10/07/2013

Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61

The greatest classical music at our fingerips at all times.

Behold, Itzhak Perlman with the Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Daniel Barenboim performing Ludwig van Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D Major, Opus 61.

42 Minutes in 3 Movements: 
I. Allegro ma non troppo
II. Larghetto
III. Rondo
Composition in 1806 with publication one year later, dedication to Stephan von Breuning. Beethoven's intended violinist, for whom the piece was written for, could not play this piece in its  first two performances.

Rushed preparations and inadequate soloists (though still amazing players in their own right) were not received favorably by concert attendees.

Here, how can you not fall in love with Itzhak?



The conductor's prowess from 4:21-4:30. WOW. Some commentators write that Barenboim has not yet mastered orchestral conducting, but the obviousness of his movements in these seconds is...just...mesmerizing.

Like childhood dreams of conducting your OWN orchestra.

10/05/2013

Thank You, US Food Industry, for Increasing Risk of Cancer

Jimmy Fallon writes spoof thank-you notes nightly. Today, here's ours. Thank you, US Food Industry, for increasing our population's risk of cancer more than 100 times the rest of the world. 

Robyn O'Brien learned about how food in the US is different than in other countries. In the US, citizens have a 400% increased chance of cancer and food allergies skyrocketing since the 90's when foreign characteristics where introduced into the genetic material of food crops.
Notice the power of her posturing, how she holds out her hand open when presenting the information.



Everything written here, with the exception of headings and subheadings is a transcript of Robyn's presentation at TedX Austin, 2011.

Increase of Food Allergies in Children
(3:15-3:44) From 1997-2002 there is a doubling of the peanut allergy. 1/17 kids under the age of 17 now has a food allergy. There has been a 265% increase in the rate of hospitalizations related to food allergic reaction.

"I Wanted to Know, What is a Food Allergy"? 
(3:46-4:49) Your body sees something foreign so it launches an inflammatory response to drive out that foreign invader. We must ask ourselves, is there something FOREIGN in our food that wasn't there before? YES.

USDA tells Robyn, beginning in the 1990's, new proteins were engineered into our food supply to maximize profitability for the food industry. No human trials were conducted.

Common Allergies
Milk, Soy and Corn - 3 Top Allergens, with the Most Engineering.
  • Milk allergies are the most common allergies in the United States according to Wall Street Journal and CNN. (4:50 - 6:00)
    • Beginning in 1994 in order to drive profitability for the dairy industry, scientists were able to create this new genetically engineered protein and this synthetic growth hormone and inject it into our cows to help 'em make more milk. The business model makes perfect sense - it's a brilliant one. 
    • At the same time, it was making the animals sick. It was causing ovarian cysts, mastitis, lameness, skin disorders. And for that reason, it increased antibiotic use in those animals. 
    • Governments around the world exercised precaution....They didn't allow it because it hasn't yet been proven safe. The US said, "it hasn't been proven dangerous, so we'll allow it." 
    • (6:16-6:30) Canada, the UK, New Zealand, Australia and all 27 countries in Europe didn't allow it when it was introduced in the US in 1994. 
    •  (6:41-6:52) One of the concerns around this growth hormone, this synthetic protein is that it elevated hormone levels linked to breast, colon and prostate cancer
  • Soy: (8:01-9:11) Shortly after milk was engineered with this new protein, scientists then engineered soy, and soy is also one of the top 8 allergens. 
    • Soy is primarily used to fatten livestock. 
    • Scientists were able to scientifically engineer soy that it could withstand increasing doses of weedkiller. The business mode...made perfect sense. You engineer the seed so that you can sell more weedkiller. 
    • And at the same time you've engineered something new into that seed so that you can patent it. So now you've got a patent on the seed AND you're selling additional weedkiller.
    • But once again, governments around the world said, 'No studies have been done to show if this is safe to feed to the livestock and feed to our consumers. So, we're going to exercise caution in order to prevent the onset of any disease that may result.'
    • In 1996 here in the US, we took a different approach.
  • Corn. (9:19-9:53) In the late 1990's as concern started to grow about the spraying of insecticides over cornfields, scientists were able to engineer insecticide into the DNA of a corn seed.
    • As a corn plant grows, it releases its own insecticide. As a result, corn was regulated by the EPA as an insecticide. 
    • (10:06-10:27) We had introduced the term "substantial equivalents." It is a conceptual tool ...used by the tobacco industry to facilitate the approval process of something for which no human trials have been conducted.  
    • And that was the justification given for WHY we were introducing these things in the US.

CANCER: MAN-MADE FIASCO OF PROFITABILITY WET DREAMS?
(6:54-7:43) Robyn turned to "remarkable organizations like LiveStrong and The American Cancer Society" because she wanted to know, 'What are the rates of cancer in the US v. the rest of the world?'
  •  THE US HAS THE HIGHEST RATES OF CANCER OUT OF ANY COUNTRY ON THE PLANET
  • 1/2 American men and 1/3 American women are expected to get cancer in their lifetime.
  • 1/8 women has breast cancer. Only 1/10 are genetic which means 9 out of 10 of them are environmentally triggered. 
  • Someone moving from a country like Japan is 4 times more likely to get cancer. 
The Government is Using Our Tax Dollars to Pay for Food 
Other Countries Will Not Allow
(12:42) As I began to look into this and learn that we are using these ingredients in the US food supply that we weren't using in other countries...it drove me absolutely nuts how expensive organic food was. So I looked into the business model.
  • Our taxpayer resources are being used to subsidize the growth of these crops with all these chemicals. 
  • Crops grown through the organic process, which means without use of synthetic chemicals, those guys are charged fees to prove that their stuff is grown without it then they're then charged FEES to then label those things as grown without it and then ON TOP OF THAT They don't get the insurance or the marketing assistance that these guys over here do. 
  • Not only is their cost structure higher, but the farmers that are 4th and 5th generation farmers who have been feeding our nation for generations, because those seeds are patented, they need to start paying royalty fees and licensing fees.
How are American Companies Exporting Their Products
They have formulated their products differently. SO Kraft and CocaCola do not use those ingredients in other countries.

So I wanted to know, what ARE we spending on health care compared to the rest of the world?
  • 16% of our GDP is spent on managing disease.


9/10/2013

Staying Active in the Fight for Our Rights

When I hear that the FDA declares BPA's safe for use in the lining of aluminum cans, THINK AGAIN.

When Monsanto's supergiant corporation puts family farmers out of work and land because the NATURAL process of pollination crosses spores from GMO soybeans, corn, wheat and sugar beets with natural heirloom varieties, I stand with the farmers.

When the US shoots down Prop. 37 to label genetically modified foods I am absolutely HORRIFIED. Then I do the research. Who donated to these votes?

Money is doing the talking.

I try to stay informed using
It seems that there are perils at every turn, and I try to use my time and my voice to spread the word of justice, and likewise, injustice. Fighting for a better world starts with your dime and ends with your chime - use your networks, speech and voice to ensure that the next generation still has a world to live in.

Our world is pretty rough. We live a life of comfort at a cost to the environment that is staggeringly disproportionate and remarkably unsustainable. 

What are we going to do about it? 

9/02/2013

Teachers of the 'Herbal' Earth

Because mentoring via apprenticeship is the foundations of herbalism and its various paths of study I wanted to know, who are my teachers?

These teachers aren't a way to the knowledge, or, even to the understanding. I can figure out the basics. 

When I go to study with my mentor(s), my teacher(s), I'm after their wisdom - and right now that means seeing how they transfer knowledge into a vision.




7Song
Vision: Affordable, Accessible Healthcare

  • Spending 2 days learning from 7Song in Gainesville, FL was enough to understand that making true impact using the verity of plants rather than their mysticism and mystery is what this great teacher is all about. He explains/says important knowledge factors 3 different ways in his lectures and includes the etymologies of the scientific names that he absolutely also includes. When trying to learn, these teaching tools are supremely helpful and absolutely appreciated.
  •  Self professed cynical, critical and clinical teaching. His specialty is herbal first aid, especially at festivals, but his main work is in free clinics. His school is a tool to fund efforts at the Ithaca Free Clinic where he is the director of complementary and alternative
    medicine. That means low-cost, high-impact treatment paradigms created by a network of healers from different traditions (conventional and alternative medicine) for real people.
  • From extensive handouts on his school's website (The Northeast School of Botanical Medicine) to Free Skool Class Creation (check out Making Herbal Medicines for Individual Constitutions) his insistence that the knowledge he's distilled be free and accessible is incredible. His no-bullshit practical nature strikes my perfect balance of subversive incorporation - and not in a way that attracts the festival pipedreamers - though that exists too.

  • Says himself that he cancels out Matt Wood with an entirely different set of principls. hmmm.

  • He loves homemade chocolate pudding and black tea with lots of half and half. 
There I am with the great Medical Plantist 7Song (Gainesville, FL 2/6/13)

Dr. Jill Stansbury, ND
  • Phew, I'm psyched to see Dr. Jill Stansbury at upcoming Medicines of the Earth. In fact, this short 10-minute video where she throws down about Botanical Immune Modulators and Adaptogens might just have made me click that :BUY: button for that conference. It's awesome how a few minutes with someone are enough to make you want to spend TONS of time with them. I'm a love at first sight kinda gal. and I love how this one spends time researching and doing in the real world rather than on  her website
  •  She is one of the people that you will have access to as part of medicinecrow.com -AND- Chair of the Botanical Medicine Department of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, OR.  I wonder if she would hand me her syllabi in exchange for a hug...
  • Dr. Jill has cut down on her teaching hours to explore medicines in Peru. Here she is, holding a Peruvian remedy...






Kiva Rose 




Alan Muskat
--> Vision:  Public Wild Foods Education Programs
A huge part of herbalism is knowing how to forage in an ecologically sound way. Where to go, what to look for, what to look out for. When to pick, when NOT to pick - how to step lightly and how to educate others about it too. 

Another huge part of herbalism is this: my boy Hippocrates is reputed to have said/wrote way wayyyy back in the Age of Pericles that your food is your medicine, your medicine is your food.

Alan Muskat's Public Wild Foods Education Programs including No Taste Like Home and Afikomen allow aspiring plant/herb-whatever-ists to put their money where their mouth is. You better read Alan Muskat's biography because you're in for a real pun-filled treat of all treats. 

And that, is, by investing in the fruits of the earth. Knowledge, not ownership. Alan's programs are based in Asheville, NC. The goal of Afikomen is to teach every child in the United States how to safely harvest the ten most common local wild foods by 2030. WHAT A VISION. 




Stephen Harrod Buhner
They say he is an Earth poet and the award-winning author of fifteen books on nature, indigenous cultures, the environment, and herbal medicine. His medicine blessing came from a father practicing in rural Indiana since 1911. With links to Michael Moore, Rosemary Gladstar and Susan Weed on Stephen's website we see that he is, indeed, a vital cog in the herbal unfolding, with a literary bent. Oh to be in the matrix when I could download all his writings into my brain. 
 


Dr. Michael Tierra, O.M.D.
Vision: Global Approach via Uniting Constitutional Worldviews
Dr. Michael Tierra runs East West School of Planetary Herbology with wife Lesley. Michael at one time co-taught a class with Michael Moore about the integration of Chinese and Ayurvedic constitutional worldviews incorporating western physiology. This seems to be his forte, a self-described 'global' approach.
  • Originally a classical musician/composer in Los Angeles
  • Uses word "HERBOLOGY" rather than "HERBALISM" or "MEDICAL BOTANY" 
  • The subheadings on his school's website are SO on point with where my mind is at. As far as advertising goes, I am the target market for those quick concepts like, for example: 
    • "There is no shortcut to mastery" 
    • "Learn from the best. Become the best" 
  • "Advocates a diet of 40-60% whole grains, 20-30% vegetables, 10% legumes, 5% sea vegetables and 10% pleasure foods, such as dairy products. Whole grains are the key to health and survival, and macrobiotics is an excellent system to study and explore." (http://bit.ly/doX9nn)


Jim McDonald
    • A self-taught Michigan herbalist who says that "a plant’s scent is its language. Its color communicates. In its flavor it speaks to us; not in our language, but in its." (Blessed Bitters)
    • Like Ed Smith, his personal website is a bit rough (to my advertising-trained eye) yet contains wellsprings of information. 
    • Rosemary Gladstar said of Jim is "a marvelous teacher, very insightful, brilliant, deep and in tune with the plants from the heart." (quote from his website, resume section)   
    • His Master Herbal Article Index just made me almost poop my pants I am so excited! Good thing I decided to self-study for awhile.

Herbalist Jim McDonald

Michael Pilarski 
This man founded "Friends of the Trees". He is a farmer, educator and author who has devoted his life to studying and teaching how people can live sustainably on this Earth. He has extensive experience in organic farming, seed collecting, wildcrafting medicinal herbs, plant propagation, horticulture, teaching, and international networking. Michael has personally worked with over 1,000 species of plants. He founded Friends of the Trees Society in 1978 and has authored many books on forestry, agriculture, agroforestry and ethnobotany. Michael has been involved in the permaculture movement since 1981 as a writer, teacher and networker. He has taught over 20 full Permaculture Design Courses in the USA and abroad.


Dr. James (Jim) Duke
There's Dr. Duke with his feet in Urtica dioica (Stinging Nettles)
And there's his head in the mullein

Paul Bergner

Mark Blumenthal
  • Founded the American Botanical Council (ABC; Austin, TX) in 1983 
  • Also founded HerbalGram.


Susun Weed
  • Green Blessings, you have now discovered the founding mother of the Wise Woman tradition. Absolute opposite of the teacher above (though he might self-identify opposing forces with Matt Wood). Anyway, Ms. Weed is all about radiating the goddess. Here's Susun Weed's online herbal mentorship options:
  • I am sure she is great, but in the beginnings of an herbal study, her website and available (free) information is not quite as accessible as needed by a busy little worker bee like myself. Susun is more like for when you've reached queen bee status. 
  • That being said, it's nice to treat myself to a little queen status as a worker...Using Susun's YouTube channel, Herbal Healing Wise Woman Way, discover the lovely resonance of her deep voice as she'll tell you many tales, like Aldimoor, the wise woman who lives in the elder tree, who you must talk to about wanting to use her medicine to honor THAT the tradition of harvesting the elder, be it flower or berry. You can also subscribe to Susun Weed's Brief Herbal ezine with the first introductory (and FREE) level of membership. 



 


David Winston, RH
  • Maintains what seems to be the most thorough clinical herbalism training (the stuff that comes after initial 101-type classes and trainings) at David Winston's Center for Herbal Studies. The pre-requisite is college-level anatomy and physiology. [ps does online training at <> count?]The Center offers a 2-year program focusing on clinically useful medical applications of herbs from a wide base spaning all major world traditions (Native American, Ayurvedic, European, TCM -Traditional Chinese Medicine)
  • p.s. Susan Marynowski (Casa Ma, Gainesville FL, Feb. '13 recommends D.Winston, 7Song or Kiva Rose) and comes out of the Rosemary Gladstar/Susun Weed lineage - which probably even includes Ann Wigmore -as my UNDERSTANDING of natural self-health includes, absolutely, all the foods we eat as well as the herbs we take


Rosemary Gladstar
  • The Bono of her craft and a doyen of American herbalism, Rosemary is the Founder of United Plant Savers (1994) and the California School of Herbal Studies (1978) where she taught for many years alongside Christopher Hobbs. You can't go into studying herbs for 14 minutes without seeing her name. Also, you can't go to ANYTHING herbal without brushing elbows with one of her lineage. 
  • Now, she runs Sage Mountain Herbal Retreat Center & UpS Botanical Sanctuary in Barre, VT. 500 acres protected by this woman's vision. ALSO, she co-founded Traditional Medicinals tea company (now David Hoffman is the only one I recognize on the team). Something about that website, and its disconnect from her, makes me think it was bought out...Because Rosemary, you are the Deepak Chopra of the herbal world and I thank you for the force that you are.




Dr. Tieranora Low Dog
  • She publishes a badass resource section on her website
  • Works with Dr. Andrew Weil in Arizona


Christopher Hobbs
Holy Badass herbal prescriber database (which we know is to be used for education and NOT to jump from symptom to herb...cuz if u do that u just dumm). Christopher Hobbs taught with Rosemary Gladstar in the early days of the California School of Herbal Studies. He definitely comes off with a scholarly bent. Check out his History of Western Herbalism. You'll have to find it on the homepage because beware, the website could use a UI facelift and there is no direct URL for this great resource.


Teresa Boardwine 
    • Founded Green Comfort School of Herbal Medicine & Apothecary in 1994 "to educate and empower individuals to heal themselves using herbal medicine". That school, by the way, is unlisted in the American Herbalist Guild's list of schools that I mentioned earlier in the post about my research into herbalism school. She did a field trip to Dr. James Duke's Green Farmacy Garden and that's where I got my info from that. The online materials from her school's blog and Facebook are pretty awesome. They'll keep you busy for awhile. 

David Crow
  • Whose book "In Search of the Medicine Buddha" came highly recommended. He does his good work under the umbrella
--> "Floracopeia" and MedicineCrow.org - a grassroots healthcare network. His website says that through writing, teaching, and activism, David Crow is promoting the creation of a grassroots healthcare system based on community gardens.AHHHHHHHHHH ok. That's my jam. 
  • In a symposium with the Dalai llama, David Crow says, "If we're going to have medicine in the future we have to start replanting gardens of medicine everywhere." (MedicineCrow.org Intro Video). By healthcare, in that very same video, he says that he means plant-based, non-toxic, locally available, cost-effective healthcare". As a member, he says that MedicineCrow puts the power of botanical intelligence at your fingertips. For $108/year or $10/month (each option includes 14 days for just $1) you get a bunch of stuff. HMMMMM. His vision is revival of folk medicine and that's a strong mission that can't be ignored. 
  • Though no on-site classes are offered, there is online teaching materials. I feel that the teachers he incorporates in MedicineCrow.org have a very spiritual bent - which is NOT wrong and I am not condemning that in anyway. However, my vision is a non-argumentative facts-is-facts teaching. If my patients want more spirituality they can seek it in their own separate ways. I want things that WORK without the clutter of belief, though I have ample amounts of belief and love in my heart...That's not the focus here. Those tidbits are sidenotes to be shared secretly to those that want it.

Dr. John R. Christopher

  • They say he was responsible for the herbal renaissance of the 1960's. Dr. John R. Christopher's website will tell you that this great herbalist's intention was (and is) "for everyone to have the knowledge to properly care for their own body." One of his goals was (and is) to have an Herbalist in every home, and a Master Herbalist in every community".

  • Peter Brodhead will tell you that his work was fundamental in bringing folk herbalism into modern usage, but also that Dr. John LOVED cayenne (one time in 1979 he was running late on a flight taking him to the first lecture hosted at Brighter Day in Savannah, GA. Like anyone that's been in an airport or an airplane for too long, exhaustion was overwhelming. What did Dr. Christopher do? He put a heaping teaspoon of cayenne in half a glass of water, chugged it, and gave one of the most informative and animated lectures ever witnessed by one of my great influences (Peter). 
  • His training program, The School of Natural Healing, was established in 1953. The curriculum focuses on: 
    • Preventative Nutrition
    • Eradicating the Cause of Disease
    • Healing the Body through Natural Methods
    • Education
  • If you want to find a collection of Dr. Christopher's writings (as well as HIS trusted resources) go to christopherpublications.com. Of particular interest in your pursuit of knowing and learning more about this herbalist is the book "An Herbal Legacy of Courage", a biography by Dr. Christopher's son, David W. Christopher. [sidenote, hella legacy here a la the relational revelations of David > Max Simon]
  • Like fan sites? Me too. Here's http://www.dr-christopher.info/ (where I snagged this pic)




The following teachers leave a rich legacy in the field of herbalism.
  • Cascade Anderson Geller
  • Michael Moore
  • Frank Cook 


Speakers to add from Medicines from the Earth / Southwest Conference
  • Mary Bove
  • Jerry Cott
  • Doug Elliott
  • Deborah Frances
  • Tori Hudson
  • Kathleen Maier
  • Aviva Romm 
  • CoreyPine Shane
  • Roy Upton
  • Donnie Yance (the best herbal guy for cancer) 
  • Martha Burgess
  • Ryan Drum
  • Phyllis Hogan
  • Mimi Kamp
  • Jason Miller
  • Mona Morstein
  • Kenneth Proefrock
  • JoAnn Sanchez
  • Eric Yarnell. 

7/12/2013

How to Make a Presentation Like Steve Jobs

There are no bullet points in a Steve Jobs presentation.

Every slide is written like a piece of poetry.

Each presentation is delivered like a theatrical performance.

Carmine Gallo has written a book called The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and here is her ABC interview followed by my favorite tips about making a knockout presentation like Steve Jobs.




My Favorites: How to Make a Presentation Like Steve Jobs
  • Introduce an Antogonist. Because every great drama has a hero and a villian. With an antogonist we can uniquely frame a problem that set up a solution.
  • Create Twitter-Friendly Headlines. Everyone should have 1 sentence that frames a product or business and this sentence should commuicate the vision behind the product or business.
  • Sell Dreams, Not Products. Steve Jobs sells transformative experiences. So figure out, what IS it about a product or business that will change or improve lives? 
  • Practice Zen Like Simplicity. This is my ABSOLUTE favorite. Eliminate clutter. Knock their socks off.

    7/03/2013

    The Great Okra Fiasco of 2013

    ~ NAMASTE BITCHES ~
    WE'RE GROWING SPINACH.
     ON TREES.
    IN SAVANNAH.
    IN JULY.

    One Misidentified Plant with Amazing Results: 

    Congratulations! You are now the proud owner, not of OKRA but of Chenopodium album, lovingly (and not so lovingly) known to the masses as "Lamb's Quarters" (or, weeds). 

    Chenopodium goes by many names.  
    • In England, they even call one Chenopodium species 'Poor Man's Asparagus'
    • In Mexico, Quelite 
    • In Northern India, they cultivate this weed and call it bathua or bathuwa (बथुआ). 
    • Στή Κρήτη, το λέτε κρουβίδα ή ψαρόβλητο

    Wait, Aren't You're Studying Herbalism and Plants and Stuff?

    Aren't You Supposed to Know What All the Plants Look Like?

    I thought the 'okra' plants had done a late sprout, from the burgundy okra heirloom seeds I had planted a year before due to the reddish tint of the young stalks. SO, I lovingly (so very lovingly) and carefully (so very carefully) transplanted the 'okra' seedlings, giving them space to spread, and also giving them to my friends...

    When it came time for the okra to 'flower' due to its maturity and size, I started to wonder. Hmmmm, what's wrong with my okra. Dear Lord, please remember the importance of properly identifying your plants - and THAT, my friend, is why I am preparing to study with the top medical botanist in the country. 

    See, I'm a "gardener" not a gardener and I've found my true love there. I cordon off a space and see what 'weeds' will grow. In growing native, at their leisure, in their moment where they will, the plants tell me a story better than any one I could have ever imagined, dreamed up or done with all the effort in all the hours of all the days...All I have to do is listen. 


    "GARDENING" v. GARDENING 

    on life and colonialism in your food plots...

    Cascade Anderson Geller talks about "Masculine Gardening" as the process of ripping out everything native from the land and then replanting with our narrow-minded desire for a crop. She compares that to colonial culture.

    Hey, I hate everything about colonial culture (I wonder how that relates to imperialism, but that is for another day) because what has it ACTUALLY given us outside of a destruction-filled terror spew slaughtering all that blocks its way, like a Roman Legionnaire in the days of old saying "slaughter all, the good will go to god." Ladies and gents, this lifestyle reeks of death and our planet is SUFFERING for it. We behold colonial culture as the opposite of what James Lovelock defines as 'life'.

    According to that amazing Gaia-Theory originator, that man trained in biology and medicine asked to help find life on planet Mars, LIFE is:


    "Abundant energy flow and reduction of entropy over time." 

    Cascade tells us about Feminine Gardening, the "gardening" I am talking about. 
    She advises to "Plan a feminine and masculine form of the garden. Let the feminine garden teach you." That feminine garden lets plants grow where they will and prosper as they must. As a feminine (not feminIST) gardener, I was just watching the plants, delighting and even intentionally avoiding further inquiry into my 'okra' on the internets because I was so entranced to delight in its unfolding, and watching it everyday was the sweetest spot of time for me.


    The Upside of our Downside

    Young okra fiasco casualty, rejoice. You are now the proud owner of a spinach tree that thrives in our shitty Savannah GA soil. If you've masculinely tried to grow spinach here, you'll know best what it looks like bolting. What an effort, what a fucking backbreaking water-wasting effort in all but late fall to winter.

    You eat quinoa? Good. Your chenopodium is a member of its family (Amaranthaceae, subfamily Chenopodiaceae) and bless your blessed heart if you have the patience to save the seeds because they're packed with protein. I sure don't, but this easy Chenopodium-ful life is blessed tenfold, however. How? Gather these wild spinach leaves every morning then sauteé them in a pan, add 2 eggs and some motherfunkin' caperberries then top it with nutritional yeast and a little bit o sriracha and fresh cracked pepper - yeahhhhhhh boyyyy now we're talkin! 

    My 8' Wild Spinach Tree


    A Word of Caution : Only Eat Cooked

    Here's the only thing. Chenopodium is relatively high in a semi-toxic phytoconstituent called Oxalic Acid (140,000 - 300,000 parts per million according to Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases). Don't fret, it won't kill you. The oxalic acid binds to calcium so blocks calcium absorption, affecting kidneys as an oxalate, so if you're prone to kidney stones I wouldn't recommend you eat this more than once a week, if that. The thing about that only thing>the oxalic acid is rendered inert with any sort of cooking (sauteé, steam, ferment, etc.). So, enjoy your native greens long throughout the summer months.

    The only thing I could think of for scale, this is just the top third of my tallest, girth-iest Chenopodium.




    ~ NAMASTE BITCHES ~
    WE'RE GROWING SPINACH.
     ON TREES.
    IN SAVANNAH.
    IN JULY.

    REFERENCES:

    Duke, James. "Chemicals in: Chenopodium album L. (Chenopodiaceae) -- Lambsquarter". Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases website. Accessed July 3, 2013. http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/farmacy2.pl?249
    • Duke, James A. 1992. Handbook of phytochemical constituents of GRAS herbs and other economic plants. Boca Raton, FL. CRC Press.
       
    Geller, Cascade Anderson. “HerbalHarvest” Lecture. Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine. April 2009.Accessed 5/18/13. http://botanicalmedicine.org/Tapes/Bios/Geller.htm

    Lovelock, James. From Gaia to Selfish Genes. Book. Found in the Dumpster. Rejoice.




    6/10/2013

    NOGS Tour of Hidden Gardens in Savannah, GA - April 2013


    Every April, The Garden Club of Savannah hosts a tour, open to all who want to sneak a peek at the most impressive gardens in the historic district of our charming Hostess City. These gardens are all private properties, uniquely reflecting the ideals and aesthetics of their owners. 

    Today we're lucky to look inside at 6 of the 9 gardens featured in the the 2013 North of Gaston Street (NOGS) Tour of Hidden Gardens...
    • A Japanese-inspired installation with Dali-esque cedars
    • An English garden that reveals the circle of life
    • An artist's garden
    • A swimming pool-centric paradise
    • The most magical secret garden in Savannah
    • A simple space that can be captured in a vista

    --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

    a Japanese-Inspired Rock Garden with a Twist

    Confederate Jasmine frames the back door and creeps along the wrought iron balcony.
    These natural columns are just starting to bloom, intoxicating the early summer air with their smoky floral scent.

    In the central courtyard, Dwarfed Blue Atlas Cedars are the focal point.
    The twisted, Dali-esque cedars are complimented by round rock sculptures, Hen & Chicks and Horsetail.
     


     The geometric water feature is flanked by potted devil's backbone, with water hyacinth and seed oats tucked inside.
    Our backdrop: papyrus. Could there be a better choice?

     I WANT this Devil's Backbone - I think it is Pedilanthus tithymaloides.

    Along the garden's walled in borders stand Sago Palms and a Hackberry Tree in the Southwest corner. 
     There is one Japanese Maple in the Northwest Corner of the beautiful space.
    --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---























    As Lizards Eat Bees in Bright English Gardens
    This garden's cascading water feature made the same tinny sound as the geometric water feature from the garden we just saw - both a far cry from the soothing sounds of a babbling brook. Wouldn't you believe the cascades equally measured about 13 inches.

    I wonder what could we do to make the sound more sweet..

    The name of the game here is annuals, and it is such a stark contrast to the permanent installment we just saw. 
    You can't miss the unavoidable southern garden feature, the jasmine arch as you walk into this garden.

    There is beautiful mirroring in both garden beds, and that's where my admiration ends. 

    The hyper-intentionality of the design and the obviousness of the gardener's necessity to continuously ensure that the annuals stay inside the confines of that design seem so...imperial. 

    It looks nice, but I do prefer a more organic and rambling feel to the straight lines and severity of this space. 
    Despite the design efforts toward decorum, check out the circle of life that happened therein...

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    Myrtle's Myrtle: The Artist's Garden
    As the only surviving plant from the original homeowner, artist Myrtle Jones, the crepe myrtle in the southwest corner of the property on Gaston Street grows old but still looks young.

    Its distinguishing mottled bark sheds throughout the year to give the tree a snake-like appearance. 

    Isn't this seating so Eurofabulous?

    Y'all - weren't we just wondering about how to design a water feature correctly?
    Well, Frank Lloyd Wright designed this fountain in 1917. He really hit the jackpot.
     

    In the back of the house, the current owner's middle daughter payed tribute to her siblings through her art.
    5' tall sculptures cast out of stainless steel are colored with automobile paint selected by the daughter the statue represents...

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    Mandevilla and the Swimming Pool

    Oh to have a swimming pool in Savannah!
    If I lived here, I couldn't stop myself from jumping in EVERY DAY.

    I was lucky enough to be invited up that spiral staircase, and the inside was just as beautiful as the outside.

    The most unique botanical was the mandevilla surrounding the pool.
    I would like to see Mandevilla interplanted with one of my favorite ornamentals, Thunbergia - as they look so similar.

    One of the fellow NOGS tourists said, "This town is just so charming, I really am mystified by everything about it." This garden captured that sentiment.

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    The Most Magical Secret Garden I've Ever Seen

    The archway is made from trained white yew trees that grow from garden beds interplanted with Sasanqua camellia and blue salvia. The imported French fountains are, without a doubt, the most haunting water feature of this year's garden tour.


    Lobelia and chrysanthemum, farfagum, stromanthe and ginger opposite a simple yet lovely little japanese maple that grows beside an old birdgage-turned-moss garden.

    Pass the hydrangeas that usher you into the back entrance, and walk through the covered outdoor kitchen space.

    The backyard has a nice large green grassed area.

     The most beautiful jug water feature, an Italian import, is - again, surrounded by papyrus.
    Those columns were the original columns on the house.

     Opposite this amazing water feature is a uniquely trellised pear tree.
    --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

    For the Last Garden...
    a simple panorama to enjoy.


    That's all, folks!


    Next year, the NOGS Tour of Hidden Gardens in Savannah will take place April 25-26, 2014 - that's a Friday and a Saturday.

     If you aren't staying with me, check out the Savannah Inns for your accommodations, run by my favorite innkeepers in town!

    5/29/2013

    Ramblings, Week 1

    ...
    Of the 9 Systems in the Human Body according to a Western Worldview, 5 are obvious and 4 unseen. CUMID (obvious) and LENI (unseen).
    • Of the obvious: cardiovascular, urinary, musculoskeletal, integumentary, digestive. 
    • Of the unseen: lymphatic, endocrine, nervous and immune
    ...

    Of chemicals in the body we have potential and action, -or- pharmacokinetics v. pharmacodynamics. Pharmacokinetics refers to what our body does to a drug, and pharmacodynamics, to what the drug does to the body.

    ... 

    When 2 or more observable characteristics or traits (phenotypes) manifest from a single species we have what is called polymorphism.

    5/19/2013

    Croton lechleri Regulation :: Are We Losing Our Plants and Our Common Sense?

    Dragon's Blood (Croton lechleri), or, Sangre de Graho is the red sap of a tree that grows in the Amazonian Rainforest. 

    This sensational article in Green Med got me worried about the availability of the stuff because a compound has been synthesized as CROFELEMER and is now marketed under the name FULYZAC through no less than 3 pharmaceutical companies...

    Well, Maybe I Overreacted

    So, I went to the health food store to get some dragon's blood tincture. I thought maybe I couldn't get anymore. By coincidence or necessity, they were out of out of stock. As I was checking out I might have (in my stress-induced anti-Coco diarrhea of the mouth) said that the FDA regulated that shit by declaring it a drug...and now we can't have it anymore.

    So I NEED TO KNOW just how limited our access to botanicals could be with their status by the FDA so I can plan how much advocacy I need to include in my vision of educational, affordable and accessible healthcare.

    Oh, and P.S. NO WONDER OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IS SO EXPENSIVE

    Rather than being 2-degrees removed from the medicine in nature, the patient is 7 degrees removed.

    Croton lechleri > Community Herbalist > Dragon's Blood/Sangre de Graho > Community Herbalist > Patient

    Croton lehleri > Shaman Pharmaceuticals > CROFELEMER > Salix Pharmaceuticals > FULYZAC > Napo Pharmaceuticals > Doctor rX > Pharmacist  > Patient