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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S M T W T F S
     
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Syndication

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 PDT

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 Refuge.org. 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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT