Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Jeff Eleveld, the Plant Guy

Description: Can plants help us with our physical therapy? Do plants clean the air, add moisture, and lift the mood? Yes, they do and more. Meet Jeff, The Plant Guy, from CT who offers therapeutic horticulture to at least 87 different types of institutions across parts of NE and eastern NY. He describes the joy, the connections and the memories they stir up for us in so many ways. Join us for a lively discussion.

About My Guest: Jeff, is lovingly named and referred to by his communities as Jeff, The Plant Guy. Jeff has over forty-five years’ experience in horticulture. For more than 25 years Jeff owned interior plant scaping company “Natures Interiors” providing interior plant, flowers and weekly care to area businesses and private homes.   He is an avid bonsai enthusiast and plant collector boasting just over one hundred seventy plants in his personal indoor collection as well as over one hundred deciduous and conifer bonsai that are kept outdoors year round. He has traveled extensively across Europe and South America visiting botanical gardens along the way.  Jeff is a published author, penning his book “How To Kill Your House Plant” on plant care along with a little bit of family history and anecdotes from his years of plant care.  Jeff has written articles for the Hartford Courant, The Green Thumb Print and Knox Park Foundation and many other publications.   Jeff is a past founding member of the Petit Foundations, Michaela’s Garden 4 O’clock Project.

Transcript: #68 Jeff Eleveld

How do trees talk to each other?

I am so in awe of nature and how she is teaching us, reaching out to us so that we become better. Better stewards, better co-partners with her in all her diversity.
How is that happening? Suzanne Simard, from Canada, relates to us in this TED talk what her observations and studies show concerning the complexity of a forest.
Trees share information below ground. Hub trees or mother trees send carbon to seedlings. When she is injured she sends messages to her seedlings, the next generation of trees. She sends more carbon and defense signals to support their growth and longevity.

Suzanne has discovered that trees are super cooperators sharing carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, hormones and more. The mycorrhizal network, fungal threads create a fantastic below ground highway where trade agreements occur, where substances are delivered not only among species but can include their neighbors. She also reminds us that the forest has a tremendous ability to self-heal too. So, what can we do to help our forests? Suzanne leaves us with 4 tips. I thought they were worthwhile so I will summarize them here.

    1. Get into the forest and get involved with local forestry programs. These folks know the local conditions.
    2. Save old growth forests. Why? they are genetic banks for species and mycorrhizal networks.
    3. When cutting down forests be conservative. Do some research. Where are the hub trees?
    4. Give forests the tools to regenerate and self heal

Woodrow Nelson from the Arbor Day foundation’s Time for Trees, podcast guest this week, describes the foundation’s incredible initiative to plant 100,000,000 trees by 2022. And, they are one-third of the way there. Impressive. Want to get involved? Click on the link and they will help you get started.

Trees are simply magnificent in their strength, their beauty, and their gifts. It’s time we appreciate the intelligence within our forests. What can you do today? Let us know. We appreciate your stories.

Enjoy. Judith

 

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Woodrow Nelson, Time for Trees

Description: Planting trees is one of the main focuses for the Arbor Day Foundation. Today’s guest, Woodrow Nelson, tree lover, and planter, talks about the Arbor Day Foundation’s initiative to plant 100,000,000 trees by 2022. What is truly remarkable is that they are one-third of the way there.

Join us as we talk about trees, their benefits, and how we can help replant especially in disaster sites such as those hit by wildfires, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

About My Guest: Woodrow Nelson is a lifelong tree planter while growing up in several Midwest states through a business career in California and Ohio before moving to Lincoln, Nebraska, to join the Executive Management Team of the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation in 2006. He is inspired by hundreds of thousands of Arbor Day Foundation members, engaging them in the conservation work of the Foundation with impact in neighborhoods, communities, and forests across the globe. Woody and his wife, Joyce, enjoy time together with their children and grandchildren.

More about the Foundation at arborday.org

More about the Time for Trees initiative at timefortrees.org

Transcript: #67 Woodrow Nelson 

Blog: Plant-Based Eating

Several guests on my podcast show, Holistic Nature of Us, talk about diet, nutrition as being one of the most important factors in creating foundational health. Building healthy soil leads to harvesting nutrient-rich foods, leads to looking at plant-based eating more carefully. And maybe adopting better nutrition habits for the long run. In my nursing career where I worked in the field of oncology, I saw first hand the effects of using products that had serious health consequences and environmental ones too. Long term consequences were not considered in their development and usage. I wonder about us.

I looked into the creation of and use of pesticides, herbicides and more in my travels. It seems that we as a species jump on the bandwagon of new discoveries without asking one crucial question: what are the long term consequences? How will this development/innovation affect the next seven generations? Why is it we seem to have developed products and more with serious effects on our health and the planet and we continue to do so?

This TED Talk is given by a physician who has researched nutrition and health and the evidence is there: plant-based eating promotes foundational health. He too asks the same questions. A little quirky but factual, I hope the short video gives you food for thought.
What one dietary change will you make today to support your foundational health?

Remember: all comments are appreciated. Enjoy. Judith

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Sara Banta, Wellness Coach


Description: Sara Banta relates her story of family illnesses and her journey to bring foundational health back to her family. One son was diagnosed with leukemia, a daughter had allergies and asthma and her second daughter had some learning issues. Through nutrition studies, understanding complementary medicine she helped each one find health.

Today she is also passionate about educating others on 5G technology and EMF’s. What’s good, what’s happening and are we doing enough? Join us for an engaging discussion.

About My Guest: Sara is a Health Coach and busy mother of three children who are now 12, 14 and 16 years old. She completed her undergraduate studies at Stanford University with a degree in Economics and Psychology in 1998. In 2016, she graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and The Invincible Wellness System. Through her journey, she has had to solve many health issues within her family including her son suffering from leukemia at the age of nine, her daughter having allergies, anemia and asthma, her husband having heart issues, her other daughter having comprehension and learning issues, in addition to headaches.  This, of course, is on top of her own issues with fertility, hormones, adult acne, IBS, digestive issues, heavy metals and much more.  She has had to Connect the dots and realize what was causing all of these issues and what the solutions were, which also involved the mind-body connection. With that, she has devoted her life to providing guidance and all natural health supplements and solutions that heal the body and the problems not just addressing the symptoms to her clients.

She has offered a coupon code for our listeners on her website acceleratedhealthproducts.com of DREYER15 for 15 percent off.

Transcript: #65 Sara Banta 

 

Blog: Celebrating Herbs: International Herb of the Year: Anise Hyssop: Agastache foeniculum

 

 

 

 

I’ve had a little bit of anise hyssop in my garden but none recently. I like the fact that deer ignore it. Tall beautiful flowers are attractive to a garden’s background. This lovely medicinal and edible plant is the International Herb for this year. If you are interested in herbs, I highly recommend the International Herb Symposium held in MA in June this year. Herb talks on a variety of issues, plants, growing, health are worthwhile.

Plant name: Anise Hyssop, Agastache foeniculum, herbaceous perennial of the mint family, not to be confused with hyssop, anise or star anise; Also known as giant hyssop; though they look alike they have different origins.

Parts Used: Leaves and flowers, emit a soft licorice scent and flavor. They are edible and can be put into bread, muffins, or as a garnish on salads, used in hot or cold teas.

Where Found: native to NW US, often creates a beautiful blanket of violet across prairies;

Garden tips: blooms early summer to the first frost. Grows to about 2-4 feet in height and self-sows. You can grow from seeds too. This plant is very hardy and can be found in zones 4-9, and drought tolerant. It’s a favorite of pollinator insects especially honeybees, and some birds. Not only does anise hyssop provide food for pollinators but it also relies on pollinators for fertilization so it can produce seeds in the fall. Likes well-drained to dry soils. Deers seem to avoid this plant but rabbits love it. Doesn’t spread like mint and will grow into a bushier like shape.

Benefits:Native Americans found many uses for this plant. They included it in their medicine bundles and burned it as incense for protection. Its uplifting fragrance was also used to treat depression. Anise Hyssop made into a poultice can be used to treat burns and in wound healing. As a wash for poison ivy, it helped to reduce itching.  Internally it was used to treat fevers and diarrhea.  It is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and very useful as an infusion for relieving congestion. As a medicinal herb, it has soothing, expectorant and cough suppressant properties. A tea made from the leaves and flowers is sedating and relieves pain from coughing with chest colds. Used in combination with licorice it is especially effective for lung conditions such as bronchitis and respiratory tract infections.” (from Susan Weeds herbalzine.)

From what I researched, Anise hyssop has many health benefits. What I found interesting is that many traditional herbals, (and I have many) do not include anise hyssop but rather its European counterpart, Hyssop. They share some traits but anise hyssop may be more beneficial.

Health Benefits:

    • used in cold remedies, used to prevent summer colds;
    • may strengthen a weak heart
    • anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory
    • can be made into a salve for wound healing
    • sip tea with meals to prevent gas/bloating
    • You can bathe in it to treat sunburns and /or treat fungal infections like athlete’s foot.
    • As an essential oil, it is antiviral and may help with Herpes Simplex I and II

Consider Anise Hyssop, a Native to the US for your garden. Enjoy. Judith

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Tonya Pastenak, Naturopathic Physician

Description: Pollen is everywhere here in New England and while the rain washes some of it away we still have folks who are sensitive to these pollens and molds. Dr. Pasternak talks about spring allergens, our body’s response and how naturopathic/integrative medicine work together to achieve an approach that supports our body’s natural intelligence. She offers practical tips and practical advice for those seeking to understand how pollens may be affecting us.

About My Guest: Dr. Pasternak’s interest in Naturopathic Medicine was sparked at an early age and has been a long-standing passion of hers ever since. She received her bachelor’s degree in cellular and molecular biology and her doctorate in naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University. During that time, she participated in various independent research projects with a primary focus on genetics. To help expand the availability of naturopathic care, Dr. Pasternak volunteered her time by providing medical services to the homeless population living in Seattle’s tent cities.
In addition to treating conditions related to the immune, endocrine, and digestive system, personal experiences lead Dr. Pasternak to dive deeply into the field of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. She studied the work of many renowned experts in the field, including Dr. Klinghardt, Dr. Ross, and Dr. Burrascano. She realizes the importance of treating the whole body, including clearing infections, restoring balance, nurturing damaged systems, and acknowledging the emotional hardships that come with the disease.
Through clinical experience, Dr. Pasternak has also discovered a passion for women’s health. She has helped numerous women regain their vitality through addressing hormonal imbalances contributing to infertility, menopausal symptoms, PMS, PCOS, and endometriosis.
When working with patients, Dr. Pasternak always seeks to find the root cause of disease and values taking time to educate her patients. She creates customized treatment plans for each person, utilizing a blend of nutrition, botanical medicine, and craniosacral therapy. She is a member of naturopathic medical associations on both the state and national levels and continues to expand her knowledge by staying up-to-date on current medical advancements.

Transcript: #65 Tonya Pasternak 

Blog: 3 Benefits of Lemon Balm

 

 

 

Someone gave me a cutting of lemon balm two years ago. It grows fast and spreads out, a great filler in any garden bed. When leaves are rubbed, crushed, this plant releases a refreshing lemony aroma.

Plant name: Lemon Balm, Melissa officinalis, a member of the mint family

Where found: herbaceous perennial, native to southern Europe, Iran, Central Asia but naturalized here in the US and elsewhere. 

Garden Tips: this aromatic plant does not spread underground like mint. Stems sprout from seeds that come from inconspicuous flowers. It responds well to cutting and trimming a few times a season. Lemon Balm likes mulch too.
Most herbs like the sun but lemon balm can tolerate some shade.

3 Benefits: Why is it popular? Its been used as a flavoring in recipes, adding lemony citrus tones to meats, fish, veggies for centuries. Probably arrived here with the early settlers, as they took their food and their medicines with them. Known for its calming effect, especially when digestion is involved, lemon balm must have been soothing on long ocean voyages.

Another benefit is as a carminative. Carminative means a substance that prevents or eases gas in the alimentary tract. Also known for its calming effect. Medical Medium goes further and tells us that the balms kill viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms inside the liver. Lemon balm calms the nerves of the liver. And calms the nerves of the intestinal lining which in turn lowers toxic heat in the liver. IBS, Irritable Bowl syndrome, is a worldwide malady. Could lemon balm be a good first choice herb to calm nerves especially GI nerves in our fast-paced world? Yes, it can.  It’s also a diaphoretic which means it promotes perspiration which helps with the onset of colds.

Tea: can be made with dried or fresh leaves. I make fresh lemon balm tea as its growing as I want to manage its size. Little shoots are coming up nearby so I don’t worry about having enough. I pick a handful and place fresh leaves into a half gallon of boiling water. I turn off the heat and let sit for about an hour, strain and then serve over ice.

I checked my dried herbs this morning from last years supply. I tend to mix a few herbs for winter teas. This morning I made a cup with last year’s dried supply. When I opened the jar I noticed there was little lemon aroma. The tea itself is a little stronger too, though that’s not the right word. There is a difference between the two. How about experimenting with dried versus fresh and compare. What’s the difference? Which do you prefer?
Lemon Balm, whose botanical name is connected to bees, is a lovely herb for any garden.

Remember all comments are appreciated. Enjoy. Judith

Podcast: Holistic nature of Us: Meet Kathleen Gage, Author, Plant-Based Foods

Description: Want to lose weight, feel better, more productive but haven’t decided what approach to take? Kathleen Gage talks about her journey adopting a plant-based diet that improved her quality of life in so many ways: weight loss without dieting, more energy, runs marathons and manages her business with more productivity. Sounds good yes? Well, plant-based eating that minimizes processed foods, meats and increases organic, local purchases for fruits, veggies, legumes, and grains can make a difference. Join us for an enlightening discussion where Kathleen shares her story and discusses the benefits of plant-based eating.

About My Guest: As a marketing and business strategist, Kathleen Gage has made it her mission to teach solo and small business owners how to become visible to their market through the power of clarity of their message and to package their core message into speaking engagements, books, information products and consulting and coaching services. Applying the very strategies she teaches her clients, Kathleen is rapidly growing her name recognition and position in a new market moving forward in 2019; the whole food, plant-based, vegan market. On a mission to raise awareness about the health and business benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, Kathleen has immersed herself into a lifestyle that is healthy, compassionate to animals and kind to the planet.

Transcript: #64 Kathleen Gage

White Clover, an Underappreciated Beauty

 

 

 

 

 

While we wait for the rain to stop here in the NE, spring flowers brighten up our landscapes. The grass is an ‘Emerald City’ green. Bulbs rise, flower, come and go as we place seeds in the ground for early crops. Clovers will be coming up soon though I kinda take the little white clover blossoms for granted.

Botanical name: Trifolium repens

Common names: white clover, shamrock

Parts used: whole plant, Peterson’s field guides to medicinal plants states the entire plant can be used.

Uses: teas, washes for sores, ulcers, very popular in Europe. This plant was brought to our country with the early settlers during the 1600-1700’s. It’s short, a perennial and flowers from April to September with shamrock type leaves. As you can imagine, looking for four-leafed clover was and is considered a sign of good luck. In Europe, flower tea was used for rheumatism and gout. In North America, the Native Americans used the leaf tea for colds, coughs, and fevers.

Jethro Kloss, an American icon in the world of herbalism, lived from 1863 to 1946 and practiced herbal medicine. He used white clover blossoms in a tea to cleanse the system, especially if ulcers, boils or other skin ailments were present. He also noted that poultices, tea washes applied externally, helped heal sores, ulcers too.

White clover has been used for many years as a ground cover. It is useful as a ground cover for its nitrogen-fixing properties. There are nodules on the roots that literally grab nonusable nitrogen from the air and with the help of bacteria convert it into a plant usable form which is important for plant growth and provides protein source for foraging animals.

Benefits of White Clover: (from the University of Hawaii cooperative extension service pdf.)

1. Excellent for attracting beneficial insects, for reduced- or non-chemical pest management, for controlling erosion, suppressing weeds once established,

2. …and as a source of organic nitrogen good for quick growth and establishment,

3. …for bearing equipment traffic

4. …tolerates low fertility soils

5…. fair shade tolerance suitable for higher elevations

6. …good forage for animal grazing systems;

7. …high production, nutritional quality, and palatability

8. For use in plantation and orchard cropping systems including macadamia and coffee, in vineyards, and as a living mulch in vegetable cropping systems.”

In doing research for this article I came across a blog: insteading.com they use white clover as a living mulch, planting it in the garden to keep down weeds; eventually, it becomes mulch, retains moisture, attracts pollinators, and improves the soil. When I visited Michael Judd’s property, (author of Edible Landscapes), I saw his use of crops like mint growing in many places. He explained to us that he was not worried about keeping them harnessed. He cut them down periodically during the growing season and they became mulch there and then. It seems Insteading supports the same practices.

Last but not least, white clovers attract pollinators. White clover honey is one of the most popular honey here in the US, light in color and milder in taste.

Recipes:

Teas are easy: gather flowers, leaves at peak growing times, dry, store in glass jars. These plant parts can be combined with other herbs for tea making.  A few white clover blossoms along with red clovers can be added to ice teas too creating pleasing summertime drinks.

White clover flowers dried, then ground into flour can be added to bread recipes. Southern forager shares a bread recipe made from dehydrated and dried, ground white clover blossom flour. I have found forager sites have great uses and recipes for meadow plants.

I hope you look at white clovers in lawns, gardens, and paths a bit differently. This little plant often mowed and ignored provides a host of uses. Do you have a favorite recipe? Please share…I’d like that.

Enjoy. Judith

 

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