Mission Statement

My goal with mande plants is to teach about medicinal and edible plants, show how to grow these plants, where to find these plants, and how to use these plants. There are many useful botanicals in our world. I will growing seasonal crops and perennial edibles using organic methods as best as possible. One of my long term goals is to grow a temperate food forest garden. As I grow new plants and harvest them I will be sharing photos and details on this blog. All photos on this blog are taken by me. If you like this blog and you would like to help me further my research you can use the paypal donate button on the right. All donations will be used to buy tools, plants, seeds, and pay for expenses needed to develop gardens.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Common Edible "weeds" - Part 2

The next two edible "weeds" I will be discussing are Chickweed and Clover. While this is mainly about their edible uses I will cover their traditional herbal uses as well.

Chickweed is in the Stellaria Genus, in the Carnation or Caryophyllaceae family. Chickweed can be found growing all year round but is more prevalent in the rainy months. The young tender leaves have the best flavor but mature leaves may be eaten as well. Consumed in excess chickweed may cause diarrhea or vomiting because of its saponin content. Saponins are not easily absorbed by the human body, in moderate amounts chickweed is fine to eat. Chickweed makes a fine addition to pestos and salads. Used externally as a poultice chickweed can help soothe skin inflammations and promote healing.

Clover is of the Trifolium genus in the Pea or Fabaceae family. The leaves and Flowers are edible raw or cooked. It is said that the leaves are hard to digest raw and are best cooked. The Flowers and leaves also make a refreshing beverage when steeped in hot water. Sprouted Clover is also a nice addition to salads and sandwiches. Taken internally Clover is good at cleansing the blood, helping to relieve skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, and has been shown to have some anti-cancer properties.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Common Edible "Weeds" - Part 1

No organic garden or lawn is free of what is commonly called a weed. Much time and aggravation is put into eradicating these innocent little plants. But instead of putting for all the effort to annihilate these herbs why not treat them as another garden crop? The First two plant I will talk about are Dandelion and Plantain.

Dandelion is an amazing food herb. Every part of this plant is edible: the flowers, leaves, roots, and stem. The Flowers may be dipped in batter and fried up as fritters. The leaves being slightly bitter are a refreshing addition to salads. The roots may be eaten raw or cooked and have a bitter turnip like flavor. The root and leaves help to increase and move the flow of bile in body. This plant is also a diuretic, but unlike most diuretics dandelion is high in potassium which is a mineral that is depleted easily via urine. The root is good for the liver as well. Dandelions are high in vitamins A, C, E, B-complex, and iron.

Plantain is in the Plantago genus (not to be confused with the banana plantain). Plantain's leaves are best eaten when young, as they age they become more fibrous. Older plantain leaves are still edible but need to be cooked as a potherb to be enjoyable. The seeds of plantain may be consumed as well. Plantain is high is vitamins A, C, and K.

What is Wild Ginger?

The plant commonly referred to as Wild Ginger belongs to the Asarum genus in the Birthwort or Aristolochiaceae family. The Ginger you buy in stores is in the Zingiber genus in the Ginger or Zingiberaceae family. Wild Ginger gets its name from the smell and flavor of its roots and leaves, a ginger/pepper odor and favor. The specific Wild Ginger I will talk about and have photographed is Asarum Caudatum, which is native from British Columbia to California.

Caution is advised when using any plant in this genus, as some have been reported to have some level of toxicity. The roots of this plant may be used as a ginger substitute. They can be harvested all year round but are best harvested in the autumn. The Leaves may be used as well but they do have a stronger flavor and should be used in small quantities.

The root has some laxative properties. It may also be used to help improve digestion, appetite, and as a general tonic to the stomach. The whole plant has analgesic properties as well, which help to relieve pain.

As with all plants, respect must be given to this plant when harvesting. Because the root is what is mainly harvested the plants life is whats taken. Remember to harvested only what is needed not exceeding a third of the plants that grow in the immediate area.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

First Blog

This is my first blog post. What do I hope to accomplish? I hope that I can condense and display my research in a way that can benefit readers. I will display photo's of plants I have taken and what uses that plants has. I will do my best to include sources of what I have blogged. I hope that whomever reads this will find it beneficial.
Thank you!