From time to time during my frequent research binges I will stumble upon a plant that really sticks out from all the others, at which point I then compulsively attempt to learn as much about it as I can. After safely and securely storing that information away, deep within the recesses of my mind palace, I’ll hopefully be able to recall it at a certain point in the future when it is perhaps more relevant for me to think about. Trust me, this happens way more often then you think it does. Continue reading “New ‘Plant of the Week’ Series”
The common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) hardly needs an introduction. It is one of only a few plants that the vast majority of those inhabiting temperate climates worldwide can easily recognize. Many of these same people are very likely to have interacted with dandelions in a meaningful way as well, whether as a child wishing upon the wispy seed heads or frustratingly attempting to remove them from a garden.
Yet as you will see, this lowly weed is not only both edible & medicinal but is also an excellent conduit in which we may learn about ourselves as a species, how we have fundamentally changed the world’s ecology and how we should best react to our changing environments and landscapes. Understanding the life cycle of and experiencing dandelions first hand as an edible or medicinal herb will help to shed light on what this one plant among countless others can teach us.
The hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata) is a large shrub or small tree native to swaths of low-lying regions of Eastern North America that is quite rare in Ontario, restricted to a few localities along the north and eastern shores of Lake Erie, most notably Long Point Provincial and Point Pelee Provincial Parks where it grows along sandbars or beaches. Continue reading “Edible Ornamentals: Ptelea trifoliata”
Learning to identify plants with confidence is by no means an easy task, although I do firmly believe that it is an innate quality that all humans possess, for without it we surely would not have survived the tens of thousands of years leading up to this point during which our species fully inhabited the wild. Continue reading “Identifying Trees In Winter”
A new year means another new home brew, in particular another pale ale overflowing with ultra-piny yarrow blossoms and a generous helping of complimentary hops to add some flavors and aromas of citrus and coniferous woods. I’m really getting into the swing of home brewing on a regular basis now, mainly because there is a lack of outdoor activities that I am willing to participate in this time of the year but also because I’d like to be able to enjoy a regular supply of (hopefully) delicious home brewed beer. Continue reading “Fermenting Fun: Achille’s Heal 2.0”