Would you like to learn information that could help you identify any new plant that you encounter? You don't have to be a botany expert to enjoy using wild plants. The folks at the Herbal Academy have created another awesome herbal study called the Botany & Wildcrafting Course. It's my pleasure to introduce it to you. [Read more…]
Brewing with wild yeast is an idea that's fascinated me ever since I read the original Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz. In it, he described how simple it could be to make wild yeast “hooch”. With liquid and sugar, and some sort of flavor base (fruit, honey, flowers, grains, veggies), alcohol fermentation happens.
If you're looking for an identical product every time to you brew a batch of wine, beer or mead, wild yeast is probably not the best option for you. If you're ready to experiment with new flavors and a wide array of ingredients, wild yeast can expand your brewing world. You can brew for years and never make the same drink twice. Some brews are ready in days, others are best after years. You can use a wild yeast starter, or work with a spontaneous ferment. Some wild yeast brews are just for fun, others are good medicine. [Read more…]
Today's featured Weekly Weeder plant is common ragweed, Ambrosia artemisiifolia.
Common ragweed is also known as ragweed, hayfever weed, bitterweed, bloodweed, crownweed, mayweed and bane of allergy sufferers everywhere. Some other common ragweed species include bur ragweed, giant ragweed and western ragweed. Western ragweed is a perennial.
The seeds of this amazing plant can lie dormant in the soil for 40 years, waiting to be unearthed to spread truckloads of tiny pollen grains EVERYWHERE. Plus – bonus – changing weather patterns have extended the ragweed season through much of the United States. (BTW, just for the record, the climate has been changing as long as the planet's been around. The weather has raised and toppled empires – but that's another post.)
Today's featured weed is Queen Anne's Lace, Daucus Carota
Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota) is a biennial and is also known as Wild Carrot, Bird's Nest Weed, Bee's Nest, Devils Plague, garden carrot, Bird's Nest Root, Lace Flower, Rantipole, Herbe a dinde and Yarkuki. In some states it is designated as a noxious weed. Known as 野胡萝卜 in china.
The World Carrot Museum states that the name “‘Herbe a dinde' derives from its use as a feed for young turkeys – dinde.” (Personally, I'd never heard of that name before. Maybe it's a UK thing?) The Woodrow Wilson Foundation Leadership Programs for Teachers cites the origin of the name as follows: “Queen Anne’s Lace is said to have been named after Queen Anne of England, an expert lace maker. When she pricked her finger with a needle, a single drop of blood fell into the lace, thus the dark purple floret in the center of the flower.”
Welcome to the Weekly Weeder series. Today's featured weed is chicory, Chicorium intybus. Chicory is also known as Blue Sailor, Ragged Sailor, Coffeeweed, Cornflower, Succory, Wild Succory, Garden Endive, Wild Chicory, Common Chicory and Blue Dandelion. Another European import, it's believed to have originated in Eurasia. It's prized for its long taproot, which is roasted and used as a coffee substitute or coffee additive. [Read more…]