Curled Dock – powerhouse vegetable

I call this veggie curly dock, it seems so much more fun!
Curled or yellow dock is your best friend if your looking for greens full of protein. This easily identified edible is rich in vitamin A and protein.
The leaves become bitter as they age, so early picking saves you from puckering!

Curly Dock

Curled dock comes in a variety of species, they vary in bitterness and sourness.
It can be used fresh in salads, or eaten as a boiled vegetable. Change the water several times when boiling to reduce the bitterness, according to Lee Allen Peterson’s Edible Wild Plants book. ISBN 0-395-31870-X. I enjoy dock as one ingredient in a stir fry, with onions, of course! I also pickle it along with other spring wild edible plants like wild mustard. These pickles are very enjoyable in the bitter cold winter months – they bring spring a little closer when summer seems so far way.
Happy picking and remember, if in doubt, leave it out.

I have found that correctly identifying herbs can take several years. By watching them through their life cycle, ie early leaves, flowering, seeding phases, I have become very familiar and confident. Just need to make sure not to become overconfident!! Rubbing the leaves between my thumb and index finger to get the scent is helpful sometimes for identification. Also, locating sources of plants takes time. A Sunday afternoon drive or taking a different route home from work can yield great picking locations. Be sure to ask the landowner if it is private property!

Tim

Dandelions and Your Health

Everyone loves to experience those cheery yellow flowers in their lawn in spring – yah, right!
Well they definitely have great qualities. You may find them beneficial to your physical and financial health – amazing way to fight the high cost of fresh veggies.

Following is an article on the nutritional benefits of dandelions.

Dandelion Flower Health Benefits

Here is another more in depth article – just makes you want to get out there and pick dandelions!

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/dandelion-herb.html”>

All these nutrients are stored up in the flower buds as well. If this is your preferred method of eating them. I like pickled flowers and flower buds – delicious!

Mother nature is a treasure trove of goodies. We need to educate ourselves, try a few ideas and get the benefits. Some of my ideas have ended up in the compost pit, so don’t be reticent to try yours!

Tim

PS Just enjoying my first ever cup of dandelion flower tea. Very pleasant!!

Food for the Homeless

Identifying, harvesting and preparing wild foods is a fun and money saving adventure. During the cold, dark winter months, I pour over my edible plant guide. Looking for insights and knowledge. The internet offers a plethora of images to heighten your skills of identification, and articles to wet your appetite for herbal cuisine.

After the long winter, spring is a great time to get outside, breath the fresh air and harvest wild foods. Wild mustard is an early spring favorite. The cluster of small, white flowers is easily identifiable, along with its peppery aroma when crushed between the fingers.

Wild mustard is a peppery, pleasant tasting herb. Great for fresh salads, on sandwiches and in stir fries. It has many excellent health benefits, also. See the following link.

http://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/health-benefits-of-mustard-greens/

Mustard greens can be successfully frozen for use in stir fries at a later time.

Wild mustard comes in many different shapes, sizes and flower colors. Good luck and happy hunting!! If in doubt, leave it out(side)!!

Generally speaking, eating flower buds is something I enjoy. Our favorite flower, the dandelion, offers a tasty, nutritionally sound spring tonic. More on this next time.

Tim, keeping it healthy – physically and financially!!

Why Plant based Health Options? Part 2

Last time we explored 3 markers for considering health benefits and risks – clinical effect, side effect and lethal dose 50. We discovered that when using papaya leaf that the dosage level from one marker to the next is very large, making the possibility of negative results highly unlikely. In a lethal dose 50 study done by Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, the lethal dose 50 test found that this plant is safe according to EU (European Union) and WHO (World Health Organisation) standards.

Let us consider a concept called “poorification” which results when chemicals are isolated from their naturally occurring neighbours. The body is highly complex, to make a gross understatement. Many chemicals involved in healing receive synergistic effects from companion chemicals found in the plants from which they are derived. Therefore, poorification occurs when plant based chemicals are removed from plants and purified.

How will we successfully minimize the negative economic effects of such diseases as malaria? Let us look at the numbers. In Uganda, where malaria is endemic, people get this life threatening disease twice annually on the average. With over 40 million people they have over 80 million cases of malaria annually!! Plants can provide millions of doses of medicine, per hectare!!, making this treatment option a workable solution.

What about the drawbacks? I have been hard pressed to find any and would welcome any stories, anecdotal or otherwise, from you. I know that in countries where post mortems are not routine, that if a person tries a treatment then dies of a totally unrelated cause, that the treatment can be seen as the cause of death. This is a potential drawback.

Often where money is a constraint, people will wait until they are almost dead to go to a clinic. Perhaps a week. Once at the clinic they frequently die as the disease was too far advanced to treat. With plant based options people can treat themselves at early onset, improving their chance of surviving, and thriving! Treatment time period is commonly 3 days. Thus the person can try two dosage levels in an attempt to get a clinical effect before they would normally go to the hospital.
People must understand that symptoms which might indicate a particular disease may be something else and they need to remain open to the need to go to hospital or a clinic to seek treatment and or diagnosis.

Please take some time to research such options and consider your ability to make positive change through being informed.

Kind Regards

Off to Haiti, 2015

I am once again privileged to be able to take a month to spend in Haiti.

Children’s Lifeline, http://www.childrenslifeline.com/, has asked me to do agricultural education with the local community. I am currently thinking about using a 3 square model – composting, trees and vegetables being the 3 components.

Covering the soil with mulch or compost in tropical climates helps reduce the effect of intense sunshine. This improves the microbial life and the soils fertility.

Thanks for your interest in reducing poverty, disease and improving food security. I hope my postings have helped you thrive.

Take a little ride up the road to Children’s Lifeline compound – hang on!!!

Kind Regards, Tim