Category Archives: Permaculture

Weed Eating

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Weeds. Most weeds are deemed weeds because they are not very pretty and they seem aggressive. However, weeds grow in disturbed areas or areas of compacted soil. We as humans have created many disturbed areas, therefore, creating a perfect habitat for weeds. There is a succession in the plant world. Weeds are the first step in this succession. They inhabit these disturbed areas, till the soil with their roots, bring in nutrients and eventually make it habitable for other plants to grow. The more we try to eradicate weeds with machines and chemicals, the more we are aiding an area for weeds to thrive.

I must say, there are some weeds that are aggressive. The cattle industry has seemed to create the weed list due to the assumption that it is harmful to their livestock or simply that the livestock or wildlife will not eat these weeds. True, there are some that are toxic to livestock and wildlife, however, there are several household plants that are toxic to animals and children. Most of the weeds on this noxious weed list are edible or medicinal plants! If we could figure out a way to harvest these plants for their use and to keep their numbers under control then I think a harmony can be created.

Dandelions are everywhere. I remember how fun it was to make a wish on a dandelion. Their flowers, when sucked, have a hint of honey. Their leaves, when eaten in a salad, are a bit bitter, but full of vitality. The great thing about eating these weeds from your yard or local park or a friend’s home, is the vibration you get from eating something fresh and straight from the ground. Nothing is lost in transporting it from some country to your local grocer. You will vibrate.

Dandelions are one of the most popular liver revitalizers. The root makes an excellent tea, and has a cooling quality that an inflamed liver would truly appreciate. Dandelion is a source of potassium, sodium, calcium, iron and phosphorus. The leaves are a richer source of Vitamin A than carrots. The root contains bitter glycosides, tannins, triterpenes, sterols, volatile oil, choline, asparagin and inulin. Anything that is bitter or considered a bitters is good for your liver and digestion!

So, this little weed, we all are sure to know, is jam packed with vitamins and minerals and cleansing properties. Imagine what else we could be eating from our yards or parks; as long as nothing is being sprayed. There is a whole garden available, which needs no tending or planting. How much easier could it be?

Here is a recipe for Dandelion Pesto, provided by Turtle Lake Refuge in Durango, Colorado.
1 cup cashews, pine nuts or walnuts
3 cups chopped dandelion greens
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cups chopped basil or oregano
3 cups sorrel greens
3 cloves garlic
2 lemons, juiced
1 tsp, sea salt
1 cup divine water

Blend and add to anything and enjoy! Be open to mixing up the recipe. I just used what I had at home and made it according to my own taste.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Agriculture, Conscious Consumption, Natural Health, Permaculture, Urban Sustainability, waste minimization

Effective Microorganisms: Probiotics for the Planet and your Indoor Compost

We all hear about how great probiotics are for contributing to a healthy digestive system for humans and other animals, but could it be possible that these bacteria could have the same effect on the planet?  The company EM America has developed a series of products that utilize probiotics which offer safe, natural, and dramatic results in the areas of household uses, agriculture, health, and the environment! It is truly a cure all for the planet!

Probiotics, which comes from Greek and means “for life”, are living microorganisms that when administered to a host reap positive effects on the health of the host.  The purpose of probiotics to bring balance to the good and bad bacteria in a host.  The probiotic bacteria will reproduce until a homeostasis is met between the two.  Adding probiotic supplements to your diet is reported to have positive effects on gastrointestinal health, lactose intolerance, immune function, blood pressure, prevention of colon cancer, and more.  Now this same principle is being applied to treat the ailments of the planet.

EM America’s probiotic products can be used for everything from bio-remediation of soil that has been severely polluted, to waste water treatment, to treating odors in households and in livestock arenas, as fertilizer for gardening, as natural household cleaners, to prepare with raw foods, and more! As for urban sustainability, EM has created a product called Bokashi that is extremely helpful for those who want to compost in an urban setting but do not have a lot of space to do so, or have hesitated due to fear of odor and pests. Nobody wants their neighbor to say their house smells!

Bokashi is a fermented rice or wheat bran that has been inoculated with the EM probotic formula and is then dried and used in indoor composting containers to help food to break down quickly with less odor.  The probiotics in this miracle mix can even break down foods that many compost fans traditionally steer clear of, such as meat and animal products, due to the smell and pest issue.  This is because the Bokashi actually ferments the food waste so that there is no rancid smells!

In order to use this you need to purchase or make an indoor composting bucket.  EM America sells fancy Bokashi Buckets on their website, but you could easily make one for yourself.  All you need is two 5 gallon buckets, one lid, and a drill.  Check out this video on the EM America site that shows you how to make your own.  Once you have your bucket system, you pile the food in there, sprinkle in some Bokashi, and continue to layer food waste and Bokashi until the bucket is filled.  Let the food ferment for one week in the bucket, then after the waste has pickled you can add it to a worm bin, existing compost pile, or bury it directly in a garden with no worry of pests or smells.  It is as easy as that!  Plus, if you purchase the liquid version of the probiotic formula you can make your own Bokashi and then use the liquid for a plethora of other household applications!

So say goodbye to fear of bugs, flies, and smell in your compost and hello to a happy, healthy, and balanced system for the planet!

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Filed under Agriculture, Community, Conscious Consumption, Natural Health, Permaculture, Urban Sustainability, waste minimization