Mindalia TV Interview: All About Nature

 

Description: I had the wonderful opportunity to be interviewed on Mindalia TV. This time instead of interviewing others I was able to share some of my passions with their audience. Dan Blanchard, one of my guests on “the Holistic Nature of Us”, invited me to join him for a lively discussion along with Mira, a Mandalia TV host. Dan and I are fellow authors here in CT. Each of us travels to speaking engagements, podcasting, interviews and we’re dedicated authors enjoying the journey of promotion. While this interview was broader than houseplants, though I love mine and they have wonderful value and gifts for the home environment, our discussion went deeper.

I hope you will listen in, take a moment to send us a comment and enjoy. Please share. Thanks. Judith

How Soil Unites Us: Nic Jelinski, Soil Scientist

 

Hi Folks, I am taking a couple of weeks off this summer from scheduled interviewing for my podcast series. However, I have a great lineup. Some of my guests like Mark Shepard and Craig Floyd have youtube videos and TED Talks. I’m kicking off July with Nic Jelinski, soil scientist, and a great speaker. Enjoy.

Description: Dirt, soil, the stuff we walk on, grow our food in, dig up and build with is our lifeblood here on this planet. Soil scientists like Nic Jelinski bring the nature of soil home in practical ways. He is making a difference and contributing to our understanding of how invaluable our land is. Have we forgotten? I think so. With so many environmental issues facing us today, folks like Nic and others are reminding us of the many roles soils play in our landscape and for the health and vitality of future generations.

Soils are water purifiers, manufacturing facilities, recycling systems, plant growth systems, and provide food and shelter for countless species, growth medium for food and more. We are beginning to look more deeply into the soil beneath our feet. Isn’t it interesting that as we unlock our inner potential as a species we also unlock the mysteries of soil, the dirt under us? As we explore the deep underground places within us, we explore the deep earth we cannot see. Ironic.

Nic’s talk is engaging, timely and important to our understanding of this precious resource we have exploited across the planet. Now is the time for practical action.

I hope you will give a good thought to his message. What is one practical action you can take today to take care of the land? All comments are appreciated.

Enjoy. Judith

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 

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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