Archive for the Organic Gardens Category

My Memories of Trees

Posted in Organic Gardens, Walks with tags , , , , , , on October 30, 2020 by Drogo

Trees Matter – Drogo’s Tree Memories

Trees are important to us for many reasons. Trees trade our carbon-dioxide for oxygen, and old growth forests are important carbon sinks (see ‘climate change’). As part of the ecological-system trees provide homes for many animal, insect, plant, and fungi species. 

I have never fallen out of a tree (knock on wood), but if anyone climbs trees please be cautious and minimalize risks by paying attention to your body. If your body tenses up too much and you pull a muscle, rest and then slowly begin to climb down. Most of the times i hurt myself climbing trees was jumping down. Often my skin was hurt because the bark tore my hands as my weight pulled too heavy on my swing grip. Also my legs or butt got hurt bearing the weight of my fall. Yes tree climbing is dangerous. 

My father’s Tree memories

My mother’s Tree memories

My Tree memories

My willow tree, Our walnut trees, our hollow tree hideout, our maine beach tree, the tallest tree i ever climbed, ornamental cherry tree, pussy willows and tulip magnolias, harpers ferry silver maples (washington street, Brawley, Catanese), green maples (commonly known as norway broadleaf maples) are one of the most common trees, and are strong yet easy for climbing and wood-working, Camp Hill Elms, harpers ferry mulberry walks

[ more later ]

In Garden of My Mind

Posted in Organic Gardens, Poems, Poems, Rhymes, Riddles, Spiritual, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2020 by Drogo

I did alot of digging and tilling by hand for years.

I also trimmed hedges and trees since i was a boy,

because it was just chore maintenance for our yard.

Then i earned a living working on organic farms; 

until i realized i could not competitively do hard labor anymore; 

and wanted to focus on other jobs like teaching and the military.

I prefer only working with plants on my terms now;

I enjoy nature in between indoor work, without a boss.

I worked so many years on gardens that i did not “own”, 

and then to have my own taken away from me with the sale of our house, 

has made me not want to get attached to gardens anymore.

The ways of working and designing for others only gets me so far.

It has come as a shock to me, to realize how attached I became to wanting

To be the master of my own garden and designs, or else to let it all go.

If i was able to walk out every morning into a garden that was mine for the rest of my life, then i would want to again shape a garden. 

The wilderness is a huge natural garden,

which requires less work to enjoy than a manicured artificial garden.

My efforts now are for the preservation of wild organic nature.

I am focused on protecting Nature for all to use, since i don’t “own” a garden.

I never want to leave the garden in my heart anymore, 

so i live with that state of mind as my goal.

–  Drogo

drogo in g2002

Pokeberry Plant

Posted in Crafts, Food & Drink, Nature Studies, Organic Gardens, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2019 by Drogo

Pokeberry plant leaves are edible when young, but most toxic when mature (like rhubarb). Many people are allergic to the toxins so all parts of the plant are poisonous to them. The roots are the most toxic. The leaves are edible when young after being boiled 3x in water changes, or for those of us not allergic to poke frying in oil or butter is fine. Documented cases are common for people allergic to poke, but there are people like me who have been around poke their whole lives, handled the plants often, and squished the berries for stain and ink without any problems beyond our skin getting stained crimson for a day or two. I have heard of someone getting a skin rash from poke (like poison ivy), as they are allergic to touching it; but I am not. My mother had us paint and print with poke berry ink on water-color paper as children, with no problems.

Poke berries are not edible, but when used with vinegar and salt (and other blends) can make ink for writing pens and printing on paper. Pokeberry ink is not archival because it fades over time on paper, even when not exposed to sunlight everyday. However pokeberry ink is a interesting local organic native alternative to industrial toxic inks, but modern use is still experimental although the chemicals in it are known. In gardens they are beautiful in full maturity, with their ornate ‘goblin’ fruits.

“Indians and early settlers used the root in poultices and certain drugs for skin diseases and rheumatism.” – Michael Owen, ISU

The late 19th century herbal, the ‘King’s American Dispensatory’, describes various folk medical uses that led individuals to ingest pokeberry products. Modern commercial medical companies (big pharma) snubs remedies that are found commonly, for obvious pharmaceutical sales reasons, and so serious testing might be hard to study at length with funding for the purposes of common good, for free but cautious home use.

CAUTION:  Many people are allergic to poke toxins, so limit your exposure to the plant to reduce possible effects. There are many medical claims that eating poke roots, berries, or anything from the adult plant can kill in sufficient quantities.

Other articles: ‘Making Pokeweed Ink‘; ‘Pokeberry Ink‘;

For safer printing for all people, perhaps black-berries or mul-berries or huckle-berries are better? For long-term organic industrial printing, using a weed like poke which is not used for human food would make more sense for sustainability though. [Link Process for making any type of berry ink]

[photo from Wikipedia]

Phytolacca_pokeberries

Datura: Moon Flowers & Jimson Weed

Posted in Nature Studies, Organic Gardens, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 3, 2019 by Drogo

Moon-Flower, [Datura Inoxia]; leaves are soft & rounded, with one point.

Jimson Weed [Datura Stramonium]; leaves are spiky, with a few points.

Both types of Datura have spiky seed pods. Folk names: Devil’s Trumpet, Thorn-apple, Hell’s Bells

Datura_stramonium_2Datura_innoxia_moonflower

The 3 most toxic chemical agents (tropane alkaloids) in datura plants seem to be: Atropine, Hyoscyamine and Hyoscine (Scopolamine); which are used in industrial medicines as an Anti-Cholinergic to treat some conditions, but the side effects can be as bad or worse than what they claim to treat, as with most powerful medicines it seems (as commercials are required to list for industrial medicines).

There are many cases of reported poisonings on Public Medication websites; here is a fatal example:

“Fatal poisoning from ingestion of Datura stramonium seeds.

Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece.

Citation

Vet Hum Toxicol. 2004 Apr;46(2):81-2.

Abstract

A 19-y old male who intentionally ingested an unknown quantity of Datura stramonium seeds to experience its hallucinogenic effects was found dead. Hyoscyamine and scopolamine were detected in postmortem blood and urine. Blood concentrations of hyoscyamine and scopolamine were 1.1 and 0.2 microg/mL, respectively; in urine only hyoscyamine at 14.2 microg/mL was found. This fatality presents the highest blood concentrations ever reported and confirms that death was due to Datura Stramonium seed ingestion.

These plants are known to contain high concentrations of anticholinergic substances; ingestion can result in anticholinergic intoxication. Signs and symptoms that commonly occur include hallucinations, tachycardia, dilated pupils, and disorientation. In our patient, use of the Naranjo probability scale indicated a possible relationship between the moonflower seed ingestion and the patient’s signs and symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: Ingestion of the Datura species can result in severe toxicity. Each plant varies in the concentrations of alkaloid substances. For this reason, it is very important for individuals to become educated on the toxicities and potential risks associated with recreational use of these plants.”

 

Wikipedia –

Anticholinergic drugs are used to treat a variety of conditions:

 

Toxicity

Acute anticholinergic syndrome is reversible and subsides once all of the causative agent has been excreted. Reversible Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor agents such as physostigmine can be used as an antidote in life-threatening cases. Wider use is discouraged due to the significant side effects related to cholinergic excess including: seizures, muscle weakness, bradycardia, bronchoconstriction, lacrimation, salivation, bronchorrhea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Even in documented cases of anticholinergic toxicity, seizures have been reported after the rapid administration of physostigmine. Asystole has occurred after physostigmine administration for tricyclic antidepressant overdose, so a conduction delay (QRS > 0.10 second) or suggestion of tricyclic antidepressant ingestion is generally considered a contraindication to physostigmine administration.[17]

Piracetam (and other racetams), α-GPC and choline are known to activate the cholinergic system and alleviate cognitive symptoms caused by extended use of anticholinergic drugs.

Hyoscyamine (also known as daturine) is a naturally occurring tropane alkaloid and plant toxin. It is a secondary metabolite found in certain plants of the family Solanaceae, including henbane (Hyoscyamus niger), mandrake (Mandragora officinarum), angel’s trumpets (Brugmansia spp.), jimsonweed (Datura stramonium), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) the sorcerers’ tree ( Latua pubiflora ) and deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna). It is the levorotary isomer of atropine (third of the three major nightshade alkaloids) and thus sometimes known as levo-atropine.

Hyoscyamine is used to provide symptomatic relief of spasms caused by various lower abdominal and bladder disorders including peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, pancreatitis, colic, and interstitial cystitis. It has also been used to relieve some heart problems, control some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, as well as for control of abnormal respiratory symptoms and “hyper-mucus secretions” in patients with lung disease.

It is also useful in pain control for neuropathic pain, chronic pain and palliative care – “comfort care” – for those with intractable pain from treatment resistant, untreatable, and incurable diseases. When combined with opioids it increases the level of analgesia (pain relief) obtained. Several mechanisms are thought to contribute to this effect. The closely related drugs atropine and hyoscine and other members of the anticholinergic drug group like cyclobenzaprine, trihexyphenidyl, and orphenadrine are also used for this purpose. When hyoscyamine is used along with opioids or other anti-peristaltic agents, measures to prevent constipation are especially important given the risk of paralytic ileus. Side effects include dry mouth and throat, increased appetite leading to weight gain, eye pain, blurred vision, restlessness, dizziness, arrhythmia, flushing, and faintness. An overdose will cause headache, nausea, vomiting, and central nervous system symptoms including disorientation, hallucinations, euphoria, sexual arousal, short-term memory loss, and possible coma in extreme cases.

Atropine is a medication used to treat certain types of nerve agent and pesticide poisonings as well as some types of slow heart rate and to decrease saliva production during surgery. It is typically given intravenously or by injection into a muscle.Large doses may be required to treat some poisonings. Common side effects include a dry mouth, large pupils, urinary retention, constipation, and a fast heart rate. It should generally not be used in people with angle closure glaucoma. While there is no evidence that its use during pregnancy causes birth defects, it has not been well studied. It is likely safe during breastfeeding. It is an anti-muscarinic (a type of anti-cholinergic) that works by inhibiting the parasympathetic nervous system. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system.

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These night-shades are toxic, but not well understood for medicinal purposes, although the toxic chemical is used in industrial medicine. I have eaten many seeds from both varieties over a few years, and felt no ill effects from them. I stopped trying them years ago because I felt no benefit either. They did not seem to even alter my consciousness as much as coffee or mugwort, after repeated weekly eating of several seeds a day. Obviously people react differently to any organic substances, due to digestive variations and allergies, so this plant is still very mysterious and therefore considered dangerous until substantial studies can be conducted by biologists and chemists. I have no idea why I was immune to moderate doses of seeds, but other people have told me they were affected greatly and it scared them. – Firewalker

ON THE WILD SIDE

Posted in Organic Gardens, Poems with tags , , , , on October 24, 2015 by Drogo

ON THE WILD SIDE for September, 2015

by Christine Schoenemann (Maccabee)

Misunderstood but Beautiful (Part 2) : Tall Natives and Useful Pests

I just got in from collecting Japanese beetles from wild Evening Primrose flowers which are growing throughout my property. By 7 a.m. the bees are already busy on the yellow flowers, and the beetles are just waking up. Slowly I knock them into a container of water, careful not to interrupt the bees. Two things are accomplished by my doing this twice a day. First, I am saving the flowers from being devoured, and second, my chickens enthusiastically consume the crunchy bodies of these pests. Useful pests, I call them, providing extra protein and minerals for my birds.

The wild Evening Primrose used be seen in areas along roads which have not been mowed, in vacant fields and ditches if they are lucky, and in my gardens. Sadly I see very few of them this year, beyond my gardens, due to herbiciding and lots of mowing. I imagine most home owners would not like them since they grow much taller than the greenhouse cultivated primroses most gardeners buy. Perhaps this aversion is due to an over civilized fear of wild natives. Well, I have no fear, just curiosity. I have never seen my primroses grow as tall as they are this year which is most likely due to all the rain we had earlier this summer. My tallest plant towers above my head at a record breaking height of 9 feet. Now that’s tall !

For some reason I have a particular interest in tall, gangly, misunderstood plants. I suppose that is because I see their value for our pollinators, but mostly I believe it is because I admire them. In truth, I am blown away by the diversity of wild flora which are indigenous to this area, and have made it my mission to preserve as much as I can here on my property and elsewhere when possible, before they become extinct. I know my worry is legitimate since every year it seems many rare plants (see list at bottom of this article) have just disappeared from places I have seen them in the past. So, I am writing here to clear up misunderstandings about our interesting wild neighbors, and possibly to save them

Teasel, another plant which is normally not permitted to grow in typical gardens, can still be seen in areas along the highway and other unused places. It is not a thistle, though it looks like it. In my gardens I pamper it. It has multiple uses, primarily as a producer of beautiful lavender flowers which bees love. It is also an interesting component in dry plant arrangements which I make. Stately, but prickly, they are to be handled with care, preferably with a gloved hand. Presently I am cutting some of mine down now that they have flowered as I don’t want the seeds to scatter everywhere in my main garden where I also grow vegetables. I plan to scatter some of the seeds in the larger meadow before winter.

By far the most misunderstood wildflower of all is Golden Rod. I have learned through my reading that it is not the pollen producer that affects most people adversely. Ragweed is the culprit as it has very nondescript flowers and blooms at the same time as Golden Rod. Very sneaky of Ragweed, I would say. The pollen from Golden Rod is too heavy to be carried very far by the wind whereas ragweed pollen is very light. There are 16 species of Golden Rod throughout our country, and I happen to have about 4 or more species on my property. They are beginning to bloom, and I eagerly await the show ! All my various wild aster will bloom soon as well, so between the two of them my bees and butterflies will be well fed before the killing frost. Along with all these pollinators you can be sure I will be rejoicing as well !

The other day I nearly hit a Monarch butterfly which was caught between a road, parking lots, stores, and large grass deserts with no flowers in sight. It seemed confused and did not know where to go. This is a perfect example of a growing problem called “habitat fragmentation.”. Good-hearted people who plant flowers in their yards are doing a great service, but these same butterflies and bees we feed frequently must travel far and wide just to find other flowers to feed on or appropriate plants on which to lay their eggs. We all know the need of Monarchs for Milkweed, but there are many others, such as the larvae of the Fritillary butterfly for violets, the Checkerspot for Trutlehead flowers and the rare/endangered butterflies in the Blues Family for clovers and Lupine flowers.

Lately, and even over many years, I have been reading writings by prominent mystics and naturalists who all sing a similar theme song. This song is one of praise for creation and its awesome diversity which can aid us as humans to connect more intimately with ourselves and the Creator. This goes for everyone, even atheists and agnostics, for “things in nature are optimal teachers to help us discern how to be ourselves. We have been separated from the source of our identity and have to fall in love with it all over again “. Thus writes Belden Lane in his book Backpacking with the Saints, an amazing read full of wisdom.

And so, this Sunday morning the natural world is the temple in which I worship, today, and everyday. For me, and so many others, the amazing diversity of life forms on this planet are not only an expression of the infinite nature of their Creator, but also an expression of amazing love, without end, unless we humans choose to continue to destroy it. We always have a choice.

Some local natives which a rarely seen and loosing habitat: purple Swamp Milkweed, Goatsbeard, Moth Mullein, Bergamot, blue Lobelia, Vervain, Obedient plant, Deptford pinks, Cardinal flower, wild Columbine, Cinquefoils, St. Johnswort, Yarrow, Sweet Cicely, wild Sweet Clovers,etc..

Misunderstood but Beautiful – Flowers as People

Posted in Organic Gardens, Poems with tags , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2015 by Drogo
Much of the beauty and value of the natural world will be missed,
and lost, if it is constantly condemned as unimportant, and destroyed.“
– from Garden Ramblings

In a very real way, flowers are a lot like people. Fragile, they are born vulnerable, and if fortunate to receive the proper care, will thrive and bear much goodness. However, many people, like flowers, are misunderstood. Some of us are late bloomers and get cut down while struggling to grow, while others of us may express ourselves in the wrong way, or the wrong place, and are criticized.

True, it is about the world of plants and flowers that I mostly write, but the connection between humans and the natural world being what it is – ever constant and essential—it is ofttimes impossible to separate the two. Many of our greatest writers and teachers refer to nature, recognizing the wisdom that is to be gained if we but open our hearts and our minds to it. Many of these people have been misunderstood as well.

Four of my very favorite wildflowers are the lavender bergamot, rarely seen anymore due to mowing, the shy blue chicory, the wild asters of which I have 4 species on my property, and the tall rarely seen white and yellow wild sweet clovers (which look nothing like clovers, but are in that family). Both chicory and bergamot are blooming profusely right now here at my Mystic Meadows and I can never see them enough. The wild bergamot has cross pollinated with its relative the gorgeous red monarda, creating two new shades of purple and maroon. I am blown away by their beauty and their usefulness. Standing very still by each large cluster of flowers which are shoulder high, the hundreds of flowers seem literally in motion with the activity of hummingbird moths, various butterflies, and bumble bees large and small. Of course, even a hummingbird cruises by for a nip on the way to its favorite mimosa tree. Sadly, I see very few honey bees this year.

Chicory is the most tenacious wildflower I know. It tends to grow right up against the country roads people drive down in their early morning rush to work or school, gracing our journeys with their joyful blue color, brightening our moods if we but see them. Even when mowed down, they grow right back, undeterred. If permitted, they will bloom right through the summer into fall, providing nectar for bees and later, essential seeds for small birds like finch. They usually close their blue petals during the heat of the day, and so are seen as ugly by most people as they have tiny leaves and look spindly when their petals are closed. But oh, when the day is cooler and the flowers are open, behold the powdery blue profusion !

Wild asters spend the entire summer growing slowly into tall, elegant plants full of elongated leaves. There are 4 varieties which I grow throughout my gardens, and the reward for my patience is a glorious, end-of -summer show of tiny, daisy-like flowers, a final bust of white and purple beauty which goes well into the fall. These plants, besides being a welcome source of inspiration for me before the long, cold days of winter, serve as essential nectar and pollen for our bees. Without these wildflowers the bees could easily starve in their hives. Goldenrod, which I will write about in a sequel to this article, is also significant for bees, and even butterflies, to stave off starvation. It is and has been mostly misunderstood as well.

Many years ago I was enjoying the beauty of my back road where, unfortunately, the white and yellow wild sweet clovers were growing embarrassingly close to the road. They are somewhat guilty of looking gangly, like some people I know, and were very tall. I knew they would eventually be mowed, so I decided to cut them with more care by myself. So, I went home and came back laden with an arsenal of cutting tools, only to loose my resolve when I put the blade to their stalks. I thought to myself “what is more important, the flowers or the road”. I had observed very few of these particular flowers being permitted to grow anywhere, so I put down my weapons and joined the ranks of the misunderstood. After that day, they moved themselves to a safer place. They now grow, undisturbed, in various spots on my property. Plants come to me that way, and I welcome them with open arms !

I love the late bloomers and the misunderstood ones, be they human or flower. Perhaps our biggest challenge in life is to embrace these ones, to accept them as amazing creations on this miraculous planet which is full to bursting with diversity. I leave you with an ancient Indian quotation I love which reflects the awesomeness of it all…” Flowers are the footprints of the dancing steps of God.”

Now off I go to enjoy the rest of this glorious summer !!

by Christine Schoenemann (Maccabee)

Christine is a Master Naturalist in the State of MD.. She welcomes any questions and feedback at songbirdschant@gmail.org

GARDEN HELP (Shadow Black Cat)

Posted in Organic Gardens, Poems with tags , , , , , , , on July 10, 2015 by Drogo

by Christine Schoenemann (Maccabee)

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Wishing for a shadow

as I do my morning chores…

Another “me” to follow

lifting buckets of manure.

Like a streak my little black cat

races past me down the path.

I smile…

he makes me laugh.

After watering I go into the house,

and there he quietly sits,

My shadow…

beside his dinner dish.

My garden help,

little Black !

SCOD Food Cooperative Concept

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Economics, Organic Agriculture & Horticulture, Organic Gardens, Services, Sales or Trade, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2014 by Drogo

SCOD Food Cooperative ideas by JF & JT based on our post-bubble recession economic reality and independent personal finances:

“I have been exploring the idea of a virtual cooperative for the trade of services, labor, skills, and instruction similar to a cross between Ebay, Bit-Coin, and Linked-in with maybe a little bit of a D&D style.

I’m thinking it would work something like this:

A merchant would setup a standard merchant style account showcasing their skills, wares etc… in an online profile where they could search other merchant profiles. This account can be further refined as membership evolves to the trade guild level. Services or wares can be brokered directly or they can go into a bidding pool.Services or offering could be bid upon by others to determine a fair market exchange for labor, goods, and services as well as establishing a found for a virtual economic system.

Every account starts out with 100 ‘trust point’ credits to purchase the service, etc… from another merchant offering a different service and some other desirable arrangement. Once the transaction is completed by the service provider, the receipt of the service transfers a previously agreed upon amount of credits to the service providers account. Problems or disagreements will be mediated by guild leaders.

The virtual cooperative only works if people continuously participate to retain credits in their account.No money ever changes hands and credit cannot be bought directly through the web application. Every member is initially set up in the ‘commons’ until they have acquired enough proficiency to join a guild. Prospectus must be invited and approved by members of the guild they are seeking membership from. Guilds will be broken down into the various subtypes Artisan, Teacher, etc…”

 – JF

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We aren’t really left with any options. It’s at the point if we want health in our lives, we have to work for it. What we need to do is sit down and figure out the dietary needs of everyone who wants to be involved, plot out who will be in charge of what, and figure out an effective timeline that will keep everyone fed through the winter months. I’ll set up a wiki and link it to the SCOD group.

I’ll be hunting a fair bit this season. I can work to provide deer and turkey at the least. I’m good for beans and corn as well. the more the merrier. I’m going to create this as a private wiki, so I just need email addresses for those to be added.

So who (around here) would like to buckle down with me in a cooperative to feed all our families on organic, home-grown, locally raised, or locally hunted food? We’ll need to cover all areas – protein (meat and non-meat sources), eggs, fruits, vegetables, and grains. Mushroom growers are also welcome!”

– JT

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(see modern economic theory article – Post-Bubble Recession Economics)

Seed Planting

Posted in Organic Gardens with tags , , , on March 11, 2014 by Drogo

1. Feel free to start growing seeds indoors by a window whenever you want. Even if it is too cold outside to transplant them, there can be satisfaction simply in growing seedlings.

2. Do NOT plant anything OUTSIDE during frost periods Oct.30-April 15 apx.

3.  Small seeds – plant close to surface of soil / large seeds plant 1/2″ – 2″ / 3″+ for bulbs.  Loose organic soil is always better.

4. Too much water can wash the seeds out of place (especially small seeds close to the surface)

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Sad thing is most growers end up killing more plants than they grow, since we weed all the time, and many die; ironic but the harsh reality.  i think the thing that makes a grower is someone that keeps planting and letting and helping plants grow despite losses.

 

 

Skullcap Herb

Posted in Food & Drink, Medical, Nature Studies, Organic Gardens, Spiritual with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2013 by Drogo

401px-Scutellaria_lateriflora_01

Scutellaria lateriflora, blue skullcap, mad dog, blue dog – a hardy perennial herb of the mint family (Lamiaceae) native to North America

After taking skullcap for 3 weeks, I have much praise for its magic mental powers of tranquility. I bought a small bottle of ‘Oregon’s Wild Harvest’ Skullcap organic pills. Rather than swallow the pills whole and letting the thin capsule dissolve in my stomach, I open them and pour the dried powder of ‘100% skullcap tops’ onto my tongue and then swallow. It takes like tea flavored flour.

The psychoactive chemicals in skullcap cause a mild euphoric high, much like tea or coffee without the negative withdrawal effects of caffeine; and instead of the heart-racing diuretic stimulation, Skullcap has an opposite calming effect. Skullcap may be more like eating a similar small portion of cannabis, for the reasons described. I believe Skullcap is not strong enough to cause accidents, as when I was driving my traffic and weather anxiety seemed to over-ride any calming effects while driving. When I am sitting or walking, I do feel a bit buzzed, but the effect may have something to do with my desire to chill out and relax as well.

The Skullcap bottle cost about $10, and after taking an average 3 pills daily and giving some away I still have half a bottle left. It seems to give me a bit of help in training my mind to be more meditative, and create a peaceful state of being. This is not a paid advertisement for this product, but I can honestly say that I desire to take the pill when I go hours without it. If it is addictive, I feel it is in the same way that Cannabis is, in that I can go without it safely, but it feels nice when I use it.

Skullcap bio-active compounds:  flavonoids, baicalein, wogonin, wogonoside (anti-histamine, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-cardiac stress)

BOG Peeps

Posted in Environmentalism, Organic Agriculture & Horticulture, Organic Architecture, Organic Development, Organic Gardens, Pagan, Psychology, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2013 by Drogo

Beautiful Organic Garden People

This art series advocates Organic Agriculture (Gardening / Farming / Foraging), Permaculture, and Sustainable Architecture. A series of ‘beautiful’ images of humans and animals, males and females, working or meditating or playing in the garden, farm field, barn, orchard, or wilderness…. poses not bound to traditional commercial or pinup surface objectification… in favor of equal-rights showing strength, intelligence, and skill. One idea being that people will see attractive or cute people and other sentient beings gardening, and more and more people will want to garden and feel or look like them; and by relating to them, they will want to garden; and vice versa. Based on “Organic Pinup Girls” project, expanded.

Plant Weed*

Pocahantas*

Mattock Hoes*

SCOD Hoveland*

flower cutngather*

women-planting-tree-outdoor*

Apollo on Apollo*

angel pixie apples*

Adevik*

Celtic Couple 2*

Grow Together*

Vegirl_1*

Cheri Tyvm*

Keith psyche

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* BOG PEEP Book – for sale on Amazon

Journalist Laura Flanders about SCOD Bog Peeps – “If I had to pick an avatar from those cool Organic gardeners, I’d go for the green haired woman with the shoulder tattoo and the shovel. Funnily enough, I just walked inside after a morning spent wielding a machete in an overgrown garden.” – in an email to Drogo 8/2/2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blackberry Cove Herbal Book

Posted in Book Reports, Food & Drink, Medical, Nature Studies, Organic Agriculture & Horticulture, Organic Gardens, Pagan, Trips, Walks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2013 by Drogo

BLACKBERRY COVE HERBAL by Linda Rago

West Virginia Wise-woman healing with wild herbs in the Appalachian Mountains; according to organic, rural folk-traditions.

BookCover-frontBC Cover 3

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2nd Edition (Full Color):  Paperback book

2nd Edition (Full Color Illustrated):  Kindle ebook

2nd Edition (Greytone Illustrated):  Paperback book

3rd Edition (Text Only):  Kindle ebook

Interview with the Author Linda Rago 

Audio Recording of Monthly Chapters

Audio Recording of ‘Spiral Gift‘ Chapter

Audio Recording of ‘Grandmother’s Methods

Audio Recording of ‘Herbal Healing

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Two Simple Spiral Gardens

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Organic Gardens with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2012 by Drogo

Two basic plans for spiral gardens. The green represents vegetation (herbs, flowers, grasses, shrubs, hedges, veggies, etc), the brown is for tilled soil edging (regularly cleared using hoe, mattock, etc), and the grey is the path made using gravel, bricks, blocks, tiles, sand, or whatever you want. The center of the designs can also feature sculptures, bird baths, etc….

Garlic Mustard – Edible Wild Flower

Posted in Organic Gardens with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2012 by Drogo

Alliaria petiolata, Jack-by-the-hedge, Jack-in-the-bush, Hedge Garlic, hedge-weed, fairy-weed, fairy-mint, Garlic Root, Sauce-alone, Penny-hedge, and Poor Man’s Mustard

Wild Garlic Mustard is a magical fairy-like green plant that grows in spring-time woodlands. It has a single stalk with roundish leaves, and small white flowers at the top. They grow like mugwort so you can easily pull them for weeding or harvest. Garlic Mustard can grow over 3 feet tall. People call it “invasive” because it came over from England in the 1800’s, and it is fairly aggressive in spreading its seed; however it is a very lovely plant that is more useful than most other unwanted plants that people bitch about, so I say to people “chill the fuck out, they are short-lived, pretty, flowering, and edible”. Garlic Mustard leaves can be used as the main ingredient in pesto, its roots can be substituted for horseradish, and its black seeds served as a condiment.

Free Your Mint, Let It Go Wild!!!

Posted in Organic Gardens with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2012 by Drogo

I suppose it is fair warning to tell people that Mints tend to want to take over a garden, just in case they do not want that. I however, am perfectly happy with my 7 types of mint taking over the whole lawn if they want; and they are welcome to leave my property and go visit other places if they so choose. Sure you can try to wall it in, or keep it in a pot, but I say let it go! Stop trying to control mint, when it is such a perfect plant, much better than lawn grass (or crab-grass). In fact it is my favorite type of plant because it is so independent, and edible, and gives us nice flowers to share with the bees and butterflies.

In the photos you can see how mint looks when it is given the freedom to explore a garden. The photo is taken after years of trying to control the mints. The year before the photos were taken, the entire garden was stacked with wood and burned in a bonfire. The mint regrew from their own roots. Years after the photos, trucks and bulldozers drove over the site crushing everything. However the mint is back…on its own!

You can clear areas of the mint to temporarily grow other things, like vegetables (see photos for a center crop of squash), and then when the veggies are done, the mint will close the gap again as only the strongest weeds can. Why fight such a beneficial and pleasant herb? I say, let the mint grow!!! Peppermint, Spearmint, Lemonbalm, Beebalm, and even the mighty Applemint. Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow. Go “mintal” and get “balmy”.

(photos taken at Odd Fellow Lodge Garden in Harpers Ferry, WV)