chew the flowers and white fluff as a gum, and use large amounts of fermented thistles as a substrate for growing oyster mushrooms.

Other edible parts of Thistles include the root which Katrina makes into a Chai Tea or eats like a potato and the stalk which is sweeter than celery. Katrina's favorite Thistle variety is the Musk Thistle: Carduus nutans.  

To learn more about Katrina's work, visit her website: Turtle Lake To hear a longer interview with forager, chef, writer, and plant lover Katrina Blair on Sustainable World Radio, click here. 

Direct download: The_Edible_Medicinal_Thistle_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am PST

Episode 23: Katrina Blair, author of the Wild Wisdom of Weeds, shares the many medicinal, culinary, and cosmetic uses of Mallow. We focus on Malva neglecta, a common weed found around the world. In many places, Malva is known as an invasive species, so why not utilize this ubiquitous plant? 

In this episode, Katrina gives her recipes for a sweet Mallow Milk and a "living" body lotion. She also talks about the medicinal uses of Malva (it's great for sore throats and laryngitis) and how to prepare it like a vegetable. 

This was recorded at the Heirloom Expo. Sorry folks for any background noise! 

Katrina Blair is a forager, chef, writer, and plant lover who runs the nonprofit Turtle Lake Refuge whose mission is to celebrate the connection between personal health and wild lands. If you'd like to learn more about Katrina's work and get her recipe for Wild Marshmallows, check out her book on our Links Page.

To hear a longer interview with Katrina Blair on Sustainable World Radio, click here. 

Direct download: Marvelous_Mallow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:19pm PST